Posts tagged “Album Review


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.

Faves are below. If you dig, check out Chet’s Soundcloud, and if you really dig, you can grab the mini-album on iTunes (Australian store).

Chet FakerLove & Feeling

Chet FakerCigarettes and Chocolate


The 10 Best Albums of 2010

you want the best? Well i’ll give you the best.

*ahh…when i say ‘the best’, just to clarify, i don’t actually mean ‘the best’…i mean the best.

Ok, so now that’s out of the way (what?!), we can start this best albums of 2010 list.

First off, man, some absolutely killer albums released this year. And me being me, of course there’s a whole heap of different styles that make my list.

This year has been a bit of a strange one for me. Being so heavily involved with uni work, this here thing has taken a small bit of a backseat, especially in the latter half of the year. So, it’s only been in the last two weeks or so that I’ve started to go back through the heaps of albumsI bought and was fortunate enough to be sent over the past year. Of course, there are obvious standouts, albums that stay with you for the whole year. And then there’s albums you only bought a few days ago that are so mind-boggingly good that you just gotta include the thing in this damn list.

So yeah, I started off with a list of about 36. Then I got a list of 29. Then it was down to 15. To dwindle that down to 10 was freaking hard.

But like last year, I at least wanted to give the ones that didn’t make it a mention.

In no particular order, the albums that nearly made it are: Rat vs Possum – Daughter of Sunshine, Parades – Foreign Tapes, Otouto – PIP, PVT – Church With No Magic, Super Melody – Destination Unknown, Shit Robot – From The Cradle To The Rave, Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner, Carl Fox – Chunky Rainbow, Adam Kesher – Challenging Nature, Caribou – Swim, Faux Pas – Noiseworks, Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush To Relax.

The 5 that so nearly made it were: Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers, Miami Horror – Illumination, LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening, Grinderman – Grinderman 2, Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

But yes, let’s get to the good stuff. These are in a tentative order, so don’t take too much notice of it!

10. The Holidays – Post Paradise

There is such a nice summery feel to this album. Having been impressed by The Holidays earlier on this year when they supported Bluejuice, I was hanging out for this album for a while. So glad I ended up getting it. Their sound has changed heaps (you can stream two of their earlier tracks on Hype Machine), and I think the inclusion of the percussion and the more funk/hip-hop influenced beats makes sure that they have their own sound.

The Holidays – Broken Bones

9. Surf City – Kudos

I heard about these guys on the always good Incoming show on 3RRR here in Melbourne. Surf City are from New Zealand and have got a bit of blog love over the past year. Their album Kudos, is their first release here…and yes! It’s got this quality that seems to be missed by so many of these other bands. Maybe it’s the fact that they have the word ‘surf’ in their title. Or maybe it’s the way it sounds polished without being too polished. It has this clean production that still manages to sound raw and unpolished which I really really dig.

Surf City – Teacher

8. Four Tet – There Is Love In You

Ok, so I find it difficult to include an electronic based album in my top 10 list. But when it’s Four Tet, I’m willing to chuck that out the window. This, perhaps like the Holy Fuck album is what I like about good electronic/dance music. It pushes, and it’s innovative. It’s not boring, and it actually makes you want to move – the music has the power, not your brain telling your foot that it’s probably better if you tap along.

Four Tet – Sing

7. Holy Fuck – Latin.

Call me an idiot, but I always assumed that Holy Fuck were some metal band. Haha…think I may’ve been a little wrong about that. Found out about these guys through Triple J (again). And man, wow. They are the dance/electronic/live act I think bands should aim to be like. They hit the nail on the head. And man, what an intro…straight into this driving groove and it just goes and goes and goes and takes you someplace.

Holy Fuck – Silva & Grimes

6. Dan Kelly – Dan Kelly’s Dream.

What a sweet local album. Dan Kelly is such an interesting songwriter, and he writes songs where you HAVE to listen to the lyrics because they paint such a vivid picture. I only knew a little of Kelly’s previous work, and yeah, I guess I liked it. I think the fact that this album also got a fair bit of promotion, from that great underwater themed take 5 with Zan on Triple J, to Dylan Lewis playing him on his show on Nova made me stand up and take some notice. Another reason would be that it’s a fun album, and it feels familiar. It reminds me of Melbourne for some reason, but in a summery way, not like all those wintery dark based Melbourne bands.

