Weekly Playlist 19: The Dead

A slightly different approach this week, with a track-by-track breakdown of the playlist. There’s also a link at the end to the ongoing archive of all the playlists.

1. The Dead by Nakhane

From Nakhane’s album, which was released last year, but re-released in the UK and US this year with Anohni accompaniment on New Brighton. This is a dark, melodic track representative of the great You Will Not Die album.

2. Buoys by Panda Bear

The title track Panda Bear’s water-focused album, Buoys with his recognisable sample and loop lead experimental pop.

3. Activate by Theon Cross feat. Moses Boyd & Nubya Garcia

Theon Cross plays tuba for Sons of Kemet, but this is from his recent solo outing showing the drum and bass infused jazz making up what is a really solid album.

4. Now That I Found You by Carly Rae Jepsen

Always fun to hear a new song from Carly Rae Jepson, and this pop gem doesn’t disappoint.

5. 10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs by The Twilight Sad

Couldn’t resist a title like this, but under any circumstances, The Twilight Sad keep alive what the best of indie has to offer.

6. Sentimental Lady by Duke Ellington & Johnny Hodges

Sentimental Lady is one of Duke Ellington’s classic pieces, written in 1943. This is a late recording from 1959 which rightly focuses the attention on Johnny Hodges, showing off the skills that make him recognised as one of the world’s greatest saxophonists.

7. Con Altura by ROSALÍA & J Balvin feat. El Guincho

Is J Balvin’s thing making that hooty noise in the background of tracks? Whether it’s this or Mi Gente with Beyonce, though, you can fault a great pop track.

8. Seventeen by Sharon Van Etten

This was dismantled in a recent episode of Song Exploder, and both the song itself and that podcast are well worth many listens

9. Nursery Rhyme by Sarah Tandy

Sarah Tandy is a piano player from London and this, from her new album, is an emotional piece featuring an all-star of British jazz stars.

10. Straight To You by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

One of my favourite songs by Nick Cave, which I was reminded of, oddly, by Evan Dando’s cover on his most recent Varshons album. The cover’s not amazing, but this original certainly is.



Apple Music Link

The full archive of old playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

(Photo by Wendy Scofield on Unsplash)

March 2019 Media Consumption Round-Up


This one’s a little late, but I’m hoping to do one of these each month from now. As you can see from below, this has been a very reading-heavy month. That’s a good thing since reading is always the thing I want to do the most of (followed by watching films and listening to music). The London Library’s really opened up a whole world of wonderful books to read.


Round the Fire Stories

I wrote a review of Doyle’s short stories (minus Holmes) here.

The New Testament: A Translation

I also read The New Testament this month. It’s a weird collection of books (the ones left out are weirder, however). I wrote about it here.

Nicholas Nickleby

This is not one of my favourite Dickens novels, but neither is it terrible. I wrote about it here.

Charles Bukowski

This is the biography of Bukowski by David Stephen Calonne. It’s workmanlike rather than inspiring, but gives a certain insight into an intriguing (and often rather problematic) poet.

The Waste Land and Other Poems

If you’ve read any selection of my posts recently, you’ll have noted that quite a lot of them come back to this poem one way or another. I wrote about it here.

The Cambridge Companion to The Waste Land

As above. This was one of my first Cambridge Companion books, though, and I really enjoyed it. The fact it’s just a series of essays on the subject at hand makes it easy to dip in and out of. My suspicion is that they’re mainly written for undergraduates to be able to quote at least 3-4 essays in anything they’re writing without having to read many books, but all I’ve found so far have had high-quality essays from multiple viewpoints.


A comic on the Apollo moon landings. I wrote about it here.

From Ritual To Romance

Mentioned in Eliot’s notes to The Waste Land, I wrote about it here.

TS Eliot and the Lay Reader

A rather idiosyncratic, but enjoyable view on all of Eliot’s writing. I wrote about it here.

Guns, Germs and Steel

When I read this I assumed it was relatively recent, but in fact it’s about 20 years old. Basically, it’s a broad sweep of human history showing how the particular features of various human groups owes a great deal to their geography.

It’s A Don’s Life

I’ve been reading a fair amount of Mary Beard recently. This is just a collection of posts from her excellent It’s A Don’s Life blog, but if you’ve never really read it before (as I hadn’t) this is a good place to start.

Four Quartets

More Eliot. These are essentially the last four poems he wrote (before moving on to verse plays that I find less satisfying). They’re beautiful and intricate philosophical reflections on time and being and reward multiple re-readings. I also enjoyed Ralph Fiennes’s reading of them on Audible.

The Cambridge Companion to T.S. Eliot

I think of the two, this broader look at Eliot’s career is more enjoyable than the Cambridge Companion just to the Waste Land.

Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough

This is Wittgenstein’s take on Frazer’s Golden Bough and I wrote about it here.

I Capture the Castle

I’d heard various people say this was their favourite novel, so I thought I should see what I made of it. It’s lovely, and I suspect if I was a bit younger when I first read it, it might of been one of my favourites too.

The Power of Art

Simon Schama’s book to accompany the TV series of a few years ago. As with a lot Schama’s other works, it’s full of bold assertions about the inner motivations of its key players, but it’s a style I enjoy and his passion for the art in question is clearly deep.

Crome Yellow

Aldous Huxley’s debut that I wrote about here.

Women & Power: A Manifesto

More Mary Beard, I wrote about this one here.

How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy

A book by Julian Baggini trying to right the wrong that western philosophy departments thinks there’s no thinking going on outside the west. It’s a very commendable attempt, but I rarely found it hugely illuminating or exciting. I hope many more follow in his footsteps, however.


The Kindergarten Teacher

A strange, but haunting film. I wrote about it here.

Everybody Knows

A compelling thriller with excellent central performances. Returning home for a wedding, a family explore old wounds and jealousies.


Part horror, part social commentary, all excellent. I wrote about it here.



When I first discovered Shura’s electro-pop I thought she was a new artist. In fact, the English singer been releasing records for a few years. Her album from 2016, Nothing’s Real is great, as is her new single, BKLYNLDN. I recommend trying out What’s It Gonna Be and 2Shy.

Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom

Allison Miller’s is an outstanding drummer. Often drummer-led albums can be rather niche and tedious. This album certainly leads on rhythm, and showcases Miller’s talent, but it’s full of great tunes.

LCD Soundsystem Electric Lady Sessions

LCD Soundsystem in their live-band format perform hits mostly from the last album, but a few others too. Added to that, the cover of Chic’s I Want Your Love is joyous.

The National

There’s a new album brewing, coming in May, the singles You Had Your Soul With You and Light Years bode well (the latter has a particularly good video).

Helado Negro

I’ve really enjoyed Running by Helado Negro. Haven’t listened through the album yet, but it’s on the list.


Broken Record

Malcolm Gladwell and Rick Rubin’s series interviewing people in the music industry has started a new series. The episodes interviewing Questlove and David Byrne are two of the best music-related podcasts in the last year.

Brady Heywood Podcast on Apollo 13

I wrote about this excellent series on what went wrong with Apollo 13 here.


Queer Eye

I don’t have many ground-breaking TV recommendations because I haven’t been watching it much, but Queer Eye remains one of the best pieces of reality TV ever made. High quality, touching and genuinely heartwarming.

This Time with Alan Partridge

On the other end of the scale, this is some of the most excruciating TV you can watch. It’s laser-guided uncomfortableness.

(Photo by Pinho . on Unsplash)

Weekly Playlist 18: I Want Your Love

We start this week’s playlist with a new single from Bury St Edmunds’s finest – Gaffa Tape Sandy – it’s a sweet little track from the band from my hometown and I think it deserves some more attention.

LCD Soundsystem remain one of my favourite bands, and their recent album of tracks recorded as a band (rather than the normal studio versions, which are basically James Murphy alone) is a lot of fun – a reminder of how excellent they are live. The cover of Chic’s I Want Your Love is my highlight though, with Murphy and the band giving a nod to a band who have influenced them heavily.

In the jazz-heavy second half, I’d like to draw attention to Glitter Wolf by Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom – Allison Miller is an absolutely breathtaking drummer and the whole album (also called Glitter Wolf) foregrounds her immense talent without ever feeling like relying on her virtuosity to hold attention – the tunes are great.

  1. Headlights by Gaffa Tape Sandy
  2. Open by Rhye
  3. i want your love (electric lady sessions) by LCD Soundsystem
  4. Ride by TV on the Radio
  5. Shuruba Song by Dexter Story feat. Hamelmal Abate
  6. April In Paris by Thad Jones
  7. Glitter Wolf by Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom
  8. Light Years by The National
  9. A Night In Tunisia (Live, Evening) by Sonny Rollins
  10. End IV by Giancarlo Erra


Apple Music Link

(Photo by Paul-Louis Pröve on Unsplash)

Weekly Playlist 17: Scott

I’ll warn you that however many times I hear the new Shura single, I think something is wrong with my headphones. Nevertheless it’s a great single. With the death of Scott Walker this week I had to include one of my favourite tracks of his. Also, we’ve got the new Ezra Collective single, which is fantastic and bodes well for the album. Polishing it off, we’ve got the wonderful Half Man Half Biscuit painting a picture of a visit to a 24 hour garage.


  1. BKLYNLDN by Shura
  2. Jackie by Scott Walker
  3. 1950 by King Princess
  4. I Don’t Know by Slum Village
  5. Quest For Coin by Ezra Collective
  6. To the Landing by Typical Sisters
  7. I Want To Be Happy by Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins & Max Roach
  8. UFOF by Big Thief
  9. Without You by Model Man
  10. Twenty Four Hour Garage People by Half Man Half Biscuit

Apple Music Link

(Photo by Paul-Louis Pröve on Unsplash)

Weekly Playlist 16: Dream Come True

I think Only Human by KH (Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden under another name) and Running by Helado Negro are two of my favourite tracks of the year so far, so there’s a strong start to this week’s collection. Further down we’ve got one of The Temptations’s first singles – perhaps not one of their best known, but the from the Ondioline introduction onwards – played by Berry Gordy’s wife, Raynoma – it is just a splendid track to enjoy as the sun comes out and days get longer.

The New Breed is one of the only other songs from earlier than this year and it’s a slow burner of a song – piano led, beautiful, and the perfect closer to this week’s selection.


1. Only Human (Radio Edit) by KH
2. Running by Helado Negro
3. Girls Like by Tinie Tempah feat. Zara Larsson
4. Counting Down the Days by AK
5. Esquima Dream by Stephan Crump
6. 1,2,3 dayz up by Kim Petras feat. SOPHIE
7. (You’re My) Dream Come True by The Temptations
8. Embryo by Jackson Mullane
9. Pretending He Was You by Claude Fontaine
10. The New Breed by Elan Mehler

Apple Music Link

(Image: El sueño de Jacob by José de Ribera)

Weekly Playlist 15: Spring Feeling

I did say on Twitter that I might not do blog posts about the weekly playlist anymore, but then I posted quite a lot on the blog this week, so here we are. At least it’s not the only thing on the blog.

The National have a new single out, so that’s got to be on there. It carries along the drum-beat heavy sound that I love. The classic acts for this week include Scott Walker, Prince and Bob Dylan (the latter’s Desolation Row being a response of sorts to TS Eliot’s The Waste Land).

I was introduced to Phoebe Bridgers’s Scott Street on one of my favourite podcasts, Song Exploder – I find that having the artist explain its construction makes me love a song all the more.

  1. You Had Your Soul with You by The National
  2. Spring Feeling by Toby Martin
  3. My Own Thing by Chance the Rapper feat. Joey Purp
  4. Montague Terrace (In Blue) by Scott Walker
  5. 2Shy by Shura
  6. When You Were Mine by Prince
  7. Comme si by Christine and the Queens
  8. Scott Street by Phoebe Bridgers
  9. Al-Mu’tasim by Cochemea
  10. Desolation Row by Bob Dylan

Apple Music Link

(Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash)

Weekly Playlist 13 : 30th Century Man

I’ve been revisiting Madvillain’s 2004 behemoth of an album, Madvillainy this week. It’s difficult to choose a single track, but All Caps seems as good a place to start as any. Scott Walker’s 30th Century Man and Matthew E White’s Will You Love Me are stone-cold classics and feel appropriate for this almost-spring we’re enjoying. From there, you get an indie song, Bibio’s Curls, from this year, some Biggie, Mingus and polishing it off, a cover of Arthur Russell by Peter Broderick.


1. All Caps by Madvillain
2. 30 Century Man by Scott Walker
3. Will You Love Me by Matthew E. White
4. Curls by Bibio
5. Big Poppa by The Notorious B.I.G.
6. New Tribe by Powder
7. Ceramic by Jeremy Pelt
8. Maybe You’re the Reason by The Japanese House
9. Ecclusiastics by Charles Mingus
10. Words of Love by Peter Broderick


Apple Music Link

(Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash)