Things We Don’t Talk About

I haven’t listened to any hype, press release, or reviews of the album Things We Don’t Talk About by Bonander. I wanted to come to this musical soundscape without any bias. It’s a good thing I did it this way because this album hit me like a wet mackerel across my face.

So, here goes my interpretation of this album, along with a few quotes from the artist herself, Bonander.

The opening strains of music on the opening track have a beautiful layering and echo of voices along with what I interpret as a digital tape loop. It is a short and sweet introduction to what is about to unfold in track two.

Gone In The Wind opens with gentle singing and soft keys that build within the first chorus. Only to slam into me with percussion too strong to ignore within only a few lines. The vocal styling is more urgent on Gone In The Wind than on Never Ask, which is perfect because of the lyrics. There is an edge to walk carefully within Gone In The Wind. “People called you crazy; I just called you wild.”

Kris Kristofferson wrote a song with eerily similar lyrics and an equally dark story. “Some folks called him crazy, Lord, and others called him free.” Gone In The Wind is the album’s most dramatic track. It is about a toxic relationship with someone you counted on as a friend. The pipe organ and strings are the most dynamic instrumentation on the album. Bonander tells us that “The fact that I sing the song in two octaves represent that suppressed feeling of rage and frustration, that later in the song is set free.”

Track three is titled, Martha. Could it be John Lennon imagining something and doodling on the piano? Perhaps it is Martha My Dear, a tune from him and three other scouse lads. Wherever Martha originated is a silly game. This song, Martha, is an ingredient for road trips and coffee bars. Powerful, Bonanders voice rips through the music and demands to be heard. It pulses and moves with an intensity that keeps me hanging on and hitting repeat.

Ms. Mitchell is next up, and it resonated with me due to my appreciation for astronomy, an excellent addition to my universal playlist.

The next track is called Backseat, sonically it builds and builds and drowns us in the music of long car trips and us kids falling asleep in the backseat of the car. That was OK when we went with Mom; she had a Chevy Bel Air, and the back seat was comfortable and big enough for a couple of kids to pile onto and fall asleep. My Dad drove a Mercury pickup truck, and falling asleep in the back was almost impossible. I like the use of Swedish in the last chorus. I have never been to the land of my maternal grandparents. From conversations with family who have been there, it sounds like it would be similar to some of the long road trips that my family have taken in Canada.

Annie is an interesting song. I love the cello and the feeling of darkness in the music. Here is what Bonander tells us about this track.

“Generally, both “Annie” and the upcoming singles contain more vulnerability and resignation than the anger that the EP “It’s A Girl rather consisted of, an exploration. The music deals from a feminist perspective with questions that have no clear answers. Take Annie as an example: One of the first female snipers in the southern conservative United States. That is – she was badass. But she also liked armies and worked for a female army to be created. For example, she gave no support for female suffrage and probably lived according to other shabby values of her time. She was a human being, neither “good” nor “evil.”

Bonander explains: “The lyrics are about meeting Annie in a kind of mysterious dream and trying to understand her better and worse sides. I wonder what she was thinking! On the one hand, she spent her entire life proving that she could shoot “just like the men,” on the other, she thought it was important to maintain gender norms in other ways.”

Now, keeping true to the mystical and poetic storytelling that’s surrounding her, Bonander displays a more fragile side of her songwriting with the new single “Then I’m Dead.” The song is an honest description of one of the songwriter’s biggest fears, the lyrics speaking for themselves. Bonander explains:

“We create this absurd demand for us all to post a perfect exterior on social media, create our dream life, and that nothing is impossible as long as you work really hard. But that’s the point: things are impossible sometimes, and that’s OK. And there is this human worth in everyone, despite how many hours a day you work, or how flawless your Instagram profile is.”

Arranged for a pump organ and string quartet, an organic and fragile sound texture is laid before us. The delicate arrangement meeting intimate lyrics creates a dream-like quality that doesn’t feel entirely safe—like a soft breeze steadily growing into a restless storm. Bonander tells us: “You can hear the treading that keeps the organ alive. In the string quartet, I tried to fashion the idea of a machine that builds up into this train of semiquavers, like a machine that gets stuck on repeat. I had real fun working with these instruments.”

Mother described by Bonander:

“A chant for the most powerful force in this world. To my mother, to your mother, to everyone’s mother and their struggle, their emotional investment, their viability and the important time they’ve put into all of our lives. I sang this song live with a couple of friends in the church because motherhood is as close as a religion that I’ll get. I want to get that live feeling of a chant, a song you can sing together, and then make the electronic soundscape clash with the acoustic one at the end.”

I couldn’t have said it better. I have a lot of respect for mothers in general. And an extra shot of love for my Mom and my wife, who is also a mother to our son.

The album Things We Don’t Talk About gave me lots of things to talk about, even if it was me talking to myself or a keyboard. Bonander closes the album with the achingly beautiful Silent Lights and Ode. It couldn’t have been any other way. It is the perfect ending to an album that brought me close to tears while soaring with loving and longing memories.

Things We Don’t Talk About is released through the label Icons Creating Evil Art

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The Insecurities of Summer Heart

Insecurities is the title of the new EP from the Swedish musician who goes by the moniker of Summer Heart. My brain keeps telling me to type Summer Heat because we had a hot, dry summer in my pin drop on Google Maps.

So, let us dive into what I hear happening in the music and lyrics of this EP which follows on the heels of his late 2020 EP Ambitions, which received a favourable review from WeatheredMusic,

The opening track of the EP is also the title track, Insecurities, and it introduces us to the narrator. He is running away from something. In some form of transportation in which he is playing the radio too loud. Possibly in an attempt to overrun the memories on loop in his brain. Memories have taken him 90 miles or 144 kilometres to a lake where he has some pleasant memories of what used to be.

Back to the present and we learn that the author is very insecure and can’t make any sense of what his world has become. The song ends with him crashing into the car of the person that he is obsessed with and cutting down the flowers that that person loved. A violent end to a journey of discovery. A journey in search of meaning for the life that he has left for living.

The song Inside Out gets real for the author of the piece. He tells us this.

“I have a tendency to 

say I’m getting better

but really I’m a quitter

quitting under pressure”

It takes intestinal fortitude to admit out falts. Step 4 of the 12 step program tells us to make a searching and fearless moral inventory. Saying that he is a quitter is a small step, but an important one, towards a complete inventory.

Next up, the centrepiece of this EP is the song Wash You Off, another small step towards that inventory with the confession that he struggles with being prideful. Unfortunately, that is a short-lived victory. The ink is barely dry on that page before he dives back into wobbling between telling his lover that the affair is over and then saying that he doesn’t “wanna stop.” He ends the song by throwing the responsibility to her when he is confused and messed up, not her. You gotta own it, bro.

I’m not sure, but song four, Clean, could work as an anthem to an addiction treatment plan.

“I can keep it clean.”

Alternatively, it comes off as the plaintive cry of a broken man.

“nothing kinda turned out as I planned.” Man up because “Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.”

The EP closes with the song Too Many Miles, which has some good confessional or step 4 material. 

“We don’t talk anymore.”

“I’ve been running way too many miles.”

“I’ve been fighting way too many fights.”

Unfortunately, he then starts to tentatively say that he “kind of wanna start over again.”

At the start of the last refrain of the song Too Many Miles, the author states they “don’t fight anymore.” A wise person once told me that if a couple isn’t fighting, they aren’t communicating. They let everything bottle up inside, which usually leads to an explosion of messy results. So, if you don’t even fight anymore, I kind of think this event is over.

“You swipe right like a sport.” Now ring the final bell.

I enjoyed this adventure in music, but I think it just falls short of its full potential. Put some edge on those synths. Don’t pull the punches. Put some darkness in there, make the vocals cry, shout and even wail when appropriate. Let us, the listeners, really hear the pain. All I hear now are some lovely songs. These lyrics demand more than pleasant. They need some real emotion thrown in.

Take a look at the photo below. Is this man bubbling over with sweet happy thoughts?

No. He is pensive. He looks confused. Perhaps a bit lonely. Pained perhaps but not bubbling over with happiness and I think the music and vocal delivery should support this photo with all the emotional rawness that it projects.

Exemplary musicianship and good storytelling for this EP, I give it a thumbs up and anticipate more from Summer Heart. The potential is there for more excellent music from this emerging artist.

Summer Heart’s new EP ‘Insecurities’ is out on the 3rd September via Icons Creating Evil Art.







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Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys

Summertime and the living is easy. I have been spending a good chunk of my day on the deck listening to music. I also watch clouds drift past on their way to who knows where. 

I recently listened to ‘Transit Tapes’ (for women who move furniture around) by Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys.

I found it challenging to write this blog; I couldn’t stop listening long enough to write. So I am sitting at my desk as I write this, and my whole body is in revolt. My head is bobbing in sync with the music. My foot keeps time like a metronome. My fingers want to make chord shapes on the guitar instead of word shapes on the computer.

As with most other humans, one of the first things I do when I hear new music is to try and find a reference in my memory bank to something I have heard before. I play the who does this sound like game.

Nick Cave? Highly probable, Lucy Kruger cites Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds as an influence, so that makes sense.

Jennifer Warnes? Only a little bit.

Neko Case? More than Jennifer Warnes but not definitive.

Margo Timmins? Yeah, I can hear a good bit of cross-over with The Cowboy Junkies. Check out, Sweet Jane or Misguided Angel. Are they dopplgangers? No, but they are similar.

At the end of the day, Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys sound like Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys. Go figure, eh!

Lucy Kruger has an ethereal voice that fits like a dovetail joint with The Lost Boys. This project is the first time Kruger has worked with drummer Martin Perret, guitarist Liú Mottes and bassist Andreas Miranda, who form The Lost Boys. The depth that The Lost Boys add is apparent in the dramatic soundscape heard in A Paper Boat or the slow rumbling climb on A Stranger’s Chest.

I would encourage you, the reader and listener, to search out what you can on the internet about Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys. Here are a few good starting points.

While reading what you can find about the journey that took Lucy Kruger to this point in time, I would encourage listening to her music. I would even promote listening to her back catalogue to listen to that journey and how it contributed to ‘Transit Tapes’ (for women who move furniture around).

This album scores an insanely high 9.5 out of ten which is rarefied air.

Buy it, listen to it. Listen to it in transit on your summer vacation. Listen to it while moving furniture around. Listen to it once, and I will boldly bet that you will want to listen to it again and again. I know I did.

While reading what you can about Lucy Kruger, I would encourage listening to her back catalogue and how that contributed to ‘Transit Tapes’ (for women who move furniture around).

‘Transit Tapes’ (for women who move furniture around) will be released by Unique Records on June 4th, 2021 wherever fine music is available.

Social media links:
A link to the videos:
Digging A Hole:
Half of A Woman:
The Ocean at Night:
Mary (live):

I also highly recommend the video of A Strangers Chest.

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A Poole for You & Us

If you throw enough music at my brain, some of it will stick, some will leave a smear, and some will fall away, never to grace my turntable a second time.

Some of the exceptional music not only sticks but spins into earworms or, best of all outcomes, form a groove of their own in the wrinkly stuff inside my head.

Pink Floyd did that to me in 1973 when they released Dark Side of the Moon with the standout track Us and Them. More recently, in 2001, 16 Horsepower’s album Hoarse established a home in my head. In 2009 The Avett Brothers did it to me with their album I and Love and You.

Fast-forward to May 14, 2021, and the Swedish duo Fredrik Forell and Arvid Hällagård, collaborating as “Pool”, have released ‘You & Us’ via Something Beautiful, their debut album. Having press privilege, I was able to preview this album and post my impression of it back on May 11 of this year. It quickly ploughed a groove through my auditory cortex into my cerebrum, where it established a home.

The remainder of this post contains some text from the review that I did on April 11.

Arvid Hällagård handles the lead vocals with a voice that sends chills up and down my spine. ‘You & Us‘ see Fredrik Forell and Arvid Hällagård telling it all in a strikingly raw and unadulterated rumination of loss and sorrow. Going through a divorce as the album was taking shape, Arvid’s heartache beautifully translates into something we can all witness and understand. The record follows the painful journey of putting a relationship to rest, recognising its shortcomings and beginning to move on from start to finish. His vocal style has an almost haunted quality which serves him well on tracks such as the opener “Grave“. About the album’s title track, You & UsArvid says, “These are some thoughts about how she and I felt during the relationship, how you have to handle yourself, and at the same time an ‘Us’. Mostly it’s about how hard a relationship can be, having a first kid. You expect it to be in a certain way, and the disappointment when those expectations turn out to be unreal.”

Multi-instrumentalist Fredrik Forell adds the music that verges on Americana folk but opens up new sounds that left me wondering what the hell that was.

I love it! If iTunes had grooves, I would have worn out this album by now. The lyrics and music combine to create a portrait of pain. “You and Us” walks us through the journey of love, love lost, love that never was and love that needs room to grow.

A killer track on “You and Us” that caught my ear was “By The Old Noon“. It was an instant earworm for me. Take what sounds like a banjo and then add some samples, mix them all with the remorseful lyrics, and you get a song that keeps hitting the repeat button and keeps me wondering, “What the Hell was that?”.

I could go on and on waxing poetically about this EP and the sheer brilliance of this album, but I will leave it for You & Us,  I and Love and You and Us and Them to enjoy for yourselves.

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.


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Chewing Gum

This is a follow up from a review that I posted back in October of 2020. I had been listening to Promise and the Monster and I was loving every moment. Then I put the album on the shelf until just this past week. Promise and the Monster’s EP was officially released and I have been listening to it over and over again. This is good music my friends.

Having established herself as one of Sweden’s most esoteric and mesmerizing songwriters, with
critical acclaim from Uncut, Mojo, Clash and Pitchfork, Promise and the Monster has set
forth on a new path with her upcoming EP Chewing Gum out on 30th April 2021 on her new
home label Icons Creating Evil Art.

Promise and the Monster is the brainchild of Stockholm-based Billie Lindhal. Now joined by Love
Martinsen, who Billie calls “the invisible other half”, Promise and the Monster is undergoing an
electronic tilt. Inspired by the discord between urban and rural, Billie balances organic
instrumentation with ethereal soundscapes — a heavenly synergy that is more prevalent than ever on Chewing Gum.
Chewing Gum follows leading singles ‘Beating Heart’ and ‘Closed My Eyes’, continuing her penchant for finding the romantic within the dark. Whilst demonstrating a shift towards electronic

instrumentation, Billie’s roots as a classical musician shine through, with cinematic string sections
adjoined with shimmering synths lifting each track into a warm, fairy-tale haze. “Chewing Gum is a
collection of songs that are dreamy, dark and romantic and spins little stories from hell” she says.
Traversing the ambiguous, Chewing Gum creates allure in the unsaid and leaves space for
interpretation. Inspiration doesn’t run short in the world that Billie Lindhal has crafted with her
music, touching on unrequited love, sisterhood and the many reasons someone might close their
eyes. She says, “I wrote ‘Closed My Eyes’ surprisingly quickly after thinking about the ambiguity in
that image, closing one’s eyes for various reasons. It was good fuel. The women in this song are out roaming in the streets.”
However, her musings also extend past the human psyche. Third track, ‘One Summer’ took shape
after watching Swedish 1950s drama, Sawdust And Tinsel, a tale of a travelling circus, she says, “We watched a movie called Sawdust and Tinsel to get the right feeling while recording this one. It is about a tired circus company dragging their circus wagons around in a dusty old landscape.”
The six-track EP features four unheard songs from Promise And The Monster: ‘Diamonds On
Concrete’, ‘Vykort Från Förr’, ‘One Summer’ and title-track ‘Chewing Gum’. Each track serves as a
platform for the hypnotic power of Billie’s haunting vocal.

