The Songs That People Sing

First let's hear somebody sing me a record that cries pure and true

Month: February, 2011

Gorillaz – Hillbilly Man

Here’s a track off the latest Gorillaz album The Fall, released via their website at Christmas, getting a proper release in April. It’s supposedly not a full and proper album, just an inbetween thing, but it’s bloody good. It sounds like a bunch of properly produced demos, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some tracks end up growing into full tracks the next time around. Or maybe not. You never know with Albarn.

This track starts off in a way I’d like to see explored at some time, which is just guitar and vocals, very delicate, reminiscent of Weller’s vocal and guitar songs in the early days of The Style Council. Albarn has a wonderful way with a melody and I would love to hear an acoustic album at some point.


One of my favourite albums of last year was Kele from Bloc Party’s solo album The Boxer. It did alright at the time, just hitting the top twenty, and this track Tenderoni made it into the top forty but then disappeared. It’s a shame because it’s a great single, landing somewhere between New Order and Orbital, with a massive chorus and huge amounts of 90s dance rush moments.

It’s euphoric and yet dark, dance music for when you’re by yourself really. It has a feel of somebody sitting by themselves looking across the city through a window, watching everybody else having a good time.

Sounds For Sunday

A little slice of uptempo Northern Soul from Little Eva, better known to most for The Locomotion.

Not So Tired Now

I’ve been pretty busy lately, although I can be found filling up Twitter most days with rubbish (@Johnnywas25 if you’re interested).

We’ve been sleep training the boy these past couple of weeks and this week he managed to sleep through several nights without waking. Uninterrupted sleep all the way through for me and the wife too, the first uninterrupted nights for over two years for me!!!

So just to celebrate here’s Sweet Darlin’ by Jimmy Soul Clarke; one of those Northern Soul slices that I always think of as the Mod end of Northern. It’s very Motown influenced, very singalong, very sharp suits and button downs.

It’s true that I’m tired…

It’s true that I’m tired, probably more tired than I’ve ever been these last couple of years. It’s a tiredness born out of sleepless nights, and long journeys and missing those who aren’t here any more. It feels like I’m getting older, and the face that looks back at me from the mirror is older than I remember. The painting in the attic is probably getting younger at the moment.

But it’s ok. Because when he looks at me with recognition and understanding about the magic train, or the lions on the carpet, or the man in the moon, it’s worth it. When he reaches over to touch my hair or hug his mother, it’s worth it. And when the bass kicks in and he goes mental, round and round in circles on the floor, laughing and feeling the music there’s not a doubt that he’s the product of his parents. He’s got it, that rush when the music goes like this or like that, you can see the hairs on the back of his neck go up when the voice goes whoosh and the drums go BANG.

He’s my boy, and every minute I’m not asleep is one I can think about him. And that’s good.

The Dells – Wichita Lineman

Here is a gorgeous version of probably the greatest song ever written. It’s by The Dells, best known for the 60s soul classic Stay In My Corner. This is my current obsession and I’ll not write much just so you get around to listening. Then go over to Any Major Dude With Half A Heart and check out, well check out the whole site but also check out his category Covered With Soul, a brilliant series of cover versions by soul artists. This Dells tune is included in volume one.

For easy viewing of the Covered With Soul category click here

Charly Coombes & The New Breed

Ah here’s one more before I go to bed. Charly Coombes & The New Breed; a British band this time. Charly is the younger brother of Gaz Coombes of Supergrass and shares his melodic skill. Here’s a tune called Jungles & Tides, a nice slice of melodic rocking pop, verging on the powerpop with a huge slice of Squeeze. Well worth investigating further.


Big Scary

This Aussie duo are lovely, they have a compilation just coming out of a series of EPs they released last year, the Four Seasons series. This track is called Autumn, and it’s a lovely melodic big widescreen sound, calling to mind Sigur Ros and Arcade Fire and older things like The Waterboys. I like it a lot.