Its been a long while since we last spoke and much has happened! Concerts, trips, adventures, mishaps, debauchery and a helluva lot of of fun. The important thing is that I am back, and here to stay.
Big shout out to Jer and Kyle for keeping things rolling in my absence, and to all of you for coming back day after day to read our words.
I’ll leave you with some tracks that have kept my headphones bumping and my heartbeat pumping over the last few months.
Flume – Sleepless (feat. Anthony For Cleopatra)
Bonobo- Silver (Krizz Luco Edit)
Last Lynx – Killing Switch
ON AN ON – Ghosts
Ultraista – Gold Dayzz Maribou State Remix
More to come! Stay tuned…
Sounds like – The Smiths
Feels like – I didn’t even notice I was dancing to this
This Tampa trio has got some big names backing them. Tastemaker music website Pitchfork gave the group a 2,500 word review of 2011 album “Children of Desire” and are now featuring their new track “Anxiety’s Door” ahead of their upcoming “Total Nite” EP. They will be in Vancouver March 29th. I’ll be there.
Joshua Tillman is an American folk singer currently using the moniker of Father John Misty. Previous to his solo career he was a member of Saxon Shore and Fleet Foxes. Being brought up in a christian household, he describes himself as a fairly unmotivated child who originally wanted to be a pastor, as per his parents guidance. While Father John has around been a while, I’ve only recently stumbled upon his music. The more I listen the more I wish there was more of him out there. His music has a raw honesty to it, a story-telling ability that evokes emotions. His live performances on youtube are just as good as any studio recording, that is, of course if you can put up with the Fathers’ insistence on awkward dancing. It looks about as natural as watching a family member break it down at a cousin’s wedding. Stick to singing Father, stick to singing.
The first gem I stumbled upon was “Only Son of the Ladies Man”. A true tribute to a man who had a way with women all his life, even up to the seemingly tragic end of his life.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings – Another tragic Hollywood song about planning an early exit and picking out their own casket.
On a little lighter side is “Writing a Novel”. Another brilliantly written story of a person taking an unknown drug from a Canadian shaman. I was laughing the first time I heard this…”I’m no doctor, but that monkey might be right!”
It has been a GREAT few weeks for new music. Friends have been sharing, websites have been showcasing, and more importantly, the musicians have been creating sweet sweet sounds that make this world a better place. I’ve been so crazy busy lately, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and do my homework on bands but I feel like these new finds need to be shared. And so, without further ado, and without any real introduction…..here you are
Alabama Shakes: from, you guessed it. Hugely underplayed group. Brittany Howard’s voice – nuff said, have a listen.
Sr. Sly – Found you out
Mysterious group releasing no names or band photos. Rumours said to contain singer from FTP. What do you think?
Revenge song with lots of collected anger
GriZ – Smash the funk
21 year old Michigan DJ with an absolute banger. *looks into crystal ball* I see a very bright future for this young man. Also just released his new album “Mad Liberation” for free here (,)(,)
C2C – Arcades
Four piece turn table group from France. You be forgiven if you thought you landed in, perhaps, the best Zelda level ever. Very talented group, and a largely kept secret outside of France. Great artistic video to go with. Cutting mad shapes!
I’m very excited to share with you, ∆ (Alt-J). A group of 4 young men who met while attending Leed’s University in 2007. Now while we could dig very deep into the meaning of this chosen symbol for a band name, it may indeed come down to the triangle being the band (or at least the lead singers) favourite shape (refer to Tesselate). The first song of ∆’s that I heard was “Fitzpleasure”. A puzzling song in the traditional sense, it is a showcase of their eclectic tastes and ability to capture your attention. Seemlessly frolicking between genres and keeping your ears on edge, their new album “An Awesome Wave” does not dissapoint and has been met with critical acclaim.
First up, “Tesselate” where we first hear of the bands love for triangles and probably the only musical group to use a mathematical term of repeating shapes, as an innuendo of sorts. This soulful enigma comes with an amazing video, directed by Alex Southam and is a modern-day gangster remake of Italian Renaissance painter Raphael’s ‘The School of Athens’.
Second is another song that has been paired with a equally pleasing video. “Taro” has been combined with the 1988 film “Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation”. The dialogue free documentary focuses on third world countries in conflict. The song and video work perfect with the Bhangra sound giving it that worldly edge. I truly did get shivers the first time I watched this.
And of course, Fitzpleasure.
The rest of the album is available to listen to here, orrr you can buy it on itunes
Port St. Willow is a melancholy, slow-burning, indie band currently based in Brooklyn, NY and the name Nick Principe assigned to his musical ventures. He released his debut full length Holiday, and it is fantastic. A lesson in musical impressionism, Holiday is born out of atmospheric comings and goings. A musical tide that at certain moments brings a wave of falsetto driven, multi-layered crescendos and at other times a textural dissipation of soft fuzz and subtle guitar plucks. Two stand out tracks, “Consumed” and “North” are perfect entry points into Holiday as a whole. They are saturated songs building slowly off muted coos and finishing in dense horns and pulsating percussion, walking a thin line between a parade piece and a funeral march. The ambiguity fits well for an album that drives on with immediacy but is unpretentiously singing to itself.
