Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Best Of 2009: Mid-Year Top 20 Songs

20. Music Go Music - Light Of Love

(via The Fader)

19. Das Racist & Wallpaper. - Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell (Wallpaper. RMX)

(via Pitchfork)

18. Grammatics - Murderer

17. Cut Off Your Hands - Happy As Can Be

(via Spinner)

16. Memory Cassette - Last One Awake (Friend Remix)

(via Transparent)

15. Samuel - Say Goodbye

(via Neon Gold)

14. Wave Machines - Keep The Lights On

(via Neon Gold)

13. jj - My Life, My Swag

12. Baby Venom - Frank

(via Transparent)

11. Jensen Sportag - Victim

(via Transparent)

10. Yes Giantess - Tuff N Stuff

(via Neon Gold)

9. Passion Pit - Moth's Wings

(via Neon Gold)

8. Memory Tapes - Bicycle

(via Transparent)

7. Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy (Air France Remix)

(via Pitchfork)

6. Ellie Goulding - Wish I Stayed (feat. Frankmusik)

(via Neon Gold)

5. US Royalty - Keep it Cool (Bo Flex Giantess Remix)

(via Neon Gold)

4. The Horrors - Sea Within A Sea

(via Spinner)

3. Evan Voytas - Getting Higher

(via Transparent)

2. Erik Hassle - Hurtful

1. Animal Collective - My Girls

Monday, June 29, 2009

Best Of 2009: Mid-Year Top 15 Albums

15. Circlesquare - Songs About Dancing And Drugs


14. Wavves - Wavvves


13. Jeremy Jay - Slow Dance


12. Move D & Benjamin Brunn - Songs From The Beehive


11. Parts & Labor - Receivers


10. Grammatics - Grammatics


9. Theophilus London - This Charming Mixtape


8. Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor


7. Fever Ray - Fever Ray


6. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart


5. Zomby - Where Were U in '92?


4. Sunn O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions


3. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion


2. Passion Pit - Manners


1. The Horrors - Primary Colours


Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Nothing can keep me from my holiday"

Off to New York tomorrow, back in action in two weeks. In the meantime, keep checking these pages for my half-year best-of lists of songs and albums, to be published here soon. Stay tuned!

The Field - Yesterday And Today

After presenting his own formula - techno beats with involving drone loops that seem to extend to infinity - in From Here We Go Sublime, his, hum, sublime debut of 2007; and then extending that formula to its limits in Sound Of Light (a project from 2008 commissioned by the Nordic Light Hotel), it was clear that Axel Willner was reaching a point of no-return where something would have to change. Either that or starting to repeat himself and letting the magic go. Although Yesterday And Today is not the great leap forward that one could expect, it does seem like the first step to something new that is still to come. Meaning that it still lives from those dreamy and gorgeous loops (and most of them are as breathless as ever), but it also incorporates other more physical elements (including a guest spot by drummer John Stanier of Battles). A transitional moment that leaves me with great expectations for what lies ahead. (7/10)

The Field - Leave It (mp3 via Circle Square Triangle)


Friday, June 26, 2009

About Michael Jackson

Yesterday I went to sleep knowing that Michael Jackson had just passed away. It's surreal for me to see someone so talented (as he was) passing, even more when you're only 50. I grew up listening to his songs and, even tho I disconnected from him a long time a go, his songs are and will always be a part of my life.

I think that, in musical terms, he was a true genius: amazing sense of melody, great voice, unique style (like it or not), great lyrics and outstanding sense of rhythm. His recordings from the 70's to anything he did in 80's are amazing. I also love a lot of what he did in the 90's, he was still on top of his game. And even his humanitarian work, even if presented in the most tacky way possible, seemed to come from the right place.
He defined what it means to be a megastar and you can hardly turn on Mtv nowadays without seeing younger artists redoing what he did (Chris Brown, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, to name a few). I think history will bring some truth to all the controversy about his personal life. For me, everything that he has been accused of has never been proved in court, while his talent is more than proved and well documented. That's the Michael Jackson we can all relate to and his music will live forever. I am pretty sure that, 20 years from now, everyone will still be dancing everytime they play "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" at a party.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Baby Venon's Frank

This has to been one of the best songs I've heard in a while! Baby Venom are a trio from Baltimore and have been doing gigs in support of other bands such as Deerhunter. I love this Frank song, with all its lo-fi synth vibe and that gorgeous ascending organ at the end.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

GBG Belongs To Us (A Love Letter In 3 Parts)

