We've handed our blog over to our playlister-in-chief Ollie, to tell you all about this month's musical picks. Read on to listen, find out more, and enjoy.
As the leaves begin to darken in colour and twist off their branches, this 27-track, 123-minute selection for October is designed to keep your spirits high this autumn, on the eve of what is likely to be a bleak, lonely winter.
Little Richard kicks things off with his tongue-in-cheek 1967 tune Hurry Sundown. It’s a beautiful ode to a brighter future. “I can’t wait to see the morning … a brave tomorrow is on his way,” he sings, with renewed resonance in 2020.
Next comes Free from SAULT’s latest release UNTITLED (Rise) which – after June’s UNTITLED (Black Is) – confirms the mysterious band are tone perfect once again. I could have picked a number of their tracks, but I love the sense of liberation in Free – a feeling that is, alas, suppressed for billions of people around the world right now. It cleverly shifts the narrative from “I don’t need a hero” to “I can’t make it on my own”, and encapsulates the cocksure approach to life many of us felt at the start of the decade that has been humbled.
Another wonderful new find for me is Champaign’s 1981 track I’m on Fire. It’s a sensual homage to an attractive woman, and sings of the excitement of new love. I adore how it flirtatiously builds to a surprising and beautiful chorus. I also really like the band’s name; so 1980s funk!
I’m a sucker for reggae versions of songs, and Kalbata, Mixmonster and Little John’s Prisoner in Love has enjoyed a lot of play time since it was released in 2014. It’s soulful, cool, laid-back and that piano tinkle is a delight.
It’s like discovering treasure when you stumble across an artist whose music you love, and explore their back catalogue and find it’s all mega. I was filled with joy when I first came across piano maestro Greg Foat a decade or so ago, and I’ve gleefully consumed everything he has produced – in his various guises – before and since. His latest offering is Symphonie Pacifique and I’ve featured the title track here. If this floats your boat, I’d strongly encourage you to set sail with his other stuff. He never misses.
I’m proud to say I’ve seen The Pyramids live a couple of times – most recently in 2012 at Cafe OTO in Dalston, London. I recall that night well, as my then-girlfriend, now-wife, started a conga line that snakes all away through the venue and included the still-playing musicians.
Idris Ackamoor is one of the very best, progressive jazz artists around. And his latest album, released in August, is typically excellent. When Will I See You Again? is a stunning lament, and a longing to which we can all relate. “Freak storm comes; you’d better hide.”
Good luck and best wishes this autumn. I sincerely hope this musical selection can soothe your soul for a couple of hours.
Yours in music,
Ollie (Boat Floaters)