Who was there when the corn gang delivered their prophecies?

This album came out so long ago! And now it’s back out, remastered, etc. If you have never listened to Islands’ first album, you owe it to yourself, really, to correct that mistake. It is fun and easy to listen to. Catchy, weird-ish songs. I remember at the time the album was originally released that there was some, or much, consternation about how indebted to P. Simon’s Graceland this album was. Officious folks who disliked fun thought and wrote long and exasperatedly about the depth of Paul Simon’s influence on Nick Thorburn; this was the way of the world in 2006, music reviewing was a grim game of brinkmanship and pedantry. Now, not so much, people don’t care in the same ways, which is probably a good thing.

I will soon compile a list of favorite albums (and books, probably), though I don’t know what I’m going to do with respect to songs. Most of my favorite songs are probably on other people’s lists. If I can find a clutch of songs that I listened to in 2016 that I think are actually deserving of more attention and that haven’t already been mentioned 1000 times by others, I’ll put them up here. In the meantime, I will recommend the always-awesome end-of-year lists put together by the sweet and smart and wonderful folks over at Said the Gramophone, Fluxblog, and Recommended Listen–they all listen and write harder and better than I do, and their mixes and lists are incredibly comprehensive and worthwhile.

[BUY Return to the Sea]

The Quixote at Rest


If I were you, I would prepare for the holiday season by laying in some provisions in the form of good, hard synth songs. There is no better way to get yourself and your family through cold weather than electronic music, which provides more BTUs per minute than any other type of music. The Pressure is a perfect example: listen to the bounce and pucker (technical terms) of that synth at the start of the song. That’s heat. That’s energy. Roxanne Clifford’s voice, too, is a source of comfort and warmth. (NB, this song reminds me so much of early Belle & Sebastian electronic experiments, like Electronic Renaissance, though I can’t tell if that comparison only occurred to me because Clifford recorded this song in Glasgow).

[BUY The Pressure]