Chewing Gum comes out on 30 th April 2021 via Icons Creating Evil Art.


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‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’ by The Casual Sexists

On March 7 of 2021, I did a favourable review of the song ‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’ by The Casual Sexists.  I commented that I was hooked by the lyrics:

“My heartbeat keeps me awake 

Repeating information that I already know.”

Putting our brains on an endless loop as we fight to get some sleep.”

Yeah, I’ve been there and done that—more than once.

“I dance, although I feel like I could die.”

The music lifts my spirits when my brain wants to curl up in a corner and make the world go away. The music compelled me to get up and dance, and those moments, those three-minute songs, keep me going. They give me life instead of dying. And “I dance although I feel like I could die.”

I call the lyrics on ‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’ anthems to the aging. Aging is a constant reality from the moment we are born till the day we die. It is happening to every one of us, every minute. And The Casual Sexists have fun with it.

I give them a hearty thumbs up for the single ‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’.

Fast forward to Thursday, April 29, 2021, and I am listening to the debut album from The Casual SexistsYour Prescription Is Ready.  If you thought ‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’ was good, get ready to have your mind blown. Londoner Ed Zed and New Yorker Varrick have crafted a worldwide favourite with their new full-length album.

Your Prescription Is Ready keeps me awake, never mind the heartbeats that do the same. As an aging rock and roller, Your Prescription Is Ready struck a chord with me. I hear ‘Your Prescription Is Ready, from the pharmacist far more times than I did when I was a young whippersnapper. However, when it comes to the album, Your Prescription Is Ready, I haven’t reached the point of hearing it far more times than I can deal with. I need to start counting how many times I listen to an album before I post it. For this timeless piece of music, I will take a shot at it being around 20 listens.

I say timeless because I can hear influences, zephyr-like at times but none the less significant enough to trigger my reminiscence bump. The one that immediately jumped out at me was The B-52’s, a band that played some very sophisticated music and had fun doing it. Other tips of the hat go to Gary Numan and The Friends of Mr Cairo by Jon and Vangelis.

Enough of the flashback’s, The Casual Sexists have crafted an excellent bit of music. It that will undoubtedly generate new reminiscence bumps for those who take the time to put this album on at the roller rink and seer it into fresh brain matter. Seriously, you don’t have to be at a roller rink to enjoy this album. You can listen on the commute through your earbuds. You can listen at home dancing while you do cleaning, it makes the dreary fun. You can listen anywhere it strikes your fancy, the joy of living in the digital age. It doesn’t matter where you listen; just listen. The Casual SexistsYour Prescription Is Ready is an excellent bit of music and deserves repeated hits of the repeat button. The album will follow dancehall the singles ‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’, ‘Fresh Legs’ and The Casual Sexists glitch-pop rendition of ‘Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’’.

Your Prescription Is Ready will be out on May 7 2021, via It’s Hurting My

Feelings. I would be amiss to not mention the album artwork. I love it.

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Have you ever listened to an album, and it sinks its hooks in? You can’t stop listening to that album. I have slabs of vinyl that I am sure I have ground the grooves a few millimetres deeper. Dark Side of the Moon is an example of that.

In iTunes, I have albums that I put on repeat and, over time, accumulate an insane amount of listens to that one piece of music. Giles Corey’s self-titled album is an example of that in my recent playlists.

I do a few music reviews, and some of the bands are amazing. I put them on repeat because I like them and not just because I want to write a gushing review. Recently I was offered the opportunity to listen to a new EP called Honeyspell. It is from the Finnish duo Mikko Pykäri and Karin Mäkiranta, who goes by the moniker Babel.

It did not sink its hooks into me. I did, however, put it on repeat. I desperately wanted to understand this music. I still don’t. I want to write a gushing review, but I am unable to do that.

