3.99 – Ela Orleans

Phew! I’m finally caught up with all of my daily posts from the past two weeks. Please go back and take a look at them all if you have the time and I promise to be less crap about updating the blog in the meantime. It is, after all, meant to be a “one song per day” kind of deal – and although I’m managing to discover those tunes without any problems, I’m less good at the posting about them part!

So with that being said, here’s today’s song and it’s probably the weirdest piece of music I’ve discovered this year. This is Glasgow-based Polish composer/musician Ela Orleans and a track from her exquisitely bizarre concept album Circles of Upper and Lower Hell. 

Kind of an evil soundscape inspired by demonic visions and featuring lyrics taken from Arthur Limbaud and Dante’s Divine Comedy, it’s a twisted, mesmerising piece of musicianship. You kind of have to listen to the whole thing to get a proper feel for its meandering malevolence, but this track Circle One is probably one of the more accessible parts.

Once again, it’s not my usual go-to musical genre, but there’s something captivating about this whole album and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. It’s not even something that I’d consciously choose to go back to in order to give it a solid re-listen or critical analysis. But the body of work has stuck with me longer than many other albums – both orchestral and otherwise – have. And that’s the mark of true craftsmanship.

All it needs now is for some inspiring, fucked up impresario to add visuals onto this, and it could possibly be the most disturbing piece of work ever.

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3.98 – Pictish Trail

I can’t quite believe I’ve never featured any of the artists to come out of the Fence Collective – Scotland’s coastal musical hermits who used to churn out a plethora of fantastic tunes from their East Fife base.

There’s some King Creosote in the archive just waiting for the right moment to come out, but for today, I’m going with Pictish Trail instead. Mostly because I just heard his latest album Future Echoes and it’s superb.

I’ve had trouble narrowing down a favourite song to go for, so I’ve decided to post two of them. There’s the album opener Far Gone (Don’t Leave) which is a tremendous piece of atmospheric, dingy rock full of swirling beats and impassioned vocal stylings. And then there’s the more traditional latter-era Belle & Sebastian-esque indie-pop of Dead Connection. Both are great.

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3.97 – Mull Historical Society

A bit of a blast from the past, this one. I remember Colin MacIntyre – aka, Mull Historical Society – coming onto the scene when I was still at university in circa 2001/2. And a lot of my alternative musically-minded friends were big fans of his first two albums Loss and Us. 

To be honest, I never really got it – and so MHS was kind of relegated to the same post Britpop, 2000s indie position as bands like the Straw and British Sea Power. And I’d actually thought that MacIntyre was more focussed on his poetry these days rather than his music. So it was a nice surprise to see his latest album Dear Satellite on the long shortlist for Scottish Album of the Year – and an even nicer surprise to find a song on it that I really enjoyed.

This is Sleepy Hollow. Not the best track on the album from a musical standpoint, but it’s the one I enjoyed listening to the most – anthemic, American high school rock chorus and all.

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3.96 – Turnover

Scuzzy, surf wave rock/pop sounds from Virginia Beach group Turnover – with the gloriously sunny and hazy Cutting My Fingers Off. 

Really, really like this. Perfect driving music now the weather is taking a turn into spring sunshine.

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3.95 – Fickle Friends

I’m not usually a big fan of chart-friendly pop rock sounds that are laced with over-produced effects and cynical licks – but every now and again I do find an exception to the rule. Now, it’s mostly on those occasions when I come across a song that is so infuriatingly catchy that I can’t help but loving it despite my reservations (see Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks and Echosmith’s Cool Kids). But other times, there’s just something about a song that I can’t put my finger on.

This is firmly in the latter camp. It’s Swim by Brighton indie pop rockers Fickle Friends and…..yeah, it’s just got something about it. From the breezy, cheery vocals through to the 80s synth-laced guitar work and the backdrop effects it’s just really pleasant and fun to listen to. Not my usual cup of tea, I’ll admit, but I’m very happy to add it to the list.

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3.94 – Seratones

Here’s some good, old-fashioned loud and brash rock, courtesy of Louisiana four-piece Seratones. Again, it’s another song that I’ve had languishing in the archive for months and months, but I’m not entirely sure why.

This song, Necromancer, is bloody brilliant – a 2.20 minute journey of pure, unadulterated fun.

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3.93 – Khruangbin

Departing a little bit into funk this morning. Here’s three-piece Texas group Khruangbin with The Infamous Bill – a sleazy, funky piece of sultry musicianship.

I’ve had this in the archive for ages but just rediscovered it the other day. Thought it was worth bringing it out of the shadows and onto the blog. Enjoy!

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