Viva Hate!

Life? Don't talk to me about life!

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As we put a great year in records behind us for 2016, we look forward to some promising discs of 2017.

Piano Magic are a collective fronted by Glen Johnson based in England and France. Wikipedia calls them "ambient pop", which is probably about right. 20 years ago, this would be called the 4AD sound (the band indeed did record 2 records for that seminal label), for lack of a better description. To me, descriptions to Dead Can Dance and the Durutti Column are apt, and other artists like that who offer more than a three minute pop song. The music is atmospheric, the vocals and lyrics intimate. Sometimes haunted. Sometimes they make you want to dance. Sometimes folk, sometimes guitar rock, sometimes what they used to call slowcore.

I have a soft spot for the band as Glen was active on LiveJournal back when people did that, and had a couple of conversations with him. (Now, the only people who use LJ are you, me and George RR Martin, but it used to be a thing). Even still, I think the man is an absolute musical genius, and you don't have to take my word for it, look at the four and four-plus star reviews on Allmusic.

Closure is their final album as the title alludes, and it comes out this week. I think it is the type of music all my blog's readers (all five of you) like, so it is worth checking out.

I am sure Glen will not sit still. he has done more projects over the years, and has a Marc Almond-esque quality in taking on projects that might not be commercially obvious but push artistic boundaries.

Of note, cellist Audrey Riley plays on this record. I know very little about Audrey personally, but I have read liner notes over the years, and suspect she has probably played on more of my favorite records than any performer. The list includes: Strangeways here We Come, Tender Prey, Black Holes and Revelations, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Everybodys Got One. She has credits that include everyone: Style Council, Foo Fighters, Swans, Marc Almond, Coldplay, Dave Matthews,the Orb, Catherine Wheel, the Sundays, the Cure, Lush , New Order, Coil, Peter Murphy, the Communards, Barry Adamson, Gavin Bryars, Dubstar, Feeder and many more. You probably have a half-dozen or more albums in your collection with her name on it.

Anyway, Closure looks to be well worth it based on the reviews I have read. "I left you twice, not once" has made it to the YouTubes and it's a strong single, so check it out.


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