alt-J - Hunger Of The Pine
There is a moment about a minute and a half into alt-J’s lush and intricate new single, when the Miley Cyrus sample plays for the first time, and you can’t help but step back and appreciate the absurdity of it. It shouldn’t work, but of course it does, adding yet another layer to this strange bird of a song. Orchestral, eclectic, tense, and soft, ‘Hunger Of The Pine’ doesn’t come in like a wrecking ball, so much as a breath of fresh air.
The Book of English Magic by Philip Carr-Gomm and Richard Heygate
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? by Horace McCoy
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
H is for Hawk is a work freebie - when Macdonald’s father died she dealt with her grief by buying a goshawk and filling her freezer with raw meat. I can’t think of a more inappropriate animal to fill an emotional void.