From the latest Wilco to the post-rock cavalcades of the Montrealers of Yoo Doo Right, via Joey Bada$$, the pop asides of the leader of Orwell’s Nancy and the great Isobel Campbell under the strange nickname His Umbrella, or even Neil Young, back to the essential records of 2022 that the “Inrocks” had not yet reviewed. Part 1 of 2.
Pit stop and catch-up session. The Inrocks take advantage of the summer break to highlight a handful of albums and EPs released this year which, despite having played on our turntables, did not have the place they deserve in our pages. On the program, a handful of essential references to listen to without moderation. Today: the crafted pop of His Umbrella (duo formed by the Orwellian Jérôme Didelot and Isobel Campbell); the old school rap of Joey Bada$$ ; indie pop tallies ; the return of Wilco ; nursery rhymes Marie Klock ; the friend Neil Young ; the post-rock of Yoo Doo Right, and the library and instrumental swerves of Cosmic Analog Ensemble.
His Umbrella – Paris does not exist
Paris is no longer a party: Taxi Girl predicted it and Bruit Noir endorsed it. The deconstruction of the Parisian myth has always constituted in pop circles this slightly casual, slightly overplayed chic, against a backdrop of lost paradise. Which does not prevent beauty, as evidenced by Paris does not existthe latest collaboration between the Nancy-born Jérôme Didelot (Orwell) and the singer and cellist Isobel Campbell (Belle and Sebastian, Mark Lanegan), reunited under the strange and cloudy nickname His Umbrella.
Faithful to his elaborate approach to writing (in a pack including turnkey melodies and arrangements), Didelot built for the Scotswoman a classy setting that smells like the old leather bistro bench, where the evocation of themes (A theme), rubs shoulders with a few post-yéyé incursions (Storming the sky), unstoppable pop song (I don’t finish anything), groove and cosmic wanderings. Like a variation of the expression “too good to be true”.
Album: Paris does not exist (80 Proff Records/Europop 2000)
Joey Bada$$ 2000
In the great tradition of albums flanked by a year as a title, the 2001 (1999) by Dr. Dre imposed itself in standard meter. When, thirteen years later, Joey Bada$$ arrives from New York with his very remarkable first mixtape 1999 (2012), the gesture looks more like a desire to reset the counters than a wink to his elders. Taxed as a revivalist of the East Coast 90’s sound (we come across MF Doom, J Dilla or even Lord Finesse in the credits), the kid from Brooklyn sees further: he rewrites history, as if the Atlanta trap had not grabbed the business and that Roc-A-Fella Records still dominated the rap world. A decade later, Joey Bada$$ delivers 2000, billed as the sequel to his seminal mixtape. Lush productions, between boom bap tradition and modernity, this third studio album calls on Westside Gunn, Californian Larry June (One of Us is one of the highlights of the disc), Diddy on the opening and even the Montrealers of Men I Trust, sampled on Show Me How. Like a return to square one.
Album: 2000 (Pro Era/Columbia)
tallies – Pattina
instant tube, No Dreams Of Fayres, unveiled at the end of 2021 in the torpor of a year that we were eager to leave behind us, had the effect of a memory shock: we remembered the first solo breakthroughs of Cullen Omori (ex-The Smith Westerns ) in the middle of the 2010s, we remembered the Sundays, Cocteau Twins and others, as if more than thirty years did not separate us from the discographic exploits of these luminaries. The trio made in Toronto, carried by the indatable voice of Sarah Cogan, announced the release of Pattina, a second short album (nine tracks on the clock, with a cover that looks like it came straight out of a brainstorming at 4AD) released in July and came to confirm all the good that we think of this training in know-how ancestral pop. Between jangle and dream pop, the Tallies do not rehash, they explode the genre without any complex, and with grace. One of the great records of the summer.
Album: Pattina (Bella Union/PIAS)
Wilco – Cruel Country
Wilco here, Wilco there. As Nonesuch Records prepares to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the great Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002) with a “Super Deluxe Edition” expected on September 16 (and already deflowered through a handful of unreleased live excerpts), Jeff Tweedy’s band unveiled at the end of June Cruel Country, on dBpm Records. Boxed in live conditions, the 21 tracks that make up this twelfth studio album map the contemporary or fantasized America of a group which, like Sufjan Stevens, has taken it into its head to retrace the history of this country plagued by violence and myths. To better ward off fate? If distracted listening to this disc can cause a feeling of boredom, an attentive ear will marvel at this ability to produce so many good songs on the LP. Country-rock at heart, the Chicago kids’ latest album could have been called A People’s History of the United States.
Album: Cruel Country (dBpm Records)
Marie Klock – Dried Droppings in Ceremonial Vest
When she does not speak counterpoint and “Bullshit Dorian Monodic Chant” with John Maus and that she does not write for Release, Marie Klock makes scat-punk poetry on synthesizers and other electronic organs. Worn by the unstoppable single Seum Ballin which she stages herself sticking her fingers in the urethra of “soft bandages” who take themselves for Bukowski, his first album, The dark side, boxed as a hermit somewhere in the Cévennes mountains, was released in May 2020. Two years later, she took the quintessence of this DIY long-format, four titles, and put it through the mill of a professional studio. . Tadam, Dried Droppings in Ceremonial Vesther new EP, sees the light of day and Marie Klock finally sets the record straight.
Apart from the unprecedented Pipo le iench, cover of Patrick Sébastien, which sounds like a cover of Philippe Katerine, if Philippe Katerine was a pastiche of Alan Vega (welcome to the metaverse), the pieces that appear on this discographic object are therefore not unreleased. But their new interpretation clarifies the subject. Note, the piece Useless, co-written with Daine Schultz, a town crier who died in April this year. An avalanche of human excrement which is good for French pop (which is not always outdone on this side).
PE: Dried Droppings in Ceremonial Vest (The cesspool discs)
Neil Young & Promise of the Real – Noise and Flowers
Prolific, without moving the buttocks of the porch of his ranch, Neil Young. In two months, the one who believes that the health situation does not allow him to set foot on a stage, unearthed three unreleased live albums released in the early 1970s (Royce Hall, I’m happy that y’all came down and Citizen Kane Jr. Blues) and pulled from its archives a long format, Toastrecorded with Crazy Horse in 2001. Expected this week, a fifth album will come to document the recent scenic excesses of old Neil: noise and flowers is thus made up of titles captured during the 2019 tour, which had carefully avoided France, when the artist was on the road with Promise of the Real, a five-star backing band, led by Lukas Nelson, son of Willie. 14 electric and acoustic titles, reviewing the long career of the American-Canadian, of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhereat Fuckin’ Up. Enough to revive the memories of an unforgettable concert in Quebec in 2018.
Album: Noise and Flowers (Warner)
Yoo Doo Right – A Murmur, Boundless to the East
Yoo Doo Right, like the B-side of the first album of the Germans of CAN, monster movie (1969). To one letter. The Montreal trio, fired up with kraut and the dissonant digressions of post-rock, released a second album in mid-June concentrated in five long and progressive tracks, sweeping a wide spectrum of music stamped rightly or wrongly “cosmic”. Latent tensions of very doom and metallic Feet Together, Face Up, On the Front Lawnto the alcoholic wanderings of The Failure of Stiff, Tired Friends and his dream-pop acquaintances, the proteges of the Mothland Records stable offer a soundtrack to James-Webb’s interstellar journey at the same time as they make us think of the immensity of the universe.
Album: A Murmur, Boundless to the East (Mothland Records)
Cosmic Analog Ensemble – Botanica Expo
“I would like people to stop saying that I am a prolific guy”, told us recently Ty Segall. Although the kid from Laguna Beach releases a lot of records, he can’t come close to the multi-instrumentalist who hides behind the pseudonym Cosmic Analog Ensemble (and others), Charif Megarbane. The man-orchestra, who dreamed of himself as François de Roubaix (any resemblance to the soundtrack of the film with Louis de Funès, composed by the musician-diver, is fortuitous), has published over fifteen years a hundred or so albums, in what strongly resembles the quest for a submerged world: electronic jerk, breakbeat, oriental funk, psychedelic pop, Megarbane’s miniatures rake a wide swath of seventies illustration music and certainly arouse the excitement of the listener.
Last part of a trilogy started with the album The deaf ears (2017) and continued with A straightforward life (2018) the year after, Botanica Exporeleased this year, is that kind of crazier cabinet of curiosities than those aforementioned two, where the giallo becomes a burlesque comedy and where the apparent lightness of the themes, which seem to be woven live (wonderful Balearic wandering that this Ohms & Watts), can tip a holy spirit into a tough, melancholy torpor. More than postcard music, jet-lag music, for those who send themselves old-fashioned at the hotel bar. And there is much more to discover.
Album: Botanica Expo (History Records)