Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 14 August 2020.
Siberian Tiger – the South Australian duo of Bree Tranter (The Middle East) and Chris Panousakis (Timberwolf) – have released their debut EP, First Dance. What started as a cathartic ritual soon began to take shape in the quiet moments that punctuate the life of a touring musician – in the back of the tour bus, in airports and hotel lobbies, between long-distance calls, and in the still of their seaside home. Siberian Tiger’s debut release became a true labour of love for the partners in life and in music.
South African singer-songwriter Dave Starke strives to capture human moments in musical form – to sum up a whole host of thoughts and emotions using just his voice and a guitar. He describes the guitar as a “wooden box with strings, tensioned to near breaking point – it’s fundamental, honest and often scary and it’s a good metaphor for the human experience…” Shifting Boundaries is Starke’s second folk album. Artists appearing with Starke on the record include vocalist Lizzie Gaisford, Bheki Luthuli on trumpet and Richard Haslop on the slide guitar.
Brigadoon is the artist name of singer-songwriter and poet Barnaby Smith. His new album Itch Factor was recorded during countless late evening hours over a period of four years in a crudely constructed shack in the hills of the Northern Rivers in New South Wales. This primitive ‘studio’ was shared with numerous beasts, from giant huntsmen to geckos to the odd snake, while the sounds of looming cicadas and frogs made it on to some of the recordings. These 15 songs might be described as loner folk or, in their DIY spirit, even outsider folk. Melancholic melodies and enigmatic lyricism pull the majority of the emotional weight, with dense vocal harmonies rippling through everything. Itch Factor takes its cue from similarly uncompromising singer-songwriters such as Cass McCombs, Amen Dunes, Cory Hanson (Wand), Richard Dawson, Stephen Steinbrink, Lone Pigeon and Tim Buckley.
Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? marks Fantastic Negrito’s most far-reaching work thus far, fusing elements of hip-hop, R&B, funk, soul, and rock ‘n roll into an incendiary synthesis all his own. Inspired by and reminiscent of the socio-political albums coming from black America in the late 1960s and into the 70s, the album sees Negrito exploring the struggle and complexities of mental health issues while continuing his long-running lyrical examination of America’s increasingly broken social and political state of affairs. Fantastic Negrito – a.k.a. singer-songwriter Xavier Dphrepaulezz – is an artist for these times: a multi-talented, genre-agnostic original whose life and work embody the struggle, energy and creativity of black music.
Fiercely swinging on purpose, with purpose, the powerhouse 3D Jazz Trio plays original, traditional and contemporary standards from all genres of music. Their unique style and innovative arrangements are always super-charged by their boundless musical joy and gratitude. I Love to See You Smile is their second release, and features Sherrie Maricle on drums, Amy Shook on the bass and Jackie Warren at the piano.
Marc Albrecht and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra present Zemlinsky’s symphonic poem Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid) in a new recording. Lush and enigmatic, it is based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Through a series of motives, Zemlinsky depicts the musical fantasy in vivid colours: from the bottom of the ocean through the storm to an exuberant ball, introducing the Mermaid through solo violin. This new recording marks the final Pentatone album of Marc Albrecht as chief conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television