Monday, July 28, 2008

5 Songs with Howling Bells

Howling Bells seem to be on the rise once again. I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely and divine, and surprisingly bouncy, Juanita Stein a few weeks back. It seems the group, back then, where doing the final touches to their new album and things we're "looking good". Being a big fan of their debut release which was two years ago now - time flies - I immediately was looking forward to this. No date has been set yet for the as-yet-titled second album, but surely it can't be too far away. So, for the time being enjoy some b-sides from the group, and like with every artist I interview here's a playlist she has lovingly compiled for everyone on the spot.

Howling Bells Cities Burning Down
Howling Bells Setting Sun

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Crystal Castles Magic Spells
I saw these guys not long ago at Oxford Arts Club in Sydney and thought it was a super energetic and uplifting show. This is the track I'm loving most on their album right now, of course it changes every day though!

Caribou Melody Day
I've been aware of Caribou for a while, but never really indulged until I heard this track faintly on some station recently, it's so wonderfully 60's and melodic. Reminds me of The Turtles 'Happy Together'.

Buddy Holly Dearest
It's on the Juno soundtrack, but cause my beloved played it to me first, it means something extra, extra special. It's really perfect!

Edith Piaf Padam, Padam
La Vie En Rose is surely my favourite film for forever! I adored every second of it and this song imparticular was just such a joyous moment. Her voice on the original recording is astounding!!!

Zombie Zombie A Land Of Renegades
They opened this new Rough Trade store in East London and it really kiks ass. This was one of the albums they had on display everywhere and I'd already heard that their live show is amazing. Anyways, it reminds me of Neu!!! which i luuurrrve. So, this is the track for me.

(James - exaggeration on words and exclamation marks were necessary)

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Children Collide

So, Children Collide are back. And what does this mean? It means right about now I'm pretty much frozen in excitement over what my ears have been witnessing on repeat for the last half an hour. There are multiple reasons as to why I love this band. I completely ignore the fact that people seem to jump on their bandwagon then off again (seriously kids, make up your mind), their as cool as cool comes, their unbelievable live (I don't think I have copped so much of an ear bashing as I have at their concerts), and on top of all this they have a catalogue of music that's exceeds so much past amazing that it's bewildering. The guys can't put a foot wrong in my books, and with their latest single 'Social Currency' being premiered on their Myspace and already clogging up the play count, I don't think they can do wrong with anyone else either. Hopefully people wont forget about these guys now. On top of all this excitement behind a new single, and an album hopefully in the not to distant future, how can one band possibly do better? A tour with the Hoodoo Gurus of course (it's so obvious!). For tour dates check the band's Myspace, below is the single and a b-side to enjoy.

Children Collide Social Currency
Children Collide Hail Good Fellow


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

'Left Behind' by Cansei De Ser Sexy

For a band whose name says they're tired of being sexy, those crazy kids from São Paulo, Brazil are non stop party and we can't help but join along, whether they sing in English, Portugese or absolute gibberish, it'll do, so long as the music keeps running. Wearing shiny bodysuits or covered in fake blood, Cansei De Ser Sexy have a thing or two about expressing their frivolous madness in the most entertaining ways and their upcoming album "Donkey" (released next week, July 21st through Subpop Records and you can pre-order it here) proves that nonetheless. The second single "Left Behind" sees the band lessen their pop side and go more at it, with edgy guitar riffs and feisty vocals. With lyrics like "Full of things I wanna set on fire / I'm gonna get on to the table / And dance my ass off 'til I die / I'm gonna hopefully forget you / And quit those nightmares I've been having", you kind of get the idea that Cansei De Ser Sexy are getting down and serious, leaving behind their playful satircal approach on all things pop culture. But I'm not seeing it, somehow I see they're more manic and eccentric than before. Left Behind video is self made by the band themselves and absolutely absurd and hilarious.

Cansei De Ser Sexy Left Behind

Left Behind single is out now


Monday, July 14, 2008

Nice And Nicely Done

Since the last time I wrote about London-based band Semifinalists on this blog (or let alone a post at all), they released their second record "2" last month. And morphed from a trio into a duo. That's not to say at least, how awesome their latest album is. Sticking to their spaced-out electronic art pop, this one's more funk and synths; mixed tastes of experimental flavours that make you want to...uh watch 80's films about teenage love and do a cheesy dance.

Semifinalists X Song
Semifinalists Odd Situation
Semifinalists Makeout Club

Young and precocious, Laura Marling is an extraordinary singer - songwriter. The austerity and honesty of her lyrics and resonate soft vocals are at the heart of what sounds much so simple, that can be yet so complex and timeless, that of children's nursery rhymes. Without moral lessons, her album Alas I Cannot Swim oversees stories of romance, condemnation of parents and dissillusion of god. Laura Marling will be in Australia very soon playing sold out shows at Splendour In The Grass and her a couple of her own shows.

