Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The Strange Death of Liberal England

Myspace: LINK

A band I have followed for a while now after seeing them support I LIKE TRAINS on tour many times... They have one album, Forward March (LINK) and are currently recording number two. You can download a new song for free by going here.

Below you can download their first self-released EP, a few tracks later would appear on Forward March in some version.

Review: (thanks go here) The band hail from Portsmouth and include Adam Woolway, Andrew Wright, Andrew Summerly, Kelly Jones & Will Charlton. Their unbelievably clamorous, vibrant and brilliant debut EP Forward March! comes out tomorrow (well it's been out two years now!) on Fantastic Plastic Records. Warning! This is not soft-rock.

The Strange Death Of Liberal England sound like almost nothing before them. Sure, you can spot some Arcade Fireisms, Poguesisms, Pixieisms, some Radioheadisms and Joy Divisionisms and some Joe Strummerism/Billy Braggisms in the mix, however vocalist Adam Woolway has such a damnly uniquely skewed voice. And their ambitious, howling, raging youthfulness makes way for some intense epic, singalong-anthem styled-guitar rave-ups and over the top performances. And when they really get going they sound like an art-goth My Bloody Valentine (huh?). The latest rage? I hope so. Somebody give me a towel.

Esben and the Witch

Another band who are giving away their material, you can find the 5 song EP named '33 here

Guardian Review:
The background: Esben and the Witch are a Brighton trio who take their name from a Danish fairytale involving cruelty to children, ritual slaughter and all manner of unpleasantness. Obviously there was something about the dread that pervades the tale which appealed to the members of EATW. Some of that atmosphere - well, a lot, to be fair - has been brought to bear on the group. Their music is ethereal, only more in the eerie than Enya sense of the word, an eeriness inspired as much by books as any record - they're as into Bacon and Bosch as they are Björk or (Kate) Bush.

It's music for big, dark, gloomy, intimidating but oddly inviting haunted houses; houses that are full of fearful silences, empty rooms, cobwebs and rocking chairs that move, even though no one has sat in them for years. Esben remind you of the malice in wonderland, the beauty in horror and the horror in beauty, that sort of stuff. They claim their influences are "glaciers,
caverns and waning moons", and insist they were encouraged to write the songs - romantically-dark tales of mystery and woe clearly indebted to Poe - on their debut five-track EP, 33, by "literature, nature and sorrow".

They seem to have some knowledge of life's less appealing aspects, a feeling enhanced by references to machetes, and the scything, the drilling noises, the pummelling low bass that underpins the circling guitar of the last track on their MySpace, Corridors. But really, this feeling is everywhere in Esben'stremulous but ultimately tumultuous siren songs.

"We have tried to combine personal experience and emotion with intriguing stories, concepts and imagery to create something unique," they say.

Sound-wise, Esben hover enigmatically between goth, electronica, trip-hop and post-rock. There are echoes in Davies's impeccably enunciated vocals of Siouxsie's unholy caterwaul. In Fisher and Copeman's by turns soft and stormy instrumental interference of Killing Joke's tribal thunder, there are echoes of Aphex's glitchy gall, of Portishead's serene menace and of the abstract invention of Radiohead circa Kid A. These are quietly disturbing sonic fables with gentle yet portentous intros, middle sections full of rumbling foreboding and crashing, climactic codas. "We're certainly not actively seeking darkness," they declare, interrupting a séance to put the dead into deadpan. "It just appears that some of the more interesting things aren't always particularly well lit …"

Monday, 28 December 2009

Blood Red Shoes

Blood Red Shoes first album, 2008's Box of Secrets was a pretty solid debut album that impressed me throughout but without blowing me away with a singular track that was stunning.

That's about to change because their new track "Colours Fade", the first snippet of their second album (which you can watch below and download for free by going here) is simply bind-blowingly amazing.

The Brighton duo are on tour early 2010 - I have high hopes for the new album...

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Songs of the Decade...

Limited to one song per artist and in no particular order are my songs of the decade, will add some more probably, then maybe order them a little.

