City Vibes

 |  March 1, 2011

Artist: Iron and Wine

Album: Kiss Each Other Clean


Right, time to get serious OK? And I mean serious, because Iron and Wine have released another long player which means it’s actually time to shut up and listen for once. For those that recall the tempestuous triumph of 2007’s The Shepherd’s Dog you will already be salivating at the prospect of this release. For those that don’t, welcome to some of the finest crafted progressive folk music around. Sam Beam has developed a unique, multi-layered style that offers dream-like and salacious melody, a beautiful ode to traditionalism and yet also an invitation to others to match his quixotic musical style.

Artist: Talib Kweli

Album: Gutter Rainbows


Gutter Rainbows combines everything I love about hip hop: smooth, deep bass lines, rolling rhythms and tight, meaningful lyrics. It really shouldn’t be hard to make that kind of music, yet so many ‘rappers’ sink artistically and still manage to swim commercially. Therein lies the problem. To use a meat analogy, commercial hip-hop is a cow destined to be pulped for burgers. Kweli, by contrast, is a cow rollicking freely on the hillocks and chewing cud. Either that or Kweli smokes a shit load of dope. The result is masterful, pure, undiluted beat-treats that should be exported to Korea sharpish.

Artist: Tennis

Album: Cape Dory


The woman on the front of this album cover can teach us all a jolly good lesson: It’s not cool to exercise. Most sports (proper sports I mean), like Darts, Pool and Curling, hinge on the copious imbibing of alcohol. Likewise Football, yes that’s ‘Football’, the game you play with your feet, also has an inherent culture of getting trolleyed. They have nothing do with exercising and everything to do with being cool (getting smashed, you geddit)? If you don’t believe me check out Phil the Power Taylor. Cape Dory is so far from cool, it is the musical equivalent of hopscotch.