MAGIC MIX

folk . americana . blues . rock&roll

WEEK STARTING 21 Jun

Genre pick of the week Cover of Rivers Edge by Nev Cottee.
The River's Edge is a mythical place. A scene of tranquillity or the start point of a journey. Nothing stays the same. Life passes by. The river widens then retreats. The River's Edge doesn't exist...

Nev Cottee is back with fourth solo album... 'After all these years it feels like I finally know what I'm doing. For some reason I had this image of the River's Edge in my head - a promised land where I wanted to be.'
The album oozes with confidence as Nev takes his low barritone vocal into new areas and - dare we say it - even breaks into song!

The dream-like Waitsian lullaby 'Nightingale' opens the record, perfectly setting the scene. Lee Hazlewood inpired doomed love duet 'Roses" follows featuring the mysterious Veronica - a Nicoesque chanteuse Nev discovered singing in the backstreets of Madrid. 'The minute I heard her voice I knew she was perfect. She has an ethereal quality. Not of this world'.

The classic songwriting continues with lush soundscape production once again provided by the great Mason Neely (Wilco/Edwyn Collins). Long time friends contributing their unique skills include legendary guitarist Nick McCabe (The Verve), pedal steel virtuoso Chris Hillman (Ethan Johns/Billy Bragg) & James Walbourne (The Pretenders/The Rails) to name but a few. Cellos and violins combine with vintage synths to create Nev's now familiar sonic landscape. 'To have Nick contributing was a real honour.. The guy is THE guitarist of his generation. Not many musicians have their own unique sound but Nick does.'

Inspired by the late Scott Walker, Neil Young and the aforementioned Waits, River's Edge is a unique sounding record blending beautifuly crafted songs with the cinema scope production values of Spiritualized and Morricone. It's a nod to the mythical Canyons of LA but through a very English lens. ' There is a pastoral quality to the songs on this album 'Local Hero', ' Hello Stranger' 'Scattered Leaves' they're all about the hidden places I love discovering in the English countryside.'

Describing the recording process Nev explains, 'For this album we met up in Manchester for 2 weeks and got it all down. We just went at it workman-like from 9-5 every day. I love the whole process - writing, demoing at home, the studio. It's very gratifying to see an idea come to full fruition.'

'I want to be unlike anything else out there at the moment. I don't see anyone doing what I do. I'm on my own. Good.'

So where is The River's Edge...?! 'The songs are my way of working out what's going on in the world. Finding some sense in all the crazy madness. I hope people can come and join me in this special place and find some repose.' 


STAFF COMMENTS

Andy says: Another beautiful record from Nev Cottee with proper classic songwriting and one of the richest voices in pop at the moment. This record features the incredible Nick McCabe of The Verve!

When you listen to the love songs of LA-based Bedouine, you will be reminded of Karen Dalton’s world-wise voice or the breathy seduction of Minnie Riperton's vocals, the easy cool of French ye-ye singers, and the poetry of Joan Baez. Her folk is nomadic, wandering across time and space, and on the likes of new song “Dizzy” meander into danceable jams.

On first discovery you may ask whether they're dated to 2019, or whether you've uncovered some forgotten classic. It makes sense that singer-songwriter Azniv Korkejian's arrival – both musically and personally – on her second record has been influenced by her own wanderlust, displacement, and curiosity. “It's called Bird Songs of a Killjoy, and I'm the killjoy,” she smirks over the phone from Sonoma, California. Azniv is based in LA, but is often travelling for the sake of musical inspiration.

Her album title is something she's still trying to decipher. “I'm figuring it out,” she says.

STAFF COMMENTS

Andy says: Lovely, mellow, West Coast folk from Matthew E. White's impeccable Spacebomb label. Class.

Stanley Brinks And The Wave Pictures

Tequila Island

    Stanley Brinks is joined by The Wave Pictures for their fifth album together; and their first since 2015’s “My Ass”. That’s not to say either have been slacking in that time, both are notoriously prolific: The Wave Pictures have turned out 5 albums and Brinks 7 since they last came together in the studio. Stan arrived at the studio with several CDs worth of unrecorded songs on a balmy North London night and instructed The Wave Pictures to pick out some favourites to jam during the following three nights of recording sessions.

    To anyone familiar with Stanley Brinks' huge discography - more than 100 albums - it might sound more raw in a way, less sophisticated than some of his other recordings. It's still rich in jazzy sounds and original structures however, the songs looser and full of playfulness, with the lyrics carrying the essence of the songs. Tequila - the drink - was obviously the inspiration for the album. While writing, and while recording. Stanley Brinks was born in Paris, France, in 1973. He studied a bit of biology and worked as a nurse for a while. Half Swedish, half Moroccan, strongly inclined to travel the world, he soon began spending most of his life on the road and developed a strong relationship with New York. By the late 90s he’d become a full time singer-songwriter – André Herman Düne – as part of three piece indie-rock band, Herman Düne.

    Several albums and Peel sessions later and after a decade of touring Europe, mostly with American songwriters such as Jeffrey Lewis, Calvin Johnson and early Arcade Fire he settled in Berlin. The early carnival music of Trinidad became a passion, and in the early 21st century he became the unquestioned master of European calypso, changing his name to Stanley Brinks. Under this moniker he has recorded more than 100 albums, collaborated with the New York Antifolk scene on several occasions, recorded and toured with traditional Norwegian musicians, and played a lot with The Wave Pictures.

    The Wave Pictures are David Tattersall, Franic Rozycki and Jonny ‘Huddersfield’ Helm. Formed in 1998 when Franic and David lived in a village called Wymeswold, the band played with several drummers until Jonny became a permanent member in 2003 replacing Hugh J Noble. In the beginning the band learned to play together by covering Jonathan Richman songs but soon David was writing lots of original material. They have since released six studio albums to critical acclaim and played numerous sessions on BBC 6 Music, Radio 1 and Xfm. Interest generated from these recordings has enabled The Wave Pictures to play shows all over the world with artists including Jeffrey Lewis, Darren Hayman, Stanley Brinks, Freschard and Herman Düne. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Tequila and agave splatter coloured vinyl with download code.

    CD Info: Digipack CD with lyrics booklet.

    Meursault

    Crow Hill

      Formed in 2006 and led by singer-songwriter Neil Pennycook, Meursault's name is a reference to the main character of L'Etranger, the absurdist novel by Albert Camus. The band's musical style has been categorised as folktronica, alternative rock and indie folk, while the band themselves have described themselves as "epic lo-fi" A collection of 'urban horror' vignettes set to music, with each song telling the story of a particular inhabitant of the titular town.

      The Skinny - 5***** - Album Of The Month - "Crow Hill offers a sublime tonic for these bizarre and frustrating times."

      Freedom To Spend’s first catalog wide deep dive into an artist’s career focuses on four albums from Rimarimba, beginning with 1983’s "Below The Horizon", followed by 1984’s "On Dry Land", 1985’s "In The Woods", and finally, the once-imagined, now-realized assembly of 1988’s "Light Metabolism Number Prague".

      Somewhere out there around the turn of the 1980s, to the left of the post-punk crew, to the right of the minimalists, and surfacing with a friendlier face than the dour industrialists of the time – there existed, seemingly unbidden, an entire, networked, tape-trading community; a community that crossed continents and oceans, that relied on the postal service to do its bidding; a community full of humble visionaries and lost, misunderstood, or just plain ignored home steeped genius.

      Exploring that thicket of weirdness in the UK wild, you’d likely stumble across labels like Cordelia, Hamster, and Unlikely; compilations like the should-be-legendary Obscure Independent Classics series, or the Real Time cassettes; and inexplicable one-offs like The Deep Freeze Mice, Jody & The Creams, R. Stevie Moore, Leven Signs, Jung Analysts, and Rimarimba.

