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House Blend Playlist: April 29, 2019

House Blend Playlist
The infectious afro-funk of Ibibio Sound Machine’s “Wanna Come Down” is Grant Stovel’s pick on this week’s House Blend (image: Merge Records)

Every week, CKUA’s hosts submit their songs for our weekly House Blend playlist: an exciting new release, a beloved classic or just an old personal favourite. We mix it all together to create a sonic concoction that’ll help kick off your week. Check out what’s on this week’s playlist.

The Playlist

The Picks

Matt Masters: Nick Lowe,  “Trombone”

Not only does this swinging 60s-styled song flow smoothly into the ears, it does so in sad celebration of the trombone. It’s a song about longing for a lost love with very appropriate instrumentation. After all, what instrument knows more about longing than the trombone?

Vish Khanna: Kiwi Jr., “Salary Man”

This upbeat song is a cool blend of humour and rage about working class malaise. And it’s fun!

Orest Soltykevych: Francisco Tárrega (transcribed for piano by Simon Ghraichy): “Recuerdos de la Alhambra”

Francisco Tarrega was an 19th century Spanish composer and virtuoso guitarist. He not only composed over 75 original works, but transcribed 120 works of composers from Bach to Wagner. This piece that was inspired by the famous Alhambra palace and fortress in the Spanish city of Granada. This work was originally written in 1896 for solo guitar and transcribed for piano.

Baba: Beck, “Saw Lightning”

My ears are twichin’, Beck’s got a new single, this is it. Beck is fearless, the sound is bold. He’s not a loser (baby)!

Celeigh Cardinal: Leah Nobel, “Truly Known”

This song is like a defibrillator to my heart. Leah’s album, Running in Borrowed Shoes, tells the stories of the over 100 people she interviewed before writing this album. This love song, in particular, speaks of a tale that many of us want to tell one day. The song is simple lyrically and musically, but that means there are no barriers to feeling it immediately. “You see my good through the fog, And the barricade of stone, It’s a gift to be truly known.”

Cathy Ennis: Fontaines D.C., “Roy’s Tune”

Ireland’s Fontaines D.C. reminds me of my original love of punk rock going back to the days of Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, The Clash, etc. Dogrel is a great debut album from this Dublin quintet. “Roy’s Tune” is a melodic story of young love pitched against dead end jobs and the grind of trying to make ends meet.

Amy van Keeken: Bells Atlas, “Hazelwood”

Sandra Lawson-Ndu is on vocals and keys. Geneva Harrison is supplying the fat beats on drums, keys and vox. Derek Barber on guitar.  Doug Stuart is on the low end with the bass groove and vox. This Oakland, California band presents a mesmerizing sonic palette. Released on April 19th their latest album is called The Mystic. Hazelwood is a thoughtful psych pop track with soul: beautiful ear candy paired well with spring blossoms.

Mark Antonelli:  “Op. 150, Gigue for Violin & Organ” by Joseph Rheinberger

There’s something rather singular and atmospheric about music scored for the unusual combination of violin and organ. You find yourself somehow “sinking” into it, and suddenly, before you even know it, you’re completely immersed. A great recording made at All Saints Church, in Kingston Upon Thames in England.

Roy Forbes: Waylon Jennings, “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean”

You might call this tough 1973 country track Waylon’s declaration of independence from the cushy Nashville sound forced on him for years by his record company, RCA Victor. This track includes the insistent four-on-the-floor thump of the drums and bass, the chugging train whistle moan of the harmonica and the gritty, determined vocal from Waylon. This early blueprint of the so-called ‘Outlaw’ movement sounds as fresh and vital today as it did when Waylon cut it. It was the lead-off track for his excellent 1973 RCA LP of the same name.

Grant Stovel: Ibibio Sound Machine, “Wanna Come Down”

Not since Al Green has an invitation to a river been so soulful. This UK-based afrofunk band sings in both English and Ibibio — a language that singer Eno Williams grew up speaking in Nigeria. Of this song, she says, “The Ibibio lyrics are about the healing power of the river. And the chorus is inviting people to come, dance and get involved with what’s going on.”

Elliott Garnier: Harry Nilsson, “I Never Thought I’d Get This Lonely”

1977’s Knnillssonn was supposed to be Harry Nilsson’s comeback album. He had trashed his voice during the Lennon-produced 1974 album Pussycats. His label, RCA, abandoned big promotion plans for the record after the untimely death of Elvis. Nilsson considered the record his personal favourite of all his releases. Listening to this track, it’s easy to understand why. This is Harry in the twilight of his career: weird, wonderful, on point, and leaving us wanting more.