Later this week, Low Island are heading off around the country for a batch of tour dates in support of their latest release, the ‘Shut Out The Sun’ EP (due 29th October).
In keeping with the ‘out there in the universe’ theme, Carlos from the band has teamed up with with their pal, electro-pop marvel Grace Lightman (who you may have caught at Dork’s summer Etc. gig series) to produce a ‘cosmic’ playlist, featuring loads of songs that reference the stars and planets, or just feel a bit otherworldly.
Take it away, guys.
Carlos: For me, cosmic has two meanings: something that is literally not of this world, like an extraterrestrial driving around Scotland soundtracked by Mica Levi’s 'Love', or the ‘moons full of stars and astral cars’ in Radiohead’s 'Pyramid Song'. But it can also just be a feeling, like being told that there is a better world out there, only to be disappointed when you discover that you don’t have access to it, as in Bowie’s 'Life on Mars'. Or listening to Laurie Anderson’s 'O Superman' feeling sure that it’s some kind of otherworldly conversation, even if you later find out that it was inspired by the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. Probably the most cosmic thing on the list is Drexciya’s 'Species of the Pod'; sounds like something that would have been played at one of those raves in The Matrix.
Moses Sumney - Call to Arms
This is music at its most cosmic. Moses transcends conventional melody with his insane vocal range. He can sing way higher and lower than I can!
Beyonce - Blow
Heard it for the first time at a New Years party in my friends squat many years ago and felt like I was floating through a space disco. Raunchy lyrics too, which is always welcome.
Ultravox - Vienna
Such a strange but amazing song. I heard it on a compilation by Todd Terje, and it stopped me in my tracks.
Susanne Sundfor - Slowly
This song is a wonderful example of Susanne Sundfor's effortless songwriting and Scandi synth-pop production. She floors me with her ability to change key without you even noticing and take melodies/chord progressions to the right place, but the place you weren't expecting. Also, her voice is one of my favourites.
Mitski - Nobody
I think this is masterful songwriting. Mitski's songs are extremely well written and I really like this slightly different disco direction she has gone to.
Anna Meredith - Paramour
What a big tune. Anna Meredith's music is so smart, I am in awe. And she has real-life instruments like cello and clarinet in productions like Paramour?! What a world.
Low Island tour the UK from 31st October; catch them at London's Electrowerkz with Grace Lightman on 6th November.