Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Wildbirds & Peacedrums #4 - La Blogotheque & Lexington Live

Watch these:

Take Away Show #110 _ WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Take Away Show #110 _ WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS (outtake) from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Stricken City #3 - New song, new version of Lost Art and Live Dates


I put SC in my "12 best new bands" feature a few weeks back, I'm glad I did because an amazing new song "Losing Colour" turned up on the Stricken City myspace today.

It's basically reduces you to a "fuck me, wow" kind of response. The song is fantastic. Full of Rebekah's syrupy vocals and screeching guitar riffs.
Maybe it's the best thing they've ever done.

A change in direction from the "Songs About People I Know" material, gone are the three minute indie-pop songs (as good as they were on songs like Five Meters Apart and PS), now have a much more mature sound, a much grander one. Here is a stream to listen to:

Monday, 30 August 2010

Caitlin Rose #8 - Bandstand Busking Pics & Green Man Live Download

Bandstand Busking was a great way to spend a sunny Bank Holiday Monday, even better given we got to see Caitlin Rose too. Above are a few pictures. Blogspot is terrible for pictures - it makes my amateur shots look even worse and makes a 2.5 meg photo 150k, if you want the full size pics let me know and I'll sort it out.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Mountain Man #3 - Live at Green Man 2010

Another wonderful picture by Anika in London - visit her site for more / great musical tips and general niceness.


Thursday September 2nd - St Giles Church. Be there - a few tickets left... Cannot wait.

I posted this video on my last Mountain Man love-in, but it's too good to go missed, so watch:

Mountain Man - St. Augustine's Tower from Bella Union on Vimeo.

tooth ache. - New Music "Introducing"


tooth ache. is Alexandria Hall, who hails from Vermont. The debut 7” Skin is out now on Father/Daughter Records b/w Lazarus the 7 inch is strictly limited clear vinyl (400 Copies).

It looks like we can be expecting some great things from Father/Daughter as so far, in my book, they are two-for-two. Following on from the wonderful Family Trees release I mentioned back here.

You can download (for free) the majority of an earlier album from tooth ache. At the artists bandcamp site (link above).
Here is the A-side and another track Eurydice for you to see for yourself:
tooth ache. - Skin by morrisday
tooth ache. - Eurydice by morrisday

Piresian Beach - New Music "Introducing"


"Lo-fi, super fuzzed, psyched out punk from… Hungary? A bit noisey, sometimes a bit bluesy, and always kissed by punk aesthetics, Piresian Beach is FANTASTIC. Jaw droppingly so. With a voice that is rather deep and demanding, I’m an immediate fan".

Listen to Lost below, I like this track a lot:

Piresian Beach - Lost by morrisday

She has seven tracks available at bandcamp. Download them all from free!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Just Music That I Like on facebook

Yeah, I thought it would be a good thing to do, or maybe it's because I don't fancy going to bed just, yet, but as well as the twitter page, I set up a facebook profile for the site.

So if you are the sort who lives on that and would rather get page updates through facebook, than head here a lot. Voila. Trying to work out how to do the direct link at top of page - as yet - no joy!


Artur Dyjecinski - New Music "Introducing"


I meant to do this post just after the CAMP show with Caitlin, but alas time does go too quickly.

I was rather impressed by Artur Dyjecinski, a Polish-Canadian who lives in London town. I've included audio of his final two shows at CAMP show below for you to see why yourself.

These two songs highlight his wonderful baritone voice and country-folk songs very well. ...Buffalo especially just oozes with wondrous sophistication and class.
He'd never done it before? Wow. I can only imagine he'll never not do it again. Truly was a fantastic performance and song, it's truly a beautiful piece.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Wildbirds & Peacedrums #4 - Live at The Lexington Review

Until Thursday whenever I am asked who are the best live act I've seen, I quote either Prince, The Joy Formidable or Editors who never fail to disappoint me.

On Thursday this might just have changed. I was in utter awe at the brilliance of the performance of Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin, Wildbirds & Peacedrums.

I am somewhat of a late comer, only discovering the duo with the release of their Retina EP around May time, therefore this was the first time I'd seen them live. It will not be the last.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Caitlin Rose #7 - Bank Holiday Monday Bandstand Busking + Marc Riley

If you were missing Caitlin, never fear... Bank Holiday Monday Bandstand Busking is here:

"We are very busking again THIS MONDAY with the wonderful Caitlin Rose, plus more acts to be announced.

2:30pm - Chief http://www.myspace.com/chieftheband
3pm - Caitlin Rose http://www.myspace.com/caitlinrosesongs

Stay tuned for further announcements" From: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=109023005821339&ref=ts

So yeah, see you there. If the weather is nice I shall bring my daughter, her first gig at the tender age of two. She'll love it I'm sure - that or she'll be running around annoying everyone, so potentially sorry in advance!

I said her London shows would sell out here, well Brixton has now followed the Slaughtered Lamb show in doing just that.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

HURTS #5 - "Wonderful Life" Single Review

For me it's a great week for music this week. Wildbirds & Peacedrums release "Rivers", Zola Jesus releases "Stridulum II", The Strange Death of Liberal England release their single "Rising Sea" and finally we have the release of the "Wonderful Life" by Hurts.

I first featured "Wonderful Life" back in November 09 so it really has been a long time coming...

Now HURTS get a lot of stick, to be honest I'm not sure why. Maybe because they are signed to a major, maybe because they carry a certain image, or maybe just because one person has done it, so the rest smell a bandwagon. I care not for any of that, I care about the music and to me HURTS are one of the best pop acts about. It's no Lady Ga Ga. This is dark, gloomy, reliving 80's synth-pop.

The songs I've heard are brilliant. "Unspoken", "Blood, Tears & Gold", "Illuminated", "Silver Lining" - it seems the hit singles are ready. I've seen them live three times already and they have a few more too "Sunday" and "Stay" are anthems. I found "Better Than Love" to be an odd choice of first single, it's more dance-oriented and less dark than so many of the others. "Wonderful Life" is the song you would pick to introduce someone to HURTS and for that reason it made sense to start off there.

HURTS exude an embodiment of class rarely seen these days, styled on the Pet Shop Boys it maybe,  but this is music for 2010. Wonderful Life tells the tale of a suicidal man saved by love at first sight on the Severn Bridge. Noirish synths and a huge drum procession erupt into a beautifully melancholy pop chorus with dark lyrics - "Don't let go/ Never give up/ It's such a wonderful life"...

It's backed by the wonderful power ballad "Affair" - listen to that below: Buy it now.


HURTS - Affair by morrisday

See HURTS live too, they have an on-stage Opera singer (honestly) and it really is fantastic...

...and here is that original video to "Wonderful Life"...

Anaïs Mitchell - Hadestown - Where Have I Been?


How in the world had I not so much as heard of Anaïs Mitchell until this weekend past?! I've been somewhat obsessively listening to her folk opera modeled around the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, "Hadestown" since.

It's simply breaktaking - one album I cannot believe I hadn't stumbled across before.
Hadestown is rich, rewarding, moving, and beautiful, a wonderful record - make sure you've listened to it, if like me you've had you head in the sand!

Here's a song off the album to give you an idea of what 'Folk Opera' means:
Anais Mitchell - Way Down Hadestown by morrisday

Anais has a London show (amongst others) on October 15th at The King's Head - another wonderful "The Local" gig; It will be based on her more traditional singer-songwriter material rather than a "Hadestown" show (Can we have that on Leicester Sq soon please) tickets - http://www.wegottickets.com/event/91241

Rather than me stumble together a review, I'll copy (half of) a blog from Anais's myspace where she explains the whole recording process (it's quite long!):

"Hi guys i had to write a little narrative about hadestown for RBR and this new website we're working on, and i thought i would share it here. it actually was even longer-winded than this but the label edited it (lucky for you). enjoy! i am so grateful and proud that this thing is finally coming out march 9th. hooray!

Read the opening paragraphs: HERE


After the second run, there were again a lot of changes I wanted to make. I wanted to go a step further toward fully-realized characters, and a step backward toward the simplicity of the story in the very first show we did. I wanted to let go of some stuff that had never really sat right with me as a lyricist. We talked briefly about trying to mount another run the following year but the consensus seemed to be that to finish the songs, the song-cycle, should be the priority before staging again, and what better motivation to do that than booking studio time to commit the stuff to tape forever and ever? I worked real hard in advance of the recording but it was not as easy as I’d thought it might be to get things to a finished place. It felt a little like doing a crossword puzzle where there’s just a few squares missing, and it can only be one very specific thing. That is, we’d created a world, and now I had to be consistent within it, lyric-wise, music-wise. “Wedding Song,” “Flowers (Eurydice’s Song),” “Nothing Changes,” and “I Raise my Cup” were all new additions. “Wait,” “If It’s True,” and the two “Epics” also underwent major changes. I cut a song that had had a gorgeous score, and one that people were sorry to see let go. It was pretty tough!

But there was a crazy motivating factor, and that was, one by one these guest singers were getting on board. Ani DiFranco was the first, and I owe much of the momentum of the recording to her faith and belief in the project. I don’t think she’d even heard the Persephone songs when she said she’d sing them. That’s brave! Then there was Greg Brown: I’d imagined him singing the Hades part for a long time but still whenever I hear his voice coming in on “Hey, Little Songbird” I laugh for joy. His voice is subterranean, it has strange overtones, I feel it in my belly almost before my ears. He and Ani were both early songwriting heroes of mine. … Then there’s Justin Vernon: That was kind of a cosmic casting situation. Justin and his manager reached out of the blue and asked if I wanted to open the Bon Iver tour of Europe. They’d never met me; they had just heard my record once and liked it, and they thought, Let’s have her open the tour! It’s unthinkable, really. The very first night of the tour, when I heard Justin sing “Stacks” in Newcastle in the UK, my heart exploded; I thought, “He HAS to be Orpheus.” I wrote my manager Slim [Moon] and Todd [Sickafoose] the producer: “He is the Orpheus of the century!” I loved the idea that Orpheus, as a supernatural figure, could sing with many voices at the same time. But I had to have a stern little talk with myself that night; I was like, “This guy doesn’t even know you, and he’s already doing you a huge favor having you on the tour; you can’t ask him right away, you might weird him out, wait till the end of the tour and then see if it’s the right thing to ask him…” But the second night of the tour we were on a ferryboat from Scotland to Norway and I’d had a couple glasses of wine and I couldn’t bear it any longer—I just blurted it all out in a rush: the opera, the record, will you please please please be Orpheus? and Justin just said, “yes.”


The first thing we recorded was Michael’s orchestral arrangements, and it was a powerful thing to hear them in the clarity of the studio rather than the rush of the stage. They positively soared. We recorded them with some incredible musicians mostly from Todd’s Brooklyn scene: Jim Black on drums, Michael of course on guitar and Todd on bass, Josh Roseman on trombone, Marika Hughes on cello, Tanya Kolmanovitch on viola, and at some point Rob Burger popped in and laid down some mind-boggling accordion and piano. We were in a beautiful and expensive studio so we had to act fast to record all twenty tracks or whatever it was. Todd is a great producer, able to hear everything at once, able to know if a take was “there” or not, able to encourage everyone to feel the same things, breathe together, breathe magic into things, even in studio world. He was marvelous in that stressful situation. Then he laid down all sorts of other instruments, sometimes following the notes of Michael’s score but in another “voice” or register, sometimes supporting the score from beneath with a lushness and weirdness. He recorded some very weird stuff: a glass orchestra, a trumpet player who mostly played percussively, and at one point he said something about how he was hunting for “vintage futurism” sounds. “Vintage futurism” is how I had once described the Hadestown story. Together we sorted through the vocals—from New Orleans, Iowa City, Eau Claire, Los Angeles, Vermont—at Todd’s home studio in Carroll Gardens. Todd is patient, totally discerning, and totally open at the same time.


I think it’s safe to say all three of us—Ben, Michael, and I—are pretty influenced by the work of Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill. Brecht seems to approach the same tough theme in Threepenny Opera and Mother Courage: morality ceasing to exist in desperate conditions. “First you must feed us, then we’ll all behave…” “ When the Chips are Down” is really kind of an homage to that idea. “You can have your principles / when you’ve got a bellyful.” To me this is also the whole theme of the Joker in The Dark Knight and maybe the other Batman movies I haven’t seen. The Joker sets up horrific little test scenarios with human subjects to try and prove that people who are scared and desperate will turn on their fellow man. It’s a tough theme because we all recognize that capacity in ourselves—but that’s not all we have a capacity for, as the Joker finds out.

To me the essence of “Why We Build the Wall” is, it’s meant to provoke the question. Take global warming to its terrifying logical conclusion and imagine part of the world becomes uninhabitable and there are masses of hungry poor people looking for higher ground. then imagine you are lucky enough to live in relative wealth and security, though maybe you’ve sacrificed some freedoms to live that way. When the hordes are at the door, who among us would not be behind a big fence? These conditions exist already, but most of us don’t have to acknowledge them in a real way. I really and truly had no specific place in mind when I wrote “Why We Build the Wall.” People often say, “Oh, that’s just like Israel/Palestine, or that’s just like the US/Mexico border,’” and maybe it is, but the song was written more archetypally.

One funny thing is, the first song ideas came as long ago as 2004-5. I didn’t get deep into it till ’06 when we started working on the production, but in any case, the Depression-era stuff was part of the show long before the US economy tanked. I remember Ben and I watching Matewan together to get ideas about poverty, company towns, mining, etc. The whole show became uncannily relevant in the past year or so, which I didn’t expect. When I play Hadestown songs in my own shows, I usually introduce the show as quick as I can saying, “It’s based on the Orpheus myth, and set in a post-apocalyptic American Depression era …” At some point in the past year I noticed people were laughing pretty loud when I said that—it was so close to home!

The real moral of Hadestown to me is, yes, we’re fucked, but we still have to try with all our might. We have to love hard and make beauty in the face of futility. That’s the essence of what Persephone sings at the end of the show: “Some birds sing when the sun shines bright / my praise is not for them, but the one who sings in the dead of night / I raise my cup to him.”

Beach House #2 - New Song and New Tour


Beach House announced a new EP yesterday, don't get too excited, it's an iTunes session featuring six tracks played live as a three piece (the live show has now been expanded to a four piece - I like the sound of that).

One song however is new; "White Moon", sounding very much like an out-take from the Teen Dream sessions, it fits in wonderfully well with the rest of the material on one of this years stand-out albums. Read my review from a while back here.

For now I think the EP is exclusive to US iTunes which isn't too helpful for the rest of us. More where Apple is concerned, there is always some money to be made, so I'm sure we'll see it before too long.
To be honest, I much prefer the Beach House sound on record or live to this iTunes session, check out some previous recordings by searching through the labels.

You can listen to White Moon below:

The expanded band I referred to return to UK shows in November to play the following dates:

Manchester Cathedral (November 19)
Glasgow Oran Mor (20)
London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire (23)
Bristol Trinity (24)
Brighton Concorde 2 (25)

So some nice venues and then Shepherd's Bush - oh well! I already have my ticket so see you there.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Georgia Ruth Williams - New Music "Introducing"


This is just lovely, I came across it tonight, instantly spent the £3.16 on iTunes and have been listening to it since...

I don't really know alot about her, Georgia Ruth Williams is her name, she is Welsh but appears to be based in Brighton, she plays a harp, sings beautifully and she has an EP on iTunes.
That's about it - if you want to fill in the gaps - please do.

Give her a listen: One song via soundcloud below, more on myspace / iTunes (links above)
Georgia Ruth - Anna by morrisday

'Ocean' by Georgia Ruth Williams (2009) from discombobu on Vimeo.

Slow Club #2 - Xmas Show

I'm hoping we'll have some concrete Slow Club news soon, they seem to have quite a few new songs ready, so I'm hopeful that we'll have a new single / album announcement in the not to distant future.

Slow Club are playing Union Chapel on December 22nd - in what is turning into an annual event - last years was lovely - this one will be too - tickets.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Caitlin Rose #6 - Live at Camp Basement Review, 19th August 2010

(Photo by Anika in London)
There were high expectations of Caitlin Rose at Camp Basement yesterday evening. She’s the current darling of this site and her album "Own Side Now" has received overwhelming praise since its release on August 9th, clearly on the verge of big things, it was exciting to see her in an intimate (and somewhat dingy) venue...

First was Artur Dyjecinski who won me over completely with his final two songs “one upbeat, one downbeat”, which were definite highlights of his half hour set. The last song, a wonderful acoustic track with his band singing a capella without instrument especially highlighted Artur’s impressive baritone voice.
The songs were warm country-folk and impressed me. I looked for a CD to pick up afterwards, but couldn’t find one which is a shame.

Next was Caitlin, a large crowd were eager to see her wonderful album translated to a live show. An over-long introduction let slip a few nerves on her first date in the UK since May, Caitlin then introduced her band (no drummer who Caitlin later jokes “I couldn’t afford to bring my drummer, ‘cos he drinks too much”).

From the first notes of "Learnin' to Ride" the crowd lapped up the Nashville singer’s engaging and honest set. Caitlin asked at it's end "That was all right?..." cheers in reply "...then we're good...". Very.
“Own Side” worked wonderfully, as probably my favourite song off the album I was delighted to hear it live and it highlighted Caitlin's amazing voice. The lyrics get me every time “Who's gonna want me when // I'm just somewhere you've been // Who's gonna want me now // and who’s gonna take me home".
Next followed a more stripped down version of “For The Rabbits” than we see on the album, by then the audience (minus a few chatterboxes at the back) were like putty in the hands of Caitlin.

The first up-tempo song “Spare Me” worked wonderfully well, Jordan on bass and backing vocal helping bring out the best in this wonderful track. Jeremy on guitar also takes merit for some lovely solos throughout the set. Another amusing intro “I haven’t talked much, so now I feel like I should” before Caitlin announces she has a “bit of a cold” and launches into one of the set’s highlights “Shanghai Cigarettes” with such splendour that without such a frank admission, I don’t think anyone in the audience would have guessed.

The set closing “Sinful Wishing Well” was a goose bumps moment, such effortless professionalism had most of the room in a flutter, like so many of the audience lapping up every note, I think I fell in love in a shabby Concrete Basement in Old Street. Thanks, Caitlin.

It was a perfect showcase for her album. A truer performer you are unlikely to see, equal parts charming, cute and funny, Caitlin Rose is a star, a minor blip being an over-zealous photographer just in-front of me who must have taken 400 pictures during the first 35 minutes of the set, his constant flash light bouncing off the ceiling and shutter noise must have annoyed everyone around him, and probably Caitlin whom was less than six feet away. There was no way I was going to allow this to detract from this gig though, and it didn't. Majestic.

Caitlin Rose at The CAMP Basement, 19th August 2010 Setlist:

Learnin’ to Ride
Own Side
For The Rabbits
Spare Me
New York City
Shanghai Cigarettes
Sinful Wishing Well

“I’ve got T-Shirts and a cold, so you should probably buy them from someone else” Caitlin said, I did buy one too, before I had to dash off somewhat earlier than I would have liked: Check them out below:

One final quote from Caitlin “Go buy our record, you’ll have so much fun with it”. Do that. Get it here:
Caitlin (and band) are back in London in September, do not miss out.
UK tour dates and tickets are on my last post here and if you haven’t seen it already, check out this informative interview Caitlin was kind enough to talk about her music influences, tastes and more, just for me. Big grin!

Stream "Sinful Wishing Well" Live at CAMP Basement below:
Caitlin Rose - Sinful Wishing Well (Live at CAMP Basement) by morrisday

Mountain Man #2 - Live at St Augustine's Tower

Hmmm, WOW. Check this video out. It's absolutely wonderful:

Mountain Man - St. Augustine's Tower from Bella Union on Vimeo.

Recorded at the St. Augustine's Tower gig just after Glastonbury, I am even more gutted I couldn't get to this now! The three voices are just simply amazing. Mountain Man = swoon.

Make sure you aren't in the same boat and come to their next gig, it's only a few weeks away now. At St Giles-in-the-fields Church in London. Tickets.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Esben and the Witch #2 - New Single and Tour News


Brighton trio Esben and the Witch were in my alternative new bands 2010 post yesterday, today it was annouced they've been signed to the Matador label and are to release a new single on October 10th.

You can pre-order it on the above links and get the mp3's sent to you immediately (well with email response) - do it because this will sell-out pronto.

Marching Song was originally on the demo EP '33', this however is an updated version, and the single comes backed with two brand spanking new B-sides. Whoop.

Esben's music is dark, haunting and frankly amazing.
There's a whole host of US dates. UK dates annouced so far:

NOVEMBER (Tickets)

4 Paris Inrockuptibles @ La Boule Noir
10 London Electrowerkz
11 Manchester Deaf Institute
12 Glasgow Captains Rest
14 Leeds Constellations Festival

Here is the '33' version of "Marching Song"
Esben and the Witch - Marching Song by morrisday

Watch the brilliant video below:

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The Mynabirds #2 - Interview with Laura Burhenn


The next 'Just Music That I Like' interview is with Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds, whose soul-infused indie album 'What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood' is out now.
It's received wonderful reviews and if you haven't heard of Laura or The Mynabirds, don't let them pass you by.

Thanks goes of course, to Laura for taking the time out to answer my questions:

What's the best gig you've attended in recent memory? Or a band that you’ve played with, who impressed you?

We got to open for the very Reverend Al Green a couple of weeks ago and I was absolutely in heaven. Hands down best show I've seen in recent memory -- at least since Sharon Jones last spring. What a legend. And an incredible performer -- even still. He had his gorgeous daughters singing back-ups, these very classy male dancers, he handed out red roses to the ladies in the audience, danced his ass off, gave a brief sermon (we all gave him an "Amen!") and sang like you wouldn't believe. He gave me hope that I've still got room to grow as a performer. I took notes, which I hope to deliver on shortly -- if not 'til I'm just blossoming in my 70s...

Of your own songs, which are you proudest of?

While I'm immensely proud of this collection of Mynabirds songs, I think the best song I ever wrote was "Cake Parade" while I was in Georgie James. It's an anti-war song, but full of nuance and heartache that was written for a high school friend of mine who died in the bombing of the USS Cole. I started writing it over ten years ago, but it wasn't finished 'til I fleshed it out with (former GJ bandmate) John Davis. When it was released in the midst of the Iraq war, as the death tolls on all sides kept rising and the public was getting more and more exhausted by all the costs of war, it seemed to capture a zeitgeist, for sure. I only wish we'd had a chance to play it on late night or something. I always wanted it to reach out and spur some serious conversation.

Which artists do you feel have influenced your work and continue to do so?

