On Repeat: James Blake, Kate Tempest, Hiss Golden Messenger, Dilly Dally

I started On Repeat as a way to showcase new music from the current year that I felt deserves everyone’s attention, or that simply got stuck in my head, but doing this every week is unsustainable if I’m going to show off new artists each time. Yeah, there will be weeks in the future where a familiar name or face come back for a second recommendation, but I don’t want to do that all too often. This is why I’m going to bring in some older music. Not older by much, maybe by a few years at most – this week has a track from 2015 so it’s not ancient history we’re talking about here. Anyways, enjoy this week’s mostly new music!

James Blake - I Need A Forest Fire (ft. Bon Iver)

Enfield, London native James Blake is a singer, songwriter, producer, and musician with an immense amount of talent. His vocal style leans towards R&B and Soul, while his music is more experimental and electronic. His beats tend to have an echoic resonance, and even a slight dissonance too when he lets the sounds he uses reverberate longer than you would normally allow. My favorite album is his 2013 release Overgrown, but his album this year, The Colour in Anything, is good too. It feels slightly more experimental than I’d like, and more depressed, but it’s a solid album regardless. This track features another fantastic artist of whom we’ve featured here before, Bon Iver. I love this collaboration. It’s a match made in heaven.

Kate Tempest - Ketamine for Breakfast

Kate Tempest, also from London, is an English poet, spoken word lyricist, rapper, and playwright. A playwright rapper! Born is 1985, she’s been performing since she was 16 – starting at open mic nights, and eventually opening for acts such as Scroobius Pip. Her influences are vast, but has credited James Joyce and Wu-Tang Clan among them. She started her rise to fame with her poetry book Everything Speaks in its Own Way. She has written for theatre, and won awards and critical acclaim for her theatrical spoken word piece Brand New Ancients. Then she dropped a hit rap album in 2014 because why the fuck not. This track from 2016’s Let Them Eat Chaos is but a glimpse into the incredible talent that is Kate Esther Calvert.

Hiss Golden Messenger - Tell Her I'm Just Dancing

Hiss Golden Messenger is an American folk, blues, country rock band from North Carolina. I don’t know a whole lot about them, nor have I listened to the newest album Heart Like a Levee at all, but this track from the band’s 6th studio album is very very good. According to M.C. Taylor, front man, at the time when the album was being written he had just quit his job, and was torn between his responsibilities to his family and to his music. From a statement from Taylor on the Merge Records website:

“And then—driven by monthly bills and pure fear— I left for another tour, carrying a load of guilt that I could just barely lift."

I’m interested to hear how these emotions bleed into the rest of the album. if it's anywhere near as good as this track, I'm all ears.

Dilly Dally - Desire

Dilly Dally is an alternative rock, grunge band out of Toronto, Canada. There’s not a lot of information on this band because they’re a fairly new development, but Katie Monks (Guitar/Vocals) and Liz Ball (guitar) have been friends since they were 14, and have been writing music together since after high school. Their debut album Sore released in October 2015 and it is fantastic. It’s everything you loved about 90’s alt-rock. Give the whole album a listen if you like this track, you'll be happy you did.


That wraps it up for this week - keep it On Repeat until next time!