“Make the drive to Jefferson – and don’t stop!”

“The Spot” by Your Smith | I’ve decided to park what I was supposed to feature today for next week – I am letting it boil – so instead here’s a song I only heard yesterday. Or did I? Caroline Smith came from Minneapolis, after all. I listen to a lot of the Current; you put two and two together. Anyway, she performs as Your Smith – but only recently – and this is one song of hers, something that feels both familiar and fresh at the same time. Interesting how pretty much everybody in the comments were going “Sheryl Crow!” particularly connecting this to “All I Wanna Do”; I did not get that reference, even if that song was all over my childhood, somewhat. Someone also compared her to something from 1979. So, old references. Not bad. We can always go far with a throwback. [NB]

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“It’s not giving up when it’s a losing game.”

“Zero-Sum” by Charlie Lim | Now, us getting the timing of Charlie Lim’s new album Check-Hook off is unforgivable. Again, I’ve been so busy, I didn’t realize the album dropped six weeks back or so. And to think I knew he was coming here (well, technically, he already was here, performing with Clara Benin). I finally dived into the album yesterday morning, knowing that there’s a slight shift of sound, singer-songwriters exploring that minimal, slightly electrified R&B vein being common these days. And while the record sort of lags in the end, it’s still an interesting journey, because you always just knew there was more to Charlie than being gentle; there was always that undertone in him I couldn’t quite place. Or maybe I’m gathering all that because the music video for “Zero-Sum” is more claustrophobic than that one that suggests a plane crash[NB]

“Two steps forward. Two steps back. It’s the same every day.”

“Wasteful” by River Fury | It’s becoming a recurring theme on the blog, how I’ve been too busy to get through everything on the inbox. (Especially the past month.) Thankfully it’s not too late for me to get my hands on this from new London band River Fury, whose debut EP Five Year Plan dropped last week. (Not too late, because it’s been waiting on my inbox for a month or so.) “Wasteful” sets the tone for the four-piece’s debut: there’s definitely the punk spirit in here, but it’s all overtaken by psychedelic influences (but not too much) which lends this a flavor that I appreciate, that you don’t see many others attempt. It can be crunchy when needed, and it can be smoother when needed. I’m honestly glad I found the email and listened to the whole thing through; typing this I honestly feel a bit excited. What’s next, boys? [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“I got nowhere to go tonight.”

“Joyride” by Shy Shy Shy | I have been so busy I have lost track of Shy Shy Shy’s little project, releasing songs for the Danish television show Doggystyle. I mean, the last time I wrote about it I didn’t even know the show’s title. We’ve written about “Sober”, and two more songs have been released since then. I assume “Doggystyle (Pretty Please)” is the actual theme song, and it’s similarly languid, if not a bit more familiar in comparison with the stuff they have released before. But this third track, “Joyride”, is pretty. Here they really strip back, just Simon’s guitar and Astrid’s vocals and nothing more, at least initially. And it does put things into perspective, doesn’t it? It builds nicely but it doesn’t lose sight of the essentials. I guess I have to look up that television show now. Will Netflix have it? [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“I didn’t know you love me so.”

“Let’s Live Forever, Love” by Roman Andrén | A little update about Monocle 24, whose music policy we kind of reviewed three years ago: they seem to have dropped most of the K-pop (save for this song and a couple of others), and focused squarely on the jazzy side of things. It shouldn’t be a problem, if not for the fact that the station sounds a bit more repetitive now than it actually was before. (I wanted you to expand the playlist, not restrict it!) Still I listen in occasionally – it still makes me feel like I am on a business trip, especially when I was on a business trip last week. This song came on while I was dilly-dallying through the morning routine one morning: a track, from three years ago, from Swedish jazz musician Roman Andrén. Sounds right for the morning, really: it swings, and then it throws you back a bit. But then, weirdly, I have more of a thing for the original version with the likely sampled vocals than the more straightforward studio version. But again, maybe it’s the morning talking. [NB]