Lethargy is a fact of life once the summer holidays are over, but our musical agony aunt’s alter ego has just the remedy
Dear Doctor, I’m feeling uninspired. Please suggest some music to battle this lethargy.
The Doctor understands: it’s the end-of-summer blues. So make some time and take a jaunt to the local record shop. Walk slowly, and look around as you go. The Doctor likes nothing more than examining plant life, for example. Take moss – bright green and alien-like – which is able to eke out life on stone garden walls. Or the passion flower, which is fruiting now: it’s hard to imagine a stranger or more beautiful bloom. With endless expectations and to-do lists, its easy to forget to wonder at the miracle of life.
Follow this walk of wonder by selecting from some of the best new releases and reissues from around the world. On Far Out recordings, check out Novissima Musica Brasileira, a compilation of great new Brazilian music: I particularly love the muted trumpet and organ stabs on Iconili’s O Rei De Tupanga. Keep your blood flowing with Black Feeling Volume 3, a collection of retro funk soul and Latin from Freestyle Records. Your dance moves will be cooking now, so add Dave Formula and the Finks to the mix, and visit some class grooves, including Cissy Strut, The Cat and One Mint Julep (out now on Motorrad).
Next, settle down with guitar legend John Renbourn’s final offering, The Attic Tapes, out on World Music Network. Read his heartwarming liner notes while you listen to his fingerpicking on Candyman, Buffalo and Blues Run The Game. And if you want to try a new young artist as well, you’ll have to go some to beat the smart songwriting of Nova Scotian Mo Kenney on her album In My Dreams (New Scotland records).
Feeling energised now? Then throw on some ebullient young punks, Philadelphia’s Sheer Mag, with Fan The Flames. That’s bound to get you jumping around your living room, for a little while at least.