* [Disclaimer] ‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue’ is a desperate attempt to show that my musical palette isn’t as bland as a chino-wearing yacht owner from Norfolk called Keith eating a plate of couscous with a biodegradable knife and fork that he bought in a 2 for 1 special at ASDA while watching a highlight reel of ‘The 80s Greatest Quiz Show Moments’ in his fully carpeted, decadent bungalow in Slough. Please enjoy this week’s selection of (hopefully) great music. *
Something Old: Lion & The Lamb – ‘All For You’
Lion & The Lamb released only one album in 1978, but midway through that forgotten relic (inventively named Lion & The Lamb) lies ‘All For You’, a song that could polish even the most turdiest of days. It’s simple and pure, with the most perfect five-note guitar riff constantly dripping into your right ear after every bar until it becomes the soundtrack to your day. With delicate acoustic strumming, a hip-tilting staccato bass line, and choral voice pieces, ‘All For You’ is the musical equivalent of witnessing a double rainbow. Over the top of this absolute harmony, a succulent guitar solo concludes the track and leaves you with an irremovable smile on your face.
Something New: Von Wigen Lisbeth – ‘Der Untergang des Abendlandes’
I have absolutely no idea what these chaps are saying, but from the moment the rusty trumpet kicks in over a deliciously clickety-clackety drum beat its clear the next four minutes will be effortlessly fun. The song’s strength lies in its instrumentation, as its adventurous bass line seems to waddle around, lazily bumping into the perfect note every time, and the drums carry a melody all of their own. On top of this, the arpeggio keyboard elements that command the bridge are just so happy and fulfilling, adding a real sunshine to the already summer-evoking track. Another song perfected by its outro, ‘Der Untergang des Abendlandes’ fades out safe in the knowledge that you’re a lot happier after listening to the song than you were beforehand.
Something Borrowed: Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark – ‘I Know, Didn’t I’
Darondo’s ‘Didn’t I’ is one of the smoothest soul songs born this side of the millennium, and its clunky bluegrass guitar chords, vibrato violins and hoarse vocals make for the perfect sample. Sped up, and with a slick excessively hi-hatted drum beat, Slimkid3 and DJ Nu-Mark give ‘Didn’t I’ new life in the form of ‘I Know, Didn’t I’. The rap ebbs and flows with a variety that avoids stagnation, the chorus grooves with a hook that makes your head swivel a whole 360°, and the sampled vocals echo with a disorientating tone; it garnishes perfection. Despite this, the track remains as smooth as the original it takes its sample from, a remarkably difficult feat.
Something Blue: The Tallest Man on Earth – ‘Love is All’
2010’s The Wild Hunt by the Tallest Man on Earth is beyond beautiful, but one of its tracks has always stuck out to me: ‘Love is All’. Since hearing the song performed on Later with Jools Holland, I have never been able to fully process the bittersweet town with which the song seems to disembody you. The ultimate example of Kristian Matsson’s astonishing blend of blues and folk music, ‘Love is All’ exemplifies the intricate finger picking and song structure, as well as the unique gravelly voice with which Matsson has defined himself ever since this breathless debut. Achieving so much with just one guitar and one voice, Matsson packs his song with an emotional charge that is immediately breath-taking, devastatingly haunting. And with the murky vinyl scratch sound effect that underpins the whole song, it is spotless.
Edit: Unfortunately, Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark’s “I Know, Didn’t I” no longer exists on Spotify… so enjoy HONNE’s version instead!