1. Pressures ~ Apartment

Rebellion (Lies) ~ Arcade Fire

Munich ~ Editors

Whirring ~ The Joy Formidable

Sometime Around Midnight ~ The Airborne Toxic Event

Mr Brightside ~ The Killers
Waving Flags ~ British Sea Power
Fascination ~ Alphabeat
Sea of Regrets ~ I LIKE TRAINS
La Ritournelle ~ Sébastien Tellier
Charlotte ~ Air Traffic
All My Friends ~ LCD Soundsystem
Bad Cover Version ~ Pulp
Going To A Town ~ Rufus Wainwright
The Past Is A Grotesque Animal ~ Of Montreal
Good Weekend ~ Art Brut
Apply Some Pressure ~ Maximo Park
Back When You Were Good ~ The Hours
Made Up Love Song #43 ~ Guillemots
We Almost Had A Baby ~ Emmy The Great
Christmas TV ~ Slow Club
Everybody's Changing ~ Keane
Fat Children ~ Jarvis Cocker
Fashion Parade ~ Misty's Big Adventure
Guitar ~ Prince
Dead Disco Dancer ~ O Children
Politik ~ Coldplay
No One Knows ~ Queens of the Stone Age
Over & Over ~ Hot Chip
Stockholm Syndrome ~ Muse
Golden Touch ~ Razorlight
Michael ~ Franz Ferdinand
I'm A Pilot ~ Fanfarlo
Evacuate ~ The Boxer Rebellion
Helicopter ~ Bloc Party
Smother + Evil = Hurt ~ The Kissaway Trial
Roscoe ~ Midlake
Forever Lost ~ The Magic Numbers
You! Me! Dancing! ~ Los Campesinos!
Dakota ~ Stereophonics
Hurt ~ Johnny Cash
Reptillia ~ The Strokes
Demons ~ Battle
My Advice Is On Loan ~ The Lodger
Embrace ~ Gravity
Murderer ~ Grammatics
Unspoken ~ Hurts
Science of Silence ~ Richard Ashcroft
Wating Game ~ The Cooper Temple Clause
A Certain Romance ~ Arctic Monkeys
Club Foot ~ Kasabian
A Day Another Day ~ The Strange Death Of Liberal England
The Great Escape ~ We Are Scientists
Young Love ~ Mystery Jets
Deux Ex Machine ~ Pure Reason Revolution
Crazy Beat ~ Blur
Pounding ~ Doves
I Predict A Riot ~ Kaiser Chiefs
Four To The Floor ~ Starsailor
Alsatian ~ White Rose Movement
Neon Jesus ~ Crocodiles
Sing ~ The Dresden Dolls
Runaround Getaround ~ Tim Ten Yen
Death ~ White Lies
Lovers ~ The Tears
Seven Nation Army ~ White Stripes
Run ~ Snow Patrol

Stricken City - New Music "Introducing"

Saw these guys for the first time supporting The Joy Formidable at the Barfly at the Sailor Jerry gig, I was pretty impressed, enough to buy their CD which was released by the fantastic Pure Groove (you can see it here), one to follow.


Saturday, 19 December 2009

Tim Ten Yen

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/timtenyen
Buy : Here

I'll find something for this epically talented man soon, but for now, enjoy this...

This was Tim Ten Yen's debut single: Girl Number One

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

My Year in Lists... 2009

I've already had a crack and my favourite films of the decade... here... that's probably easier than music though, although there are a few things I'd probably change already.
My biggest film advice / learning of 2009 is to write off anything with Kate Winslet in. I'll never get the four hours of my life sat watching The Reader / Revolutionary Road back. Ever.

So 2009, highlights probably the return of Monkey Island on the gaming front, musically I've attempted by own half-arsed lists, my own preferences from what I've been listening to. I'm not really a fan of the lo-fi / folky train of bands that are doing so well at the moment, that probably reflects in these lists. I'll do a top 25 albums of the decade before xmas too.

Okay, enough bullshit:

My Top 25 Albums of the year (2009)
In no particular order but those nearer 1 are better than 25, but actual numbering would change every day.

