Sunday, 19 May 2013

Lois & The Love // War - Single

"War", the new single from Lois & The Love, is as close to a rollercoaster ride, without getting on one, that you'll possibly get this month - or even year. The psychedelic-clad sounds drench the soundwaves of the song, with clear influences from that past, following a recent trend. "War" has catchy guitar and a great rhythm to it, providing a solid foundation for the rockette that is Lois. The love most certainly is there, and they should be a huge hit at festivals this Summer!

Released on the 17th of May, this is now available from Camouflage Recordings on iTunes - you've got to watch the video below:

Friday, 17 May 2013

Tribes // Wish To Scream - Review

Just 16 months ago Tribes exploded further onto the music scene with their pounding debut album, 'Baby'. The cheeky, cliched title let on to what was to follow - rock songs, British rock songs. Personally, it soundtracked most of 2012 - it made a real connection with me. They delivered live, and I was massively looking forward to their teased 'quick' second album that they wanted to release in January of this year, just one year on. After the record label refused, and testing their often poorly received new material on the road aside from 'Dancehall', they now release "Wish To Scream".

To read the rest of the article and find out the rather brutal score, read on here:

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Daft Punk // Random Access Memories - Review

This isn't really music, but musac. I can't claim to have any previous material on my computer, or have listened to more than three of their past songs - but I now have their latest album in my library.

Now, I'm going to keep the review short, the complete opposite of the huge hype surrounding this behemoth. The variety on the album is non-existent, maybe between songs, but the songs themselves are very repetitive. This is coming from my more guitar based background, of which I really like - but I do like Daft Punk.

I was very intrigued to hear that Touch, in interviews leading up to the album, had something like 350 layers. Most of these must be submarine recordings they found, and weird synthy/piano/weird/weird sounds. So cool though.

As music, I would not sit down and listen to it, on it's own merit. I like to sit down, and enjoy music, but I wouldn't necessarily do it with this. Touch, Within and Lose Yourself to Dance are my highlights, but you could very happily state the whole album as one.

RAM is very much essential to my life - this album however, is not. But, it is essential to the genre; these robots play proper, proper music. Which I always appreciate. So, to the end of the strangest review ever, I'm going to say I probably won't listen to it again, but like it a lot.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Chapel Club // Good Together - Review

Two warning signs for this album. Firstly, this is astonishingly good music in my opinion; so don't read this or listen to Good Together if you don't like good music. Secondly, it isn't a continuation of sound: it isn't a second Palace. Not like when bands say "oh yeah, our next album is really different" and then it sounds a replica of the first LP freshly pressed of their fancy new 3D printer. Chapel Club should get one of them, and insert their creativity, love and passion for this album into it and hope it can be repeated.

A full 24 hours have passed and not one track has reached 1,000 listens yet, which is tragic - and "Just Kids" has the lowest at 400 - but this really does deserve listening to. Since their first album, they have hinted and gone in a different direction. Take the "Wintering" EP they added on to the deluxe edition of "Palace", their first LP. Soaring, high pitched vocals take the forefront, with a more soothing slow pace too. That is evident on here.

The record starts of with their mission statement: what people may call "pop songs", done good, with added emotion and meaning. "Sleep Alone" is a dancey future anthem with an insanely tight rhythm and really does show off the band. You can tell they have improved collectively, and the whole album shows this. Different band members take to the forefront, whether it be the whole band on "Good Together", the title track, or "Wordy" with it's bass driven melody. Guitar definitely is not present, or at least on the SoundCloud version of the LP, on most of the tracks. Don't shy away from that (see what I did there?). If you do, you're missing some of the best music I have heard without guitar.

My one criticism after going into their very much warning-labelled EP sample with open ears and heart, was the lyrics. I loved their first album for them: they connected in a way that was unexpected from the perhaps generic indie rock. But, the full album does not continue the trend of repetition that is seen on "Jenny Baby", perhaps the weakest of the album (if I was tied to a chainsaw and asked to pick one). "Wordy", appropriately titled, for the repetition of "wordy" throughout, but also for it's wealth of lyrics: "he sang the whole damn song, in the whole damn key". Echoes back to a conversation I had with Lewis in April. I'd like to think this was written about that very conversation, and after him already confirming way back in September last year that the album has been finished for a long time, I still would like to think that. Very much so.

"Perhaps my favourite of the album..." is the sentence I have not been looking forward to writing. I like it all; there is a lot of variety to this style of adventure. "Force you" is particularly lovely, but for completely different reasons to "Shy" or "Fruit Machine". I'd suggest you make up your own mind - unless you're a punk-enthusiast that is sitting their with a face like a deflating basketball. You should probably see a doctor about that too, although I won't force you (and again? No...?).

(Update: Scared is my favourite. Bowie-esque, and most like their old stuff. Excellent. This will probably change, I'm very indecisive.)

An odd ending to an "odd album". Lewis' words, not mine!

You can pre-order the album from iTunes, or from their shop - bonus tracks too:


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Vampire Weekend // Modern Vampires of the City - Review

Vampire Weekend have made their best album yet. The preview songs were designed to shock – Dianne Young is a noticeably different song, laced with samples and oscillating, pitched-shifted vocal effects. Song writing soars to new heights on this for Ezra Koenig and co.

Experimentation has benefited them. Take Ya Hey for example, it’s chorus is incredibly catchy, mainly due to it’s weird vocal sound on “through the fire, through the flames ya hey, ya HEY”. Typing that doesn't do it justice – you simply have to listen to it below. The band pursued a higher level of recording quality for the listener to enjoy than ever before. They painstakingly listened to Modern Vampires of the City over months to edit out the harsher, colder frequencies – softening the listening experience. This required a spectrum analyser and many commercially available earphones to test the process; iPod headphones were featured to check “the relative warmth levels”. If all that is too long, and you didn't read it, listen to the music. It speaks for itself.

The lyrics may not be as catchy, but the music is incredibly advanced. You wouldn't be surprised if your local music university professor had gone missing when you listen to this: the mixing, the orchestra, the layered vocals all add to the effect Vampire Weekend clearly have desired to have. Piano sticks out like a jealous child to the guitar, seemingly being granted its wish by the parents, as the piano marks, often, the best parts of the album: Young Lion and Worship You. I say the best parts of the album, I've been trying to find any bad parts... maybe where it ends!

If this is the third chapter of a trilogy, then I can’t wait for the next one. More of the same, please?


Monday, 6 May 2013

The Shermans // LUNA - EP Review

The Shermans, a band I know locally from Brentwood, have released their second EP "LUNA". After their first foray into recording with "Marina", which you can read my review of here, they have changed studio and upped their game.

The songs here are more coherent in the nature of the band, and are definitely an improvement. The vocals have improved, not due to the singer Callum Quirk, but the recording quality that they found in their new studio - less effects and clearer melodys help push the songs along fluidly. The lyrics are better too, whether it be Callum or the rest of the bands input, but they are noticeable: on "Since I Lost The Summer", Callum croons: "I've been thinking way too much, memoirs, snapshots I can't touch". The emotionally connecting lyrics of the chorus: "You don't know what it's been like/this time apart just don't feel right" could easily be a hit at festival across the country, let alone pubs in Essex.

The variety on the album is noticeable, but less stark than the previous EP - they have found their sound. "Like A Fool", with it's reminiscent sound to Jake Bugg, is catchy at the same time it is developed. Clever music and lyrics are to to be found all across the album, something I particularly look out for.

The bass and drums are truly exceptional on this album - as is the rest of the band, but it was already evident on the last album. Jake on bass dances around notes on "Like A Fool", and Alex introduces some "indie" drumming with a cowbell on "Since I Lost The Summer", my personal favourite, that you can hear below, along with "Like A Fool". If I had to criticize the album, which I don't really want/have to, the songs perhaps are a bit safe, and would fit perfectly on an album rather than a fan grabbing EP.

Their setlist for the now infamous record-company-that-doesn't-deserve-credit in Camden! Hide and Seek has hidden itself we have seen!

Overall, the progress is rewarding, for the listener and the band. For the listener there is great music to delve into; for the band, great things to come.

You can follow them on Twitter here, or soundcloud below for their latest and past releases.


Chapel Club // Debut new single "Shy" on BBC Radio6

This has been a long time coming, but not nearly as long as it has been for Lewis and co. Not soon after they released the hounds that was Palace's tracks, their debut LP, that they were mixing new material with the week-old favourites.
The new single follows the term of being "new". Very new for fans of the last album - a bit of rap is present this time. But it is very melancholicly melodic as you would expect - but wait for the chorus. This is where it really soars.
You can listen to the track again below, and pre-order their album "Good Together" soon on their website and all fabulous record shops and sites.
H x

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Exclusive // New Two Door Cinema Club single released 'in 2 or 3 months'

After seeing Peace at Birthdays in the week, you can read my interview here, I left the place ready to go home. But then, I noticed *that* beard:

"But... I'm not from Peace!"

Kevin Baird from Two Door Cinema Club! I grabbed my friends and I a beer, and waited for the best time to start chatting. After 20 minutes, I grabbed a photo and got talking. To my surprise, he let go something.

Me: "So are you guys working on any new material, anything soon?"


Me: "Oh, you can't say!"

Kevin: "No. But if you ask me in 2 or 3 months, then yes. We're working on something, yes. A single."

So there you go: a brand new single. What do you want from it? A summer anthem or a progression from their previous work? Whatever it is I am sure it will be good - and I very much look forward to it.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Peace // Birthdays, London - Review

The 1st of May was the second of four sold out nights in London for the Btown-made-its Peace. The recently renovated Birthdays did not know what hit it when the chimey start to their first song "Delicious" kicked in, right until the drummer threw his sticks behind him at the velvet draped wall.

SO psychedelic!

The thing about indie music is it can either be a fresh new take on guitar clattering, melody matching music; or a dreadfully boring rehash of what wasn't even very good 20 years ago, let alone a dreary-weathered 2013. Don't let first impressions get to you with Peace: you've got to give Peace a chance, and they certainly grabbed it with the full force of a top 20 album. This means something - guitar music is on the rise.

Some call us the Two Harry's, and neither of us need boyfriends (read: badge)

After the rocking O'Children warmed up the already warm crowd, it was time for the main act to take to the stage. They started things off... pacy, shall we say? "Delicious" received a rapturous reception from the hoard of fans, who lapped up the music they were presented. This was followed by the hit single "Follow Baby", with the chorus that sounds like it will be added as an 11th commandment, if the crowd are anything to go by: "Follow baby, we're gonna live forever baby".

If any new band was going to start a new religious cult, it would be this lot. Chanting throughout the night for an early demo "Vials", they received a wry smile from Doug Castle, the lead guitarist, throughout the night. The band have a certain dynamic on stage, with the pair of brothers Harrison and Sam Koisseur providing a rhythm to dance to in the form of sways and, in Harry's case, satsuma. Of course, only at an indie gig. Oh, and I have one, as well as the set list.

Which leads nicely on to my next point. The band certainly have the tunes - their singles "Wraith" and "Bloodshake" were received with a far from icy reception - but will they stick or twist, or disappear into the psychedelic sunset? Their only weak song if the night was "Scumbag", which should of perhaps been swapped for the faster paced bonus track "Drain", with its clashing middle 8. But, scribbled in the rather lovely handwriting of Harry was "forever" in the corner of the set list. I for one hope they will be here for a long, long time after this splendid gig.