My latest, favorite 45 was hiding in plain sight, in a stack of singles topped by recent Record Store Day releases. It was also two years old: "Blow the House Down" by Darlingside, a Massachusetts quartet with a rich line in acoustic textures and chamber-rock dynamics. I remembered liking that A-side the first time around. I played it again the other day – then again and again. Its melancholy pull – suggesting the Byrds' choral flow draped over the rustic-Sixties reinvention of the early-Eighties singles by Scotland's Aztec Camera – is now in daily rotation.
"Blow the House Down" is on Darlingside's 2012 album, Pilot Machines (darlingside.com), and the band tours this summer in support of a new EP, Woodstock (Signature Sounds), with singer-songwriter Heather Maloney. The rest of this playlist covers my latest month in discovery – the stark street-war hip-hop of Britain's Sleaford Mods – and recent gigs, includingBrooklyn distortion unit the Men opening for a reunited Flamin' Groovies in New Orleans and New York singer-performance artist Tammy Faye Starlite's recreation of Marianne Faithfull's 1979 album, Broken English, in poignant, lethally honest character.