A new week…some new tunes. This week’s “Timely Tunes” include songs by The Black Madonna, Jens Lekman, The Dirty Projectors and Julie Byrne. Plus a cool new playlist for your listening enjoyment!
The Black Madonna “He Is the Voice I Hear”
For decades now, the female DJ has often had a miserable time navigating the bizarrely patriarchal hierarchy of dance music culture. Marea Stamper, under the guise of The Black Madonna, has spent her career destroying these barriers on her way to becoming one of the most exciting, politically vocal, and towering figures in the world of electronic music. “He is the Voice I Hear” slow-burns its way through a gorgeous late night jazz intro before blossoming into ecstatic epiphany. It’s a jaw-dropping track that showcases The Black Madonna at the peak of her powers.
Jens Lekman “What’s That Perfume That You Wear?” (From “I Know What Love Isn’t)
The music of Swedish song-smith Jens Lekman has been a wittily melancholic balm to my soul since I first heard the “Maple Leaves” EP sometime in 2004 and began slotting his tracks in between things like The Smiths, Jonathan Richman, Belle and Sebastian, and Kings of Convenience on many a #sadboy mixtape for girls. This new track from his upcoming record finds Lekman’s wistful words brightly punctuated by sampled steel drums (taken from “The Path” by Ralph MacDonald). And it’s a lot of fun.
The Dirty Projectors “Little Bubble”
It’s now been nearly five years since the last proper Dirty Projectors album (Swing Lo Magellan), but “Little Bubble” is the second gorgeous and mysterious song they have released in the past few months. Bending his words into typically pretzel-shaped melodies, David Longstreth turns in one of his best performances yet. Longstreth collaborated extensively with Solange on last year’s majestic “A Seat at the Table”, and “Little Bubble” shares a sonic and emotional tone with that album.
Julie Byrne “I Live Now as a Singer” (From “Not Even Happiness”)
The glassy keyboards, wintry atmosphere, and Julie’s sad vocals on “I Live Now as a Singer” immediately reminded me of Enya. I know that may not be the hippest reference to make in 2017 (or maybe it is…I’m not sure how these cycles work), but it’s a compliment. Anyway, this song is wonderful and your enjoyment of it is not incumbent on your knowledge of crystals.
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TIMELY TUNES, VOL. 30
1. Pharoah Sanders “Morning Prayer”
2. The Black Madonna “He Is the Voice I Hear”
3. Kio Amachree “Ivory”
4. Jens Lekman “What’s That Perfume That You Wear?”
5. Lizzy Mercier Descloux “Lady O K’pele”
6. Susso “Mamadou”
7. Dirty Projectors “Little Bubble”
8. Black Twig Pickers & Steve Gunn “Lonesome Valley”
9. Rahsaan Roland Kirk “Take Me Girl, I’m Ready”
10. Thin Lizzy “Running Back”
11. Pavement “Secret Knowledge Of Backroads (John Peel Session #1)”
12. Enya “On Your Shore”
13. Julie Byrne “I Live Now as a Singer”
14. Linda Perhacs “Hey, Who Really Cares”
15. Jonathan Richman “Because Her Beauty Is Raw and Wild”
What’s spinning on your turntable this week?