27 April 2015

question mark and the mysterians - '96 tears'

The original and possibly the best version of this tune. Still as cool as you like too.

say lou lou - 'games for girls (feat. lindstrøm)'

A very radio-friendly affair with some exquisite mixing from Lindstrøm.

vakula - 'new sensations'

Wonderful techno. Just wonderful.

wolf colony - 'pleasure'

The second track off their new album that I've blogged and I really could have posted each and every single song on it, they're all that good.

dalton - 'new time'

I love the hook in this track - a lovely deep bass guitar sound reminiscent of The XX. 

peaking lights - 'all the sun that shines'

Something mellow to ease us into Monday.

26 April 2015

sophie hunger - 'supermoon'

Not the greatest of days if I'm perfectly honest but this album is making things far more chilled.

25 April 2015

steve mason - 'all come down (acoustic version)'

It doesn't get much better than this. Great music to listen to as I twiddle my thumbs at home all ready for Brighton's last home game of the season.

24 April 2015

doctor flake - 'women in dub'

Some beautiful French trip-hop to finish the night, I think. This is quite excellent, seriously good in fact.

the leisure society - 'tall black cabins'

A great Brighton/London band is The Leisure Society. They've had to deal with one of those excruciating prefixes of "Britain's answer to...[insert US indie folk band]" but thankfully they look like shaking that off so that they can be assessed as an act by themselves. Their new album was released earlier this month and I would like to hear it at the earliest possible juncture because if it's anything like this track then it's a corker, for sure.

the chemical brothers - 'sometimes i feel so deserted'

It's their first release for something like 5 years and has all the hallmarks of being classic Chemical Brothers. There's a long intro, bring in the heavy bass, take the bass out, tease and tease and then the drop. Add a bit of acid house in the middle and take the bass out again...bigger tease and huge drop and key changes aplenty. It's a formula that works well for them. Actually, I do like the tune a lot.

23 April 2015

looper - 'mondo '77'

I've had this tune on loop (excuse the pun) for about 3 times now and it's the perfect accompaniment, headphones on as I read in bed. It's a bloody fantastic tune, that's what it is.

this is the kit - 'all in cahoots'

I've been waiting for a stream of this track to come online so I can blog it. It's up there as one of my favourite tracks of the year so far. Not too many tracks can give me goosebumps but this one knows all the buttons to press. Incredible tune.

westkust - 'swirl'

Oh my. My Bloody Valentine-esque guitars? Swedish?  Dream-pop? Tick, tick, tick. Love, love, love this tune.

we are scientists - 'dumb luck'

We're all tired so let's chill out to something ethereal. This reminds me a bit of the Mamas and Papas singing Elliott Smith. Obviously - that never happened but it sounds like it. 

elvis perkins - '& eveline'

I've blogged about him before but his 2015 album 'I Aubade' is quite something. 

virginia wing - 'juniper'

It's not dream-pop but it's not shoegaze either. It's a warm, fuzzy kind of tune that is perfect for listening to on bright sunny afternoons. Shame I'm stuck in the office but at least the tune is lovely.

roy orbison - 'blue bayou'

The Big O was born this day in 1936. What a voice the man had. Just beautiful.

wire - 'harpooned'

The new self-titled album is a tremendous return from the punk survivors. They still play a mean guitar and have grown older gracefully but no less acerbic lyrically. It's great that bands such as Wire and The Fall are still finding fresh sounds even after all these years when so many younger bands have grown stale, bland or just bored. 

22 April 2015

jacco gardner - 'find yourself'

Dutch multi-instrumentalist, Jacco Gardner, already has a few albums under his belt but the latest one, 'Hypnophobia' is his best yet in my opinion. It's a mixture of baroque, almost retro Syd Barrett style  and then slightly edgier psychedelic pop. It's a little hard to describe and do it justice (as you can no doubt tell!) but it's well worth a tenner of anyone's money. I love the fact that young musicians feel brave enough to make this kind of music and eschew the more obvious for something a little more aurally interesting.

adna - 'silent shouts'

Her 2015 album 'Run, Lucifer' is really growing on me. She's quite the storyteller. 

elvis depressedly - 'thou shalt not murder'

This song is about lost innocence and childhood apparently. It's one of those tunes that I think you need to listen to a fair few times to get your head fully around what they're getting because although it appears quite simple there's a fair bit bubbling under the surface. Oh, and there's a new album out too next month so watch this space for more.

james yorkston - 'the blues you sang'

It was a track from his 2014 album 'The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society' but he also recorded a version for an EP especially for Record Store Day. He needs to be heard more, you know, he's an extremely talented musician.

the charlatans - 'let the good times be neverending'

Here's the new video taken from their Japanese leg of their current tour. I can't speak for Japan (or indeed speak Japanese!) but I can assure you the Worthing gig was amazing. 

euzen - 'phobia'

They're a Danish band fronted by a Norwegian and have been around for a few years now. Musically, they've progressed from punk to power rock with electronic undertones. Their new album Metamorph is very interesting too and they've got lots of little bits and bobs in the tunes that certainly lift the album and the band from the usual crowd. Definitely one to check out in my opinion.

hulda - 'sail on'

Another great singer from the Faroe Islands, this time Hulda whose album Huldasound was released a couple of months back and if you like Scandinavian electro-pop then you'll love the album.

21 April 2015

passenger - 'darkest days'

Mike Rosenberg has released a whole load of new material, Whispers II with a follow-up to the original 2014 Whispers album. It's as introspective, intimate and erudite as he's ever been and definitely one for sitting down with headphones and having a proper listen to.

My albums of the year so far

I've tried to put this in order but undoubtedly my choice is skewed with what I have been listening to lately and that is probably why I have Gaslamp Killer at number 1 but it really is a quite amazing album. I can't stop listening to it. Ghostpoet is well deserving of the second slot with an album that, in my humble opinion, is a dead cert for a Mercury Prize nomination. In third place is Stealing Sheep. Their 2015 album 'Not Real' just begs you to hit the repeat button I could listen to it all day, every day. It's been a so-so year for music so far, in my opinion, with the good albums being very good but a lot of weak material out there too. Maybe it will pick up later in the year, we have of course Blur's comeback album out soon and available for streaming right now. 

Probably the most noticeable absence from my list is Kendrick Lamarr. I get why the album is raved about so much but, sorry, it's just not for me. I've written before on this blog that it's a little too knowing, a little too self-congratulatory and the repetitions get right on my wick. Too many bad memories of Wyclef Jean in the Fugees. Another absentee is Bjork. Now I love Bjork, really love Bjork and her latest album is also her most personal so it should be up there as one of my favourites too. I just wish it had a killer tune on it and she sounds so sad, too sad. It's not comfortable listening.

The biggest disappointments of the year have undoubtedly been Belle and Sebastian with an over-produced, disco-inspired mess that ruins some all too infrequent great moments and the Waterboys who sound like a pub blues cover band with their comeback album. Purity Ring's 'Another Eternity' is an album that puzzles me. Critics rave about it but to my ears every tune sounds the same, vocoded and formulaic. And then there's that Prodigy album. Dear oh dear. I'm not sure they should have bothered. Did they actually bother or is their latest just the bits left over from previous albums that didn't make the cut? Godspeed! You Black Emperor wasn't what I was hoping either. The last track is them in their finest pomp but before that you have to get through a lot of post-rock guitar, the sort that Explosions in The Sky do so much better. 

So here's my list:

1 The Gaslamp Killer - 'The Gaslamp Killer Experience Live in Los Angeles'
2 Ghostpoet - 'Shedding Skin'
3 Stealing Sheep - 'Not Real'
4 Father John Misty - 'I Love You, Honeybear'
5 The Districts - 'A Flourish and a Spoil'
6 Stornoway - 'Bonxie'
7 Marika Hackman - 'We Sleep At Last'
8 Monophonics - 'Sound of Sinning'
9 Sufjan Stevens - 'Carrie & Lowell'
10 This Is The Kit - 'Bashed Out'
11 Dan Mangan - 'Club Meds'
12 Courtney Barnett - 'Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit'
13 Lonelady - 'Hinterland'
14 The Decemberists - 'What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World'
15 Krill - 'A Distant Fist Unclenching'
16 Moon King - 'Secret Life'
17 Nadine Shah - 'Fast Food'
18 Public Service Broadcasting - 'The Race For Space'
19 Showstar - 'Showstar'
20 The Wave Pictures - 'Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon'

And here's that Gaslamp Killer album

built to spill - 'when i'm blind'

Incredible to think that 'Untethered Moon'  released today is in fact their 8th album. I'm hoping they get the success they deserve with this outing but if you're in any doubt as to their pedigree then check out this song that clocks in at well over 8 minutes long and most of that is guitar riffs. Great stuff!

echo lake - 'era'

This is the title track from their second album released in the middle of last month and if you like rich, full guitar-sounds and soaring vocals then this might well be up your street.

roots manuva - 'like a drum'

Produced by New York producer Machinehead, Roots Manuva has gone for a laid-back mood with this track. Unfortunately, I've only been able to find is a stop-start stream on Juno to embed on my blog and I can't be doing with that faffing about so if you want to listen to it on Soundcloud then head to the Noisey website here where they are streaming it in full.

helsinki - 'keys'

It's a side project from Drew McConnell, bass player in Babyshambles and much sought after session musician. Oh, and it's rather good!

duke garwood - 'white wine'

And from country folk to blues, another new track from the excellent Duke Garwood 2015 album 'Heavy Love'.

the lowest pair - 'smile and nod'

I do love a bit of traditional country folk music so when this tune popped up on my iPod this morning I was very pleased indeed, it's quite beautiful.