      Rimarimba was the project of Robert Cox, based in Felixstowe, on the seaside in Suffolk, UK. Rimarimba was not Cox’s first entry into the world of recorded music, but was the first time he explored, most perceptively, the parameters of a particular musical mode: one where minimalism is removed from its “highart” mantle, Cox inveigling its practices in amongst the do-it-yourself creativity of a burgeoning and beguiling underground, letting the music breathe – and most importantly, letting it play, gifting it with imagination.

      On Rimarimba’s 1985 album "In The Woods", Robert Cox has made his music kit, an odd assortment of new and old technologies, lately fixated on the digital delay, and programming technologies, sing his own song at its most articulate clip. The songs seem more developed, fluent, like mini-suites in some sense. By his third album, it’s clear Cox has recognised just how liberating technology can be – “All these intricate layers of things that I was trying to play, and didn’t have the musical ability to play, I could suddenly program them” – but he also recognises that if you head too far down that road, dull perfection is your bitter reward. Human music intoxicated and lurching through a new forest of machinery.

      Freedom To Spend’s first catalog wide deep dive into an artist’s career focuses on four albums from Rimarimba, beginning with 1983’s Below The Horizon, followed by 1984’s On Dry Land, 1985’s In The Woods, and finally, the once-imagined, now-realized assembly of 1988’s Light Metabolism Number Prague.

      Somewhere out there around the turn of the 1980s, to the left of the post-punk crew, to the right of the minimalists, and surfacing with a friendlier face than the dour industrialists of the time – there existed, seemingly unbidden, an entire, networked, tape-trading community; a community that crossed continents and oceans, that relied on the postal service to do its bidding; a community full of humble visionaries and lost, misunderstood, or just plain ignored home steeped genius.

      Exploring that thicket of weirdness in the UK wild, you’d likely stumble across labels like Cordelia, Hamster, and Unlikely; compilations like the should-be-legendary Obscure Independent Classics series, or the Real Time cassettes; and inexplicable one-offs like The Deep Freeze Mice, Jody & The Creams, R. Stevie Moore, Leven Signs, Jung Analysts, and Rimarimba.

      Rimarimba was the project of Robert Cox, based in Felixstowe, on the seaside in Suffolk, UK. Rimarimba was not Cox’s first entry into the world of recorded music, but was the first time he explored, most perceptively, the parameters of a particular musical mode: one where minimalism is removed from its “highart” mantle, Cox inveigling its practices in amongst the do-it-yourself creativity of a burgeoning and beguiling underground, letting the music breathe – and most importantly, letting it play, gifting it with imagination.

      For Rimarimba’s 1984 album On Dry Land, and third in our series, Cox advances along the terrain explored on Below The Horizon. It’s an enchanting album, one which, at times, seems to comment on its own practice; a picture of everyday life in the hobbyist’s, or part-time musician’s, recording studio. Some moments point towards the tourist-explorer aesthetic that would eventually coalesce under the banner of Fourth World music. Other moments where Cox seems to be channelling an otherness, a kind of hauntological reverie, the feeling of music that gives us an uncanny sense of déjà vu. Writer David Keenan’s description of Japanese naïve-pop group Maher Shalal Hash Baz’s music, that it “feels like sketches of places where we once were, places now made poignant by our absence” feels like an alternate take On Dry Land.


      Mariee Sioux

      Grief In Exile

        Mariee Sioux is an artist transmitting medicinal qualities of music for the current times we are in. Her finger picking guitar has been compared to the greats of Nick Drake and Bert Jansch and her music has also been described as hallucinatory with a trance like performance.

        Her first album “Faces in the Rocks” is considered a cult classic and garnered attention from such artists as Mazzy Star, and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, with whom she has both collaborated and shared the stage with. She has also opened for Joanna Newsom, Frank Black, Buffy St. Marie, Alela Diane, and Brightblack Morning Light.

        PITCHFORK : “Fans of acoustic guitar-playing female singer-songwriters are so flooded with options these days that they are in the position to be pretty discriminating. Artists such as Alela Diane, Marissa Nadler, Jana Hunter, and Mariee Sioux have issued a steady stream of quality music, and have collectively set a fairly high standard for newcomers to match.”


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd LP Info: Standard Jacket with printed poster including art and lyrics inside.


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