With two magnificent albums under her belt, the incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist and composer Poppy Ackroyd is ready to dazzle us again with a third full-length album arriving this Autumn. Preceding the album, Poppy has just released Sketches, a stunning mini-album featuring solo piano arrangements of some of her favourite tracks from previous records as well as from four new tracks off the upcoming album. Here’s what Poppy said about the recording of Sketches:
“I have loved creating this solo piano album. There are normally all these layers that I use to create a world of sound, that I love to build and sculpt, but there is something really special about communicating simply through the instrument alone. With other layers there is always something to hide behind, with only the piano you can just focus on your technique and expression, everything feels very audible and exposed and that is very exciting, especially in a live context.”
The beautiful and compelling ‘Time’ is one of the new tracks reworked into acoustic solo piano arrangements. Wrap your ears around it now.
This week saw the release of an utterly beautiful and magical album, The Quick of the Heart, from the wonderfully talented Quinta. The London based multi-instrumentalist and composer, known as one quarter of experimental arts collective Collectress, keeps herself busy with many other projects and collaborations. Having composed for dance, circus, theatre, TV and film, Quinta has also played and worked with some stellar artists, including Radiohead’s Philip Selway, Patrick Wolf, The Penguin Cafe and many more.
Like a treasure chest of songs, The Quick of the Heart is full of gems from start to finish. Quinta’s sensitivities and inventiveness know no boundaries, and we find her shining on every instrument on the record. Unlike her previous effort where strings and the musical saw were core instruments, on the new album the piano takes a central role. Quinta played and recorded different pianos and keyboards in varied places, including a pipe organ in Portland’s Old Church.
To get you enticed, listen to the radiant and enveloping album track ‘Astragal (The Most Wonderful)’. And straight after lend your ears over to ‘Blood’, a gentle and moving song offered with a video by Quinta, featuring some footage from her recent residency in China as part of the British Council and PRS’s Musicians in Residence programme.
Head over to Quinta’s bandcamp to order and hear The Quick of the Heart in its full glory.
Next week Holy Fuck are dropping Bird Brains, their new four-track EP. We have been excitingly waiting to hear more since the EP’s teaser video emerged last month. And now we can rejoice for they have shared a full new cut, the frantic and infectious title track. It comes with a fitting video directed by Allison Johnston. Watch it now.
There’s a new album on the way from synth star and composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, following last year’s Ears. Entitled The Kid, the record charts the different stages of life. Offered as a double album, The Kid “chronicles four defining cognitive and emotional stages of the human lifespan across four sides.”
‘An Intention’, the first single from the album, is taken from the first side, which depicts the first stage of life. It “takes us through the confused astonishment of a newborn, unaware of itself, existing in an unwitting nirvana”. Take a listen below and watch out for the album’s release on October 6th through Western Vinyl.
Self-taught guitarist and singer-songwriter Mdou Moctar, based in Agadez, Niger, is at the forefront of a new generation of musicians, forging a new path for Tuareg music. This August will see him release a new full-length album called Sousoume Tamachek. Mdou, an extraordinary musician, played every single instrument in the album, as well as backup vocals, rhythm guitar, and percussion.
To get us excited ahead of the album’s release through Sahel Sounds, watch the marvellous teaser video below.
The amazingly groovy and psychedelic ‘Vitamin C’, taken from Can‘s album Ege Bamyasi, has been paired with an accompanying video 45 years on from its original release. ‘Vitamin C’ is one of the tracks featured in The Singles, a collection of all of Can’s singles, which came out last month as a triple release to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The video was created by Josh Graham at Suspended In Light and you can watch it below.