Le tempo de l’amour. Ain’t that the truth.
So we had some big big news last week in YHM Towers. And no it wasn’t the news confirming that The Operators were to headline The Peter Westropp Memorial Trust‘s Stropptoberfest at the weekend (as massive as that was), it was that a track co-written by one of the Your Hands Music mega lads, Charlie Westropp, had been selected for release by the ruddy amazing Callum burrows aka Saint Raymond. WOOOOHHHHOOOOO!!!
Now I know this isn’t strictly sticking to my normal remit here in the New Music Takeaway, cos I have already blogged about Saint Raymond here well over a year ago, whilst regular followers will have noticed that he also featured in my Special Crimbo New Music Takeaway, and in the Weekend Warm Up recently as well. And adding to the honour of appearing on this site multiple times, he’s had quite a few other minor things happen for him since those posts too. Stuff like featuring in NME Radar & the Guardian’s Band Of The Day, getting loads of airplay on Radio 1 from Zane Lowe amongst others. Being compared by multiple journos & industry bods to peeps like Bastille, Police, Simple Minds, Vampire Weekend, Bombay Bicycle Club. Gigging with Gabrielle Aplin, Haim, & this very week Ed Sheeran at the O2, with whom he became label mates, having been signed by Asylum Records, which is also home to Rudimental, Charli XCX, and other good people. He’s also had previous singles remixed by the likes of Kele Okereke (Young Blood), Alt-J (I Want You). You know, real minor stuff. Bottom line is he shouldn’t really be here on the NMT, cos, well, he’s big time already.
But I’m still gonna post this for several reasons. Firstly, he’s not released an album yet so can still kind of, be classed as ‘new music’. Secondly he’s friggin’ awesome and thirdly we’ve got a personal connection to him and his project, so we’re obviously gonna try and not so subtly help him whenever we possibly can.
Which brings me back to Callum’s forthcoming single (co-written by our bruvver Charlie Westropp, just in case you forgot, along with friend of YHM Nick Atkinson, & Callum himself). It’s a fucking tune. Indie pop at it’s absolute best, I think you’ll agree. It’s out in a little while on the 30th November (don’t worry I won’t let you forget), but if you are worried about it slipping your mind, you can pre-order it right now on iTunes here, whilst, in the meantime, tiding yourself over by streaming it daily on either ours or Callum’s soundclouds (for ours click here, all Saint Raymond links are below). Or alternatively, you could, go see ‘This Is Where I Leave You‘ which is out on the 24th October (already out in the U.S.), starring loads of big massive movie guys who you’ll definitely know from previous stuff like Tina Fey (general funny things- 30 Rock, The Oscars, etc), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Horrible Bosses), Timothy Olyphant (the main cowboy/ U.S. Marshall dude in Justified), Jane Fonda (your mum’s old workout VHS/ DVDs), Rose Byrne (lads will remember her in X-Men: First Class, girls as the bitch in Bridesmaids), because ‘Fall At Your Feet’ is featured in it!!! That’s another little minor thing that’s happened for Callum, Charlie & Nick too…
For now though why not just have a little listen right here:
It’s a real goodun’ that innit. So now that you’re lovin’ that track why not take a little sneaky peak at all Saint Raymond’s social pages so you can get the low down on everything he does from now on. Here’s his linky dinks- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud, Website, he’s also just posted a lyric video here for those of you who wanna have a little sing-a-long? And if you wanna see what other projects our main man C-West (new nickname I just made up for Charlie) is getting involved with now and in the future, then you may wanna get following our sites/ pages too, so here’s the links to that shiz- Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter & Instagram (yes we’re on instagram now too).
Ok so this week’s not exactly what I’d call a vintage week for album releases. There ain’t a lot about that really flicks my switch. Well, not by recent standards anyways, where we’ve had anywhere from 5-10 decent records released each week. This week, as a quick scroll down will tell ya, I’ve picked out just three. They are three real good ‘uns mind. But whilst there’s not as much good stuff out there to keep you entertained this week, the plus side is that you don’t have to wade through quite as much of my rambling this week, as I’ve only three records to talk about!! Happy days hey?!
Onto the music then, and I know it’s a bit pathetic, but out of the three records, I actually couldn’t decide which I wanted to pick for you guys as the top of the tops. I can be fairly indecisive you know. Of the three, two are belters, and one’s a compilation I’ve already blogged about fairly extensively on this site already (so you know it’s gonna be good or I wouldn’t have done that now would I). So for me it kind of feels like your choice’ll depend on what kind of person you are or what you’re in the mood for- something a bit more mainstream (Ben Howard), some more alternative shiz (Mark Lanegan Band) or if you just fancy a bit of variety on your wireless (Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell). It’s over to you…
Ben Howard - I Forgot Where We Were
First up we’ve got Ben Howard’s follow up to his insanely popular 2011 debut, Every Kingdom. After that debut and all it’s big big singles ‘Only Love’ & ‘The Wolves’, smashed up album/ singles charts & festival crowds across the country, winning young Ben a couple of Brit Awards (Best British Breakthrough & Best British Male Solo Artist) & Mercury Prize Nomination, everyone who didn’t/ doesn’t live in a cave knew who Mr Howard was or at least could happily sing along to one of his choruses (all together now… ‘Only Love, Only Love’, yep you know it). So after such a massive album like that where does an artist go? Surely you’ve two choices, 1) you go even further into the mainstream, aiming for stadiums, becoming an ego driven bell-end in the process (examples: Bono Or Chris Marin), or 2) disappearing off into your own colon to experiment & find yourself as an artist returning with a barely listenable, self indulgent pile of shite (examples: The Klaxons or MGMT). Thankfully there is a third option (obviously)- just carry on doing your own thing, and see what happens. And that’s what Ben’s done. It’s a slightly darker effort than Every Kingdom overall ditching the singalong choruses in favour of more vibey atmospheric tracks with more hushed percussion, stripped back electric guitars & Ben’s Damien Rice/ David Gray-esque vocals to the fore. It’s still fairly mainstream singer/ songwriter’y stuff without being quite as immediate as it’s predecessor, but it is a cracking follow up, that’s at times genuinely delicate & beautiful, and is, in time, certainly a more rewarding listen.
Mark Lanegan Band - Phantom Radio
Next up it’s that cool mudda fucka above, Mark Lanegan & his band. What a lad he is. From being one of the pioneers of the whole grunge thing with his first band, The Screaming Trees, to working with Kurt Cobain & Nirvana in the pre- Nevermind years, then joining the Queens Of The Stone Age, before forming The Gutter Twins with Greg Dulli, then onto a few records with Belle & Sebastian’s Isobel Campbell as you do, then moving on to work with Soulsavers, along with a truckload of other one off appearances & features with great acts like The Twilight Singers, whilst still making time for the odd solo record (this being his 9th in all!!!). That’s quite a C.V. hey. The bloke never stops. And thankfully too, cos if he did we wouldn’t be able to enjoy his unstoppable creative talents now would we. And you’ll be even more thankful when you hear Phantom Radio, his latest solo outing, as it’s right up there with his best. Dark gloomy pop guitar hooks & synths, topped with his menacing gravelly baritone, it’s like listening to the Horrors being covered by Tom Waits. Glorious.
Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell
Finally, we have our compilation, Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell. Now I’ve blogged about this album and what it’s all about a few times already, giving you guys a couple of sneaky peaks from it by way of Hot Chip’s cover of ‘Go Bang’ & Jose Gonzalez’s ‘This Is How We Walk On the Moon’. And in those two blogs you can catch up on what the compilation’s all about (In short it’s about raising AIDS & HIV Awareness due to Russell’s tragic death of AIDS related causes), but here on the POTW, I’m gonna stick to the music side of things. As with most compilations, there’s always a bit of a difficulty in creating any kind of continuity within one due to the amount of directions different artists take the source material, however that’s all part of the appeal right? A bit of variety never hurt no-one now did it?! It’s also doubly hard on this particular compilation due to Russell’s pioneering experimental spirit in his own body of work, dabbling in genres as widespread as classical, folk, rock & disco during his career. What it does mean though is that the comp is a whole boatload of bonkers fun with efforts from Alexis Taylor both solo as well as within Hot Chip (as mentioned earlier), Sufjan Stevens, Blood Orange, Robyn, Sam Amidon & the aforementioned Jose Gonzalez amongst others. So if Howard & Lanegan sound a bit serious for ya, then this is exactly where you should be investing your hard earn pennies this week….