Listened Only The Shit You Love, by Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine from Damian Cowell

The double album soundtrack to Only The Shit You Love the web series commencing August 2021. Featuring Tony Martin, Patience Hodgson, Judith Lucy, Aunty Donna, Shaun Micallef, Geraldine Quinn, Matt Stewart and Liz Stringer.

In his spiel for the Pozible Campaign, Only the Shit You Love is describes as:

The double concept album/animated graphic novel/musical/Youtube series.

However, he also stated in an interview around the time the Pozible campaign was announced that:

my number one aim: to make people want to dance and sing something stupid.

Like a novel which pronounces the death of the protagonist on the first page to flag that worrying about such trivialities is not what matters, Cowell started his first podcast by outlining some of the themes:

The modern world, product placement, continuous improvement, the culture of engagement, the diminution of language, the moronisation of television, imposter syndrome, subjectivity, my career demise, the heard instinct, popularism, the death of reason, nostalgia, love, lose, tolerance and friendship.

While in the episode of Tony Martin’s Sizzletown at the end of the album track I Wanna Be The Shit You Love, a caller is used to provide the following summary:

Is this a concept album? About Marcell Proust whose real name is Wayne O’Toole. He’s a celebrity nostalgist, but then he gets retrenched and his wife leaves him and he goes on a reality dating program and falls in unrequited love with a protagonest of a Rick Springfield song. She’s busy renouncing her past and forming an anti-nostalgia resisteance movement cause she’s discovered that the government is controlling people’s memories. ANd her nemissis is a DJ called Greta the Garbo, who’s leading a rival movement to make nostalgia free again. Marcell falls in unrequited love with her as well, but then both their movements are going to crash by their own followers who distort the message for their own hateful agenda. Then the two revolutionaries realise they are in fact two sides of the same coin and fall in love with each other and invent a new movement called tolerance.

This narrative is carried through the web series. Although the text of the lyrics are often included within the clips, these videos are more than just lyrical videos. They each carry the narrative in their own manner. The style seems to be borrow from a number of places. There is a hat tip to shows like The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats), but it is way more than that. Although the representations are sometimes crude and slightly ridiculous – Cartoon descriptions? How else to describe a cartoon world? – they are always pertinent. (I will never see Osher Günsberg the same way again.) In addition to the storyline running throughout, Cowell always keeps things real by providing his own critique of his work with a running commentary in the margins.

In regards to the album, Only the Shit You Love contains Cowell’s usual witty observations on the world.

You asked us to spend all your resources
To save you from one terrorist who we created in the first place

The photocopier inquest
About which Bachelor you hate the best
The penny drop when the people up top
See the guy’s a flop and you should run the shop
Your favourite mug, your granny rug, your doona snug

Jessie’s Girl tried every answer there is to know
From Scientology to necromancy to paleo

Social media’s the new religion
Brains replaced by populism
Right-thinking folks with Nazi opinions
What kind of world do we live in
Where you’ve got to have ads about respecting women?

Funny how the better it gets to be alive the more we need coaching just to survive

If it were up to me I’d shut the gate. These refugees – they don’t assimilate
They look the same, they hang in packs. I mean – how un-Australian is that?

In relation to the concept, Cowell explained in a conversation with Anthea Cohen, that the songs came first and the album can be listened separately to the series. However, he also explained that as ideas came together, changes were made to fit the songs together.

One change to the first two Disco Machine albums was exploration of different dynamics and tempos. The usual upbeat tracks are still present, such as Here Comes the Disco Machine and Whatever Happened To Jessie’s Girl, however they are also contrasted by slower numbers, such as Old Sneakers and I Wanna Be The Shit You Love. Although I am not sure how some of these slower tracks would fit with the high octane live show, this works within the contrasts of the double album to aid in helping it ebb and flow. It never really feels like a double album.

Associated with this change in dynamics, was the blend between electronic and acoustic instruments. For example, a track like The Plot Thins begins with a pulsing synth line to then progressively build as the song unfolds, before the guitars and drums come in at the end.

Connected with each of the episodes of the web series was a podcast. This is not some Glenn. A Baker of Cowell’s time in TISM, something he has always said that he would not do. Instead it provides a means for reframing our connection with him. Although there is an intent to provide some commentary to each episode, more often than not, the podcast is really a dive into the esoteric parts of Cowell’s existence and interests. As he explains in an interview for Rolling Stone:

It ended up becoming this weird memoirs sort of thing, where I talked about my pre-fame years. And I actually had quite a lot of fun doing it. It was completely self-indulgent of course, but I made myself feel okay about it because people weren’t actually paying for this; “they don’t have to listen to this”. So yeah, I was talking about all those little desperate bands I was in, and my teenage years, and the sort of psychological context from which I emerged. I’m hoping it sort of explains why I am the fucked-up person I am.

I’d like to think that my podcast is about stuff that could happen to anybody; it’s just anybody’s life. Nothing dramatic has happened in my life. The most dramatic thing that happens to me anywhere in these 19 episodes is when Anna Block refused to dance with me at the ballroom dancing because I had cold hands. So this is the pathetic story of any person you could pluck off the street from that era.

The indulgence of so many episodes with nobody else to interrupt allows Cowell to elaborate on his recipe for music in detail. In his discussion a few years ago with Zan Rowe on the Take 5 podcast, Cowell spoke about the importance of music challenging the listener.

Use your power wisely … Treat them to an anchovy.

Throughout the episodes, he elaborates what such music might sound like, whether it be melodic bass, accountable guitar, unconventional beats, rich harmonies and a general disdain for categories. To contextualise all this, he provided a wide range of examples. By the end of the series, the playlist I collated of all the tracks referenced stretched to 7 hours.

In the end, I was not sure what I was in for when I threw my support behind Damian Cowell’s latest Pozible campaign. All I can say is that I was not disappointed. It was all something of a slow burn. In modern world of binghing, it was strangely refreshing to have something to look forward to, especially during lockdown. It has also led to a number of new discoveries, such as reading Marcel Proust for the first time. It has been interesting to read some of commentary on Proust as a lens for better appreciating Cowell’s work and Only the Shit You Love.

Proust’s goal isn’t that we should necessarily make art or be someone who hangs out in museums. It’s to get us to look at the world, our world, with some of the same generosity as an artist, which would mean taking pleasure in simple things – like water, the sky or a shaft of light on a roughly plastered wall.

I think he helps us to see the world as it really is, not only its extraordinary beauty and diversity, but his observations make us aware of how we perceive and how we interact with others, showing us how often we are mistaken in our own assumptions and how easy it is to have a biased view of another person.

Replied to The 50 best albums of 2021 (Double J)

The 50 best albums of the year, as voted by the Double J team

I am always intrigued by looking through lists of best albums, what albums did I also gel with? What albums did I seemingly miss? The albums that made my list were:

  • James Blake – Friends That Break Your Heart
  • Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over The Country Club
  • Julia Stone – Sixty Summers
  • Tropical Fuck Storm – Deep States
  • Courtney Barnett – Things Take Time, Take Time
  • Shihad – Old Gods
  • For Those I Love – For Those I Love
  • The War On Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore
  • Fred again.. – Actual Life (April 14 – December 17 2020)
  • The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You (wasn’t that 2020?)

However, there are quite a few I have clearly overlooked.

More importantly, I am left intrigued by the albums not included. I cannot find Damian Cowell’s album mentioned anywhere online, a part from a random Rolling Stones article. I am not sure if it is the medium or what it is, but definitely leaves me wondering if there is a list of albums out that there simply lay dormant, seemingly excluded from the clubhouse?

