Friday, 3 April 2015

Art of the Cover - Disasterpeace's "It Follows OST" (2015)

 It Follows cover art


STI-themed horror flick It Follows may not have received a wide release just yet, but the film is already enjoying status as an instant cult classic. Now, the film's soundtrack is set to receive a proper release.

The music for It Follows was composed by Rich Vreeland who, working as Disasterpeace, has previously done a ton of soundtrack work - most notably, he composed original music for Sofia Coppola's Somewhere.

Directed by David Robert Mitchell, It Follows tells the story of a young woman (played by The Guest's Maika Monroe) who is haunted by a strange sexual encounter.

The film's soundtrack is available now digitally overseas, but Milan Records promises that a wide soundtrack release through the label is coming soon. The film itself was recently released through video on demand.


1. Heels 
2. Title
3. Jay 
4. Anyone
5. Old Maid
6. Company 
7. Detroit 
8. Detritus 
9. Playpen 
10. Inquiry 
11. Lakeward 
12. Doppel 
13. Relay 
14. Greg 
15. Snare 
16. Pool 
17. Father 
18. Linger 

Art of the Cover - Sufjan Stevens' "Carrie & Lowell" (2015)


What's the point of singing songs if they'll never even hear you?

Sufjan Stevens' new album, Carrie & Lowell, is his best. This is a big claim, considering his career: 2003's Michigan, 2004's stripped-down Seven Swans, 2005's Illinois, and 2010's knotty electro-acoustic collection The Age of Adz. He's also had residencies at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, collaborated with rappers and the National, donned wings and paint-splattered dayglo costumes, and released Christmas albums. But none of those side projects were ultimately ever as interesting, or effective, as when Sufjan was just Sufjan, a guy with a guitar or piano, well-detailed lyrics, and a gorgeous whisper that could reach into a heartbreaking falsetto.

Part of what makes Carrie & Lowell so great is that it comes after all of those things - the wings, the orchestras—but it feels like you're hearing him for the first time again, and in his most intimate form. This record is a return to the sparse folk of Seven Swans, but with a decade's worth of honing and exploration packed into it. It already feels like his most classic and pure effort.

Sufjan Stevens is back with the magnificent, dark Carrie & Lowell, the follow-up to 2010's The Age of Adz.

An album that poetically copes with death — a painful and lovely reminder that great art comes from pain, and a pointer as to why Stevens has endured so long and so well as an artist.

“Carrie & Lowell” is named for his mother and stepfather, but this album is more about mom. She left him as a baby, and then came and went years after that while she struggled with depression, schizophrenia and addiction. On “Should Have Known Better,” he remembers, “When I was three - three, maybe four - she left us at the video store.” And throughout these songs, he tries to cope with what happens when she’s really gone for good. “Carrie & Lowell”’s most direct and devastating moment, “Fourth of July,” describes being with his mother when she died. He calls her pet names like “my little hawk,” “my star in the sky” and “my dragonfly,” and finally trails off with the repeated line, “we’re all gonna die.” This album is crushingly sad. . 
.... His story and his heartbreak might be unique, but he’s succeeded beautifully in making the pain feel very familiar.

Sufjan Stevens' “Carrie & Lowell” -- an album that poetically copes with death --  is a painful and lovely reminder that great art comes from pain, and it’s a reminder of why he’s endured as an artist.

A few weeks back, Steven's label Asthmatic Kitty put together an explainer, posted on Reddit, that shows how the vinyl edition was mastered and packaged.

Above is the album cover and inner sleeve.

The cover is a photograph of the titular Carrie and Lowell - Stevens' mother and stepfather.


The inner sleeve shows a young and dapper Sufjan eating a banana at the breakfast table, as mom hovers behind.


The album's back cover features another nice shot of Carrie and (a bit of) Lowell.

Above is the lyric sheet - which surely, some intrepid Stevens fans had magnified to 100x and had been poring over for weeks!

