Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

God is Not Dead for the Birds – Lux Interna [#530]

41pN1uSvmWL._AA160_Take a substantial lump of Nick Cave, add a liberal amount of gloomy acoustic guitar, mix in a teaspoon of Sandy Denny or Barbara Gaskin (what ever you have to hand). Leave to fester for a few years and you might  just be able to recreate something similar to Lux Interna.

I discovered Lux Interna through the much touted Looking For Europe neofolk compendium and was able to source a copy of this, their fourth album from 2007. Again, unfortunately due to the time of life I discovered them, I have been unable to devote as much attention to them as I had hoped. Yet every time I do listen, I’m always rewarded by a rich tapestry of sonic gloom.

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Compass – Jane Taylor [#296]

41-Bz6piNsL I’ve just learned from that know-it-all friend we all have called Wikipedia that in January 2011, Compass won Best Album in the Singer-Songwriter Category at the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards – well there you go something new every day eh? I also learned that that happened when the album was re-released after her pregnancy coincided with the first release. This all makes sense, as I remember her say on 26th August 2009 when I saw her play in Bilston that she was only just back at work after having a baby.  I took the date for this from my own spreadsheet, but I’ve just discovered it listed on Wikipedia too, which is slightly disappointing, what is the point in me keeping meticulous records if Wikipedia does it too? The reason I recorded it is I keep a spreadsheet of all the Ezio gigs I have been to since March 2003, and the one and only time I have seen Jane Taylor perform was supporting Ezio.  Support acts can be a bit hit and miss, sometimes I have gone only to see the support, other times I have arrived late to miss a support I had no interest in.  Luckily on 26th August 2009 my friend Amanda and I arrived in good time to see Jane Taylor play, because I bloody loved it.  I bought Compass on the spot, and have played it regularly ever since. I can’t say the same for her other album Montpellier, which I really didn’t rate at all, but that is just how it goes sometimes. So what is it about this album that makes me love it so much?  Maybe it talks to me of all those feeling that make up the human condition, all those moments you think and feel too much when you are awake in the middle of the night? I find the first track, Cracks, astonishing.  The combination of the soaring lyrics and strings create an enveloping sound.  I think this is my favourite of all her songs. Hallelujah, about the death of a grandmother cannot fail to make you think of your own grandparents.  It paints such an accurate image of childhood impressions of old relatives; carpet swirls, singing, jewellery and inherited resemblances. The title track, Compass, is stuffed with the feelings of a diminishing love affair.  Whenever I start listening to it I think ‘this isn’t one of the best’ but by the end I’m right there with her.  I think this is a particular talent of hers, drawing you in with her emotions before you realise you’ve felt this yourself, whether it was last week, last year or decades ago. ‘I’m fine’ is the song that when I heard it live decided the question of CD purchase.  I’m known for my dislike of anything “too jazzy” but this is just jazzy enough to be below the threshold for me. Sadly that one gig in 2009 is the only time I’ve seen her play live,  She’s never played locally and conveniently enough for me.   I still get the emails and hope that will change sometime in the future.

Jane Taylor – Cracks

all things change
Jane Taylor – All Things Change

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#120 – Baja Sessions – Chris Isaak

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 17.46.52Baja Sessions – Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak returns to the project. This time with an unplugged session of some of his better songs and a few covers.

There seemed to have been a movement that passed me by around the mid-90s where bands all started chucking out acoustic and lo-fi versions of their work. I’m not complaining.

This is good stuff. If studio Isaak has you feeling like you should slick your hair back, look aloof and pained yet cool and thoughtful; Lo-fi Isaak will have you wanting to sit on a porch with your dudes and guitar while a stream of girls walk past giving you the eye. Just like they do to Chris.

Of course that’s as likely to happen as the Vatican winning the world cup.

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