As the sun sinks below the horizon there’s a sudden drop in temperature and we huddle together for warmth, blankets wrapped around our knees, hoodies raised defiantly against the elements like teenage gangsters. Our faces are only divisible in the deadly glow of cigarettes, and we are shocked by our laughter and loudness, as if it were magnified by the darkness. For all the lazy action of the day it is now that the secrets and stories, the building blocks of our future fraternity, are born.
The music turns with us, contorting from the blithe glory of the day to the slow burn of late evening and sadhappy beauty of the witching hour. Rapper Rexx Life Raj has been about for a few years now lending his skills to a number of artists before focusing on his own project. Hand-held GPS is a paean to the existential isolation of modern life. We have more ways of talking than ever before but instead we never really talk, preferring emoji’s and barely considered comments. Did I mention the second half of this blog was going to be darker than the first?
Steve Lacy knows what he’s doing. The next insanely talented producer on a conveyor belt literally teeming with teenagers with too much talent and too much time on their hands (see Mura Masa or Weird Inside) Steve already has a grammy nominated album with his band, The Internet (Special Affair was one of my tunes of last year) and is barely out of high school. C U Girl is an early indication that his solo music will hold the same half-beautiful, half-sinister charm:
Maggie Rodgers is a sensation caused by a sensation. Her rapid rise a post-modern piece of artwork entitled ‘Beyond Satire’. I’ll will spare you the details because it changes nothing about the sheer wonder of this song. It is a relationship broken and cast to sea, a fully submerged shipwreck, wood rotting and steel rusting in the briny water, yet there is joy in the exploration of this profoundly new world:
Maggie produces her own music and is already a couple of albums deep so you should check out her bandcamp page.
Dan Mangan has been around for a small forever. Typically, he’s Canadian, exorbitantly talented, and wilfully adventurous in his music. It’s no wonder he’s not popular. Whistleblower is a shadowy mist reaching inside your chest, punching through the ribcage and pulling aside the blood and viscera to caress your wounded heart. It is a shared loneliness and it breaks me and builds me back up.
You can buy Dan’s latest release, The Unmake EP, from here.
David Thomas Broughton closes the night. Gulf is a beautiful example of the British folk writer’s wayward, ephemeral brilliance. It flickers at the edge of your perceptions like a the final embers of a fire, rising and dying on the late night breeze:
All of these tunes have featured on the last couple of Skewed Quiff monthly mixes ,which are always worth a listen: