“…but it’s nothing compared to what we once had.”

“Temporary” by Wayi | Still on the inbox, because we’re too busy to find our own stuff now, and also because it’s getting stockpiled, and also because there’s actually this song on there, which I find refreshing first thing in the morning. Wayi, from Belgium, has this soulfulness I can always get back on, and she does not need to pile it on. Considering this is a song about jealousy, I understand there’s the temptation to be all high and mighty, but here, the 25-year-old stays her ground. Nice one, this. “Temporary”, her second single, is part of her upcoming EP Love In Progress, which is looking soulful already. More, please. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)


“I’m sure there’s much to rediscover.”

“New York” by David Ayscue | I like myself a simple track, one where you don’t really have to think about an angle to make things special. So, here’s one. Unlike what the name suggests, this isn’t a paean to a hometown, but rather, one about rediscovery, about catching up. That, and David Ayscue is actually from Los Angeles, and he grew up in San Francisco. “New York” is simple but colorful, with evocative storytelling that doesn’t need to do too much to prove itself. That said, this song reminds me very much of Jeany, come to think of it. She grew up in the west coast before moving to the east coast, and now, when we get to talk, there would be a random invitation for me to come over. She’d take me to gigs, she says. Well, going to New York would be nice, but then, I live in the Philippines, and immigration laws are not nice even to well-meaning vacationers like me. I’ll always have to say pass until I die, I’m afraid. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“We’re soulmates, half-connected brains.”

“Cotton On Your Skin” by Morse | Start with the music video. Just watch it. Done? All right, now listen to the song. It’s such a creeper. This was sold to me as a bit of a groover, but I was expecting something to come up, and it didn’t. But this is a song that does not need to make a grand statement to fulfill its mission. It’s a good time to bring out the “wriggles its way into your head” line I often use in this song. It’s really evocative, this. So, this guy is named Morse, he’s from Lausanne (hello to the Swiss again) and he released this, alongside another single “Terrace Hill”, just this Friday. Everything about this is sparse, from the actual sound to the fact that he worked on almost all of this himself. You can hear the isolation – and you can hear the groove in the isolation. Who would’ve thought? [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

Review: Young Sick Camellia by St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Young Sick Camellia by St. Paul and the Broken BonesSt. Paul and the Broken Bones are one of the many soul revivalists around today. May not be a big thing here because we’re not really into our soul, but despite that, they and their ilk manage to evoke a time long gone, when everything was a-shufflin’ and the horn sections ran wild. But then they also have Paul Janeway, whose vocals soars so high they really stand out. So it’s a bit of a shame about Young Sick Camellia, because even if they tried, they can’t seem to make the most of it. All right, the songs do their job well individually, but again, it’s all a matter of sequencing. This record can be too much for some, because it all goes up and up, digging through the nostalgia. To their credit, there are attempts to move the needle forward – I am very sure I hear some 80s electronics sneaking their way in. But I hope they could have done more. They have the ingredients, and they have set their template in the previous records. Why mostly stick to the past? But then, again, the songs are good individually – and in latter tracks like “Concave” and “Bruised Fruit”, where Paul pulls more of the strings, they shine. [NB]3/5

Review: Egypt Station by Paul McCartney

Egypt Station by Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney has released a lot of music after leaving the Beatles, but in approaching his 17th solo release, Egypt Station, I’m still confronted with the same question: how do you review a Paul McCartney album? Throughout his career – and all its wins and duds – you still grapple with the notion that, no matter what he does, Paul’s music is like a warm blanket: satisfying to the point that you can overlook the faults, at least to an extent. You already know the two modes he’ll likely play with: he’s either the guy looking to jam, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, or the guy who just wants to sit down, play a guitar, and tell you what he really thinks. (It’s love that makes the world go round.) In Egypt Station‘s case, well, you get both: the driving “Come On To Me” makes his retro-sounding pop rock sound potent – the assist from star producer Greg Kurstin going miles here – sitting alongside the earnest “People Want Peace”. There’s the slightly thriller-esque “Back in Brazil”, the possible Brexit statement “Despite Repeated Warnings”, and the surprisingly dark “I Don’t Know”, which actually starts the record in a strong way. So, typical Macca, swinging between modes. This is why he is a warm blanket. Shorn of the need to be conceptual, he plays with the basics just enough to provide something almost new. No wonder he’s around, still, and celebrated rather than be washed up. [NB]4/5