The It’s Monday Playlist [21/09/20]

The weekly It’s Monday playlist on Spotify can be accessed here. Follow it for 5 new tracks to start your week!

Good Fortune – PJ Harvey (2000)

Putting romance and post-punk in militant embrace with each other, ‘Good Fortune’ leads a line of cruising confidence. Chronicling Harvey’s amorous escapades across New York, it offers both a tender narrative and punk brashness in equal proportion.

Though, in isolation, the lyrics seem more at home in a sickly-sweet ballad (“I paint pictures / To remember / You’re too beautiful / To put into words”) Harvey is able to expertly mould them to fit her styling. The force put behind each iteration exudes the passion felt for both the song and her past infatuations, leaving behind a song of joyful reminiscence and infallible presence.

Man Out Of Time – Elvis Costello & The Attractions (1982)

Lust, despair and scandal headline in a powerful decrying of decadence and moral impunity. The lyrics are biting, (“He’s got a mind like a sewer and heart like a fridge / He stands to be insulted and he pays for the privilege”) and the air of grandeur of the story’s characters is juxtaposed effortlessly by the echoey nature of Costello’s croons, sounding as if he were recorded in a smoky late-night bar.

Man Out Of Time’ is a track of artistic maturity and astute observation, highlighting Costello’s skill in arrangement and pertinent lyricism.

pink diamond – Charli XCX (2020)

A antagonistic anthem for the lockdown age, ‘pink diamond’ laments the state of enforced inertia placed on the socialising masses in shameless brutality. Though the backing owes itself somewhat to the unforgiving percussion led sounds of the likes of Crystal Castles and Death Grips, XCX’s teenage tone opens an arrogant and urgent dimension for the song (“Lip gloss on and I’m lookin’ like a star / Got a tiny bag but I got a big heart”).

Certainly, ‘pink diamond’ may not cater to all experiences of isolation – or all musical tastes – but its powerfully sinister sparsity is undeniably invasive.

Enjoy – Björk (1995)

Despite being known more for exuberant quirkiness, ‘Enjoy’ showcases a darker and more unsettling side to Björk’s repertoire. The soundscape is disconcertingly gloomy, Björk’s usually innocent resonance is now a depressing echo, and her words speak of dysfunction and romantic complication (“I wish I only love you / I wish simplicity”).

The enduring appeal of ‘Enjoy’ comes from the masterfully crafted and textured electronica that fronts the act. Though not as destructive as ‘Army of Me’, the instrumentation of ‘Enjoy’ still holds a subtle authority throughout.

Surmount All Obstacles – The Fall (1994)

Littered with Mark E Smith’s ever-distinctive poetics (“His face is full of ex-ex-ex-ex-cruelty”) with added dives into experimentation of aural distortion and manipulation, ‘Surmount All Obstacles’ provides a curiously engrossing listening experience

Anchored by an infectious four note bassline, ‘Surmount’ exhibits one of The Fall’s more successful rock-dance crossovers within their 90s output. It’s a frantic number that doesn’t let up in its energetic delivery or tight production, and still maintains their consistent independence in sound.

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