Listened 2021 studio album by The War on Drugs from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
This year has provided a wide range of albums to soundtrack these strange times. For me, I Don’t Live Here Anymore is a reflective album to dwell upon.

I Don’t Live Here Anymore feels like an album checkered by something — if not explicit loss, then the feeling of something very nearly slipping through your fingers. Its title, after all, is one of moving on — present tense reflecting on only recent past tense.

Listened Hottest 100 2021 | Vote now from

Vote now in triple j’s Hottest 100

Voting for the best songs for 2021 was a strange exercise. I am not sure I really had the stomach for a lot of new music. More often than not, I was drawn to the comfort of the past, maybe that is why I have been so drawn to Damian Cowell’s Only the Shit You Love? Also, I am still not sure where I sit in a world of singles and songs, rather than deep dives into albums. With all that said, here are ten songs for 2021:

  • Bleachers — Stop Making This Hurt
  • Client Liaison — Cold to Touch [Ft. Glades]
  • Halsey — I Am Not A Woman, I’m A God
  • Julia Stone — Fire In Me
  • The Wombats — Method To The Madness
  • Tropical Fuck Storm — G.A.F.F.
  • Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine — I Wanna Be The Shit You Love
  • All India Radio — Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (feat Yin)
  • The War On Drugs — I Don’t Live Here Anymore [Ft. Lucius]
  • Courtney Barnett — Rae Street
Listened Musca, by Herbert from Matthew Herbert

Musca is the next in the series of domestic house albums to follow the groundbreaking LP classics Around The House (1998), and Bodily Functions (2001) both set for a special ‘21st anniversary of the Accidental label’ vinyl reissue on 16th July.

What entrances me about Matthew Herbert’s music is the subtly that make up his palette of found sounds. As David Murphy captures:

these bonsai bangers marry space and delicacy with vocals that are soulful but breathily intimate.

Another interesting aspect to Musca is the idea of a house album during the pandemic.

“Like presumably many other albums made during the last year, Musca reflects on navigating the challenges and joys of our most intimate relationships while the world is in turmoil,” says Herbert. “Not just with Covid-19, but with the rise in state and political violence, Facebook-friendly fascism, white supremacy and a climate in crisis.”

Listened Divine Intervention – 2021 studio album by Client Liaison from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Divine Intervention is the second studio album by Australian indie pop duo Client Liaison, released on 1 October 2021.

I remember seeing Client Liaison perform for the first time for ABC’s New Years Eve This Night is Yours concert. One cannot help be transfixed. Are they for real? I guess artifice comes in many shapes and sizes.

Their new album continues along this journey, this time in search for a higher power. There is something about their slick sound that leaves me both full and yet wanting more. In some ways, just as Roger and Brian Eno’s album felt like the perfect album for the start of the pandemic and the world wide lockdown, Divine Intervention seems the right album to shake out the blues and get out on the dancefloor again (even if that dancefloor may be alone in a kitchen with headphones or while watching an hour of crochet.)

One of the other aspects that interests me about this album are the various writers and producers in support, including Nick Littlemore, Dann Hume and Francois Tetaz.

Place between The Midnight and Red Hearse.


If Client Liaison started a cult, there’d be plenty of people queuing for the front door – and Divine Intervention is a great text of holy works, filled with anti-corporate goodness and an adamance for the cure of the club. Let’s hope the next testament is as exciting.

While it’s impossible to look past recent singles such as “Champagne Affection”, “Strictly Business”, or the infectious “Elevator Up”, the rest of the record truly feels like something akin to a ‘greatest hits’ package for Client Liaison.

Sure, some naysayers might write off their music as being a little cheesy, but when you’re having this much fun, does it really matter?

Client Liaison know who they are and what they do, and they play to those strengths without hesitation. Even if you’re not willing to play along, there’s no denying the hooky craft of Divine Intervention – immaculately produced synthpop soaked in hooks and kitsch that’s making sure you’re having as much guilt-free fun as they are.

