Five songs to start the week! Follow the It’s Monday Forever playlist here for every track included in the series, updated with five new tracks every week.
Christobel – Joan as Police Woman (2007)
The most direct track of her album Real Life, ‘Christobel’ sees a blending of Patti Smith’s understated abrasiveness and PJ Harvey’s elusive lyricisms to create a composition of poetic intrigue and rhythmic intricacy. She explains the song as being an expression of “unattainability” that, despite its questioning of the anonymous Christobel, is rooted within herself, as the main lyrical hook (“Christobel / Why won’t you just fall in love with me?“) showcases with introspective honesty.
No – Billy Nomates (2020)
A rumbling Sleaford Mods-esque bassline kicks off ‘No’, but the vital difference lies in the instrumental development that ventures further than the Nottingham duo’s content with consistency. ‘No’ is a sparse number, one subtle danceability behind the defiant spoken word of Nomates who announces from the first line that “No is the greatest resistance“. Meanwhile, gentle synth chords and a four-note guitar riff allow the track space to grow and flourish before her demand that “Everybody twist with me”. Simple, but very effective.
So Much Better – Carla Dal Forno (2019)
Dark and ethereal, ‘So Much Better’ portrays the emotional aftermath of romantic dissolution in utterly unforgiving terms. Bitterness permeates every fragment of what once was – Del Forna’s vocals echoing dreamily through a ghostly soundscape with words from the condemning (“You were a disaster / And I’m glad I caused you pain“) to the contemptuous (“I’m so much better / than you“).
Pauper (Dub Version) – Gregory Isaacs (1977)
A remix of the track ‘I’m Alright’, ‘Pauper’ uses melodious understatement as its main weapon. Moments of vocal and musical silence are endearing and allow the melancholic being of the opening remarks to gently pervade (“I’m not in a position to maintain you / the way that you’re accustomed to“). Isaacs’ less pronounced presence to the original is crucial in the success of this rendition – the instrumentation is given permission to smoothly control proceedings, before Isaacs’ final request to “Tell me where to hold & touch you, so you get to tell me I’m alright” leaves a taste of passion and affection behind.
Stereo – Spooky (1995)
A joyous, reflective and infectious house instrumental. While there’s an overawing sense of hope and uplift from this, there also lies an indescribable vulnerability, a strange gentleness to the restless pace of the track. The keyboards dance invitingly in front of the insistent yet restrained percussion, and the emergence of the main hook in its isolation four minutes in only heightens the excitement and emotional sentiment of the track further.