🗞️ The Lowdown; 𝐴 𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑐𝑘-𝑓𝑖𝑟𝑒, 𝑏𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑙𝑙-𝑐ℎ𝑒𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑑, 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑙-𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑖𝑛-𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑛𝑦 𝑜𝑛 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑓𝑎𝑣𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑡 𝑤𝑒𝑒𝑘 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑚𝑎𝑦 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑚𝑖𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑑, 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑡𝑜𝑙𝑑 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑖𝑛-𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑟 𝑦𝑜𝑢'𝑑 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑑 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑏𝑒ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟!
1️⃣ Les Imprimés - Rêverie
Another week, another highly recommended slinky little soul number! Released on Big Crown (who else?), ‘Rêverie’ is the debut from Morten Martens, aka Les Imprimés, and it has us all kinds of cooing this week. It is an album with a wholly vintage soul sound to it, from the ethereal vocals down to the heritage production.
📣 Shop Reaction: 𝑃𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑦 𝑚𝑒𝑔𝑎. 𝑊𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑙. 𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑤𝑒 𝑔𝑒𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑙, 𝑤𝑒 𝑡𝑒𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑙 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑏𝑢𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑙 – 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝐼 𝑚𝑒𝑎𝑛? 𝐵𝑢𝑡 𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠𝑙𝑦, 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑝𝑟𝑒-𝑜𝑟𝑑𝑒𝑟 𝑠𝑢𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟; 𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑤𝑒 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑤ℎ𝑜 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑛𝑒𝑤 𝑡𝑜 𝑖𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑙𝑎𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑎𝑟𝑑. 𝑌𝑜𝑢’𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑘 𝑢𝑠.
2️⃣ Khruangbin – Live At RBC Echo Beach
[𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘣𝘺 𝐼𝑚𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑛 𝑩𝒂𝒌𝒆𝒓] Khruangbin continue to cement themselves as one of THE bands of 2023 with their third live album of the year, this time collaborating with dreampop icons Men I Trust. There is a perfect amalgamation of the effortlessly cool original groove of Khruangbin and the blissful, twee tones of Men I Trust: it’s Khruangbin’s most ‘indie’ album yet. Simply, the album offers a wholly dreamy, chilled summer listen; the soundtrack to gentle days in the sun or a cool summer’s eve. What a vibe – if only the sun would stay out long enough to fully appreciate it.
📣 Shop Reaction: 𝐾ℎ𝑟𝑢𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑏𝑖𝑛 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑛𝑜𝑡-𝑠𝑜-𝑠𝑙𝑜𝑤𝑙𝑦 𝑏𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑏𝑜𝑑𝑦 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑠. 𝑇ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑎𝑙𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑑𝑦 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑓𝑎𝑖𝑙 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑝𝑢𝑡 𝑜𝑢𝑡 (𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑡𝑒 𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡, 𝑡𝑜𝑜) 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑓𝑖𝑟𝑠𝑡-𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑠 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑝, 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛.
3️⃣ Public Image Ltd – End Of World
Okay so PiL at this stage aren’t likely to pull something out the bag that matches anything PiL circa 1980 but, fair’s fair, ‘End Of World’ has some cracking stuff on it. ‘Car Chase’ is a rolling, bass-heavy nearly-electronica romp. And, PiL will never steer far wrong when they bring out the dub guns, like on ‘L F C F’ and ‘Pretty Awful’; the album’s best track and genuinely one of the funnest tracks of 2023 – it’s like Killing Joke versus Huey Lewis & The News! And, of course, album closer ‘Hawaii’ is a quite beautiful, tender closer; a goodbye to wife Nora who died earlier this year. John Lydon is 67 now and, whatever we think of his oddness today, this is refreshingly progressive for a chap of that age.
