Happy Boxing Day! I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas. New Year's Day awaits us in a scant few days and then the holidays will be in the rear-view mirror another year. That means a whole new 12-months of music is also waiting to be discovered. I can't wait to hear them!
#6 Cosmo Sheldrake
I have found more than my share of new & unfamiliar music in 2018 and Cosmo Sheldrake was one of the most wonderful surprises. Sheldrake is a 28-year-old composer, producer, and songwriter from London. He has no formal training in music, nor is he able to read or write music, yet he has taught himself to play upwards of 30 different instruments. He released his first single, "The Moss" in 2014, followed by his first EP "Pelican We" in 2015. He has played live opening for Sylvan Esso and Bombay Bicycle Club.
Sheldrake uses a combination of sampling and looping to create his songs, which also heavily feature field-recordings he's made of the outdoors and nature. His website states that much of his work has to do with play and nonsense. Many of his lyrics are inspired by the writings of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear.
Some have written that Sheldrake sees, hears, and writes from within a childlike curiosity. To be honest, the first time I heard this next song, I sat on the floor transfixed & spellbound staring at my giant old Technics floor-speakers... I was suddenly a wide-eyed kid hearing something weird and wonderful for the first time.
Cosmo Sheldrake's full-length LP, "The Much Much How How and I" was released in April and I present to you the song, "Wriggle." It's #6 in the Lights-Camera-30 countdown.
Camera: Photo #6
Full of turtles, beavers, and waterfowl, the Wenham Swamp has become one of my favorite places to visit while out walking. You can also see a bat-box off in the background. Over the years we have learned that bats are an integral part of ecosystems, and providing ready-made housing helps rebuild their dwindling numbers!
I had mentioned back in my December 13th blog-entry, where The Sugarcubes had made #18 on the countdown, that we'd be hearing from their lead-singer Björk later in the month. Well here we are! As it turns-out The Sugarcubes was only the tip of the iceberg in-terms of where this Icelandic singer, songwriter, actress, producer's career was about to go. Shining-across the genres of electronica, classical, trip-hop, and avant-garde she carved-out an understanding that the only thing you could expect from her next was the unexpected.
Though, Björk had released an album in 1977 of covers & originals recorded at age-11, 1993's "Debut" was her first adult solo-LP. This is a tremendous album and listeners agreed, as the record went Platinum in the United States and sold over 4-and-a-half million copies worldwide. I had purchased my copy on compact-disc so early, that I missed a re-issue containing a bonus-track, that had been originally recorded for the soundtrack to the 1993 film, "The Young Americans." Since both "Debut" and "The Young Americans" are celebrating 25th anniversaries I'm going to do what Björk might do and drop that bonus-track in the countdown. It's called "Play Dead" and it's just been added to the Anniversary-30 playlist. Happy listening! -Kristen