“I would be complete if you would let me in.”

“Starcrossed Lovers” by the Fratellis | For reasons long illustrated on this blog, I have been out of the loop with the British bands of my college years, or at least most of them. I know the Fratellis have done stuff since “Chelsea Dagger” but somehow not all of them stay stuck in my head, although the jangly “Seven Nights Seven Days” is an exception. And now, a new single. A new album, even. Perhaps me describing this to the Scottish indie of, again, my college years would prove that I know little. I never really dug deep into their discography. And besides, that intro gives way to something a bit more recognizably Fratellis. But, you know, this is a feel good song. I feel good after this. It’s easy, it’s happy… what else is there to say? [NB]


Things without words #27: neon-lit, almost-noir post-jazz

“Mount Ninja” by Me&Mobi | I was supposed to post this last week, but somehow I forgot – busy schedules, as always. But I listened to half of Agglo, the new album from Swiss-German jazz trio Me&Mobi, and I remember it being more accessible that it was sold as. It might be difficult, I was told, but actually, it isn’t. Am I showing off supposed jazz chops? I can’t play any instrument, and whatever jazz I grew up with is strictly smooth, the stuff purists might scoff at. But this, I immediately got into. It made an impression, the organized cacophony, that I knew how to write the review – but then, I forgot to. But impressions have been made, and now I’ve listened to Agglo in its entirety, and while there are bursts of weirdness some might find off-putting, there is a beauty in the cacophony – the patterns you don’t spot so easily, the permutations you don’t get on the first try. Perhaps you’re bombarded until it makes sense; perhaps you’ll find something to latch on quickly. It’s a swarming, buzzing, neon-lit, almost-noir, past-midnight trip. It’s a bit of escapism. It’s fun. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“We all need a shoulder to cry on once in a while.”

“Blackened Blue Eyes” by the Charlatans | Solely because I’m driving to Clark this morning – technically, I already have; I might be driving back as you read this – I’m posting about a song that really should make for a good driving track. It’s driving, it’s dramatic, it just spells freedom from whatever you glean from the lyrics. But then, this is Manila. There is an exact right moment for this song to play, but the traffic means your timing will always be off, and this song might come up just as you’re stuck in a jam, which would be terribly antithetical of it. And you can’t put this on repeat – or maybe it’s just me who hates repeats. But, well, good song. A modern, if not underrated, classic. [NB]

“I’ll be okay once I see you at my door.”

“Make Me Sing” by Leanne and Naara | It’s been fifteen months (and two weeks, I think?) since our last gig review, and this Saturday we’re returning to the live music circuit, once again saying hello to the ladies of Bandwagon (in the Philippines) and watching ladies we’ve written about over the years. Both Coeli and Niki Colet are releasing new music in the coming weeks, so we can’t write about those yet, but just last week Leanne and Naara released “Make Me Sing” – a surprisingly short yet very satisfying song, proving you don’t have to spend so much time saying the things you have to say in a very impactful way. Also, call me a weirdo but this has to be their most relaxing song, in the sense that, ideally, everybody will hear this whether it be on a bank-approved radio station or a Spotify stream and like it. I look forward to hear this (and a lot more) on Bandwagon Brunch this Saturday at Frank and Dean – yes, brunch; yes, it’s a morning gig, and if you ask me, person who can’t stay up nor stay out at night for logistical reasons, this is a good thing. Although it’s a shame we’re not going to be able to watch the other two gigs in Bandwagon’s third birthday party, more details of which are here. But, hey, we’re watching a gig again. It just took a year. [NB]

“Even in the clearest skies, you’re nowhere to see.”

“Valentine” by Diā | “Great, there’s an accent under the letter A,” I first thought. “That’s a lot of copying and pasting.” Her actual name is Danielle Birrittella; the press release talks about an eclectic upbringing and a ukulele, but ultimately what’s important is the song, and “Valentine” captures that biography better. It sounds vintage of the scratchy vinyl kind. And then it sounds vintage of the polished Lana del Rey kind. And then it sounds modern and new. It’s that jumping that keeps you wanting more, and even as it settles down you’re still kind of hooked to it. Diā – I’ll happily copy and paste that name for more of that tasty baroque folk. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)