Ruthven | Second Storey | Koda (pictured) | Indra Lesmana | FINNEAS
Episode Five of 45rpm selections
1. The ‘Charm Offensive’ – Ruthven: “Evil”
Starts a bit like a Glee (Google it, Dad) song but quickly redeems itself with some seriously fonky riffage. This retro, 80s sound is really in at the moment (Cardi B and Bruno Mars, I’m looking at you) and, whereas I would have flinched at that in the past, now that I’ve realized Prince is actually the best thing ever I’m OK with it. Synths are ‘on fleek’, vocals are great and the hook is cool. Sorry for using the phrase, ‘on fleek’.
2. The ‘Military Coup’ – Second Storey: “Acute Angles (Machine Woman Remix)”
Second Storey is Bristol-based producer and ‘physical, energetic kind of rave music’ artist, Alec Storey. But he’s not just music to drop acid to… he was once commissioned to reinterpret the work of Tchaikovsky for the Hollywood movie, Black Swan. So that makes him clever too.
I don’t know whether it’s the chopped and screwed girls’ vocal in this or the woozy atmospherics but something about this kinda reminds me of losing my virginity. Sorta sexy but, at the same time, bloody scary! The lyrics, similarly, kinda hint at a vulnerability AND resilience and that’s also a bit sexy but scary.
And the beat reminds me a lot of ‘Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors’ by Radiohead, which is always guaranteed to win points in my book.
3. The ‘Peaceful Protest’ – Koda: “White Dove”
There’s also an undeniable Radiohead-like sound to this. I think it’s the guitars and the melody in the chorus. But imagine, if you will, THAT mixed with trap / R&B drumbeats and some middle-eastern influenced instrumentation that brings, to my mind, the music of early Martin Grech.
This bloke’s parents once banned him from enjoying all secular art and burnt his Harry Potter books, which might go some way to explaining how and why someone would be inspired to write something so bloody dark!
Then again, maybe they did him a favour. I’ve seen Daniel Radcliffe and Co’s work and too much of that might have turned him into even more of a psychopath.
4. ‘Guerilla Warfare’ – Indra Lesmana: “Mystical Glow”
So you know that I listen to this stuff without knowing anything about it, right? Well, before I was 10 seconds into this track, I was like, ‘Is that gamelan instruments that open it up?’ Only bloody turns out the lad is from Indonesia! So it was always going to get on the list somehow this week, anyway.
But even take that away (and, to be honest, the gamelan weaves in and out of the track) I love this track for all that it is. Yes, it’s jazz but it’s not that wanky stuff I hear so often (and occasionally burden you with). It’s beautiful, melodic jazz. It’s Nitin Sawhney’s ‘Tides’ or Manu Katché’s ‘Rose’.
It’s music for pianists but it’s also music for drummers, for bass players, for romantics and for dreamers. OK, I’m getting a little carried away with myself now but I’ve probably got to sell this one to you pretty hard to make up for my next choice…
5. The ‘Quiet Riot’ – FINNEAS: “Break my Heart Again”
So let’s immediately sort the snobs from those who just love music (a bit rich from me, I know)… this guy used to be in Glee (Google it, Dad), apparently. But he wasn’t one of the main stars so I think it’s OK.
I’m aware I haven’t covered much in the way of straight-up singer-songwriters in 45 RPM yet this year so rather than go for the ‘cool’ option I had lined up for this slot (that may come next week) I thought I’d go for this cos, if I’m honest, it’s the one song I’ve listened to most this week and I can’t stop singing it.
It’s just loveliness personified. Lovely lyrics, lovely songwriting and lovely production.
And not even the ridiculous sound of someone texting in the background (an unfortunate and unnecessary nod to his ‘core’ fan-base, for me) can ruin it. I don’t care whether you like this or not. I love it and I’m not at all (OK, I’m only a little bit) ashamed of it.
And so we reach a cease-fire for this week. Click here to listen to the 45 RPM Spotify Playlist in full.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), feel free to engage in dialogue with me @45rpmPodcasts on Twitter.
The silence is broken again next week when I’ll return with five more selections for your consideration. Until then, thank you and go in peace.