Tag Archives: Review

Review: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – Fruit

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.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – The Golden Age [Buy]
Carry on reading down here…

1 Comment

Filed under Reviews

Review: Galapaghost – Runnin’

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

Listen to: Never Heard Nothin’

The good news is that this is free! So go and download it from his Soundcloud page.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review: Cut Copy – Zonoscope

It would be difficult for me to hide that I’m a big Cut Copy fan. I’ve probably written about them three or four times in the short time that this blog has been going, and I’ve listened to them a whole lot more than that! But I can’t help it. There is something about their balls-out willingness to entertain in a record that I find tough not to give in to. So their new offering Zonoscope has got a lot to live up to.

Their previous two releases have been like fully mixed records: at times the little joining skits between the songs are as good as the songs themselves. Cut Copy have always made records you put on and listen to from start to finish; Zonoscope is no different, with the songs blending together to make a strong, atmospheric record.

The album kicks off with a soaring disco song in ‘Need You Now’ that has got more than a hint of New Wave about it. It also has the trademark Cut Copy whisps and flourishes to it. A good thing. Next in line is the first official single off the album that dropped back in November. When I first heard ‘Take Me Over’ I had high hopes for the album. It’s a decent pop song with a great bouncy bassline (pinched from Fleetwood Mac, but who cares?!). It is also incredibly difficult not to dance – or at the very least head bop – to. While it’s not the best song on the album, it will satisfy those of you who want to hear a pop-y, dance-y song early on. Click here for the rest of the review & a song…

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review: James Blake – James Blake

One of the first things that struck me about this album was that, aside the lead single ‘Limit To Your Love’ which came out October-time, I had not heard any of the songs before. This is even more refreshing when you consider that in the last 12 months James Blake has released 3 EP’s, all of which were very strong. The fact that he resisted the urge to put any of these songs on the album tells us two things: firstly that he’s written a lot of good songs and, secondly, that he’s probably got a lot more to come. I’d be surprised if this was his only offering in 2011.

The album opens with ‘Unluck’, which is a clear continuation of what we’ve heard over the past year. The synths and drum machine make me think of the Klavierwork EP, only left on its own to calm down for a bit. The next song, Wilhelms Scream (also the next single), continues this slow idea at the start, but it soon starts building up to a drop that never quite arrives. The way I see it this is a nice little critique at the stereotypical ‘club banger’ that has plagued the charts over the past couple of years. While it’s not an entirely comfortable song to listen to, you get to the end of it and feel oddly satisfied.

It is soon followed by the pair of Lindesfarne songs, the first of which uses reverb-laden, treated vocals to create a melancholy acapella song that is is asking for a Mount Kimbie or Burial rework. Maybe even something similar to what Devendra Banhart did with Phoenix’s ‘Rome’ (you can listen to that song here). What this first part does though is act as an introduction to one of the strongest songs on the album, Lindesfarne II. There will be many a comparison with Bon Iver here, understandably considering Blake said that For Emma, Forever Ago was one of his big influences while making this album. This is a very strong song that immensely listenable; I can pretty much guarantee that it’ll be one of the first songs you go back to after you get to the end of the album. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review: Tennis – Cape Dory

Denver’s Tennis (husband and wife Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore) released their debut album Cape Dory two weeks ago and it’s fair to say I’ve played it quite a few times since I picked it up. It’s come off the back of a big year for them, getting an awful lot of internet exposure and a couple of EP releases over the summer. Anyway, here’s what I think.

The album starts with the up-tempo ‘Take Me Somewhere’, showcasing the 50’s guitar and ambient surf sound that has become synonymous with bands such as Tennis, Beach House, The Drums and How To Dress Well over the last twelve months or so. The third song, ‘Cape Dory’ is an early delight; the vocal melody is unusual enough to be remarked upon and the backing is wonderfully lo-fi. I’ve been trying to place what Alaina Moore’s voice sounds like and I think I may have placed it. A little while ago I put up a song by a Sheffield band called Jack Rabbit and their lead singer, Olivia Neller, has a very similar tone. There, that’s one mystery solved! (If you want to listen to them, click here.)
Click here for more…

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews