I was on Lauren Laverne’s Biorhythms yesterday on BBC 6 Music, you’ll be able to hear me chatting to Lauren and my choices from about 42 minutes in on BBC iPlayer. Check out my selection and thoughts on them below:
Physical – David Bowie ‘TVC15′
I discovered Bowie properly a few years ago, like many before me I went back and explored his entire back catalogue. I found this catchy number sticking out like a mexican jumping bean on ‘Station To Station,’ which was the album he made before he went down that Berlin rabbit hole. It’s got an irresistible hook and jangly groove that makes you want to dance, he opened his Live Aid set at Wembley with this, the energy in that stadium conjured from this song still vibrates through your laptop 30 years later. This was turned up to 11 when I handed in my dissertation about this time last year. I loved it even more when I found out it was inspired by a hallucinogenic trip experienced by Iggy Pop, where he witnessed a television set eating his Girlfriend. What a great thing to dance about…
Emotional – Cat’s Eyes ‘The Lull’
Cat’s Eyes is the side-project of opera singer/classical musician Rachel Zafferia and Horrors front-man Faris Badwan. Their self-titled debut album released in 2011 retains undeniable chemistry between the pair, they have since gone on to become a couple which is what makes this album so special – you can hear that initial spark. ‘The Lull’ is striking because it’s a simple song, we usually find Faris behind a wall of guitar on The Horrors output, but here it’s him just crooning simple words interwoven into a lovely melody over orchestral backing. The brass makes it feel so British, I’m a sucker for a bit of melancholy with a brass and string section, we Brits love a brooding heartbreaker – you can’t beat it. You can check out a cut from Cat’s Eyes soundtrack for ‘The Duke Of Burgundy’ here.
Intellectual – Father John Misty ‘Bored In The USA’
I don’t think there’s been a song or artist like this for a while, the track is taken from the brutally honest ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ LP released earlier this year. The feelings he’s describing throughout this song is so true to modern life, the lyrics sum up what a lot of people think but don’t say out loud (“I’ve had a lifetime to consider all the ways/ I grow more disappointing to you as my beauty warps and fades”). But he trumps these harsh realities with sass as a live performer, check out his plug on ‘The David Letterman Show‘; it features a beard, some piano climbing, a swooning orchestra and a totally baffled audience. He’s a real innovator too, the laugh track featured in the middle-eight is a strange but successful move, it casts a haunting effect. If you like this you should probably read Amusing Ourselves To Death by Neil Postman which was recommended by the man himself. You can also check out my article, ‘Father John Misty is waking up our culture man’.