Infections are rising, and snow is falling. Mulled wine drips down the throat and the fingers. Winter’s here with golden lights in the dark.
The year is dying, and soon it’s time to wrap up Weekly5. This 35th one will be the last official edition in 2021.
But don’t worry, in the upcoming weeks, I’ll throw in more “Killed Darlings” and will present my personal favourites of the past months.
Enjoy the last five!
What’s the best debut album in recent years? My answer is A Ta Merci by French artist Fishbach. Even now, five long years after the release, the record lost nothing of its glamour, its eclectic energy, its undying atmosphere. It was and still is an instant classic with hymns like Y crois-tu and driven pop epics like Un autre que moi or Mortel.
Now, Fishbach finally returns to the spotlight, and I ask myself: How could we live for such a long time without her?
Fishbach’s single Téléportation winds like a snake; slow yet visceral. The guitar swerves in a looming 80s vibe. No, this song isn’t like the frenetic tunes on A Ta Merci, yet one thing hasn’t changed: the main attraction still is Flora Fishbachs voice. It’s the voice of a goddess—mysterious, whispering, pleading, preaching, and determining.
Lunchtime in December 2013, my phone is vibrating. It was a message by Nick Furrer, telling me about his first gig with his solo project Haubi Songs (translate: Half songs) happening this very night. Back then, I wrote: “It was real and not an edgeless, rehashed performance. I, for one, hope for more half songs.”
Haubi Songs is still around. He just released his fourth record, 100 Siite Heartbreak, filled with weird sounds and poetry.
Creep is one of the ten new tracks. A song that lays low on the instrumental side, leaving the stage open for Nick’s voice, painting stunning images with his words. It’s outrageous how effortless his alliterations and associations fall into place.
The title of this debut record, waltz in, is already a promise. Most of its twelve songs rely on the ¾ pace of the traditional waltz. Inspired by soundtracks of fairytale movies, Austrian musician Ronia recorded these minimalistic songs at home without any hi-fi studio equipment.
Oh so Free is one of these slightly dystopian songs about the intricacies of human coexistence. Full of reverb and muffled piano tunes, Ronia’s tender singing stands out. The lo-fi nature of Oh so Free (and all other songs on the album) creates an unheard intimacy. It feels like the artist is right next to you, whispering into your ear.
It’s simply beautiful music. Oh so Free repels unnecessary decoration, shines in austere fragility and vulnerability.
“It’s okay not to be okay,” sings Sofia Portanet in Real Face. While Portanet’s debut record Freier Geist was coined by her inspiration in the poetry of Rilke or Heine, the German artist chooses a more direct approach in her new single. The message is not clouded by obscure lyrics. “I don't want to hide anymore but show my true face. To admit my weaknesses, to share who I am with the world,” she explains.
I tried to hide a million times
Behind shiny things that made me look nice
Big smile and make-up, Gucci rings and Prada
When truly I was dying inside
Real Face is a hymn to honesty, sadness, and to mental health. Beginning like a confession, the song morphs into an empowering pop epos. Suddenly, there’s unbreakable confidence in the vulnerability. The song is a statement: To understand who you really want to be, you have to take your own fears and insecurities seriously.
Back in August, I introduced you to the Danish post-punk band Violence and their debut single Rendezvous (Not I / We). This first song featured a straightforward, driven sound. But their latest release, Atlas of CC, feels different; slower, sadder, more complex, more wave than post-punk. More The Cure than Joy Division.
It takes time to grasp the song. It’s a track so dense, echoing melancholic beauty that it rips right through your heart.
However, despite its tricky arrangement, Atlas of CC is like a dark pool. Jump in and drown. It will swallow you whole with the pleasure of despair. But there’s also consolation in this numbing sadness. The constant fascination of melancholy remains its cathartic powers.