I haven't had a day this good in ages. Iced lattes and an hour at the beach, a late breakfast at home with the radio and the paper and one of my favourite guys, and after it all, a nap - because being happy can really tire you out. I managed a few hours of work and some reading in the afternoon, and then Redfern Continental for wines and pasta and some very good talks.

Oh, and then PJ HARVEY. Live, in the flesh, in her glory, full of power and easily the best thing that's happened to my ears and heart in forever. She marched on stage with nine men and resounding drums and her voice was flawless, ringing out into the night. I was drawn in with her stories or war, the way she creates another world and evokes another time, and then I lost my mind for the thrashy emotion of her early stuff. It was so good I barely slept and don't even mind - I woke on Monday feeling wrought and full.






I just realised that it's been months and months since I posted about what I've been listening to. Possibly the whole year. That's a while between drinks. Probably another round up coming soon, but to get your started:

* The Kills are nothing new, just new to me. I don't know how I missed them, their particular brand of awesome, but I did. So when Ngaio bought me a ticket to see them at the Enmore last month, I was blown away. I knew they were cool, but my goodness - coolest ever. And so bloody talented. I don't think I've ever felt anything as passionately as Alison Mosshart felt those songs. I've definitely never looked as cool. Ngaio bought a tee when we arrived, and I liked the print so much (Doing it to Death) I bought one too, which seemed a little eager. But 30 seconds into the first song I turned to her nodding and said 'I'm so glad I bought the tee'. 

* Again, nothing new but high on my current rotation is the lovely Devendra Barnhart's Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. It hits all the right soft but charming and off-beat early spring feels when the days are longer and you can leave the doors open and feel uplifted and light. What a man.

* Oh lordy, this album is on repeat right now. Can't get enough. I fell in love with Michael Kiwanuka a few years ago when I came across this clip and love the new direction he's taken with Love and Hate. I mean, it's brilliant. And the clip is a revelation.

* Realised I already wrote about the Laura Jean ages ago, but I've made the image now and the colouring works for me (plus i was listening to it again quite a bit last week) so you'll just have to live with it.

* Julia Holter is all keyboard harmony dreamscapes - pop-like love songs with twitches of synth but in a natural and casual way and bursts of strings and soaring a voice. It's a really lovely album. 

* I first heard hear Willy Mason at my local, Arcadia, on a slow Saturday afternoon, while I was waiting to meet friends for ciders. It's that kind of album. Restless Fugitive is smooth - in no rush to catch you - just a well-paced, rusty and endearing feel. 

* I was raving about Kate Tempest a while back, and have been pretty hooked on her album ever since. It's a nice change to the usual alt-country I drown myself with. She's so sharp and effortlessly cool. I love her confidence and clarity. 

* Speaking of drowning myself on alt-country, or in this case real-country, I give you the Civil Wars. Definitely not everyone's taste, but gosh I love them.    

* Waxahatchee is about my favourite thing this year, no question. She's got a bit of the late 90s Liz Phairs about her, in a stripped back and kick-butt kind of way. I have been listening to Ivy Tripp non-stop since January, it just builds beautifully.