Playlist July 15

Wednesday 17 July 2013, 10:39

Stuart Bailie Stuart Bailie Late Show Presenter

Such a happy occasion to hear the Kowalski album. There were times when we worried that it might never drop – that one of the sweetest bands in recent years would shuffle off without a true legacy. I don't know all of the issues that delayed its arrival, but ‘For The Love Of Letting Go’ doesn't manifest any of the pain. Rather, it shimmers and swoons and rightfully shows up when the sun is bright and the days are expansive.

You will already know ‘Outside’, a song that finds poetry in oil slicks and persuades you that love’s young dream can still resonate. Many of the songs are sited by the water and hazy with the heat. Maybe it’s a North Down thing. The Kowalski method is to paint up emotions – what Brian Wilson famously called “feels”. They do this consistently well, with guitars set to treble and played high on the chest. With pattering, indie disco drums and Lou’s high, aching register. Two Door Cinema Club have managed well with a similar steer, but let’s remember that Kowalski plotted the territory first.

Just the job then, for those jingle-jangle mornings. And for an uncommon, shiny summer. It’s a small regret that the delayed arrival of their debut album has left some many great songs behind. I have a powerful affection for ‘Phil Kansas’, that’s sadly absent.  Still, the Kowalski story is on, the tunes have been emancipated and there are many invitations to feel the love.  

Eddie Cochran – Somethin’ Else (EMI)
Pet Shop Boys – Love Is A Bourgeois Construct (X2)
Bell X1 – Drive By Summer (Belly Up)
Kowalski – Longer The Night Lasts (white)
Editors – Formaldehyde (PIAS)
Loleatta Holloway – Part Time Lover, Full Time Fool (Kent)
Mayer Hawthorne – Where Does This Door Go (Universal)
The Triffids – Too Hot To Move (Island)
Rolling Stones –Hot Stuff (Rolling Stones)
Sinkane – Warm Spell (City Slang)
Christian McNeill – If You Need Some (Q Dee)
Fun Boy Three – Summertime (Chrysalis)

Mic Christopher – Heyday (Loza)
Kowalski – While We Drive (white)
Etta James – Tell Mama (Chess)
Pet Shop Boys – The Last To Die (X2)
Pete Gardiner – Hard Days (white)
Aretha Franklin, Mavis Staples – Oh Happy Day (Arista)
Cornell Campbell – Good Direction (Strut)
Villagers- Earthly Pleasure (Domino)
Lou Reed – Perfect Day (RCA)
Queer Giraffes – She Doesn’t Wear T Shirts Any More (white)
Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space (Dedicated)
Primal Scream – It’s Alright, It’s OK (First International)

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Music journalist and BBC Radio Ulster presenter Stuart Bailie writes on music and culture and opens up the archives on his long career in the business.

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