5 Songs for Fans of Broadchurch (Susumu Yokota, Richard Hawley, John Murphy) | Audio. Visual.

In the Resident Sound series Audio. Visual., join Lubert Das as they attempt to become a music sommelier of sorts; serving cross-medium recommendations and top-choice pairings of music and other cultural works. Will Lubert serve you up a new favorite song? Something to flesh out your viewing-party playlist? Or the worst trash you’ve ever heard?! These are, simply put, 5 songs you might enjoy if you enjoyed the TV-show Broadchurch.

Part police procedural, part grief-laden small town drama, Broadchurch was a moody British crime show which starred David Tennant, Olivia Colman, and Jodie Whittaker to name a few. Whether it was the desolate downtown strip or struggling hillside church, the fictional town of Broadchurch often acted as the most important character throughout the entire series.

Like many of the show’s characters, you too may feel stuck in the vortex that is Broadchurch. The series’ third and finale installment may have ended in 2017, but there’s no need to fear! To hold you over just a little bit longer, here’s 5 songs you might like if you love Broadchurch.

Richard Hawley – The Ocean

What is there to say about grief? A lot, probably. But sometimes it’s just better to let it wash over you. If you find yourself getting drawn into the emotional swells of this fictional sea-side town, perhaps consider checking out Richard Hawley’s song The Ocean from his 2005 album Cole’s Corner.

John Murphy – In A House – In A Heartbeat

Me? I don’t need to explain anything! It’s YOU that needs to watch the opening of the series premiere of Broadchurch, then you’ll understand!

…Okay, maybe I need to explain that Broadchurch isn’t a zombie film, as In A House – In A Heartbeat is perhaps most recognizable as part of composer John Murphy’s score to 28 Days Later, and later used in 28 Weeks Later and plethora of other outlets. It’s a great song, and whether you’re currently watching or looking back fondly, you might enjoy this classic Post-Rock track.

Susumu Yokota – Long Long Silk Bridge

Arguably most in line with the original score for Broadchurch, multiple tracks from Japanese Electronic composer Susumu Yokota’s 2005 Ambient masterpiece Symbol could easily be substituted in for the show’s original score. Maybe now is a good time to admit I didn’t care too much for composer Ólafur Arnalds’s score for Broadchurch. It came across a bit hammy, a bit expected for a European murder mystery series.

Even with the use of somewhat ‘obvious’ orchestral samples- a jab I’ve seen lobbed at Yokota and plenty of other artists, and one that I take issue with- Yokota’s work feels more emotionally dense, more emotionally nuanced. Its lush beauty and slightly off-kilter delivery feels like birds of a feather with Broadchurch’s scene-establishing shots of a gloomy, sometimes desolate seaside town.

Add it to the shortlist, folks. I also recommend another track from this album: The Plateau Which The Zephyr Of Flora Occupies.

Starflyer 59 – She Only Knows

Seemingly the exception to Christian Rock, Starflyer 59’s Shoegaze era is full of songs to set adrift to. It’s got the dense waves of guitar you’d expect from Shoegaze and an abstracted sense of forlorn longing that matches right up with the atmosphere of Broadchurch.

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry – Strange Dream

This might be a strange addition to this list but if I wanna do this right I’m going to need to make some bold choices. For the more restless Broadchurch fans, I wanna recommend the song Strange Dream from Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s first full length record Talk About The Weather (1985). The first minute and fifteen seconds of Strange Dream sounds like something out of some darkened Euro thriller/crime show, so what more could you want?

Under pummeling drum machine rhythms, the song’s “alone he ran” mantra and its hazy layers of guitar fit Broadchurch‘s lead detective Alex Hardy (David Tennant) and the case that still haunts him (season 2, baby!).

REVIEW: Cal Folger Day – At The Roots of The Stars (Solo Edition) (2017)

I once met Cal Folger Day at a show in Asheville, NC. She was on tour with The Bonk from Ireland, herself an American living abroad for at least a couple of years as I remember. Another rainy Tuesday, which meant maybe 5 people showed up, much like the Tuesday show I had worked before (XL Fits, Osaka, Japan). I had just witnessed one of the best shows I had ever seen, and with the little tip money I did make that night I bought as much Cal Folger Day merch as I could.

Enter At The Roots of The Stars (Solo Edition); a download card made of thick bevel-cut mat board and printed on with rich pink and black inks. None of this is important to the musical qualities of the album itself, obviously. Consider it an appreciation for the artists who put a level of care into their download cards and, as of now, the only download card I have kept after use.

Cal Folger Day’s use of text-to-speech accompanying ‘vocals’ bring a level of subversiveness to At The Roots of The Stars. The integration of text-to-speech in music has been marred by meme-culture association and general reluctance in classically trained circles to integrate with new sounds or experiment. But Cal Folger Day commands a level of mastery over it. The text-to-speech ‘vocals’ add a dimension of emotional coldness and disdain which is repeatedly overcome by the warmth and humanity of Day’s dynamic singing.

“The text is a short play written in 1919 called ‘At The Roots of The Stars’ by Djuna Barnes. I have such an utterly unshakable confidence in the beauty of the language that the work every day of finding the most nimble, pleasant, natural melody for the words was terribly easy. As if I needed additional motivation, this feeling that I have, of being simply abashed that Djuna Barnes is today a relatively unknown name, lent a strong sense of justification and indeed obligation, less to her ghost than to myself and other readers/listeners,” wrote Cal Folger Day for An Áit Eile, a culture, society and ecology site based in Ireland.

At The Roots of The Stars (Solo Edition) is currently unavailable online. If ever given the chance to stream or get a copy of this album, take it. Until then you can check out Cal Folger Day’s site here or their Bandcamp where other beautiful works of theirs are available.

For fans of: Karen Dalton, Vashti Bunyan, Sibylle Baier

Like Cal Folger Day? Give these a listen: Myles Manley, András Cséfalvay, Concette Abbate

REVIEW: Myles Manley – AAA (2020)

Myles Manley’s 2020 EP release AAA is what Of Montreal and other indie bands of the late-naughts would have tried to be if they had carried higher artistic aspirations. A lush yet intimate recording, AAA is an intricate tapestry of emotion.

Myles Manley’s work is a great example of metamodernist ‘new sincerity’ within music. Humor briefly flourishes before being struck back down by underlying pain, all made very real by a high-degree of sonic intimacy. AAA is by no means a record that will be playing over the grandstands of your sporting locale. No, this one is best heard in your room, at night, speaker in reach. Opening track I Took On America And Won has been through my headphones a couple dozen times while wandering the local graveyards, and if you’re given the chance to do so I would highly recommend it.

Sometimes it can be difficult to understand if the lyrics should be interpreted in an abstract, surreal manner, or painfully direct and honest. While maybe not intended, this does allow for AAA to burn slowly with layered re-listening and reinterpretation. What is certain is that AAA is a triumph of the extended-play format, and ought to make it into your listening rotation should you find yourself alone anytime in the near future.

For fans of: Why?, The Angst, Sibylle Baier

Like Myles Manley? Give these a listen: Cal Folger Day, Concetta Abbate, András Cséfalvay

REVIEW: Concetta Abbate – Behind The Red Door (2016)

Opening with 30 seconds of unintelligible rumbling, it would be easy to believe you were listening to the sounds of the ocean; a strange experience for a live album.

Recorded live at Spectrum on April 30th of 2016, Behind The Red Door casts the listener forever in a sea of strange melancholia. The sounds of papers shuffling, room tone, and occasional rustling may, on paper, seem like the unfortunate consequences of recording live, but in the case of Behind The Red Door, every sound is perfectly in place. Violins, viola and cello are focal nearly throughout, though are briefly departed midway through for tracks Counting 1 & 2 before being reunited with the listener soon after. Concetta Abbate’s ability to to transition complete instrument substitutions with ease serves the album well, and keeps the listener in a state of wonderment.

The ebb and flow of the sweet and the eerie guide the listener with comforting force through the occasional vignette of near-gleeful tracks such as Dust, which retires itself to the melancholy from which it came.

Give yourself the gift of intimate listening, and take time to sit down to Concetta Abbate’s Behind The Red Door.

For fans of: Why?, Richard Hawley, Joanna Newsom

Like Concetta Abbate? Give these a listen: Cal Folger Day, Myles Manley, András Cséfalvay

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