Things without words #25: Jazz bending time (we’re pretty sure of that)


“Taubenfeld” by Kuhn Fu | Let me set the scene here. I write this on a Saturday afternoon. The temperature’s a sweltering 33 degrees – knowing Manila, this will feel more like 40, especially now that summer is kicking in. My social media feeds is filled with reminders on how to beat heatstroke, apparently because the sun is closest to the equator or something, which makes me wonder why this never came up before. I’m reading Monocle – I finally got a subscription – but couldn’t really focus because of the heat. I’m also nursing a headache. All I did was drive in the morning. Today I listen to Kuhnspiracy, the new album from Groningen band Kuhn Fu. (The founder is a guy named Christian Kühn. Smart.) The band’s a fun mix of jazz, rock and all those things – but perhaps more importantly, it somehow seemed to fit the very sweltering summer heat. It’s like time was bending. Things were going back and forth and back again. Maybe my headache got worse, but I don’t blame it on the album. It was quite trippy. In the right context, it will be. The album drops this Friday. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“Is it any wonder?”

“No Sleep” by Vox Eagle | Today’s realization: I have to catch up with the Aussies. This act’s from down under – well, half; the other’s American – and this one’s a subliminal groover that makes an impact just before it ends, leaving you wanting more. Vox Eagle is Andy Crosby and Luke Hamel (no idea who’s the Aussie – but I know they met while touring under different bands) and they’re prepping to release their new EP this year, with a music video for “No Sleep”, their first single, which originally dropped last November, or so their Triple J Unearthed page says. And, yes, this is a subliminal groover, a creeper, a slow grower, a boomer. Summer-y, even. Not bad. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“I’ll give you everything you need, but your soul is mine to keep.”

“Save Me” by Shane Henry | It’s a good problem, right? My inbox is filling up and I’m struggling to go through all of them. Right? Good problem, right? Here’s a jewel from the inbox, because it’s not often that I get something outright bluesy. Shane Henry is another guy based in Los Angeles, who also came from Oklahoma, like Maggie McClure, who we featured yesterday. (They did two Christmas EPs together. I grin at the coincidence.) But his music is decidedly bluesy, powered by memories of Tom Petty as a kid, and after a stint to Minneapolis, he went to Los Angeles, bringing some grit to the glitzy city. “Save Me” is off his new album Light in the Dark, which drops on 28 April, and if this is your basis, it should be a pretty good time ahead. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“Hold on tight to me wherever we go.”

“Be Right Here For You” by Maggie McClure | The next sentence will sound dismissive. This sounds like one of those songs that is always used as background music for those videos on Facebook that accompany “heartwarming” or “cool” or “cute” videos – the ones in squares, you know? That constant use desensitizes you to the aww-shucks effect, so it’s nice to hear a full song like that these days. Meet Maggie McClure, originally from Oklahoma but now based in Los Angeles – don’t they all? “Be Right Here For You”, this with the happy, feel-good sound, is off her new album Time Moves On, which tracks said move – but this song? It’s arguably timeless. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“You got me tossing and turning all night.”

“Take Me Down” by Julia Carlucci | Let’s start a new month (already, yes) with another groover – and you know that, when I say that, I mean a jubilant horn section. “Take Me Down” is the debut single from Toronto singer Julia Carlucci, finally going solo with a pretty good soul belter. It takes a while to warm up, to be honest – at the beginning I had a little inkling of where she was really going, but then it just keeps at it until it reaches a butt-shaking peak. The horns, of course, help a lot. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)