Music News 20 Aug Featured Image

Music News (Aug 20 2022): First Aid Kit, Sylvan Esso, Thelma Plum, ALMA, Tink, SOHN

First Aid Kit – Out of My Head 

Words hung heavy upon my shoulders

Slowly drowning in the sound

Every door just flew open

Praying I’d stay tethered to the ground

The second single from the new album Palomino planned for November. I missed them so much! These two Swedish ladies really know how to make good Country-infused Folk Pop music! Authentic, inventive, with Fleetwood Mac molecules, I adored them ever since their 2009 single Hard Believer. With their father being a member in the pop-rock band Lolita Pop and their mother a cinematography teacher… I guess you could imagine the context in which these two brilliant sisters developed their taste for style and music writing. In 2005, when Klara was 12, a friend introduced her to the band Bright Eyes. This led her to Country and Folk music stars such as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, the Carter Family, Louvin Brothers, Townes Van Zandt, Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. The same year, she received a guitar as a Christmas present and quickly learned to play it. Johanna enjoyed a wide range of music, from Britney Spears to German techno.

When she saw the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and listened to its soundtrack, she was inspired to sing Down in the River to Pray with Klara. Fascinated by the result, the two began to sing together, first at home and then as street singers in the Stockholm metro and in front of liquor stores. Klara chose the name for their band at age 13 by looking through a dictionary. She found the term “first aid kit” and thought it best described what she wanted her music to be. Klara and Johanna began to write their own songs inspired by Devendra Banhart and CocoRosie, among others, without much influence from their parents, who preferred Patti Smith, Velvet Underground and the Pixies. That’s how you live in Scandinavian families when you learn to grow constructively – you just get out there and let the music do the talking…

Please listen to the more harmonious first single Angel as well, with some of its incisive lyrics below:

I’ve been afraid all of my life

Crippled with anxiety shame and doubt

And sometimes sometimes I’d like to shout

At the top of my lungs to just let it out

What has that fear ever done for me

But hold me back

O what has jealousy and hate ever done for you

But remind you of what you think you lack

Sylvan Esso – No Rules Sandy

With their second album nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album and having attained worldwide fame, Sylvan Esso return on Loma Vista with their fourth long-play effort called No Rules Sandy. The American Electronic Pop duo from Durham, North Carolina, formed in 2013, sometimes sounds like it escaped from the UK Grime scene, even reminding me of UK Garage. A conglomeration of clever beats tethered by the bright vocals of Mountain Man’s Amelia Meath. As if Disclosure decided to make an experimental album with My Brightest Diamond.

Thelma Plum – Meanjin

The Aboriginal Australian singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Delungra is back after having survived COVID with her third and very tonic EP. Thelma Amelina Plumbe was born and went to college in Brisbane. She toured a lot and became a regular in Triple J radio playlists. With Katie Melua tendencies, but also taking more danceable Pop shapes and often finding refuge in some Norah Jones nostalgic corners, she manages to keep you connected to an imaginary sunset drive, licking your wounds and healing yourself from Life, for Life, with Life.

ALMA – I Forgive Me 

“It’s a song that I wrote for myself when I needed to forgive me! I’ve always been very hard on myself. If I do something wrong or “bad” I tend to really stay in that horrible feeling and can’t really find ways to overcome those situations. Writing helps me a lot and talking to my friends, but if I hurt someone’s feelings or make them feel bad for some reason I find those situations very hard to overcome. It got to a point that I was trying to make everyone like me despite that being impossible. There’s always gonna be people that just don’t like you or what you do. Also I think we are all such a hypocrites towards each other, so ready to judge others without knowing their story. I really do feel like talking and listening to each other and forgiveness for yourself & others is the key to find your own peace and happiness.”

Tink – Pillow Talk

Here we are. New album from this R&B powerhouse. I remember 2014 and her collaborating with Jeremih on Don’t Tell Nobody. Then Timbaland locking her in his Mosley Music, indicating that Aaliyah had described Tink as the one and having her struggling to exit a toxic contract until 2017. A few mixtapes and a lot of Drake-like sentiment. Pillow Talk is produced by Hitmaka. She denied that there is a relationship between them in recent podcasts, mentioning that they focus only on the music together. It’s really bedroom music at 2 in the morning. It is meant to bathe Love in even more syrup.

SOHN – M.I.A.

Latest single from SOHN, taken from forthcoming (his third) album Trust. We all enjoyed his return from spring with two fresh singles. We still have a little while to wait until the digital release of the entire disc on September 2. After 4 albums with his Trouble Over Tokyo project, in 2010 he reinvented himself as SOHN. The Brits from 4AD grabbed it immediately and still have it under their care even today with the new release.

Trust marks a seismic shift in perception and direction for the solo artist, echoing SOHN’s new responsibility as the father of three children. Moving from Los Angeles to the serenity of Catalunya and the experience of parenthood changed his mindset. I felt this kind of openness I hadn’t felt before, and I realized I couldn’t do it alone anymore – I was missing community and friendship in life and the creative process, SOHN says. For the first time in his decade-long career the producer invited others to help him bring a new album to life, returning to LA (where he recorded Rennen) to work with Yakob, Mike Sonier, Jesse Boykins III, Ryan Linvill, Noah Le Gros and Emile Mosseri.  Community, intimacy, family, and openness are key themes on Trust as the British producer reflects on his past life (Vienna in Figureskating, Neusiedlersee) and present reality (Montardit, Segre).

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Featured Image is Quasar by Charlene Cowden

Other Works by Charlene Cowden:

Night Drive
Moonlit Night
Find Your Center

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