Top Moon Tunes 2019 Volume 2

A month and a bit on from Volume 1 The Moon presents Volume 2 of this years monthlyish top tuneage.  As ever, it is varied, but a bit more rock 'n' roll than Volume 1 and it does get a bit funky. It also contains a one for Dame Shirley Bassey and ends with a slice of cosmic country and then some spooky folk.

As usual it is playable on any old device via Playmoss below, but sadly The Specials and Ian Brown are from UMG and so you have to go direct to Ubend to listen to them.  It is also available in full, with a few adverts for non-subscibers via Spotify

And as ever, there is a bit of guff on each artist beneath the playlist.

1. Deerhunter  - Death In Midsummer

This is the excellent opening track from the 8th studio album from this band from Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I have been aware of them for while, but nothing had taken hold until I first heard this track. It is a good indicator of the album as a whole, which is rather like mid period Wilco or a more interesting Midlake and, according to Pitchfork, it rewires their aural hallmarks. It is therefore no surprise that it is co-produced by Cate Le Bon.

2. Misty Coast  - Backstreet Warriors

One half of Misty Coast is Linn Frøkedal, the sister of Anne Lise Frøkedal - who featured as Frøkedal on Top Moon Tunes 2018 Volume 8. This is the second Misty Coast LP, and I did check it out the first one, but this new LP is bolder, more varied and with some top tuneage. Both sisters have been part of the Norwegian music scene for a while and have released a number of other albums as part of various bands. Anne Lise is currently also a member  I Was  A King and they will soon be releasing a new LP produced by Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub infamy and so there is a very good chance there will be another Frøkedal appearance on Top Moon Tunes 2019.

3. The Specials - BLM

This is a top track from an LP that was very much a contender for Moon album of last month. They are of course a legendary band who provided one of the finest moments of the 80s by getting to number 1 with Ghost Town in the week of Charles and Dianna's wedding and in the wake of the Brixton riots. With this LP they have produced a number of top tracks that would stand up well with their classics as well as a couple of relevant covers  - with the opening track, originally by Equals and two thirds of themselves with a great new version of The Lunatics are Taking Over the Asylum by the Fun Boy Three. Another track that is not really a song, is 10 Commandments, but it features the spoken words and fantastic voice of the activist Saffiyah Khan and the line "curvy size zeroes and anti gravity tits".

4. Ian Brown - First World Problems

For whatever reason the Stone Roses reunion hardly got going, petering out with two unremarkable singles, but Mr Brown has now come back with another fine solo LP and with this lead track which is one of his finest moments. He may not be much of a singer, but he has a great voice and keeps producing the tunes.

5. Pedro The Lion  - Quietest Friend

This is another artist with a long history and one I was unaware of until I heard Yellow Bike thanks to God Is In the TV. It is the original incarnation of David Bazan from Seattle USA and he has returned to it after 15 years and 6 solo LPs. This track and Yellow Bike are two highlights from a top album of rock n' roll inspired by childhood memories.

6 . Yola - Faraway Look

This is the stunning "one for Dame Shirley Bassey" track from a Londoner via Nashville. It is from a debut LP produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys but also now a serial producer of some great LPs from female singer songwriters, including Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey and last years fantastic LP from Shannon Shaw which featured on Top Moon Tunes 2018 Volume 7. This LP does not sustain the brilliance of its opener, but it is a consistently strong and diverse set of country soul and more traditional folk country.

7. Julia Jacklin  - Don't Know How to Keep Loving You

The first entry from a repeat Moon offender as Ms Jacklin has feature on a A Best 17, with a track from her debut solo LP and then last year a track from the belatedly released LP as part of the band Phantastic Ferniture feat ured on on Top Moon Tunes Volume 5 and then again in Volume 9 with  Body the first single from this new solo LP. It suggested a more contemporary sound and is the opening track on the LP, but the rest of it is much more a mix of Phantastic Ferniture and her debut album and, considering this, it is odd that Phantastic Ferniture never get a mention in posts and articles about Ms Jacklin over in Blighty. This track is one that would fit on her debut, but the more rock n' roll tracks add welcome variation and make it a step up from her debut.

8. Stella Donnelly - Old Man

Yet another top new singer songwriter from the land of Oz  and one that is a self proclaimed shit-stirrer. Her debut EP from last year impressed and so has this first single from her forthcoming debut LP. The second single also sounds as good and has a video directed by a certain Julia Jacklin.

9. Du Blonde -  Acetone

From the album of last month on The Moon from the artist who produced the album of the year on The Moon back in 2015. This new album is like a combination of a more low-fi of version of of the rock n' roll from her debut Du Blonde LP, but then also a more robust version of the baroque folk pop of her actual debut as Beth Jeans Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny. This track  is one of the latter.

10. Unloved - Love

One of the more upbeat and poptastic tracks from the second LP from this collaboration between David Holmes, fellow soundtrack composer Keefus Ciancia and singer/songwriter Jade  Vincent. It's release was somewhat overshadowed by much of it being used on the soundtrack for Killing Eve and released as single tracks before it was aired in the US and long before it came out in Blighty. Nothing quite matches the brilliance of When a Woman is Around  from there debut and also used brilliantly in Killing Eve, but it is another class album.

11. TOY- You Make Me Forget Myself

This London UK based band have been on my radar since their debut back in 2012, but I had failed to decipher much in the way of top tuneage in their sheogazey, krautrock  psychedelic sounds. But with this new self produced LP  I finally have and especially with this track which is rather like a combination of two classic Blur b sides from 1993. It is one of the more easy listening tracks on a varied and impressive LP.

12. The Delines  - Let's Be Us Again

The Delines are a self proclaimed retro county band from Portland, Oregon USA. They started out as a side project of Willy Vlautin , the leader of Richmond Fontaine. But since the debut album in 2014 Richmond Fontaine has ceased to exist and Amy Boone, The Delines lead singer has had and had to recovered from a serious car accident. Now The Delines is Mr Vlautin primary songwriting focus and he has produced a fine set of songs that are bolder than anything I came across from his old band and they are very much enhanced by Ms Boone's fantastic voice.

13. Morton Valance - Hey Misty

This London based due have been multiple offenders on The Moon

They have just released another album of understated brilliance and this track just one of many highlights.

14. Mercury Rev ft Susanne Sundfør - Tobacco Road

This is from a brilliant re-recording of the classic Bobbie Gentry album The Delta Sweete from 1968.
Mercury Rev have teamed up with some of the best current female singers, many of whom are previous Moon offenders. This track is a particular highlight and features Norway's Susanne Sundfør, who had not yet featured on The Moon, but probably will again.

Like the Frøkedal sisters, Ms Sundfør has the right of freedom of movement throughout the EU, despite Norway not being in the EU. A nation would have to be very stupid indeed to deny them that freedom.

15. Buffalo Blood - Ten Killer Ferry Lake

A top slice of spooky folk courtesy of Folk Radio UK 

They are a cross-Atlantic folk supergroup who have produced an album  inspired by Scottish singer songwriter Dean Owens visit to sacred Native American lands. Most of the rest of the album is more straight up folk-rock, but it is very fine indeed with wonderful vocal contributions from Audrey Spillman.


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