When you’re autonomous and might not have too much responsibility or not have a family and things like that, then the truth doesn’t really matter. And that’s why people nowadays feed themselves their own narratives. And it kind of speaks to how the world works.

So I guess Divine Intervention was us realising that. Like all else has gone, let’s throw in the towel and return to our primitive ways and embrace higher religion or something. It was “Reject everything”, a bit of a crisis with the world and just be like, “We need a divine intervention, something bigger needs to come down” because everything’s just a bit crazy and chaotic and truth no longer exists. So if truth doesn’t exist, then let the clouds part and come down, Jesus.

With the NFT boom, a lot of people would be somewhat familiar with what NFTs are, it’s a new marketplace. We wanted to participate in that because we thought we’d do so whilst also making comments about the nature of NFTs as well. It’s quite self-reflective. NFT’s are somewhat intangible, so we thought it would be fun if we actually sell something that’s even more intangible than the NFT itself as a sort of comment on NFTs.

So there’s a bit of subtext and conceptual slant to the act itself and we thought it would be fun. At the end of the day, it kind of says that Client Liaison belongs to all the people and it’s yours, it’s not just selling the soul of Client Liaison it’s like giving it back to the fans.

Listened A Beginner’s Mind, by Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine from Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine have paired up for a collaborative project that does just that. A Beginner’s Mind is their debut album that contains 14 songs (loosely) based on (mostly) popular films. The source material is highbrow, lowbrow, and everything in between. A cornerstone of zombie horror (Night of the Living Dead), a touchstone psychological thriller (Silence of the Lambs), a high-octane action flick (Point Break), and a Bette Davis classic (All About Eve) are inspiration for songs that seek to investigate the meaning of life, the meaning of death, and everything in between. The movies are only catalysts; the songs take liberty with their source material, allowing for bold tangents, often running wild with existential inquiry. John Carpenter’s The Thing inspires a song that explores the disease of social paranoia, while Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire is the building blocks of a song about human suffering and isolation. The music is folksy, sweet, sincere and harmonically effervescent—Simon & Garfunkel with New Age flourishes. There’s an S&M dirge inspired by Hellraiser III, a peppy campfire song based on the direct-to-video cheerleader rom-com Bring It On Again, and a fem-power lo-fi folk anthem based on Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It. This album runs the gamut and has fun with it, even while its songwriters remain fully rooted in the melancholy folk idioms they are known for.


The album feels in some ways like classic Sufjan — the soft, lyric-driven indie-folk that fans would be familiar with from albums like Seven Swans and Carrie & Lowell. His lyrics are as acute as ever (who else could rhyme “lessons and metaphors” with “signals and semaphores” without missing a beat?). But the other thing Sufjan is known for is that aforementioned experimentation, and that’s all present here, too.

[o]n the moments that they sing in tandem on the album, they conjure elemental harmonies that neither could have achieved while double-tracking alone in the hushed corners of a studio. On the opener “Reach Out,” the pair sound like a bruised, cardigan-draped interpretation of the Everly Brothers as their voices meld with one another like two spirits holding hands and walking through a brick wall into some realm beyond our world.

Sufjan and Angelo form a choir of two, their eerily similar voices turning harmony into a kind of natural reverb.

Listened Star Crossed by Kacey Musgraves from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Star-Crossed is the fifth studio album by American singer Kacey Musgraves. It was released on September 10, 2021, by MCA Nashville and Interscope Records. Musgraves co-wrote and co-produced the album with American musicians Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian, with whom she collaborated on her fourth studio album, Golden Hour (2018), as well.

The album’s subject matter was inspired by Musgraves’ personal journey of heartache and healing following her divorce from American singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly. She described Star-Crossed as chronicling a “modern tragedy”, taking influences from Romeo and Juliet, the famous play by English playwright William Shakespeare, and cited Bill Withers, Daft Punk, Sade, Eagles, and Weezer as her musical references for the album. Sonically, Star-Crossed is a pop record incorporating folk, dance, rock, and psychedelic elements, while retaining the country sensibility of its predecessor. It consists of mellow ballads, propelled by steady tempos, analog synthesizers, looped drums, and layered harmonies.


