Polyhymns formed in 2019 as an off-shoot trio from Sheffield folktronica band Little Glitches. They write and produce a mixture of electronic experimental music and dreamy acoustic pop songs.
Their new song ‘Down with the kids‘ possess a wistful air with touches of Beta Band and the melancholia of Nick Drake about its tumbling reflection. They say its a song about “parenthood and isolation in the digital age (two of the group have young children). The song has particular pertinence at the moment with parents homeschooling during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
They’ve put a playlist together for us entitled
“Lockdown Sunshine Mix”. Listen and read below.
1.Nick Drake – At The Chime Of A City Clock
(Sam) I love the whole ‘Bryter Layter’ album but this is my favourite track. I listened to it a lot while studying in London and it was the perfect soundtrack for travelling around on the tube and getting lost walking through the city. Another one of those amazing talents who died far too young.
2. Cate le Bon – Are You With Me Now?
(Sam) I only heard this song for the first time on 6music a couple of years ago. I was instantly hooked and had to find out everything about her – I think it’s as close as you can get to the perfect pop song. I heard her say in an interview that all her songs are about her dead pets. I’m not sure if it’s just a joke but, in a macabre way, I really like that.
3. Longpigs – She Said
(Gavin) A formative slice of Sheffield’s pop music heritage, with Richard Hawley on guitar. As kids, me and Sam used to sneak into the top room at the Hallamshire pub (an iconic venue at the time in Sheffield) to watch them play. Although they never quite reached their full potential they are definitely the reason I’m here writing this today.
4. Richard Dawson – Weaver
(Sam) We went on a band outing to hear him play last year at a fundraiser for Grimm & Co. in Rotherham (like a mini Harry Potter-land where they support kids to do creative writing). It was really intimate setting and a jaw-dropping performance. His voice, guitar playing and song writing are all top-notch, and he seemed a really humble guy as well.
5. Luther Dickinson – Horseshoe (Reprise)
(Gavin) I heard this on an internet radio station based in New York called Folk Alley. Although the guitar is the main part, it’s actually the other background instruments, especially the double bass which I love, and the way it’s recorded is really sweet.
6. Karen O and Danger Mouse – Lux Prima
(Gavin) Everything that Danger Mouse touches seems to turn to gold. This is a great partnership with Karen O, with lots of pace and drama. It has something quite majestic about it.
7. Squarepusher – Iambic 5 Poetry
(Andy) This is an absolutely gorgeous slow burner. Apparently Squarepusher’s dad was a clockmaker so I guess this may explain his mastery of time and space. He also lived in Sheffield for a while and used to drink in our local. We grew up listening to him and continue to be in awe of the many shapes and forms his music takes. This track smacks of that Sunday morning come-down chill nobody remembers but we all romanticise about.
8. Shida Shahabi – Pretty in Plums
(Andy) What draws me in here is her ability to make the most simple of melodies and sequences inspire emotion. An almost oriental-tinged mixture of classical and cinematic overtones which is genre defying and beautiful.
9. Laraaji – Hare Jaya Jaya Rama II
(Andy) From the beautiful Vision Songs, Vol.1. In truth anything from that album inspires me to believe that music can take any form it likes. This is a lush, slightly off-kilter lullaby and I love how it is both enchanting and unsettling at the same time.
10. Nico – Afraid
(Gavin) Adrian Flanagan (from International Teachers of Pop/ Moonlandingz) put me onto Nico years ago – he had loads of bizarre stories about her living in Manchester. I’m not even going to try and describe her music and this song – she just has ‘it’.