Listening Post #12

by Daisy Nikoloska

Editor’s note: For the rest of 2016 Listening Post will be written by alternating PearShaped writers. This week Daisy Nikoloska takes us through her top five tracks we need to be listening to right now.

1. Norah Jones – And Then There Was You

This last week I’ve started wearing gloves outside, and that means it’s teetering ever closer to winter, the season of hot spiced alcoholic drinks, short days, and jazz. Thanks to the crucial inclusion of Turn Me On in the Love Actually soundtrack, this leads my mind straight towards Norah Jones, whose new album, Day Breaks, was released in October. It’s been steadily building favour with critics for drawing back to her first album (which included the aforementioned Love Actually song), and if you need to know why just listen to And Then There Was You. It’s sweet, simple, and sincere, a glow of calm in the madness of deadlines and the approaching Christmas season.

2. Bonobo – Kerala

If an electronic instrumental song with feel good summer vibes is included in part of a playlist, do we even really hear it? Does it sink in to our consciousness or does it literally go in one ear and straight out of the other? I’m not sure yet, to be honest, but Bonobo is king of chill and ambient, and Kerala is no exception. Yes, it’s called Kerala, as if we didn’t already know that his music is exclusively aimed at people who do alternative sports and go backpacking (I’m guilty as charged). It would sound great slacklining on a beach in India, but it’s also pretty good in the library as background music for furious essay editing.

3. Alicia Keys – More Than We Know

So Alicia Keys’ album just dropped, in the usual 2016 style, as a kind of pretend leak. She geared us up for it with In Common and Blended Family (featuring A$AP Rocky), and whilst both tracks are alternative R&B powerhouses, there are some album tracks that are worth diving straight into. More Than We Know has its feet firmly rooted in the soul belters that became synonymous with her, but refreshed and new. And it’s nothing at all like Girl On Fire, which we should all be incredibly thankful for.

4. HMLTD – Is This What You Wanted?

And now for something completely different. It’s fairly difficult to describe this accurately, but if you like the unexpected, give this a listen. It’s making some waves amongst the cooler-than-thou NME tribe, as HMLTD are as of yet pretty underground and obscure, but don’t let that be off-putting. It’s a bit like New Young Pony Club on downers; it starts sparsely but builds to a head-nodding, jerky-dancing end. They’re playing a free gig in Bristol at the Old England Pub on 21st November, by the way.

5. Lady Leshurr – Queen’s Speech 6

Back with more hyper specific pop-culture references and put downs, but this time dressed as Supergirl, it’s Lady Leshurr. It’s not ground breaking – none of Queen’s Speeches will bypass #3, sorry – but who cares? I’m certainly not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. It’s fun, and more than that, references the iconic, “Who is she?” Diary room moment from Big Brother 7. It started ageing as soon as it was uploaded to YouTube, so check it out before Lady Leshurr gives us something even sharper and sillier. Plus, she rocks the Supergirl look.

Listen to the PearShaped Listening Post #12 Playlist below.