Invigorated after the new year? Nope, us either. To do lists are growing by the second and whilst good times are afoot there’s also a bit of trepidation around here about just where we’ll start? Thankfully, music seems to bring us a bit of respite so we’ve chucked together a menagerie of tunes that are helping us get into gear for 2014.
Malcolm Middleton – Red Travellin’ Socks 
Kim: If there were ever a song to make me light of step, it’s Red Travellin’ Socks. Amidst a haze of trekking around Scotland to work on far too many gigs over a short space of time, I have a very vivid memory of watching Malky and band play this live. Some uptempo honesty regarding the tidal push and pull of life on the road was elevated with added violin at the time. As noted above, we’re needing a bit of momentum right now and this is the perfect instigator. Malcolm will be bringing his mostly melancholy sound to Celtic Connections, playing Platform on 25th of January.
The New Medicants – This Time
Phil: As we alluded to on Monday’s post, The New Mendicants hit Glasgow next weekend as part of Celtic Connections, this track is taken from their Australia EP out last year. Their new album is released on January 27th, two days after they play the aforementioned gig at The Arches.
FOUND – Mullokian (Toad Session)
Kim: Song By Toad Records are celebrating five years of releases with a very special . Amongst the mass of material contained on the five 12″ albums is a Toad Session recording of FOUND’s debut single Mullokian. It’s a soothing rendition with beautiful rippling guitar; stripped back for the tech tinkers. This was the song that began my love for FOUND. This love can be traced all the way back to 2006 when I was, in my ever delicate manner, shoving the song in the face of Mr Elba (Author’s note: Phil, this is your name now so please expect to be addressed thusly forevermore). Such Elba history makes for a more than solid reason for inclusion on our current mixtape.
RM Hubbert – Bolt
Phil: A favourite track from 2013, ‘Bolt’ was taken from RM Hubbert’s third album, Breaks and Bone. It’s a reply to a Nicola Roberts song don’t you know which incidentally Hubbert will advise that everyone should own, along with any Minutemen album. RM Hubbert plays the Mitchell Library next Tuesday as part of Celtic Connections
Appletop – Johnny’s Theme [DOWNLOAD]
Phil: Armellodie Records’ latest signing Appletop, are French. They also seem to like Pavement and Teenage Fanclub. You should probably know this pleases me greatly. With a hummable chorus, this song hasn’t left my head so far this year. I’m really looking forward to their album which is due out in spring.
Tideland – Dinosaur
Phil: There’s not too much that I know about Tideland, but I’ve been really enjoying their punky slacker rock sounds over the last few weeks. Hailing from Sterling, Virginia, Tideland released their album, ‘Lull’, on Russian Winter Records last year. Dinosaur is one of several tracks I could have put on the mixtape but being that my compadre, Kim, has a bit of a thing for dinosaurs, this was the obvious choice.
Janelle Monáe (feat. Prince) – Give Em What They Love
Kim: I am intensely drawn to Janelle Monáe’s artistry. There is an almost extinct ambiguity in contemporary music between performing persona and personal life. Where there have been pushes and prods by the media to pinpoint if any of her lyricism is reflective of her character, Monáe has managed to retain a great amount of mystery. Gender and sexuality load what she creates, more so here than on most other tracks. Just as Eryka Badu brought such energy to Q.U.E.E.N., Prince helps to layer on the filth in Give Em What They Love. The bass and melodic synch are core in the first half of this song before it breaks and you can happily lose your shit over the joy of brass, organ, solo guitar and some controlled yells and rasps from The Electric Lady herself. The track flutters out on an orchestral coda, the suite nature of Monáe’s debut returning once again on the 2013 sophomore album.