📣 Shop Reaction: 𝑀𝑖𝑥𝑒𝑑, 𝑤𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑘. 𝑆𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑙𝑘 𝑠𝑒𝑒 𝑖𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑎𝑠 𝑤𝑒 𝑑𝑜 (𝑎𝑠 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑣𝑒), 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ 𝐼 𝑠𝑢𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑡 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑚𝑒𝑑. 𝑃𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝐼 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑘𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑎 𝑔𝑟𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟 – 𝑐𝑢𝑒 𝑎 𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑙-𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑏𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑒𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑒𝑒𝑘 ;)
4️⃣ The Hives – The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons
[𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘣𝘺 𝑺𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝑯𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒆𝒕𝒕] The new Hives album pretty much acts as if the last 11 album-less years didn’t happen, in that they sound exactly like they always have. But if you’re like me then that’s absolutely fab news. Despite the somewhat morbid album title, this is an album that you can tell was a joy to make and thus is a joy to listen to. The Hives continue to play tunes that sound like they could be ripped from an unreleased Wilko Johnson era Dr Feelgood album and whilst it may be nothing revolutionary, when they’re this good at what they do, who cares..
📣 Shop Reaction: 𝑊ℎ𝑜 𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑠, 𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑒𝑑. 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐻𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑠 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑏𝑒 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐻𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡’𝑠 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑓𝑎𝑛𝑠 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡. 𝑇𝑟𝑢𝑡ℎ 𝑏𝑒 𝑡𝑜𝑙𝑑, 𝑖𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑠𝑛’𝑡 𝑓𝑙𝑜𝑤𝑛 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑎𝑠 𝑦𝑒𝑡 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑝𝑒𝑟ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑙𝑘 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑎 𝑑𝑎𝑦 𝑜𝑟 𝑡𝑤𝑜 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑖𝑡 𝑜𝑛 𝑦𝑢𝑐𝑘𝑦 𝑦𝑢𝑐𝑘𝑦 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑔. .
5️⃣ Jungle - Volcano
I don’t think any album from the Jungle boys needs us to big it up to sell it – them babies sell themselves – but we will do anyway. New album ‘Volcano’ is absolutely loaded with funky fresh beats and happy hour rhythms. Tracks like ‘Candle Flame’ is pure turn of the millennium dancefloor throwback stuff and it is totally sublime! It’s a record for Summer (if we get one); a record that the band say is “all about the vibe and the flow”, which is absolutely bang on. They’ve worked with Inflo – alleged mastermind behind neo-soul group SAULT – on this one and the soul-slapped influence is crystal clear.
📣 Shop Reaction: 𝐽𝑢𝑛𝑔𝑙𝑒 𝑎𝑙𝑤𝑎𝑦𝑠 𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑠. 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑 - 𝑤𝑒 𝑑𝑜𝑛’𝑡 𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑟𝑒. 𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑟𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑚𝑖𝑠𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑝 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑖𝑠 𝑛𝑜 𝑒𝑥𝑐𝑒𝑝𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛. 𝑂𝑢𝑟 𝑜𝑛𝑙𝑦 𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒𝑛’𝑡 𝑏𝑟𝑜𝑘𝑒𝑛 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑔𝑙𝑖𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠ℎ𝑢𝑓𝑓𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑐𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑝 𝑓𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑟. 𝑀𝑖𝑛𝑑 𝑦𝑜𝑢, 𝑖𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑝𝑖𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑑𝑜𝑤𝑛 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑤𝑒𝑒𝑘𝑒𝑛𝑑.
6️⃣ Teenage Wrist - Still Love
This is one from the previous week but, as we had no Lowdown last week, we wanted to make sure it got its shout out! Our favourite album from last week, ‘Still Love’ is the third full-length from California band Teenage Wrist. An album that grows with every listen too; its grungy heavy rock riffs as catchy as its emo post-rock vocal. Fans of Nothing, Turnstile, High-Vis, October Drift, Reuben et al should check this one for sure. Genuine contender for my (Lee) top 5 of 2023!
📣 Shop Reaction: 𝐴 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑 𝑣𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑦, 𝑤𝑒’𝑙𝑙 𝑘𝑒𝑒𝑝 𝑔𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑡 𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑙 𝑦’𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑏𝑢𝑦 𝑖𝑡! 𝑊𝑒’𝑣𝑒 𝑑𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑖𝑡 𝑏𝑒𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝐺𝑜𝑑 𝑤𝑒’𝑙𝑙 𝑑𝑜 𝑖𝑡 𝑎𝑔𝑎𝑖𝑛!