The label points out that the lyric sheet features the songs out of order from the way they actually appear on the album.



Side A
  1. "Death with Dignity" – 3:59
  2. "Should Have Known Better" – 5:07
  3. "All of Me Wants All of You" – 3:41
  4. "Drawn to the Blood" – 3:18
  5. "Fourth of July" – 4:39

Side B
  1. "The Only Thing" – 4:44
  2. "Carrie & Lowell" – 3:14
  3. "Eugene" – 2:26
  4. "John My Beloved" – 5:04
  5. "No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross" – 2:40
  6. "Blue Bucket of Gold" – 4:43

Art of the Poster - Liliana Cavani's "Il Portiere Di Notte" [aka 'The Night Porter'] (1974)

The Video - Bob Dylan's "The Night We Called It A Day"


Dylan goes gangster in the murderous new Noirish clip for  "The Night We Called It A Day".

From the wonderful opening RKO-style credits, and shot in striking black & white (of course), the video's a homage to Dylan's beloved Fifties Film Noir genre of films.

Yap, guns, gals, booze, baddies, double-crosses, femme-fatales, duplicitous dolls, slicked-back haircuts, hats, blondes and bullets!

Taken from his recent collection of songs performed by Frank Sinatra, Shadows In The Night, the black and white film pitches the singer as a double-crossing double-crosser as he and his gal trick a well-moneyed rube to his death … before turning on each other.

Hot on the heels of the wonderful recent The Basement Tapes Raw: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11, Bob's new studio album, Shadows In The Night, dropped a few weeks back.

"Shadows In The Night" is the 36th studio set from Bob Dylan and marks the first new music from the artist since the wonderful 2012 collection, Tempest.

The album features ten songs recorded live in the studio by Dylan and his band, and was produced by the singer under his pseudonym Jack Frost.

His Bobness said of his new release.....
“It was a real privilege to make this album. I've wanted to do something like this for a long time but was never brave enough to approach 30-piece complicated arrangements and refine them down for a 5-piece band. That's the key to all these performances. We knew these songs extremely well. It was all done live. Maybe one or two takes. No overdubbing. No vocal booths. No headphones. No separate tracking, and, for the most part, mixed as it was recorded.”

The Night We Called It A Day was written by Matt Dennis and Tom Adair and first published in 1941. It appeared on Sinatra’s 1957 classic, Where Are You?

Although the songs are all acknowledged standards – tackled at some point by Frank Sinatra – Dylan insists he’s brought a new approach to the likes of The Night We Called It A Day and Some Enchanted Evening.

“I don’t see myself as covering these songs in any way,” Bob explains. “They’ve been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day.”

Proving that he can mix it with today’s gangster-inspired artists – though adding a touch of old time class to some violent proceedings – Bob Dylan has released a crime-ridden video for his recording of The Night We Called It A Day.

With the song’s gentle lilt mixing with an Untouchables-like setting, The Night We Called It A Day’s video is a sweet, if murderous, hark back to yesteryear America, though with a bodycount of at least two, Dylan proves he’s one mean customer.

The plot of a doomed love triangle unfolds quickly, wrapping up in just over three minutes with Dylan engaged in a shootout with police. The style of the video perfectly suits the album and seems to tie it all together, helping to put the whole of Shadows in the Night into perspective.

Dylan stars in the video along with Eddie Constantine lookalike, Robert Davi and the lovely Tracy Phillips.

The film was directed by Nash Edgerton – a stuntman and filmmaker who has previously helmed acclaimed clips for Dylan’s Must Be Santa Claus, Beyond Here Lies Nothin and Duquesne Whistle.

Art of the Cover - Lower Dens' "Escape From Evil" (2015)

Lower Dens have just released the follow-up to 2012’s gorgeous Nootropics.

A collection which showcase the Baltimore quartet’s descent into ’80s-inspired minimalist pop.

On Escape From Evil, the band's lead singer Jana Hunter emerges: cerebral and hot-blooded, rash and incorruptible, and, crucially, possessing of a loud, clear voice. Hunter is stepping up and taking center stage has emboldened every other aspect of the band.

Escape From Evil is a cinematic, tonally rich work. The sounds are clean and warm. The pulse of the album is very strong indeed!

The album was produced by Jana Hunter with no small help from Chris Coady (known for his work on acclaimed albums bu the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Blonde Redhead ... etc.).

Escape From Evil is out now on Ribbon Music.


1. "Sucker's Shangri-La"   4:57
2. "Ondine"   3:06
3. "To Die In L.A."   4:11
4. "Quo Vadis"   3:34
5. "Your Heart Still Beating"   5:26
6. "Electric Current"   4:08
7. "I Am The Earth"   5:07
8. "Non Grata"   2:59
9. "Company"   4:32
10. "Société Anonyme"   3:20

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Art of the Poster - Wong Kar Wai's "As Tears Go By" [aka "Fallen Angels"] (1988)

The Video - Real Estate's "Talking Backwards"

I might as well be talking backwards ... am I making any sense to you? 

It's the Jersey boys, Real Estate, with the gorgeous "Talking Backwards".

The song is a highlight from - and lead single to - the mighty "Atlas" LP; one of my favourite albums of 2014.

A beautiful, minimalist, alt-country tinged, song of the slow painful demise of love.

'Were not getting any closer' ... indeed.

All built on some sumptuous riffs that remind me (a huge amount!) of a particular Stars of Heaven song from the 80s .... just saying!!

The nice bullshit-free vid is below.

Art of the Cover - Father's "Who's Gonna Get F*cked First?" (2015)


 Run up on me, leave you looking like Eddie Winslow in that episode when he got his ass beat

The SoundCloud description of Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First? states its intent plainly: "32-mins of pure, unfiltered debauchery." This is party music about girls and drugs and fights, over efficient beats with lots of empty space. The unprintable title might give some initial pause, but it fits. Even more than partying, this is an album about sex - weird, freaky, intoxicated, potentially group sex - but also, consensual, mutually pleasurable, and age-appropriate. Father handles the topic with a maturity and egalitarianism that feels revelatory, resulting in the most sex-positive rap release of the year.


Who’s Gonna Get F*cked First?
Back in the “A” Freestyle / On Me
Read Her Lips (feat. Ethereal)
Gurl (feat. Abra)
Slow Dance (Interlude)
Morena (feat. Stalin Majesty & Abra)
BET Uncut (feat. Richposlim)
Spoil You Rotten
Vamp (feat. Tommy Genesis)
Highway 101
Everybody in the Club Gettin’ Shot
Suicide Party (feat. Slug Christ & KeithCharles Spacebar)

The Art - Cold White Sheets

Cult Cuties - Green Eyed Monster

Art of the Cover - Van Morrison's "Duets: Re-Working The Catalogue" (2015)

The cantankerous curmudgeon is back again ... and with a few pals in  tow!

Yap, Morrison‘s 35th studio album, the snappily titled, Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue, has the Irish legend paired up with some of the greatest names in music, including Mark Knopfler, Michael Bublé, Taj Mahal, Mavis Staples, Steve Winwood, Chris Farlowe, Natalie Cole, Joss Stone and more, singing an array of deep cuts from Morrison’s vast catalogue of songs. 

“Real Real Gone,” Morrison’s duet with Bublé, is a high-energy standout, with Bublé’s vocals meshing perfectly with Morrison’s while also showing a slightly ragged yet relaxed delivery that we don’t normally see on Bublé’s more polished albums. 

And that’s part of the appeal of this record: all of these marquee vocalists sing with Morrison the way we’ve been singing with Morrison’s records for more than 50 years — openly, joyously, freely. 