Port St. Willow – “Consumed”
Port St. Willow – “North”
Holiday is out now and was self-released, support the cause and buy it here.
When a friend first showed me the “Humans” a week ago, I was in disbelief that I’d never heard of them. As an avid fan of local homebred music (mainly because it means I can see them in Vancouver more then once a year) I was blown away that I had never heard of these guys. Based in East Vancouver, Robbie Slade and Peter Ricq combine to create electronic music with a more human fringe by adding live vocals to their shows. And so, like a good human, I immediately went onto their website to buy their latest album “Traps”. Two tracks in particular have been playing ipod tennis on my playlist. “Da Ciel” is one of those songs that grabs you from the start and makes you wanna start moving. Cool downtempo beats laced with an oriental sounding harp(?) will, most assuredly take the edge off a stressful day. The second on my list that love made is “Possession”. A more upbeat jam with hints of jungle dance party. Am I blowing your minds with wordy definitions yet?!
Now I cannot in good faith, post this up without adding a couple extras to the mix. One song, and its accompanying video had me literally LOL’ing on a Saturday afternoon I thought the alcohol had finally won. You will enjoy this video and if you don’t you either have no sense of humour or had a bad run in with a puppet cop at one point or another. “Bike Home” is the name of the song.
The last one I will add to the mix is an unabashedly pop song “Avec Mes Mecs”. Again, with the laughing, at its simple but to the point lyrics. An example “Gonna text you, cause I can’t do it when I’m high, gonna sex you, cause I can’t do it when I’m high.” So simple but yet so truuuue.
Who knew all we had to do is party?!
Bike Home Video
Avec Mes Mecs
Building the suspense of their new album due out Aug 21st, Yeasayer has dropped another bangin’ single. “Longevity” is a turn to a more electronic side sans jungle noises, quirkiness and downright twisted music video’s that made people either love or hate them to begin with. Personally I think they are fantastic. I had the pleasure of seeing them last April in Vancouver. It was one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen and if they come to town again I’ll be front row and centre. I wasn’t able to find this on Soundcloud as of yet, but their facebook page has released this video, literally 30 minutes ago.
On the eve of the Dia de la Musica music festival here in Madrid, I thought I’d take the time to highlight the bands that I look forward to seeing. With the likes of St. Vincent, Twin Shadow, Bear in Heaven, and James Blake all slotted on the same day, it’s shaping up to be quite a full day of wonderful music in sunny Spain. So lets get started…
The first time slot on my personal schedule goes to Zambri; two sisters putting out swerving, catchy, gothic, electro-pop. Their new album House of Baasa just came out and it hits hard, like two pissed off sisters trashing your front yard at night with dead, wilting flowers.
Zambri – “To Keep Back”
After them comes a certain lovely lady that should (hopefully) need no introduction: St. Vincent. Annie Clark has been touring her new album Strange Mercy for about half a year now, and it’s a treat to see live. Her swagger is undeniable and finely-tuned. Girls want to be her, both sexes want to date her; it is going to be a wonderful set.
St. Vincent – “Cruel”
Following St. Vincent will be Twin Shadow, the name George Lewis Jr. attaches to his slinky, soul-infused, 80′s electro-jams. He is prepping for the release of his new album Confess, and I must confess, I am excited to hear it. He said it “is the natural next step” from his wonderful previous album Forget, and the direction the single “Five Seconds” takes, is a path I will follow willingly.
Twin Shadow – “Five Seconds”
Continuing on with the day will be a set from Brooklyn electro-rockers Bear in Heaven. They just released a wonderful new album, I Love You, It’s Cool and I look forward to hearing how they will translate the layered, ethereal synths into a live show. Imagining it now, bears rummaging and running around heaven may just be the perfect name for these guys.
Bear in Heaven – “The Reflection of You”
And finishing the night will be a set from James Blake, the London based crooner and electronic producer. He has been gaining popularity for the past couple of years, seeing his self-titled album climb several charts around the world. He will be a fitting end to what surely is going to be a wonderful day of music in the Spanish capital.
James Blake – “Wilhems Scream (Live)”
Niki & The Dove, the criminally catchy indie pair from Stockholm, Sweden, have been my go-to band for a couple months now. I just can’t seem to get their recent album Instinct out of my head, and the stand out track “Last Night” is fully to blame. As a whole, Instinct is perfectly intact. It rises and falls, speeds up and slows down. Therefore, “Last Night” is a perfect jumping off point for anyone to get into their music. The track starts slow, building off the perfectly timed stressed moments of singer Malin Dahlström’s subdued vocals. The beat bangs along, keeping both a slow pace and maintaing that your head keeps rising and falling. And then the song takes off in the chorus, where the rhythm and Malin’s vocals head for the sky, taking the listener to a place that only fleeting moments can take you. Malin croons with a certain swagger “Last night, we got married in a taxi … I loved you like there’s no tomorrow.” “Last Night” perfectly captures a night living solely in the moment, providing lyrics for the feelings that can be expressed and then towards the end of the song a muffled, indistinct, funky jazz break down for those certain moments that cannot be put into words.
Instinct is out now in the UK and comes stateside in August on Sub Pop. Get it!