Feb 142022
Goldmyth Gorillaz On Melancholy Hill

Harpist, producer and singer Janessa Smith a.k.a. Goldmyth is a Utah native with a stream of shape-shifting singles. It’s easy to sink into Goldmyth’s music — her default vocal mode is an airy mid-range, gliding just above rubbery grooves and earworm-y bass lines. Her songs feel both washed-out and blissful, filled with malaise yet still musically vivid.

New from Goldmyth is a cover of “On Melancholy Hill” by Gorillaz, an idiosyncratic slow-burner drawn from the band’s 2010 album, Plastic Beach. Damon Albarn‘s slacker existentialism feels like somewhat of a kindred spirit for Goldmyth; in a statement that accompanied the cover’s release, she describes her discovery of the song: Continue reading »

Nov 302021
Damon Albarn The Human League

Damon Albarn’s latest record, The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, is a chilly affair in more ways than one. The subdued solo release was recorded in Iceland, with tracks that were drawn from what Albarn initially conceived to be a larger abstract piece. The record’s moods are certainly a change of pace for Albarn, who’s known for his maximalist Britpop and trip-hop at the helm of Blur and Gorillaz, respectively. In his live performances surrounding the new album’s release, Albarn has leaned into the brooding crooner approach on the covers front as well; earlier this month, he offered a live solo piano version of The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” for BBC Radio 2. Continue reading »

Apr 202021

3 Imagined“Different” was one word applied to McCartney III upon its release in December 2020 (a good thing or a bad thing? I’m not sure). But other descriptors were, quite rightly, “fresh,” “adventurous,” “surprising,” and “chameleonic.” Never “dull.” The album was, accordingly, a UK #1 and US #2 success, elevated by its poppy first single, “Find My Way,” and its much-touted availability on a hierarchy of exclusive colored vinyl: yellow, blue, white, black, and numbered red, or, if you were ludicrously quick off the mark, yellow with black dots.

With or without the brightly hued grooves, it was impossible to resist the sheer versatility on display on McCartney III, with its plethora of highlights. Album-opener “Long Tailed Winter Bird” impressed as an inspired, near-instrumental slice of acoustic blues that built unpredictably from a stunning guitar riff. “Slidin'” hit home as a supremely dirty rocker, “Deep Down” a groovy, soulful joy, and “Women and Wives” a poignant ballad touching upon the questions of mortality and personal legacy. And they were all, of course, written and performed almost entirely by Paul McCartney of Liverpool, in the fine DIY tradition of 1970’s McCartney and 1980’s McCartney II, but with added Covid restrictions.

So now comes, well, what is it? A covers album? A remix album? A tribute album? Let’s just go with the catch-all term “album of reworkings,” particularly as some of its tracks feature the great man himself, and some don’t. It’s made up, according to the promo material, of “an A-List assortment of friends, fans and brand new acquaintances, each covering and/or reimagining their favorite ‘McCartney III’ moments in their own signature styles.” It also emanates puns galore in the aftermath of “recorded in Rockdown,” which serve to enhance its experimental, melting-pot vibe: “III-imagined,” “What’s Your Take On It?” etc. You see, the songs aren’t set in stone, man! They aren’t limited to one viewpoint, or subject to boundaries and rules. Roll the dice for different results!
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Nov 142011

Blur’s Damon Albarn is known for one of his long-standing side projects, Gorillaz. Just a few days back, he brought his other side project, The Good, the Bad and the Queen into the spotlight for the 40th anniversary of Greenpeace with a rendition of Gorillaz’ “On Melancholy Hill.” Continue reading »