“Star-Crossed” is Musgraves’s divorce album, a song cycle about how a relationship deteriorates: not all at once, or in huge shards, but decrementally. It’s full of small memories, good and bad, rendered largely without judgment.

If being in love made Musgraves feel connected to the world, these songs find her burrowing inward, questioning everything. Accordingly, the tragedy unfolding on the album is not that of a good relationship turning bad; it is of a once-confident person losing touch with the things that made her feel complete, worried that life might never be so simple again.

Listened How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?, by Big Red Machine from Big Red Machine

15 track album

I think that Chris Deville captures the new Big Red Machine record well:

this is not the kind of record that blows you away; it’s the kind you sit with, that becomes your trusted companion over time. Or maybe it drifts in one ear and out the other, and you move on. Such is the case with records that have traded out the explosiveness of youth for a sighing middle-aged grace.

Listened 2021 studio album by Chvrches from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Screen Violence is the fourth studio album by Scottish synth-pop band Chvrches. It was released on 27 August 2021 through EMI Records in the UK and Glassnote Records in the US.[9] Lead single “He Said She Said” was released on 19 April.[10] The album was announced alongside the second single, “How Not to Drown”, a collaboration with Robert Smith, lead singer of the Cure.[11]

Rather than catering to the trends of the moment — the wispy minimalist pop girls, the pop-punk hybridizers, the disco revivalists, whatever — the band has unlocked new dimensions within their own sound. Rather than turning to interlopers, they’ve trusted their own instincts.

Listened Deep States, by Tropical Fuck Storm from TFS

Deep States by Tropical Fuck Storm

There is a quote from Peter Goldsworthy that I come back to again and again, “cartoon descriptions, how else to describe a cartoon world.” I think that there is something to be said about TFS being the soundtrack for the current crisis. As Gareth Liddiard suggests, maybe the world has just caught up with a perspective they have been plying for years.

“With TFS, I think the world just caught up to our thing. We’ve been plying our trade for years and I think the world has finally become as anxious and neurotic as we’ve always sounded,” says Liddiard.

On a side note, I really enjoyed Liddiard’s breakdown of his setup.


Deep States does feel a bit all over the place, but what works for it (as it does for everything Liddiard has been involved with) is the overpowering confidence with which it is performed. Most songs feel like stepping into the middle of an improv session, and the lyrics at first may seem to be conjured up on the spot (although on closer inspection it is obvious that this is not the case). However, the abrasive and uncompromising presentation of this material leaves the listener with the firm understanding that it could not have been put in other words or played any other way.

You may well get to the end of Deep States unsure what you’ve just been subjected to; you may also discover that this is no barrier to wanting to experience it all again and again.

Listened 2021 studio album by Lorde from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Classified by Lorde as her “weed album”, Solar Power is an indie folk and psychedelic effort driven by acoustic guitar arrangements, marking a departure from the synth-heavy, dance-oriented music of her previous works. The album’s lyrics revolve around solipsism and summer escapism, mainly focusing on Lorde’s leisure time in her homeland New Zealand, simultaneously expressing her disdain for fame and celebrity culture.

I was intrigued by Lorde’s move to a more acoustic sound. However, I feel that the album as a whole makes more sense. I do not think that it is necessarily a ‘back to basics‘ album, as some have critiqued. (Just watch her live performances, not basic.) Although Lorde has traded in the synths and drum machines, the rich textures are still present, especially with the harmonies and production.


