As we all continue on that search for life’s perfect moments, Getintothis bring you the best new tracks of the month with our fifth edition of Deep Cuts.
In the Jonathan Demme directed film, Swimming to Cambodia, the late, great Spalding Grey talked about finding that ‘perfect moment’, that striving for transcendence that very rarely comes, but that we’re always trying to get to.
He said that in life, throughout life, we rarely attain those moments that could rank as perfect. Those that, if you mark them, would count as a 9 out of 10 or even a 10 out of 10 moment. Those moments when you know everything is perfect and everything is as it is meant to be. Where you are in that moment and nothing else matters.
It might be something as simple as a cold glass of water on a summer day or unexpectedly bumping into an old friend or seeing your child’s first smile… you get my drift. We all know those moments; we’ve all had them. But those moments are rare. Those pure ten out of ten moments. And as Spalding Grey rightly said, no sooner that you have them, no sooner that you realise you are in a perfect moment, then…pfff…they’re gone.
We’re therefore left constantly searching to replicate those moments, to get back to that sense of being there.
The more I think about this I realise that listening to music is very similar, if not exactly the same. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve listened to a lot of music over the past forty-odd years and I find myself increasingly searching for that moment.
There’s rarely a day that goes by when I’ve not listened to or played any music – in fact, I can’t think of a day when I haven’t listened to any music – but there’s still that search going on. That search to hear something special and something perfect.
I guess that I’m not exactly alone with this. Tens of thousands of songs and tens of thousands of hours and minutes of music. It’s impossible really to count them all up. Years of listening to music. There’s so much to hear; so much music.
I’ve reached a stage where, and this is a bit morbid to be honest, I’ll possibly not be in a position to listen again to all the music I’ve got more much than once. I’m at a point where my wife rightly asks me whether it’s worth buying any more music because ‘surely you’ve got enough already?’
Logic dictates that she is correct. But it doesn’t stop me and if anything, it just spurs me on to listen to more music, to hear something new and to wonder what’s just around the corner.
Maybe it’s because I’m searching for that perfect moment in music. We all know what they are; we’ve all had them. It happens when you listen to a lot of music.
And like Spalding Grey’s perfect moments, they are really few and far between.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t a whole lot of music out there which I like and which indeed, I love. There’s a lot of records and a lot of songs that are special which I know I will listen to over and over again. The records which I like and admire and have grown to appreciate. Those records that after a lifetime of listening you just instinctively know are good and possibly great.
But special? As in special moments? Those don’t come around that often.
Maybe you can count them on the fingers of two hands. Maybe. For me, it’s maybe once every couple of years at best when I hear something new that restores my faith in (new) music and lets me know.
It’s that feeling when it hits.
Bruce Springsteen said when hearing Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone for the first time that hearing that snare shot was ‘like someone had kicked open the door to your mind…’ For John Peel, on catching Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel felt it was ‘just a revelation, like being transported immediately to another planet.’
We’ve all had musical moments like that. Those revelatory moments that stop you in your tracks and make you reassess everything.
As I say, for me, there’s not that many and I don’t suppose really that there would be or should be. It wouldn’t make sense if there were. Boredom by the Buzzcocks, Birthday by The Sugarcubes and The Pixies‘ Surfer Rosa album spring to mind. Those odd tracks and albums that not only are perfect but make you stop and think ‘where the fuck did that come from?’
The tracks and songs that restore your faith in music.
The wait might be a long one. You may go years before you hear something that blows you away. You may listen to countless hours of music, but then something like Courtney Barnett’s Avant Gardener or The Magnetic North’s Prospect of Skelmersdale album turn up, and if not always out of the blue, then somewhat unexpectedly and you just know.
I’ll bet that this has happened to you.
Those cynical and hackneyed I’ve-heard-it-all-before cobwebs are blown away. That’s why it’s always worth listening out for something new and worth striving for those perfect moments. Those ten out of ten moments.
In part, I suppose that’s why we at Getintothis love music so much. We’re all searching for that perfect moment again and, in some small way, that’s what Deep Cuts is all about.