1. “Some Peace of Mind” with Bobby Womack
(original version released on Hymns to the Silence, 1991)

2. “Lord, If I Ever Needed Someone” with Mavis Staples
(original version released on His Band and the Street Choir, 1970)

3. “Higher Than the World” with George Benson
(original version released on Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, 1983)

4. “Wild Honey” with Joss Stone
(original version released on Common One, 1980)

5. “Whatever Happened to P.J. Proby” with P.J. Proby
(original version released on Down the Road, 2002)

6. “Carrying a Torch” with Clare Teal
(original version released on Hymns to the Silence, 1991)

7. “The Eternal Kansas City” with Gregory Porter
(original version released on A Period of Transition, 1977)

8. “Streets of Arklow” with Mick Hucknall
(original version released on Veedon Fleece, 1974)

9. “These are the Days” with Natalie Cole
(original version released on Avalon Sunset, 1989)

10. “Get on With the Show” with Georgie Fame
(original version released on What’s Wrong With This Picture, 2003)

11. “Rough God Goes Riding” with Shana Morrison
(original version released on The Healing Game, 1997)

12. “Fire in the Belly” with Steve Winwood
(original version released on The Healing Game, 1997)

13. “Born to Sing” with Chris Farlowe
(original version released on No Plan B, 2012)

14. “Irish Heartbeat” with Mark Knopfler
(original version released on Irish Heartbeat, 1988)

15. “Real Real Gone” with Michael Bublé
(original version released on Enlightenment, 1990)

16. “How Can a Poor Boy” with Taj Mahal
(original version released on Keep It Simple, 2008)

The Art - Yuka's Mirror

Tattoo You - Beep Beep m' Beep Beep, Yeah

The Art - And you in your autumn sweater

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Art of the Cover - Rhiannon Giddens' "Tomorrow Is My Turn" (2015)

Rhiannon will hypnotise you into buying a crate of her album if you stare at this shot long enough!

Yap, Carolina Chocolate Drops singer, Rhiannon Giddens has just released her debut solo record, 

The cover photo posing actually looks just like a well known portrait of a young Joan Baez - see below.

 Rhiannon recently spoke to thebluegrasssituation of the coincidence, saying ...
"Sheer coincidence. I didn’t actually know about it until we posted the album cover on Facebook and someone responded with the picture of Joan in the comments. Then I put them up side-by-side and said, ‘Oh my gosh, look at these pictures!’ ... It’s a total coincidence but it’s pretty awesome."
She also spoke of her high regard for Baez ...
".... even before I got into roots music, when I was still into opera, Joan’s early records were in heavy rotation."
Given the theme of the record, it's fitting the album cover would emulate one of her heroines, coincidence though it was.

This fine collection comes hot on the heels  of Giddens' excellent contributions to the Bob Dylan project,  Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes by the collective The New Basement Tapes - aka Rhiannon and some unknowns called  Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith and Jim James!

Rhiannon has also just released a single version of Bob Dylan's classic Forever Young with Iron & Wine. as used in the final episode of the NBC series Parenthood.

Giddens really started to show the world what she was made of when she took the mike at New York City's Town Hall in late 2013. There, she ignited the stage with her interpretation of Odetta's "Water Boy" as part of the 'Another Day, Another Time' concert, an event inspired by the Coen brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis.Many critics wrote that Giddens had the best performance at what was called "the concert of the year"

Her masterful singing caught the attention of famed producer T Bone Burnett who promptly invited Giddens to record her 'dream album.' 

And now, a year or so later, here it is .... the Burnett produced "Tomorrow Is My Turn" - a wonderful collection of interpretations of great songs made famous by Patsy Cline, Odetta, Dolly Parton, and Nina Simone, among others.


01. Last Kind Words (4:14)
02. Don't Let It Trouble Your Mind (3:40)
03. Waterboy (3:45)
04. She's Got You (4:17)
05. Up Above My Head (3:10)
06. Tomorrow is My Turn (4:37)
07. Black Is the Color (3:46)
08. Round About the Mountain (3:30)
09. Shake Sugaree (4:24)
10. O Love Is Teasin' (4:33)
11. Angel City (3:53)

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