Monday, 30 April 2007

There's No More Honey From This Bee

"The Count Of Monte Christo" by The Noisettes
from "What's The Time Mr. Wolf?" (2007)

One of my friends' bands were lucky enough earlier this year to support The Noisettes and Foals at a local gig they were doing (incidentally, keep an eye out for Videosprint). At the time I was up here at university, about one hundred and fifty miles away, so I can be forgiven for missing out. That said, I hear songs like this and I struggle to forgive myself. Though this is not their best song (the sublime and strangely inspiring "Scratch Your Name") it gives the title a run for it's money. Unlike other songs by the band, Monte Christo appears to have a country inspiration, and sounds not unlike a hardcore KT Tunstall. The sum of its parts is a righ' rollicking pop song. I like.

Buy Noisettes

Saturday, 28 April 2007

I Feel Worse Than When S Club 7 Broke Up

"Canopies and Grapes" by Emmy the Great

I'm not, despite what some may claim, a little teenage girl. On top of that, being male I have about as much insight into the female mind as Michael Jackson has into good PR. Emmy the Great, however has been a little teenage girl and in doing so has understood the female mind. Well, as much as one can understand their own mind, at least. But let's avoid philosophy, shall we? Regardless, between the pop-culture references and deep insecurities, Emmy has created a fantastic song that quite frankly gets me twitching with excitement! I'm happy when I listen to the song, which is nice, but probably not the initial aim, I'd suggest.

Buy Emmy

There Is Freedom Within

"Don't Dream It's Over" by Sixpence None The Richer
from "Divine Discontent" (2002)

I must say, I've always been a fan of quiet optimism. Sometimes it's just nice to know you'll be okay, but without all the explosive joy other, more Polyphonic bands may use. I'm a fan of dreaming too, though it should be said my dreams have a habit of being uncomprimisingly dull. I once dreamt I was drinking Coca Cola. I don't like Coca Cola. How curious. But I digress. This is a fantastic cover, and a real comfort for late at night when I particularly fall victim to inevitable insecurities. Enjoy, in large doses, regularly.

Buy Sixpence

Friday, 27 April 2007

You don't mean that, say you're sorry.

"Now. Now." by St. Vincent
from 'Marry Me' (2007)

Annie Clark, under the name St. Vincent, is producing some fantastic music right now. Seriously, amazing stuff. Given her credentials, it's not that surprising really - she's performed with both The Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens, both personal favourites in my musical options. 'Now. Now.' is typical of Clark's style - broken but melodic, repetitive but evolving. Sounding nothing like Stevens or the Spree by any degree it would be impossible to argue against her style - it's hard to believe there aren't a hundred other bands out there sounding just like her. As well as this, you can grab another equally fantastic track from the bottom there - 'Paris is Burning'. I honestly couldn't choose between the two - 'Now. Now.' is desperately sad and filled with denial, 'Paris Is Burning' twinkles like a twisted circus and bursts with broken urgencies. I love them both very much.

"Paris Is Burning" by St. Vincent

Find St. Vincent

The World Outside

"The World Is Outside" by Ghosts
from "The World Is Outside" (2007)

Although clearly written for summer days and possibly driving on the open roads of the countryside, the title track from Ghosts' upcoming debut album just sings of dusk; warm evenings where the sky is illuminated both by the moon and the sun, and everything feels okay. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - there are far too many songs written for dancing in the fields on a summer afternoon. Though it is a subtle difference, we need more tracks in this world for running in the fields at dusk. Ghosts have got this down to a tee, and their music is a mixture between the better side of English MOR and unconventional indie pop in the vein of Delays and Easyworld.

Songs For Adventure #1

"Sun A.M." by Moonbabies
from 'The Orange Billboard' (2004)

I've always wanted to go on an adventure. Not an overly dramatic one, it should be said, but one of those coming-of-age journeys that all respectable teenage actors in Hollywood make a film about. I imagine if I ever did make such an adventure it would be a particularly cheery and overly optimistic one. That's just the sort of adventure I'd have. And, of course, being your average music-obsessive my adventure would be all about the soundtrack. A summery mixture of road songs and slow songs (for evenings in dodgy South American casinos and Caribbean beach parties). And so, my first song for adventure is atypical of this ideal. What's more, it's from a Swedish band, which somehow makes me slightly happier inside.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

The Smell Of Wine And Cheap Perfume

from 'Escape' 1981

I always feel a little sorry for the man in the picture above. I passed him last summer in Venice giving out leaflets for some attraction that is clearly funded entirely by gullible English-speaking tourists who share a skin tone not unlike Michael Jackson's. He seems so utterly miserable. Not just with his job, either, the man reeked of manic depressive. He needs this song, something so stupidly optimistic the devil himself could foresee a bright future when listening to it. Plus it's cheesier than Cheddar Gorge, which is in all honesty utterly fantastic.

Buy Journey

Can't You Hear The Song For You?

"Erin" by Joanna Newsom
from 'Walnut Whales EP' 2002

Everything that Joanna Newsom would ever become can be heard in this,
a track from her self-released debut EP. Sit back and put on the headphones.
You know, the ones you keep by your unused record player in case you someday
have the urge to listen to that old Fleetwood Mac LP. Joanna Newsom was made
for the all-encompassing cavern of sound only headphones can create.

Buy Joanna Newsom