Seeing as it’s Monday I thought I’d try and invigorate you ready for the week with another slice of Indie Electro-Pop. This time it comes from Wolf Gang, with their latest single Dancing With The Devil. With pop making such a comeback at the moment, the fight is on to reclaim it as a credible genre of music, and Wolf Gang are doing just that. Musically, the song is an upbeat, 70s inspired melody which contains shades of Empire Of The Sun and Neon Trees, but lyrically it’s darker, singing of isolation, filled with images of fire. It’s proof that pop music can be catchy without being sickly sweet, and that its increasing popularity should give rise to incredibly talented & original artists.
Anyone for some catchy, electronic music? Just what the Doctor ordered on a Friday I think! Friends Electric provide you with exactly that! The Welsh quartet’s infectious music is reminiscent of Two Door Cinema Club; a combination of well-produced synthesizers and upbeat lyrics. Their latest offering Something You Should Know is a perfect example of that, captivating and optimistic, it can’t help but make you smile. The song is current & would be perfect to get you dancing on a hot summer’s day in the middle of a festival, something I’d be surprised if they weren’t offered the chance to do in the next year or so. This is definitely a band worth watching out for; judging by Something You Should Know the future should for them should be just as positive as their music!
On the night that Dave Grohl (correctly) collects the God Like Genius Award at the NME Awards it seems only right that tonight’s post is dedicated to Foo Fighters’ new song Rope which premiered on Radio 1 earlier today. If you heard last week’s demo White Limo you would be forgiven for expecting this new offering to be an onslaught of sound; in fact it’s not. Don’t get me wrong it’s still epic, but it’s less of a metal sound. In fact, personally, I think it sounds more like some of their older stuff; I can’t help but hear shades of Monkey Wrench coming through in the chorus. It sounds like classic Foo Fighters and is a promising sign that Wasting Light is going to be worth the wait. If, as everyone seems convinced of, rock music really is dead, someone forgot to tell Dave Grohl!
Think of a cross between Tinie Tempah’s epic choruses, Labrinth’s upbeat soulfulness and Jessie J’s swagger, and the result of that combination will roughly give you Dot JR. Hailing from Stornoway, just off the west coast of Scotland, he his sound, is incredibly current. It’s possible to say his music sounds similar to other artists, shades of Chase & Status and Jamie Woon also pervade it, but instead of sounding like a mashup of everyone else’s songs, a la Lady Gaga, Dot JR seems to have been influenced by the best of all of those and turned it into something that sounds original, creating a signature sound for himself; a sound that’s upbeat, contemporary & catchy. On top of all that, if his session for BBC Introducing Scotland is anything to go by he performs like a rockstar, with energy and abandon, feeling every inch of the music, an utterly engaging quality.
Below, is the standout performance from his BBC session, Moonlight (Running Around). It encompasses everything aforementioned that makes him such a promising talent. Despite not being the sort of music I usually engage with, even I love it, mainly because it is so rare to find someone producing such good dance music with that is intelligently written, with fantastic, almost soulful, vocals, even live. Perhaps that, essentially, is what makes him stand out, the simple fact that he has the voice to support his abilities as a producer, something that has brought James Blake such acclaim. Tinie Tempah’s triumph at the Brits last week proved that what people want are songs big enough to fill a dancefloor, while retaining a level of originality, and in that vein, I get the feeling that Dot JR is most definitely a name to watch.
The Jezabels are an Australian band who have carved a considerable following for themselves in their native country, and listening to Mace Spray it is easy to understand why. They’re female-led indie-pop is infectious with dark undertones, falling somewhere between Marina’s Diamonds and Florence’s Machine. It’s the sort of music that, with a male vocal could become, perhaps, slightly heavy or intimidating, but with Hayley Mary’s strong feminine voice, it is a song of passion & determination. Creating a wall of sound that never once overpowers or becomes simply noise, the music weaves effortlessly with lyrics and vocals to create a song that is current, intelligent and intoxicating. With powerful females dominating the industry the delivery and ideal of this song should be enough to gain it wide popularity.
For some reason yesterday and today have been a bit manic with news and videos from Radiohead, Mumford & Sons and Foo Fighters, so all three are handily condensed below!
Firstly, the biggest music news of the day is Radiohead‘s announcement this Saturday (Feb 19th) they will release a brand new album entitled The King Of Limbs. Never ones to stick to the rules, Radiohead’s follow up to 2007′s In Rainbows, which people could name their own price for, will be the band’s 8th studio album &, without any tracklistings or song previews, is already available HERE for pre-order, either digitally, or as “the world’s first Newspaper Album”.
