Sacred Animals vs Last Days Of 1984 - Aaja
Dublin duo Last Days Of 1984 have been featured here before (and are playing Liverpool Sound City on May 4th, sharing a bill with Golden Fable, Mount Kimbie and Darkstar); Sacred Animals is experimental folkie compatriot Darragh Nolan. Together they've produced a track that brings emotive longing to a digitised elongated landscape decorated with 8-bit sparkles, pitchshifting vocal effects, synthesised wind rushes and attractively blissed out patchwork soundscapes. The combination works a treat.
Darren Hayman And The Long Parliament - Henrietta Maria
As a coda to last year's marvellous Essex witch trials concept album The Violence, Hayman and co release the Four Queens 10" EP on Record Store Day, songs about - yes - four queens: Lady Jane Grey, Eleanor Of Aquitaine, Elizabeth I (sung by Elizabeth Morris) and this lovelorn ballad from King Charles I to his future queen. This is ahead of a July album of civil war songs and that same month's start of a year-long thematic monthly residency at London's Vortex Jazz Club. Usual workload slacking, then.
Benin City - My Love
From forthcoming album Fires In The Park, produced by Micachu's Shape Marc Pell, and available free from their website, it's another stylistic shift just for this post, flirting with post-dubstep and dark electro through a jittering bassline, determinedly dextrous performance poet meter from Joshua Idehen and almost heroic marching band, string and brass intrusion in the final third.