Category Archives: Unknown Pleasures

artists below the radar that deserve recognition

Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

          Clipse have long been characterised as the doyens of cocaine (w)rap, a term which does scant service to the ingenuity of their wordplay and the stripped back nihilism of the music on this, their greatest album. Their interest in words can be traced back to their origins: originally known as […]

Icona Pop – I Love It

          Stuck in a Beirut apartment not feeling well. I resorted to my favourite pastime of winding people up on Twitter and Facebook when I came across an updated status that read, “I put your shit into a bag and pushed it down the stairs.” A little concerned that I might […]

Ryan Adams – Rock N Roll

          Ryan Adams is a chameleon. He is like that restless boy in school, unable to concentrate on any one thing before getting bored with it and moving on, only to be eventually  diagnosed with ADHD. From Whiskeytown to The Cardinals, from country to rock, from acoustic to electric, he shifts […]

Nothing Comic About Our Arthur

          I am frequently asked about my top albums of the year to which I shrug my shoulders Gallicly and mutter in Arabic to confuse my interloper. The truth is I haven’t a clue. I am not a journalist who gets sent all the new releases to review and I haven’t […]

Stars – In Our Bedroom After The War

          I have never seen Stars live but always like to imagine that  the opening track of this album is played as they filter on stage in darkness and then they launch live into the second track. I love this album so much I have unhealthily imagined this scenario far too […]

Once Smitten Twice High

          ‘Once’ is low budget ( shot for 130,000 euros), stars two musicians as opposed to actors (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova), was filmed in just 17 days,  has semi-improvised dialogue and a plot you could sketch out on the back of a postage stamp: in other words, a recipe for […]

Mathilde Santing – She Goes To My Head

          I lived in Amsterdam for a couple of years in my mid twenties. When I was around Rembrandtplein,  I would often go to the art deco bar, Cafe Schiller, where the soundtrack always seemed to be Marvin Gaye’s ‘Here My Dear.’ But my local bar in the Jordaan would always […]

Furniture – The Wrong People At The Wrong Time

        If anyone remembers Furniture now, it’s for their brilliant single ‘Brilliant Mind.’ And yet they produced equally brilliant work in the two LPs they produced, both cruelly undervalued. Whilst the second LP, ‘food, sex and paranoia’, should be  the title of my autobiography, their best realised record is ‘The Wrong People.’ […]

The Sound (of a Troubled Genius) part 2 – From The Lion’s Mouth

        ‘Jeopardy’ had the songs but it was evident that it was recorded cheaply and lacked the necessary production to push it into the upper echelons. Enter name producer, Hugh Jones, a bigger budget and a gatefold sleeve. It immediately looks the part with a glossy sleeve and an arty picture of […]

The Sound (of a Troubled Genius) – Part 1, Jeopardy

        First, what a great name for a band! Second, what a great band! Much as I love The Teardrop Explodes and Echo and the Bunnymen, The Sound are the band who should be mentioned in the same breath, who should have had the same success. That they didn’t is slightly puzzling […]

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