ORGAN: Five Music Things – Detroit’s rather witchy Varzum, Lyon’s Ashinoa, Hawkwind’s Niall Hone and his Lords of Form, J-Shadow connects his sonic explorations with astrophysics and a touch of Wet Leg as we ease into 2022..

All the striving and the doing it, on we go, 2022 is here and all the trumpets sumoned us, well hopefully not to anything more than more music. The first Five Music Things thing of a new year, the Five music things thing yet again (and again) for whatever it still might be worth. Five? There’s something rather compelling about five, cross-pollination? Five more? Do we need to do it again? Is there another way? A cure for pulling cats out of hats? A new editorial yet maybe? Is there a rhyme? Is there a reason? Was there ever? What do reasons make? Again and again and again (and again). Five more, same as last time (and the time before) five, and no, we never do and the proof of the pudding is in that proof reading. When we started this thing, oh never mind, it doesn’t matter and like we asked last time, does anyone bother reading the editorial? Does anyone ever actually look down the rabbit hole or is it all just method acting? Cut to the chase, we could just cut ‘n paste the editorial from the last time, there’s loads of music further down the page, well five or so pieces of music that have come our way in the last few days and cut cut slash and cut to the damn chase, who needs an editorial? Who needs any of this? Who needs it, who needs it, Cynical where? Same what every day? Here’s your five for today.

Five recommended musical things then, in no particular order, this is a non-stop operation…

1: J-Shadow – This one track, Death of The Multiverse, taken from the new album Hyperfold, flows so well, where the rest of it goes we don’t really know but this one track has us curious at the start of the year, the whole thing isn;t out until February 3rd, for now just one enticing taste of things to come from London’s J-Shadow (although he did release an EP on the final day of last year as well)

J-Shadow – Hyperfold

“London based electronic producer J-Shadow connects his sonic explorations with astrophysics, in his latest work Hyperfold. Digging deep into Carl Sagan’s studies, the artist develops the idea that we move along multiple dimensions, that cross each other, fold and loop and yet we are not able to fully perceive. This concept is depicted in Hyperfold by a mosaic of high-speed angular rhythms, that recall the disruptive bass potency of Mumdance, layered on a canvas of atmospheric spatial arcs reminiscent of Bruce’s weightless sound design”.

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2: Varzum – The second version of this new track will tell you why we like Detroit’s rather gothy rather witchy Varzum far more than the first version does, not that we don’t like Zach Pliska & Emily Sturm’s first version, actually now I’ve had it on repeat for a while not sure which version I like the most. It is a bit of a swirly throughback to the Batcave or some such place, but that’s no bad thing. There’s something pure about their sound, almost innocent, we have covered them before, this is a strong start to 2022, a piece released on December 31st of last year and there for you to download from their Bandcamp page at a pay what you want price…

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Hang on, I bet they’ve made a video, you get the feeling their visuals are almost as important to them as their sound is – woods and wedding dresses, we knew there’d be a video…

3: Lords of Form – The next venture from Niall Hone‘s Lords of Form. Four tracks and a bonus mix. it came out last last year, if you do know Niall then you probably know him from his time with Hawkwind, those who have been with us from the early days might recall Mandragora on our photocopied pages or at a free festival or two Right now Niall has this and a new project called HyperGiant, I believe he’s still touring with Hawkwind, the Hawk flavours are certainly flying with Lords of Form and we’ll just park this here, a release from last month, before we really do fly off into the new year ourselves. Revolution Time does kick off with that driving space rock spirit of whatever age we are now in, The Lords certainly demand a mention before we’re fully with looking over our shoulder, Last Call is rather beautiful

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4: Ashinoa – Well we couldn’t really start the year without someone from Lyon could we? “Lyon, France-based experimental group Ashinoa are today announcing their second album, ‘L’Orée’, and sharing the first single and video, ‘Disguised In Orbit’. Due out on March 25th via Fuzz Club Records, ‘L’Orée’ sees Ashinoa take the listener on a journey through the natural wilderness via the medium of shape-shifting psychedelic electronics. The album builds on the minimal krautrock of their 2019 debut ‘Sinie Sinie’ LP and follows tours around France and shared stages with the likes of Metz, Flamingods, Warmduscher, Bo Ningen, Kikagaku Moyo and many more”.

5: Wet Leg – We have covered them before and they really really (really) don’t need our coverage but but but, they are rather fine and we should nod a head in their direction as 2022 kicks off. Can we have the Roaring Twenties now? A song called “Too Late Now” from the album ‘Wet Leg’ out 8th April 2022 on Domino.

After releasing two of the best singles of the year, Wet Leg’s Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers were catapulted from their confines on the Isle of Wight to sold out venues across the UK and packed-out tents at festivals causing giddy excitement wherever they went. Now, the duo are thrilled to unveil two new songs alongside news of their debut album. The album is called Wet Leg and will be released on April 8th 2022 via Domino.

The new tracks are called “Too Late Now” and “Oh No”. “Too Late Now”, a three-part epic-in-waiting, showcases a more introspective side of the duo as Teasdale rattles against dating apps and TV in a messy, bleak world, before wryly settling on a bubble bath “to set me on a higher path”. On the magnificent glam-stomp of “Oh No”, Wet Leg explore the 3am doom scroll. “You know when you’re having dinner with someone, and they check their phone, and just… go?” says Rhian. It’s an 80s sci-fi film distilled into two minutes and 29 seconds”.

Teasdale explains what inspired “Too Late Now”: “It is about sleepwalking into adulthood. I never imagined that my adult life would look the way it does and I guess this song reflects on some of the pressures and pulls of life. Sometimes I get really inside my head and everything can feel very overwhelming. I think this song is about accepting that life can feel a bit shit from time to time. Maybe don’t indulge that thought too much though. Just take some time for yourself. Take a breath. Have a bath. It might make you feel a bit better.”

The video for “Too Late Now” – directed by Fred Rowson – sees the band beamed in from space to seek out the bubble bath of enlightenment, with them suitably clad in dressing gowns and sporting cucumber slices.

Wet Leg was recorded and produced in the main by Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey (“Chaise Longue” and “Angelica” were produced by Jon McMullen and Josh Mobaraki respectively). The album was mostly recorded in London, in April 2021, meaning they had a finished album before the world had even heard debut single “Chaise Longue” or played live. “I guess how it happened was unconventional,” admits Hester.

Right from the start of Wet Leg, Teasdale and Chambers focus was fun, and a dry sense of humour ripples through the album. “I wanted to write fun songs, I didn’t want to indulge sad feelings too much, I wanted to write stuff that’s fun to listen to and fun to play,” reveals Rhian. “But then, the sad seeps through, as well.”

Wet Leg is sad music for party people, and party music for sad people. It is cathartic and joyful and punk and scuzzy and above all, it’s fun. “Wet Leg was originally just supposed to be funny,” says Rhian. “As a woman, there’s so much put on you, in that your only value is how pretty or cool you look. But we want to be goofy and a little bit rude. We want to write songs that people can dance to. And we want people to have a good time, even if that might not possible all of the time.”

That’s enough Wet Leg, we like them but hey, we don’t need to cover them that much do we?

Did you check out our best of 2021 right at the end there? The things we did need to cover…

ORGAN THING: List time, our top albums of 2021, who made it? Gazelle Twin & NYX, Peter Hammill, Michael J Sheehy, Black Country New Road, Robert Calvert, Flying Luttenbachers, Deerhoof, Van Der Graaf, Alex Ward, Charlotte Greve, the Commoners Choir and…

Here’s a couple of classics from Organ days past while we get stuck into the next things…

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