Please do not assume the length or the manner of this post reflects the purpose or the brilliance of the artists mentioned. If anything, the collection of these songs I am sharing with you, dear readers, are the most beautiful, creative, and amazing songs that make you think "wow.. music can make everything alright". You know when you get that tingly feeling that doesn't subside until you have listened to the track, about .. 50 times? Well I know these tracks do it for me.
These songs leave me speechless, please also check out the artist's websites for info. Enjoy.
One of the bands I forgot to mention about last year was Swedish sextet indie pop band Lacrosse from Stockholm, when I discovered them on Skatterbrain's top 15 albums of 2007. From looking at the album cover art for This New Year Will Be For You And Me, I had to love this album and it gave me a little inspiration for the current design of the layout of Off The Record. I guess this is a relapse on Swedish pop love; the quirky, oh-so-adorable boy/girl vocals, delightful sounds of jangly guitars and catchy shakes and handclaps. Sharing the sounds of native bands such as The Concretes, I'm From Barcelona and Acid House Kings; Lacrosse, along with their animal hand puppets bring as much joy, charm, awe and enchant to keep you mindlessly dancing when nobody's watching. Young but precocious, their debut album This New Year Will Be For You And Me is all things sweet and bliss you can expect from Scandanavia's revisit of the 60's vocal harmonies and surf pop.
Apart from Japan, I didn’t really cultivate an active interest in what the continent of Asia had to offer, in terms of music, up until only recently. I feel like such a fool for admitting that because I’ve been missing out on a lot of absolute gems. One of these diamonds happens to be Peppertones – a Korean duo who have been rocking it since 2004. Upon first listen to their debut album Colourful Express, I instantly relived old travelling memories of Disneyland. It’s all carefree lightheartedness with occasional shifts to sparks of orchestral enlightenment. It's like Tullycraft and of Montreal had a love child – cute and cheerful electro pop where the optimism never stops to rest. The amount of sanguinity that Peppertones create is pretty hefty - it is perplexing and it incites a rather large amount of curiosity. I would think that this much happiness in a record would obviously veer onto the road of perpetual irritation but I’m always, unabashedly, ready to accept it - it’s an instant pick me up that stays affable. Their new LP New Standard, is out now on Lo-Fi Cavare Sound.
Every now and then I like to make a post giving mention to a local talent who I think will cause a fuss in the not-to-distant future, and from looking back through the archives it's been a while since I've done so. Allow me to introduce Sydney based band 123 Amazing. Now, before you go ahead and make a judgment about the band just from reading their name, hear me out. I too was hesitant, but am now thankful for stumbling across this little band. Immediate reactions was that this four piece was just going to be a complete copy of another fellow Sydney act, Teenagersintokyo, but it wasn't the case at all. Sure, the image may look the same, but as the saying goes you can't judge a book by it's cover. It still has that dance appeal like many new acts before them, and yes okay their sound may not be completely unique, but can you name another band at the moment (or ever for that matter) that is producing beats to perfection the way this is? The two female vocalists, Trish and Vivian, have incredibly, perfected blended voices that accompanies the band's post-punk sort of sound. 123 Amazing is haunted, but in a good way. This is something that's easily enjoyable. At the current stage the group only has a handful of demo's which you can take advantage of over at their Myspace, or you can download my two favorite's 'Automatic' and 'Pressure'.
It was late last year that I made a post about Mercy Arms and exclaiming with so much excitement that these guys were the real deal and a band that everyone must love and adore. Not sure if too many jumped on the bandwagon with me after that post, but you can't blame me for trying. It's now several months later, and although we haven't seen a new release from the guys yet, a couple of brand new song's have appeared on their Myspace as teasers for the album's release. These guys have it all; the look, the live show, and the songs that just capture everything that music means to me (and I'm sure a lot of people). I recently conducted an interview with Julian from the band, and he was was also kind enough to compile a playlist for everyone to love and enjoy. I know I did.
Also, make sure to catch the group on their remaining dates around the East Coast in support of their new songs and limited edition single (which can only be picked up, for free might I add, at their shows).
JULIAN SUDEK OF MERCY ARMS 5 SONGS FOR THE MOMENT.
Portishead Small One of what could have been just about any track off their new record 'Third'. Awesome sounding album, it's almost like Portishead's attempt at doing a Kid A; being the experimental record follow-up.
The Velvet Underground Foggy Notion My favorite of the B-Sides.
My Disco Number Three Heaps of energy, good to see an Australian band trying to push boundries. Track comes off the record 'Paradise' that came out in february this year. Produced by Steve Albini who did Nirvana's 'In Utero'. Rad.
The Kinks Harry Rag It's not that it's my absolute favorite Kinks song, but this shuffley tale of nicotine addiction sounds as if it could easily pass as a primary school song. An amazing example of Ray Davies' wit.
Slowdive Alison It's epic yet hazey, melodic wash makes it the perfect song to finish something off with. Even a list...
What…? Is it 10PM on a Saturday night? Why yes it is. And I, Molly Frances Blain, am home. Maybe I am just a grumpy ol’ woman (I'm only 20! Haha). I just find going out these days to be a total let down. I don’t even begin with hopes to crash. Rather end with an early cab ride home with frivolous conversation with the cab driver. They are always so friendly. "Left here please, right here thank you". You’d be surprised how many cab drivers DON’T have GPS Navigational Systems.
Yes I am blabbering. Sorry, sorry. I will stop now.. Or not. I may insert absolutely hilarious commentary every now and then.
As you may have realised I have not posted in a while. Yes, I slap my hand for you. Naughty Molly. However I do have a bunch of tracks that I KNOW you will love. Today I have found some great tracks in the midst of procrastinating from university projects, studies, yadda yadda. It kept my day moving (however this leather jacket I found today was another ingredient in my ploughing forward through my academic studies, strange huh?).
Gnarls BarkleyGoing On Alright, so as you may have noticed I am not one who will say “_____ is releasing their debut album late May”. I’m not one for informative, uhh information? I may do a little search-er-oo occasionally for the pleasure of my readers – not today, not tonight. This track has been doing the rounds on the blogs worldwide. I am not AT ALL a past Gnarls Barkley fan. This song has made me think otherwise. I very much look forward to hearing the album. From what I’ve heard you can actually listen to the FULL-LENGTH album on Barkley’s MySpace. Guess what fool, it’s BACKWARDS. Haha. Primary OneHold Me Down (Shoes Remix) So this track has been flogged across FBi, and I am sure a few of you have heard it. Despite the almost “saturation of the market” (a marketing term, I am applying my university knowledge into this post, wow), I am still going to share it with you all. It’s an upbeat track that will enable some foot tapping, head bopping movements. Again, a good Gym Playlist track. It gets you going, and KEEPS you going.
Patrick WatsonDrifters Ok, we are going to slow it down ladies and gentlemen. This track is simply orchestrated in harmony with itself, and the lyrics. I received Watson’s album “Close To Paradise”, and instantly fell in love with this track, and “Luscious Life”. The build up in presence and tempo really allows for a powerful song, paired with such a subtle and comforting voice – it really is special. The only thing bad about this song, I can think of; is that I have listened to it far too many times. Those little parts in the track get me every time, right at 3:00 minutes – the effect of his voice through a distorted, almost megaphone like contraption. Purely superb!
The Notwist Boneless I just found this track, within about 30 minutes. I have heard it floating about, yet now I have my little hands … Well, ears, on it. It’s rawness and honesty really allows for the friendliness twanged with sadness to flow through. The traditional instruments of percussion are intertwined with more electronic and technical insertions, which rid this track of any predictability. Pity it only goes for 2:55 minutes.
Bad VeinsFake Baby This track is amazing. It’s so great, and much like FBi’s Dan Zilber explained, this is definitely going to be seen in some episode of Grey’s Anatomy, or perhaps even home-grown Underbelly (wait that’s over.. right?). This song is so wonderful. “I know you would run away with me, you know you can count on me completely. No matter how.. I got you fake baby”. Not much into analysing lyrics too much, nor am I going to start now, however this track really is so almost painfully slow, but this simply adds to the intensity of the tracks. Do enjoy!
Also just a quick note: Check out this Website. It’s amazing, it’s basically an online record label (as the name suggests!), with a whole bunch of great artists: RCRDLBL.COM. Some of the tracks I have posted actually direct you to this website, a few tracks I have myself are from this website – I don’t like to re-host them on my own accord, given it’s their handywork that enabled me to have them!
Until next time...
P.S. Scarlet Johansson’s Tom Waits’ covers aren’t too bad. A little dry and sad, but perhaps she’s channelling Tom Waits?
When Port O'Brien's Van Pierszalowski isn't seafaring on his fishing boat and counterpart Cambria Goodwin isn't baking away sweet cakes, they're sparing some time making music together, combined with the collaborative efforts of Caleb Nichols, Joshua Barnhart and Zebedee Zaitz. Reeling in folk and pop, their sophomore album release "All We Could Do Was Sing" opens with the sing-along anthem and first single "I Woke Up Today". Reworked, it captures joyous celebration of the refreshing feel of the morning rise which then leaves the rest of the album subsiding quickly over to a lonely dark sunset. The record varies from upbeat pop melodies, folk meanderings and raucous rock; and as the band first studio album, its pulled in its effort to formulate this stunning record, which is already on the favourite lists of M. Ward and Tegan & Sara. All We Could Do Was Sing is out in Australia through Dew Process today and the rest of the world on May 13th, whilst at the moment the band are touring North America with another favourite of mine, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.
Bearsuit, sounds like a cute name, they look pretty harmless, but add some raging kids with knives and you've got sound of this six piece band from Norwich, England. Sounds more frightening really. Enter the intergalactic space odyssey of their latest album "OH:IO", where a laser shooter is nothing more than a flute, violin, cornet, keyboard or accordian and aliens are crazy humans in ridiculous costumes. "OH:IO" bursts into stars with its too-cute twee pop, dispersed by electro beats and further imploded by screaming noise. It'd be a black hole of Talulah Gosh, Belle & Sebastian, Deerhoof and Melt Banana; every second vying for a breath of air, competing with each other to take the lead. Quite claustrophobic. With a carousel full of hyperactive dizzy kids, its enough to create a frenzy for this hypnotic noise pop playground adventure. Messy, unconventional and impulsive; Bearsuit's album OH:IO is more inviting than it appears to be. The record is out through Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records.
Bearsuit More Soul Than Wigan CasinoRemoved by request. Bearsuit Dinosaur HeartRemoved by request. Bearsuit Foxy BoxerRemoved by request. Bearsuit Shh Get OutRemoved by request.
Purchase OH:IO and watch More Soul Than Wigan Casino
Over the last three weeks some might have been aware that Speak 'n Spell Records, which is home to Cut Off Your Hands, has been giving away a tracks by the aforementioned band. These aren't exactly sneak peaks for their new album, which apparently is very close to being finished and hopefully released soon-ish, but they are in fact cover versions. I'm a bit half-and-half with covers, for me it really depends on whose doing it and the artist they are covering, but with these three gems that Cut Off Your Hands have put together they turned out to be absolute winners. From the guitar crazy Split Enz cover of 'Shark Attack' to the joyous and fast paced Buzzcocks cover 'I Don't Mind' to the freakishly brilliant Sonic's cover, and live favorite, 'The Witch'. These three covers further prove that Cut Off Your Hands are a unqiue band of our time, and I cannot wait for their debut album to finally hit the shelves.
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.