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.)


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