“I am yours, and you are mine ’til the end of time.”

“Dance With Me” by Maria Solheim | Now, for Thursday, a pleasant little song that works its way into your head no matter how short it is, no matter how dark it is outside, no matter how sleepy you actually are. This one’s from Norwegian singer Maria Solheim, and she released this on her 2012 record In The Deep. Chanced upon this from one of my reliable European stations, and yes, I was sleepy when this went on, and I was awake as soon as it fought its way into my ear. (And realized I was seated uncomfortably.) I don’t have much else more than “she was discovered at 15, apparently” and “her songs have this precarious way around it, or at least the few I can find in YouTube”. I should trawl through her stuff on Deezer. But this one’s a nice little thing. [NB]

“It’s time for you to go.”

“Lazarus” by Porcupine Tree | I’ve been making the rounds of European radio stations again – the usual suspects, yes, but, you know, you’ll never know which gem you’ll stumble upon. This one, for instance, is yet another English band I have never heard of, likely because they never really slotted into the Britpop template I was first exposed to. Historically they were a bit more like Pink Floyd, but evolved towards something like metal – that era’s where this song comes from. “Lazarus” came almost at the tail end of the band’s existence; specifically, 2005, from their Deadwing album. Later, the band’s main proponent, musician Steven Wilson, would later focus back on his solo work, to the point that the band simply “no longer exists”, in his words. I’m coming here with no context, but this song feels good despite its inherent sadness. Perhaps this drew me because it sounded like Travis to me – but, well, you know cool people and their putting down of “uncool” acts. But that’s my reference point and I am stick to it. [NB]

“It’s our fate to move where we should stay.”

“NYFT” by Avec | Here’s another song I banked over the break, as I reconnected with the radio stations I usually listen to. Avec – real name, well, I don’t know – is from Vöcklabruck in Austria, but she writes her songs in English. This one’s breathy. Very breathy. You might call it typical, but for some reason it’s still attractive. You listen to her go in circles and you never get tired of it. This, by the way, is from her debut album, What If We Never Forget, which was released last September. [NB]

「踊ってない夜が気に入らない!」

“Oddloop” by Frederic | YouTube sidebar adventure time! I stumbled upon this song while working on our ongoing How to Collect Japanese Pop Music series, and, well, it’s bouncy as hell. Frederic is a band off Kobe, Japan. This song is from their major label debut, also called Oddloop, released back in 2014. Sure, the music video is enigmatic (look at how she stares!) but then, their music videos come off that same template (same director, apparently). The lyrics, though, when translated properly, suggest this weird ennui about having fun, about how it all happens over and over again without resolution. (The YouTube translations, while clunky, just make it more trippy.) And then you go back to that music video. All good, this. [NB]

“…but then you know it’s time for them to go.”

“Who Know Where The Time Goes” by Eva Cassidy | Eva, of course, has had an interesting story: feted in the Washington D.C. scene but barely known outside of it, she died twenty years ago this month of melanoma. Two years after her death, those Brits at the BBC played her music, and she found a wider audience. I’ve heard of Eva’s music a few times before, yes, but two nights ago the “it hit me” moment happened. I was doing some writing while listening to New Zealand radio – I have seemingly shifted to speech radio; perhaps it’s a reflection of my recent state of mind? – and perhaps it’s the time of night, or the sensitivity of my head, or the fact that the two Belgian radio stations I listen to the most no longer stream on TuneIn (bye, Radio 1 and Studio Brussel – I am genuinely distressed), but this all began echoing and resonating. I went as far as emailing the presenter at the time for the song title. Company – you don’t know when it’ll be there, even if people claim to be just that. [NB]