SAM MORRELL


ASTROPHYSICIST

What I’ve Been Listening To – January 2016

February 1, 2016   |   Reading time: ~6 mins
The impending landmark at the University of Exeter for the last couple years are the cranes involved in building the new Living Systems Institute. Last month the final of these monolithic figures was taken down and shipped out. From my vantage point on the 4th floor of the physics building I managed to get the majority of it on a 5 hour long timelapse. This is the frame when the final large crossbar was craned down to be disassembled.

The impending landmark at the University of Exeter for the last couple years are the cranes involved in building the new Living Systems Institute. Last month the final of these monolithic figures was taken down and shipped out. From my vantage point on the 4th floor of the physics building I managed to get the majority of it on a 5 hour long timelapse. This is the frame when the largest crossbar was craned down to be disassembled.

And so, like a flash, the first month of 2016 has come and gone. The weather is really beginning to ramp up now and hit the UK with its full, highly dynamic glory. Thanks to this abysmal serving of rain, clouds and somewhat lacklustre cold snaps, I’ve had plenty of time sat at my computer working in which to get in my quota of music listening. So, here’s my compilation of auditory surprises this month.

Big Giant Circles – Signs (Feat. Aureylian)

I was encouraged by my friend to listen to the TotalBiscuit Arbitrary Game Awards 2015. The winner of the Best Soundtrack award was a game I’ve never heard of called There Came An Echo. This is a good old fashioned sci-fi tactical game. I’ve not played the game, but the soundtrack itself is exceedingly good. Notably, a song featuring YouTuber, Aureylian, is a superb tune that showcases what this album has to offer.

 

John Williams – Rey’s Theme

If you’re a fan of science fiction, such as myself, it will have been very hard to ignore the fact that there’s a new Star Wars film around. Unfortunately, the film came out the day I left the country to go and look at some stars, so I missed it in 2015. However, I rectified that this month and finally went to watch it. Long story short, I absolutely loved the new film. It was exceptionally good. Once again, John Williams returns to assemble the soundtrack for it so we have a slew of new music. This is my personal favourite track from the film. I’ll leave the spoilers at the door and let you fill in who Rey is and what the context of this tune is. ūüėČ

 

St. Lucia – Love Somebody

What with is being nearing two years since a new album from these fine folks I’m very happy to see some new material from them popping up on Spotify. Their new album, titled ‘Matter‘, was released on January 26th. To hype it they’ve been releasing a single per month since about November, and hype it they have. Because of this, I’ve been listening to these singles in preparation.¬†Something I’ve been able to find before, which is one of the reasons I’ve not featured them here, is a really good recording of them playing the song live. However, that has recently been remedied by KCRW¬†who had them for a session. They’ve uploaded a few of their songs, but here’s my favourite. It’s the first single off of their new album and it’s super good. In particular I’m enjoying the 80s style arrangement with the rich layering of synths, while not going overboard which is a fine balance, but they’re keeping the modern pop production. Luckily, the album is awash with this very aesthetic, so if you’re as much of a fan of this as me, it’s a must listen.

For those wanting to hear more from this session¬†the entire thing can be found in full right over here. I’ve watched all of it. I highly recommend going and having a listen as it’s St. Lucia at their absolute finest.

 

Public Service Broadcasting – Sputnik

Taking it down to a slightly more serious note now.¬†As I type this, orbiting over head is the first Brit on the International Space Station, Major Tim Peake. In January it was the ever popular Stargazing Live which takes place at Jodrell Bank observatory. This brought to mind this tune by Public Service Broadcasting which is not only just about the space race, but is actually filmed in front of the Lovell telescope at the Jodrell Bank observatory. This tune is part of a concept album called The Race For Space. It charts the story from Sputnik to Apollo 8. I highly recommend taking a listen to it all in order in one sitting as it’s an amazingly good listen, and that’s the best way to listen to concept albums.

Chairlift –¬†Crying in Public

Looking back on it, the end of January was actually a pretty damn good time for new music. A lot of the entries in this month’s selection were actually new releases in this last month. The same goes for this tune. Chairlift, the alternative pop due from New York, are back with a new album, called Moth. I thoroughly enjoyed their previous album, Something, as have I enjoyed the singles that have been slowly rolling out of the past couple months. To give you a taste,¬†here’s an unexpected favourite from the new album. After hearing the singles I wasn’t expecting another tune to become my favourite, but this song is just so beautiful and emotive it’s hard to resist.

 

Nina Nesbitt – Chewing Gum

Finally, after what seems like an eternity after her last album, Peroxide, we’re seeing musical rumblings from Nina Nesbitt; and she’s back with a bang. This new song came to my attention last week thanks once again to Spotify Discover. If this is a sign of things to come for her new album then I eagerly anticipate it, as it should be a work of supreme pop mastery. As a small sampling of Nina’s new sound, she’s due to release an EP, Modern Love, on the 5th¬†Februrary which I shall be very much looking forward to.

 

That about wraps it up for another month of serendipitous music discovery. Why not join me next month to see what’s been crossing my desk? Thanks for listening with me and I hope you continue to join in. If you have any suggestions or like what you hear, feel free to get in touch on twitter @smorrell.

 

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