Thursday, 30 October 2008

I've been dying to write a post about these lovely Mancunians for a while now, but never really got round to it.

Ain't you glad I have no life?

FDA, or Federal Drugs Administration as they are also known, are an electro act with a difference. Rather than making sexy, grand electro fit for trendy New York clubs, they make short slices of idiosyncratic sunshine enough to actually make you LOL. Drawing influences from current affairs and referencing pop culture, (the recession and the whole Manuelgate fiasco being their latest offerings) this group of madmen create irritatingly witty songs with more than just a hint of Shaun Ryder. This is what music should be like; carefree and full of expletives.

Below is a video of theirs, for one of my favourite songs, 'Androgynoel.' If you're a fan of The Mighty Boosh or the effervescent Mowgli in flares Noel Fielding, then chances are you will laugh yourself silly at this, and aren't the cartoons sweet?

Set to Invade Your Mind

Lately, it seems wherever I go on the interweb to find new music, I cannot escape the clutches of those crazy Belgians, Soulwax.

So, after attempting to avoid them for many a day, mostly due to my dislike in 'remixes,' (I see it vaguely pointless to listen to the same song that's only a tinsy bit different from the original) I hesitantly decided to listen to some of their stuff.

So the first track of theirs I noticed was their remix of
LCD Soundsystem's 'Get Innocuous' on Hype Machine. Now I like LCD so I wasn't sure if the electronica outfit would do the track justice. However, after listening to it you do get the impression that this isn't just a copy of the song but slightly tweaked, but a song made into Soulwax's own style, truly an impressive thing to be able to do. The song still manages to retain some of the original track, but is improved on if anything.

So then I tracked down a remix of Ladytron's 'Seventeen,' a song by one of my favourite electronic bands, and was once again taken aback by the way in which it had been reworked. It opens with a catchy guitar riff, making the track much more edgy than its sleek and sophisticated predecessor. This version of the track appeals to the more indie inclined folk as well as the ravers, and is actually quite addictive.

And it's not just these two tracks Soulwax have been busy on; they've remixed the likes of Daft Punk, Kylie Minogue, Klaxons and the Sugababes, this is a band most certainly to cause a stir, if they haven't already.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

The New Black?

After watching T4 Fashion programme Frock Me and witnessing two student fashion designers attempting to find the new Gothic look that is supposedly this season's trend (Can't imagine swarms of Bristol uni fashionistas dressing like the Living dead, though there's certainly nothing wrong with that.) I thought it would give me an excuse to post about some of my beloved bands and artists that are about as fluffy as a cockroach.

The Cure

Finally, after what seems like forever, The Cure have a new album out. I know it's only been four years since their last record, but it seems like an age since we heard Robert Smith's lovelorn, melancholic vocals. It's good to be back.

Following on from their previous albums, 4.13 Dream retains some of its gothic charm, but with a more polished sheen. Songs like 'Sleep When I'm Dead' have memorable choruses that are almost as spooky as they are moreish, and although some of the songs on here are more mellow than before, you only need to hear 'Scream' to know that The Cure are back to doing what they do best. The climax of this track gives me chills and would be the perfect soundtrack to any cliche horror film. This really is The Cure at their most savage and brutal, listening to this track is like being punched in the gut. What surprises me is that there's been hardly a mention of the grandeur, gothic masterpiece that is 4.13 Dream in many of the music blogs I subscribe to. It makes me wonder if, with the influx of 80's style bands, some have forgotten about one of the original Gothic bands that engulfed the decade. If you're a fan of Joy Division or Black Kids and haven't heard of them, you're in for a treat.

4.13 Dream is Available to buy on iTunes, however you may want to physically buy the album if you can, there's been a lot of fuss lately, with Robert Smith advising fans not to use the iTunes store to buy the album, due to pricing issues.

The Horrors

Elsewhere, skulking in the clubs in deepest, darkest-Shoreditch- a very different group of doom merchants are set to resurrect the dead with their Zombie Garage rock. Reminiscent of seminal Echo and the Bunnymen but with slightly more balls, the skinny jeaned group make psychobilly sounds edgy enough to wake the dead. Farris and co. are one of the few bands that can make the organ sound cool, and add a new twist to the horror cliche, making short snippets of music dark and funky enough to get all of London's scene kids moving. Favourites of the NME, the fivesome have released only one album, Strange House, and are currently (so their Myspace tells me) recording their new album. I seriously recommend you listen to Strange House, even if the whole horror chic isn't your thing, they may surprise you. Plus, isn't their hair actually amazing?
Strange House is available to download on ITunes and is probably available to buy if you're still into the whole CD thing. If so, get with the times grandad!
Here's a video of their first single, Sheena is a Parasite' which was so apparently controversial that it was banned from airing. Enjoy. :)

Ipso Facto

Following in the footsteps of Her Majesty Siouxsie Sioux, hauntingly beautiful girl group Ipso Facto are a band on everybody's radar at the moment. A far cry from the pristine pop of other all girl bands, Ipso Facto produce psychedelic rock/indie that, strangely, reminds me of The Long Blondes more than anything else. Listening to their songs, it's as if you're in a carnival haunted house and are being attacked by a clown that is just too happy. But in a good way. They are the modern equivalent of Siouxsie and the Banshees and are definitely ones to watch. Plus, they have a xylophone player, and everyone loves a xylophone.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Vive Le Revolution!

I should really be doing my Politics essay. But then, if I did, who would write about these two quirky bands set to cause mayhem in the electro-thrash scene?


I ask you; how many bands do you know that tour with their customised ice cream van? And, of these bands, do any of them really make you want to pull a shape? No? Well, in that case you should definitely listen to this band, you're missing out. HeartsRevolution are Ben and Lo, a duo seen as the cuter and cuddlier Crystal Castles. However, you only need to hear 'Switchblade' to know that they may be cute, but cuddly they ain't. Lo oozes sexuality from behind a backdrop of whirly techno bleepings in this stylish yet savage track. With their sold out 6" glow in the dark vinyl and their van of wonders containing many a neon trinket, HeartsRevolution are definitely here to make an impact, whether you like it or not.

The Presets

Ok, so they're not exactly all brand new, but I discovered this infectious Electronica band whilst listening to my recommendations on In the Noughties it seems as if we have been invaded by 'retro' synth bands trying to recapture some of the 'fun' of the Eighties. (I wasn't around then, but from what I hear, legwarmers, The Smiths/Cure, good punk music,etc it wasn't all perms and Kylie Minogue.) However, amongst the dreary monotony, there have been some exciting creations, take The Presets for example. This band don't focus on what the mainstream audience want to hear, but rather on what sounds good; alas the two have no correlation these days for the majority of the Top 40. This Aussie pair create tracks rough enough to satisfy rock and Electro fans, and enough style to unite them on the dancefloor in one big Rectro cuddle. It's not often a band comes around who can mix techno, rock, indie and electro as effortlessly as The Presets.
This is my favourite song of theirs, My People, a jaunty, shouty call to arms for all those who want to move. Everybody scream!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

'Bleed Your Own Awesomeness'

'Don't cry if it rains, dance in the puddles and feel the drops fall on your skin.'

I have Thursday off so I thought I would ramble on a bit more, since I've got the time. This past week (and I know I've moaned about it a lot) really did suck, thankfully this week is a hell of a lot better and most things are sorted. Still, whilst trawling through one of my favourite feminist zines (is that what they're called? Can't keep up with the yoof these days..) I managed to find a rather enlightening article:

Now, I'm not sure where I stand on copying the article onto my blog, so here's the link instead:

Basically, if you're too bone idle to click on the link, the article states 29 ways in which to 'find yourself.' I know it sounds a bit odd and art student-y, but trust me, it's worth a read. In this piece, the writer commands that we all be "as loud or as quiet as we want to be; remember every person you come into contact with and every experience you go through moulds you into the person you are now." This really struck a chord, being a teenager myself and still unsure what's going on really, it does make you feel uplifted and hopeful. I've been reading this zine for a while now, and the main reason why I continue to do so is thus: "Confidence is undeniably sexy, never let someone else's voice become your own." The entire ethos of this zine is to promote confidence in those who maybe don't necessarily fit the social norm, and embraces unconventionality instead of shunning it. Reading this, you could just focus on the bad aspects of life: "Keep in mind every day you are creeping closer to the end," but then, if you do, there's not much hope for you. Believe me, if it can convince a pessimist like myself that it's not all bad then it's got to have some meaning to it.

I know this is a slight deviation from my usual style, but I just had to share this article with you. Whether you're a girl or a guy, read it, and remember...

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


In case you can't tell, I've decided to do some redesigning of my blog, and have added some new bits and bobs to it. However, I'm not sure if it looks alright, so any feedback on what looks good and what needs improving, eg colour schemes, too many things cluttered.. would be much appreciated. Obviously I want to do what I can to make the blog as spiffing as possible. Cheers.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Long Time No Post

Ok, so I haven't posted in a while, what with one bad thing after another happening in the week that will hereafter be known as the one from hell. So, since I've got a spare few moments I thought I'd regale you with the latest exploits in my quest for good music...

The Break and Repair Method

The Break and Repair Method is a one man side project formed by Matchbox Twenty's Paul Doucette, and looks set to be a promising new addition to the thriving piano rock scene, if you can call it that. Sounding like a somewhat bizarre Stereophonics/Jack's Mannequin hybrid, Doucette's smoky vocals are delivered with an indie arrogance in songs like 'I'm at a low,' whilst on 'You Won't be Able to Be Sad' displays a much more fun, pop punky sound, full of impish charm. With the debut Milk the Bee released in Mid September in the states, this one is definitely worth a download if you like twinkly piano melodies and insanely catchy choruses. You Won't be able to be Sad, available on ITunes now.

Frank Turner

Now, if you're into your folk and you're British, chances are you'll have heard of this charming man. He's toured pretty much everywhere, teamed up with the likes of Chris T-T and Jonah Matranga and used to be in Hardcore Punk band Million Dead. He's even been played on Radio 1. Frankly, if you haven't heard of him lately, you must be living in a cave with your head in a bucket full of manure. Well, not really but that's a lovely image isn't it?

Anyway, whether you know of him or not, Frank's making waves with his witty and often ironic tales of Albion. Songs such as 'Once We Were Anarchists' actually had me laughing out loud, and it's songsmiths like Mr Turner and Miss Marling that are rejuvenating the Brit-Folk scene, it's officially cool again to like acoustic guitars and violins.
Frank's latest project, 'Long Live the Queen' was released yesterday, with all proceeds going towards the fight against Breast Cancer. So not only have you got a good excuse to download something with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, but you get a glimpse into the future of the next big folkstar.
You can buy Long Live the Queen via his Myspace page, where you can also check out his latest tour dates across the country.

SeeqPod - Playable Search

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now'

I feel like Shit.

Sorry to be so blunt about it, but today has not been a good day for Maddie.

At all

After trying to concentrate and actually absorb any of what was going on in Politics for the dozenth or so time, I realised that it's rather futile for me to continue with this course. I mean, I'm not going to do well at it so why should I even bother?

Sometimes it's hard to be a perfectionist. :|

So now I'm faced with the thought of dropping one of my AS Levels, meaning now I will only have to do 4, which is pretty rubbish really, as I was quite happy doing 5, just not Politics. I did try though, it just wasn't enough. To top that off, now I also have to contend with some of my dearest friends behaving so immaturely it makes me want to vomit.

I get the whole wanting to be in control of things, I tend to be somewhat of a control freak at times, but when it comes to forcefully controlling situations that have nothing to do with you or basically using a friend who has been there for you when you've been too much of a drunken mess to get home, it's just a little sad really. And it's really bad for the friend of mine who has to put up with this, she obviously isn't happy with it but she never says anything, I don't know how some people can be so tolerant. Then there's the whole other topic of another of the people that used to be close to me, but I'm not going to get into this here, that itself seems fairly childish.

*rant over*

so I'm in a sucky mood. Because of this, I'm going to put some of the songs that make me happy on this here bloggy o' mine, in an effort to cheer me up.

