ok, so a bit of a mini album review. Chet Faker has been one of those artists that everyone has taken notice of lately. Having sold out two shows at The Toff in a couple of weeks and a third show selling fast, the dude is doing a fair few things right.
The mini album (It’s 7 tracks), ‘Thinking In Textures’ has elements of nu-soul, down-tempo r’n'b and groove based electronica as well as sprinklings of hip hop, jazz, and a bit of blues. It has a sound that takes control over you – from the atmosphere and a beat that sounds like it’s stuck in a box that begins new single and opening track I’m Into You , to the super soul sounds and sleazy dance inducing Love and Feeling, there’s something constant and evolving about how the tracks are put together.
Perhaps my faves from the disc are Cigarettes and Chocolate, a track that provides a bit of respite after that dirty feel of another fave Love and Feeling. Then there’s the big ones – Chet’s cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggity which went absolutely nuts on blogs and the first official single, Terms and Conditions, a track that I think really helped cement his place in the international scene. It’s hard to fault any of the tracks on the release – they all sit well on their own and make even more sense in the context of the full release, something I think is pretty hard to master.
ok, so this is an album I’ve been hanging out for for quite a while. After hinting at what they could offer as early as 2008, the now Sydney based gents Canyons have released their debut, Keep Your Dreams.
This is an album that excites me. It has elements of my fave things about deep techno/house/anyothergenre. New single See Blind Through has clear similarities with Azari & III, and some of the more techno stuff reminds me a bit of new Cutters.
But I think what makes this album great is that it’s not all the one thing. One of the things that put me off the Azari & III record was the fact that whilst they do some stellar stuff, it all sounds very similar. The thing that sets Canyons apart is that not only do they have their cock in a few pies, they also seem to be able to have their way with each quite convincingly (there’s an image you wanted i’m sure…).
As I said in an earlier post about the guys, they not only have the knack for writing killer tech/disco numbers, they also have the knack for writing some killer pop songs. My Rescue is a clear example of that. The slow builds and the hopeful lyrics, not to mention the fact that it’s guitar based set it apart from the others in a way. It sort of acts as a nice peak early on.
Other standouts for me would be the rather chill Sun and Moon, the dark builder Blue Snakes, and the blissed out closer Land In Between.
Canyons – Blue Snakes
Canyons – See Blind Through (DJ Harvey Remix)
Secret Circuits. Four kids out of Yorkshire over there in the Mother country. They’ve just put out their debut EP called This Town. You can grab the title track just below.
The guys have this indie stadium rock dance crossover kinda sound and it works a treat. The title track has a rather anthemic sounding chorus, and it brings you up and makes you feel a little bit better about your day, even if the lyrics are a little bit depressing. Track 2, Hurricane is a killer. Starts off really nice punky guitars and drums and then brings in this warm synth. And the quick 3 beat bar at the end of every two bars (music terminology anyone?) gives it a real urgency that I love.
Track 3 and 4 are different yet again. Track 3, The Battle, has a real distinctive synth intro. Love the fuzzed out keys in the middle bit with lead singer Jack’s vocals. If anything, The Battle may be the weakest of the tracks, but it still kicks pretty hard. Track 4, The Ending (Parts 1 & 2) starts as a big piano ballad. Really well written stuff here. The vocals are subtle, and don’t push, but against the piano sound urgent. Difficult thing to pull off, but they have. The second half of The Ending moves it into synth territory. Real feel-good but not in a cheesy way sound. Big fat anthemic drums. The chord progression keeps you guessing a bit. This is solid stuff!
If you like what you hear below then go grab their EP off iTunes.
wow. I don’t know where all the album reviews went. We use to do quite a few, but yeah, they kinda went belly up. Was being sent too much new single tracks, uni got crazy busy (it still is. damn you thesis!) and yeah, i hadn’t actually got any new albums to review anyways. But, things are about to change. Well…probably not in some big grand kinda way…but yeah, hopefully a few more album reviews will get done before the year’s out.
So, this is an album I’ve been hanging out for for ages. New Juggers! It’s their second LP following up from Dystopia in 2007. And yeah, i’m sure if you’re a fan, you’ve probably already heard some of the tracks and read a bit about it. It does have a bit of a different sound. It’s not that indie dance kinda stuff that people had them pigeonholed at after the first LP. It’s still an album you can dance to though. I been thinking about the best way to describe the sound for a while now…and I guess I would use the word ‘warm’. Dystopia was quite doomy and dark…and whilst the Axis is still dark in it’s sound, it has this warm quality to it (think track 3, Lifeblood Flow). It’s also a hell of a lot more percussive. There are little woodblock kinda grooves working their way right through the disc, which is all kinds of cool.
Overall, it is a solid release. One of the better Australian releases of the year so far. I gotta listen to it more though. I feel as though there’s more to discover with this record. After reading a few interviews with the dudes, it’s obvious that they are quite proud of it. And deservedly so.
In terms of the faves though…hmm…I think the aforementioned ‘warm’ number Lifeblood Flow is definitely up there. Track 5, Lara Versus the Savage Pack reminds me a bit of Dystopia with it’s groove at the beginning. That would be a definite fave also – especially when the chorus kicks in. And that repeated key line carries it right through. Cannibal Freeway is another venture into the ‘warm’ state…and the no vocals for the first minute and a half adds that extra little dimension (nothing against Andy’s vocals!). The word ‘ambitious’ has been used to describe the album by a few out there, and i think track 9, Winds of Fortune is the most ambitious of the disc. Above anything else, it’s uplifting. It’s got the backing vocals…and that almost feel-good, lyrically hopeful chorus. And then there’s the two lead singles, This New Technology and Vital Signs.
To top it all off, I made sure I pre-ordered my copy early, which meant i went into the running to get a signed version of the album. And I did. So, on Friday, I was pretty stoked to come home and their be the signatures of the Juggers boys greeting me on top of their new disc. The album also comes with a bonus disc, which you have to get. It’s got a great remix of This New Technology by Emperor Machine and a cover of Vital Signs by massive buzz band Tame Impala. It’s also got some exclusive b-sides too, including the awesome Get Connected.
So yeah, that’s it! Top album. Definitely recommend you get your copy. Try and get it the old fashioned way – from an actual record store. That way you get the bonus disc. Aussie kids – grab it from JB. Otherwise, check it out on iTunes.
ok. so this isn’t a post about some new stuff I got sent. This is a post about some of the new stuff I’ve bought. Yes, that’s right. Even us bloggers go out and buy music. I’ve bought some new stuff and some old stuff. Being a blogger, you sort of feel as though you should have the top 10 albums in the Hype Machine 2009 Zeitgeist. Or maybe that’s just me. MAAMF is still relatively new (although, i’m not sure if ‘new’ really exists in the music blogosphere), so I feel as though it still has a while to go until it can call it successful or anything). Anyway, I ramble. Onto my recent music additions.
What I bought was pretty diverse. Here’s a run down:
- First up was the Recordings Of The Middle East EP. The Middle East made the MAAMF top 10 and they’re kinda a pretty awesome band. If you’re in Australia too, they’re playing Laneway Festival over the next few weeks. Expect some big things from these guys in 2010.
- Next up. Dirty Projectors – Bittie Orca. I’m still in two minds about The Dirty Projectors. This rated pretty highly in some bloggers top 10′s…and I think I can see why. Still not sure though. It’s good in the sense that it throws normal pop song writing rules out the window on the most part…but I think it rambles in some parts. You listen to some parts and wonder why they’ve done that thinking it wasn’t really necessary. Still in two minds though…so you never know. Next week I could love it.
- Third. The FBi Live Feed album. FBi is a community radio station up in Sydney. I try and always listen to them when I’m up there. And their FBi’s Before Cast podcast is always worth a listen. The disc is 18 live tracks from bands from right across the world, all recorded in Sydney venues. There are a few standout tracks on the disc…but I think the recording of Melbourne boys My Disco and their track (get ready for an insanely long track title!) “You Came To Me Like A Cancer Lain Dormant Until It Blossomed Like A Rose” is the best. Check it down below.
- Fourth up. You Am I – Hi Fi Way. How could I be a lover of Aussie rock and not have this album I hear you ask? I know, pretty poor form on my behalf. But I have it now. And now I completely understand the appeal of You Am I. They just write great pop music. Tim Rogers is a small bit of a genius. One of the best tracks off the album, imo, would definitely have to be Cathy’s Clown. Get it at ze bottom.
- Fifth up. (I bought a shit load I know.) Grand Salvo – Soil Creatures. I didn’t know much about Grand Salvo at all. His real name is Paddy Mann and he’s from Melbourne. He has this knack of keeping his songs really simple. And I like that a lot. Great Sunday afternoon music.
- Sixth. I’m going to be honest with you. The only thing I knew of Four Tet was his amazing remix of Sia’s Breath Me. His brand newy “There Is Love In You” is that kinda experimental dancy soundscape kinda stuff you want playing in your headphones all day. Accompanies any situation.
- Seventh. (Nearly there). Beach House – Teen Dream. Once again, the only Beach House I have ever heard is the track Norway. The album is pop perfection. Love it. I tend to take what Zan from Triple J has as gospel, and she loves this band…so I think I might too. Check out one of my faves off the album Zebra, below.
- Finally! (YESSSSSS!!! Got there. At fucking last. My wallet is hurting btw). The Crayon Fields – All The Pleasures Of The World. These guys had a hell of a lot of hype about them in Melbourne town over the past year. Indie pop perfection some were saying. I accidently saw Geoffrey O’Connor from The Crayon Fields as a support for a dude from the States called Dent May a few days ago. Dent May, imo, is a pretentious college kid who writes some very catchy songs on the ol’ ukulele. But he straddles that line between comedy act and insightful indie pop kid and I’m not sure if he pulls it off. The Crayon Fields and another local Melbourne band Milk Teddy were just that bit better I reckon. The Crayon Fields have a great understanding of pop music and can write some beautiful songs. The album is gentle pop that makes you proud to live in Melbourne! Awww. Check out their track Graceless just below.
Wow. well that’s it. Mini essay. All good music though. Don’t think I’ll be buying anything new for a while…
K. That’ll do the ramble for now
Luckily for you, and for me, and for Modular (he was signed just a few months ago), and even Mr Boulet himself, I’m going with the former. This album IS good. The dude does possess some great song writing skills. I don’t really know what he reminds me of. It’s a little all over the place, but I think that’s what’s good about the album. There are obvious standouts like A Community Service Announcement and 321 Ready or Not. But then there’s also the opener, Continue Calling, a track that sounds so laid back and is such a great example of that DIY feel that he seems to have mastered on this album. The vocal harmonies, especially when they’re left on their lonesome half way through the track, just sound so easy.
