Big Joanie – Confident Man
Orville Peck – The Curse of the Blackened Eye
Macie Stewart – Maya Please
Wet Leg – Ur Mom
Personal Trainer – Texas In the Kitchen
Portugal. The Man – What, Me Worry?
The No Ones – Phil Ochs is Dead
Fireboy DML, Ed Sheeran – Peru
Jah Wobble – Trinidadian Chinese New Year
Orville Peck is originally from South Africa and is now based in Canada. Last year he released his second album Bronco on April 8, 2022. Between South Africa and Canada, he moved to London to study acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and later starred in a play on the West End.
Though he’s never revealed his identity, it is commonly accepted that Orville Peck is the alter ego of Daniel Pitout. Over the past 15-odd years, has gone from punk drummer to stage actor to the world’s most mysterious cowboy crooner. He’s a talented enough singer, but more importantly he is a calculated aesthete. Peck has committed to a cartoonish persona, turning his public life into an endless performance.
Peck grew up in the badlands outside of Johannesburg. He was a lonely child, friendless and bullied, so he clung to old movies: Clint Eastwood spaghetti Westerns and The Lone Ranger, films about outsiders who turn into heroes, anonymous vigilantes who come out of nowhere and save the town and charm the girl and choose solitude anyway. At 15, Peck’s family moved from South Africa to Vancouver. Peck has said in interviews that he played in punk bands in his youth. Pitout, his suspected alter ego, was the drummer in the Vancouver band Nü Sensae, which achieved some recognition in the early 2010s but went on hiatus in 2014 after he decided to pursue an acting career in England. He entered a two-year acting program at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and landed a role in a 2016 West End production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong.
Wet Leg a British band founded in 2019 has already been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize. Wet Leg has already won Best Alternative Music Album for their debut and Best Alternative Music Performance for “Chaise Longue”, and were nominated for Best New Artist at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards. Pretty amazing.
Here is a live performance by Wet Leg at Glastonbury in 2022.
From the Guardian
Wet Leg seemed to come out of nowhere. Silly name. Lyrical double (and single) entendres. A Domino record deal off the back of a couple of tracks on SoundCloud. Within weeks, their June 2021 debut single Chaise Longue had flung the Isle of Wight duo from unknowns into the buzziest band around on just the basis of a few minutes of stupidly catchy guitar-pop.
That song hinted at how Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers could shove new wave, post-punk and incessant hooks into a raucous embrace. And yes, Chaise Longue set a high bar, with its Mean Girls reference and a bucolic music video (now watched more than 8.5m times). It was widely rated as one of the best songs of 2021. Could their first record make good on its promise? In April, their self-titled debut answered, conclusively, yes.
Peru: How Ed Sheeran helped Fireboy DML’s hit go global
When Fireboy DML was told to check his DMs, he had to be convinced Ed Sheeran’s message was real.
Ed had sent the Nigerian singer a note saying he was a fan and wanted to collaborate on a remix of his Afrobeats hit, Peru.
“He had apparently been listening to the song for weeks,” Fireboy tells Radio 1 Newsbeat, from his studio in Lagos, Nigeria.
“Not only had he heard the song, but he’d already recorded a verse for it too.”
‘Everything you do is for the culture’
The 25-year-old is aware of critics who say having such a big name on the track dilutes the song’s origin.
“People were saying Peru was already big. It was already good enough without him,” he says.
But he says the “only thing” on his mind when he got Ed Sheeran involved with the remix was how it was “going to be amazing for Afrobeats.”
“It’s the selfless mind-set that comes with being an Afrobeats artist. Everything you do is for the culture.”
In the song, Ed sings a couple of lines in Yoruba, a language predominantly used by millions of people across West Africa, especially in south western Nigeria.
“He did great,” says Fireboy, who’s real name is Adedamola Adefolahan.
Portugal. The man
How did they get their name?
The band’s name is based on the idea of David Bowie‘s “bigger than life” fame. They wanted the band to have a bigger-than-life feel but did not want to name it after one of their members. “A country is a group of people,” guitar player and vocalist John Gourley explains. “With Portugal, it just ended up being the first country that came to mind. The band’s name is ‘Portugal’. The period is stating that, and ‘The Man’ states that it’s just one person” (any one of the band members). The name has a more personal meaning as well: Portugal. The Man was going to be the name of a book that Gourley had planned to write about his father and his many adventures.
A critical and commercial success, “Feel It Still” earned Portugal. The Man a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Returning in 2020, the group turned in a pair of unlikely tracks: first, a cover of “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie for the children’s compilation At Home with the Kids in August, followed later that year by “Who’s Gonna Stop Me,” a collaboration with Weird Al Yankovic that honored Indigenous Peoples’ Day. A live studio recording from 2008 emerged in 2021, originally taking place after the tour for their third album and before the recording of their fourth; released as Oregon City Sessions it captured the live energy they had built up from playing stages worldwide.
Led by the single “Feel It Still,” [Live/Stripped Session] it was named in honor of the 1969 festival and the group’s attempt to “say something that mattered” in a context of sociopolitical unrest. A critical and commercial success, “Feel It Still” earned Portugal. The Man a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
Big Joanie – “Confident Man”
from the album Back Home
Big Joanie is a British punk trio formed in London in 2013. Big Joanie was formed when by Stephanie Phillips in 2013, posted online asking for bandmates with whom to start a black feminist punk band. They signed with Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. 2018 saw the release of their debut Sistahs. Back Home, released in 2022 on the Kill Rock Stars label, contains the number, “Confident Man”.
Rolling Stone magazine discusses: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/big-joanie-confident-man-1234596046/
Macie Stewart – Maya Please
from the album A Mouth Full of Glass (bonus track)
Macie Stewart is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter based in Chicago. From what I can tell, they has had an amazingly diverse career. Starting as a child prodigy on piano and violin, Stewart has played with both avant- garde jazz improvisational groups and toured with as back up musician with Japanese Breakfast, The Weather Station, Chance the Rapper and Jeff Tweedy. “Maya Please” is a single form last summer.
Personal Trainer – Texas In the Kitchen
from the album “Big Love Blanket”
Personal Trainer are a collective of musicians who hail from the Netherlands. From what I can tell, this track is from their first full length album. “Texas in the Kitchen” is a jaunty little number that would sound out of place on a mid-90’s Pavement lp.
There’s not a lot of info on these folks so I’ll post this article from Read Dork.
Peter Buck/ Luke Haines
– “Phil Ochs is Dead” from the album All the Kids Are Super Bummed OutThe No Ones is a collaboration featuring Scott McCaughey, Frode Strømstad, Peter Buck and Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen, is a band that stretches from the southwest of Norway through Athens, Georgia to the northwest corner of the USA, consisting of members from I Was A King, The Minus 5, The Baseball Project and R.E.M. This track features primarily REM’s Peter Buck and Luke Haines formely of the Auteurs. Dangerous Minds elaborates:
https://dangerousminds.net/ For the record, Phil Ochs is dead . He tragically took his own life in 1975 at the age of 35. Just for the heck of it, I am including my favourite Phil Ochs song.
Jah Wobble – “Trinidadian Chinese New Year” from the album Guanyin
Jah Wobble, is an English bass guitarist and singer. He was born John Joseph Wardle in London. He became known to a wider audience as the original bass player in Public Image Ltd in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He later left the band after two albums and has since enjoyed a lengthy and fruitful career exploring all sorts of genres of music. Check out this lengthy discography. https://www.allmusic.com/artist/jah-wobble-mn0000107259/discography
The track, “Trinidadian Chinese New Year” continues Wobble’s exploration of Jamaican dub and World Music. It’s taken from 2021 album Guanyin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp3yxFKEoaY
Here’s a tidy little guide to his career. https://thevinylfactory.com/features/jah-wobble-10-records/