Song of the Day

Song Of The Day: Elbow – Golden Slumbers

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Having already released the Little Fictions album back in February, Elbow have just recently released their second album this year, a Best Of collection.

It’s a time honoured tradition and singer Guy Garvey has noted that “Best Ofs are a good way of introducing new fans to a big back catalogue.” I have to wonder though who exactly it is that they’re hoping to introduce to their catalogue through The Best OF Elbow. Other than completists, longtime fans surely have pretty much everything already and as for new fans, well, they’ve all got the internet and all of the streaming services and/or illegal means to obtain said recordings available at their fingertips. So who is this for? Considering that the main draw on this release is the band’s version of The Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers,” newly recorded for UK department store chain John Lewis’ latest Christmas ad, it’s likely that they’re making a play for the stocking stuffer set with this one. And the completists.

While I may question the need for Best Of/Greatest Hits style collections in today’s music market, there’s no question that Elbow have done the Fab Four justice with their take on the Abbey Road classic. The band have just released a video to accompany the song featuring footage from the Michel Gondry-directed ad along with some behind the scenes stuff. Check it out:

“The Best Of” tracklist:

Standard Version:
Grounds for Divorce
Magnificent (She Says)
Lippy Kids
One Day Like This
The Bones of You
My Sad Captains
Leaders of the Free World
Fugitive Motel
New York Morning
Great Expectations
The Birds
Scattered Black and Whites
bonus track
Golden Slumbers

Deluxe Version (bonus tracks):

Any Day Now
Fly Boy Blue / Lunette
Weather to Fly
Station Approach
Switching Off
Little Fictions
This Blue World
Kindling (Fickle Flame) featuring John Grant
Puncture Repair
The Night Will Always Win
The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver
Dear Friends

Song Of The Day: Snail Mail – Thinning

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The end of the year is the time when everyone starts compiling their lists of all the best stuff that came out over the past 12 months, but it’s also a great time to catch up on all the stuff you didn’t hear and to delve deeper into things that you heard but never quite took the time to get into. Snail Mail is one such band.

As far as I know, the band, led by 18 year old Lindsey Jordan, didn’t even release anything this year (their Habit EP came out in 2016) but this year is when they first caught my attention, having seen them opening for Priests back in February and catching a song or two in passing during SXSW last March. While they definitely impressed with their live show, I sort of forgot about them for awhile and was only reminded of the band recently via the Tiny Desk Concert they filmed back in September.

“Thinning” is a standout track from the band, exuding a sort of youthful energy while simultaneously sounding kind of bored (I mean that as the best kind of compliment, of course). At times, Jordan bring to mind Land Of Talk’s Liz Powell as well as Mary Timony (of Helium/Wild Flag/Ex hex fame and also Johnson’s guitar teacher). That’s definitely some good company to be in.

Song Of The Day: Lankum – The Granite Gaze

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Photo by Aidan Kelly Murphy

The stark, haunting sound of self-described “Dublin Folk Miscreants” Lankum somehow seems fitting for a cold winter day. “The Granite Gaze” is hardly an uplifting number, with singer Radie Peat delivering lines such as “they draw the marrow from our very bones and we in turn turned on our own,” “we queued up to eat the dirt,” and “the future’s farther day by day,” yet it’s an oddly compelling song that grabbed my attention from the first moment I heard it.

The song’s lyrics are matched perfectly by the slowly building music, which blends traditional sounds with a range of other influences – the band cites everything from from “American old-timey music, krautrock, ambient techno and psychedelic folk, to black metal, drone, punk and rock n’ roll” in their bio.

Lankum’s Between The Earth And The Sky is out now on Rough Trade Records.

Song Of The Day: Chris Hillman – Wildflowers

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During his time in The Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and several other bands, Chris Hillman pretty much invented the folk rock and country rock sounds, thus cementing his place in music history.

That history continues with his latest release Bidin’ My Time, out on Rounder Records. Produced by the late Tom Petty, the album finds Hillman revisiting some old Byrds tracks (“Bells Of Rhymney” and “She Don’t Care About Time”) as well as contributing his own version of Petty’s “Wildflowers” which naturally adds a touch of bluegrass to the arrangement. Check it out below:

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