Sunday Suggestion – St Vincent – Marrow

St Vincent (Annie Clark) has received huge critical acclaim with her most recent effort and rightly so as far as I’m concerned. Her self titled fourth album was sublime, showcasing a hugely talented artist at work. The progression from her debut album Marry Me from 2007 and to St. Vincent this year is clear and her style was really honed and refined with songs such as Marrow from her second album Actor from 2009. The eerie lyrical twists and turns of the track are surrounded by a very sparse set up with distantly wailing vocals along with a pulse-like drum beat and gently scratching guitars. This sets the song up perfectly for the shot of Clark’s heavily reverberating and fuzzy guitar as she urgently spells out for help. These swift switches of sound are carried off with such an effortlessness. She also controls her vocals as opposed to screaming over the noise and places them just ahead of the raging guitars. Not only does this maintain the songs surreal feel, but it also accentuates the fuzzy guitar bursts. A profound and well formed track and she’d go on to do even more.

Owen Riddle

Sunday Suggestion – Kanye West feat. Paul McCartney – Only One

Since this is the week of Kanye and all that… here is a look at a track from over a year ago that would have made The Life of Pablo sound quite different had he kept that direction. ‘Only One’ with Paul McCartney is a gentle and lapping track by Kanye’s standards and is an intimate and personal track that’s about family close to him from his Mother to his daughter. Such personal and intimate lyrics require music to compliment and respect it them and calling upon McCartney to help capture that was a wise move from Kanye. This is brought about by the soft, nudging organs and a more subtle auto-tune upon his vocal that is a little less ridiculous than it has been in the past. The chorus still gives way to a refined piece of joyousness with McCartney’s electronically charged backing vocal. It’s a close and emotional song, but one that builds up to more happier climbs too. Though his credibility as an out and out musician may always but questioned; Kanye West’s ability to produce a well made and layered track is becoming less questionable.

 

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Sunday Suggestion – St. Vincent – Prince Johnny

With the successor to St. Vincent’s self titled album for album of the year in 2015 recently unveiled as being Currents by Tame Impala; we thought we would take k back at one of the highlights of the best album of 2014 and ‘Prince Johnny’ is one of many. From what seems like a much more eccentric and inventive version of a Lana Del Rey track, it is a song of beauty and complexity. The simple back beat is joined with haunting choir like samples along with the sparse bass line to enhance the other refined instrumentation. Annie Clark’s vocals are sublime in this track as they effortlessly carry the melody and the hook and still keep the focus on the unusual and wonderfully odd lyrics. The chorus only enhances this and the haunting samples behind it. Only brief rumbles of a guitar are needed. It is such an effortless and beautiful example of delivery, recording and production. Slightly humorous, tragic, eerie and fresh all at the same time. One of the best tracks from a still wondrous album.

 

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Sunday Suggestion – The Kills – Sour Cherry

The Kills are Alison Mosshart from Florida and Jamie Hince from Buckinghamshire and the duo released their debut album eleven years ago with Keep On Your Mean Side. Back in 2008 they released their third and most acclaimed album with Midnight Boom. It’s a album with a lot of heavy, fuzzy and scathing guitars that the song is formed around but these riffs are fluid and traversing. Not blocky and monotonous like may of todays pliers of such a trade. A fine example of this is the single ‘Sour Cherry’. Everything about this track has a constant buzz and tremble to it and this reflects on the fabric of the song. The distorted percussion is broken by fuzz enthused strikes of the guitar while Alison’s vocal; effortless in it’s delivery and close in it’s recording, rolls each line off with ease as she’s backed up by Hince’s equally laid back boasts. If the bold beat doesn’t hit you the brief blasts of the guitar will. The instrumental see’s Hince wrestle a sonically charged roar from his guitar before settling back into the thumping percussion section as it ends all too abruptly. An unconventional yet simple song in it’s drive and rhythm but a highly creative one at that. They make Royal Blood, Drenge or Darlia look like amateurs and all long before these groups set about their drab, droning sound. About six years in fact.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995