September 2023's music blogger roundtable
Bringing together music bloggers to discuss music highlights from September
Our assembled cast of music bloggers and broadcasters return to share their thoughts on September 2023 in music.
Joining 5-9 editor, Andrew Belt, to answer the questions are:
Andy Peterson is a music writer for Live4ever Media and runs the Voice of Unreason music blog. In his own words, he says: “I’ve been writing about music for various places on the internet since 2007. So many records, so little time.”
Matthew McLister is a freelance writer and music fan based in Glasgow with a degree in History (University of Glasgow). Passionate about new guitar music and indie bands, he writes features for Gigwise and HeadStuff Media. During lockdown he launched the Blinded by the Floodlights indie website and has even produced his own podcast. By day, he works in Corporate Communications.
5-9: Andy, you were looking forward to a matinee performance by Craven Faults last month. How was it?
Craven Faults: An 'analog synth masterclass'
Andy: Craven Faults was probably the hottest gig I’ve ever been to! 100 people in a room with no ventilation, on a sultry Sunday afternoon. An analog synth masterclass, however.
5-9: Slowdive, The Coral, James Blake, Bleach Lab - there was plenty capturing your interest last month, Matthew. How did these four fare?
Everything is Alive by Slowdive
Matthew: I was really into Bleach Lab's debut and the new Slowdive one. Both featuring an incredibly moody collection of songs - I was really feeling the melancholia this month. Everything Is Alive is Slowdive's second release in their comeback years (they were on a hiatus between 1995 and 2017) and I honestly think their latest is amongst their best.
5-9: What was the best album in September?
Bleach Lab's Lost in a Rush of Emptiness - Matthew's favourite in September
Matthew: Bleach Lab edged it for me - Lost In A Rush Of Emptiness is such an emotive record. It chronicles singer Jenna Kyle's post-break up feelings, set to this beautiful, jangly and atmospheric rock sound which I just kept returning to time and again!
Andrew: Giving away my vote in September's Album of the Month podcast somewhat, but Mitski's The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We was not only the month's best, but one of the best albums this year so far. Majestic arrangements, with Mitski giving off Lana Del Ray and Angel Olsen vibes at various points, the arrival of colder weather is the perfect accompaniment to this one. A return to form after a slight dip with last year's Laurel Hell.
Andy: September’s best album was slowdive’s Everything is Alive by a whisker from Pale Blue Eyes's This House.
5-9: What was the best song/s in September?
Mitski's 'When Memories Snow' was Andrew' favourite song from September
Andrew: Elaborating on the autumnal feel of The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We, listen to 'When Memories Snow'. Under two minutes of piano, choral harmonies and excellent vocals, it conjures snowy images beautifully.
Andy: 'A Ride' - a deep cut from the excellent debut album DK.01 by Das Koolies, who are Super Furry Animals minus Gruff Rhys.
Matthew: My top three were Pastel - 'Your Day', The National - 'Smoke Detector' and Bleach Lab - 'Everything At Once'.
We've now collated the monthly song picks into one, easy-to-find playlist, which also includes picks by 5-9 Album of the Month co-hosts, Karl Blakesley and Kiley Larsen. Listen below:
5-9: What's the best gig you've been to this month?
InMe at Islington Assembly Hall
Andrew: When I saw InMe were marking 20 years since the release of debut album, Overgrown Eden, I just had to go, even if it was on a Sunday night! Seeing the band rip through that much-heralded album with several hundred other fans singing along to every word and getting sweaty in the pit was a massive nostalgia hit. Only the second time I've been to an album-specific show, but will definitely look out for more in future! Great night.
5-9: What are you most looking forward to next month?
Javelin by Sufjan Stevens is exciting both Andy and Matthew
Andy: Really looking forward to Javelin, the new album from Surfjan Stevens in October, as well Sampha’s Lahai.
Matthew: Just getting back into the swing of gigs again! I've just seen New Order at the Hydro and am off to see CamelPhat at the Warehouse Project in Manchester towards the end of the month - a bit of a different vibe for me but thoroughly looking forward to it.
In terms of new music, I'll be diving into the new one by Sufjan Stevens after loving the single 'Will Anybody Ever Love Me?', whilst The Streets, Blink-182, Bombay Bicycle Club and The Gaslight Anthem also have new releases out!
Andrew: What am I not looking to this month would perhaps elicit a shorter answer! Along with the higher profile releases of The Rolling Stones, Blink 182, Bombay Bicycle Club and DJ Shadow, I'm looking forward to the albums by POPPY and SIPHO. - a singer from Birmingham who has brought out stellar EPs and releases his first LP at the end of the month - my pick for October's Album of the Month podcast. Keep an eye out for our thoughts on that!
Thanks for taking part in 5-9's September roundtable and look forward to catching up next month!
For Matthew: @matthewmclister on Twitter.
For a further deep dive into last month's music, listen to 5-9's Album of the Month podcast for September.