I spend most of my Sundays alone. I like to let the day drift by, to lazily count the minutes and seconds, to appreciate the passing of time in a way that often feels impossible. The music that I listen to – there’s always music somewhere in the background – is melancholy and soulful. It breaks you down and builds you back up again.
In the past year South London’s Sampha has made quite a name for himself guesting on both the Kanye West and Solange records, as well as putting out a couple of pretty fine singles. His debut album is slated for release next month and in the interim he has given us this rather beautiful piece:
The song reminds me of being at my best friend’s house as a teenager, standing swaying in his dining room as his fingers danced across the keys of the old piano pushed up against the wall. Of how in those moments, the usually constant confusion of inexperience and hormones would die away, leaving me serene.
Laura Marling’s muse shows no signs of abating and she is back in March with a new record, Semper Femina. Wildfire, one of the first few tracks to surface, has me, almost literally, purring:
This is soft and soulful, yet tinged with a folk edge. At one point there is a feathering of a drum that sounds like the braying of a horse. I’m in a little in love.
St. Paul and The Broken Bones‘ second record Sea of Noise almost snuck past me last year, released as was to a considerable lack of fanfare but they continue to plow their own furrow of beautiful soul. The new record is gentler than their first and there are times here that Paul conjures the ghost of Otis Redding as if it were as easy as tossing a die:
Old Man Saxon is a new voice to me. The Colorado rapper seems to have been around for a few years, cutting his teeth on the circuit, trying to break through to the kind of sustainable existence that seems, unfortunately, to evade many a gifted musician. His latest EP, the Perils, came out last August and the lead track has a beat that makes me gloriously weak:
This is a song about the struggle, about the pretense, about trying to appear as the industry expects you to appear. It’s about continuing to fight even though all you want to do is go home. It takes something difficult and makes it wonderful. It breaks you down and builds you up again.
You can catch more Quiff over at my mixcloud page. All of these tracks will appear on my February mix which should be out in a couple of weeks.