You might just find your perfect moment in here. Rick Leach
Suki – Wet Sundays
When crowd favourites Moats announced they were disbanding it caught a few of us off guard. When you consider the following and experience they had along with the progressions they’d made as a band and impressive recordings at Parr Street Studios; they seemed set for greater things. Alas this wasn’t to be, pardon the cliche but for every door that closes, another surely opens and here we have Moats reigniting their musical careers as Suki.
Comprised of the same four chaps, they harness a similar ethic, particularly their often jarring yet fantastically melodic guitar work and an impressive knack for songwriting. Despite the similarities, Suki offers a whole new approach, it’s far calmer and pensive, like a light drizzle has washed away any aggravations that bubbled to the surface in their previous, ferocious live performances.
Their transition is like a movement from the hectic energy of Peace and Foals, into a less intense but incredibly catchy world where the likes of DIIV and Beach Fossils reside. Wet Sundays could have slotted anywhere into DIIV‘s Oshin while personal favourite Father’s Face twinkles with melody at its own pace like a moody Real Estate tune.
- Matthew Wood / @Woodmantowers
Matt Maltese – As the World Caves In
Sometimes you just need to hear great songs, and this one, from young Reading-based singer Matt Maltese is one of those.
He’s been compared to the likes of Richard Hawley and Leonard Cohen and certainly there are echoes of those two in this Hugo White (The Maccabees) produced tune.
However, with a title that suggests a wider perspective which befits these times we are living in, Matt Maltese has struck a perfect balance between the personal and the political.
Maybe it’s a good sign that not all twenty-year old singer-songwriters are simply intense navel-gazers, but that there’s one here who’s looking deeper. Yes, it’s a love song and a song of intensity and passion; the swooping and soaring string arrangements see to that.
But it’s also a hymn for humanity and a song for hope. A song which makes you think things will be alright in the end. And that’s what we’re all looking for.
- Rick Leach / @rickjleach
Astles – Seasick
As part of Astles‘ Live at The Nordic EP the Liverpool based singer songwriter uses the setting to his advantage rather than acting as if it would be the same as playing in the studio.
Seasick is performed live in Liverpool’s Scandinavian Church and in this beautiful recording the church setting acts as another instrument as the melodies expand and give space to the soft nature of both the vulnerable lyrics and melody.
For a while Astles has been building a back catalogue and playing around Liverpool, and that really shows in the nature of the music, Seasick in particular, which appears to be all-encompassing and fills the space it is played and the person who is listening.
This EP shows just what can be accomplished when treating your surroundings as inspiration and even an instrument to propel the songs.
- Jess Borden / @JessKateBorden
Marvin Powell – Salt
Skeleton Key Records have some true talent on their books with She Drew the Gun, Serpent Power, The Coral and the mighty Marvin Powell. The latter had hearts aglow recently with his Buried single and now Salt is no less endearing.
Equally melodic with delicate Donovan style folk leanings, Powell can create an atmosphere on the back of a penny. Seamless guitar phrasing and heartfelt lyrics take us to a mystical place somewhere in the early 70s but with a contemporary crispness that is hard to resist. On the strength of his output so far, Powell’s debut album will definitely be one to watch this year.
- Del Pike / @del_pike
Fabia – Bridge You Burned
The folk style song Bridge you Burned is taken from the debut EP This House from singer-songwriter Fabia. The EP was written and produced in the comfort of her own home, and carries a homely comforting feel throughout.
A beautiful piano melody combines with Fabia‘s deep and soulful vocals which resemble that of 90’s alt-rock queen Alanis Morissette.
The song gains further depth as more string elements are added to create a timeless classic. The introduction of a cello and a viola complements both her voice and the piano while the harmonising of her own voice adds a contemporary element.
Although recorded in a bedroom it’s an exciting thought to imagine how impressive it would sound live.
- Lorna Dougherty / @ldough_
Nutribe – Da Cypha
Time to sit back, relax and take in some laid back soulful hip hop, courtesy of Nutribe and Butcha B. This freestyle, over 20 minutes long, is ragged and rough yet smoothly delivered by the Scouse MCs.
The pair trade bars almost telepathically, giggling at each other’s jokey lines in an endearing way, content with winding each other up. It’s fun, light hearted and addictive to listen to.
Now that Aystar‘s rise has (quite rightly) shone the limelight on Scouse hip hop, it’s good know that there are many different styles and aspects to the genre in the city. Individuality is always key to a scene’s growth.
- Chris Burgess / @BurgessWave
Violet Youth – Lucid Dreams
Blackburn may not project images of vibrancy for many of our readers, but that may all soon change when you have let your senses be introduced to the engulfing sound of Violet Youth and their remarkable new groove, Lucid Dream.
Like the River Blackwater that flows through the quartet’s hometown, this gushes along touching you with its every part as its waves ride over you with their dreamy psych and even, at time, gothic sounds. A hypnotic riff carries us on a sonic riptide with deep vocal rumblings before the waves crash under a clattering of roaring guitars.
With allusions to The Cure and The Horrors, this quartet are able to conjure soundscapes that channel deep inside you. We love it.
- Craig MacDonald / @86CraigyMac
W.H. Lung – Nothing Is
It is most unusual for a band yet to have played a gig to be in such high demand. However Manchester’s W.H. Lung have already been booked to play End of the Road Festival as well as Liverpool’s International Festival of Psychedelia. All this on the back of last year’s single, Inspiration.
- Paul Higham / @pmhigham
Vain Male – Until I Heard You Speak
- Jake Marley / @JMarleyWrites
Holy Matrimony – Dearly Beloved
Describing themselves as “the most grandiose electro pop act on the face of planet earth”, Manchester’s Holy Matrimony certainly are a band that are sure of themselves and want you to hear them, now. Luckily for them, then, they’re a band who once you hear them, you’re dying for more.
Their latest single If You Cannot Love Yourself feels as if it’d be right at home on the soundtrack of Donnie Darko or the Lost Boys with its distinct dark 80s pop tinge, and sweeping synths.
Taken from their new EP, Dearly Beloved: Part One, the song is a great sign of Holy Matrimony‘s knack for hooks, melodies, and tunes that you’ll be wanting to play on repeat.
- Adam Lowerson / @AdamLowerson
LUNA – Abyss
The latest single from LUNA confirms the Liverpool-based singer, songwriter and producer’s already growing reputation and, as one of Liverpool International Music Festival Academy‘s Top 20 artists for 2016/17, her star is firmly in the ascendancy.
New tune Abyss is a hauntingly beautiful yet darkly atmospheric number that reveals a more rounded piano-led sound. Its dream-like quality clings to her soulful delivery, the easily-conjured woozy sensations mirror the beneath-the-water subject matter. A naturalness and a fragility hold sway over the glitchy production techniques that nonetheless bubble under the surface with sufficient kinetic energy to keep things interesting.
Largely stripped-back it marries a bold confidence with subtle understatement, balancing itself between a reflective yearning on one hand and electronic expansiveness on the other. An undeniable talent – we look forward to hearing much more from LUNA.
- Paul Higham / @pmhigham
Sunstack Jones – Sun Is Always
Sunstack Jones’ latest track, Sun Is Always, makes its case gently, warmly, and with its shades on. Set against the backdrop of a mellow rhythm section groove reminiscent of A Northern Soul-era Verve, guitar cascades of simple echoed hooks rain down, lending a smoky sense of space.
The beautifully understated double vocal and its tight harmonies only add to the sense that the summer is coming. Spring has arrived, the flowers are in bloom, we’re seeing the year’s first blue skies, and hearing music like this only serves to reinforce those heady feelings of long days and warm evenings spent smiling. And like a long walk in the sun with a favoured human, it ends too soon.
It’s nearly that time. The time to slow the pace of life for a couple of months. And here, right here, is a slice of the soundtrack. Lovely. Just lovely.
- Paul Fitzgerald / @NothingvilleM