It doesn’t require a whole lot of mental effort to figure out why Lorde, like so many of us, is questioning her place in the world, discovering a new appreciation for nature, and trying to return to basics. On a personal level, she’s explained that dog ownership helped turn her attention outdoors. A global pandemic and a sickly, smoldering planet has surely prompted her to reëvaluate her priorities. The need to escape the psychic claustrophobia of technology looms large on this record, too.

“I haven’t made a Jack Antonoff record,” the singer said. “I’ve made a Lorde record and he’s helped me make it and very much deferred to me on production and arrangement. Jack would agree with this. To give him that amount of credit is frankly insulting.” She called the narrative — which has also included speculation about the pair’s romantic and sexual life — “retro” and “sexist.”

Solar Power finds its author thinking deeply about the jarring disconnect between being an extremely private person and an extremely well-known public figure. This is someone acutely aware of the absurdity of fame, which was foisted upon her at 16 and has waned very little since. 

Listened If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Halsey, released on August 27, 2021, by Capitol Records. It was written by Halsey, Johnathan Cunningham, Greg Kurstin, and its producers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Halsey described the project as “a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth”.

The cover artwork of If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power was inspired by artistic depictions of Mary, mother of Jesus. A theatrical film directed by American filmmaker Colin Tilley, titled after the album and featuring its music, screened in select IMAX cinemas around the world on August 25 and 26, 2021, leading up to the album release. If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is an alternative rock, grunge-pop, and pop punk effort with heavy industrial influence, driven by clattering drums, fuzzy guitars and cinematic textures. Its lyrics center on femininist themes, such as addressing patriarchy and institutional misogyny.

Where Olivia Rodriguez touches on a heavier palette with some of her tracks, while some of Finneas’ and Billie Eilish’s writing and production has been compared with Nine Inch Nails, Halsey takes it a step further by turning to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to produce If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. This sound provides a foundation for Halsey’s concept album exploring the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth.

I cannot help but think about the current world that these songs have been created in and wonder if it somehow provides the permission to explore new beginnings. Whether it be Lorde’s turn to the sun, Taylor Swift’s exploration of a more delicate sound or Tame Impala’s embracing synth-pop. The wonder if this album would have occurred? As with Chris Deville, I wonder if this is the start of something larger for Reznor and Ross?

It’s emblematic of a collaboration that should please Halsey fans and Nine Inch Nails fans alike, one that has me eager to see the NIN braintrust take on more projects like this. (I say this as someone who likes Jack Antonoff just fine: Imagine if Trent Reznor became the new Jack Antonoff.)

Maybe one for Abel Tesfaye?

given that fellow ’80s devotee the Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” just became the most successful Hot 100 single of all time, maybe Antonoff doesn’t have to wait for a cultural sea change. Forget Billie Eilish and Phoebe Bridgers — put this man in the studio with Abel Tesfaye and let the neon nostalgia flow.


The record itself has a tight, internal focus: It’s about walking the line between self-preservation and self-destruction, control and compulsion, the thrill and terror of getting what you want. Instead of sieving these themes through an elaborate architecture, Halsey lets horror—of the body, of the mind, of mortality—radiate outward. The result is alluring and spectral.

Listened Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night is a synth-pop, indie pop, and slow rock album with elements of pop rock, rock n roll, alternative rock, arena rock, alt-pop, folk, baroque pop, rockabilly, and psychedelic music. The album was conceived after a breakup in 2017 and completed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It sees Antonoff expand Bleachers’ musical horizons beyond the sounds of the 1980s, with a sound compared to artists like Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Vampire Weekend, the Chicks, Dirty Beaches, and Destroyer.

Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night seems like the most complete Bleachers album so far. Whereas others have seemed to jump around between different traces and traumas, this album seems to tie together Antonoff’s tendency towards the vulnerable in an effort to consider those aspects of family, life and society that he may have overlooked in the past. This is something he discusses on The New Yorker Radio Hour.


