Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Greatest Hits 6

Default - DJANGO DJANGO (from the album Django Django)

Variously described as "psychedelic", "art-punk", and "organic electronica", I would stick my neck out and say all three descriptions are nonsense. What we have here is, to borrow a slogan from Stiff records back in the 70s, is "Pure Pop For Now People"

You can sing along to it, you can dance to it, it is ridiculously catchy. I love it!

Girls - DEEP SEA ARCADE (from the album Outlands)

I love Australian bands! The last few years has seen some of my favourite music come from down under - Tame Impala, Midnight Juggernaut, The Morning After Girls, etc ...

However, Deep Sea Arcade may be the best of the lot ... great songs, clearly influenced by 60s pop (Monkees, Beach Boys, Beatles) but with an added twist in that they are also clearly influenced by the "Madchester" sound

Cannot recommend album highly enough.

And finally ....

By The Sea - SUMMER FICTION (from the album Summer Fiction)
This is one of those great tracks that makes the hair at the back of my neck stand up whenever I hear it. Definitely one of my top ten tracks of all time, and that's some honour with 50 years of music behind it

This has everything ... great tune, lyrics, vocals and the simplest, most effective guitar solo. And its under 3 minutes. Pure Pop Perfection!

Greatest Hits Vol. 5

Me Me Me – from the album The Looking Glass (2010) : LARS AND THE HAND OF LIGHT
And this is from one of my favourite albums of 2010. They are from Denmark and take their influence from the 60s, from folk music, from rock music and produce a sound not unlike Belle & Sebastian. Jaunty, upbeat, but with a hint of melancholy

Lights – from the album In The Atmosphere (2009) : BURN THE NEGATIVES

This band comes from Carlisle and recorded this album in the famous Abbey Road studios. Described in one review as “Joy Division go disco”, that is not that far from the truth (as ridiculous as it sounds). The lead singer sounds like Ian Curtis; the band sound like early Human League

Special Baby – from the album My Groove, Your Move (2009) : LACK OF AFRO

Lack of Afro are actually just multi-instrumentalist  Adam Gibbons.  Clearly a fan of 70s jazz, funk and soul, he brings a very modern dance influence to the sound and he’s not averse to straying off into the realms of 60s psychedelia. Very good album

Variety 57

Beach House - DISASTER IN THE UNIVERSE - Available to download HERE
The band are based in Norway, but the term "cultural diversity" may have been coined for them.  As well as singing in Norwegian and the obligatory English, they also sing in French, Portuguese and the language of Mozambique
Very popular in Norway and, on the strength of this, that is not surprising
At which point, this blog elevates to its most obscure track ever. There is no link to download because ... you cannot do so. Know absolutely nothing about this band except there are three of them, the singer is female, they come from London, and this is an absolutely top song
Forget that last track being the most obscure ever .... this one has just snatched that prize. Cannot tell you one thing about this band / artist / ???
Damn fine track, though ... well, what did you expect?

Greatest Hits Volume 4

Days Like This – SHAUN ESCOFFERY (from the album Shaun Escoffery – 2007)

British soul music has always been, for me, the most underrated musical genre. Especially amongst the British. Fortunately, our American friends tend to acknowledge the quality. This track will bring out the sunshine on even the grimmest days – quality music that easily matches the best of Chicago house

Black Duck – LITTLE MASSIVE (from the album Little Massive – 2010)

What can I tell you about this band? Nothing! Cannot find the album reviewed anywhere, and it seems to be no longer available. This is a damn shame, because this track is indicative of a rather excellent album. File under – classic rock instrumental

Hayling - from the album Machine Say Yes (2002) : FC KAHUNA

Not really a band as such, but a production duo who decided to play live in 2002 and recorded this album off the back of it. Very much from the Fatboy Slim “big beat” school, this track may actually be familiar to you as it has appeared on many chill-out compilations. These days, the “band” tend to concentrate on TV and video game work. 


Greatest Hits Volume III

Ocean (from the album Falling – 2009) : 2020 SOUNDSYSTEM

Perhaps better known as a production team, this Leeds-based crew surprised everyone when they decided to release an album and do the festival circuit. Their ambient sound went down very well indeed. What do they sound like? Imagine Ian Brown wrote and sang the songs and LCD Soundsystem played them. Yep! That sums it up nicely

Who Is They? (from the album alone – 2011) : THE MORNING AFTER GIRLS

Originally from Australia but now based in New York, this lot have recorded one of the best albums of 2011. Great songs, soaring guitars, and a real epic sound. I hope the next album sees them breaking big, because they deserve it

Visiting Day (from the album Dirty Side Down – 2010) : WIDESPREAD PANIC

Even I miss out on bands sometimes! Discovered this lot last year but this is their 11th album and they are neighbours in Athens, GA with the no-longer-with-us REM. Their fans say this is one of their best efforts. A rock / blues / jazz influenced band and an album brimming with great songs from start to finish


Monday, 11 March 2013

Greatest Hits Volume II

Miss Downtown Sugar Girl (from the album Groovalicious - 2003) : CHRIS STANDING

Afficianados of the genre known as Smooth Jazz will be familiar with Chris Standring, but on this album he explores his soul and funk roots and his love of bands like Cameo, Average White Band and Earth Wind & Fire. Deliciously funky without ever straying away from the jazz groove

Lo Hi Hopes – (from the album Mount Chimaera – 2010) : BRASSTRONAUT

This lot are from Canada, a country that has been producing lots of great bands over the past few years. Its almost as if the country has realised that there is more to them than The Guess Who (70s rock band who were, for years, Canada’s biggest musical export). This was one of the best albums of last year but, like most of the albums on this blog, failed to get the recognition it deserved. The band play rock music influenced by jazz, but it’s not jazz-rock. They are a talented bunch as well, with band members playing everything from trumpet, clarinet, and glockenspiel to saxophone, flugelhorn and even a weird wind-synth called an EWI.

Belong (from the EP High Times - 2009) : WASHED OUT
Washed Out isn’t a band (just when did this craze for solo artists giving themselves band names start? I blame The Streets), but the work of one Ernest Greene (ah! perhaps that’s why he chose a different name?) and his laptop

Cannot give you a link to this EP, unfortunately, as this chillwave classic was contained on the above EP and the release was limited to 200 only ... oh ... and that was on cassette. However, his excellent debut album Within Without is now available
Great video, by the way