The second of three overtly political tracks in a row in my countdown. Not the way I planned it but the way it has fallen out. It is interesting that all three are very different in their approach. She Drew The Gun was a wide ranging political critique, a forensic examination of the State Of Nation and People’s Faces’ by Kate Tempest also starts in a very dark place:
My countries coming apart
The whole thing’s becoming
Such a bumbling farce
We just went stumbling past?
However unlike She Drew The Gun, the song also offers hope, a ray of light a form of humanist salvation:
The current’s fast but the river moves slow
And I can feel things changing
I stand weeping at the train station
‘Cause I can see your faces…
I am playing this song a lot at the moment.
I liked Supergrass they released some fine, perky Britpop singles and were a hugely enjoyable live proposition. However, Gaz Coombes solo output has taken him on to a whole new creative musical level. Now on his 3rd solo album, this lead-off track is his finest work to date ; incorporating fizzing post-punk, untethered sax and woozy psychedelia.
Number 5 – Gaz Coombes, ‘Salamander’
#5 comes from my third indigenous artist. As noted for the earlier Mojo Juju and Baker Boy, the success of Thelma Plum is her ability to tell stories of the contemporary Aboriginal experience within modern music forms. Thelma’s lyrics speak to racism directed at her via social media (“Better in Blak”), of growing up Aboriginal in regional Australia (“Homecoming Queen”) and on the mistreatment of Aboriginal minors in a remote detention centre. Over the last few years she has worked hard at her craft, collaborating with stand-out Australian song writers and producers like Paul Kelly, Dave Le’aupepe (Gang of Youths) and Alex Burnett (formerly Sparkadia, now Antony & Cleopatra). She also has a writing credit with Paul McCartney as he contributed to the track “Made for You” having heard an early version while they were both working at the same studio in NYC. Her album is full of wonderful pop tunes, any one of which could be my #5, but I have selected her optimistic reflection on compassion and understanding, “Not Angry Any More”.