Friday, October 30, 2009
"A new beginning"
Brand-new track and video from The Horrors, not even included on the excellent Primary Colours album. A bit softer than usual, this one is all about building a poetic ambience with a simple melody and some electronic sounds, until a beautiful climax comes in to send the song into the stratosphere. So basically they have been letting some light in, while playing a bit more with their recent influences. Judging by what we've been hearing, this is a literally amazing way to evolve.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Talk about living in a constant state of emergency... everything in Kings & Queens, the second album from 23-year-old south-Londoner Jamie Treays, makes me believe that yes, this guy lives life at full speed and you bet he does it with a smile. And even when not taking things too seriously (which he doesn't), his songs exude a sense of vitality that sounds too damm contagious to become indifferent. Starting things the most charming way possible, a voice repeats "He's three hundred / three hundred and sixty eight"... which, for a fact, is the amount of beer needed to reach inebriation. And from here on, the party never stops, with each song sounding like a gigantic anthem on its own, touching everything from punk to hip-hop to folk and including a multitude of textures and layers of addictive sounds. Hook after kook, we're taken into a travel narrated by a real-life guy with a big will to tell us some amazing stories. And at the same time, he's also guiding us through a roller coaster that goes from one so-damm-catchy chorus to another, while never abandoning a witty sense of humour and cockney attitude that we've seen in The Streets' best days. The fact that everything seems like a highpoint is not to be overlooked. This really feels like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, at least when it matters most, i.e. right now. Talk about living the moment... (9/10)
Jamie T - The Man's Machine (video)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
"Clothes were never off"
Forget about the Little Boots or La Roux of this world. Ellie Goulding is the real deal. With an album on the rocks produced by Frankmusik and your future-favourite-producer Starsmith, we'll all hear a lot more about Ellie in the not-so-far future, just make your bets. In the meantime, have a look and listen to the pop-brilliance of the video above. Killer melody, unique voice, awesome lyrics, over-the-top production, sweet looks... isn't she just the bomb?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The new album from Julian Casablancas, the much anticipated Phrazes for the Young (drops by November 2nd) is turning out to be quite an eclectic document. The first single, the wonderful 11th Dimension, has been online for days and it's just this really well crafted blend of rock and electronics that is sure to make a bang on the airwaves. And now we find another track, River of Brakelights, on Julian's website. This one is more what you'd expect from The Strokes, with drums, guitars and Julian's voice mixed together in a state of emergency. Very very good, can't wait for the record.
Check both tracks on his myspace.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Nostalgia is a world, and a special one, sometimes even better than the real thing. How about some music that evokes summer times now that it's getting colder and the days are getting shorter? In this breathtaking debut full-length by Philadelphia's Dayve Hawk (the man behind projects like Memory Cassette, Weird Tapes or Memory Tapes), the main thing is to dream about sunny memories that belong to the past...or maybe they didn't even happen but we just pretend they did. Could there be anything with more beauty than that? This collection of 8 fuzzy dance-pop songs is so involving and includes so many achingly gorgeous details that I'm tempted to answer: no. With jj being the summer soundtrack of a few people including myself, and now this, I'd say that melancholy has never sounded so damm bright and warm. (8,5/10)
Memory Tapes - Green Knight (mp3 via Transparent)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
"So deep into this shit I can taste the earth"
When you join together two names that are single-handedly broadening even further my perception of how good pop music can be, the result can only be one: some next-level shit of atomic proportions. The emo wonders of Swedish heartthrob Erik Hassle immersed in the synth-tastic rainbows of Boston newcomers (and, in my book, already winners) Yes Giantess, is what this is all about. It's obvious that this track could only become something of hottest-thing-ever level and so it is: absurdly infectious and also a brand new definition for ecstatic perfection.
Erik Hassle - Don't Bring Flowers (Yes Giantess remix) (mp3 via Neon Gold)
Monday, October 19, 2009
The first album from this Philadelphia project is a bit of an anachronism: every element is recognizable, every influence is obvious, but still, there's something taking these 9 songs into a place of their own. Not really much related to the present, but also not entirely a pastiche of the past, so let's call it an object living in an unique world, eh? Think 80's industrial sounds, lots of noise and static, a drum machine, infectious melodies and tense gothic atmospheres and you will get an idea of what's in store for you. Effusive darkwave synth pop for the most sinister dancefloors. (7,5/10)
Cold Cave - Love Comes Close (video)
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Via pitchfork (via Kanye West's blog), here's the new N.E.R.D. song featuring Santigold. Very punk rock, Santi still reminds me of early Blondie, she could be have been doing this stuff on CBGB's in the late 70's early 80's. Amazing really. Click here to check out Soldier.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Before you read any further, you should probably know that I'm a big fan of this man. Even if his output since the nineties has been a bit irregular (which I'd say is inevitable when you have recorded more than 30 albums in your career), I don't really think that he is capable of making a bad record. And then, he's also responsible for what is, in most days, my current favourite album of all time, (1984's Purple Rain), along with a few more genius moments that sit very closely to it, like Sign o' The Times, Parade, 1999 or Dirty Mind. Actually, he has more than earned the privilege to be eternally adored, right? Right. (And only if someone could do something about those hideous artwork concepts, the world would be an even better place...).
So maybe he hasn't produced any groundbreaking record as of lately, although 3121, from 3 years ago, and particularly its ridiculously good song "Black Sweat", prove this theory wrong... But, even if this claim was true, who cares? His output from the last years has been consistent enough to not bleach his reputation, which in his case, is more than enough. And that is exactly what happens with this double release.
LOtUSFLOW3R is pure guitar-hero Prince, the same one that has given us what is arguably one of his best records from the nineties - the riff-loaded The Gold Experience. This time he got more elegant and polite but, on the other hand, the urgency, excitement and sense of catharsis that abounded on that record is now more reserved. Full of sophisticated midtempo songs that show his more "virtuoso" side, think of it as a decent new-age wallpaper. (7/10)
Now if you want some vintage Prince, then your best choice is, for sure, MPLSoUND. No one can funk like he does, and that's exactly what happens in here, with the extra bonus that the word "dirty" is also added to the equation. Full of mouth-watering details that give more than a few nods to his most-famous classics (that beat! those synths!), these 9 songs are still very much in touch with the present (is that auto-tune I hear somewhere?), but a present seen through his own wise and experienced eyes. With an unique balance between experimental, catchy and infectious doses, these are jams just perfect to celebrate how great this man is. (8/10)
Prince ft. Q-Tip - Chocolate Box (video)
P.S.: Still about the whole amazingness of the Purple Rain album, Cokemachineglow has written a very good piece about it, which you can find here.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Maybe not the instant classic that some were expecting, but City Limits Volume 1, while being a good indicator of the current state of impasse that dubstep is living, still does that in the best way possible, and on its way it almost takes things one step forward. So this means that we have here the more abstract and liquid sounds that are starting to define this genre as of lately, a bit like what happened to jungle when it mutated into drum'n'bass back in the nineties - when eventually everyone started going too far into the softer side of things, killing the whole fun in the process. But, on the other hand, the beats are as fierce and powerful as ever, while the juxtaposition of different layers and the scientific attention put into every single last detail has reached an hallucinating degree of mind-travel-inducing sounds. (7,5/10)
Silkie - Purple Love (mp3 via Passion of the Weiss)