I've just been writing a diary entry on History Matters, where the idea is to get as many people as possible to document October 17th (chosen for it's distinct lack of association). I'm glad I don't write a blog which demands an epic of everyday life, quite literally every day. I don't think I'd be able to cope describing my life in specific detail: I like it, but on the face of it, it's pretty dull.
I did, however, finding myself lapsing into music, and once again it's a recommendation from Coxon le Woof. This morning on my trek to the Big Wide World Of Work I listened to Coal by Devastations. This is a Melbourne-derived band of whom I know little (nothing before the TDBYS post), and Coal is their second album after 03's eponymous debut, touted by none other than Karen O as the album of the year. Fairly high praise from a highly-respected figure this maybe, but do you trust rock stars' recommendations? Not me. Rock stars are fools, in the main.
The new album, Coal, has yet to garner such indie-credible celebrity backing yet, but it would be warranted every step of the way. It would be remiss of me (plus I'm sure the journalistic community would hunt me down for it) if I failed to compare Devastations to the Bad Seeds, and Conrad Standish's vocals to those of Nick Cave. But as appropriate as that may be, Devastations appear to take just a little of the sound, and a little of the ethic of Cave's troupe - it's dark, and romantic and occasionally somewhat Gothic in it's machinations, but it's not as arcane, or perverse as Cave: more apt are Stuart Staples resonant laments for Tindersticks. You could also look to Neil Hannon (my housemate did...) for a reference point.
But this sort of compare and categorise approach failed for me yesterday, and it falls short today. Many groups are derivative and it doesn't hurt them; not all can pull it off with the sort of flair and menacing panache that Devastations obtain. I heartily recommend Coal to you, as it's creeping it's way towards my years' top ten even as I write, and will no doubt benefit from further listening. If you are a fan of the Cave school of songwriting, the unconventionally romantic, the dark but beautiful, then Devastations might just tickle your fancy.
Label: Beggars Banquet
Recommended: Devastations - Coal
If you like this you might like: Tindersticks - Curtains