Friday, January 25, 2008

Say Goodbye To That Little Tree Boy.

So, with Sandra's big Summer-break comeback post creating havoc internet wide, I thought it might be time for me to join in on the fun. Having had, I think, a well deserved break from anything internet related, it was now a good time (considering I'm back at school next week) to get back in the swing of things as a whole new swag of releases are beginning to pop up and tickle my fancy. Let's begin shall we.

Welcome to Dev Hynes (Test Icicles fame) latest project, Lightspeed Champion. Dev has been at this undertaking for some time and it's only now, with the release of his debut album 'Falling Off The Lavender Bridge', that his getting the well deserved attention he very much deserves. Taking a complete different path to that of his last band, Test Icicles, Lightspeed Champion has dropped some tunes of wit and emotion filled folk. This puts a smile on my face with every listen and no doubting it would with you too.

Lightspeed Champion Tell Me What It's Worth
Lightspeed Champion Dry Lips

Blood Red Shoes are back in the limelight once again, but with them this time a debut album. The album, titled 'Box Of Secrets', isn't due to next month (February 6th to be exact), but I couldn't help myself with these guys. The duo have produced an absolute stunner of gritty modern era rock and roll, with sweet but dirty vocals coming from one Laura-Mary Carter.

Blood Red Shoes It Doesn't Matter Much
Blood Red Shoes ADHD
Blood Red Shoes Forgive Nothing
Blood Red Shoes You Bring Me Down

This band I have followed from the very beginning and now with their fourth release, I think they've finally reached a place their comfortable at. I am talking of course about The Mars Volta, a band that's not afraid to push the boundaries and continuously do so with each release. 'The Bedlam In Goliath' is a far more aggressive and right in your face masterpiece that exceeds far past anyone's expectations.

The Mars Volta Goliath
The Mars Volta Wax Simulacra
The Mars Volta Cavalettas

Jason Collett is a real quiet achiever, his music is simple, but intelligently written and performed, with veins of early Neil Young mixed with the modern day Dylan. Jason's new album, 'Here's To Being Here', is a well spaced album with familiar likings and tunes of delight that'll even bring the most snobbish towards this genre coming back for more.

Jason Collett Roll On Oblivion
Jason Collett Somehow
Jason Collett Through The Nights These Days
Jason Collett Out Of Time

Hot Chip had a lot of pressure on their shoulders after their well-acclaimed and everybody favorite album, 'The Warning', and I think now with their next release just around the corner their going to once again stun critics worldwide. 'In The Dark' is something we really couldn't expect more from these guys, it's brilliant in every way shape or form. It craves repeated listens and is completely mind-bending.

Hot Chip Out At The Picture
Hot Chip Ready For The Floor
Hot Chip Touch Too Much

Black Mountain have risen right up there as one of my favorite artist. After being introduced to their debut way too late, I was quick to grab a hold of a leaked version (I know, naughty) of their latest album 'In The Future' a couple of months back. I have to say right now, this album is going to be huge, just absolutely huge. It's going to put these guys a place that they've never been before and it's going to blow minds everywhere. Bridging together influences from all directions, this is an absolute sublime record.

Black Mountain Tyrants
Black Mountain Queens Will Play

I do know why people say this, but apparently if you like of Montreal well then you must like Xiu Xiu. With me, that's not that case at all. To be honest, of Montreal scare me whereas Xiu Xiu (for some reason) don't. Now back with, soon, with their new release 'Women As Lovers' this duo are going to further confuse their listeners with their experimental pop. Hands up, who didn't see the cover of 'Under Pressure' coming? Seriously, that came from no where, but a damn fine cover it is indeed.

Xiu Xiu I Do What I Want When I Want
Xiu Xiu Under Pressure (feat. Michael Gira)

There's something about Cat Power that makes me keep coming back. With every release she's maturing and it's noticable, and to some people that seems to be a real put off and I can see why, but there's just too much to love about Chan that makes me want to stay. With 'Jukebox' now out an about and creating mix raves, Cat Power is back to dominant the music world and turn heads once again.

Cat Power Silver Stallion
Cat Power Aretha, Sing Be In
Cat Power Blue

I think everyone's favorite EP of last year was delivered by latest blog favorites Beach House, and now, having been quiet for the last half of 2007, are about to drop their debut album 'Devotion'. It's very much what you might come to suspect of the band, but you really can't dismiss this record, it's something quite spectacular and worth indulging into. There's a lot of hype surrounding the band at the moment and I think they have released something that will exceed expectations.

Beach House Gila
Beach House D.A.R.L.I.N.G.

Probably the most talked about British band of 2007, Los Campesinos! are releasing their debut release and boy are they going to make a big impression with it. A lot of people have already become familiar with half the tracklisting through previous single releases, but a majority of the new tunes featured are seriously going to put a big fat smile on all those indie-pop fans out there, I know it did on mine.

Los Campesinos! Knee Deep At ATP
Los Campesinos! Drop It Doe Eyes
Los Campesinos! Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Between Hello And Goodbye

This is a big comeback post for the big break from me, not to mention another layout change (unfortunately the temporary previous one that lasted for less than two weeks failed to maintain interest with its overall busy-ness). So, I'm sure we're all gearing up for another big year which has got me excited for the upcoming gigs, festivals and albums in the making. This post is filled with a mixture of what I left out last year and new music to look out for this year, I guess a little transition to and fro to help kick off January and 2008.

(Version 1: October 2006 - December 2007) & (Version 2: January 2008)

It's been on repeat for me as one of my current picks and what a fantastic time to crawl into the mid-summer. Black Kids sound like that band who should be on the playlist of every party; equally big and fun. Bridging between Arcade Fire, The Go! Team, Love Is All, The Cure and My Bloody Valentine, which has been mentioned by pretty much everywhere on this blogosphere and music magazines. You can get your ears around the debut self released EP "Wizard Of Ahhhs" for free on their website ( or HERE.

Black Kids Love Me Already
Black Kids I've Underestimated My Charm (Again)

Performing in Australia for the Big Day Out festival this week, Kate Nash is the adorable singer-songwriter from London, UK, whose done herself well into a number one album for her début titled "Made Of Bricks". It's comparable to Lily Allen's humorous story telling lyrics and thick British accent along with Regina Spektor's musical talent. I can't help include these covers of Arctic Monkeys and Black Kids below, they're really good!

Kate Nash Foundations
Kate Nash Fluorescent Adolescent (Arctic Monkeys Cover)
Kate Nash I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend... (Black Kids Cover)

A colourful fusion power-pop and thrashy art rock on a small theatrical stage with as many props is how this young Canadian band from Toronto perform, which is more like a musical circus than any sort of gig really. With folk musicians as parents, these kids draw from a range of influences from folk, punk, grunge, motown to hip hop. I'm not sure where its going with that but they sure have an interesting blend. More people should know about Spiral Beach! Their sophomore album "Ball" is available through Amazon.

Spiral Beach Made Of Stone
Spiral Beach Kind Of Beast

I've already put their album at number 2 for my top list last month and its another current pick but the whole world needs more of Vampire Weekend! Tropical afro-pop from New York, catchy as they are delightful and intelligent, the self titled album swings by XL Recordings through Remote Control Records in Australia this Saturday (Australia Day), 26th January. I hope to see more of this band, perhaps a tour sometime.

Vampire Weekend Mansard Roof
Vampire Weekend Oxford Comma
Vampire Weekend Daytrotter Sessions

One of bands I never to got to mention last year was My Teenage Stride from New York, similar to The Smiths, New Order, Orange Juice and The Go-Betweens; its melancholic shoegaze C86-like lo-fi indie pop with resemblance to those jangly guitars of the 80's new wave sounds that retain persistent rhythm and melody. Provoking nostalgia found now only in old films and records, the band capture its perfect scenes and moments.

My Teenage Stride To Live And Die In The Airport Lounge
My Teenage Stride Ears Like Golden Bats
My Teenage Stride Heartless & Cruel

Sir Salvatore are a four piece band from the sunny shores of San Francisco, California who've just released their second EP "Continental Breakfast", an enjoyable and upbeat indie rock record that reminds me of Pavement and Apples In Stereo, which is always a good thing bringing warmth and familiarity.

Sir Salvatore Ambalina
Sir Salvatore Townies
Sir Salvatore Hooray For This Projector
Sir Salvatore Public Key

Fresh from the mail box (thanks to the people at Sydney label Private Practice Records and distribution by Inertia) is Peregrine, who are quite a catch, their music is "emotionally intense" rockabilly blues with strong nods to Gomez, You Am I and The Pictures. Equally combining soul sensitivity and pop sensibility for subtle tenderness towards displeasures making it exquisite as it is carefully refined likeable to commercial easy listening.

Peregrine The Good Ship
Peregrine Dear John Letter
Peregrine Close Your Eyes

Yes, be your own PET are back and no, they haven't grown up (just yet). "Get Awkward", its called and by the sounds of it so far, its all mess and young fun as we all remembered it to be, where adventures have turned into food fights, its all about causing damage and getting awkward(?) Second album is due out mid (17/18) March.

be your own PET Black Hole
be your own PET Food Fight
be your own PET The Kelley Affair
be your own PET Super Soaked


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Knife Machine

Knife Machine is DJ and production duo of Jono Ma and Pat Santamaria, of Sydney indie electronic band the Lost Valentinos. Recently they have been quite prolific with their work. with recent remixes of Bloc Party,Soft Tigers, Teenagersintokyo and their own band, the Lost Valentinos.

Their remix of Bloc Party's Prayer is pretty impressive. Turning the worst Bloc Party song to date into an Ed Banger inspired dark maelstrom of techno infused post punk.

Bloc Party Prayer (Knife Machine Remix)

PS How cool is the new look?


Saturday, January 12, 2008


First off, I think I should mention, on behalf of everyone else writing for Off The Record, we are deeply sorry for the lack of posts as of recent. I don't think neither of us expected to just stop over the summer break, but I think we all needed it for one reason or another. One thing has changed over the three week leave and that is the template, which you can all thank Sandra for once again. Now, let's get back to it.

If you had of come up to me a week ago and asked me if I'd heard of MGMT I probably would have laughed at you and ask "MG who?", but like most musical acts I question nowadays it comes back and bites me in the backside. A couple of nights ago, and I can't believe I'm about to admit this, I was watching David Letterman and he had this Brooklyn based band on at the end of his show (which featured some stella comedic genius from everybody's favourite human being, Tom Hanks) performing their brand new single 'Time To Pretend'. At first I was contemplating whether or not I should somehow force my body to get up and leave, but when MGMT took that tiny stage, in capes might I add, and started performing their song, that was it. It took maybe 5 seconds for me to slap myself across the face and abusive myself from inside.

'Oracular Spectacular' is the name of MGMT's debut album and not only does it stand and deliver some of the most experimental pop music ever heard to mankind, it's a psychedelic party starter. I don't know where their influences are drawn from, but they like a love-child of Wayne Coyne and Kevin Barnes. What these guys are trying to do remains a mystery, I just hope and pray that this "nu-rave" scene doesn't take this band whole like many bands before them.

MGMT 'Time To Pretend
MGMT Electric Feel
MGMT The Handshake

Purchase Oracular Spectacular and watch Time To Pretend (Live On Letterman)
Click to Purcahse 'Oracular Spectacular' from Amazon

Coming soon, songs that kept me sane during my three week break.


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