heard on the wire

He doesn’t speak the language quite as well

Persephone supervising Sisyphus in the Underworld

Work, a house, a garden and the attractions of a great European city mean that as far as music is concerned I’m forever playing catch-up. My Sisyphean list of bands and records to be checked out stretches back at least three years and shows no sign of shortening.

Such is the backlog that even by restricting myself to music released since the start of last year, I generally post tracks that first saw the light of day several months ago. In that vein, let’s start with a release from July, Safranin Sounds, a collection of early material by Ceremony, the usual mix of classy references and toe-tapping, radio-friendly shoegaze. Well the references, at least.

Ceremony :: Love is Fiction

Audio MP3

It’s testimony to the inventors of the electric guitar that Ceremony and Australian popsters Alpine use the same six-stringed instruments to make records of such diversity.

Don’t let a mention in The Guardian’s New Band of the Day column put you off A is fir Alpine, the summer debut from this melodic Melbourne six-piece.

Alpine :: Too Safe

Audio MP3

Lou Doillon is a French model, singer and actress. Her father is director Jacques Doillon and her mother is British actress and singer Jane Birkin.

That’s the intro to a Wikipedia entry that ordinarily would have me scrambling for the mute button. But this is extraordinarily good, taken from an LP, Places, that I will get round to one day.

Lou Doillon :: I.C.U.

And if that were unexpected, this is even more so. Brendan Hines is a reasonably well-known American TV actor, which should preclude him from any possibility of making a decent record. So it must have been an impostor who, masquerading as The Brendan Hines, recorded a fantastic collection of songs and released them on an LP called Small Mistakes.

The Brendan Hines :: To the Skull

Audio MP3

Photo: Persephone supervising Sisyphus in the Underworld, Attica black-figure amphora (vase), ca. 530 BC, Staatliche Antikensammlungen museum (Inv. 1494)

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