Earlier I declared my love for Jamie Cullum’s album ‘Catching Tales’. The sweet calmness of the sound can still get me to shut up and listen. Signs were that for his fifth album ‘Momentum’, Cullum was quite done with being ‘that jazzy guy with the piano’. The collaboration with Roots Manuva wasn’t overwhelming, but certainly showed another side of Jamie Cullum. This Monday, ‘Momentum’ was finally released. I’m not sure yet how many sides of Jamie we’re hearing.
The album starts of with pop. Everything You Didn’t Do and Edge of Something show some serious pop song quality, but don’t manage to catch my attention. When I Get Famous does, as a brass section is pulled out and Jamie Cullum’s got more swing than ever. Sadly enough, the momentum’s immediately lost by the following track Love For $ale, which is dark and slow. After that, Jamie reverts to his old recognizable jazz flavors, with outliers to pop song sounds we’ve heard too many of. With 15 tracks in total, Cullum seems to be lost in quantity. Every time the album starts establishing itself in a certain sound, it moves to another. Which is sad with a wonderful artist as Cullum: it could’ve been so much more.
Sometimes you discover artists that have been around for ages and you feel stupid for not having found out about them earlier. This happened to me with Michael Jackson. No, I’m kidding. But it happened to me with Lightning Dust today and by what I’ve heard so far it’s too bad I hadn’t found out earlier. On the other hand, I have lots of new music to listen to now. The song that made me discover Lightning Dust, a side-project of rock group Black Mountain, is Diamond, for which they released the video today, and I must say it’s my favourite song by the band up until now.
I find it hard to describe Lightning Dust’s music without getting into clichés with words like dreamy, soft-focus, new-wave, and I must say those are the words that describe their music best. So why not? Diamond is a 70’s inspired soft-pop tune that sounds like a more sweet and warm version of Beach House, with beautiful repeating synth riffs accompanied by simple drums and most importantly: Amber Webber’s beautiful vocals. The video is as good as the song is, with three women suddenly doing a synchronized swimming routine in a public pool: using art to overcome the regular.
The past few days had been pretty scarce in music if you ask me, besides the Mount Kimbie album stream and Kanye West’s head up on 66 walls: nothing too interesting seemed to have happened. Until I found this. AlunaGeorge have already proved that a good singer and a good producer forming a duo together isn’t strange, on the contrary: them teaming up together, thus without the focus being on either one of them individually, made them one of my favourite duo’s of the past few year, and now I have found some competition for them by the name of 14th.
Though the name might be a little odd, this duo sure isn’t: Tom Barber and Tracy Duodo form a perfect team and, besides the fact that they’re touring with Bonobo, their cover of Tina Moore and Indo proves that they can compete on the highest level. Combining Indo’s R U Sleeping with Tina Moore’s Never Gonna Let You Go, they deliver a stunning track that is slow and beautiful, like a more soothing, dreamy, less beat-focused version of artists like AlunaGeorge or Lulu James. While 14th have only just popped up on my radar I can imagine them taking the music scene by storm later this year.
Last week, Kanye West embarrassed himself by bouncing his head against a traffic sign while being filmed. Kanye has many talents and qualities, but something he doesn’t own, is a self-deprecating sense of humor. Kanye doesn’t like to see himself humiliated. Now he strikes back; his beloved head which he bounced before against the traffic sign, now appeared projected at 66 buildings across the world. It was the video for his most recent track New Slaves and is a emotionally heavy, deadly serious track. Substantively I can’t say too much about New Slaves because of the poor audio quality, but it is clear that the track is Mr. West-worthy. He never disappoints.
That is the reason that he is - in my opinion - the only musician who may compare himself to something metaphysical. He once said that he wanted to be as big as Michael Jackson. I was really sceptic reading this, but currently I truly think we don’t need to rule out the chance of Kanye doing it. Naming his album ‘Yeezus’ is one step further on his quest. Now Kanye officially committed to the idea that he is an inhuman, divine figure; the next step is to convince the audience by releasing another irresistible album. Knowing Kanye, he will probably succeed.
I will be honest with you; I am a huge fanboy of King Krule. He really is one of my favorite artists around: every time something new is released by Krule, I get excited like never before. To me, he is the absolute king of pronunciation; the way he mumbles and sings his mysterious lyrics are reason enough for me to become excited. The reviews about his latest Edgar The Beatmaker project were variable; though to me it was just a perfect snack while waiting for his debut album. The comments on Mount Kimbie’s new tracks were also diverse. Their new sound got called bare and detached. Until the track featuring King Krule appeared; their recognizable warm sound is back on You Took Your Time.
King Krule gets a lot of vocal space on the simple but dynamic production. It gives Krule the possibility to get elaborate and smart, and it’s gallant that Mount Kimbie give King Krule this glory. But the production is more than just an addition to Krule’s vocals. Mount Kimbie really bring the track to a fantastic ending. And of course King Krule is the icing on the cake. It makes me wonder what his upcoming feature with Frank Ocean will sound like.