Cornershop England Is A Garden (2020)
Damon & Naomi More Sad Hits (1992)
Gwenno Le Kov (2018)
Like many people I have been buying music from Bandcamp. Firstly here we have England Is A Garden this year's new album from Cornershop, who have been one of my favourite bands for almost the last 30 years. The opening track ('St Marie Under Canon') was a great feelgood hit of the summer, with few things being more fun than walking around in the sun blasting it out on headphones. The rest of the album has the kind of refreshing familiarity one associates with the Shop, featuring their patented Cornershop stoner groove combined with occasional flurries of sonic waywardness.
More Sad Hits meanwhile was the debut album from the two members of Galaxie 500 who aren't Dean Wareham. People had warned me away from their music, saying that it basically isn't that good, but this record is a delight, one that has given me far more enjoyment than This Is Our Music, the third Galaxie 500 record; the peaks are not as high but the overall effect of the record is much more appealing, with songs of a consistently decent quality. Despite the title, the music stays away from miserablism, with Kramer's production keeping things reminiscent but not derivative of the Galaxie 500 sound. I am looking forward to exploring more of their music and would welcome pointers in that regard as by now they have a considerable back catalogue.
And then to Ms Gwenno, who used to be in another band but is now solo. I saw her at Liverpool Psychfest a couple of years ago (possibly 2016 but man it's so hard to remember). She lives in Wales but sings in Cornish, which would be kind of like if Black Sabbath sang in West Frisian. I don't really have a problem with lyrics I can't understand and must report that this is a very appealing record. Writers from the Astral Weeks school of music journalism compare it to the likes of Broadcast, Stereolab and that lot generally, so if you like them you'll probably like this too. My only real regret here is that when I bought it they were not offering CDs but now they are, so I fear I may have to buy it again to be able to play this on my proper stereo as it is worth it. images, all from Bandcamp: