Monday, 25 January 2010

Beach House


Teen Dream is the third release from Baltimore-based duo Beach House – singer/keyboardist Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally out today in the UK (rough trade LINK)

Zebra the sublime opener sets the tone, gentle electric guitar waltzing in the background whilst vocals ooze over the top. It’s a recipe used throughout the album, never more noticeable than on the second song Silver Soul. Where guitar isn't, gentle shimmering keys lies to complement Legrands exquisite vocals.
The lovely ah ah ah’s at the start of the preceding single Norway lead the album to a new peak. The album throughout is stunningly atmospheric.

Loveliness returns for the last track, Take Care, another song with sweet melody and hypnotic vocal. The soft and slow pace that follows the album will mean it's not for everyone, but for those willing to settle down with a nice cup of warm coffee (or whatever) the enjoyment is theirs to saviour.

This will be an album listened to by those who’ve lost love, are in love and those who just want to listen to a good record. Absolute lush. 8.5 / 10

These New Puritans

Listen: Myspace

These New Puritans are a band I've been familiar with for a few years, I saw them support British Sea Power at Koko, and in all honesty I wasn't totally blown away - a few decent songs was my summation – I’ve certainly matured in my tastes since then and listening back to their debut now, I can see a bit more than "a few decent songs" beyond the obvious grain of Numerology, Colours and Elvis.
It was purely one song that made me go back to TNPS - hearing the epic We Want War (see below) that has been streaming for a while now.
The song is brutal, its beating drum and keyboard work that leads the path to a seven minute tour-de-force that will rank it highly in songs of 2010 threads that are still some months away.

Hidden is an ambitious, experimental indie showing that epitomises what an album is all about - none of this 79 pence a song rubbish here - this is an album that flows from start to finish and for a true experience it's
Attack Music follows We Want War with its relentless almost mechanised drum (sorry) attack amidst drawn swords (seriously). Hologram, a definite stand-out is a somewhat mellower affair, and it works wondrously.
Whilst songs like Orion aren’t as obvious stand-out’s they do a great job of segueing between the albums stand-outs, the last of which is White Chords before 5 ends the album with mainly instrumental wonderings.
I’m never the biggest fan of instrumental tracks, but the ones here as I say, do a great job of bringing the songs together to make a traditional album feel with music that is anything but traditional.

January of 2010 has already proven to be a good start for the year, see my next post for another great album (let's hope it continues)

My advice is simple - Buy Hidden 9/10 - LINK

The video for Elvis off the debut - Beat Pyramid

Friday, 22 January 2010

She Keeps Bees - New Music "Introducing"


Wasn't quite the next post, but close! see post 156 for a link to see them live (via NYC Taper), their other show next week is sold out.

She Keeps Bees are a bass-less boy/girl duo from Brooklyn who play raw, stripped-down blues-rock using a guitar and drums and little else. A couple as well as a musical partnership, they do their recording in their bedroom, in an apartment block with pigeons, with just a computer and a microphone. The girl (Jess) does the gritty, raspy bellowing and the boy (Andy) keeps the beat.

Buy a rough trade exclusive of the album 'Nests' here

"a stunning, raw, sultry and absolutely essential album for those that love the 4 track demos of pj harvey and the early pre-croon of cat power. formed in 2006, brooklyn, she keeps bees are a couple / band you won't want to slap the crap out of. their music is bluesy, but not what you're thinking. jessica sings 'til her stomach hurts while andy holds down the rhythm - lumberjack style. the music is simple, gritty and downright sexy - howlin' wolf and millie jackson to start, but you'll probably hear pj harvey and cat power in there too. this homemade recording keeps it real simple: drums, guitar and little else. we absolutely adore this album. on names".

Dag för Dag - New Music "Introducing"

Dag för Dag are an American-Swedish brother and sister duo - Press Release: “closer than I could ever imagine being to my sister” they’ve been told - and are damn proud of it. Blood is tough, strong, and couldn’t give a fuck about time zones and social codes. Nomadic wanderers living in Greece, Spain, Wisconsin, Honolulu, Stockholm...

Three years ago, Sweden seemed as good a place as any to settle down for a while for Sarah Parthemore Snavely and Jacob Donald Snavely. To share a crows-nest sized room, buy a bicycle, fall from grace, wake up new, pick up a guitar, steal a 4-track, take mercy on an abandoned piano, and get to work. Thus was born Dag för Dag.

The first release ‘Shooting From The Shadows’ EP was released on Saddle Creek Records in May 09 and since then, together with drummer Chuck Bukowski, Dag för Dag have toured raucously with Wolf Parade, Cursive, Lykke Li, Shout Out Louds, Handsome Furs, The Faint and The Kills. Every show an explosion in gold and sweat. A ‘Joy Division chorus’, ‘Kate Bush and Jim Morrison would ride the sea to one of their shanties,”

Now Dag för Dag are fully armed with 5 tracks produced by Richard Swift in their US homeland and 7 tracks produced with Johannes Berglund in their Swedish new land. As a band that lives for the live stage, they had to speak long and hard to the mixing desk, the producers, the microphone and the cavernous walls of dark studios on hot summer days: “please capture the spirit and energy and magic witnessed on stage.” And so, with the help of two very determined recording magicians, Dag för Dag have created ‘Boo’, their very first full-length album. 'Animal' is the first single to be taken from the full length and the band shall be touring extensively in the UK over the coming months. They Play Old Blue Last Old St on 31st Jan with the amazing She Keeps Bees (hmm, next post!) as support, very much worth seeing. Ticket link.

And the video to Animal:

Fyfe Dangerfield

Fyfe Dangerfield, lead singer of the Guillemots released his debut solo CD this weekend, it's probably the first good CD of the 2010, that I've heard anyway.

The fantastic single She Needs Me really put me in a good mood about this and overall it doesn't dissapoint. More reflective and down-tempo than recent Guillemots material - more like their debut EP's - which for me is a good thing, although saying that, maybe another power-pop esque She Needs Me wouldn't have gone a miss.

My other favourites on first few listens are Livewire, a lovely ballad about a failure, as well Barricades.
If you are quick (like me) you can buy a limited double CD / Vinyl edition that comes signed and has TEN bonus tracks not available anywhere else - that's a bit crazy right! Anyway, I've included one of these tracks for you to listen to below - some of these bonus tracks should have found their way onto the release in my opinion. Give it a listen, enjoy and then buy the album, or the deluxe if you are early and lucky enough. Link above.

I saw Fyfe at Scala, London last night, it was a fine evening, he was clearly getting to grips with the songs still himself. It was even more stripped than on the record live, with the exception of a girls aloud cover, call the shots! Anyway enough rambling...

Video to She Needs Me:

Friday, 15 January 2010

HURTS #3 - Blood, Tears & Gold

If you haven't already seen it, there is a new HURTS song about.

It's called Blood, Tears & Gold and you can watch the video below.

If it's going to be released as a single, I can't find any information. Wonderful Life has dropped off their myspace and youtube now too. They are very mysterious these two. It seems they are taking the starve the fans approach rather than give them what they want - music!

Myspace link. Watch:

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Marina & The Diamonds #2 - Hollywood

Today in celebration of Marina and the Diamonds finishing runners-up (Odds on Ellie Goulding to win) in the BBC Sound of 2010 (see here) she released a video of her new Single Hollywood acousitc (well semi acoustic if you ask me!)...

If you are VERY quick, you can order a super dooper limited, 300 copies to be exact (therefore soon to be worth lots) signed vinyl of Hollywood from the best music shop in London, Puregroove.

Here is the video: