May 2020

May has been another incredible month for new music. While the normality of the past still seems out of reach, music unbound by the world’s circumstances has continued to flourish. Incredible records from artists both old and new have soundtracked another month of isolation for the majority. Yet, early morning walks and late-night jogs with your own thoughts and a treasured set of headphones has provided the structure for many. Music, now more so than ever, is vital, so allow us to help you with just a few of our favourites from a month of outstanding musical output.

A.O Gerber – Another Place to Need

Secret Meeting says:

‘Described by its creator as a painstaking process, Another Place to Need, the debut record from A.O. Gerber, is certainly worth the wait. Gerber, cast in the role of host, welcomes the listener in to experience eight tracks and thirty-seven minutes of a spellbinding album, with both her vocal warmth and lyrically apt observations crafting an intensely personal web. Pristine arrangements interspersed by razor sharp synths and billowing horns at first it feels a lot to absorb, but as the album flows it clicks. This is the production of patience, of meticulous discipline and of a skilled artist who does not waste a single moment in the honing of her craft.’

Denison Witmer – American Foursquare

Secret Meeting says:

‘Home is where the heart is, they say. And the American Foursquare story began following Witmer’s move from Philadelphia back to his place of birth – Lancaster, PA. Across the record, he finds inspiration in the simple things – family, friends and positive relationships. This is best demonstrated on the album’s most immediate four and half minutes – the gentle, spaciousness of piano based Catalina Love, the family inspired, Paul Simon-esque, Confident Sensitive Child, and the glorious metaphor of River of Music, which perhaps best of all documents how he gave himself to the subconscious flow of inspiration.’

Eve Owen – Don’t Let The Ink Dry

Secret Meeting says:

‘One theme that runs through Don’t Let the Ink Dry is colour, both lyrically and sonically. The vibrant, eclectic soundtrack feels like a journey through a tumultuous blend of emotional unloading. Bluebird fizzes along with a frantically picked acoustic and rolling snare that stick just to the right side of chaos, as Owen offers visual descriptions of her apprehensions – ‘A bluebird swept down to me, it used scars for hooks’. The piano based ballad, She Says, has Edith Piaf levels of open wound delivery, as Owen comes to grips with being let down by someone whom she has invested her ‘hope and faith’ in. It is a startlingly mature piece of song writing for someone barely out of their teens, and delivered with equal gusto.’

I Break Horses – Warnings

Secret Meeting says:

‘You can image the industrialist calls for tracks hitting the eight and nine-minute mark to be culled and streamlined. But doing so would strip Warnings of its soul and trim the greenbelt it needs to grow and flourish into. This is music to score a dystopian cataclysm. Without doubt, the Swedish pair’s finest moment to date.’

Modern Studies – The Weight of the Sun

Secret Meeting says:

‘A record of quiet yearning, bearing the weight of the sun and the knowing that despite this, all this, the sun will rise. Again and again. There is in this record a sense of plenitude, of reassurance among loss. Something always ‘goes on’, even as we find ourselves stuck or in crisis. Listening to The Weight of the Sun, you’ll find yourself carried always on in this way, thalassic, buoyed by chords, borne through rich imagery of ‘scattered satellites and skeleton keys’, gliding between the celestial and the daily, the sentimental and strange.’

The past month has been so packed with excellent music that we felt it remiss to limit ourselves to just five recommendations. Once you have made your way through these, we would also strongly recommend Damien Jurado’s – What’s New Tomboy?, the raucous Making A Door Less Open from Will Toledo’s Car Seat Headrest, the genre-bending new record, Consummation, from Katie Von Schleicher, and the sunshine pop of 2nd Grade’s Hit to Hit.

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