Owl Flash

Owls flash amid darkening boughs
As I wander the shores of dusk
Scattering leaves as I pass

In half-remembered twilight
The clocks unwind
With crepuscular bliss

Inky light ebbs
In the leaves
And stirs the drowsy season

Gentle darkness folds its wings
Nestling in the mist
To await the distant thaw

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FM-84 – Running In The Night

This is a brilliant future retro/synthwave/fake 80s/whatever-you’d-like-to-call-it track. Huge synths, echoing drums and vocals to belt out with the windows down. I’ve loved this style of music for a long time — it’s just great fun to listen to, particularly in the car singing at full volume. The video’s pretty cool too — miles of beaches drenched in sunset and the obligatory city lights at the end. The stuff dreams are made of.

Also, I wonder if the title is a tribute to this classic Lionel Richie track. The video to it is hilarious but great fun to watch. 100% 80s!

The Paper Kites – Electric Indigo

I found this one while listening to a load of synthwave. I think it’s a beautiful song with a great melody and I really enjoyed the video. Short, simple and well shot — I’m a sucker for fake 80s…

Man Is Not A Bird – Survived The Great Flood

A fantastic track from a  talented post-rock band. Uplifting, joyful and full of interesting rhythms and time signatures changes. I also love how much fun the band are clearly having playing the track; it’s a pleasure to watch!

ODESZA – Kusanagi

I came across ODESZA through my girlfriend, who sent me a link to this very moving video shortly after we met. I loved the ODESZA track featured in it and went in search of more, finding that there was plenty.

I came across this track, Kusanagi, via Song Exploder. It’s podcast where musicians talk about their music, stripping down songs to the individual vocal and instrumental tracks while talking about their creative processes. It’s one of my favourite podcasts and I find it very inspiring (and funny) to hear about the different methods people and bands have for developing their work.

I think Kusanagi is a gorgeous track — for me, it perfectly captures the feeling of peaceful summer afternoons. There’s no official video, but this fan made one is about as close to perfect as you can get.

Me and My Friends – Brother

“A unique and singular blend, it’s the sound of English folk colliding head-on with the golden-era music of 1970s West Africa and the Carribean.” (From the front of their new album, Hide Your Way.)

I went to see Me and My Friends for their album launch party in Leeds last Saturday. Their combination of drums, cello, clarinet and guitar sounds fantastic. They’re an incredibly talented bunch (and, by all accounts, lovely people too).

I’ve rarely had so much fun at a gig. It was a small venue, filled to the rafters, and within no time the whole crowd was dancing madly! The band were in their element, playing a mixture of infectious dance-inspiring numbers and some beautiful slower tunes too.

Thanks to Mel for introducing me to this great band.

You can pick up the new album on Amazon.

Day Wave – Come Home Now

I adore this song.

I first heard it in November 2015, just after it was released, driving back from Durham after attending a lecture at the university there. I tuned into Annie Mac’s weeknight show on Radio 1 and this gem started playing. It felt completely out of season but I was transfixed!

I love the warm guitar and synth tones, the lo-fi vocals, the lazy drumming. It perfectly evokes glorious summer days and evenings spent with friends.It’s the kind of track that’s best played loud over a car stereo while the sun goes down. I was also really impressed to find out that it was all recorded and produced by one guy, though he has a live band for gigs.

I remember Annie saying that the song didn’t have a video at the time, but that she imagined it would be a sped-up video of friends driving to the beach on a beautiful day. Presumably in California, with surfboards strapped to the roof of a day-glo VW Camper. The video, now that it exists, is in a very similar vein. It fits well.