Whenever anyone comes round to my flat these days, there are a couple of things I like to do to them. One of these things is that I make them listen while I play tracks from "Aufheben", the new Brian Jonestown Massacre album. This is partly because it's all I do nowadays anyway but mainly because it’s amazing.
I know you're probably thinking stuff like "I bet it's all over the place" and "wonky". Yeah, wonky. But this is the best, most coherent album they (he?) has (have?) ever made. Anton has relocated to Berlin and it sounds like it's invigorated him. There's a real focus to this album. I put it on late at night for when I'm staring out the window. I put it on first thing the in afternoon with my clothes. I never thought I'd be listening to so much flute! There's a lot of flute. But it's flute that WORKS. Don't worry, there's also loads of riffs, and some singing. There are ladies singing as well! Some songs don't have any singing, instead relying purely on "groove". I think this is a wonderful technique which might well catch on in the wider world some day.
Perhaps my favourite element of this record is Anton's tenacity for brilliantly named songs. 'Face Down On The Moon', 'Stairway To The Best Party', and possibly my favourite, 'I Wanna Hold Your Other Hand', which is a retro-fetish with a chiming hook and has Anton using his incongruously quaint "English accent" in a sort of charming role reversal to the usual thing where British singers try to sound American. It's about wooing a bird with a boyfriend, but doesn't come off sounding half as dickish as that may seem.
If it's new artists you're looking for, I recommend a young lady called Siobhan Wilson with a voice like a Parisian silver screen premier. (Exactly.) Look her up on SoundCloud, her songs are mature, deft and catchy, and the production is a skilled master class in understatement.
- Gordon Skene