18.5.06

All sweetness and death

Office etiquette. It’s a funny old game. I feel lucky to work in a very accepting office, musically speaking – I work with those who consider themselves fans of Frank Black, Marah, Sigur Ros, Four Tet, Belle & Sebastian, even the likes of Arto Lindsay and his experimental jazz nonsense. So I was thoroughly bemused today when events unfolded.
I put on Belly’s Star – a fine album, newly repurchased complete with digital copy-protection, hence the work-listening. After this, after checking nobody else had anything they wanted put on, on goes Amy Millan’s new album, Honey From The Tombs: a beautifully subtle, somewhat alt.country take on Millan’s Stars blueprint, and therefore full of warmth and soul. If you haven’t heard it, it’s along similar lines to Tanya Donelly’s last – all hushed undertones and space.

I got a request, followed by a forced removal on the grounds that it was stressful. Stressful? I questioned. The basis was that too much rock music was played, the definition of which seemed to stem from the use of drums. So we had an unrequested switch to Magic FM and the delights of Abba and Enrique Iglesias. Made my day.

I don’t mind if people don’t like the music I put on the office stereo. I’ve brooked allegations that Sigur Ros is ‘whale music’, and take pleasure in heaping scorn upon the antagonist. But at least I can see vaguely where that’s coming from – Jonssi has a, let’s say, esoteric vocal technique. But Amy Millan stressful? I give up. I argued my point for a bit then retreated into Boards Of Canada on my mp3 player, but it still rankles. Feel my pain people!

Still; I heartily recommend Honey From The Tombs to you – an understated blend of the aforementioned Tanya Donelly with a toned-down twang reminiscent of Gillian Welch, and the somnambulant, enveloping, tenor of Stars. It’s pretty low-key but claims ‘timeless’ in its press blurb. Obviously, this is something fairly tricky to condone when the albums not even out yet, but I see where she’s coming from. Have a shufty.

EDIT: since writing this last night and posting it this morning, I've come to the conclusion that I'm just being petty about trivial things. However, it's a good excuse to post some good tunes.

Amy Millan – Skinny Boy
Amy Millan – Losing You

Stars – Elevator Love Letter

Visit Amy Millan/Arts & Crafts/Amazon
Visit Stars/myspace/buy from Arts & Crafts/Amazon

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3 comments:

Tim Young said...

You should count yourself lucky. If even tried to play 'star' (an excellent album btw) in my office I would get the 'looks' followed by the 'polite requests'. I sit next someone who sometimes puts on the whole of a coldplay or keane album. Obviously this means that I have to listen on headphones most of the time. Without 'a love supreme' i would never get anything written. So, like I say, count yourself lucky.

Oh Simone said...

These are sad times indeed in which we live.

We actually have Guided By Voices on currently. I'm kind of in the mood to throw on some Rancid or something when this is done...

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