I could go on about every track…but I won’t bore you too much. They’re all pretty darn good. I don’t know if I can put my finger on it, but there’s almost this feeling of sadness that stays with you throughout the album. Ones Who Fly Twos Who Die (Track 2) and You Never Knew Me (Track 3) really get this going. It’s not a depressing sadness or anything extreme. It’s just this feeling that something wasn’t right or…look…I dunno really. It’s really hard to put my finger on exactly what it is.
However, from this initial sadness, it goes a little bit crazy. 321 Ready or Not is such a great song. It pushes, it’s relentless, it feels as though it’s messed with my head just a bit. And that’s really good. I reckon this one would go off live.
Then that sadness kicks back in. 10 Billion Years is actually kinda sweet though. The glockenspiel in the background, the backing vocals provided by Rebecca Shave. They both add a particular sweetness to the track.
There’s electro stylings and glitchiness in Lay Off The Streets For A While, Adam of Zilla, and North To South East To You. And he fuses that in really really well. Something else that plays a really important role in making the album what it is is the musical ability of this fella. He played nearly all of the instruments you hear, and recorded them all by himself in his garage. Something pretty bloody impressive for a dude who just hit 21.
So yeah, this album will definitely find a place in my albums of the year list in a few weeks. There’s just something about an artist that seems to not really care about what people will think of his music. Or at least gives that impression. And the fact that he did it all himself blows me away.
So bloody glad I bought it.
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
Have you ever sat and thought “wow, that was an intense and moving Banjo solo”?
No? Neither have I. Until recently…
Enter Mumford and Sons, folk finesse from the UK. Now I know what you’re thinking: folk is for post hippies in the 60s… people too afraid to wear flares and dump heaps of acid. And you’re probably right. But Sigh No More, the debut album from Mr Mumford and co, will challenge that perception. No longer will you think of turtle necks, parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme when the thought of Folk Music rolls around your head.
If you frequent Triple J you will have probably heard “Little Lion Man”. It’s catchy, explodes from the onset and introduces banjo like I’ve never heard before. My experience with Banjo music has been limited to duelling banjos and the episode of Family guys where they move to the country. So it’s been fun hearing it feature strongly throughout this album.
Lead singer Marcus Mumford is definitely partial to taking the listener on an aural journey, and this becomes clear from the onset. Sigh No More, the title track of the album, is soft and organic to begin. It then begins to flourish introducing horns and of course the sweet Banjo. I swear to God, Winston Marshal (Banjo player and guy with a pretty sweet name) must have an electric hand. He shreds chords like it’s no one’s business. Which leads me to the following conclusion: fuck The Edge from U2, he hasn’t got shit on Winston Marshal.
The album has a little bit of everything; it gets dark and gloomy with songs such as White Blank Page and takes flight with one of my favourites “Awake My Soul”. What’s consistent throughout is that most tracks start off low key and then gain momentum, finishing with a crescendo of sound that could quiet literally get you out of your seat.
Truthfully, this album won’t be for everyone. If you like Noah and the Whale, Laura Marling and perhaps even The Dodos then you will enjoy Sigh No More. But if you think that music is more about “disco sticks” and “supermanning hoes” then you should probably steer clear.
I’m off to buy a Banjo.
ok. I saw Bluejuice perform a while ago at some promo gig at the beginning of the year, and whilst I said one of their early singles, Vitriol, was awesome, i did say that they’re nothing special. I actually take that back. Broken Leg, their first single of their second LP, Head of The Hawk came out a few months ago and I’ve been trying to get my hands on it via blogland. I couldn’t actually find it, so I waited till the album came out (a week or two ago). Am kinda glad I got the album. Nah, actually, fuck this ‘kinda’ bullshit. I AM glad I got the album.
These guys have such a fun vibe. You only need to check out the extended vid for Broken Leg to see what I’m talking about. The album has that same vibe. I reckon they’d go off live (granted, I have seen them live before, but I didn’t really know their stuff and I wasn’t really paying all too much attention). They’re currently on a national tour, so maybe i’ll get my chance! Check out their tour dates here.
Getting back onto the album, there’s so many standout tracks. There’s quite a number possible singles on this one. You know when you hear a song and you know it’s good and that it can stand alone and still pack a punch? This album has that. Tracks like Little Emperor, Ain’t Telling The Truth, Work, We Can Get Around It, and the obvious one, Broken Leg.
If there’s one thing that I’m not too fussed on, it would be that they try and put too many styles into the album. It only runs a bit over 30 mins, so they’re delvings into electro stuff sounds a little rushed, and perhaps ain’t their stronger points.
But, this is still a great great album. They are mega talented songwriters – they know how to write a great great great pop song. Have that talent in the bag.
To leave you with, that single. I think I’ve mentioned it about 50 gazillion times in this post, but it really is just a great song. (I’ve said the word ‘great’ a lot too…oh man…i got a zinger coming up now…is it…wait for it…wait for it…is it grating? you know? like is it getting annoying and stuff? …ugh….did i ruin the joke already?)
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
ok. So this album came out at the beginning of this month. Is actually really good. I was a little unsure about it at first – his first single Small Town Girl was pretty pop, and it got made a pretty big commercial radio hit. But the album has a really good vibe to it. Sure it’s pop, and some people may have a little trouble getting used to the man’s voice, but yeah.
