Holy hell, it’s been a long time since I organised something sweet for the Mid-week Mixtape. For first time visitors, this is the part of the blog where I hand the tapping and typing over to musicians and ask them to share some of their favourite tracks and tell us a little bit about why those songs resonate with them. If you click back through the archives you will find contributions from Sui Zhen, Jack Colwell, boy outside and Laura Imbruglia. But, hold up, we have fresh stuff first!
This week’s Mid-week Mixtape is brought to you by the lovely Edward Deer. Ed is a Sydney based singer-songwriter who can currently be found on Wednesday nights at Newtown’s legendary Sandringham Hotel:
His residency lasts until September 29, so catch him while you can. And in the meantime, check out his good taste in tunes here…
The National – Slow Show
Anyone who thinks that a love song written in our day and age can’t offer anything new needs to listen to this. It provides clever turns of phrase (‘I leaned on the wall, the wall leaned away’) alongside unexpected lyrical detours and brutally honest admissions (‘Can I get a minute of not being nervous and not thinking of my dick?’). As a singer, Matt Berninger has been a big influence on me by showing how a restrained baritone can pack an emotional wallop.
The Radio Dept. – Domestic Scene
This Swedish band released what I reckon is the most underrated thing that I’ve heard this year (underrated in Australia anyway) – an album called ‘Clinging to a Scheme’. Three years in the making with awesome dreamy melodies and a wonderful balance between lo-fi production and hi-fi attention to detail (if that even makes sense). The second song on the record, ‘Heaven’s on Fire’, should have been a big radio hit here. I think it’d really appeal to fans of The Avalanches, Ariel Pink et al…
David Byrne – Glass, Concrete & Stone
A remarkable man and a bottomless pit of creativity. ‘Stop Making Sense’ might be the greatest concert film of all time. My parents tell me that as a child, I used to watch the VHS and mimic David Byrne as he set down the tape recorder prop at the start of the film before performing ‘Psycho Killer’. It’s an appreciation I’ve carried with me ever since. His songs are endlessly inventive and uniquely arranged, but almost always anchored by a genius hook.
PJ Harvey – The Garden
PJ Harvey’s songwriting is raw, fearless and intensely powerful. I’ve seen her a few times live and each time was better than the last. ‘Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea’ is probably my favourite PJ album and ‘This Mess We’re In’ my favourite song. But everyone always says that, so I thought I’d pick something from ‘Is This Desire?’ cos it’s a tremendous and often overlooked record filled with great songs.