Brian Eno has made a new record called Small Craft on a Milk Sea, due in November. For several weeks one track, "2 Forms Of Anger", has been available online.
Recently, two more pieces arrived: "Horse" is a brief, menacing instrumental full of jittery electro with a wash of guitar noise. Meanwhile, "Emerald and Stone" is more on the ambient end of things. Hear all three at brian-eno. net/listen. There's some good, fresh sounds to be heard in these new efforts: it's not his finest work but after decades of music making, it's pleasing to find there's still interesting music going on in his head.
New online radio station from the US
I've been proselytising for quite a while on behalf of the music website of America's National Public Radio (npr.org/music) and their weekly podcast All Songs Considered. The free download show has been going for 10 years and was born out of NPR's daily current affairs show All Things Considered; the online music spin-off began by featuring music that had been used inbetween segments on the radio show – now it's an indispensable weekly listen – with host/producer Bob Boilan and guests casting their eyes over interesting new music, with a healthy appreciation for older music too. Recently, they've launched a new strand to to their output: All Songs 24/7 is a constantly streaming online radio station using music that has been featured in the 10 years of All Songs Considered. Find it at npr.org/ allsongs247
Gruff Rhys'Welsh ode to water
Solo artist, prolific collaborator and occasional Super Furry Animal, Gruff Rhys has already made an album this year – an experimental psychedelic effort with the mysterious Brazilian Tony da Gatorra – but he's not stopping there. This week news arrived that Rhys has recorded, and will release, his third solo LP in February; the announcement came with a free download of the first track from it on gruffrhys. com. The song "Shark Ridden Waters" is lovely: shuffling along with pianos, guitar, beautiful harmonies and an addictive low-key horn motif running through it.
Top of the Pops for The Red River
A few weeks back I heard "When We Are Wild" by the Californian band The Red River. Returning to it now, I think it's up there with some of the best songs I've heard all year: it starts off with a few cheap Casio keyboard sounds and an understated vocal, then opens out with lo-fi strings and horns and a beautiful chorus – a pop song with that perfect balance between joy and melancholy. Hear more songs at myspace. com/theredriver, and find their debut LP Little Songs About the Big Picture at braverecs.com.