It’s all pretty much piano driven tracks on this album. Mr Bull started playing the keys pretty early on – apparently his dad collected them as Andy was growing up. This shows. The dude has some good chops (muso talk for skills)!
In terms of standout tracks, the opener and title track, is a definite winner. Most of the tracks on this album seem to be about the lllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadddddddddddddddddiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssssssssss. yeah…umm…that says ladies just in case you couldn’t read it. We’re Too Young speaks of what could’ve been etc etc.
Other major tracks would be the early single, Small Town Girl, the funk of Young Man, the awesome vocal workings of She’s A Ghost, the slowly building Girls! (yeah, there is an exclamation mark there. Must’ve got excited when thinking about the girls??!!), and the final track, the ballad The Sum Of All My Dreams.
So yeah, that’s it. Andy Bull is definitely a dude to keep your eye on. His local too, which is always a bonus…well he’s from Sydney…but we won’t hold that against him.
People call him ‘soul-pop’…and i’d tend to agree. He doesn’t lose any of his musicalness (new word. Oxford Dictionary will pay me later, I’m sure) either with the commercialness of his tracks. He’s cool. The album is cool. I’m cool. You might be too!
To leave you with, the standout for me. Also, a pretty decent cover of MGMT’s Electric Feel.
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
ok. so this is a pretty decent compilation. It’s from the Aussie label, Modular. The release has two discs, one mixed and one unmixed. I’ve crapped on about this release before…you can check that out here.
The mix cd is done by Andee Frost, a member of the Bang Gang Deejays. It’s good good good and has a really nice track selection. Canyons, Van She, Knightlife, The Golden Filter, Bag Raiders etc etc etc. All pretty darn sweet. The disc crams 23 tracks into an hour and 20 mins though, so there’s only a bit of some tracks…but yeah, i guess that’s the same for any mix. Only having 2:02 mins of the 7:27 min epic Blue Snakes was a bit of a let down though. And, whilst i’m on the not so amazingly great points, the mix does seem to end kinda abruptly.
But yeah, all in all, it’s a gooooooooooooooooooooood, nice, hey, it’s even a little dope, mix.
That’s only half of it though. The second disc, the unmixed one, has opened me up. Not in a medical surgical way…oh, and not in a sexual way either (just to clarify there ok?). It’s opened me up to new tracks, new artists. Being a music blogger, you realise how much shit is out there and you are constantly realising that you’re never going to be at the forefront of what’s happening…purely because what’s new changes every second. But then you get a good compilation…such as this one, and you begin to explore the work of artists you may only know the name of because you read it on a blog somewhere.
Anyway, I degress. Some of the stuff on disc 2 i love are the opener, What You Need by Tiga (never thought i’d get into this dude), Skeleton Boy by Friendly Fires (this has been a fave for a while), One More Chance (Alex Metric Remix) by Bloc Party (niiiiiiiiiiicccccccccceeeee), Tonight’s Today by Jack Penate (know nothing about this dude except that i like like like this track), Counterpoint by Delphic (soarer), and 15 to 20 by The Phenomenal Handclap Band (fuuuuuunnnnnn!!!!!).
Anyway, there’s some good tracks here, all compiled from Modular’s extensive catalogue.
To leave you with, the one i knew nothing about, but now wish i knew everything about.
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
ok. so I never thought i’d be reviewing an album by an ex Aussie Idol star. But I’d heard good stuff, even during her time on idol I think she impressed quite a few. And what’s even more revolutionary is that Triple J are playing it. They even thought it good enough to make it their feature album a few weeks back.
I am of course talking about Lisa Mitchell’s debut album Wonder.
I’m not just reviewing this album because Triple J are playing it. If you sat down and listened to it you’d find a really well crafted pop album. Lisa has teamed up with some great song writers for this and if you know her voice, having the right songs is key for her. Her voice is so cute and kinda unassuming that I think only the current songs could do her justice. I remember that Lisa was in the year that Bobby Flynn hit Idol…it was the year where they tried to change the format and encouraged the use of instruments and original songs. They probably got the most unique talent that year.
So If you like your folk pop kinda stuff, and love Julia Stone, then you should definitely check out Miss Mitchell.
In terms of standout tracks I’m a little stuck. Of course the first two singles are killer (the sing along Neopolitan Dreams, and the great production of new single Coin Laundry). But also, I think track three, So Jealous, sounds great. It shows that she can a little bit darker and more energetic than her earlier stuff would have you believe. The toy piano sounding Love Letter is also a bit of a gem. Lyrically, it’s great, beautiful even. Corny enough for ya??!! Red Wine Lips, complete with it’s marimba fills and Andrew Bird style whistling, the horn filled Sidekick (complete with a rip off of the opening riff of Place Your Hands by Reef), the rollicking Stevie (great great track – i’d heard this online a while ago and yeah, great track – it was this track that gave me the impression that Wonder would be more than the cuteness of Neopolitan Dreams and Coin Laundry), and the final track Time Means Nothing At All.
If I had one problem with her album it would be the way her voice sounds on the record. Now i’m not sure if it’s the effect they’ve put on her voice or if it is just the way her voice came out after being recorded, but for most of the tracks,her voice seems to have gone through a filter to give that ‘im stuck in a little box to make my vocals sound cool’ effect. I like that effect, don’t get me wrong, but it happens on quite a few of the tracks, which gets a little predictable after a while.
On the whole though, I’m pretty impressed with Wonder. I think there’s a good career in front of Lisa Mitchell. I’m no music expert though…but yeah, I reckon she’s got what it takes.
To leave you with, my fave from the album, So Jealous.
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
ok. This dude played a killer set of new material at the Coner Hotel on Saturday night. It was as part of his Kiss & Ride tour, in support of his new album of the same name. If you haven’t heard about this guy and you like good blues (with a bit of soul and some good rock hooks) then you really need to check this guy out. I really like this album. I remember buying his first album and having it play, and play, and play etc etc etc. I didn’t seem to get tired of it. Maybe because it was because I was studying music at the time and I was perhaps more open to other musical styles. Or maybe it was because Jaimi was doing the same music course as me. So yeah, this album has the same sort of feel.
I think the biggest difference would be, to me, lyrically. There seems to be a lot more tracks written about the laaaaaaaaaddddddddiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeessssssssss! oooh. oh gee. can you actually read that? it says ‘ladies’ in case you can’t be arsed trying to figure it out. Haha…anywho, the lyrics, yeah, they seem to be more focussed on falling in love and losing love and all that kind ofstuff. So, ladies, he’s a bit of a romantic it would seem! The album also seems to have an urgency behind it which I really like. It pushes on from track to track which is good given that there are 14 tracks on this album.
So yeah, if it sounds good so far, you should probably (do yourself a favour, and) buy this album. But if you really want to experience his goodness (struggling for words a bit? I think yes.), you really should check him out live. The songs translate so well live.
On Saturday night, he opened with the great Dublin Girl. The track itself is great and has a really nice sing along style feel. But live, it was bigger and better. There are two tracks on this album that featured on an EP Jaimi released inbetween album number 1 and 2. They are Shame and Back To You. Both have been changed for the album, and when I heard the album versions, I must admit I was a little dissapointed. But then I heard them live and all was forgiven. They were both really solid.
Probably the highlight of the night for me was his rendition of Hold On Babe, a track off his first album. On the album, the tracks features the amazing vocals of Mia Dyson. You can purchase some of her stuff here. Live, the track featured Liz Stringer, a stalwart of the Australian blues and roots scene. It was simply beautiful. It’s such a great track anyway, but to hear it done live, in the way it was, it was just stella.
You can check out some of the photo’s from the gig via our facebook page.
To leave you with, a track that you can download off his Triple J Unearthed page. It’s off that middle EP I was talking about earlier. It’s a track called Roll, Tumble, Smuggle & Stumble and is pretty rock. But it’s a great intro to his work.
Jaimi Faulkner – Roll, Tumble, Smuggle & Stumble
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
When this album finished playing on my ipod, I wanted it to keep on going. Maybe it was just the moment (train travel can be pretty boring sometimes), or maybe it’s the fact that Yves Klein Blue are an extremely underrated band, deserving of much more than a little bit of triple j radio play and a lot of word of mouth exposure.
Musically, these guys are really interesting. You can tell there’s a whole heap of influences in their music and their sound isn’t strictly dictated by current radio, or even current western music. The track Polka is an obvious example of this for sure. Their use of instruments is great too. They don’t go all out and use a whole heap of instruments that you wouldn’t expect to hear (there’s no sitar or djembe here), but they do use things like harmonica (Soldier), some slide guitar (Gin Sling) and the use of straight piano on a few of the tracks which sounds pretty refreshing (kind of reminds me of Hot Hot Heat a little bit actually).
So yeah, I think it might be love. I’d always heard of these guys and I’m freaking loving the fact I’ve gotten this album. Is killer. I’m just waiting for an album that I hate. I’m yet to review one of those…haha give me time.
In terms of favourite tracks, it’s hard to pinpoint (maybe I’m becoming too blasé about reviewing albums!). But dammit, I will. I think the piano led Getting Wise would have to be a firm face…or fave. (C’s next to the V. I could have just gone back and fixed it up but you know, this thing needs to be a bit funny.) Other faVes would be the rather rock Digital Love, the acoustic About The Future, the ska infused Summer Sheets, the rock-polka joint Polka, and the country driven final track Gin Sling. Quite a few there I know. I just like this album quite quite a bit.
To leave you with, a track. If you haven’t heard any of Yves Klein Blue before then I think Dinosaur is definitely a good introduction. Swinging rock and roll with a real focus on accents (muso talk I know. Feel free to wtf are you on about for that bit).
Yves Klein Blue – Dinosaur
Check the album out on iTunes here.
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
wow. What an impressive debut. The Temper Trap have been around for a little while with very early stuff surfacing on the net in late 2006. But it took them just over two years to put out their first full length. I’m glad they waited that long. Seems to be the right length of time.
I don’t think I can fault this album. There’s parts of it, for some reason, that remind me of Motorace’s debut, Five Star Laundry. I think it might be the fact that they just seem to jam over certain riffs towards the end of songs, one of the things i LOVE about what Motorace did. I love the flow of the songs. It takes you on a journey and all that wanky bullshit. Haha…that’s a good thing though.
In terms of faves, I’m going to have to say that the quality of the tracks are so good that I don’t think there’s any amazing standout tracks. They’re all amazing dammit! Hehe…but seriously, a few that do standout for me are the opener Love Lost, the amazing building Down River, the low key but moody Soldier On, the possibe next single Fader, and the current single Science of Fear. That is half of the album I know, but seriously, that is how much i love this album. For people who have already heard the album or at least heard Science of Fear being played on radio (for people in Melbourne, that link also contains a comp to go see them at Summersonic festival in Japan!), you would have heard the use of the alarm clock! What an addition to a track. If you haven’t heard it, listen out for it.
The Temper Trap – Down River
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
ok. So there’s no secret that I love Van She and I also love all the remixes they’ve done. So, this review will of course be biased. But, can I just say how good Ze Vemixes is? And how good they are live? So much fun.
Enough of the giddy gushing about the boys. Onto a proper review of what is playing on my iTunes as I write. I think every track is good. They’re all different and if you like the other remixes they’ve done (oh. try here, here, and here), then you should definately get the album (iTunes Link – Is Cheap!). I’m tossing up between faves. Having seen them last night, I think some went off a bit more than others. Tracks like Talkin’, It Could Be The Same, Sexual City and the THUMPING Techno Music, definately went off like a rocket last night.
The album itself does is not just a remix album version of V, their debut album that Ze Vemixes is packaged with (You can either buy just the remix cd or both at a reduced price digitally). It also covers some of their other work with tracks off ther first EP as well as a newy, Techno Music.
There is also an amazing mix of Virgin Suicide. It’s great. Very downtempo and I reckon could be better than the original. Big claim. I know. You know what else is a big claim? Your face. (Harsh right? Yeah. Oops. Sorry. You’re probably a very attractive person. Not that I know you or anything. If I do, then…well…umm…shit).
To finish off with, I think i’ll leave my fave from the album. (Yes, in that time, I have made up my mind.) It’s one of my fave Van She tracks off their first ever release, the Van She EP.
Van She – Sexual City (Van She Tech Remix)
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
So, whilst this ain’t exactly a review or anything, I just thought I’d tell you peeps about the new music I bought today. First off, I got my hands on the new Kitsune Maison Compilation, number 7!
Is v. good. I’ve had and loved a few of the tracks for a while, especially the Classixx version of Listzomania by Phoenix. Is simply pumping. Anyway, I encourage you to go out and buy it. You can check it out on iTunes and Amazon. If you like your good indie electro kinda stuff, the majority of the Kitsune stuff is worth a look.
Next up is an album called You and I by a New Zealand band called Cut Off Your Hands.
I fell in love with two tracks from these guys earlier on this year. Launchpad Uplate played both Oh Girl and Turn Cold and I became hooked. But, stupid me, only just bought the album!! It’s a pretty good album. Not the best out there, but is still pretty good. Love good local guitar driven pop music.You can check the album out on iTunes and Amazon
Finally, probably the best album I bought. It’s Phoenix’s new one, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.
Actually, this is going straight into the best of 2009 page thing up the top. Is a great album hands down. To me, it doesn’t sound like much else out there. All the tracks are great – Listzomania, 1901, Fences, actually, stuff it, I can’t single out specific tracks. They’re all equal! Wow. Didn’t think I’d love this album that much!! Check it out on iTunes and Amazon.
Free stuff? You know it.
First off, that Classixx remix of Listzomania I was raving on about before:
Phoenix – Listzomania (Classixx Version)
Second, a Cut Off Your Hands track:
Cut Off Your Hands – Oh Girl
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
So either you don’t use the internet AT ALL, or you’re just plain forgetfull…or you have shite as music taste (sorry. you probably have GREAT music taste), but if you haven’t read or heard anything about Grizzly Bear’s latest album Veckatimest, then you’re just plain MISSING OUT. Wow. Caps Lock overload anyone?? I’m sorry. I’m just plain excited to be writing about this album!
Album reviews don’t usually start with a blatant statement such as this one, but, this album is, so far, one of my favourites of the year. Pretty top notch review given I’d never heard of these guys before their track Cheerleader leaked online. And I was impressed with Cheerleader. But, it didn’t scream to me ‘Best Album of the Year’. But then I heard Two Weeks (definite favourite) and then the whole album. Cheerleader fits the album perfectly. All the songs do.
On the whole, I don’t really know who Grizzly Bear sound like. Although, I am reminded of Thom Yorke in the vocals. I’m not a massive Radiohead fan, but, for me, there’s hints of OK Computer (Karma Police especially).
Like I said before, my favourite track of the album is definately the first official single, Two Weeks. Not only does it fit the album, but it sounds great by itself, which in my opinion is the best thing about a good single. It’s just a great great song. I love the slow drawn out feel of track four, Fine For Now. Kinda seems ironic that one of the main lines in this track is There Is Time when it’s such a slow drawn out track.
There’s some people that say the middle tracks, say from track 6, Dory, to probably track 8, About Face, don’t really fit in the scheme of things. They don’t suit the flow of the record. And whilst I can see what they’re saying (the album doesn’t really take you from nothing and build up during the middle and slowly let you back down again at the end). But, I think the middle tracks take you somewhere else, almost like a sidestep. That’s why it’s probably so hard to put them into a particular genre or say they sound like a particular band. Anyway, to me, the fact that the album moves you somewhere else during the middle is just as good as the wanky ‘build up during the middle’ line I used before.
One of those middle tracks caught me by suprise. About Face uses repetition so well. From the continous drums that seem like they never stop, to the repetition of the keys in the chorus. It’s a really sweet sounding track which I really like. I live With You is almost like an album in itself. It starts off soft, builds and then comes back down again (but still manages to have a big finish). The other thing I really like about this track is that it actually sounds a little crazy! It’s as if it has a mind of it’s own – especially the out of time drum fills.