Editors ~ In This Light and on This Evening

The Joy Formidable ~ A Balloon Called Moaning

The Boxer Rebellion ~ Union

Slow Club ~ Yeah So

The Airborne Toxic Event ~ S/T

Emmy the Great ~ First Love

Fanfarlo ~ Reservoir

The Horrors – Primary Colours

Grammatics – S/T

Jarvis Cocker ~ Further Complications

Franz Ferdinand ~ Tonight

Metric ~ Fantasies

The Joy Formidable ~ First You Have To Get Mad

White Lies ~ To Lose This Life

New Rhodes ~ Everybody Loves A Scene

She Keep Bees ~ Nests

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart ~ S/T

Codes ~ Trees Dream In Algebra

Jeniferver ~ Spring Tides

Manic Street Preachers ~ Journal for Plague Lovers

Gliss ~ Devotion Implosion

Esben and the Witch ~ 33

Crocodile ~ S/T

Loverman ~ Human Nurture

Regina Spektor ~ Far

And also my Top 25 songs of the year;
Again in no particular order but if I were to pick a top ten, those nearer the top of this list would more likely get in.
I've limited this to one track per artist so that it doesn't get a bit silly with Editors / The Joy Formidable whoring!

Will do a mix~tape containing various versions of these songs soon.

Sea of Regrets ~ I LIKE TRAINS
Whirring ~ The Joy Formidable
Papillon ~ Editors
Evacuate ~ The Boxer Rebellion
Death ~ White Lies
When I Go ~ Slow Club
We Almost Had A Baby ~ Emmy The Great
Murderer ~ Grammatics
Sometime Around Midnight ~ The Airborne Toxic Event
Ulysses ~ Franz Ferdinand
Who Can Say ~ The Horrors
Dead Disco Dancer ~ O Children
Crypt Tonight ~ Loverman
I am not a Robot ~ Marina and the Diamonds
The Joys of Finding and Losing That Girl ~ New Rhodes
Velvet ~ The Big Pink
The Walls are Coming Down ~ Fanfarlo
Gimme Sympathy ~ Metric
Contender ~ The Pains of Being Pure at Heat
Salt Air ~ CHEW LiPS
Home ~ Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Sit Down By The Fire ~ The Veils
Sweet Deposition ~ The Temper Trap
Kingdom of Rust ~ Doves
Daniel ~ Bat for Lashes

CHEW LiPS - New Music "Introducing"

London trio CHEW LiPS finally unleash their first offering and, oh boy, was it worth the wait. ‘Solo’ is a melancholy slice of shimmering electronic pop that will get wedged in your brain from first listen, and is quite easily one of the most magnificent debuts we’ll hear all year. Watch this space... (from)

The debut album is due January 2010 and the band go on tour too.

The band say: In support of the album & the new single Play Together we'll be off on our second headline tour in January. We have a new ticket store online today so head over there to get your tickets early.

Here are the dates for your diary:
Jan 16th Oxford / Jericho Tavern
Jan 18th Cardiff / Buffalo Bar
Jan 19th London / Hoxton Hall
Jan 21st Bristol / Start The Bus
Jan 23rd Bournemouth / 60 Million Postcards
Jan 24th Southampton / Hamptons
Jan 26th Glasgow / King Tuts
Jan 27th Edinburgh / Sneaky Pete's
Jan 28th Leeds / A Nation Of Shopkeepers
Jan 29th Liverpool / Club Evol @ Korova
Jan 30th Manchester / Friends of Manchester festival

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

HURTS #2 - "Unspoken" Demo

Two things have happened since I first mentioned Hurts. One, I found a new song and two, they were listed in the shortlist for BBC Sound of 2010 (see here).

A few dates in Feb - I'm intrigued enough to have got a London show ticket - see here for dates.

Anyway, here is the second track. It's called Unspoken, search the tag for the other song, Wonderful Life.

Two tracks in and I am excited by this lot, let's hope more is to come...

The Joy Formidable #2 - Free Christmas Song

GO AND SEE The Joy Formidable on the above tour! It's that Simple really! TICKET LINK

The live CD 'First You Have To Get Mad' has sold out in a week - nice one - it's fucking amazing too.

Being the nice guys that they are you can download a FREE Christmas single (it's the same one as last year hardcore fans) here.

It's called My Beerdrunk Soul is Sadder than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees. So Ho Ho Ho and all that jollyness! :)

Monday, 7 December 2009

Marina and the Diamonds - New Music "Introducing"

Myspace: Go
Pre-Order her debut album (out Feb 2010) here:

A Greek / Welsh singer whom sounds pretty similar to Kate Bush, not normally my cup of tea but I've been very impressed with "Obsessions" and "I am not a Robot", enough to jump on the band wagon, I am sure this lovely little lady will be in the Florence and the Machine / Lady Ga Ga famous stakes by Glastonbury sort of time.

She's welcome around my place if it doesn't quite work out though...