Elbow – Little Fictions

Ontelbaar vaak heb ik Little Fictions, de opvolger van The Take Off and Landing of Everything (2014), van rockband Elbow gedraaid, voordat ik begon te typen. Opener Magnificient (She Says), mid-tempo, half akoestisch, strijkers en een dromerige sfeer zet de toon. Het per nummer herkenbaar ontspannen en wat loom uit de keel van Guy Garvey komende zangpartijen in een lekker bed van afwisselende pop en rockarrangementen. Bij Gentle Storm is het de strakke percussie die opvalt, bij Trust the Sun de loops waarop de slaggitaar bouwt. Piano en gitaar slepen All Disco, eerder uitgebracht als single, voort. De sfeer heeft er wel wat van een tot rust gekomen Schotse band Runrig of de jongens van Simple Minds.

In Head for Supplies een subtiel gitaarloopje, een ballad die aan Coldplay doet denken. De eigen voorliefde van de band voor Talk Talk, is te horen in Firebrand & Angel. In K2 zit in de tekst een echoënd statement tegen de Brexit verpakt: “Full of blood, snot and teeth and the glory of no one. (..) I’m from a land with an island status. Makes us think that everyone hates us. Maybe darling they do.”

Wat onbeholpen pingelend op piano klinkt Montparnasse. In het titelnummer leidt de piano ook, maar tegen de achtergrond van veel galm, alsof de opnames in een kerk gemaakt zijn. Loops van synths en percussie nemen daarna de overhand. “We protect our little fictions/Like it’s all we are.” Kindling als homebrew rock song zoals U2 in bijvoorbeel;d Grace of Running to Stand Still. Deze zomer kun je op Pukkelpop en Lowlands live van de groep genieten.

Memorable songs of 1-10 January 2017

In 2016 I beat the HotSpotify 366 challenge, for which I added one special song each day to a Spotify playlist. I had too much fun to leave it there. As follow-up for 2017 I created Henk-Jan’s soundtrack to 2017 in Spotify, and switched to English.

Sunday, 1 January: Pentatonix – New Year’s Day

This new year is opened by Pentatonix, a five-member American a cappella group from Arlington, Texas,

Monday, 2 January: Blaudzun – Mud

Back to work, down to earth. In last Friday’s Release Radar playlist Mud, a new song by Blaudzun was featured. This candidate for Jupiter part II wasn’t played a week at the previous week’s concert in Metropool, Hengelo! The message to kiss your enemies however, is a great and difficult imperative.

Tuesday, 3 January: Rhodes & Felix Jaehn – Your Soul (Holding On)

RHODES & Felix Jaehn provided a nice track to walk to. Tonight my experiences of walking in the winter wonderland of Skarsterlân are online.

Wednesday, 4 January: Lea Porcelain – Similar Familiar

When I heard Similar Familiar by Lea Porcelain last Saturday, I was struck with the similiarity to U2’s wave rock.

Thursday, 5 January: Ambassadors of Morning – Where Are We Now

Another striking match to U2’s earlier songs, suggested by Brian Hazard aka Color Theory. Ambassadors of Morning deserves your attention. Their So Far album was released in October 2016.

Friday, 6 January: Celine Cairo – Friendly Fire

Last week I discovered Free Fall, a great pop album by the Dutch singer Celine Cairo. Highly recommended.

Saturday, 7 January: Twenty One Pilots & Mutemath – Ride

Tropical meets rock and urban in this collaboration between Twenty One Pilots and Mutemath.

Sunday, 8 January: Elbow – Magnificent (She Says)

Both 3FM als Nieuwe Plaat agree with me: Magnificent from Elbow‘s upcoming album Little Fictions – release date 3 February –  is indeed wonderful. “There on the sand. Throwing both her arms around the world. The world that doesn’t even know. How much it needs this little girl. It’s all gonna be magnificent, she says.”  If this track is representing the atmosphere of the rest of the album, I’m all in.

Monday, 9 January: All Hail The Silence – Looking Glass

Joey Belville (The Echoing Green, Pristina) shared on 2 January on Facebook the release AHTS, a 4-song EP by All Hail the Silence.  New, accessible synth pop.  Instead of his recommendation, the opening track The Alarm, I choose for the Looking Glass.

Tuesday, 10 January: Before You Exit – Clouds

Clouds is an example of a simple ballad arrangement yet touching. Pop-rock band Before You Exit — comprised of brothers Connor, Riley, and Toby McDonough — were on tour with Christina Grimmie, an American singer, songwriter, and YouTuber known for her participation in the NBC singing competition The Voice and for her covers of hit songs by contemporary pop musicians, when she was tragically killed while meeting fans after a show in June 2016.