Thursday 18 December 2014
Wednesday 17 December 2014
Once again I round up the best and worst tracks of the week. None of its particularly Christmassy, which is a pity given the time of year, but whatever. DEAL WITH IT.
Tuesday 16 December 2014
Friday 12 December 2014
I've listened to a helluva lot of albums this year. As per usual, I'm going to list my favourites, because lists are fun. Feel free to tell me your favourite albums too (not that I care about your opinion because my opinion is the best!). Diehard listophiles can also hit the following links to check out my 2013 and 2012 lists.
Wednesday 10 December 2014
BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 10/12/2014: Frank Ocean, The Vengaboys, Earl Sweatshirt and more...
'Running Behind' - Holy Child
I’ve got a soft spot for these cheeky, buoyant female pop singers. Holy Child, Charlie XCX and modern Taylor Swift seem to be bringing back that girl power rebelliousness that pop’s been missing since the Spice Girls. Out of the three, this Cali duo definitely go for the less commercial/more interesting instrumentals. The marching band 808 snares in this track give it an awesome primal feel.
'Saturn Pulls Me Apart (Death of the Unconquerable Night)' - A Sunny Day in Glasgow
Buried under a wall of trippy synths, I was just able to make out the word ‘Christmas’ around the two minute mark, so I guess this is a Christmas song, although you wouldn’t automatically assume it given the style of music and the psychedelic track title. I doubt this will be this year's Christmas number one, but its still pretty interesting. A great song for anyone planning to spike this year's turkey with LSD.
'Knucklehead' – Lil Herb feat. Earl Sweatshirt
Definitely an unlikely pairing, but one that’s worked out pretty nicely. Chicago rapper, Lil Herb, abandons the thuggish, ‘knuckle-headed’ lyrics and run-of-the-mill trap beats he’s used to and jumps on this mellow piano instrumental produced by Earl. Loving those jazzy chords!
'Fantasy' - Ricoshëi
LA electronic duo, Ricoshëi, drop this laid back track featuring tropical xylophones, a smooth house beat and sensual male vocals. I’m digging the chilled-out beach bar vibe. Whatever genre this is, I want to hear more of it.
'Memrise' - Frank Ocean
This is more of a lo-fi teaser than an official track, but its proof enough to reassure us that Frank Ocean is back and sounding just as soulful.
'Where Did My Xmas Tree Go?' - The Vengaboys
This comeback single from cheesy 90s pop band, The Vengaboys, isn’t as charming as I hoped it might be. The lyrics for one are surprisingly non-jovial for a xmas song: ‘Woke up this morning all me friends were gone/ Because they didn’t get to eat’ and ‘My Uncle John just passed away’. Add on top the fact that it sounds as if their Christmas tree has been stolen and it swiftly turns out that this is really quite the depressant. STOP BEING SUCH SCROOGES VENGABOYS! YOU’RE RUINING MY CHRISTMAS!
Saturday 6 December 2014
Wednesday 3 December 2014
BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 03/12/2014: St. Vincent, Little Boots, Chance the Rapper and more…
I tried my hardest this week to find some shit music to pull apart but came back from my internet travels empty-handed. As a result, it’s all gems this week – no junk. This of course is no bad thing. Feast your ears on these killer tracks!
Monday 1 December 2014
Massachusetts six-piece, Bent Knee, are the type of bananas band that likes to dabble in every genre going. These type of bands don’t come along very often, and for a weirdness-worshipper like myself who adores the Frank Zappas and Mr. Bungles of the world its always exciting when they do.
Friday 28 November 2014
Patience is a virtue that I sadly don’t have. Whilst I can see the appeal of atmospheric electronic musicians like Jon Hopkins and the Haxan Cloak, I often find myself clockwatching during the big long build-ups. An artist like loopy French house producer, Mr. Oizo, is much more up my street. He doesn’t allow time to breath, let alone check a watch. Employing AD/HD pacing, he cuts out the foreplay and assaults the listener from the off.
Thursday 27 November 2014
You can always tell a Machine Head track from a number of motifs – namely lots of harmonic notes, lots of beastly grooves and lots of blood-pumping sing-growling courtesy of Rob Flynn. Over time, the Oakland metalheads have also brought in a number of new stylistic features. The Blackening saw them garnering more progressiveness and old-skool thrashiness, whilst The Locust introduced orchestral strings and more symphonic tracks.
Wednesday 26 November 2014
It’s comeback week. Wu-Tang Clan, Faith No More, AC/DC and Gwen Stefani have all returned with new singles. As usual, I divide the good’uns and bad’uns. Is bad’un even a word? Too late, I’ve typed it out now, there’s no going back...
Tuesday 25 November 2014
Whilst the rest of the southern rap scene have been getting busy riding throwaway trap beats and dropping throwaway punchlines, Big K.R.I.T has been steadily moving away and sculpting his own much more original and quite possibly influential sound. He’s always been a standout character in deep south hip hop, mainly down to his speedily tight and acrobatic flows. He can jump around any beat at any tempo he likes and still perfectly articulate every word.
Wednesday 19 November 2014
BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 19/11/2014: Dizzee Rascal, Screaming Females, Band Aid 30 and more...
Monday 17 November 2014
Sunday 16 November 2014
Friday 14 November 2014
When you accompany your album with a HBO TV series and proclaim it as an ‘ode to American music’ you set the expectations bar pretty high. Sonic Highways would have had to be the next White Album for it to have lived up to the stupendous sea of hype surrounding it. No-one can carry that off, not even the Foo Fighters, and they’re the biggest modern rock band we have.
Thursday 13 November 2014
This album is essentially a dude rambling sleazy nonsense over a bunch of lo-fi instrumentals that sound like they’re straight from eighties TV commercials. It’s cheesy. It’s silly. It's, for the most part, terribly uncool. It’s also among one of the best records I’ve heard all year.
Wednesday 12 November 2014
Sunday 9 November 2014
I was convinced I’d be retired and in a care home by the time this album got round to dropping. How long’s it been since this album was first scheduled to be released? Ten years? Twenty years? Fifty???
Friday 7 November 2014
Thursday 6 November 2014
Wednesday 5 November 2014
It's weekly round-up time again where I single out the singles that made the best and worst impression on me. I hope you all had a happy Halloween/Guy Fawkes Night/Diwali/belated-Easter.
Monday 3 November 2014
There are some people who understand the appeal of drone metal and good for them, they’re clearly more open-minded than I am. Personally, Sunn O)))’s schtick - playing one guitar note over and over again at a glacial speed – strikes me as a waste of a fretboard and a waste of my time.
Sunday 2 November 2014
Wednesday 29 October 2014
BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 29/10/2014: Foo Fighters, Les Sins, The Chuckle Brothers and more...
There’s been barely enough time to listen to new singles. Fortunately, I haven’t had to do much digging around. The tracks have been coming to me and here they are - the best and the worst.
Thursday 23 October 2014
Wednesday 22 October 2014
It’s been a fairly depressing week for new music. Not a bad week, just a depressing one. Songwriters worldwide have been coming down with the blues, crafting some beautifully moody and misanthropic material. I guess it’s just that time of year. Winter is coming.
Monday 20 October 2014
|Well, that's certainly put me off my steak and chips...|
I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to listen to this for the first time at 1 am. I should have guessed from the rather gristly album artwork and prior exposure to Pharmakon that this wasn’t going to be half an hour of cute and fun bubblegum pop.
Thursday 16 October 2014
Childish Gambino is the musical alter-ego of Community actor, Donald Glover. I was a big fan of his last album, Because the Internet, (review here) and after hearing the single ‘Sober’ was pretty excited for this new release, ‘STN MTN/Kauai’.
Wednesday 15 October 2014
BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 15/10/2014: Sun Kil Moon, David Bowie, Mike Will Made it and more...
A weekly rummage through the music blogosphere has revealed these awesome and not-so-awesome tracks. I honestly can't believe Bowie's released another single. Somebody slap me, I'm feeling dizzy #BowieFan4Life #MarryMeBowie. Okay, well that was kinda gay. Let's move on, shall we?
Tuesday 14 October 2014
Wednesday 8 October 2014
As the weeks go by I find myself discovering less and less crap and more and more good stuff. For this reason, there are five tracks in 'The Best' category this week, and only one track in 'The Worst'.
Monday 6 October 2014
Wednesday 1 October 2014
BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 1/10/2014: Childish Gambino, Mastodon, Meghan Trainor and more...
Tuesday 30 September 2014
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga prove an unlikely but remarkable pairing on this selection of jazz standards and covers set to some fantastic big band instrumentation.
Thursday 25 September 2014
Wednesday 24 September 2014
BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 24/09/2014: Run the Jewels, Jessie Ware, Lil Dicky and more...
I’ve been listening to some more music on my gramophone this week and here are my findings. Enjoy :) You can check out last week’s track reviews here.
Monday 22 September 2014
This is all Yours kicks off with some choppy, octave jumping ‘la-la-la’ harmonies. It then dives into some brief singing and pounding, sharp drums. This sets the scene for the unique indie-folk-electronic sound that is alt-j.
U2 are clearly getting worried that they’re starting to lose relevance and hence fans. As a result the Irish rockers decided to dish this album out for free to everyone – fans and haters combined. Over 500 million iTunes users worldwide woke up to find that this album had been unwillingly downloaded onto their computers. The reactions have been mixed:
Wednesday 17 September 2014
BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 17/9/2014: Flying Lotus, Craig David, Calvin Harris and more...
So, this is what’s going to be happening every week. I’m going to listen to a bunch of new songs and then I’m going to collect the best and the worst and serve them up to you, splitting the songs into two categories - 'good’ and 'bad'. There is no lukewarm category here. There is no ‘ugly’. I spend too much of my life sitting on the fence. It’s been starting to give me haemorrhoids.
Tuesday 16 September 2014
Tuesday 2 September 2014
I was in the lobby of Colombo airport at 4am when I first listened to this album. I don’t usually listen to albums in such exotic and strange locations, and maybe the setting had an effect on me, but this record truly mesmerised me from start to finish.
Monday 1 September 2014
Two male singers, one of whom has mislaid his testicles and sings entirely in falsettos, the other of whom mutters a couple octaves beneath, harmonise together accompanied by some sweet and punchy 70s grooves and Disclosure-esque synth splashes.
Hollywood actor, Michael Cera, shows off his musical side, serving up a selection of strange jazz and folk instrumentals. It’s a creative little album, I’ll give him that. Unfortunately, the whole thing sounds like it was recorded with a potato.