Minnie Riperton. Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns via Getty.
BEAUTIFUL THINGS PLAYLIST
WEEK 15th - 19th AUGUST
LOMELDA - 'KISSES'
If you're looking for a cosy album to help you through the winter blues, look no further than Hannah, the sixth album from Hannah Read AKA Lomelda. The first track, 'Kisses' captures the magic of her songwriting, with lush muted pianos creating the perfect bed for her sweetly understated voice to lay on top of. But this track is only the tip of what the rest of the album has to unfold; an intimate projection of Read's struggles and triumphs, translated so wistfully into a gorgeous collection of songs.
You can find the album Hannah by Lomelda on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
LAURIE ANDERSON - 'LET X = X'
Big Science is the debut album from experimental, avant garde artist Laurie Anderson, who gained a significant musical following after the single 'O Superman' shot to No. 2 in the UK. It is an album that is fixated on the idea of time and space, projecting thoughts about the future and ideas about how modern life might be the cause of our indefinite demise. Considering that this was composed in 1982, the language still stands very relevant today. 'Let X=X', narrated by Anderson's spoken word, is an abstract electronic exploration, with exaggerated syllables and concise rhythms balancing the ethereal synth work. If you haven't explored Laurie Anderson's strange and insightful sound world, now is the time. She has something to say.
You can find the album Big Science by Laurie Anderson on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
THE CONTORTIONS - 'DESIGNED TO KILL'
The Contortions were central figures in the New York no wave scene in the 70's, led by vocalist and saxophonist James Chance. 'Designed To Kill' is a clattering, flamboyant funk-based piece, drawing on elements of free jazz and punk to illustrate the chaotic ethos of the genre. You can also find them on Brian Eno's compilation, No New York.
You can find the album Buy by The Contortions on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
SOFT BAIT - 'TRUE STORIES'
Tāmaki-based outfit, Soft Bait, have untied their second single, 'True Stories' - an electrifying post punk ripper paired with an equivalently charged-up music video (edited by band member Ezra Simons) featuring vocalist Josh Hunter encased in an aluminium foil-plastered room. Despite how claustrophobic it looks in there, he seems perfectly ok dancing and declaiming thoughts on conspiracy and misinformation. And that's when you realise that the shiny, all encompassing foil and his too-cool moves are simply a reflection on how easy it is to be surrounded by false claims that we can be so comfortable absorbing.
You can support Soft Bait on Bandcamp here.
RECITALS - 'GRADIENT'
Recitals have unveiled the third and final single from their upcoming debut album, Orbit I. ‘Gradient’ is a dynamic sentiment that divulges the state of the world’s climate, reflected sonically through the musical tensity and release - from the sparsity in the introduction, with its bare vocals and spidery synth, to the explosive breakdowns capturing the band’s potent energy.
You can pre-order their upcoming album, Orbit I on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
HOMESHAKE - 'REAL LOVE'
The wobbly world of Homeshake, AKA Peter Sagar, is a hot sonic bath to melt in on a cold day. He was originally a member of Mac Demarco's live band, and when listening to his solo music you can totally hear where his sounds have have seeped in to Demarco's live performances. 'Real Love' is a buttery, floaty cacophony spread out over a perfectly lazy beat, with his falsetto adding a sweet texture on the top.
You can find the album Midnight Snack by Homeshake on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
MIRROR RITUAL - 'FEAR IN ALL'
Te Whanganui-A-Tara/Wellington-based psych-kosmische pop group Mirror Ritual (formerly known as Transistor) have just dropped their latest offering - 'Fear In All', paired with a competitive, table tennis-fuelled music video directed by Hunter Blair. According to band-member Lochie Noble, the song has been a long time in the making (sometimes, good things take time, alright?). Originally crafted in 2018, the song had multiple revisions before eventually taking shape into the rolling dream-hypnotic piece it is today.
You can support Mirror Ritual on their Bandcamp here.
MINNIE RIPERTON - 'CLOSE YOUR EYES AND REMEMBER'
Minnie Riperton's album Come To My Garden is so beautiful - it is no wonder she was Stevie Wonder's favourite singer. 'Close Your Eyes And Remember' is one of my favourites from the record; her honey-coated vocals pair perfectly with the lush tones of the harps, pianos and strings that paint a picture abundant with flowers and sweet smells.
You can find the album Come To My Garden by Minnie Riperton on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
BOBBIE GENTRY - 'COURTYARD'
You can find the album The Delta Sweeties by Bobbie Gentry on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.
THE VIOLENT FEMMES - 'BLISTER IN THE SUN'
Yes, of course I'm going to include this undeniable classic. It's catchy and reeks of hot sun on concrete. The jangly guitar and wild vocals hook onto my ears and stick in my brain for days after I press play.
You can find the self-titled album by The Violent Femmes on the Flying Nun Record Shop here.