It’s not new but it has been a while since they have been in the spotlight. I am talking about quirky solo-acts, especially male ones because the females have pretty much flooded our playlists this year, that there probably was a secret testosterone-meeting at which it was decided to get going next year. And they already popped up here and there, Dan Deacon, Windmill, Kid Harpoon, Boy eats drum machine, Ramona Falls etc. The magic word is, however, not just ballsy men-songwriting but unique, weird stuff that might seem off at first sight but grows on you bit by bit until it reveals all of its beauty in a breathtaking epiphany. Ok, maybe a bit less dramatic. But there is this trend of opening up all limits of genres, styles and instruments, which makes artists like Boy eats drum machine so awesome because you just don’t know what comes next and isn’t this the most amazing feature of music, when it can surprise you over and over again? This doesn’t, of course, exclude quirky and weird female artists (I actually think that it is fantastic that there is such a vast amount of exciting women out there who don’t flash their panties repeatedly to cover up bad songwriting) but the males really have to prove themselves, so we don’t return to My Brightest Diamond, Joanna Newsom and Bat For Lashes and never look back. And after a long search, I also found a male solo artist whom I haven’t introduced already. Pew.
I am a huge fan of music with grand gestures. That’s why Rufus Wainwright and Sufjan Stevens are very dear to me. John Vanderslice shares those gestures, however, with electronic sweets here and there which turns his songs a bit askew, small dissonances, sounds and (scripted) glitches that punch cheeky holes in the otherwise dramatic compositions. Mr Vanderslice calls his sound occasionally “sloppy hi-fi” which has potential to make it into my music-almanac. Furthermore, he earns the term songwriter because his lyrics are highly referential to our culture, politics and society, so if you want to learn something just listen to him.
Fetal Horses (This must be one of the best song-titles I’ve ever encountered)