What does April mean to you?
Are you an April baby?
Perhaps you admire the stunning colours of autumn?
As we glide into the second half of the first half of 2021, here is the month of April in review.
Best Songs of April
Australian singer/songwriter and musician, Courtney Barnett has topped my list for best songs of April. The Melbourne based artist known for her expressionless vocal style teams up with Cameroonian-American multi-instrumentalist Laetita Tanko, better known by her pseudonym Vagabon, covering Sharon Van Etten’s Don’t Do It!
Barnett’s version of Don’t Do It makes up the 10th anniversary reissue of Sharon Van Etten’s 2011 landmark album Epic.
Asides from listing it as my favourite song of April, Courtney’s rendition of Don’t Do It is my choice for the best cover on the album, her deadpan singing is flawless, Don’t Do It suits the 33 year old musician from Melbourne to a tee.
St Vincent’s the melting of the sun from her upcoming album Daddy’s Gone is at 2, above Big Thief’s interpretation of The Breeders off you which is at 3rd place. Lucy Dacus and English post-punk art-rockers Dry Cleaning feature in my top 5 songs of April.
Here is my top 5
1 Don’t Do It – Courtney Barnett feat Vagabon from Sharon Van Etten ‘epic Ten’
2 The Melting Of The Sun – St Vincent
3 Off You – Big Thief
4 Hot & Heavy – Lucy Dacus
5 Unsmart Lady – Dry Cleaning
Other songs from April to check out-
Posing In Bondage by Japanese Breakfast
Last Day On Earth by beabadoobee
Garden by Dinosaur Jr
White Dress by Lana Del Rey
Sinking Feeling by Wavves
A Crime – Big Red Machine from Sharon Van Etten ‘epic Ten’
He Said She Said by Chvrches
Love More by Fiona Apple from Sharon Van Etten ‘epic Ten’
Smile by Wolf Alice
It’s Every Season by Angel Olsen
Stay In The Car by Bachelor, Jay Som, Palehound
Your Power by Billie Eilish
Introvert by Little Simz
Crawling Kingsnake by The Black Keys
Take It Back by Dinosaur Jr
The Darkness That You Fear by The Chemical Brothers
Best Albums of April
New Long Leg is art-rock brought to perfection.
New Long Leg is dry, some may find it strange. New Long Leg allows the imagination to run wild in a world that doesn’t seem real. It’s exceptionally good.
With an unlighted, yet effervescent style flirtatious with synth-pop and paraded by indie strumming guitars compared to post-punk bands, the debut album by London art-rockers Dry Cleaning is complemented by an unexpected undertaking, frontwoman Florence Shaw does not sing, she narrates.
Florence Shaw is barely a musician, Florence is a visual artist.
Florence is static, she expresses her thoughts, feelings and ideas clearly.
Florence has an odd, yet comical in a cynically humorous narrative style with the ability to attract the attention and admiration of others.
In a way that is difficult to explain, Florence Shaw’s narration is sublime.
Dry Cleaning are
My rating 8.7
Other albums worth listening to
Dinosaur Jr ‘Sweep It Into Space’
Dinosaur Jr’s fourth record since their reunion and overall, their twelfth studio album Sweep It Into Space is carefree with delightful recollections. Co-produced by Kurt Vile, the trio, J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph are loyal to their signature.
It’s 2021 and Dinosaur Jr sound the same. It’s not a bad thing.
Sharon Van Etten ‘epic Ten’
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of her 2011 release Epic, Sharon Van Etten invites a host of friends to help her celebrate by their own rendition of all seven songs from the initial release. Artists include Fiona Apple, Lucinda Williams, Courtney Barnett and IDLES.
Like myself, if you loved Epic, you would definitely appreciate epic Ten.
The latest release by Aussie hopefuls Big Scary Daisy and Liz Stringer First Time Really Feeling are quite impressive and definitely worth a listen to.
The Ramones self-titled debut turns 45
On the 23rd of April 1976, The Ramones released a three cord masterpiece
The Ramones self-titled debut was one of the first albums to incorporate the punk creative, The Ramones ushered in a short, fast and loud sound that would still be influential forty five years later
Three cords and simple lyrics, the four punks from New York City seemed adventurous with a dark sense of humour.
Their first up is energetic and fun.
Derring-do, at times you feel like you’re listening to the same song. The discography inauguration by The Ramones is a risk-taking masterpiece. 9.4 is my rating.
Beat On The Brat
Judy Is A Punk
Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement
53rd & 3rd
In memory of Kurt Cobain, Throwaway rewinds back to Nirvana’s tribute to the underground compilation, Incesticide.
Incesticide was released three months after Nirvana became one of the biggest bands in the world.
As an alternative to a hasty release of Nevermind’s little sister, Nirvana delivered a compilation, they dropped a best of unreleased songs for fans, old and new.
“Incesticide embodies the free space of punk more than any Nirvana album: part outsider visual art, part punk fanzine, thrillingly raw.” – pitchfork
Incesticide is an assemblage of peel sessions, covers, demos, b-sides and consisted of four different drummers.
Incesticide expresses a strong feeling of love and respect for the world Nirvana occupied pre Nevermind.
Dive and Sliver are the gates to Nirvana’s highest happiness, their anthology.
Sliver is Nirvana’s most underrated song.
Recorded in July 1990 with Mudhoney’s Dan Peters on drums, (Dave Grohl featured in the 1993 video), Sliver is about a boy feeling abandoned by his parents who dropped him off with his grandparents. “Mom and dad went to a show/ They dropped me off at grandpa Joe’s/ I kicked and screamed
Said “Please, don’t go!”/ Grandma take me home/ Grandma take me home”
Dive is also a song about a child feeling unwanted “pick me, pick me, yeah”.
Incesticide’s cover illustrates Kurt’s far from curtailed, boyish humour. Kurt the artist.
Incesticide features a handful of Nirvana’s earliest recordings from their 1988 demo with Melvins drummer Dale Crover, The 1992 compilation also includes covers – Devo’s ‘turnaround’ and two covers from Glaswegian indie pop duo The Vaselines, “Molly’s Lips” and “Son Of A Gun”. Cobain worshipped The Vaselines so much he named his daughter Francis after the band’s Francis McKee, featured in the image above.
Incesticide, in comparison to Nevermind, is similar to a small village as to the hustle and bustle of the big city.
My rating 8.7
Son Of A Gun
As a boy, I fell in love with Big Country’s “In A Big Country”
“The lyrical idea was about having hope, a sense of self in times of trouble,” Frontman Stuart Adamson in an interview with Melody Maker, March 1990.
Formed in Dunfermline, Scotland,
Big Country were Stuart Adamson, Bruce Watson, Tony Butler and Mark Brezicki.
The Scottish quartet reached the height of their popularity during the early to mid 80s.
From 1983 to 1999, Big Country released eight albums with Stuart Adamson as lead vocalist.
The Crossing highlights the collection.
The band parted ways and Adamson moved to the US with a shift towards country music.
Not long after the break up of his second marriage, Adamson became depressed.
In December 2001, Stuart Adamson was found dead in a motel room in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was 42.
Big Country still sell out medium sized live venues with Simon Hough as vocalist.
Together with the message of “hope”, In A Big Country is also known for its bagpipe sounding guitars, mastered by Bruce Watson.
Stuart Adamson is sadly missed.
I picked up In A Big Country for $35 from an online seller in Sydney.
It remains as one of my favourite songs of all time.
That concludes April’s edition of Throwaway.
See you at the end of May.