Crab Yars – The Upsetters (1978)
Another excellent track form the near-flawless canon of late ’70s Lee Scratch Perry produced dub, ‘Crab Yars’ ascends the usual parameters of its stylistic contemporaries via gentle discordance and heavy layering. Owing to the echoed bells floating in the background, there’s an oddly shimmering quality to this song, while the aforementioned texturing gives the track a feeling of being underwater, strangely similar to the sounds of Harold Budd’s collaborations with Brian Eno. As dub goes, it doesn’t get much more peculiar, or more satisfying, than this.
Corner of My Sky – Kelly Lee Owens/John Cale (2020)
Written about Owens’ and Cale’s Welsh roots, ‘Corner of My Sky’ is a claustrophobic yet enticing number that sees Cale become the storyteller of bleak naturalism amongst the flourishing resistance of Owens’ synths. Centring around the austere lines “The rain, the rain / Thank god, the rain”, ‘Corner of My Sky’ oozes with cathartic realism while portraying deeply ethereal and intoxicating promise.
I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep – Ghostpoet (2020)
Brooding post-punk provides a grooving backdrop to Ghostpoet’s existential lyricisms in a stunningly introspective composition. Key to the track’s quality is the freedom of the arrangement; a clear distance is established between each part, giving a distinctive eminence to all contributors. The stars of the show, however, are the combative, erratic and emotional guitars that grow in emancipated urgency and vibrancy throughout.
Intro/Keep It Healthy – Warpaint (2013)
An intensely rich and compelling creation. There’s a beautifully haunting aura that pervades the soundscape, complimented further by the ghostly vocals of Emily Kokal. Even better is the intricacy of the track’s composition, with complex timings, grooves and rhythms showcasing the dexterity and confidence of the group in the opener of only their second album.
I Believe In You – Talk Talk (1988)
Anchored by a hushed, gentle beat, Talk Talk bring together shattering emotional struggle with evanescent wonder to astounding results. Written about singer Mark Hollis’ brother’s heroin addiction (“Hear it in my spirit / I’ve seen heroin for myself / On the street so young laying wasted“), ‘I Believe in You is a slowly flourishing post-rock masterpiece that exudes a beauty rarely heard elsewhere.