The debut by LA four piece Electric Guest is a lesson in how to put a host of sub-three minute pop songs (one or two exceptions notwithstanding) into a 40 minute slice of fun pop that’s perfect for the summer.
While the band generally stick to three minute songs, they are by no means conventional. Opener ‘Holes’ is a slow, synthy start to the record where singer and front-man Asa Taccone gets a chance to put his vocals to the fore. In contrast the next song and lead single ‘This Head I Hold’ is pop bliss. That’s pop influenced by the Beach Boys and the Beatles, not the R&B/David Guetta pop that’s taken over the top 40. Continue reading →
Tru Thoughts’ Belleruche are now on to their fourth full-length release and they’ve made a concerted effort to shake things up a bit. We all know that they do the DIY electro-soul thing well, so it seems that they wanted to show us they can make a darker, more complex sound work too.
A couple of weeks ago I went to the Jazz Café for HMV’s next big thing, whilst the show was undoubtedly stolen by Belleruche (hardly surprising what with them being and the headlining act), a special mention needs to be made to Anchorsong. Anchorsong (aka Masaaki Yoshida) is a Japanese artist and producer who uses a sampler, a keyboard and some sort of black magic to create incredible electronic music. It’s rare enough to find this kind of music that I’ll listen to – let alone really like – but this really hits the spot. Continue reading →
The current trend in ‘Indie’ music is to write songs that sound like they’ve stepped out of a Delorean from the 80’s. Knowing this (expecting it, even) makes the opening of Tribes’ debut rather surprising, as they draw influence from bands of the following decade like Nirvana and Pixies rather than Huey Lewis and Steve Winwood. Continue reading →
For me, the new Maccabees record was always going to be a big one. I’ve enjoyed their last two albums so much that I had high expectations of album number three. I remember reading reviews of Wall Of Arms describing how much the band had ‘grown up’ since Colour It In, which is probably true. So, have they done the same thing again and further refined their sound? And is it good? Continue reading →
I like Bombay Bicycle Club. In the five years or so since they’ve been together they’ve put together a top notch demo, two EP’s and three full-length efforts including their latest, A Different Kind Of Fix. Compare that to Two Door Cinema Club, a band who have been around for about the same time and have garnered a similar amount of airplay who have just one album and one EP. I respect the fact that they want to make music.
Zach Condon has really done it this time. While I’ve often heard that phrase directed at me for all the wrong reasons, with Beirut, it can only be a good thing. The new album The Rip Tide is an album that eschews a whole lot of conventions. It has nine songs and clocks in at just over half an hour (an EP to a lot of artists); his genre-defying is unabated; and his song writing is unerringly good. Continue reading →
This album by DJ and producer Paul White is something of a treat. He’s been making music, mixtapes and generally all kinds of trouble for quite some time now. This album actually came out two years ago, not that it makes it any less enjoyable.
When listening to or talking about any DJ who trawls through samples to make something special there is one name that immediately springs to mind, and rightly so. However, for the purposes of this little review (and to be a little contrary) we shan’t mention him. However, it should be said that Paul White stands up to comparison. His samples are incredibly varied, ranging from Continue reading →
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour were on TV today. It turns out their song ‘Golden Age’ is on the new Heineken advert. It made me look up because, as good as this song is (and as advert-friendly as it is), I’ve never heard it on the telly before. It’s not just that song that’s good though. Their debut album Fruit that came out in September 2009 is something of a favourite.
This EP was sent to me about two weeks ago and I must have listened to it about a dozen times already. Considering I try and listen to a different album on the way to/from work every day, that’s pretty impressive. Galapaghost is the project of Casey Chandler and this is his third EP under this name. There are 7 songs on his EP and they are all good! It starts with ‘The Demise Of Me’, a ukulele driven song and a folky, four-on-the-floor double bass plodding on in the background. His harmonies are genuinely delightful; quaint and modest, they add real charm to all of the songs. This particular song has a real feel of Angus & Julia Stone about it. It’s good, good American folk.
He doesn’t restrict himself to ‘conventional’ folk though. The album goes through various moods, from the melancholy ‘Disintegration’ to the punky ‘Rise & Fall’, which is a particularly good song. It sounds startlingly like Green Day’s ‘Waiting’, with some Cat Power added in the mix. (Just so you know, in my book a comparison to Green Day pre-2003 is a good one.)
‘A Familiar Place’ is one of the prettiest songs I’ve heard in a really long time. It has got a lullaby quality to it that makes it immensely listenable. The Glockenspiel on this song is wonderfully quaint. It is also nice to have such a lighthearted song coming after the emotion of ‘Disintegration’. Moving towards the end of the EP, the title track is probably the most typically American of the songs on the album. The slide guitar and chunky chorus once again provide a good change of pace and I’m a particular fan of the solo that plays the song out.
“Well this is a celebration for you // Because you are so cool” – so begins the final song on Runnin’. If, as Chandler says, this is going to be his final EP, then it’s a fitting way to go out. The record is a great 31 minutes. His influences are varied: he claims Midlake, Simon & Garfunkel and Radiohead among them and I can hear them all. But he also goes through moments where he sounds like Phantom Planet (the good stuff), Death Cab and Mumford & Sons. This really is a treat: it’s difficult to pigeon-hole, which is exactly what I would look for in an EP. They should be a showcase of what an artist can do… Let them go for themes on albums! Listen to it once and you won’t be disappointed.
File next to: Cat Power, Midlake, Angus & Julia Stone
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