Andromeda And The Moon

There’s lots of new stuff around at the moment. To continue yesterday’s theme, it’s not ‘new’ new stuff, but new stuff from older bands. There must be an analysis that says that April and May are good times to release music. Last week Gorillaz put out four new songs. I was going to type ‘dropped four new singles’ but I gagged a little bit at typing ‘dropped’ and I don’t think an internet only song counts as a single (or if singles even exist anymore. I know that 7″ singles still exist but when one artist releases an album and all the songs off it enter the top twenty, the single is pretty much a dead form I think).

The four new Gorillaz songs are a mixed bunch, and I suspect the album to follow will be too (which like all Gorillaz albums carries a long list of guest stars and collaborators from Grace Jones to De La Soul to Johnny Beth to Mavis Staples to Jamie Principle and so on). The best one and the only one I’ve so far wanted to listen to several times is Andromeda, which is a skip away from dance music, with a house beat and synths and a Damon vocal that isn’t just that listless one he usually does. It sounds like it was fun to make and is fun to listen to.

A bit less upfront, more subtle and more interested in texture and mood is this new song from Goldfrapp. I haven’t heard the whole album yet but this song, Moon In Your Mouth, is a lovely thing. The synths are moody, immersive and spacious, building, and Alison’s vocal matches them, soaring where it needs to. Goldfrapp flit from synth stomp albums to folky albums. This song takes parts from both and adds some science fiction.

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Bobby Womack

RIP Bobby Womack.

Dracula

This old Gorillaz b-side, all dub influences and wheezy easy going charm, is perfect for Sunday morning. Damon sounds as listless as can be.

Dracula

A Country Parish

Gorillaz eh? What to make of them? I’ve not been entirely convinced from the start and last year’s Plastic Beach only began to make sense to me when I saw the footage of them playing it live on TV. Paul Simonon and Mick Jones being present didn’t hurt either, and the stella guestlist at Glastonbury made my jaw drop. Especially Mark E Smith’s appearance- ‘Where’s north from here?’

On Christmas Day they released The Fall through their website. Recorded while on tour I’ve been living with it for the last few days and think it may be the best album they’ve done. By they, obviously really I mean by Damon Albarn. It’s got several lovely electronic funk tracks, loads of vintage synths and vocoders and a few ‘what does this button do?’ bits. What I think really makes it though is a) it sounds like an on-tour record, full of moments of ennui, of joy, of revelation, of the love of making music with few or no commercial considerations, and b) it’s not weighed down by all those special guests. No Lou Reed. No De La Soul. No Shaun Ryder. No Snoop. No Bobby Womack. No one, other than Mick and Paul chipping in on unobtrusive guitar and bass. The absence of all the guests adds rather than detracts. This is a pretty magic album and this is one of it’s key moments- a lovely country-ish ballad, starting with bursts of FM radio (a bit like the start of Dexys’ Burn it Down, except C ‘n’ W songs this time), and then some lovely half euphoric, half melancholic piano and Damon’s vocals about Texas, the road, space dust and whatever else. It fits the post-Christmas, post-New year lull very well and it’s very, very good. I suspect it may get removed soon as well by the internet police so get it while it’s hot. If you haven’t found a copy of the full album to download, do so sharpish. I suggest Castles In Space might be a good place to start.

The Parish Of Space Dust.mp3

Gorillaz ‘Stylo’ Live On Later

Just found this- Gorillaz playing Stylo live on Later earlier this week. I heard the album a few weeks ago and wasn’t that taken with it, however this is superb. Have a look on Youtube for the visuals, almost everyone dressed as sailors. This version features Bobby Womack and Mos Def doing the vocals as on the record, but more excitingly for The Clash fans, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon playing live together for the first time since 1983. And if anyone can carry off a peaked sailor’s cap it’s Paul Simonon.

Gorillaz_-_Stylo_ft_Mos_Def_Bobby_Womack_Live.mp3