Anyway, it’s a great album in my view. I’m so happy I heard it in the first place. I’m going to explore their older stuff now just to see how this album matches up in the scheme of things.
To finish off with, some goodies just for you. I accept cash payment ($100,000) and above thanks. Yeah, umm, not really. I don’t take money. “Thank god for that!” you’re thinking. “Was worried for a moment there!”
First up, their amazing performance of Two Weeks on ‘Later…with Jools Holland’
Second, the Fred Falke remix of Two Weeks. You guys can expect me to get back into my electro loving soon – am thinking of a Fred Falke feature. The dude just has too many remixes!
Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks (Fred Falke Remix)
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
so. I went on an album buying spree the other day and bought a fair few albums. I love all of them I must add. They’re all really really good. ok. And because i’m a really good writer of words and phrases, I’ve forgotten to actually mention what they are. Uni work is getting the better of me. This is one of my only outlets!
Anyway, the stuff I bought were as follows:
Death Cab For Cutie – The Open Door EP.
Really nice stuff. I been a fan of these guys ever since I was overexposed to The O.C. And, like, OMG!!! …oh crap…it’s that Gossip Girl talk coming back. sorry about that. Anyway, Unlike Gossip Girl or The O.C., this EP is great and has little mention of whether some girl is going to sleep with some bloke. Well actually, it probably does, but it does it in a nice way (just heard the line “what get’s paid for behind hotel doors…” This is going well so far eh?!). Little Bribes is the lead track and Single. Is a great rollicking track and is a bit different to their last LP Narrow Stairs. My favourite Death Cab album is Plans…and the iTunes release of this had a few extra bonus tracks. A Diamond And A Tether remind me of this a lot. And something tells me I’ve heard I Was Once A Loyal Lover before. In a good way.
ok. Next up.
Josh Pyke – Chimney’s Afire.
The title track starts off like an orchestra tuning up but launches into a really simple sounding ‘mini’ song about Whale Hunting. It’s also a really great intro to an album. There are lots of other standouts on the album. The Summer has some of the nicest lyrics I’ve heard in a while – “If I could bottle up the sea breeze I would take it over to your house and pour it loose through your garden”. And of course, my favourite, The Lighthouse Song is great.
Third on the list is:
Sia – Some People Have Real Problems.
Oh. Great voice. Blows any great singer out of the water. It’s not great because it’s ‘unique sounding’. It’s great because it has so much behind it and, wanker moment coming up, has so much soul. It’s so deep etc etc wanky adjective, etc. I would go as far as to say that every song on here is great. Anyway, songs like Little Black Sandles and The Girl You Lost To Cocaine are simply, wanker comment, beautiful. Other’s are actually funny. Academia is a song you must listen to. Lyrics are killer. The disc also came with a bonus remix CD. You may have heard the CSS remix of Buttons floating about.
Last but not least:
Kitsune Maison Compilation 6.
This one is a little old. But there’s still some great tracks on here. Kitsune Maison are a French label, with a bit of a focus on electro, indie/dance kinda stuff. A fellow blogger, Real Horror Show Tunes spoke about their new Compilation which is coming out in May a few weeks ago, so I thought i’d check them out. You can check out the Real Horror Show Tunes post here. Anyway, the opener, Want U, by LO-FI-FNK is killer. Thumping indie/dance. There are some other great tracks on here too, but dare I say, like many other compilations, it’s very focussed on the current scene. And given that the disc was released last year, it is already a little dated. I digress though. Some of the other killer tracks are, I Wish I Was A Polar Bear (Arctic Urgency Edit) by Ted & Francis, and Hear It In The Cans (DIY Version) by We Have Band.
Anyway, here is some free stuff. Let me know if the links don’t work. K? yeah, cool.
I Wish I Was A Polar Bear (Arctic Urgency Edit) by Ted & Francis
Little Bribes by Death Cab For Cutie
Day Too Soon (Mock & Toof Remix) by Sia
The Lighthouse Song by Josh Pyke
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
“…And the planet’s getting hotter. So let’s jump on bikes and cycle round the entire world. With the wind in our hair, we can take off any time anywhere…and I’ll dink you, if you get too tired!”
This band totally rocked my world for a week. They’re kind of funk, with an eclectic soul feel. I think I listened to this whole album back to back for 3 days. They’re a funky melbourne group who sing about life, and people, relationships and all that cheesy shit that sounds awesome when blitzed into an entire record. If you were born in Australia and grew up on trams in Melbourne, music festivals in the bush and trips along the coast- then this is the album for you!
The Tram Song is so far my favourite.
Check them out on myspace, there is a fan club on facebook and they have recently scored residency at the empress hotel on Thursday’s.
You can also check out their video clip for Sunshower just below.
To The Little Stevies- I Love your band!
ok. So i hadn’t heard about this guy at all until I read a mini review thingy on threethousand. I was intrigued. I knew it was blues. But when i heard a fiddle, i thought ‘oh crap. this is country’. And then there was the flute. I’ve never been a fan of flute in anything else but classical music. And when I saw Anchorman, the whole notion of flute being a good addition went out the window.
But. I diverge. On the whole, the album can be quite beautiful. I love horns on any track, and they’re used sooo well towards the end of “You Can’t Hurt Me Now” (the beginning features a bit of the fiddle..)
