SBT [Sarabeth Tucek] – Joan of All [Ocean Omen]
I have been waiting waiting a very long time for a new release by Sarabeth Tucek. Her last album Get Well Soon was released in 2011. It was an incredibly personal album and a harrowing listen at times. Her new album has quite a different feel. It has a more laid back vibe, less singer songwritey- more rocky and Velvet Undergroundy than Neil Youngy. I love it and my Dinked edition looks beautiful too.
Grantie’s favrit track-The Gift.
Teleman-Good Time/ Hard Time [Moshi Mosh]
I can’t believe that Teleman have been releasing records for 10 years and this is their 4th LP! It’s unmistakably a Teleman album, Thomas’ vocals and his style of delivery are pretty unique. It’s also their first as a 3 piece after the departure of Johnny in 2020 who played keyboards. Their are still plenty of keys and programmed sequences on this album though, blending well with the guitar and bass. There’s not one dodgy track. My copy is the yummy ltd, signed print, numbered dinked edition red/ black colur vinyl which also comes with an additional 7″ single which is also a bit good.
Grantie’s favrit track- The girls who came to stay.
Ólafur Kram– Ekki Treysta Fiskunum [own label-self release]
The debut album by Icelandic band Ólafur Kram [say it backwards!]. They combine a mix of pop, post punk and jazz to great effect. I caught them live at Iceland Airwaves in 2022 and hope they come over to England for some shows very soon. The LP is available in a variety of colours, I like my subtle black with a splash of white version. My Icelandic is not too great but their lyrics have a sense of humour which I love. A fine example being the call and response ‘Voulez vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?.….uuuu…nei? [OK the French bit made it easier!]. Aumingja Þuríður [which means-poor Þuríður] is the perfect song, the video is great too!
Grantie’s favrit track- Aumingja Þuríður
Adwaith- Bato Mato [Libertino]
OOPS ! I am a bit late with this one as it was released on vinyl towards the end of last year so I missed out on the Dinked pink splatter version. Serves me right for being slack! However I am pretty chuffed with my green vinyl edition and the album is just superb! The songs are more polished and catchy than on their previous album [Melyn] but not too polished and every song is vibrant. Oh, and they are Welsh and sing in Welsh. Their name means ‘reaction’- so know you know.
Gruntie’s favrit track-Yn Y Sŵn (Nijo)
Nell and the Flaming Lips-Where the Viaduct Looms [Bella Union]
This album is possibly the best collab/covers idea ever. 15 year old Nell singing songs by Nick Cave that she had never heard before with the Lipses backing and it works brilliantly. Her vocals lack the passion of Mr Cave but that works in the songs’ favour. You may well love this record even if you do not love Nick Cave.
Grunties favrit track- The kindness of strangers.
I was a King-Follow me Home [Coastal Town]
Anne Lise Frøkedal has the honour of being the first artist to receive a second Gruntie’s Coloured Vinyl Record of the Month! YAY! Her solo LP – Flora received this accolade in May 2021. Her solo stuff is generally laid back and releases by I was a King are normally more in your face, but this LP seems a to act as abridge between the two styles. I love her voice and her songwriting. I managed to catch her playing live [as Frøkedal] supporting Teenage Fanclub earlier in the year. It’s about time IWAK came over to the UK too.
Gruntie’s favrit track- All this time
Alice Boman- The Space Between [PIAS]
This is the second full length album by the Swedish singer songwriter. It’s the combination of her delicate vocals and songwriting that make her songs so special. Every track on this album is wonderful and guest vocalist Perfume Genius on the track Feels like a Dream is a perfect blend with Alice’s voice. Her live performances are sublime and it’s a shame she missed out Brighton on this tour.
Gruntie’s favrit track – Feels like a dream
The Stranglers- Suite XVI [Absolute]
This album was originally released in 2006 and has just been issued on vinyl for the first time. It’s the best Stranglers album since La Folie. And NO I don’t miss Hugh anymore, [get over it]! The vocal duties are shared between Baz and original members Dave [RIP] and JJ. The album kicks off with Unbroken– and it sounds just how you always wanted The Stranglers to sound with JJ’s bass growling, Dave’s keys swirling, with snarling vocals and Jet’s pounding drums. There’s not one duffer of a track. I like to play this album very loud indeedy.
Gruntie’s favrit track- Relentless [Live version below]
Stella Donnelly- Flood [Secretly Canadian]
Stella’s second album displays a maturing of sound but still captures her wit and sharp tongue that was present on her debut. My version states that it’s limited but I have no idea what that limit actually is! [I hate that]. Anyway at least I got a signed postcard.
Gruntie’s favrit track- Flood
Julia Jacklin- Pre Pleasure [Polyvinyl]
I think that Julia’s Jacklin’s third album may be a little less intense than her previous efforts but her songwriting and her delivery are sublime. The addition of a string section is subtle and enhances the songs perfectly. There are several colour options available and I plumped for the Rough Trade exclusive as I already have her autograph so did not go for the purple vinyl signed version.
Gruntie’s favrit track- I was Neon [It sounds a bit early Stereolabby!]
Girls Rock -Various [Wagram]
OOOPS ! – I am a bit late with this one. It was released in France in 2019 but passed me by. The album is part of a series of ten celebrating the photographer Robert Doisneau who died in 1994. Posing on the front cover are his two daughters. I bought this LP primarily so I could get my hands on the Gillian Hills version of Zou Bisou Bisou as the original 1961 EP commands quite high prices. The rest of the album is pretty solid too- with great tracks by France Gall, Francoise Hardy and Zou Zou and more. I have no idea why Lulu is on this album !
Gruntie’s favrit Tracks- Zou Bisou Bisou by Gillian Hills and Tu Fais Partie Du Passe by Zou Zou.
Angel Olsen- Big Time [Jagjaguwar]
Label mate and collaborator with Shazza [see below]. This is Angel Olsen’s follow up to her superb 2019 album- All Mirrors. [I am choosing to ignore the patchy album of demos- Whole New Mess that was released in 2020, and the less said about her single- Smaller, the better]. This LP starts off low key and embraces Americana and Country music to large degree, slowly building in drama until the sixth track – Right Now which is huuge! [Can anyone else hear a touch of Rock ‘n’ Roll suicide near the end?] I chose the Rough Trade exclusive pink glass vinyl but there are plenty of other yummy colours out there. The video for Through the Fires is a bit disturbing!
Gruntie’s favrit track- All the flowers
Sharon Van Etten- We’ve been going about this all wrong [Jagjaguwar]
Shazza’s 5th album for Jagjaguwar is deeply personal to her [listen to the lyrics]. The songs are powerful and beautifully arranged. Her best album to date. Available in a variety of colours, I chose the red and yellow splatter as it was the loudest!
Gruntie’s favrit track-Born
Dana Gavanski-When it Comes [Full Time Hobby]
Dana’s second album is a beautifully crafted and intimate affair that demands repeated listening with no interruptions. I have seen her live 4 times now and I am already looking forward to catching her live again later this year. My copy is the limited orange swirl Dinked Edition which neatly matches her shirt on the record sleeve.
Gruntie’s favrit track- I kiss the night
Azure Ray- Remedy [Flower Moon]
Yes I know- I’m a bit late with this one, but better late than never! It’s Azure Ray’s 6th album and their first since 2012. Haunting, tuneful and moving and just as good as their stuff of yore. Kicking off with Swallowing Swords which reminds me of Holes by Mercury Rev, which is no bad thing. Flower Moon are releasing their earlier CD’s on vinyl- about time too!
Gruntie’s favrit track- Swallowing Swords
Blood Red Shoes-Ghosts on Tape [Jazz Life]
This is the sixth album by this Brighton based duo. It was released officially in January but the vinyl was delayed until the beginning of February. It’s deliciously dark and moody and a bit angry and is best played very loud with the lights off. My copy is a lovely clear blue, it’s also available on transparent clear vinyl and boring black.
I have just realied that the last three albums to gain this accolade are all by Brighton bands. There is no intended bias here, they have all earned the award through musical merit and yummy colours!
Gruntie’s favrit track- Comply
Penelope Isles-Which Way to Happy [Bella Union]
The third album by Brighton based Penelope Isles, their second for Bella Union and it’s wonderful. The band have grown, the songs are more expansive and complex than their previous album. Mixed by Dave [I have a valve compressor and I’m going to use it lots] Fridman who just happens to be my favritist producer/ engineer. Mr Fridman’s trademark squashed to buggery drums are there but he seems to have toned down his bonkers stereo panning a bit on this album. The luscious strings which were crafted by Fiona Brice enhance the tracks where they appear and are not just padding. My Dinked edition copy is a rather lovely blue with green bits and is limited to 300 pressings. A real treasure.
Gruntie’s favrit track- Sailing Still
Fujiya & Miyagi- Lightbulbs [impossible objects of desire]
My choice for the final month of 2021 is a reissue of Fujiya’s rather wonderful album that was originally released in 2008- Wow doesn’t time fly! It’s a limited edition of 1000 pressed in lurid yellow with new album artwork. There are a couple of extra tracks on the record that were previously on an expanded CD version of the album. Timeless.