There's a quote saying "a city is not just a home, it's a lifelong companion". And then comes the epic love letter in 3 parts to their hometown Gothenburg. One part is their own personalized guide to the city. The second, a new glorious song, free to download. And the third one is a gorgeous teaser video. I just have to add that all this comes from my favourites Air France and you'll know why the day suddenly got so much better:

gbg belongs to us (a love letter in 3 parts)

Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career

Must be because of the very warm weather today, and excuse me for the lame comparison, but this album by Glasgow indie-poppers Camera Obscura really felt like a breeze now. To put it simply, these are songs about innocent love, with delicate arrangements and beautiful orchestrations. Or, in a more poetic fashion, the sweet melancholy of being in love and letting your heart out in intimate confessions. Lucky us, the listeners. (7,5/10)

Camera Obscura - French Navy (video):


Saturday, June 20, 2009

jj - My Swag, My Life / My Life, My Swag (video)

"Standing on the threshold of a dream"

One of the latest releases from The Tough Alliance's Sincerely Yours label is by mysterious act jj, and whoever he/she/they are, the two songs from this 7'' fit more than perfectly into the label's very own aesthetic. Blissful pop with a touch of lo-fi, spoken-word samples, echoed voices and some gorgeous arrangements. I can never grow tired of things like this.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunn O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions

If, like me, you think that metal is a genre that still hasn't been fully explored to reveal all its potential, remaining pretty much in the basic side of things (for some reason, I tend to think of clowns...), then maybe here is the record we have been waiting for some time now. Truth to be told, Monoliths & Dimensions is already the 7th album by this American outing, but never before had they sublimed their language into something so mature and intense like this, showing that you don't need to scream and play loud to be heavy and scary. On first listen, these 4 songs may all sound like long and minimal doomy drones with some haunted scary voices whispered on top, but then you're missing the whole point and also a lot of details that carry them into ridiculously dense hypnotic states (there's a bass trio, french and english horns, a harp and flute duo, piano, brass, reed and string ensembles...is that enough?). In the meantime, to say that this gives new meanings to extreme darkness would be an understatement. (8,5/10)

Sunn O))) - Alice (mp3):

Polaroids # 31 (From Lisbon To Algarve)

Back from a 5 day vacation at the south of Portugal...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Maccabees Give You No Kind Words

I heard this song online from british rock band The Maccabees, got their album Wall of Arms and it's just brilliant. I have been playing this a lot lately. The perfect mixture of coldness and adrenaline, well-constructed lyrics and an amazing vocal performance. If you like No Kind Words why not download it for free? The band's giving this mp3 online as part of the album promotion. Get it here!


Polaroids # 30

Deerhunter live @ Lux

(Pictures taken on the 1st of June 2009 at Lux in Lisbon, Portugal)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Kanye and Rihanna are Paranoid

Kanye West is still going strong with the latest release from his "808's & Heartbreak" album. After a rough-cut was leaked on the internet (driving Mr. West barking mad on his blog) the final version of "Paranoid" was recently premiered on the event that celebrated the 25th anniversary of Def Jam records and stars the label's other famous starlet, Rihanna (hanna-hanna), who looks absolutely mesmerizing in this film-noir inspired music video. She may not even sing on the track but she is for sure the star we all have our eyes on. And that is just brilliant.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor

Patrick Wolf's career has been evolving in a way that is probably not far from what David Bowie did in the 1970's. Someone pushing boundaries, with an ambiguous sexuality and a hunger to try out new things, sometimes edging to the limit of conventional taste, while creating masterpiece after masterpiece. There's some similarity in here, right? "The Bachelor", his fourth album, keeps on this path, in what is probably his most ambitious work yet, a conceptual piece that includes narrations by Tilda Swinton and is an intimate look into a contradicting and fascinating artist. Serving as a synthesis to everything he has done before (electronics, pop, folk, you name it, it's here), it also shows a songwriter and musician maturing and defining his own place and genre. Somewhere in the process, with so many antagonic elements cautiously put together, there is a bit of spontaneity and visceral energy that is lost, but that's a small price to pay for the complexity that someone like him can insert into a song. Judging by what "The Bachelor" shows, it's a risk he has taken that is definitely worth it. (8/10)

Patrick Wolf - Hard Times (video)


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Låt den rätte komma in

Yes, another movie featuring vampires, but this one is really special and different from any other. A 12-year-old boy that is a bit of an outsider and bullied at school, falls in love with a mysterious new neighbour girl that is actually a vampire. But now imagine this taking place in a Stockholm suburb, where it's snowing and white all the time and what is not said is as important as what is shown (Ingmar Bergman has even been mentioned to describe this movie). A glacial look into both adolescence and the vampire myth, with a Scandinavian twist, couldn't ask for more.