Music I Like in the Spring of 2022

This is the latest article in a series on Music I Like.

Benjamin Clementine: London

Benjamin Clementine seemingly came out of nowhere, and I can’t stop listening to this song he recorded 7 years ago. The lyrics would probably work as a poem published in something like the New Yorker. His voice sounds like he could sing a lot louder if he wanted to.

Marcel Khalife: Passport & Live in Paris

A friend introduced me to Khalife’s music in college, and I’ve been coming back to him every couple of years ever since. Never becoming quite famous in the West (maybe because of his politics), he has nevertheless recorded albums with a Parisian Orchestra and combined western and middle-eastern musical influences in a way that I’ve not heard anyone else do.

The ballad Passport is sparsely arranged and carried by its complicated melody.

Khalife’s concert with the Paris Philharmonic is musically really busy by contrast, with, to my ears, more Western orchestral harmonies supporting his oude playing. It’s beautiful.

Nellie McKay: Ding Dong

Nobody can prove Nellie McKay’s album Get Away From Me was recorded in response to Come Away With Me, but I choose to believe. And I find it, like, really funny. Ding Dong is a song from this album. It sounds a little like a show tune, it’s funny, what more do you want. The rest of the album is similar, occasionally crossing the line from funny to pissed off, and it’s hard to believe that at this point the things it’s pissed off about are kind of a nostalgia trip.