Dan Kelly – Hold On, I’m Coming On

5. Efterklang – Magic Chairs

This was easily an early contender for album of the year for me. Knowing absolutely nothing of these guys before this record, maybe I’m going in a little naively, but hey, whatyagonnado?. Opening track Modern Drift is easily one of my faves, and the track Raincoats I think I’ll always remember due to the fact that it always seems to come on when it gets super rainy outside.

Efterklang – The Soft Beating

4. Midnight Juggernauts – The Crystal Axis

This is definitely one of the most solid local releases of the year, but like the Juggers first record, it seemed to have flown under the radar a little bit. They still got a fair bit of play and interview time, but I dunno, I suppose I expected more for an album that I know quite a few people were anticipating. I did an album review of this back in May and I described it as ‘warm’…whilst the Axis is still dark in it’s sound, it has this warm quality to it. 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.

Midnight Juggernauts – Cannibal Freeway

3. Yeasayer – Odd Blood

This was one of the first albums I got this year…and I’m definitely pleased I did. To me, this album seemed to nearly reach the level of hype that Phoenix’s record did last year. And definitely in Australia. O.N.E. was an absolute monster of a song. But to me, I think it was that first single Ambling Alp. Perhaps one of the greatest pop songs of the year? The album moves you, and not in some wanky corny way. I mean, it actually moves you. It takes you from one place to another and I’m definitely happy to be taken (ok, that did end up sounding a little wanky right?!)

Yeasayer – Rome

2. Beach House – Teen Dream

This, with the Yeasayer record was probably one of the most hyped albums of the year. And well, it made my top 10 list didn’t it?! I remember calling this pop perfection, and it really kinda is. It has these beautiful tracks right throughout. It’s one of those albums where it forces you to relax, and I love that. These guys are playing at Laneway next year and I reckon they’re going to be awesome!

Beach House – Better Times

1. Surfer Blood – Astro Coast

I don’t know how many lists will have this as number one…and i predict it will only make it into a few lists at that. For me, it is the opening track Floating Vibes. There’s something about that opening guitar that reels me in and keeps me there for the whole disc. To me, this thing sounds fresh, and it works as an album. This year has been full of different kinds of music for me, or at least stuff that I wouldn’t listen to all that much. I think this record is testament to that.

Surfer Blood – Neighbour Riffs

Midnight Juggernauts – The Crystal Axis

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.

Midnight Juggernauts – Vital Signs (Tame Impala Cover)

Midnight Juggernauts – Get Connected

The 10 Best Albums of 2009

I had a hell of a lot of trouble getting this list together. Relistening to albums, figuring out which ones to cull from my list. I rediscovered some great great discs though. And my top 10 will be just below…for you!

But first off, I feel as though there are a few albums I should give a small shout out to. Although these discs didn’t make my top 10 list, they did make my shortlist (a list that ended up being not very short at all)…and man it was difficult trying to cull that down.

So, in no particular order, the honourable mentions list is:

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

Passion Pit – Manners

Bertie Blackman – Secrets and Lies

The Little Stevies – Love Your Band

Bluejuice – Head of The Hawk

Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

Tiga – Ciao

Without further ado though, here it is. The MAAMF Top 10 Albums of 2009:

10. Lisa Mitchell – Wonder

I think people in general were a little skeptical about Lisa. Her first two EP’s were nice and soft and had that folkpop kinda sound, but people were a little “well there’s a lot of folk-pop singers out there…and this one came from Australian Idol, so I think we’ll say no”. I think Lisa proved them wrong when she released Wonder. It’s a great collection of songs. You can check out a full review of the album here as well as one of the standout’s from the album, So Jealous, just below.

Lisa Mitchell – Coin Laundry

(MySpace, iTunes)

9. Jet – Shaka Rock

I think a few were pleasantly surprised when they heard this, the third record from Melbourne rockers Jet. I read somewhere that whilst it’s not an amazing album, it is still a great solid rock ‘n’ roll album. Call it a come back record or whatever you like. It’s still good. And so is the second official single from the album Hearts On Fire.

Jet – Hearts On Fire

(MySpace, iTunes)

8. Yves Klein Blue – Ragged & Ecstatic

These boys, in my opinion, put forward a great album that seemed to go largely unnoticed, especially in terms of reviews and hype etc. They’ve put together a great album, with nice piano lines and a really good mix of styles. 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. Check out the full review here as well as the first single from the album, Getting Wise.

Yves Klein Blue – Getting Wise

(MySpace, iTunes)

7. Miike Snow – Miike Snow

I’ve just done a search for them on the blog to see what i’ve written previously…and turns out they haven’t been mentioned. At all. Easily one of the most hyped albums of the year (and thankfully one that lives up to the hype), it is such a great collection of well crafted and well written pop songs. It would seem the Sweedes have this in the bag! Check out one of my faves from the album, Cult Logic, just below.

Miike Snow – Cult Logic

(MySpace, iTunes)

6. The Bloody Beetroots – Romborama

I remember speaking to a friend and we had our usual conversation about what we’re listening to. I raved on and on about these dudes. This album hits hard. And kinda doesn’t give up. Same thing with Miike Snow though, I haven’t mentioned the guys before on the blog. Am a little perplexed by that because this kicks and pushes and all that. I think the reason I like it so much is that you can tell the guys are from Italy. There’s something about the instrumentation, the melodies, the chords, the playfullness that reminds me of Italian lessons in Primary School. Fave off the album would have to be the lesser known Warp 7.7 (Warp 1.0 got played a hell of a lot as it was one of the singles taken from the album.

The Bloody Beetroots – Warp 7.7

(MySpace, iTunes)

5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!

When I first heard Zero, the lead single from It’s Blitz, I loved it. However, as I wrote for my first ever album review for this blog way back in April, “I’d grown accustomed to Zero…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…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 i’d have to agree. I now love Zero. Great song. And it’s a great album too.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero

(MySpace, iTunes)

4. Jack Penate – Everything Is New

I don’t know how many people would put this in their top 10. I get the impression young Jack flew under the radar for a few this year, which is a pity, because Everything Is New, is just that. It’s all a bit new. His first Album, Matinee was firmly rooted in the Britpop genre. This album sounded completely different. The man reinvented himself almost…and a bloody good job of it he did! Although it comes in at just over 30 mins, it’s the move to a more soulful sound that gets me. One of the best off the album would have to be So Near…and you can check that out just below.

Jack Peñate – So Near

(MySpace, iTunes)

3. Jonathan Boulet – Jonathan Boulet

I only bought this a few weeks ago and only reviewed it just over a week ago…but man. When an album leaves you a little taken aback you know it’s a good one. Mr Boulet does this. And pretty fucking well too! The dude possesses 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 every single other track. They all have this great ease about them all. 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 for that fact, this album easily gets my number 3 spot.

Jonathan Boulet – 321 Ready Or Not

(MySpace, iTunes)

2. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Well…I actually thought this would get to number one. It almost goes interchangeable with the first but number one just tips it at the post (I bet you’ve scrolled down already to check it out. Cheeky bugger!). I remember writing that as soon as I heard this album, I knew it would be a contender for album of the year. I was right about that! It may be just a tiny bit too short (it clocks in at a little over 36mins), but I think the fact that every song on this album is such a great pop track makes the length seem irrelevant. It was definitely a hype album. Just looking on The Hype Machine now and Phoenix are the second most blogged artists. I don’t know when the hype will end! Totally deserved though…and totally deserving of the number 2 spot.

Phoenix – Lisztomania

(MySpace, iTunes)

1. The Temper Trap – Conditions

wow. This is it. TTT provide my best album of 2009. It’s such an impressive debut. I remember writing back in July when I reviewed the album that it reminded me of Motorace. They sound absolutely nothing like Motorace I know, but I think it’s just their ability to fill out songs. And it’s probably also that Motorace produced a bit of an Australian classic album in Five Star Laundry, and I think The Temper Trap have done that too. It’s extremely difficult to fault in my opinion. All the tracks are great. They all provide something different. And to all those haters out there (trust me, every review I read, someone has posted about how they suck and are corporate produced shit or something like that), cool. We’re all entitled to our own taste. I don’t know what the guys ever did to you but you don’t hear me whining about how I don’t like some stuff! Anyway, this is meant to be an album poll. I’m pumped to be seeing these boys at The Forum down here in Melbourne in a month or so. Should be amazing. Solid awesome great Australian record…and Me, And All My Friend’s top album of the year.

The Temper Trap – Science Of Fear

(MySpace, iTunes)


the hardest part of the year

Bloody hell these things are difficult. I’ve got a list of 15 albums that are standout…and, you know, in accordance with every other album poll out there, I’m thinking I should get it down to 10. Oh…and then the order! Freaking hell. If you want an early indication as to what may be included you can jump on over to the 2009 best of… page. That hasn’t been updated for a fair while though. You can also check out the Album Review categories thing too for a good indication. There are a few in my shortlist however that didn’t make either of those so I guess you’ll just have to sit and wait!

The main reason behind why I’m writing this post is that I’m currently listening to Richard Kingsmill countdown the top 10 albums according to Triple J listeners. It’s a pretty good list (except for Muse at number 3…well look, I don’t hate them but I just think they sound just a bit pretentious). Richard Kingsmill is Triple J’s music programmer, and he does his own best of to accompany the listeners best of. That is always a good list. You can check Richard’s list out here.

You can check out the listener’s list just below though…

Triple J Listener Top 10 Albums of 2009

10. Passion Pit – Manners

09. Lisa Mitchell – Wonder

08. Paul Dempsey – Everything Is True

07. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!

06. Sarah Blasko – As Day Follows Night

05. Florence And The Machine – Lungs

04. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

03. Muse – The Resistence

02. The Temper Trap – Conditions

01. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Anyway…what do you guys think the best album of the year is? Has it been a good year for music? Has a been a shit year? Comment away peeps!!!

To leave you with, a track off one of my faves of the year. Phoenix put out an amazing album this year. Although only clocking in in a bit over half an hour, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was easily a standout. And this is one of the standout tracks, Girlfriend.

Phoenix – Girlfriend


K. That’ll do the ramble for now.

Jonathan Boulet – Jonathan Boulet

"A precociously inspired 21 year old skate rat from Sydney’s northwest" Modular

Jonathan Boulet’s self-titled debut is a late contender for my top album list. I must admit though, that after my first listen I was a little unsure. Two things came to mind. Either this dude is on the cusp of musical greatness and this album is a small bit DIY genius…or, the guy’s a little try hard for my liking. Music with that DIY sound straddles that line a fair bit I reckon.

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.

Jonathan Boulet – A Community Service Annoucement

(ModShop, iTunes)

K. That’ll do the ramble for now.

Bluejuice – Head of The Hawk

we've all been to jail you know...

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?)

Bluejuice – Broken Leg

(MySpace, iTunes, JB HiFi)

K. That’ll do the ramble for now.

Andy Bull – We’re Too Young

Andy Bull

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.

Andy Bull – We’re Too Young

Andy Bull – Electric Feel (MGMT Cover)

(MySpace, iTunes)

K. That’ll do the ramble for now.

Jaimi Faulkner – Kiss & Ride

Jaimi Faulkner - Kiss and Ride

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.

So yeah, that’s the album. You can check it out here on iTunes. It’s also available at JB Hifi as well.

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.

Yves Klein Blue – Ragged & Ecstatic

Yves Klein Blue - Ragged & Ecstatic

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.

The Temper Trap – Conditions

The Temper Trap - Conditions

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.

Ok, to leave you with, one of my faves. Here’s Down River, just for you. If you like, you really should, as Molly would say, do yourself a favour and go buy this album (iTunes, JB HiFi)

The Temper Trap – Down River

K. That’ll do the ramble for now.

Van She – Ze Vemixes

van she

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.

ooh ooh ahh ahh

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!

Kitsune Maison 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.

Cut Off Your Hands - You And I

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.

Phoenix - 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.

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

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.

Ratatat – LP3 [joint review]

Ratatat - LP3
Ok, so introducing a newby to the Me, And All My Friends blog. His name’s Jono, and he’s pretty cool. Hahahahahaha….yeah, nah, he is. OK.
So, this entry is a review of the album Ratatat released last year entitled LP3. I think it’s a great album. I’m kinda a fan of a show they play on triple j called The Soundlab. Anyway, it’s a show for experimental electro, post rock kinda stuff and Ratatat featured a few weeks ago. And they played some of the tracks off LP3. And, I liked them. You know what I didn’t like though?? Ooh yeah. Your face. You know it. (Jokes jokes. I mean, I’ve probably never even met you before. You’re probably hot. Sorry).
So, anyway, I bought LP3 off iTunes and it was pretty swell. One of the reviewers there said it sounded like Sigur Ros and Air. I was in on that alone. Air are one of my favourite bands of all time. And, I think that LP3 is good. Not amazing though. But still, good enough to get a few plays and to act as some great funky sounding chill music.
Having said all that above, I must admit that I have an extremely limited knowledge of the Ratatat back catalogue. I really only just bought LP3 to upp my cool indie kid appeal…hmm…seems to be a recurring theme doesn’t it?! So anyway, I’m going to hand it over to Jono now. He know’s his Ratatat.
Having been familiar with Ratatat close to 3 years now, I’m going to bring a bit of a different perspective to this album. For anyone familiar with the band, you would definitely realise that this is a departure from the signature sound of their first two albums. With moments of Fatboy Slim and Air (not a very accurate representation of the album overall though), the album sounds like a few pieces in search of a film soundtrack without as convincing of an overall story as the first two albums.
Highlights include ‘Shiller’, ‘Falcon Jab’, ‘Mirando’ and ‘Black Heroes’, and I say that mainly because they’re in my comfort zone from what I expect.
1) Shiller – Sounds like a long-lost B-side to the contenders for the X-Files theme song. Doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s actually pretty good. A very slow, haunting build up, that ends in a very slow, haunting build up…
2) Falcon Jab – This is more like it – reverse guitars. I’m not sure what the title has to do with the song, maybe the vocoder noise is meant to be of a falcon (I wouldn’t know what it sounds like).
4) Mirando – I thought this was Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” (for the first 5 seconds). Closer to the original Ratatat with a bit of an Indian beat to it.
7) Shempi – Interesting shuffly beat. If you’ve heard ‘Lex’ from ‘Classics’ you’d like this one.
9) Dura – This sounds like it’s a song in search of a vocal from Beyonce. This could be a good or a bad thing.
13) Black Heroes – Starts like a 60s cassette tape ballad, moving into the trademark twangy guitars about 30 seconds in. Sleepy, but charming. Very “Air”.
Overall this gets 3 stars from me. It’s good, but doesn’t serve as the best possible intro to Ratatat – I would suggest you go and check out both ‘Ratatat’ and ‘Classics’, they really do the band justice.
Talking about the old stuff though, here’s a bit of a classic of there’s.
Ratatat – Seventeen Years

best of so far…

Ok. So, this is going to be moved into a page next to the best albums page. There’s been too many good albums so far this year and I thought I should start to collate a list. I think it’ll be a pretty long list by years end though…haha. So, anyway, i’ll put them up here, and then create a page with them with a few mini review kind of things.

Ok. Here goes.

Passion Pit – Manners.

Peaches – I Feel Cream

The Little Stevies – Love Your Band

The Whitest Boy Alive – Rules

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

Death Cab For Cutie – The Open Door EP

Ok, so after looking through all the albums i’ve bought/downloaded this year, I’ve realised that not all of them were actually released this year.

So, I think a second list is in order. Albums i’ve bought/downloaded this year that weren’t released this year that i’ve loved. Long title. I know. You’ll get over it.

Cut Copy – Far Away EP

Cut Off Your Hands – You And I

Josh Pyke – Chimney’s Afire

Sia – Some People Have Real Problems

Ratatat – LP3

The Bang Gang DeeJays – D Is For Disco, E Is For Dancing

K. So, it’s pretty diverse I reckon. Good stuff so far this year.

I’m sure the list’ll be addedd to soon 🙂

To finish off with, some of my favourite tracks of the year so far. Just for you guys. I’m sweet aren’t I? Yeah, I know.

The Golden Filter – Solid Gold

Passion Pit – Little Secrets

Bombay Bicycle Club – Always Like This

K. That’ll do the ramble for now.

4 New Albums

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

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

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

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

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.

The Little Stevies – Love Your Band

The Little Stevies - Love Your Band


“…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!