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Malka Spigel

Every Day Is Like the First Day

(Swim; US: 3 Sep 2012; UK: 3 Sep 2012)

Every Listen Is Like the First Listen

It may be sad or slightly upsetting to say this, but Malka Spigel is probably best known for whom she’s married to than for her art. Spiegel, of course, has been hitched to Wire’s Colin Newman, who has also been something of a long-time musical collaborator, since 1986. However, just saying that she’s the wife of one of English post-punk’s most influential leading lights would be to overlook her accomplishments in the music and visual arts worlds. In the 1980s, she was the bass guitarist for noted Israeli post-punk band Minimal Compact. Under the name Maya Newman, Spigel has established herself as a photographer in recent years. As well, both she and her husband have worked together in the band Githead since 2004. However, Spigel hasn’t released a true solo album in 15 years. With Every Day Is Like the First Day, her fourth solo platter, she unleashes 12 remarkable and mesmerizing songs which sound a lot like what Stereolab would sound like if they had spent a lot of time listening to, well, early Wire and soaking in Middle Eastern influences.


Every Day Is Like the First Day is a bit of a star-studded affair: along with contributions from Colin Newman, the album features appearances from none other than Johnny Marr (ex of the Smiths and Modest Mouse) and Stereolab drummer Andy Ramsay, amongst a bevy of up-and-comers not quite as well known. And Every Day Is Like the First Day is certainly a record where you can play a game of “spot the guest musician” and try to guess whom contributed what to achieve the pinnacle of this album’s colossal sound. The album is a bit front-loaded – there’s little that’s immediately memorable than the bass rattling title track or the skittery “See It Sideways”—and at more than 50 minutes in length, it does feel as a whole a bit looooong, especially since a lot of the songs tend to sound very similar to one another. However, as a sonic thematic whole, the album hangs together rather well, and the songwriting is rather top notch, with a ton of meaty, angular hooks (presumably largely contributed by Spigel’s hubby). Playing Every Day for the sixth time is a little like hearing it for the first: full of all sorts of sonic nooks and crannies, and darkly poppish melodies to fill your head. As such, Every Day Is Like the First Day is quite the enjoyable late summer/early fall release, and one that’s beguiling and fascinating in equal measure; a record that should define Speigel as a genuine artist in her own right, and not merely a significant significant other of one of Britain’s greatest rock musicians of the late ‘70s.

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Zachary Houle is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee for his short fiction, and the recipient of a writing arts grant from the City of Ottawa. He has had journalism published in SPIN magazine, The National Post (Canada), Canadian Business, OttawaShowbox.com and more. He also reviews books for bookwookie.ca.


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Malka Spigel - See It Sideways
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