The Blackheart Orchestra – Sebastian.
Chrissy Mostyn and Rick Pilkington, the multi-instrumentalist duo from Manchester, who perform as The Blackheart Orchestra, are a revelation for those into enigmatic progressive pop. I had the privilege to chat with both of them a while ago and to be quite honest with you, I am STILL enthralled by their music. One of their songs that I just keep coming back to is the haunting and beautiful Sebastian. For a truly visceral experience, I recommend you check out the tracks accompanying music video for its stunning visuals.
Chrissy and Rick best sum up the song here below in an extract from our interview: “The song is about a kind of dark obsessional love and the video really captures this. The soldier being Sebastian’s victim and the injuries symbolising the emotional scars endured in such a relationship… but it has a happy ending thankfully.”
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car.
Some of the best acoustic arrangements have been written with simplicity in mind, especially in terms of chord changes, but that said they are almost always heavy on sentiment or emotional punch. I guess that is why I’m generally a sucker for acoustic love songs, whether it’s something like The Trapeze Swinger by Iron & Wine or What Is Love by Lisa Mitchell. But not all acoustic arrangements are love songs, in fact, most folk rock arrangements that I listen to, are intimate stories and messages about life, hardship, equality and so on.
Some thirty years ago, Tracy Chapman wrote one of the greatest self-penned songs of her generation called Fast Car. In truth, it’s probably the only song that I remember from her self-titled debut released back in 1988. It is a story about a young woman ending an unhappy relationship and moving on quickly from her predicament to find herself. The repetition of the line “You got a fast car…” is somewhat of a metaphor for striving forward towards a better life (longing) and hopefulness. Interestingly, despite its length, at almost five minutes, it was played to death on Melbourne radio here in the late ‘80s, and obviously for good reason. It’s a damn good song! Over the years it has been covered by many artists and it has even been turned into a dance remix! To hear the original played again more recently (on the radio) reminded me of its soulful timeless charm. I might be playing it for a while yet. Enjoy!
Echo Del Tusker – Fix Your Face.
A few weeks ago Melbourne rockers Echo Del Tusker followed up Can’t Keep Your Man with their new single Fix Your Face. It’s another hard–hitting track that shows off their chops for ‘guitar-driven soul rock’. Moreover, I cannot state enough how much I love Estelle Artois bewitching vocals. To celebrate the release of the new single, the gang was supposed to have hit the road with Australian rock legends Rose Tattoo. Unfortunately, I learnt a few weeks ago, as did most hard-core Australian rock fans, that the tour was cancelled due to the tragic death of the son of Angry Anderson, Rose Tattoo’s frontman.
More recently, Echo Del Tusker announced it was also losing Joshua Potter, who is stepping down from drumming duties to focus on his own projects. Wow, talk about a bumpy month in rock! On a brighter note, Echo Del Tusker’s new single has been receiving lots of love, especially from the respected music publication Classic Rock Magazine, who named it as one their tracks of the week. Anyway, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the release of Fix Your Face than by giving it a plug here. So turn up the volume and immerse yourself with this blinder.