Just before the winter holiday season begins and somewhere until the second week of January every year, it seems as if the music industry goes into a state of hibernation. The releases seem to dry up or you get announcements of what is coming up in February, March, and further on.
As if the industry thinks that music fans don’t care about the music at that time or that they’ve spent all their money on music gifts, or whatever.
Or maybe it is of the opinion that music lovers don’t care about music during the holidays?
Still, something does seep through and then there are the artists that think it is a good time to fill in the gap (not the clothing brand, though).
In keeping up with the season UK quintet Lakes came up with quite a gentle folkish single in ‘Pine Barrens’ anywhere on the line of their American heroes American Football and Braid.
‘Glassforms’ was the album Bruce Brubaker & Max Cooper was the vision these two artists had of the music of Philip Glass. Now come electronic specialists Laurel Halo, Donato Dozzy, and Tech with their versions of versions in ‘Glassforms Versions’ that all sound like glass (not Philip) covered with snow with the stillness only disrupted by the feet walking over it.
Maritza Merk is one of those new R&B artists that on the evidence of her single ‘I Don’t Believe It’ that does not want to stick to standard formulas as they are but tries to use them and combine them to come up with something that has a more personal touch. She makes it and gives a purpose to the idea of singles serving the function of a teaser to (good) future releases.
Spencer Cullum was born in London, but you can freely call him a Nashville man, as he is one of the more sought-after pedal steel and ‘ordinary’ guitarists. But there is nothing ordinary about his solo album ’Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection.’ If Nashville should spell country all the way, you can forget it. Cullum goes everywhere from countrified jazz to Krautrock inspired psychedelia, both vocal and instrumental. In essence, he has come up with an album that is bound to get a cult following in the years to come.
Oh, and for now, something from that pile of old stuff. David Wiffen’s two songs “ Driving Wheel“ and “More Often Than Not” may have become some sort of cover standards. But the English/Canadian personal voice and recordings somehow got lost in the singer/songwriter boom of the late Sixties/early Seventies. Quite a shame, since his self-titled album from 1971 (both the original and the reissue are sadly out of print) can rank along with the best of the genre. Top 10, personally.