Choir Boy. Photo via Audiotree.
BEAUTIFUL THINGS PLAYLIST
WEEK 19th - 23rd SEPTEMBER
WEYES BLOOD - ‘IT’S NOT JUST ME, IT’S EVERYBODY’
Weyes Blood has returned, and we could not be more excited with the announcement of a new album. There's no way we could have forseen a new release just a few days after featuring her 2019 track ‘Everyday’ in our last Beautiful Things playlist, but let’s just say we were always crossing our fingers for some new music from the songwriting starlet. ‘It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody’ is nothing short of stunning. Warmth and comfort permeate the track’s lonely undertones like a well-needed embrace, a shoulder to lean on in the face of a crisis. The piano are a soft bed for her pure, crisp alto, with Mary Lattimore’s ethereal harp adding the perfect embellishments. It doesn’t venture too far from the sound of her previous album Titanic Rising. In fact, it seems to act more as an extension into that world - which makes sense, since she has revealed that this album will be the second part of a trilogy.
You can pre-order And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow by Weyes Blood via the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
BEACH HOUSE - ‘ASTRONAUT’
Let’s go back to Beach House’s second album, Devotion. Hearing these songs fourteen years after its release is when you realise that they’ve always been innovators of a new type of dream pop - a simple, effortless virtuosity, combining drum machines, guitars, organs and vocals to create a unique eclipse. ‘Astronaut’ moves through a series of verses before an irresistible climax emits a euphoric imagination, as if you truly are traversing space and watching the earth from above.
You can find the album Devotion by Beach House via the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
AMAMELIA - ‘COLOUR BOX’
Amamelia's latest release, 'Colourbox', is lush, syrupy and ethereal. Piano chords, synth strings and reedy melodies cruise atop a fluttering beguine beat, reminiscent of playful experiments on Casiotone keyboards, or the games you might have played on your Nintendo. Vocals from Maddison Van Staden (Van Staden and Bohm) and Hannah Rewick are the perfect addition, adding an even more playful colour to the track. Once the breakbeat kicks in, the track becomes irresistibly danceable. The tracks' chimes and strings are diaphanous, but it manages to retain warmth and earthiness with woody synths and a beat that keeps us connected with the physical world. It pairs absolutely perfectly with Simon Ward's visual accompaniment; a fuzzy, colourful fusion of natural and animated sphere. It evokes an otherworldly energy - like one of the most lucid dreams you've ever had (perhaps set in the Animal Crossing universe), with a slightly distorted sheen because you can't remember every detail.
You can pre-order Bananamelia! by Amamelia via her Bandcamp here.
CHOIR BOY - ‘NITES LIKE THIS’
It was hard for me not to fall in love with the angelic dream pop of Salt Lake City band Choir Boy. ‘Nites Like This’ incorporates the rich, lavish stylings of 80’s synth pop, with lead singer Adam Klopp commanding the threads with poise and a touch of melodrama.
You can find the album Gathering Swans by Choir Boy via the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
KUEDO - ‘SLIDING THROUGH OUR FINGERS’
Kuedo’s latest album, Infinite Window, is a quick storm of cinematic, beatless pieces. This track is my favourite. It is a warm, kaleidoscopic event, with ascending synths transforming into beat fragments, each fractal enveloping the other, constantly developing and un-developing. The cyclic motif is a swirling hypnosis, making the song feel like it could last forever.
You can find the album Infinite Window by Kuedo via the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
MAXINE FUNKE - ‘ROOM IN THE CITY’
Enigmatic Dunedin-based songwriter, Maxine Funke, has shared a new single 'Room In The City' - a gentle, subdued ode to personal space, and finding belonging in the busy midst of metropolis. The piece is deeply intimate - so close that you can hear the movement in the room it was recorded in. The simple arrangement is perfectly balanced, not unlike the shaded coos of Vashti Bunyan or Sibylle Baier - just a sweet finger-plucked guitar, flute, and vocals. The song is accompanied by a music video directed by Christopher Schmelz, featuring cosy analogue-treated visuals. A humble, yet wonderful world to dive into - this soon to be available collection is coming on October 7 via Disciples Records.
You can pre-order Pieces of Driftwood by Maxine Funke via the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
BABY ZIONOV - ‘HENRIETTA’S MELANCHOLY’
Tāmaki-based producer, beat maker and singer Baby Zionov released her album Henrietta earlier this year and I have had it on repeat. 'Henrietta's Melancholy' is a 4 minute, 39 second genre-bending saga, seamlessly floating through sonic dimensions and flirting with elements of funk, house and breakbeat. The 'Dream House Version' is a longer, even more blissful reinvention, gently warming your limbs as you close your eyes in the middle of the dancefloor.
You can find the album Henrietta by Baby Zionov via her Bandcamp here.