Anyone who heard Benjamin Francis Leftwich‘s recent live lounge will know that when he understands that a cover of a song works best when it’s a unique interpretation and he has yet again demonstrated this by producing a version of The Beatles’ Ticket To Ride. Let’s be honest, doing justice to a Beatles classic is a lot more difficult than David Guetta’s Titanium, especially when they are murdered all too often (usually by X Factor contestants), but luckily BFL has succeeded where so many others have failed. If you find yourself already as a fan you will be unsurprised to hear that the defining hook for this song is Leftwich’s silky smooth, lullaby vocals which ensure that every single one of McCartney & Lennon’s lyrics retain their magic. And the best thing of all about this track is it’s completely free.
Toronto quartet Bravestation have put their new song Signs Of The Civilized up on Bandcamp as a free download and, in all honesty, it’s not often that free music is quite this good. What particularly struck me about this track was Devin Wilson’s vocals which at times sounds like it has come straight from the 80s, and at others is so beautifully melodic it becomes almost haunting. Add into the mix the multi-faceted and atmospheric music the band have created to accompany his voice and the result is close to musical perfection that is unerringly addictive. Certainly worth making the most of while it’s available.
In my opinion Luv Luv Luv records are one of the most exciting labels around at the moment, having already been responsible for releases from buzz bands such as Spector and Theme Park. So it is hardly surprising that their latest release to land in my inbox is also particularly good. Spiriting comes from Surrey trio Mafia Lights and is a piece of music that will undoubtedly divide opinion, but listen carefully and you’ll hear that not only is this unique, it’s also been thoughtfully crafted. Carefully layered over the sci-fi style backing track there is an undeniably catchy pop hook that will hopefully win over any finding themselves struggling to get their head around the rest of the track. I can’t deny this is a bit of a grower in that respect, but I guarantee that after a couple of listens you will find the chorus to be inescapably present in your head.
London quintet Rocketeer will release their new single Cupid this coming Monday, 27th February. When I featured the band’s track Leave Me last year I was struck by just how ‘British’ this band were, everything from their sound to their video and, in that respect this song is no different. In the video, especially, this shines through with the manor house setting and rather striking blazers but other parts of the song present a noticeable difference. It’s still just as catchy but the whole thing is a bit more subdued, and where before there was a sinister tone running throughout, this is a lot more accessible, largely due to the lyrics which reflect much more of a sense of realism. By no means is the song light-hearted but its focus is the story which is, at times, uncomfortable and strangely familiar (whether personally or by association) and which is delivered with such prowess it’s just as captivating as their previous offering.
Last year I got quite excited by Wax by Theme Park as soon as I heard it, so it with great relish that I’m able to point you in the direction of their latest release, and the first on Transgressive Records, entitled Two Hours. I fully suspect that, like its predecessor, this is likely to find itself on the receiving end of a lot of love as their catchy electro-pop proves, to me at least, 100% irresistible. What makes it that much better as well is that lead-singer Miles Haughton’s vocals and lyrics are surprisingly emotive for a song of this particular genre enabling it to stand out from what is becoming a slightly crowded market. So listen and completely enjoy!
There’s a possibility that this is a song I’m slightly late with picking up on but having just stumbled across it I feel it necessary to post. In all honesty I think it is one of the most stylish songs and videos I’ve seen in a while. The song itself is an 80s inspired infectious track which, to start with at least, sounds as though it should be on the soundtrack to a classic British gangster film, such is the broody nature of it. The video, then, manages to accentuate the sharpness of the song; all monochrome shots and dapper suits it acts as the perfect accompaniment to a song that is so effortlessly cool it’s hard not to find yourself completely by not only the song, but also McGuiness himself.
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and if like me you chose to ignore the day and listen to My Bloody Valentine on repeat good on you! What you may want to consider instead is purchasing Doe Paoro‘s debut album Slow To Love, which is released on the same day. I like the record company’s thinking there.
You may presume that being released on Valentine’s Day means it’s a collection of love songs, well there is a romantic notion to them but with a bit of grit and truth bolstering up the track listing. Her fascinating vocal is inspired by her study of Lhamo. Lhamo is Tibetan Opera. It may sound like an odd or unusual concept but it makes her music totally mesmerizing. Her oddness can be seen in the video for standout track Born Whole, not odd in a Gaga way but odd in a Kate Bush way, slightly eccentric. Blindfolded she weaves her way through the wilderness following the guide of a rope. But what this slow paced, relatively static video does is focus your attention on the content of the song.
Her voice has several qualities comparable to that of PJ Harvey, the Tibetan vibe gives her height to vocal reach which comes across as slightly creepy. While her American accent could easily break into an M.I.A style ghetto tone but instead she reigns it in to intensify the ‘ghost soul’ genre she is devoted to.
Slow To Love is out 14th February (just another day – nothing special).
I don’t know why but sometimes what I hear from a band really surprises me; there are times when I look at a name or a picture and expect, inexplicably, to hear something completely different to what comes out my speaker. Vultures by Senna is one of those occasions. For no apparent reason I anticipated hearing a full on rock band, not something I would have been adverse to, but instead found an infectious mid-tempo riff that has shades of old school rock ‘n’ roll which it’s hard not to find yourself enjoying. It’s one of those cases where you think all those who go around spouting nonsense about guitar music being dead are obviously looking in the wrong places, because this to me is one of the best pieces of evidence to the contrary. Classy, catchy and cool this is a song that will have you hooked.
I also recommend heading over to their website for a free download of their track I Watched The End With You. It’s a lot slower tempo but is absolutely stunning and equally as worthy of your attention as Vultures.
If there’s a band that knows the value of creating an amazing video it’s OK Go. In the past few years it’s an art form they have perfected in unique and interesting ways, with many having been adopted by others intent on producing their own versions, with sometimes less than successful results. It hardly comes as a surprise then that their latest offering Needing/Getting has earned itself a prolific spot on US TV in the run up to the Super Bowl (with a little help from the fact it has been created in association with Chevrolet). It’s a good job then, that this is just as impressive a video as their previous offerings. It sees the band all crammed into a car and using said car in various ingenoius ways to create the musical accompaniment to the song. It’s clever, funny and probably a little bit daft, but lets be honest you wouldn’t expect anything less from OK Go; the band, after all, have managed to turn the simple music video into a true event in itself.
If, like me, you’ve been unfortunate enough to have to venture outside today then you’re probably also looking for something to help warm you up slightly and while this won’t quite hit the spot like a duvet and hot chocolate, I think Jack Robert Hardman‘s Famous may help just a little bit. It’s slower than his track Sorry To George which I featured last year but there’s no denying it’s just as effective. With nothing but an acoustic guitar and his beautifully melodic voice he has managed to create a song that is utterly uplifting. A lot of this also comes from the lyrics, which are so full of promise and hope that it’s impossible not find yourself smiling as you listen to it; especially when you realise this is also packed full of nostalgia and when he says ‘Famous’ it’s the glamour of “Audrey Hepburn” which he hopes to bestow not the Big Brother style infamy it would be easy to assume the song to be about. It’s a lazy summer day’s daydream transformed into a sonic delight that will truly help you believe that the sun may not be that far away after all.