Piroshka’s Miki, Moose & Mick tell us about their favorite music & more of 2018
Piroshka, the new band formed by Miki Berenyi (Lush), KJ "Moose" McKillop (Moose), Mick Conroy (Modern English) and Justin Welch (Elastica), are set to release their debut album, Brickbat, in February. You can hear elements of all the members' bands in their sound (it's not just Lush V2) and if you haven't checked out lead single "Everlastingly Yours," you can watch the video for that below.
The band, who are augmented live by Justin's wife Mew (who was also in Elastica) and composer/actress Sukie Smith (who also fronted Madam), played their first gig about a month ago and have a UK tour starting in late March. Hopefully they'll be coming to North America, too. Those dates, plus live footage from their London show, are below.
We asked Piroshka for year-end lists and Miki, Moose and Mick obliged. Miki & Moose sent us a combined list of 10 songs, mostly from this year, while Mick's list features albums, reissues, books, podcasts, a dog, and more. Read their lists, along with their commentary and a playlist of Miki & Moose's picks, below.
10 SONGS FROM MIKI AND MOOSE
5 FROM MIKI
THE BREEDERS – Wait in the Car
Kim has so much personality in her voice, she sounds brilliant whether she is singing “Miaow miaow miaow miaow miaow” or yelling “Good Morning!”. There’s so much harnessed energy in The Breeders’ music – such a great band!
COURTNEY BARNETT – Need a Little Time
I think maybe this song is about fame but it feels intimate and personal. The chorus is basically three words: ‘you’ ‘and’ ‘me’ - so it’s very easy to sing along to, which I need to do every time I hear it because it just lifts me up and flies me upward.
ARTMAGIC – King of the Fishers
I’m in awe of the vocal/guitar talents of Sean McGhee and Richard Oakes. This feels English and folky but cinematic and sweeping and listening to it I can feel and see green landscapes and sparkling rivers. Full kudos for writing a song about fishing, too.
BELLY – Stars Align
You can’t not love Tanya Donelly, right? Even her sad songs have an irrepressible positivity and joy that breaks through. And god knows we need cheering up in these times. There’s an echo of Blondie here that I particularly like in this song.
PUMAJAW – The Red Petticoat
In the same way the Artmagic track conjures up England, this transports me to a wilder coastal Scotland. There’s an aching darkness to this folky song and Pinkie McClure’s exceptional voice gives me chills. Plus any song that begins “Don’t leave me here alone with the wine” is guaranteed to capture my attention.
5 FROM MOOSE
GEORGE F FITZGERALD & TRACEY THORN - Half Light
I’ve been listening to [Tracey's] voice since the days of The Marine Girls and this track is just as spare and beautiful.
DJ KOZE - "Muddy Funster" (ft. Kurt Wagner)
I love how his voice has been given the vocoder treatment. Koze’s music is so simple and so smart.
LOW - Always Trying to Work it Out
Standout track on one of my albums of the year. Sparse, ghostly and ultimately terrifying!
CAVERN OF ANTI-MATTER - Outerzone Jazs
Weirdly wonderful and wonderfully weird Kraftwerk homage. Trans-Europe Express for the Brexit generation.
JOHN HOPKINS - Luminous Beings
Could have chosen anything from Singularity but this is the one I played the most.
MICK CONROY - BEST OF 2018
1) LP for driving in the car...BEAK> - LA Playback
I liked this on the first listen... the way it sounds like they were all in the room together playing and recording in one take... sounds like lots of analogue stuff going on here. I can feel knobs being twiddled with, trying to keep everything in tune, and the sequences in time. The track ‘Mono’ in particular where the arpeggiator just does it’s own thing... brilliant...
2) Another car LP...BC Camplight - Deportation Blues
On first hearing.. (loudly) I thought this is completely bonkers.. but I’d already heard the first single ‘I’m desperate’ on the radio and liked the slightly out of tune keyboard line. So I knew that he had great songs with melody, interesting structures and arrangements that at times reminded me of both John Lennon and Dennis Wilson.
3) Brian Eno reissue of the year... (headphones on the tube )...Discreet Music.
After each Piroshka rehearsal in london, I catch the tube home to where I stay when I’m in London... we rehearse for quite long periods .. often 8 hours and more in chunks of four day sessions... obviously I have to play it loudly to match the noise and volume of the tube train journey.. so you end up with a kind of ‘industrial ambient’ effect.
4) Airport book....Factfullness by Hans Rosling
I read this on tour earlier this year. and it confirmed to me that I am wrong about many topics. also that I am getting quite bad at remembering things...
5) Podcast - 'Pod Save America.'
I started listening to this before the last US election.. quite insightful, but also quite witty i thought.. A group of people who worked in the Obama white house, but then the results came in and suddenly they stopped laughing. i listen to most of the crooked media podcasts .and Slate stuff as well...the washington posts ‘Can he do that ?’ is good as well..
6) Analogue synth of the year... Korg MS20
When Piroshka recorded our LP, Brickbat,we all ended up playing various parts on whichever keyboards were in the studio at the time.. a Roland Juno...great for arpeggios and sequencing sounds. We used the new digital Mellotron quite a lot...great saxophone sounds, also slightly out of tune droney strings. But we knew that we would need to have a keyboard player for our concerts. Step in Mew [Welch]... My other band has a Korg MS20 which Mew now plays in Piroshka. The MS20 can sometimes have a mind of its own, so it’s a tiny bit unpredictable, which makes it so essential to have in our live set.
7). Most Played Bowie album of the Year...Low. (again)
Always a talking point among Bowie fanatics. (well, my mates anyway) but I think with the recent Tony Visconti remixed Lodger LP, with more emphasis on the guitars, it would be nice to hear what he would do with Low now. Maybe get Eno involved...but I still think side one of Low is the best side of any LP ever made..It starts and ends with short, snappy instrumentals. I read that the songs were quite short because Bowie didn’t really bother writing that many lyrics. also Ricky Gardner quite unsung for his amazing guitar playing on this LP. these days I do listen to side two as well...
8). Pete Shelley...
Died the day before I wrote this. the Buzzcocks and Wire were my two most listened to bands when they both released their first LPs... but the Buzzcocks released a stream of great singles...I basically learned to play the guitar attempting to play along to the records . "Ever Fallen in Love" will always be a perfect pop song... a bit like ‘The Model’ by Kraftwerk is.
9). Arty Book of the year...Vaughan Oliver - Archives
Not cheap... but an essential for any 4AD die-hard. This book is a journey with Vaughan as he takes us through his art life so far.
10) Dog of the year (again)...Skipper
PIROSHKA - 2019 TOUR DATES
29 Mar 2019 Manchester Soup Kitchen
30 Mar 2019 Glasgow Stereo
31 Mar 2019 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
04 Apr 2019 London Oslo
05 Apr 2019 Cambridge The Portland Arms
06 Apr 2019 Bristol Rough Trade Bristol