What’s Hot In My House – February

With Carnaval and the accompanying break – damn the Brazilian government for making us have more time off work – I have had more family time and less music time than usual. Even so, I have managed to squeeze in some quality listening during the hours of endless relaxation and sun soaked ennui, albeit somewhat restricted to stuff I’m writing about for one reason or another. David Bowie has obviously continued to feature quite heavily, ‘Blackstar’ not being an album you can get to the bottom of in a couple of listens, but have also discovered some lovely new music besides revisiting some old favourites. I’m actually putting together a Hard Pressed mixtape/playlist of lesser known artists that I have featured here on the site, so the likes of Luna Sol, Haybaby and Blind Wives have all been getting a spin, along with a remix of Tairrie B. by Nina Mediatrix, who was gracious enough to grant me an interview a couple of weeks back that is well worth a read. Inescapably though, it is stuff I’ve been reviewing, or had thought about reviewing but just couldn’t find the words for, that has been most dominant; so here’s what’s been titillating my eardrums over the last month or so.

MONEY – Suicide Songs
I really wanted to review this stunning album by the British indie trio, but just couldn’t seem to do it justice. It is beautiful, hypnotic, uplifting and melancholic in equal measure and makes for an elegant, yet emotionally brutal record of poetically crafted songs worth languishing in for a while. Treat yourself to some catharsis, you know you need it.

Two songs which featured in stuff I reviewed last month, and were two of the first tracks that I earmarked for Mixtape Vol.1, are ‘Scars’ by Danish power trio Forever Still and the wonderfully titled ‘Placebo Button’ from the Italian grunge rockers Noam Bleen. The former is a powerful blast of fresh sounding heavy rock with an epic emotional chorus and a cracking vocal from front woman Maja Shining. Noam Bleen, meanwhile, offer up an intricate slice of 90s tinged alternative rock that shows off the band’s love of heavy tube distortion, but also finds them exploring their melodic side with a fine instrumental section; promising stuff from both bands.

The Cult – Hidden City
Isn’t it gratifying when your favourite band come back to top form and produce their most interesting record in over twenty years? What a pleasant surprise this album has turned out to be, there are a lot of really good moments and the quality is high throughout. The Cult maintain their signature sound, that tambourine is shaking away beneath the surface, but they also really explore creatively. Sure, Billy Duffy is on fire and there are riffs a plenty, but Ian Astbury also delivers some emotionally raw vocals and the songs are some of the most stylistically diverse of their career. Killer record.

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