This Week at Musikigai

This week marks the 26th edition of Friday Five and by my maths that means 6 full months of this mostly ignored curation. Thank you enormously to everyone who has read it and listened to the playlists. I hope you have got something from it. Read on to the end for more of my thoughts on this milestone

This week has been a very busy one in the day job requiring a 50 hour week. One would think thats loads of time for music during focussed work and while there was some, unfortunately I spent half of it on calls determining what I needed to do in those focussed periods.

Focussed work tunes were Jon Hopkins’ Singularity and Immunity albums, Tourist’s Everyday and Wild albums and the new Hot Chip Late Night tales album which is exceptional. All of these got the repeat treatment or at least quick back and forths until the work was done.

Lots of great albums out today, a lot of which have had a lot of coverage round these parts so here are some deep cuts and favourites that are yet to feature on the list.

Spotify links: This Week / Archive

Distant Axis – Matt Berninger

The debut solo album from Matt Berninger (of The National fame), Serpentine Prison, is a wonderful thing. It is low key but nuanced, intricate and beautiful. It steps back from the bombast of The National and takes his lyricism to a more reflective place. This is track two on the record and the moment you realise something special may be coming over the next 40 minutes. It is certainly on the short list for the year end list!

Bon Bon – Songhoy Blues

We’ve had all the singles in the run up to Optimisme, the third Songhoy Blues record and if you’ve like them then this record won’t let you down. The next evolution of Mali takes on rock and roll with a slightly more modern rock approach to the songwriting. There is something special about non-English lyrics in music, it draws your attention to the whole aesthetic and emotion in the sound without getting bogged down in the meaning.

Walk in My Shoes – Faithless

All Blessed is the unexpected return album from dance legends Faithless and it sees them more in laid back mode than party mode. there is a balance of both and makes for a comforting listen. It’s great to have them back and when this virus gets on it’s bike I can’t wait to see them live again. You must witness Insomnia live by the creators at least once in you gig-going life. It’s incredible. This track is a very laid back track that piqued my interest while finishing up work this afternoon.

Why doesn’t it have Let The Music Decide (form edition 6 of this feature) on it? It was banging tune and seems like it will never return to streaming services. Why!?

Opium – Gorillaz (feat. EARTHGANG)

I must have posted about just about every track across the year long project. What is remarkable about it being pulled together is how coherent it is. It may just be one of the best Gorillaz albums in years. It took a turn with the pandemic as the planned series had to be done remotely but oddly this may have been to its benefit. Not an overwhelming amount of time spent over thinking in the studio. It impressive they kept up the monthly releases and tht the total amount of music released is as voluminous as it is while the standard remains pretty high through out.

This is the first track from the set of bonus tracks on the deluxe edition and opens with a beautiful instrumental before bringing in the hip hop stylings of EARTHGANG that gives that truly Gorillaz flavour. I can’t wait to unpack this over the coming weeks.

Devil Inside Me – Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes (Live at the Key Club, Leeds in 2015)

Good things come to those who wait. The fifth anniverary edition of Frnak Carter and the Rattlesnakes’ debut album Blossum is finally out. It has the original album, 2 tracks from that era and a live disc with every song on it in album order form various gigs from the supporting tour.

FC&TRS were the last band I saw before we all got shut away and I still believe they are the best live rock act around. Frank had donned the swagger of latter Alex Turner while maintaining his down to earth and punk rock personality – a perfect combination – and the band are a force to be reckoned with.

This is a favourite track from the debut record in the live form offered up on the deluxe disc.

Here we are six months later. I started this feature as a way to make sure I release something each week as a bare minimum on this blog. It has developed a very small set of followers across wordpress and instagram but not garnered any real traction. I’m hugely grateful for all of those who read any amount of these posts and truly hope it has proven your while in finding new music, bands and having a laugh.

I’ll continue with this for now but I will be reflecting on the effort the gain of it. It takes a decent amount of effort to pull together and post it each week and as we found last week, if I’m busy on a Thursday evening it risks missing release. I also am critically aware that album reviews have dried up. I simply haven’t had the energy recently to give the fantastic albums I have been enjoying the attention and effort they are owed.

I do this for me and with the hope of providing value. I’m unsure ho much value I’m offering others with this and it is becoming more onerous to produce. We will see it it lasts. If you’ve been enjoying it please let me know via comments on the IG posts for your favourite editions.

Enjoy the tunes. Put on some of these records over the weekend. I’ll see you next week.