Gruntie’s favrit track- Knickerbocker
Hamish Hawk- Heavy Elevator [assai recordings]
This is the third album by Scottish singer songwriter Hamish Hawk. It’s a wonderful mixture of post punk energy crossed with ooh- possibly Scott Walker and Leonard Cohen and a healthy sprinkling of The Smiths which is not a bad thing. My dinked edition copy is a luscious black and white splatter which of course makes it sound even betterer!
Gruntie’s favrit track- Calls to Tiree
Sóley- Mother Melancholia [Lovitt Records]
OOH, I have been looking forward to this one and managed to nab a copy from 12 Tonar in Reykjavik on my recent visit. My favritist Icelandic musician- Sóley Stefánsdóttir’s fourth solo album pressed in lovely deep red vinyl. It’s darker than her previous albums but so haunting and beautiful. I got my album cover signed by Sóley and Krstin [who plays viola] at the gig in Brighton.
If you want to check out some more music from Iceland click HERE– it’s my page featuring my favritist Icelandic music, with a great playlist and more Sóley of course!
Gruntie’s favrit track- Desert
LOW- Hey What [Sub Pop]
The new record by LOW is not quite as scary as their previous offering which sounded like the backing track was created by a steam engine going through a mangle. But it’s still a challenging but a rewarding listen. What makes the concept work is the strength of the tunes that hold the whole thing together- just. Best played loud and alone, in the dark .
Gruntie’s favrit track- I can wait.
Belly- Bees [Run Out Groove Records]
I ordered this double LP back in June 2020 and it sold out the same day! It finally arrived this month after many delays. It’s a limited numbered pressing on yummy yellow and pink vinyl. 4AD have released a gold coloured vinyl version- but this one looks so much sexier! It’s stuffed full of B sides, extra tracks and covers from their singles and EP’s. There are no fillers so it’s hard to choose my favrit but I love their cover of the Flying Burrito Brothers classic.
Gruntie’s favrit track – Hot Burrito #1
Eliza Shaddad- The Woman you Want [Rosemundy Records]
Eliza’s second album [I never use the word sophomore] is rather wonderful and displays a maturing of sound and song when compared to her first. Her vocals sound wonderful too. My copy is pressed on a rather scrummy transparent coke bottle green.
Gruntie’s favrit track- Now you’re Alone.
Wolf Alice– Blue Weekend [Dirty Hit]
The third album by Wolf Alice [Wolf Phallus- geddit?] is their most accomplished to date. The record is available in loads of various colours, mine is a deep transparent green. The album actually made it to number one in the British album charts, not that I can take the charts seriously when streaming is included along with physical sales, but it’s still a great achievement and great record.
Gruntie’s favrit track- Delicious things.
Frøkedal & Familien– Flora [Fugleben Records]
Norwegan singer/ songwriter Anne Lise Frøkedal has released several solo albums to date as well as albums with I was a King and Harry’s Gym. Every album is a gem and this one is no exception. It’s not the prettiest record to look at, but it is made from recycled vinyl and whenever you mix random colours it always looks like mud or poo, or pooey mud..
Gruntie’s favrit track- Treasure.
Lael Neale – Acquainted With Night [Sub Pop]
This one nearly passed me by as it was released in February this year. Recorded on a cassette based 4 track [YAY!] with heavy use of one of my favritist electronic instruments- an Omnichord– [DOUBLE YAY!]. Embrace the hiss.
Gruntie’s favrit track- Every star shivers in the dark.
Stereolab – Electrically Possessed, Switched On Vol.4 [Duophonic UHF Disks]
Volume 4 of Stereolab’s Switched On compilations is a limited edition numbered triple vinyl affair. It’s a heavy pressing in a rather sexy black with an orange splodge- nice! Compiling tour singles, a few unreleased tracks and the whole of the mini album The First of the Microbe Hunters. It was technically released at the end of Feb, but mine arrived at the beginning of March.
Gruntie’s favrit track- Dimension M2.
Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump…..on a wooden piano [Dangerbird Records]
I can’t believe that the original The Sophtware Slump album is 20 years old! It is one of my favritist albums ever. This stripped down version released to coincide [or celebrate] the 20th anniversary of the original works a real treat. The songs are all so strong that they stand up on their own with a minimum of overdubbery. This tri- colour vinyl pressing is so beautiful it sounds great just looking at it!
Gruntie’s favrit track- So you’ll aim toward the sky.
Goat Girl – On All Fours [Rough Trade Records]
I loved the first album by Goat Girl and I have been looking foward to this record for some time. This album is more crafted and polished than their previous effort and does lack the spikey charm and wit of their first effort but has warranted repeated listenings. I have the rather lovely double transparent pink vinyl version with signed print of the front cover.
Gruntie’s favrit track- badibaba [I love the wig out at the end].