I am sure others would wax poetically about this EP, and I want to, but alas, I can not do that. I hear a wash of synths that overpower the mix, and I can’t hear the vocals enough. I am not particularly fond of how Karin Mäkiranta’s vocals were processed. I am sure she has a lovely voice, but it does not come across that way in my ears. Others have described her vocals as ethereal, and I can understand why they would say that, but they still don’t put a spell on me.

The synth processing would work well as some ambient soundtrack, but I found it overpowering the mix. The percussion moves along right smartly; no complaint there. I can hear guitar playing occasionally, and I would have liked more of it not washed over by the mix. I can pick out bass lines every so often. I can’t tell if it’s a bass guitar or synthesized, but I found it lost in the mix once again.

In summary, I think Babel can make some good music. They are on SoundCloud, Spotify and iTunes, so they must be doing something right. However, it is not sweet music to my ears.
I want to end this on a positive note. I liked the cover art, and I think Mikko Pykäri and Karin Mäkiranta are talented musicians who will only get better moving forward. I look forward to their first full-length album, Yoga Horror, which comes out in 2022.

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When I Fall From The Sky

It seems like forever since I fell in love with the song “In A Million Years” by the band Misty Coast, the dream-pop child of Linn Frøkedal and Richard Myklebust, known from the Norwegian noise rock act The Megaphonic Thrift. It was, in fact, September of 2020, not forever but a few moments ago. My closing comment about that song was, “I give it five stars, this is a lovely little song, and I hope I get to hear it in a full-length album soon. I don’t want to wait a million years.” It turns out that I didn’t have to wait a million years, only six months, give or take a million minutes.

So, fast forward to today, and I get to listen through the entire album, “When I Fall From The Sky”. The song “In A Million Years” has not lost its lustre and fits very comfortably amid all the other magical music moments on this album.

The opening track, Switch Off, was picked as the opener based on the guitar hooks and the opening vocal line. Switch Off is a psychedelic throwback with nods to the Beatles circa Sgt. Peppers. Misty Coast also drew psychedelic inspiration from the band Quilt. Stereolab gets a nod for influencing the title, are they switched on or off? Now I have to listen to Sgt. Pepper, Quilt and Stereolab to properly research this blog, such is the nature of the sacrifice that I make for music.

Next up in the queue is a catchy little pop song that the producer of this fine album, Emil Nikolaisen, calls “the Cardigans song.” Queue up the Cardigans now; thanks a lot Misty Coast for expanding my listening coastline.

And this brings us to a reprise of the song, In A Million Years, which was my initial introduction to Misty Coast. This track still shine from a million light years away in the six months since I first listened to it.

We then roll through a Ghost Town, experience Jet Lag, and a trip down memory lane in the song ’92, with guest vocalist Hilma Nikolaisen. She is the sister of the album producer Emil Nikolaisen, and she also plays the bass for Serena-Maneesh, a Norwegian alternative rock band from Oslo. Misty Coast tells us that the lyrics for ’92 make jokes about indie heads stuck in the ’90s, with their flannel shirts and bitter for not dying at 27 like all their music heroes.

We then swallow a musical gem called “Sugar Pill” that builds from a minimalist start to a mind-blowing psychedelic mishmash of guitars and synthesizers. I love it!

The next song is fun. The title is “Fun”. The arrangement is delightful; producer Emil Nikolaisen turned the song into a fun bit of psychedelic imagery that revolves around the theme of social anxiety. I never thought social anxiety was fun, but you will get the drift if you listen to the song lyrics.

And then the album, When I Fall From The Sky, closes with the songs “Do You Still Remember Me?” and the title track. Yes, I still remember Misty Coast, and I encourage you, the reader, to give this album a listen. Available where fine music is presented with a thank you to the label Fysisk Format and our friends at Mystic Sons.

Pools “You & Us”

Pools are a collaboration between the Swedish duo Fredrik Forell and Arvid Hällagård, and they have pooled their talents as the musical collaboration of “Pool”. Together they have made their debut album, ‘You & Us’, which is set to be released on 14th May 2021 via Something Beautiful.

Arvid handles the lead vocals with a voice that sent chills up and down my spine. His vocal style has an almost haunted quality which serves him well on tracks such as the opener “Grave”. About the album’s title track, Arvid says, “These are some thoughts about how she and I felt during the relationship, how you have to handle yourself, and at the same time an ‘Us’. Mostly it’s about how hard a relationship can be, having a first kid. You expect it to be in a certain way, and the disappointment when those expectations turn out to be unreal.”

Fredrik Forell mixes in music that verges on Americana folk but opens up new sounds that left me wondering “what the hell was that”?!

I love it! If iTunes had grooves, I would have worn out this album by now. The lyrics and music combine to create a portrait of pain. “You and Us” walks us through the journey of love, love lost, love that never was and love that needs room to grow.

A killer track on “You and Us” that caught my ear was “By The Old Moon”. It was an instant earworm for me. Take what sounds like a banjo and then add some sound samples, mix them all with the remorseful lyrics, and you get a song that keeps me hitting the repeat button. 

I could go on and on waxing poetically about the songs, the music and the sheer brilliance of this album, but I will let “You & Us” speak for itself. Check out the singles “By the Old Noon”, “Looking For Trouble”, and “Walk” speak for themselves on your music platform of choice; I used Apple Music. And then tune in for the album to drop on 14th May via Something Beautiful recordings.

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.


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Dead Can Dance

Dead Can Dance members Lisa Gerrard and Jules Maxwell have teamed up under a new guise with James Chapman (MAPS) to create a studio album, titled ‘Burn’. The record began its journey more than seven years ago, when Lisa met Irish theatre composer Jules Maxwell before working together for the first time. ‘Burn’ is set for release on 7th May 2021 via Atlantic Curve. 

Speaking about the origins of the album, Lisa Gerrard explains, “It is with great pleasure that I share this collaboration with Jules Maxwell. Jules and I began our creative journey with Dead Can Dance. We realised that we could connect through improvisation and that musical exploration continues to evolve with this present work.”

Although this record is a new release, its beginnings go all the way back to 2012 during that year’s Dead Can Dance world tour. Originally brought in as a live keyboard player, Jules Maxwell helped create a new song with Lisa Gerrard called ‘Rising Of The Moon’, which was performed as the final encore of each show. By the time the tour finished in Chile in 2013, a strong affinity had begun to develop between the two of them and further opportunities to collaborate with each other resulted over subsequent years. 

In 2015, when Maxwell was asked to submit songs for the Bulgarian choir The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices (Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares), he approached Gerrard to co-write material and travelled to Australia to work with her in her home studio. The pair came away with four new songs for that release, as well as the building blocks for this new venture together.

Jules describes the introduction to James Chapman.

“About a year later, over dinner in Sofia after a concert by the Bulgarian women, my publisher suggested to me that I work with James Chapman on completing the BURN songs. James had established a sound with his band MAPS, which also had big horizons at its core, and it seemed like an intriguing proposition to me.”

With Chapman joining the duo as producer, ideas began to be generated freely and over time a distinct sound for their work began to emerge. Their focus was to create a sound that was both euphoric and compelling, more inventive than what they had worked on separately in the past. From gentle beginnings, each track builds and intensifies, creating a hypnotic experience to listen to from start to finish.

With Lisa remaining in Australia, Jules adding his keys and percussion from France, and James bringing new light to the sound from England, the three were literally worlds apart, but those worlds fused in the music.

Recently, Jules Maxwell also released his debut solo album ‘Songs From The Cultural Backwater’, Lisa Gerrard received a Grammy nomination and returned to Dead Can Dance to release the group’s critically praised ninth studio full-length ‘Dionysus’, and James Chapman released MAPS 4th full-length album ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss’.

Stylistically, the new album ‘Burn’ is a diverse mix of electronica, alternative, cinematic soundscape and world music with hints of early Vangelis. Accumulatively, this is a stunning departure for all three of them. 

Lisa Gerrard and Jules Maxwell’s new album ‘Burn’ will be available as of 7th May 2021 via Atlantic Curve.


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