I’m just listening to some of his older stuff on a MySpace page (It’s not his – just a fan page. He doesn’t strike me as someone who would have a myspace page…). I’ve only heard a few tracks as yet, but they sound good. Same vibe but just minus the fiddle factor. oh…and no flutes! And actually, a few other reviews I’ve read have said that they think his older stuff is better. But, I’m just a guy who read about this guy. Was intrigued. And bought the album – hey, Lawrence Leung served me when I bought it, so that was good.
Anyway, this is definately an album you need either a good pair of headphones or a really good home sound system for. I’ll try and avoid the cliche, but as much as i try, i can’t…it really is a good album for a lazy Sunday afternoon. I always have visions (occasionally this does occur…usually when i have the house to myself though mind you) of opening up the back door and letting all the sun into the kitchen on a nice warm day and putting on 3rrr or pbs and just chilling. For some reason, I’ve always envisionaged someone like ‘Prince’ being played at moments like these.
I’m not one for lyrics…usually…but ‘Prince’ is a bit of a poet I’d say. All his lyrics seem very grand and about love and life etc etc. But it just doesn’t sound corny though. I don’t know what it is…might be his voice or the way the songs are arranged…but yeah, there’s something in there that doesn’t make it sound all soppy.
I think my favourite tracks are the grand sounding “Heart’s Arms”, the sort of title track “Beware Your Only Friend” (probably the most accessible and perhaps the best track), and the haunting “There Is Something I Have To Say”.
So yeah, I didn’t know what to expect when I bought this. I thought it was simply going to upp my indie cool kid appeal. (another word/phrase there guys. it’ll become so used…just like jjjappeal…yeah, oh crap, who am i kidding?!). But, I am happy I bought it. Am just listening to the final track though and there’s a mini flute solo in there which made me cringe a little. But, mind you, i just heard some handclaps and a mini horn solo so all’s not lost.
And, to finish off with, I think that’s what I like about this album. There’s moments where you think, “what am i doing listening to country music when I could be listening to the latest Bag Raiders track?”, but then there’s that moment where the album takes you away from that quick fix indie/electro, and moves you somewhere else. Oh gee…wanky comment to end on right??!! Hehe…
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
After my first listen, It’s Blitz! sounded as though it needed a few more listens before I could realise just how good it really is. That being a good thing! I think…no, in fact, I know it will continue to grow on me.
I’d grown accustomed to Zero, the first single and first track off the album. It’s thumping sound and Karen O’s distinct vocals made it a really cool, catchy song. But after being played all over the shop (hats off to Nova for picking them up, albeit a little late) it was starting to sound a little less amazing. However, after hearing it in the context of the full album, it makes sense to me again. That seems to be one of the great things about this album. It flows really well and has enough of a mixture of sounds to not make it sound repetitive or boring. And at the risk of sounding like a massive music wanker, Karen O’s voice seems to take you above and beyond, and (another wanker term coming up…I’m sorry!) takes you on a journey from start to finish.
Some of the stand out tracks are:
- The thumping Zero,
- The second track off the album, Heads Will Roll (thumping, but with these vintage sounding strings that continue through the whole verse and then merge into a more ‘modern sound’)
- The atmospheric Runaway, Hysteric and Little Shadow
- And the lo-fi Softshock
The great thing about It’s Blitz! is the fact that there’s no fillers. All tracks are stand outs on their own and work really well in the context of the album. Whilst I don’t have that great a knowledge of their back catalogue (I know a few tracks: Maps, Down Boy, Date With The Night, Cheated Hearts and Gold Lion), I found the album had more of a disco feel (Disco is Dragon Queen. Great dance floor slow groover) – this has been said in about every review I’ve read I know…but it is true! Tracks like Dull Life, and Shame and Fortune are probably the most ‘old school’ they get on It’s Blitz! That’s not a bad thing either. Like I said before, every song works on it’s own and I think the band have a more polished sound on this album. However, I do think an investigation into their full back catalogue is in need now. These guys are pretty darn good!
It’s Blitz! really is. Blitz. Did that make sense??!! Thought in my head that this will be a really witty way to finish off the review. But when on paper…you know? Never mind.
The album is great. Nothing bad about it. It is so tight and still maintains that ‘arty’ feel that they look as though they have. That said, they seem to have made an album that can still appeal to the mainstream and not lose any of their ‘underground’ or, in Australian terms, JJJappeal. (New word there guys. You know it’s great. Use it to define too cool indie kids who only listen to JJJ. It’ll be in the dictionary before you can say Cprtsybnmcvglp).
So, to finish off with, thought I’d give you guys a few of their better video clips.
First one is for the camp fire loving of Gold Lion, off the Show Your Bones album:
Second is live looking and backstage anticts of Date With The Night, off Fever To Tell. Can’t embed this one, so click here to see it.
Last but not least is the new single Zero (great clip by the way!). Once again, I can’t embed this one, so check it out here.
And, perhaps even a poll to finish things off!
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.
I got a few questions to ask you guys!
If you were reading a great album review, what are some of the things that stand out?
I bought two albums last night – It’s Blitz! by Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Rules by The Whitest Boy Alive and want to put up a new post with a review of each. They’re both pretty cool albums. But yeah…
A few ideas I had were:
- A track by track analysis
- An overall look at the album
- and…ok…I’m stuck for any new one’s.
I like the feel of this. But then I also like the feel of those celebrity iMix’s you find on iTunes (I would provide a link but I can’t get the iTunes store working as I’m at uni.)
Anyway, let me know eh? Or else I’ll come to your place and ruin it…you know…mess up your bedspread or something like that. Hardcore I know.
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.