My Four: Four Tracks You Need to Know About 26

My Four | Weekly



It’s not long before Autumn comes, so let’s warm up with the music choices for this week, with myself, Mark Sharpley. And let’s begin with…


Canadian soul songstress Cold Specks is first up this week with her new album, Neuroplasticity. Cold Specks is the alias of singer/songwriter Al Spx this is the follow up to 2012’s I Predict A Graceful Expulsion. But this isn’t like traditional soul music. Her style has been described as “doom soul”, mixing gospel soul with a gothic element thrown in for good measure. But it didn’t seem to phase Moby who included her on his album, Innocents, in 2013. Available on the Mute/EMI & Arts & Crafts labels (the latter being the label for Canada), this is the single “Absisto”.  | Get the music on iTunes


Our second helping from Canada now in the form of the wonderfully named The New Pornographers and the release of their new album, Brill Bruisers. The name was created by founding member Carl Newman, being inspired by a Japanese film called The Pornographers. Many thought it was a reference to the “rock and roll is the new pornography” statement made by Jimmy Swaggart, but it hasn’t stopped them from making what is now their sixth studio album. Good job they didn’t base their name on The New Seekers. Available on the Matador & Last Gang label (again, the latter for Canadian release), this is the title track, “Brill Bruisers”.   |  Get the music on iTunes


After a long absence, The Rentals return with the release of their new album Lost In Alphaville. The band may sound very familiar to some already and that’s because it is the brainchild of former Weezer bassist, Matt Sharp. They did “quietly” split in 1999 but reformed in 2005. They have released several EPs in that time but this is their third full length album, the last one, Seven More Minutes, being released before the 1999 spilt. Glad to have them back. Available on the Polyvinyl Record Co. label, this is the single, “1000 Seasons”.  |  Get the music on iTunes


And finally this week, it’s veteran English singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock and the release of his new album The Man Upstairs. A former member of 70’s group The Soft Boys, he has enjoyed a successful solo career citing Bob Dylan, Syd Barrett and John Lennon as his influences. He does have quite a satirical outlook in his songs and, of course, does reflect on the eccentrics that England has to offer as well. The album is a mix of selected covers and original work that has maintained a cult following for him over the years. Good on ya,Robyn! Available on the Yep Roc Records label, this is the opener for the album, “The Ghost In You”.   |  Get the music on iTunes


And that is your lot for this wee! Please do join me again as we search the globe for the four artists you need to know about. Keep on keeping on..

— Mark Sharpley

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