Neil Young, Dusty Springfield, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Nina Simone. I love the classics -- especially artists like Neil Young who've made so many great records already, but keep touring, keep reinventing (or being true to) themselves, and who use their music to champion causes greater than themselves. Music is a means of communication -- the deepest, truest communication we have between one another, in my humble opinion. But it can be a vehicle for so much more. I love music as legacy. A lot of the music of the Civil Rights and Vietnam War era is so heavy, so moving. Brilliant documentary put out by PBS a few years back -- "Music of the Civil Rights Era". You watch that and think about the voice music gave an entire movement, a whole generation. That's the sort of music I find most inspiring. I'm also incredibly inspired by artists like David Byrne, Sonic Youth, Carrie Brownstein -- people who are great musicians, but who are also straight up brilliant-minded, multi-dimensional folks who keep stirring up the discourse about just about everything.

Which song do you wish you had written?

Not sure how to answer that question. There are so many greats. But I don't necessarily wish I'd written any of them. Every writer has their time and place. I'm happy to sit back and appreciate. Songs like "Strange Fruit," "Harvest Moon," "Here Comes the Sun," "Just a Little Lovin'" are some of my favorites. I probably wish I'd written that one top ten song that's catchy, thought-provoking, classic, and will help me pay my bills for the rest of my days! Here's hoping it's still somewhere in the cards...

If you were to curate an ATP event, who would you want to invite along?

This might be outside the usual ATP format, but I'd love to throw a dinner party. I'd invite PJ Harvey, Neil Young, David Byrne, Sharon Jones, Rosanne Cash, Al Green, Willie Nelson, Lou Reed, Sonic Youth, Ray Davies, and Carrie Brownstein. And I'd sit with the film crew like a fly on the wall and just marvel at where that conversation would go over courses of some incredibly delicious dinner and fancy desserts. What a bunch of brilliant minds. To have them all in one room discussing whatever their hearts desire would be something to experience, for sure.

Recommend to me, an artist that isn’t getting the attention they deserve.

Richard Swift. Sure his music's out there and he's getting some good attention. But if I had it my way, his songs would be topping the pop charts. And speaking of pop charts -- well, maybe the Top 40's a conversation for a whole other interview... (Up with the artists who've got something good, honest, and relevant to say! Down with the vapid, over-produced, heavily manufactured music that turns a buck and leaves us mentally, socially, and spiritually empty. What people value and throw their money at to support is so often a mystery to me...)


Thank you so much Laura for such thoughtful words and a great insight into your creative process.

Please support The Mynabirds and their record 'What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood'. The album is available in a number of formats directly through their label, the excellent Saddle Creek (BUY).
As I mentioned in my review post, there really is a deal to suit everybody.

Everything you can see in the above picture for just $45. I've worn my Mynabirds grey T-Shirt out in London town a few times already (never seen another one mind!), it's got the wonderful Mynabirds crest on it, and then there really are more extras than you can shake a stick at! Truly Brilliant. Alongside Pledge Music, I think this sort of merchandise deal is the furute on income generation for artists, in a time when Spotify generates something like 0.001 pence per play. Anyway, that's a topic for another day...

The band are on tour throughout the US and Canada in September. Surely worth a visit if they hit your neighbourhood. London please! Go here for a list of the dates.

As I've done with the my other interviews so far, here is a mix-tape of some of the songs Laura mentions, enjoy:
The Mynabirds Mix by morrisday

The Mynabirds - Let The Record Go from Saddle Creek on Vimeo.

Lissie #4 - "Black Cab Sessions" - "Hello" (Lionel Richie) Cover


I've not posted Lissie for a while, not overly sure why.
At the back of my mind I've a doubt that she's another Marina.
We had some initial tracks that were wonderful, then the album came along and it's a little over-produced and some of the initial charm has maybe gone - there is still some great material though: "Little Lovin'", "Everywhere I Go", "Oh Mississippi" etc.
Actually, I think I know what it is. "Cuckoo". It's just a bit naff and a weird choice for the next single in my eyes.

I do prefer the earlier live versions of "In Sleep" and "When I'm Alone" but on the album the still capture a wonderful Pop country vibe.
I do manage to see Lissie twice at Glastonbury, once a short set around a campfire (picture below) and the next day at The Queen's Head (picture left) she was great, truly great. I hope to see her play more acoustic material and hope she lets her voice really shine, it's a wonderful one, without doubt one of those sultry voices that can take your breathe away.
For example - What prompted this post was this:

Lissie from Black Cab Sessions on Vimeo.

If you can't get the video, I'm nice and have cropped the audio for your pleasure:

NME's Best New Bands of 2010 with alternatives

So NME did a list of the "50 Best New Bands" overall it's okay, I'd give it B- and a please try a little harder grade. Some of these artists (The Drums, Marina etc are not new any more) and whilst I know they have to try and get all genres in their lists whereas I tend to sit between Indie-folk - Indie-rock - experimental electro fence some of these bands seem just meh to my ears.

Zola Jesus, Warpaint, Veronica Falls, Sleigh Bells, Summer Camp, Cults, The Middle East and Best Coast all get a look in which is good, although I disagree with the ordering.
Best Coast, however cute and twee are not the best new band of 2010. But I'll leave the numbering at that as I know how subjective it is, my "top ten" lists etc would change on a daily basis.

Some of their choices are just bad though:
Mona - It sounds like Jon Bon Jovi ffs.
Trash Talk - possibly the worst thing since Enter Shakiri.
Cerebral Ballzy - Hmm, what?
I know I shouldn't slate Rap just because I don't like it but Giggs. I think Ryan could do better.

They've done a nice mix where you can listen to a track of each artist:
50 Best New Bands Of 2010 by Tim Chester NME

Okay, so instead of just being English and moaning I'll come up with some alternatives...
Here are some new bands that I think are missing - my criteria of a new band is less than one EP and a couple of singles - if you have a couple of albums, you aren't a new band!

Big buzz around this Husband / Wife duo. Marathon is a tune and a half

I Break Horses:
Bella Union's latest signing, I'm pretty excited. Lush, shoegaze and friggin' awesome spring to mind.

No Joy:
If their debut 7" is anything to go by, their albums is going to be amazing. Shoegaze of the highest order.

Esben and the Witch:
Their long sold out EP 33 is experimental wonderland. Esben play a gig in London 10th November and hopefully new material isn't too far off.

Still Corners:
Their new single is simply fantastic, dreamy and sublime indie-pop.

They have a website now which is going to help them hit the heights.

Stricken City:
Everything they've released is great, new album not too far off. It's about time SC got some notice. The best genuine indie band about at the moment.

Lanterns on the Lake:
Three beautiful single's and some fantastic early demos, Lanterns deserve success.

Let's Buy Happiness:
More female fronted indie-gems.

Void Vision:
If Blade Runner did music, this would be the best music in the world. If the follow up to "In 20 Years" I shall be very, very happy.

Call the Doctor:
Sleater-Kinney by name, and influenced in sound too. Little Bones is just perfect.

Niki and the Dove:
Surprised these didn't make the cut actually as they are getting a bit of NME love at the moment, perhaps saving them for a new to 2011 thing instead.

So that's 12 "new bands" I think should have the attention that being in a list like that of NME's will generate. Who do you think? Let me know in the comments below and I'll give them a listen.

Honourable mentions go to 2:54, Sleep Over, Dunes and more whom I also added, but 12 seems a good number in my opinion.

I almost posted Strange Death of Liberal England but considering they formed and released material in 2005, I thought "new" was a little far-fetched!

Zola Jesus #4 - Stridulum II - Album Review


I've  featured Zola Jesus quite a few times already, but the re-worked EP / LP (whichever you want to call it) is out next week and I got a copy yesterday... here his my album review... Buy it from amazon or Rough Trade (with exclusive mix-tape).

After the release of numerous State-side EP's, 7"s and The Spoils LP this constitutes Zola Jesus' first UK release.
At face value it represents a reworked version of the earlier Stridulum EP with three new songs added to make it a full length (although a short one at circa half an hour). Named Stridulum II it features a reworked cover of Nika Roza Danilova covered in chocolate.

The US will get the three new songs on an EP due out in October through Sacred Bones called Valusia. That release will have two more new songs, being greedy; I wish we had them too!

The most striking difference from the Zola Jesus we saw in The Spoils (and the bulk of Nika's earlier work) is the change from lo-fi, industrial noise Queen with distorted vocal. No longer does the “Zola Jesus” sound characterise the "home recording" essence.
Instead, now we see polished production and (for me) a welcome clarity to Nika's voice. The accessibility this brings, set against undoubtedly "pop" songs will introduce a whole new audience to Nika's exquisite delivery.

"Night", one of the strongest openers of any album in a long time sets the theme perfectly. It's atmospherically a haunting beauty of a song. Exquisite use of synth beats and drumming that will become a highlight of the album, with Nika's classically trained vocal shining throughout. The ominous drama of the song (and throughout the album) sends the song to an epic conclusion. A truly wonderful anthem.

"I Can't Stand" is another highlight, soaring heartfelt vocals with a chorus that could turn up on the next Marina hit-single. “It’s not easy to fall in love / but if you’re lucky you just might find someone /so don’t let it get you down.”... It's Dark and brooding, it’s rhythmic drums only amplify the mood. "I can't stand to see you this way / It's going to be alright" we are repeatedly reminded at the conclusion. I think so too.

"Run Me Out" industrial rhythms make this aching ballad another highlight, such heartfelt pain in Nika’s lyrics, yet the song manages to capture an essence so beautiful all the same. "Manifest Destiny" is another monster of a song. Carrying a sense of foreboding melodrama throughout, "How can we survive..."another towering synthpop anthem for this dark age.

Of the "Bolt-On" tracks, synths take the forefront in "Tower". Blade Runner esque epic-ness spring to my mind. "Sea Talk" (a re-worked song as I've previously discussed) is perfect - it builds up, anthem like with crushing synths looped over its wonderful chorus. "Lipstick" might just be my favourite. Piano led and majestic.
So whilst long-term fans might feel aggrieved at the introduction of just three new songs, to me that's not an issue as Nika has been prolific this past 18 months. The LA Vampires split being released just a few months ago.

Stridulum II is a true work of art. Gothic, dark and atmospheric are all words you are going to see banded around to describe the album. A breaking up / love album for the horror genre. It introduces emotions that the “Twilight” series can only dream of.
Anyone who loves dark-pop, will find something they can connect with here.
The exciting part for me, is that Nika's best work might still be on the horizon.

8.9 / 10

It's not too late to see Nika in the UK in a couple of weeks. She also returns in November as part of the Xiu Xiu / Former Ghosts / Zola Jesus super tour. Dates can be found on my last post here.

Zola Jesus - Sea Talk 2010 by morrisday


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Warpaint #5 - New Album Dated and Tour News

Yay, the Warpaint version of "Ashes to Ashes" was released today. ALL proceeds go to Warchild so please do buy it.
Here's a stream to listen to and then BUY it via iTUNES

Warpaint - Ashes to Ashes by morrisday

It's quite faithful to the Bowie original until the last thirty seconds where we finally see the introduction of the Warpaint vibe.

It's still highly enjoyable and it's for charity and it cost 79p or 99 cents. There is really no excuse.

The girls play CAMP next Thursday 26th before touring the UK at the end of October. Tickets: http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/user?query=search®ion=xxx&category=misc&search=warpaint
Album news is now available: Whoop:

Warpaint will release their debut album, "The Fool", on October 25.
The album features entirely new material and will be released on CD, LP and Download - that's great news!

'Set Your Arms'
'Lissie’s Heart Murmur'

Paper Crows - New Music "Introducing"


This was in my inbox at the weekend. It's nice.

Stand Alight - Paper Crows by Sainted PR

Paper Crows are a new girl/boy duo for which this song "Stand Alight" will be the first single, released 11th October. No link to buy it yet, but will update as soon as there is.
It's a melancholy, slow burning track with a lovely ghostly vocal.
I like it, they have two other tracks on their myspace which are good too.
I'll be keeping my eye on this pair for sure.

London Gig Guide August - September

If I lived in London (which I kinda do!) I'd be going to the following gigs over the next month:

Thursday 19th August 2010: Sam Amidon, Caitlin Rose, Artur Dyjecinski, CAMP £10

CAITLIN ROSE!!! Say no more than that really! Cannot wait for this, limited tickets still left. Caitlin is support so make sure you don't turn up at 10pm.

Friday 20th August 2010: Je Suis Animal with Still Corners and Hong Kong In The 60s at The Drop £5

The only excuse I accept for not being at this gig is being at The Green Man festival, in which case I am jealous. What a line-up that festival has. Still Corners are about to get massive, this is their 7" launch and Je Suis Animal are great too. It's a fiver!

Tuesday 24th August 2010: The Like with Still Corners at Madame JoJo's

So yeah, this hasn't been annouced yet, but it will be. The Like playing a Reading warm-up at Madame JoJo's - check for tickets above and you get to see Still Corners again. Win.

Thursday 26th August 2010: Wildbirds & Peacedrums at The Lexington

SOLD OUT Kiddies, so if you haven't got a ticket, you can go to this one instead: why oh why is this not another day so I can do both!

Warpaint at Camp Basement in London, UK

Wednesday 1st September 2010: Zola Jesus with The Haxan Cloak at CAMP

Zola Jesus in London, yeah. That's all you need to know.
The other gig I'd be going to on this day (Caitlin) is sold out, so you've only got one option.

Thursday 2nd September 2010: Mountain Man at St Giles-in-the-Fields Church

This gig is going to be special, very special. Get to it.

I'm hoping that it's an early curfew (it's in a Church after all) as Stricken City are playing too - it's FREE!:

Monday 6th September 2010: Caitlin Rose at the Brixton Windmill

This will sell out soon, get your tickets now. It's Caitlin. It does involve a trip to Brixton, but C'est La Vie.
Heidi Spencer support will very likely have a page here when I get around to it!

Tuesday 7th September 2010: Zola Jesus at Rough Trade East

Lovely super dooper RT are offering a free instore...

Wednesday 8th September 2010: Fever Ray with Zola Jesus at O2 Academy Brixton

Yeah, this will be good...

Thursday 9th September 2010: Caitlin Rose at Rough Trade East 7pm

Free in-store at RTE, 7pm prompt: Then you have to run to this - literally run to this:

Thursday 9th September 2010: Emily Jane White, Les Shelleys, Lanterns on the Lake, The Slaughtered Lamb

Lanterns on the Lake are a must see so get there early! Emily Jane White will be featured here very soon too!

Monday 13th September 2010: Forest Fire with Anna Calvi at The Borderline

Sunshine City LIVE - yes please. Anna is grand too.

Friday 17th September 2010: Let's Buy Happiness with Escapitsts at Brixton Windmill

Debut London show - get in there. Escapitsts I covered last week, worth a trip to south London on a Friday.

So that's about the next 30 days covered with maybe a few gaps for sleep and new shows to be arranged.
See you there.

Dirty Projectors #3 - New Show Annouced for Koko, London


Hardly a new band, however, for me Dirty Projectors have been a recent enough discovery, you can find a couple of recordings from them by checking the older posts via my labels...

I first saw them at Glastonbury when I was really only familiar with Bitte Orca, the show was fantastic, absolutely amazing. It was a shame they partly clashed with Stevie Wonder and the audience was on the small side, because people who missed it, really did miss out on one of the highlights of the festival.
Since then I've been investigated their somewhat prolific back catalogue. Whilst I think I prefer Bitte Orca as it's probably more accessible, there is lots of great material to be found on Rise Above and The Getty Address (for starters!).

They have an recent-ish EP out with Bjork - Mount Wittenberg Orca - download that at http://www.mountwittenbergorca.com/ - the proceeds all go to charity - to help preserve international marine habitats so get involved.

What prompted this post however, was the news that Dirty Projectors will be returning to the UK to play Koko on Tuesday 7th December. See http://www.atpfestival.com/events/dirtyprojectorskoko.php for details and tickets. Cannot wait to see them again after Glastonbury.  So get tickets and I'll see you near the front.
They are also playing ATP Bowlie 2 curated by Belle and Sebastian the following weekend.

If you are not familiar with Dirty Projectors - here are a couple of starting points. Firstly the amazing "Two Doves"
Dirty - Projectors - Two Doves by morrisday

...and a wonderful video to probably their biggest song to date:

Dirty Projectors "Stillness is the Move" from Monte Lomax on Vimeo.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Sleigh Bells


Sleigh Bells debut album Treats is up their amongst my favourite albums of the year, as I said a few days ago! If not exactly an album to put on to relax too!

It's an intense blitz from start to finish, it's truly a fantastic album. Give it a listen.

Saw them at The Lexington last week, Alexis is one hell of a performer, she blew the place away, her little giggle during Treats was just the icing on the cake.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Still Corners - New Music "introducing"


If you were to look Still Corners up in the dictionary it would say something similar to "beautifully hazy indie-pop gems".
Comparisons to Beach House are immediate with the dreamy, ethereal quality of their tracks.

Their debut EP is almost sold out, so if you want one, get it quick. On sale from Norman Records :

They support the wonderful Je Suis Animal at The Drop (Stoke Newington) Friday 20th August: I tend not to go to gigs on Friday, but I think I might make an exception: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/86363

Here's a reason why I'm excited by this group:

Here's a lovely video for their all-too-fleeting dream of a track“Wish,” released on August 20.

Wish from Still Corners on Vimeo.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Cults - New Music "Introducing"


As normal with these things, it takes me three months to finally listen to something, and by the time I'm a bit late. That's certainly the case with Cults. A Boy/Girl Duo from New York who've caused a bit of a whirl with the powers that be, by all accounts anyway.
Their limited debut 7" is long since sold-out.

An instant review of the wonderful "Go Outside" would have to be glockenspiel-tastic! It really is a gorgeous pop song with a wonderful retro melodic vibe, the b-side Most Wanted is another 60's esque girl-pop song.
I'd say buy it now but it's sold out so instead download all their songs on their bandcamp for free.

You can download another song "Oh My God" by going to the adultswim singles club, yes it's free and it retains the same cute twee vibe although not as instantly "wow" as Go Outside.

Listen to Cults below:

<a href="http://cults.bandcamp.com/album/cults-7">Go Outside by Cults</a>

Here is a video of Go Outiside live (great video but audio not the best):

No Joy - New Music "introducing"


I finally got hold of the No Joy debut 7" today.
I'd been meaning to order it before but I tend to take advantage of Rough Trade's free postage on orders over £40, thus being a tightarse, I waited until I had a batch of things to purchase...

I've been listening to the tracks for a while now, both songs are great. Full of Psychedelic / Shoegaze sounds. No Joy is the song that has me jumping up and down the most of the two - layer upon layer of fuzzy vocals and a thumping frenzy of shredding and feedback. Love it. No Summer slightly more melodic with hushed vocals but with a thunderbolt of an ending. Joyous.

An album is due on Mexican Summer soon-ish. Promising indeed. Very promising, really cannot wait to hear more.
Listen to it:
<a href="http://nojoy.bandcamp.com/album/no-joy">No Summer by No Joy</a>

Best of 2010 So Far - My Favourite 12 Releases of 2010 (to date)

A post I was meant to do at the end of June, finally appears in August. Sounds about right:

I kind of abandoned 'This Month in Music' posts in February, I might bring them back if there is a call for them. Anyway, here is a list of a dozen albums you really should own from 2010, clearly a bit of repetition on some recent posts, for that I can only apologise:

Sleigh Bells: Treats
Listen: http://www.myspace.com/sleighbellsmusic
Previously: http://www.justmusicthatilike.com/search/label/Sleigh%20Bells
My Favourite Tracks: Rill Rill, Infinity Guitars, Tell 'Em

Caitlin Rose: Own Side Now
Listen: http://www.myspace.com/caitlinrosesongs
Previously: http://www.justmusicthatilike.com/search/label/Caitlin%20Rose
My Favourite Tracks: Own Side, For The Rabbits, Sinful Wishing Well

Arcade Fire: The Suburbs
Listen: http://www.myspace.com/arcadefireofficial
Previously: http://www.justmusicthatilike.com/search/label/Arcade%20Fire
My Favourite Tracks: Month of May, Ready to Start, We Used to Wait

The National: High Violet
Listen: www.myspace.com/thenational
Previously: http://www.justmusicthatilike.com/search/label/The%20National
My Favourite Tracks: Bloodbuzz Ohio, Conversation 16, Terrible Love

Mountain Man - Made The Harbor
Listen: www.myspace.com/mountainmansquint
Previously: http://www.justmusicthatilike.com/search/label/Mountain%20Man
My Favourite Tracks: Buffalo, Soft Swin, Babylon

Scary Mansion: Make Me Cry
Listen: www.myspace.com/scarymansion
Previously: http://www.justmusicthatilike.com/search/label/Scary%20Mansion
My Favourite Tracks: Scum Inside, No Law, On My Mind

Holly Miranda - The Magician's Private Library
Listen: http://www.myspace.com/hollymiranda
Previously: http://www.justmusicthatilike.com/search/label/Holly%20Miranda
My Favourite Tracks: Waves, No One Just Is, Joints

Caribou - Swim
Listen: www.myspace.com/cariboumanitoba
Previously: Nada
My Favourite Tracks: Odessa, Sun, Found Out

Gayngs - Relayted
Listen: www.myspace.com/gayngs
Previously: Nada
My Favourite Tracks: Cry, The Gaudy Side of Town, The Walker

Beach House - Teen Dream
Listen: www.myspace.com/beachhousemusic
Previously: http://www.justmusicthatilike.com/search/label/Beach%20House
My Favourite Tracks: Norway, Zebra, Take Care

These New Puritans - Hidden
Listen: www.myspace.com/thesenewpuritans
Previously: http://www.justmusicthatilike.com/search/label/These%20New%20Puritans
My Favourite Tracks: We War War, Hologram, Three Thousand

Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
Listen: www.myspace.com/lauramarling
Previously: http://www.justmusicthatilike.com/search/label/Laura%20Marling
My Favourite Tracks: I Speak Because I Can, Devil's Spoke, Rambling Man

That's my twelve so far. No real order apart from near the top.
One guaranteed entry for the end of year charts will be Wildbirds & Peacedrums 'Rivers' but that isn't out as a full album until August 23rd so I've left it out, for now.
Other candidates from releases I know are due in 2010:
The Joy Formidable - TBC
Zola Jesus - Stridulum II
I LIKE TRAINS - He Who Saw The Deep
Warpaint - TBC
The Strange Death of Liberal England - Drown Your Heart Again
HURTS - Happiness (might be '80's but I love what I've heard).

There are probably some more that I've forgotten too, of course if all else fails, JLS have an album due in time for Christmas!
Yes, one thing for sure (and don't let anyone tell you anything different) is that 2010 has been an amazing year for music