From Janis Joplin to Mac Miller: The Far Out weekly playlist
The weekly playlist, a new feature on Far Out, wraps up the previous seven days across the website and brings them all together into one handy place. Whether this is a thirst for new music or an old favourite with a landmark celebration, here is your one-stop-shop for all your music needs.
Last week, we welcomed Sleaford Mods to the site for an interview with frontman Jason Williamson about the band’s sixth album, Spare Ribs. The album is everything you’d want from a Sleaford Mods record; it’s funny, innovative and plastered with killer tunes that show a band who aren’t content without experimenting with the boundaries of songwriting. Although the record is reflective in parts, that doesn’t prevent the singer from venting his frustrations at those who have managed to piss him off in recent times. Whether this is unelected officials like Dominic Cummings on the fiery track ‘Shortcummings’, or the provocative swipe at the faux well to do artists on ‘Elocution’.
“I think it’s healthy to point fingers and to talk about that type of thing in that kind of way,” Williamson told Far Out. “I mean, I think those kinds of practices don’t really encourage good creativity, it just encourages conformity, careerism and just cliches. I just like to put down whatever pisses me off, and if you can do that in a way that’s funny as well, then it’s a double whammy.”
Another band who released a record on the same day as Sleaford Mods is South London band Shame, a group who scored their first top-ten studio album with their sophomore effort, Drunk Tank Pink. Far Out’s review of the record praisingly stated: “From the moment opener ‘Alphabet’ kicks in, we’re assured that while Shame may have some new sounds, it is still the same band underneath it all. The following track ‘Nigel Hitter’ is equally bruising but it is on ‘Born In Luton’ that one can hear the complexity of their meeting influences. Not afraid to marry new wave rhythm with Afrobeat bounce, and still bring in the buzzsaw guitar form time to time, showcases a band on the ascendancy and in total control.”
In anniversaries this week, Arctic Monkeys’ seminal debut album turned 15-years-old and was an album that would forever change the shape of contemporary music. With this record, four boys from High Green in Sheffield suddenly became their generation’s voice and since then have continued to grow with that audience that they captured all those years ago.
This weekend marked three-years since the passing of The Fall’s iconic leader, Mark E. Smith. He was as famous for his fiery temperament and his favourable attitude towards sacking bandmates, with The Fall stacking up over 60 members whilst under his stewardship. However, that shouldn’t distract from the fact that the band were post-punk pioneers who played a pivotal role in influencing British music and shaping a prevalent sound today.
Another artist who deserves to remembering is Mac Miller, the late rapper who passed away in 2018 should have celebrated his 29th birthday last week, but his legacy fights on. Miller’s music incorporated many different influences under the umbrella of hip-hop and helped him become a mercurial talent. Throughout his all-too-short-career, he released four-full length studio albums during his life and the posthumous, Circles, which was greeted with glee by his mourning fans in 2020.
Janis Joplin, who also died prematurely in her 20s like Miller, shared her birthday with the rapper with both artists born on January 19th. Joplin, firstly as part of the Big Brother and the Holding Company and then later with her band Kozmic Blues Band, became one of the foremost singers of her generation and was just as capable of bringing the house down as she was tearing the scene up.
Meanwhile, Far Out’s weekly segment, ‘New Noise‘, takes a look at the artists who people should sit up and take notice of in 2021. This week, the artist we took a look at is Dublin’s For Those I Love, an artist utterly unlike anybody else. For Those I Love is the moniker used by Dublin visual artist and producer, David Balfe. The project is a personal one born out of Balfe’s grief and his inner workings to try and control it. His debut single, ‘I Have A Love’, acts as the perfect invitation into this dark, gritty yet enticing world that the Irish artist created that sounds like nothing else out there. Despite only releasing two tracks so far, Balfe is one to watch.