So I haven't heard an album from The Apples In Stereo for a long time and it's about time too. The guys are releasing one called "New Magnetic Wonder" on February 7th next year, it'll be their sixth album. There was something about their noisy distorting guitar sounds and psychedelic singalongs that got me into the record "The Discovery Of A World Inside The Moone" and also introduced me to a different direction in music during my early years. Being part of The Elephant Six Collective, gives you an indication of what you'd expect from those bands and The Apples In Stereo are an excellent example (along with the rest who've proved great success). Not only is the record released on Elephant Six but also Yep Roc Records and the actor Elijah Woods' newly formed Simian Records, which would be interesting to see. New Magnetic Wonder has less of those fuzzy guitars but stills holds that noise pop that the guys are renowned for; comparing to their last album Velocity of Sound, you can notice a major change of sound. I guess it's one of those albums that you have to listen to over and over to get into it and once you do, you'll love it.
Possibly one of the most sexiest bands on the world, but then again we can't forget about Death From Above 1979, The Presets are Australia's latest pride and joy. Since releasing their debut album Beams in Australia at the end of 2005 this electronic indie band have had nothing but success. Due to their achievements in the last year the band have managed to score a deal over in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe to have their album released and have supported bands such as Test-Icicles. Their singles Are You The One?,Down Down Down and Girl And The Sea have had major success worldwide. Girl And The Sea even featured on an episode of The OC. Heres a bit of trivia for you all, did you know that in Julians (lead singer/ keyboard player) spare time he is also a conductor and did you also know that he conducted the orchestra that features on the new Sleepy Jackson album, Personality: One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird. I bet you didn't know that, that is unless you own the new Sleepy Jackson album and watched the DVD. Enjoy.
I remember seeing them last month at the Marrickville Festival in Sydney, they're one of my favourite local bands: Dappled Cities Fly (with a new addition to the band, keyboardist Ned Cooke). I can't forget their performance though, that blew me off. Especially with Tim's screams of "Yeow!" and his moves on stage; infectious to witness. (I can recall people dancing along which was just as amusing to watch as watching the band them self.) They played a few new tracks including the new single Fire Fire Fire from the new album Granddance. I can't wait to get my hands on this. The album will be in stores November 11th. I'll leave you guys with two tracks from the record.
Regina Spektor is one of those female singer/songwriter artists that grabs your attention from the moment you hear the first note in her songs. She's pretty, she's funny, and she can put together some real nice pop tunes, and thats exactly what her new album Begin To Hope is. It's fun from start to finish and she'll leave you humming songs to yourself for the next couple of days.
Oh. My. God! Sarah Blasko's new album, What The Sea Wants, The Sea Will Have, is the best thing to happen all year. I was in the city of Melbourne on Sunday to go meet the lovely (and might I say gorgeous) Sarah who was doing an instore appearance and signing cd's. If you'd like to know how it went you can read the blog on my Myspace here. I'll tell you a secret, she gives the best hugs. What The Sea Wants... is a step up from her debut. It's more poppy and a whole lot deeper. It's stunning, excellent, brilliant, captivating, and almost any other emotion you can think of. If your not a fan already, you're crazy. She's one in a million.
Oh, Elliott Smith. I would pick something more light-hearted and upbeat to listen to for the weekend but it's been exactly 3 years since this man left us, so let's take a moment to appreciate his contributions to the world of music. Few have been able to capture sorrow and beauty and translate it into music as eloquently as he did. Rest in peace, Elliott. On another note, I apologize for the lack of updates on my part but I'm sure there's nothing to worry about as you readers are in the good hands of James and Sandra. :)
Quirky electro-clash punk folk rock/pop, without the electro-clash part is the style defined when it comes to Laura Imbruglia. The name sounds familiar doesn't it? Your right, she is Natalie's younger sister but what sets them apart is Laura's music is something she likes to muck around with, her sense of humour especially in a song like "Don’t Stray From My Site". Where she sings "Email lover, don’t stray from my site. Be the server to my heart. Let’s make megabytes of love. Yahoo! We're compatible." Laura has been around the music scene for quite some time, released an EP with Mr Hollow Body back in 2003 and toured with some big known acts such as The Eels, Tegan & Sara, M. Ward, The Church, Dappled Cities Fly and Beth Orton to name a few. For a while she's been working hard for the release of her debut self-titled album just out last Saturday through Chatterbox Records. She'll be playing five east coast shows in Australia for the next few weeks. For details and more songs to listen to, visit her Myspace.
I heard about Foward, Russia through The Scare's Myspace page (which whom they were touring with in the UK at that time). I'm glad I did discover them, they are much like The Scare, with the whole electronic screaming hardcore rock thing going on. I can see this band going places definately. With dates already lined up for the UK, USA, and pretty much everywhere else in the world. I think Australia should see a visit from these guys soon, they'd be amazing.
Half-Handed Cloud is an interesting side of John Ringhofer. From the days of his former band The Wookieback playing about space, robots and childhood heroes; Ringhofer incorporates that in another way involving Sunday services. Now I'm not going to go into Biblical terms but the humour put towards his music. His tracks are re-telling Biblical tales; the ones that you would find dark and disturbing. These stories, and the kind that makes you wonder how you ever forgot them, but Ringhofer makes it more odd in his weird way. Ringhofer meshes this in his ever-so-many-instruments by one guy I've ever seen. He's the imaginative type that would ask "What does an air conditioner sound like backwards?" His change of direction of music from playing the trombone at the age of 10 to the guitar was his interpretation of creating something diverse that would strangely develop into this child like folk-pop band. Being on the same record label as Sufjan Stevens, you could see some similarities. Ringhofer was a touring member of his band. Half-Handed Cloud is all about interpretations in John Ringhofer's weird way.
Darren Hanlon, Australia's answer to Colin Meloy? I'd like to say so. Last week I was given two of his past albums 2002's "Hello Stranger" and 2005's "Little Chills"; to listen to them both, since someone thought I might like it and I actually do. So much I went to look myself for the new album "Fingertips And Mountaintops" just released earlier this month. Why I say Colin Meloy? Singer/songwriter likewise, their lyrics of story telling blended within folk-pop and folk-rock music. Hanlon delivers uplifting songs that just make you want to sit on the floor and listen to him talk all day and maybe all he wants to tell us is that there aren't enough songs about his favourite game of squash, either way he always has a remarkable way of putting it through his music. Hanlon has worked with The Lucksmiths, The Deerhunters, and Mick Thomas as well as his former band The Simpletons throughout the 90's before setting foot on his solo career back in 1999 with his first extended play "Early Days" the following year. Since then he has continued to release countless of records; each and every one of them, well appreciated. He'll be touring around Australia in the next few weeks.
I don't think there is anyone in the world that is as creative as Luke Steele. Everything he seems to come up with in his songs is just pure genius. Since the release of The Sleepy Jackson's debut album, Lovers, a lot of things haven't quite gone Luke's way. He had three members who left the band and went on to create End Of Fashion, he started getting throat illnesses, and he was under the pressure of coming up with a second album that had to be better than the worst (a band's worst nightmare!). Personality: One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird, is what Luke and fellow sidekick Malcolm Clark have managed to come up. A pop friendly album from start to finish but the added crazyness of a 20-piece-orchestra. This record has proved many things. He managed to shut critics up (who were saying he'd never be able to do a better record then Lovers), he's proven that he is way more wacky then people thought, and now he's live shows are going to be really interesting. Good thing I'm going to the Big Day Out next year.
Okay so I'm a bit slow on this one but I managed to pull myself together and get a copy of Camera Obscura's record "Let's Get Out Of This Country" and let me say that I should have gotten it earlier. After hearing the first single as well as the first track off the album "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" I was immediately caught by the album's catchiness of Tracyanne Campbell's absurd tribute to Lloyd Cole; especially in the line of "I know you can stay a girl by holding a boy's hand". The record also features of couple more tributes to Jimmy Webb, Connie Francis, Skeeter Davis, The Supremes, and David Lynch. After the success of the 2003 album "Underachievers Please Try Harder", the new one is set to follow and I'm thinking it may be bigger than the last by the look of things. They're extensively touring throughout Europe and the U.S up until December. They're coming to Australia for the St Jerome's Laneway Festival in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in February/March 2007 but unfortunately it's over 18's but I will try to seek to some of their own shows if possible. I'll probably have to beg them to play other shows. Camera Obscura have been often compared to Belle And Sebastian, only on the basis they are both from Glasgow Scotland. This is definetly one of my favourite albums so far this year. To put it to words I'd say it's charming and enticing. If you like that folky twee pop, you'd enjoy this as much as I do.
Amongst the thriving local bands from Sheffield, England such as Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, 65daysofstatic, Milburn and Little Man Tate; there is my favourite without a doubt The Long Blondes. 5 people running into each other at libraries, thrift stores and night clubs; then with their same interests of music started a band and teaching themselves to play instruments. It has finally come for them to release their debut album "Someone To Drive You Home", after releasing six hit singles such as "Autonomy Boy", "New Idols", "Giddy Stratospheres", "Appropriation (By Any Other Name)", "Separated By Motorways" and "Weekend Without Makeup". The single to open up the album is my favourite song "Once And Never Again" which is due out October 23rd and is tipped to be a chart topper for these guys. Their album will follow on November 9th via Rough Trade records. Features few of their old singles and bsides from them as well as new tracks all re-recorded.
Blood Brothers are back! You have no idea how long I have been patiently waiting for their new album. I have been in so much anticipation that when I went to my local record store today to pick up a copy I was trembling. On first listen I wasn't sucked in, I wasn't really with it. But I've given it a few goes now and its just great, fantastic, excellent, one of the best records I've heard all year (I seem to say that a lot). Fingers crossed for an Australian tour soon.
EDIT: It has come to my attention that the files Off The Record have been putting up for download over the last week or so have not been downloading properly. I have looked into this and discovered it is actually not Off The Record's fault, it is actually Send Space's fault. So, from now on I don't think we will be choosing to use Send Space to upload files anymore, we will have to go with an alternative. To make matters worse, I am unable to upload the songs again for I have dial-up internet and it would take a lot of hours to upload them. Sorry for any problems this may have caused to frustrated readers.
Theres nothing really to say about Xiu Xiu's new release, The Air Force, besides the fact that it is so freaky! It doesn't freak you out to the fact that you can't listen to it anymore but it certainly does send some chills up your spine. To be honest, The Air Force is my first Xiu Xiu record and I can tell you now, I am officially hooked on these guys.
Possibly an Album of the Year contender, Amusement Parks On Fire's latest release Out Of The Angeles is one spaced out atmospheric ride. With songs averaging 6 or so minutes and the album reaching just over an hour, this is the perfect CD to just have a lie down and take a breather.
If I was to ask you who the sexiest man in music was, who would be your answer? If you were to say Jesse F. Keeler (the one with the stylish mustache), then I would say you're absolutely correct. I had the pleasure of asking Jesse the Quickie questions a couple of days ago and all I can say is, he is one hell of a gentleman.
So what's the new Of Montreal's record "Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?" sound like? More upbeat and danceable but still enjoyable. I don't think they have at least one dud album out of all the eight albums including the yet to be released in 2007 record. I've got already got some favourite tracks including "Bunny Ain't No Kind Of Rider" which Kevin Barnes sings out "To me you're just some faggy girl and I need a lover with soul power. No you ain't got no soul power" and "She's A Rejector". This album is full of catchy tunes, Of Montreal continue to deliver. I have a feeling this band will stick around for a very long time perhaps forever. The album is scheduled to be released January 23rd, 2007. Until then here's a taste test of two of the songs I mentioned as well as some old favourites.
Just because I'm feeling really generous today, heres a few selected mp3's that I have been listening to over the past week or so. Get them whilst you can because some of the links will be taken down or broken soon.
MP3s are for sampling purposes only.
Please buy the album if you like what you hear.
If you have a complaint about the ownership of a track,
please contact either one of us and we will be happy to take it down ASAP.