Another week passes in the week of November, more keenly spirited autumnal indie spires to get stuck into!
Christine and the Queens: A high-brow musing of poignant and playful electronic-pop comes into the frame this week with Christine and the Queens’ Redcar les adorables étoiles, loosely translated to “lover souls.” Something that Florence Welch can certainly get on board with. The first part of his lavish avant-garde pop opera, introduces a Ziggy Stardust-like trajectory of ethereal alter-ego character Redcar, as he tackles and ponders progressive thoughts on gender, sexuality and identity. A three-pronged fork Chris(tine) has been dealing with since her obelisk: Chaleur Humaine in 2016. A more floaty experiment, it features the likes of Je te vois enfin, rien dire as he plucks out a golden leaf out of the book of extraordinaries before him, including Laurie Anderson and even Björk herself.
Gold Panda: A unique sorting hat of swirling accompaniments and fresh backdrops, Gold Panda has been a cognitive gear key to the underground workings since the late 2000’s. A cosy superlative to London co-host Four Tet, it’s been quite a wait since Gold Panda released any new music. On Reflection, you would have to hark back to 2018 for his last collaborative project. This time, we hear a season-ready compilation of low-key electronica that eclipses ethereal oriental. Way beyond genre classification, Gold Panda is a knob-turning maestro who needs to be on your radar.
The Cool Greenhouse: A hidden gem for us this week comes from perplexing post-punk schematics of The Cool Greenhouse with Sod’s Toastie. Quippy, straight-edged talking similar to the lyrical tokens of Yard Act and Viagra Boys, Sod’s Toastie is a refreshing flavour in a world full of four-to-the-floor indie rock. Despite experienced best all at once in a 9-track, stand-outs are Get Unjaded and Hard Rock Potato: “To the moon baby, Because obviously there’s no baddies on the moon.”
Man-Made Sunshine: The delectable side-project of Nothing But Thieves‘ Conor Mason sees Man-Made Sunshine, a personal psychedelic about inner growth, lead Mason into a softer space about his own songwriting. It rises with Life’s Gonna Kill You (If You Let It), a strengthening alt-pop solo debut that is beating heart of this EP passion project. It follows with Big, Little Bird, Rosebud and Brain in a Jar. Worth your time if you like any of the slow-burners from Nothing But Thieves.
Black Eyed Peas: one of the era’s biggest acts to emerge their hip-hop/pop anthems from 2009’s The E.N.D was the only thing you needed on dance-floors or in your iPod. Now, with their ninth album, ELEVATION, they jump on the mainstream hype with latin grooves and laced synth simplicities. With Guetta leading the way with lead single DON’T YOU WORRY, the now-turned trio are certainly nothing to get moderately hyped about contrasting that to the dizzying heights of the noughties.
Sharon Van Etten: How do we protect the things most precious to us from destructive forces beyond our control? A transformative projection into life’s vulnerability – with Sharon casting an individual spotlight herself first – We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong is a practical whip on a grander understanding in how the world works. A haunting tale in morning-coffee folk indie, it features swooning opener Darkness Opener, synth-induced stand-alone single Mistakes and Porta, a melodic pastel very much inspired by the likes of Caroline Rose.
Some stand-out singles released this week include, Too Many Zooz’s Pecking Order, Red Rum Club’s The River, Black Honey’s Heavy and Stormzy’s fourth single Firebabe off the back of his third album, This is What I Mean on the final Friday of the month.
You can view the playlist in full below via Spotify: