Following on from the last post (the music industry and why it’s payment system is knackered – Ed), it’s probably time for a return of some fanboy ravings. WARNING: there may be quite a few of these to follow over the coming weeks…
But to get us started; two records I’ve listened to a lot in the past few weeks, the first of them from DU BLONDE.
I have no idea really why I didn’t take much notice of Beth (Jean Houghton) during the early years of her career. Looking back at her CV she’s done an awful lot of interesting stuff (music, video directing, her own comic book). I’ve just gone back and listened to a few tracks from her debut album ‘Yours Truly Cellophane Nose’ and am slightly aghast that we weren’t flogging this to death on air. Hindsight eh?
Likewise, her metamorphosis into Du Blonde, had pretty much passed me by, until the first single from her new album, which features Ezra Furman, who she previously worked with on a video for his single ‘Suck The Blood From My Wound’ back in 2018.
This is the result of their latest collaboration – apparently one of a number of guest appearances to appear on her forthcoming record ‘Homecoming’ released on April 2.
Houghton, again I’ve only just started to appreciate this, having looked up her history, appears to have had one of those artistically complicated lives that would make a genuinely good interview. The sort of piece that the revamped Q Magazine might have done, had it not been a tragic casualty of the pandemic’s publishing axe (a good two years after it had turned the corner and found its feet again).
I suspect Q might have found this of interest too. FRANCIS OF DELERIUM are a duo, featuring dynamo Jana Bahrich (prounced Yawn-Ah Bear-Rich) and collaborator Chris Hewett: that’s one American, one Canadian – and to add the geographical sprawl, they’re based in Luxembourg and signed to a label in the UK.
Their new EP features songs that Jana wrote, while in retreat from her old friends, who were disappearing off to university, safe in the knowledge that she would emerge from her writing cocoon, butterfly like, to hug and embrace them once she’d found her voice.
But then COVID happened and her self-enforced hibernation was followed by Lockdown and the subsequent isolation and disorientation which has beset of a lot of young musicians over the past year.
The effect however, is to set the whole EP on edge. COVID has (in common with many other creatives) raised the stakes. It has asked questions of motive and self. It has created a subconscious firework display of fever dreams.
And at the centre of them, is this.