The Blackheart Orchestra – ‘Violet’.
After almost two years of writing and recording, Manchester progressive pop duo, Chrissy Mostyn and Rick Pilkington, who perform as The Blackheart Orchestra are back with their new album Mesmeranto. A little over two weeks has elapsed since its release and I’m still trying to exorcise the unquiet spirit within its 14-song framework. As hard as I try, I feel obsessed by its pull and intensely rich listening experience. The musical arrangements are without a doubt as intricate and emotionally moving as their 2017 debut Diving For Roses, but for my mind Mostyn’s achingly beautiful vocals are again this time around something else! On the lyric front, each song is in some shape or form formulated from Chrissy Mostyn’s personal experiences and, as always, devastatingly moving. One of their songs that I just keep coming back to at the moment is the haunting and beautiful Violet. For a truly visceral experience, I recommend you check out the tracks accompanying new music video for its stunning visuals. While I find it difficult to truly pinpoint a favourite song, some of the album’s standouts worthy of a mention are Wolves, I Am, Back To Earth and Never Do, Do I.
Beck – ‘Uneventful Days’.
As one of the most recognisable inventive pop chameleons of the last twenty-five years, Beck rarely fails to deliver the goods with his enjoyable brand of avant-folk-rock hip hop. But there was a time when many of us thought he would disappear just as quickly as he arrived in 1994 with his crossover mega-hit Loser. He would prove to be more than just a one-hit wonder a few years later with another game-changing track called Where It’s At. His quirky approach to music it seemed had hit an accord with both alternative and mainstream music fans of the 90s. Today, Beck is a seven-time Grammy winner and I don’t think we have seen the end of his reign. On the eve of an approaching new decade, Beck continues to push the boundaries of innovation with his recently released new synth-heavy track called Uneventful Days. It comes from his forthcoming 14th studio album, Hyperspace, which is scheduled for release next month. Personally I’m curious to see if seven-time Grammy winner Beck will pull out all the stops with his new record and end the decade with a bang. If anything, Beck’s new album is set to showcase an array of songs he co-produced with Pharrell Williams, with Greg Kurstin, Sky Ferreira and Coldplay’s Chris Martin also adding their expertise to the mix.
Thunderpussy – ‘Powerhouse’.
Anyone who is a huge fan of Pearl Jam will always have a keen eye out for the array of side projects that keep members of Pearl Jam busy. That said, last year I was introduced to Seattle’s Thunderpussy via Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist, Mike McCready’s involvement on their classic rock inspired single Velvet Noose. Since then, thanks to a lot of noise and good will from McCready, Thunderpussy have gone on to incredible success, first up with their acclaimed 2018 self-titled debut album and now back at it again with their four track EP Milk It. The song that has caught my attention from the EP this week is Powerhouse the anthemic second single off their new EP, which incidentally features Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith. In short, it’s a real banger with frontwoman Molly strutting her stuff vocally and Whitney Petty showing off her guitar chops.
What’s it about? Well, here is what Molly Sides said recently about the new track: “Powerhouse is a song for my mother. It is an ode, an anthem to those who have been dealt a difficult hand in life but continue to persevere and push through. It’s a reminder that there are no limits, no boundaries for the strength and resilience of the feminine spirit. A spirit, a superpower that lives within us all. Pussy is Power.”