Secondly, prior to last night’s performance at The Grammys, Mumford & Sons debuted a brand new, as yet untitled song at a special KROQ show. The folk-band who have achieved unprecedented levels of success the release of their debut album, Sigh No More, in 2009, will hope to continue to build on that, and judging by this latest offering, 2011 looks set to be another fantastic year for the band. Typical of what we have come to expect from them, it is a heartfelt offering, performed with the passion that makes their live shows simply unforgettable experiences.
Thirdly, Foo Fighters have also released a brand new, full-length demo online entitled White Limo. The band, who will return to the UK in the summer for two sell-out shows at Milton Keynes Bowl, have presented a harder, more intense sound for this song than some of their more recent offerings, with shades of metal seeming to have influenced the band. It won’t be a mainstream success for them, but, to be honest, any modern rock band that can sell 130,000 within a few hours of going on sale probably do not need to concern themselves so much with the mainstream, and instead feel free to channel their creativity as they wish!
Seeing as it’s Sunday night, I thought I’d present you with a wonderfully relaxed song from Caitlin Rose. The Nashville-born country singer’s voice is sublime, faultless and utterly heartfelt; employed on Own Side it tucks at every heartstring. A reserved yet defiant breakup song, it encapsulates a mood so perfectly that resisting empathy is futile, all you can do is embrace the emotion that flows from every lyric Rose sings. Since starting this blog this has song has been more difficult to write about than any other, simply because it speaks so well for itself, and that is perhaps the highest accolade I can heap on it. So this is a short but sweet post but worth it for the stunning track below!
So today was the BIG day! After weeks of build up and, in all honesty, some fantastic marketing, Lady Gaga’s new single, Born This Way went live on her website and became available for download. At this point in time, then, there will be countless opinions and blogs lavishing it with either praise or distain, so instead of doing that, I’ve got a little game for you. My first impression when listening to the track is that, actually, it sounds like a mashup of quite a few other songs. So, if you haven’t heard it head over HERE to have a listen, let me know below what you think it sounds like, & I will add to the list below as people make suggestions! (I also challenge you to not get annoyed at not being able to remember song titles!)
So far, I have:-
Waterfalls by TLC, as tweeted by lead singer of Kids In Glass Houses,
I Feel For You by Prince
Express Yourself – Madonna (Rob Gordon)
Marcus Fosters’ music is difficult to define, placed as it is somewhere between folk & rock. Whatever it is, it’s intoxicating! Latest offering Shadows Of The City begins slowly, with guitars and folky twang to Fosters’ voice, before the rest of the band kicks in and it becomes an indie/rock track. The song as a whole is enigmatic, fusing as it does influences from 70s rock to contemporary folk, and so much in between. It’s epic yet reserved, with fantastic production. Above all, it’s different! There are times when it is possible to say it sounds like this or that, but as a complete piece of music it is like nothing else around at the moment, as each and every style combines effortlessly and fantastically. Shadows Of The City is, overall, a breath of fresh air.
Kites are a London-based band producing fantastic electro-pop. Let’s be honest there are a lot of people trying to create a niche for themselves within that genre as 80s influences become ever more apparent, but Kites are one of the few bands doing it with real success. For a start, the production of their music is ultra-clean, a factor that is so important to the type of music they are making. Without such polished quality, electro and synthesized music often sounds not only messy, but tacky and the band have done incredibly well to escape that trap. Instead, their brilliance shines through. They are not the first 80s sounding band I have featured, but what separates them from acts such as Hurts is the darkness that pervades their music. Matthew Phillips’ vocals are intense, filled with an anguish that allows every lyric to tell a story.
For individual songs, you would be wise to look at current single Take The Reins, and my personal favourite The Disappearance Of Becky Sharp. Take The Reins, the video of which is below is, musically, quite simple, providing a great introduction both to the band’s sound and the aforementioned vocals of Phillips. Lyrically, it speaks of burden & needing help with enough repetition that it is easy to both recognise and absorb. With this in mind it is easy to understand why it has been chosen as the track with which to introduce the band. The Disappearance Of Becky Sharp, however, is just as deserving of attention. Personally, I think it is a more complete song, with fantastic mixing that waxes and wanes to create an intriguing backdrop to the intelligent &, at times, socially conscious song-writing which allows the song to criticise those who have a habit of hiding behind drama (and let’s face it we all know people like that!). Therefore, the song is featured below the video for Take The Reins.