All-star supporting cast aside, Saturday Night is unmistakably a Jack Antonoff joint, from that blunt baritone bellow to those Reagan-era stylistic fixations to the lyrics’ big-hearted optimism in the face of struggle. But it also exists in conversation with a current pop landscape marked by stylish minimalism and bedroom-pop intimacy

On his own album, the tension between the current bleary, miniaturized trends and his stadium-sized tendencies makes for a strange and fascinating listen.

The pandemic had a massive effect on the music. Not because it was necessarily written about the time period, but because you write, record and produce differently based on the pace of your life, based on what’s going on in the world.

Listened Spiral, by DARKSIDE from DARKSIDE

9 track album

Even though there was an effort to make an album that was not Darkside-y, it if interesting how the sound and expecrations expand with the new album. There are many of the same ingredients, including Nicolas Jaar’s vocals, but they continue to stretch their palete. I think this is going to be one of those albums that grows the more you listen to it. I wonder how many albums out there have failed as people failed to persist?


HARRINGTON: We just rented a house, filled up a rental car with gear, and went in with pretty low expectations — or not even low, really just no expectations, other than we were going to be able to spend a week and change together, cook food, catch up, hang out, and see about making music and see where it took us. It wasn’t like, “OK, here we go, we’re starting the process to make a record.” There was no external pressure, there was no internal pressure. It was really just like, let’s show up. And let’s see if the music is there. And then if it is there, see where it takes us.

HARRINGTON: Especially with this album we were focusing on writing in a different way, like the improvisation happened in compositional ways, and inside of songs, and in generative ways. When I’m doing a Dave Harrington Group record or [a record with jazz drummer Kenny Wallace], I’m using the Teo Macero Bitches Brew method — throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and then liberally edit, chop, manipulate. With me and Nico, that whole process happens just between the two of us and much faster. It’s not like, jam and let’s hope it’s good. It’s more like improvise, change, do a new thing, put this over here, come back to it later, improvise some more, do this thing — oh, I have an idea. We’re going to do this now. OK, go outside, sit down. Try to write with the acoustic guitar. It’s all these different things happening on top of each other. Part of the fun is saying it’s done because there’s an element of like, it can never be done. If you have a rock band, like four folks in a room, playing the instruments, singing the hook, doing the thing, you’re like, “OK, this is a song.” But I don’t really do a lot of music like that. So part of the challenge is waiting for the moment to look around and be like, “Stop!”

I had not heard of any of these albums.

2:38 Really From – Really From

3:41 Vijay Iyer, Linda May, Han Oh & Tyshawn Sorey – Uneasy

4:42 Sweet Trip – A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Equals

6:17 For Those I Love – For Those I Love

7:17 NyX, Gazelle Twin – Deep England

8:24 Black Country, New Road – For The First Time

10:13 Hannah Peel – Fir Wave

11:29 Skee Mask – Pool

12:41 Armand Hammer & The Alchemist – Haram

14:32 Black Midi – Cavalcade

15:51 The Armed – Ultrapop

17:37 Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders – Promises

Clearly I have some listening to do.

Listened fifth studio album by Marina Diamandis from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land is the fifth studio album by Welsh singer-songwriter Marina, released on 11 June 2021, through Atlantic Records. She began songwriting for the project in January 2020, around the time she released the soundtrack single “About Love”. The album was preceded by the release of four singles, “Man’s World”, “Purge the Poison”, the title track, and “Venus Fly Trap” with each one having a music video.

Unsure what to listen to, I recently did a dive into similar artists associated with Haerts and ended up clicking on MUNA. At the top of the list was their remix of Marina’s track Man’s World:

I had never consciously heard Marina Diamandis’ work, so I was intrigued. Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land never quite settles, touching on rock, pop, ballads, always moving on.

Anti-misogyny manifesto pop could easily become clumsy and overwrought, but the joy Marina invests into her mannered, quasi-operatic delivery makes sedition sound seductive.

I also enjoyed watching parts of the Live from the Desert performance.

Place between Garbage and Montaigne