Saturday, 26 January 2013

Volume 54


Riviera Rock - CHRISTOPHER OWENS - from the album Lysandre
After deciding to split his group Girls in 2012, Christopher Owens released his first solo record, Lysandre, in early 2013. Girls' short career arc went from scrappy, reverb-drowned eccentrics to majestic psych-prog-tinged rock, but his first effort finds Owens stripping back on both reverb and majesty in favor of a more organic, intimate sound.
Split between confessional, Baroque folk ballads and bubbly rockers, the brief album traces the splintering of a love affair with all the melodic strength and clunky lyrical style associated with Owens' previous work. He sounds more comfortable laying back in the ballads this time out, surrounding his ultra-plaintive vocals with a comforting array of acoustic guitars, vibraphones, electric pianos, and female backing vocals.
 Massiv - LOTUS - from the album Build (released 13 Feb 2013)
I have heard this album through a friend and have to say it has completely blown me away. If someone had told me that a band could make an excellent album by fusing progressive rock, house, latin jazz and a little hip-hop, wrapped in warm, fuzzy and very danceable tunes,I'd have probably laughed in their face.  Lotus prove me very wrong indeed
Blind Owl Speaks - NATURAL CHILD - from the album Hard In Heaven
Very ocasionally, you hear an album that knocks you right off your feet and has you scrabbling for information about the band. In this case, I needed to check that the album was a new one, and not one released about 1970. To be fair, the production values give away its contemporary origins, but the solid, gritty, blues-rock is so authentic you wonder if its an old classic remastered. It isn't; its just gritty, garage-y, blues rock and it is absolutely brilliant

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Volume 53


The Prime Minister's Daughter - LIBRARY VOICES - From the album Summer of Lust

Proving that all Canadian music isn't as dull as Arcade Fire or as vacant as Sum 41, Library Voices provide everything you could hope for from indie pop: heartfelt lyrics, oddly titled songs (“Generation Handclap”, “Reluctant Readers Make Reluctant Lovers”), and big instrumentation, featuring keyboards, horns, and strings. This album doesn’t have a dull moment, leaving the listener energized and anxious to push repeat. An album I keep coming back to

Encyclopedia Of Classic Takedowns - A C NEWMAN - from the album Shut Down The Streets
OK ... more decent Canadian music, this time from frontman of the mighty New Pornographers Carl Newman. On his own, Newman takes a couple of steps back from the hopped-up band dynamic of the Pornographers; as A.C. Newman, he was presenting himself in the mold of the thoughtful and introspective pop composer. This is from his third, and perhaps, best solo effort
End Of The World Everyday - WILDCAT! WILDCAT! - available to listen to here
Indie RnB is going to be THE sound of 2013 and this trio are at the forefront of that new sound. Wildcat! Wildcat! actually go way back...about fifteen years, in fact. Lead singers Jesse Taylor, Michael Wilson and drummer Jesse Carmichael all share more than a few strong common bonds...a propensity for making music being the obvious. Over the span of years the guys have played together in one fashion or another, but didn’t delve into this project until 2011, when it just felt like time.
Whatever ... the trio's technicolor serendipity pop speaks for itself ... cannot wait for the debut album

Friday, 4 January 2013

Volume 52

Poison of Choice - STEVE BUG - from the album Noir
A German DJ-turned-producer who came to prominence during Ibiza's golden years, his music occupies an area between banging club music and headphone-friendly chillout minimalism. This latest album veers more towards the latter, however. Mostly instrumental, each track starts with a beat that gradually swells into a space-filling vibe.  Quite a dark album, but extremely atmospheric
The Fall - RHYE - from the EP The Fall
Fans of The XX will love this!  Not sure what you would call this particular genre of music, but indie-soul would not be an inaccurate description. This LA duo have a very lo-fi sound but not one that is sparse or, indeed, sombre.  I have had a sneak preview of the album, due for release later in 2013, and it is excellent.
Incidentally, fans of The Killing 2 will enjoy the video!
 Sweet n Sour - MVSCLES - single only, available here

Another duo, this time from Boston MA. Cat (the singer) comes from a musical theatre background; Chad is a drummer who actually studied music at college. This is one of those curiously addictive songs that sounds almost whimsical on first listen but soon becomes rather annoyingly catchy.  Their music has been described as "glo-fi" or (and I have to admit this is a new genre even to me) "based pop".  Me?  I call it a damn fine tune