Something We Heard Before

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It’s Sunday night. Chilly outside, but you’re rugged up inside your swank, tastefully decorated abode. There’s a quietly crackling fire, and a glass of wine in your hand. Perhaps your sweetie is giving you a loving look. What’s missing? A corking soundtrack, is what! As per usual, Zero 7 delivers for this situation and many others with another beautiful composition with some of my favourite singing/lyrics ever:

Likufanele, likufanele,
igama obizwa ngala,
Obizwa ngala.

The internet informs me that it’s sung by the Philani Mothers, who are a group of South African nurses. The language is Zulu/Ndebele and roughly translates to “The name you are called suits you”, which I think is just wonderful. Alternatively, some say it could also mean “In the firelight, your eyes are stars of summer in the firelight”, which is equally wonderful. Either way, kick back and let the good times flow.

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So, it turns out this album is an utter delight. I’m still listening to My Silver Lining like the plane’s going down, but this song is also getting some significant airplay in my mind’s radio station. If I thought I was getting Neko Case vibes in My Silver Lining, then it’s off the charts in this one. Completely sublime. Well done, you incomparable pair of Swedes!

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The Bell by First Aid Kit on Grooveshark

I am so darn glad that the app Shazam exists. There are about 500 million classic songs that I know perfectly… provided you don’t ask me the name of the song, or the artist that performed it. I am just the worst at trivia nights. “I KNOW THIS SONG! IT’S… IT’S… oh balls.” As you might imagine, this song was one steeped in mystery, but it was made doubly worse by the fact that I had no bloody idea what he was singing. I still don’t! But it’s darn good: some classic 70s rock, right on the cusp of the transition into the world of 80s synth and glam.

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You know what we’ve never had on either/or? Alternative country! Ah, wait, wait. Damnit. Ok, you know what we’ve never had on either/or? MORE ALTERNATIVE COUNTRY!

I’m surprised I hadn’t posted this song already, because I rather like it – simple, but with very catchy hooks, and eminently hummable. I’m now wondering why the hell I haven’t checked out more stuff from these folks, but I’m assuming it’s the same reason as any other time: because I am a pillock.

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The 80s were a big time for saxophones, it seems. Between this and songs like Baker Street (which was ’78, but CLOSE ENOUGH GEEZE), the saxophone was given duties as a lead instrument, along side the more usual choice of guitar or keyboard. What a time it must’ve been for saxophonists everywhere! Alas, those days may have passed, but we still have their rather iconic output to enjoy today (that doesn’t mean you, Kenny G!).

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Evidently, it seems like I am in a funk…y mood. But hey, you don’t go looking for the funk: the funk finds you. And this is some prime funk! If I didn’t have to use words to write these posts, this one would just be full of clicking thumbs and head bopping, with the occasional “ooo yeah” and “kick it” thrown in. Alas, I have to use actual words so… ah, sod it. Just listen to it and bathe in its funktacular chill.

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It’s time to class this joint up a bit with some of ol’ blue eyes’ dulcet tones. It’s Frank Sinatra: how could you possibly go wrong? You can’t, so next time you’re in a big city, walk down those glittering streets with this in your ear, a skip in your step, and a wink and a smile for all the lovely people in it. Unless they’re jerks and the city is a dump, to which I suggest you just get the hell out of it.

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It’s time for some sad indie rock. Why? Because I said so! Though perhaps I should not be so cavalier with my writing, as this really is quite a lovely, haunting tune. Jimmy Tait are a Melbourne-based group doing a damn fine job reminding me that a tonne of great music comes out of this little country of mine. They have the same bittersweet bite that Neko Case does in some of her songs, which is all you’re going to get in terms of a comparison. Just listen and love!

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When I first heard this song, I could’ve sworn that I’d heard it before. Turns out, I sort of had: it’s pretty danged similar to Primal Scream’s Movin’ on Up, which features on the same album that this song is on. But you can’t have too much of a good thing, right??? It smacks of that fun period of 90s music, the one that wasn’t entirely filled with complete rubbish. Very pleasing, funky, feel good music. A tad repetitive, yes, but chuck it on in the background and groove away, my friend!

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Who likes electronic funk? That’s right, everyone! Allow me to introduce David Holmes, an Irish musician and composer, who is probably most famous for the work he did on the Ocean’s trilogy. Now, if you liked the music in those films (very slick, very funky, and very damn cool), then you’ll most assuredly like this song as it pretty much sounds like a missing composition from the soundtrack. It’s time to strut, people!

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