There Ain’t No Sanity Clause

It must come as no surprise to anyone to know that Sufjan Stevens loves Christmas. I mean, really, really loves Christmas. If he loved the Great States project anything like as much, he’d be on Rhode Island by now.

But no, he loves, loves, loves Christmas and he wants you and your cat to know all about it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, when he makes videos like these to promote his new Xmas album:

What a whopper it is too – five CD’s worth, with booklets and stickers and bootlaces and an inflatable Santa Claus1. It’s available here or from the usual usual Amazon place.

As for my Xmas present, well, I’d rather like a release of that Solar System concept album he was working on with Nico Muhly and Bryce Dessner. Wonder whatever happened to that?

MP3: The Midnight Clear by Sufjan Stevens

Not The Stump Song, Sadly

alt-J are one of those bands that somehow come from left-field and suddenly do something unexpected like, oh I dunno, win the Mercury Prize. Now there have been some pretty damn fine winners over the years – PJ Harvey and Portishead, anyone? – and the less good artists that have won have managed to at least be successful, like M People, or the actively awful Primal Scream. alt-J are up there with Roni Size as a “What? Eh?” winner1, and it would be remiss of me to not have a bit of a listen. Thankfully the generally-not-great Later With Boogie Fucking Woogie Jules Fucking Holland came up trumps the other week, and I got a chance.

First thoughts. A bit Radiohead. Singer’s a bit annoying.

Second thought. Might be a grower. After all I wasn’t all that sure about Grizzly Bear until I’d had a few listens.

Third thought. I’m hungry.

So it goes. They’ve got a song on a new filum and all that. Here it is. Listen and make your own mind up. I’m not the boss of you.

1 Nothing whatsoever against Mr Size; just that his win was a bit of a shock and all.

Buy “An Awesome Wave” here (CD/MP3)

Play It All

Shamefully, Caitlin Rose is one of those artists that I somehow managed to miss posting about after a single solitary post back in the day. Why, ask you? Because “Shanghai Cigarettes” and “For The Rabbits”1 were two of my favourite songs of 2010, I reply, and shamefully I forgot at the end of the year. But that was then and this is now. For she has a new record coming out, named “The Stand-In”, and lead single/track/download/Soundcloud whatsit is “No One To Call”.

And it’s bombastic, passionate, melodic, heartfelt, and over far, far too soon for its own good. I’ve just listened to it three times in a row. You should too.

It reminds me of prime Roy Orbison mixed with Loretta Lynn, produced by Phil Spector before he went crazy(er) and started shooting people. February 25th can’t come soon enough.

1See here:

Oh, and here:

Can you believe she was a teenager when she wrote these? Taylor Swift, eat your heart out.

Buy “Own Side Now” (CD/MP3)