Music Music reviews

On my stereo this week: Paul McCartney, Hussy, The Pearl Harts & Anna Tivel.

Welcome back. It’s been a while since my last instalment. It’s not say I have been idle, far from it. I feel like I’ve been on top of what has been happening in music this year. It has already, and I think you will agree, been an incredible year in music with so many great new releases. I’ve lost track of how many new albums I’ve listened to this year, but they include to name a few, St. Vincent, Wolf Alice, The Pretty Reckless, Garbage, Cassandra Jenkins and Lana De Rey. If I don’t get the chance to talk about these artists in the coming weeks, many of them will definitely get a plug on my end of year lists. Anyway, this week is no different in my endeavours of mixing it up. Check out some of the great songs I’m listening to. Enjoy!

Paul McCartney – ‘Find My Way’.

I looked at what the top four or five songs were on my playlist in the last few days and it doesn’t come as a surprise to see Paul McCartney sitting pretty on top. With a little help from his friends, I’ve had McCartney III Imagined playing on high rotation. While I love Seize The Day which features Phoebe Bridgers, I can’t escape Find My Way featuring Beck. This week thanks to the release of the amazing deep fake music video that sees Beck play a young version of McCartney, Find My Way has a new lease of life. Just when a deep fake Luke Skywalker blew me away in the finale of The Mandalorian season two, so does this new video which captures perfectly a collaboration between two inventive artists. This version of McCartney’s song Find My Way is totally Beck’s doing and it sounds (and looks) incredible. Enjoy!     

Hussy – ‘New Fair’.

A newish artist on my radar this week is South London-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and sound engineer Hussy aka Sophie Nicole Ellison. Through her own record label Rock Hag, and the great freedom that comes with self-producing your own work, Hussy dropped her seven song debut EP ‘Hussy’ which contains little gems like Messing, Moths and New Fair. The latter interestingly sounds like a cross between Sheryl Crow doing vocals on a Nirvana song. More specifically it has a catchy guitar jangle reminiscent of Nirvana’s Come As You Are. With the appeal of an indie rocker and Hussy’s layered vocals, New Fair is a nice detour from the wider appeal of mainstream pop.

The Pearl Harts – ‘Pullin’ My Brains Out’.

Since breaking through in 2018 with their debut album Glitter and Spit, the groove-laden sounds of the two-piece London outfit The Pearl Harts has seriously impressed me. It’s almost impossible to separate my love for big riffs and strong vocals which self-confessed rockers Kristy and Sara have in spades. Interestingly when asked a few years back to describe their sound, Sara (on drums, samples and backing vocals) said “Loud, obnoxious, uncompromising”. It’s that sort of self assured confidence that won over Garbage’s Shirley Mason who asked them to tour with her back in 2016. Fast forward four years and it’s goes without saying the pandemic put a stop to almost everything. The Pearl Harts like so many others, were isolated from their growing fan base and taste for live music. But mastering the perfect balance of emotion and energy, The Pearl Harts with their take charge attitude released an awesome live music video for Pullin’ My Brains Out (taken from their EP Suck It Up) earlier this year that exemplifies what they are all about. It might not be a new track, but fingers crossed there is something new on the horizon later this year. 

Anna Tivel – ‘Blue World’.

2021 is shaping up to be a big year for one of my favourite folk musicians. Anna Tivel is an incredible talent and has paved her own career, away from the spotlight of the world around her. Tivel’s new  album Blue World is a collection of songs from previous albums that have been reimagined. “We wanted them sparse and strange, isolated and alive, Tivel declared. “Each of these songs exists in another form, from another time when making music shoulder to shoulder in goodsweaty rooms was an everyday adventure.” This project according to Tivel was her chance to breathe again after being isolated from friends and loved ones throughout the pandemic last year. It was her chance to reconnect with “good friends whose music forever moves me.” Interestingly, Tivel’s new album also contains a newly written song called Two Dark Horses. It contains a beautifully sparse and haunting piano arrangement, something that I have not experienced before on a Tivel record. Personally, the title track is arguably the pick of the bunch, which comes from Tivel’s 2017 album Small Believers. When I asked her in 2017 which song from that album was her favourite she didn’t hesitate to name Blue Word among a handful of favourites. That said it doesn’t surprise me that she chose to re-record Blue World. It’s a beautiful song. 

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