Laura Marling Crawled Out Of The Sea (Interlude)
Laura Marling You're No God

My most anticipated record release of this year has to be undoubtedly Mystery Jets' Twenty One. Produced by Erol Alkan, the sophomore record is all things fresh and youthful. Inspired by 80's sounds of Aztec Camera, Mystery Jets have adopted for a pop approach. Keeping in joyous harmonies and boundless fun of their music, I couldn't love this band and record any more than I do, other than the fact it has just been released today in Australia and I cannot wait any longer to go down to the record shop and get it.

Mystery Jets Young Love (Featuring Laura Marling)
Mystery Jets Somewhere In My Heart (Aztec Camera cover)

Tap dancing crazed Omaha quintet Tilly And The Wall are back feistier than rather their usual childish sweetness. And whilst there may be this sudden punch of angst to the new songs like their latest single Pot Kettle Black and Blood Flowers, its adds to the new rhythm and upbeat burst of energy through its harsh stomping and shouting. If you're a Tilly And The Wall fan of the previous two albums, then the third record, "O" may come as a surprise. What ever way you interpret that, I'll let you find out for yourselves.

Tilly And The Wall Dust Me Off
Tilly And The Wall Falling Without Knowing

Also linked with Laura Marling and one of my current picks is Londoners and self confessed Wes Anderson fans, Noah And The Whale, who are soon to release their very first record, titled "Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down" next month. A little cute folk twee pop number, full of songs of love and sunshine. Nothing short of singalongs, handclaps and whatever else is fun fun fun, I suppose. Expecting bigger things in future from this band.

Noah And The Whale 5 Years Time
Noah And The Whale 2 Atoms In A Molecule
Noah And The Whale Rocks And Daggers

I'm not sure why I haven't posted anything about POBPAH yet, partly because I'd like to keep them a secret, hold and cuddle them at night in the Winter cold, wishing I was running down rocky jetties at the beach instead. But enough about my woes. It's about jangly guitars, noisy patterned beats and blissful melodies. All sounds familiar? You're not straying too far from post-punk shoegaze bands of The Jesus And Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine.

Tha Pains Of Being Pure At Heart A Teenager In Love
Tha Pains Of Being Pure At Heart This Love Is Fucking Right!
Tha Pains Of Being Pure At Heart Gothenberg Handshake

Tipped to one of the best albums of this year, I couldn't agree further on Fleet Foxes' self titled album, it is superb in its lush instrumentation and vocal harmonies, with tracks like White Winter Hymnal, you just cannot past by without listening. Gospel scores and country folk entwined together to create a realm of musical paradise. Stuck in fields of tall grass beside a flowing river, listening to Fleet Foxes? Sounds rather nice.

Fleet Foxes White Winter Hymnal
Fleet Foxes Ragged Wood
Fleet Foxes Quiet Houses

Another prediction into top albums of the year (I know its only half way), has to be "Visiter" by Californian duo, The Dodos. Intriguied by their pitter patter, clackety clack, frantic finger picking, guitar strumming psych-folk sound; this record fits in perfectly into a year of tribal evocations by Vampire Weekend and Fleet Foxes refreshing sounds. Though can be a little continuous and repetitive at times, I enjoy this album very much.

The Dodos Red And Purple
The Dodos Walking
The Dodos Ashley

Off The Record (July 14th 08).zip
(All MP3s zipped in a file.)


Friday, July 11, 2008

'Mercury' by Bloc Party

I've been away from a computer for last week or so, and to come back from a long disappearance to discover Bloc Party are somewhat back with a brand new single which had me a little gob smacked. I'll come out and say it now, I'm not much of a fan of these guys but in saying that I do own both albums, have seen them live, and on odd occasions maybe found humming, whistling, or in fact singing one of their songs. It's weird relationship I have them; I guess their a guilty pleasure perhaps? Whatever, this is starting to head off track. Mercury is the name of the new single, and it looks like it will be hitting shelves mid-August. From all accounts so far this track has received a lot of mixed reviews, some calling it the worst thing they have ever produced, others calling it masterpiece, and a few claiming it to be a nice step forward in the right direction. I myself would have to agree with the last comment; it is a nice step forward. It's nothing too out there, and still has that signature Bloc Party feel about it. They've stuck to their routine with exuberant instrumentation, catchyness, and the memorable hook. Let me put it harshly, the new Bloc Party is ten times better than that new side-band the guitarist (whose name has completely escaped me) has going.

Bloc Party Mercury


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