Summer vacation for me as about getting those long empty days to listen and read. Here are the records I am uploading for some seriously listening to...
JOY OLADOKUN - in defense of my happiness
My revelation of the summer. Joy’s voice just stand out over everything else I am hearing. Then there’s the spiritual tension and… ah… joy!
JACKSON BROWNE - DOWNHILL FROM EVERYWHERE
Always wonderful to have new Jackson Browne thoughts and this one has some excellent thoughts, social, political and relational. All sent out to us in a more vibrant sound echoing his Looking East days.
INHALER - IT WON’T ALWAYS BE LIKE THIS
Bono’s boy and his mates throw down the gauntlet to the older stadium bands with an assured and catchy set of great songs.
FEYE WEBSTER - I KNOW I’M FUNNY. HA HA
Another discovery of July. Webster has the gentlest sound but crafted and full. Hypnotic.
THE WALLFLOWERS - EXIT WOUNDS
The younger Dylan sounding more like his dad’s mate Tom Petty than his dad. Showing a maturity of craft and purpose. Strong contender for records of the year.
DANI LARKIN - NOTES FOR A MAIDEN WARRIOR
Fresh folk voice with contemporary songwriting twists from a young woman from the Monaghan-Armagh border. Songs of myth and introspection and home.
DAVID CROSBY - FOR FREE
With all his addictions it was surely unlikely that David Crosby should be alive on his August 14th 80th birthday! Defying all, this is his 5th good album in 7 years and my personal favourite.
TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS - ANGEL DREAM
The roll out of Tom Petty’s work this past year is most welcome in this house. This time it is a reconstruction of the film soundtrack She’s The One as if it was a full on Petty & The Heartbreakers record. Wonderful addition to the Wildflowers stuff.
ANTHONY TONER - SIX INCHES OF WATER
Anthony is such a great lyricist and has just made a record entirely inspired by East Belfast. Just out I am so looking forward to exploring my city in these songs.
DEL AMITRI - FATAL MISTAKES
A reunion with substance. Del Amitri return nearly two decades later as if they were back in 1993. Loving it.
KINGS OF CONVENIENCE - PEACE OR LOVE
First record in a longtime. Still that modern version of Simon and Garfunkel that chilled vacations need.
AMY WADGE - KEEPING FAITH
I’ve been aware of Amy Wadge since she played Greenbelt as a member of the Hummingbirds. These are three EPs from her songs on the fabulous Welsh TV drama Keeping Faith. Strong songs.
COUNTING CROWS - BUTTER MIRACLE SUITE ONE
So good to hear Adam Duritz’s voice again. Strong storytelling and imagery as ever. More please!