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1 Floom Magazine Writer Profile James Darton 1


James Darton

Contributing Editor

Listen to the Floom Sounds Spotify playlist here! We'll update it with every new instalment.

Purple Flower - Yusuf Lateef

Kicking off this latest instalment of Floom Sounds with some laid-back, wistful jazz, courtesy of iconic multi-instrumentalist Yusuf Lateef. Purple Flower is taken from Eastern Sounds, Lateef’s 1961 album merging more traditional American jazz stylings with the sounds of Middle Eastern music - Lateef plays a traditional chinese flute on the opening track for example. ‘Purple Flower’ features Lateef on the tenor saxaphone he is most readily associated with, exhaling reedy lines of melody over a piano of downcast chords and occasionally hopeful-sounding flourishes. It’s quite beautiful, as is the album as a whole.

White Flower With Silvery Eye - Shackleton

Undoubtedly one of the most interesting producers to emerge from the peak experimentalism of the mid-noughties dubstep scene, this slice is taken from the Freezing Opening Thawing EP. Birdcalls and animal noises sound alien amongst the polyrhythmic forces competing for attention. On the one hand you have digital electronic bleeps, on the other an unmistakably human element in the form of hand-beaten live drums.

Milly’s Garden - Steve Gunn

Underrated as he is, Steve Gunn finally seems to be catching the semblance of a break with his latest record, Eyes On The Line. ‘Milly’s Garden’ is taken from the LP before, Way Out Weather, which is an equally great piece of blissful, wandering Americana. Across the five or so minutes of this track, Gunn and the band let loose with double tracked guitars and a glorious extended jam that never sounds indulgent - more an ambling soundtrack to a journey through the American landscape. “Your faith is savaged, and your mind is damaged,” sings Gunn with a subtle, earthy urgency. Whether he’s talking about the titular Milly or the state of his home country in general is not immediately clear.

Sow Good Seeds - Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples should need no introduction - as one part of the Staples Sisters she was responsible for some of the finest soul music ever committed to record. Her recent records, recorded with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy are also worthy of your attention - this track is taken their 2013 LP, One True Vine. It’s a gently rollicking gospel number that sees Staple’s husky vocals build to a subtly backed crescendo. Simmering with good-time righteousness.

Jungle - Drake

One of the finest tracks from If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Drake’s finest full-length (high praise indeed if you have any inclination of my Drake fandom). High-pitched vocal samples are strangled and muted behind a funereal earworm-refrain courtesy of singer-songwriter Gabriel Garzon-Montano. Really though, we’re here for Drake and his flailing attempts to make sense of his hometown, his success, his relationships. Such is the crushing ennui that works it’s way into every aspect of the track, it’s almost impossible to notice that this is 2015 Drake’s approximation of a love song - and of course when that does click it’s all the more devastating:

“These days these new girls got me nervous
They go to school and do bottle service
They can't decide, they keep switching majors
Being indecisive makes me anxious
Call your number and it's out of service
Who can I call for your information?
What am I supposed to do after we done everything that we've done?
Who is your replacement?”

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