I somehow knew that it was going to end when I read that Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones' drummer for almost 60 years, had to undergo emergency surgery.
On Tuesday, Charlie Watts died at 80 years old.
It was already clear that Watts wouldn't be part of the upcoming world tour. The band replaced him with Steve Jordan, the former drummer for the Blues Brothers.
It took me some time to get into the Stones' sound. I instead listened to The Who, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles. Not bad either, but once the Rolling Stones universe opened up for me, it swallowed me whole.
It was Sticky Fingers that did the job. I bought it in a store in Zurich. The cover features the original zipper. And I started listening and was blown away. There were the faster hits like Brown Suger or Bitch. And there were slow ballads like Sway and Moonlight Mile. You can hear blues, country, and Americana influences in Wild Horses, You Gotta Move, and I Got The Blues.
But nothing was quite like You Can't Hear Me Knocking. Lord, this track is just insane. 7 minutes long, it starts with a rather relaxed groove. Then, the instruments start building upon each other; the song gets more complex by the second.
Suddenly, with still 4 minutes on the clock, the song breaks down and transitions into a devilish instrumental that lasts for the rest of the song. It's epic beyond belief!
Sticky Finger was released in 1971. For anyone who has Apple TV+, I can recommend the original series 1971. It's a fantastic documentary about the "year that music changed everything" – covering rock, soul, funk, and singer-songwriters, connecting the dots between shifts in society, sound and culture.
Alright, you're not here to hear me rambling about the old days (that I haven't experienced myself, unfortunately). You're here to get a new fix of new music.
And today's selection features frenetic indie rock, heavy fuzz, obscure synth-pop, jazzy hip-hop, and a song that made me cry.
Everdeen – Heart Shaped Gutter
It's a brand new release: Stay is the latest record of Everdeen, a four-piece outfit from Southern Germany. Packed with expansive, epic indie hymns, Stay is an album for the lost and the longing.
Here, as an ambassador for the record, is Heart Shaped Gutter. It's pure indie-pop with sprinkles of rock's roughness. But first and foremost, it's an ecstatic track with a gripping groove. Heart Shaped Gutter is a force that pulls you on a reflective dancefloor, driven by a forward-pushing beat.
Turkish-german singer Sümeyra completes the arrangement with her crystal voice, adding more thoughtful notes to the upbeat, pumping sound. The complete package comes with a thrilling appeal.
GEISTHA – G R a V E Y a R D S I L E n C E
A few months back, I've introduced GEISTHA together with the artist's single altar, delivering a unique mix of hip-hop and electro-pop wrapped in a dark goth atmosphere.
The non-binary artist since has released several tracks, with G R a V E Y a R D S I L E n C E being the latest drop. The connection between this new song and altar is the goth ambience. Musically, however, they are pretty far apart. G R a V E Y a R D S I L E n C E draws clearly from post-punk, adding a coldwave nuance and synth-pop elements to the sound.
It's a more traditional goth track but a fast-paced one. The repetitive lyrics evoke an almost psychedelic, trance-like feeling, while the breathless drive wants nothing more than to make you sweat.
Children Collide – Man of the People
It's time to get heavy! Australian trio Children Collide just dropped their new record Time Itself. And already, the album's opening track rattles and drones like a roaring engine. Introducing: Man of the People.
The song starts unsuspicious. The jangly guitar could be part of any indie-rock song, but as the drums pick up steam, you sense that Man of the People is not your everyday fluffy stuff. Instead, it's spiralling down, heavy stomping, with a lot of doom and fuzz.
Man of the People is a song that lets the instruments explore. The guitar wanders around in the darkness during extensive instrumental parts, looking for answers in this poisonous attack against fear-mongering politicians. But the guitar always finds a way back into the tracks of bass and drums, joining forces to create this stunning piece of heavy rock.
Pan Amsterdam – E. Honda
Crispy clean rap clashes with jazz, or how The Times put it: "A jazz musician's vision of hip-hop." That's Pan Amsterdam, an NYC-based rap lyricist and jazz trumpeter, who also excites the likes of Iggy Pop.
His latest track, E. Honda, demonstrates the fresh approach to the most prevalent genre in the last 30 years. Pan Amsterdam is a magician of word association, painting colourful, satiric pictures with these lines. "Update my flash player? You don't know me like Adobe, but you should, so now you owe me." To unpack all the meta-information in E. Honda, you need more than just a few listens.
Adding bursts of trumpets, Pan Amsterdam rips through the low-key beat. It's not a mainstream hip-hop sound but the real art of the style.
Adna – Darkness Born in Youth
"And I know we're all bad in someone's story, but I wish you weren't bad in mine." – Adna's Darkness Born in Youth is a song that brings you to tears. At least, it brought me to tears, created a big lump in my throat, and filled my heart with pain.
After doubting but ultimately thankful November, Adna's new song is the counterpart of the relationship. An aching, bittersweet, hurting piece. Only relying on an acoustic guitar and the musician's unique voice, Darkness Born in Youth recreates the loneliness, the regrets, and the lovesickness perfectly.
No, it's not fun to listen to Darkness Born in Youth. It's almost unbearable if you can relate to the song's telling. But it's also a cathartic experience. And once again, Adna proves to be one of the most promising, empathic songwriters today.
All the best,