ACL Singles Chart ~ March 2014

Singles ChartTen new tracks make their debuts on the ACL Singles Chart this month.  No room for repeats!  Our experiment in alternate reality continues with a series of songs that should be hits.  In our world, they already are.

Sometimes a single is found on an album packed with potential hits.  Other times, a single is the only radio-friendly track on an album.  In one instance below, the chosen track is the shortest track on the album, and in another, it’s the longest.  (We don’t expect to see that often!)  We’d love to see them all on 45s, but for now, we’re happy to hear them in digital form.

The best thing about changing the slate each month is that there’s always a new #1.  So let’s get to it!

1) Max Cooper Impacts
Dmitry Zakharov’s video brings out the best in this track by matching visuals reminiscent of Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” to a drum beat that includes a 4-beat reference to “Blue Monday”.  Fields was smart to release this as the second single from Human, backed with a Factory Floor remix, but the original version is still the best.

2) Origamibiro Butterfly Jar
While this wasn’t one of the first two public tracks from Odham’s Standard (just released on Denovali), the omission has just been rectified. With catchy melodic lines and intricate electronic arrangements, “Butterfly Jar” presents the duo’s best chance at a crossover hit.  Shakkei inspired a remix album; we hope that Odham’s Standard does the same.


3) Lullatone all the optimism of early january
Okay, the title is a bit out of season, but this is instrumental music we’re writing about, and we’re very excited to welcome the third installment of Lullatone’s seasonal EP series.  while winter whispers is the most sedate of the EPs, but this track leaps from the cloud like a March storm.  Oh, those strings!


4) Tilman Robinson Malbork, Cimmeria
Tilman Robinson’s Network of Lines contains many experiments in jazz, none as accessible as this one.  Malbork is in Poland, and contains the largest castle in the world.  Cimmeria is the fictional home of Conan the Barbarian.  And “Malbork, Cimmeria” has a clear Spanish influence.  Try to figure it out, and your head will spin; better to just clap along!


5) nahsolo Purple Jazz Grass
We referred to this song earlier; at 1:54, it’s the longest track on a 24-track album.  nahsolo’s Beats Vol. 1 (Introducing …) is a clear homage to DJ Shadow, but the young DJ represents himself well.  The tape was first featured in our profile of Snowfall Tapes in February; the young label is quickly making a name for itself with a series of diverse releases.


6) ontopsych Educations End
Another beat-and-sample project from another artist whose name eschews capitalization, “Educations End” is taken from the EP New World Music: An Archaeology.  Our review can be enjoyed in Jeremy’s Electronic Observations column for February.  It’s the highlight of a short set; we hope to hear more soon.  Wait for the unusual breakdown at 00:53.


7) Carolino In Your Hands
Post-rock fans, we have remembered you!  “In Your Hands” is a song filled with the hope of new life, written for a child in the womb.  Isabella Faith was only on this earth for a short time, but made an indelible impact on those who met her, and now her song stretches around the world.


8) Bruno Bavota The Boy and the Whale
Bruno Bavota’s album The Secret of the Sea won’t be out until next month on Psychonavigation, but those who have been snowed in are ready for it now.  In the cover image, a man looks out at the water, as if longing for a loved one, or hoping for a summer that is slow to arrive.


9) Stray Ghost You Are Not Alone, Dear Wolf
First of all, what a great title.  Second, what a great song!  “You Are Not Alone, Dear Wolf” is the highlight of, Mały Wilk, a moving suite from Anthony Saggers that is currently available in digital form, but is well deserving of a physical release.  The strings are mournful, yet as comforting as a lullaby; by the time the track ends, one no longer feels alone.


10) Feldmaus A Sudden Pearl Rain Brings Peace Over the Middle-East
Finally, amidst all this international conflict, we present a calm alternative.  Here at A Closer Listen, we receive and review music from all around the world, including some unlikely places: nations at war, nations in conflict, nations in which beautiful, beguiling music is still being made.  This sedate selection goes out to every musician composing in a war-torn land.

Richard Allen

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