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New Music 04/2018 – Sarah Blasko, St. Vincent, Yma Sumac

Two of my long-time favourites refuse to make a crap album six and five releases into their careers respectively; a Peruvian-American queen of exotica with a crazy vocal range.

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My Top 50 Favourite Albums

I found a list of my top favourite 50 albums I’d made back in 2008, and I thought it would be fun to revisit and update. More than half of my picks remained the same, so my musical tastes haven’t undergone a dramatic change in the last ten years. Organising the albums in the exact order of preference is too much headache, so after the top two it’s a loose list.

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New music 10/2017 – Mark Lanegan, Laura Marling, Savages, Natacha Atlas

Mark Lanegan – Phantom Radio & Gargoyle

Mark Lanegan might be my favourite male singer of all time, with a gravelly cigarettes-and-alcohol baritone that sounds so richly lived-in and is deceptively controlled and flexible. And he looks like his voice too – like a person who’s lived through some dark and troubled times. His pipes have become more brittle with years and these days Lanegan sounds less like he’s about to jump out of the speakers and punch you in the face, and his lower register on Gargoyle is almost Leonard Cohen-esque. But his grizzled vocals are no less compelling for that.

These latest two albums continue the experimentation with electronica and synths that first appeared on the 2012 Blues Funeral, while retaining the trademark dark bluesy vibes and oblique lyrics full of macabre gothic imagery and ruminations on sin, death, love and redemption. Business as usual in other words, but as long as his output remains this strong and consistent I’m not complaining. Now bring on the tour!

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