The Smiths- Ask
I know, I know, you're thinking; it's The Smiths, how can they be cheery?
Well, I ask you, how can it not be?
Even the first guitar riff at the start of the track is in a major key. This song's lyrics send a message that it's ok to be confident and be happy, no matter what drama you've got going on. Or at least that's what I think it says. The cymbal crashes and guitar rhythms make me almost want to bob my head to it, and the middle eight- 'laa' phrases are sung as if without a care in the world. I've been an avid fan of The Smiths for nearly two years now, and whenever I hear this song it still makes me smile.

Vampire Weekend- Oxford Comma
This song, and in fact their entire album, is perfect for listening to whilst getting ready to go out. You soon find by the end of the first song and onto this one, Oxford Comma, that you're dancing around like a lunatic nearly burning yourself with the straightening tongs.

Well, maybe not everyone, but it has the same effect. The high, almost falsetto note in the chorus, combined with what sounds like a recorder or flute of some sort makes this song rather sweetly bird-like, and conjures up memories of lazy summer afternoons, or, in my case, a nearly wet Friday afternoon at Worthy Farm.

Robots in Disguise- Girl
I know I featured this band a couple of posts ago, but seeing as this is a list of my 'happy' songs, I just had to add them. This was one of the first songs I had ever heard of theirs, and I wasn't in a particularly cheery mood at the time (GCSE's and the such) but this song had me bounding off the walls like an 8 year old who's eaten a few too many winegums. This song reeks of feminism, but in a good way, declaring that women aren't inferior, and, really, they're just that bit better. The chanting in the middle eight makes the listener feel included in the song, as if we're all part of some neon mob, waiting to unleash the fury that is Robots in Disguise.

The Libertines- Don't Look Back Into The Sun
Whenever I hear the opening riff of this song, it makes me want to drop what I'm doing and just go prance around in a field somewhere. This song draws out the youth in those who hear it; whether that be because they actually were the youth when this was first released, such as myself, or whether because it brings back memories of being free, having crazy summer parties, whatever. For me, this song makes me want to be happy as it reminds me that there's always something to look forward to. Plus, it reminds me of when The Libertines were still together, and you have to admit, it's not the same now they're two different bands. Oh, and while I'm here; Dirty Pretty Things
R.I.P You weren't too bad, but not enough to make me go 'wow.'

Blur- Song 2
This song is pretty self explanatory really.
So all that's left for me to say is..


Fight Like Apes- Lend Me Your Face
This band is a new discovery of mine. I saw them perform live last week in support of The Ting Tings, and my friend and I watched them, mouths agape. This band are truly golden. Each of their songs are fiercely catchy and hits you like a punch in the face. The Irish band mix Electro, Indie and Rock to create one huge sound, listening to them now brings back memories of watching Geoff, the crazy but cool wafro guy dancing like he's having some sort of fit along to the gleeful sounds of Fight Like Apes. Although The Ting Tings were good, I came away from that gig with a new favourite band.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Understated, Quite.

Some people say I need to get out more.

This is most likely, but possibly not exclusively, because I tend to spend my weekends trawling through Myspazz and The Hype Machine trying to find new music. Apparently it's a lot better to go to a park on the other side of the city and drink yourself into oblivion on cheap cider.
Go figure.

Still, while I'm not exactly down with the 'cool kids,' I have managed to uncover several bands currently flitting about very much under the radar, most of which do not go well with a hangover. Well, apart from this quite ambient band..

The Marshmallow Kisses

SeeqPod - Playable Search

With such a sweet name, this duo are everything you would expect of them. Formed in 2001, the Chinese band play with a delicately, floaty elegance. This is like honey to the ears and is perfect for the morning after the night before.

Unlike my next band..

The Mystery Tramps

You wouldn't thin
k by looking at this group of what looks like 14 year olds that they'd be one of what appears to be America's most promising bands.

This pop punk group, formed in Massachusetts, formed their name rather bizarrely from a lyric in seminal Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone.' The group play music that is set to repeat in your head every day for the next week at least, with their catchy, bouncy riffs, and create more than just pop punk by numbers. Despite their youth, the band have played to loyal fans as far afield as New York. If you're into Simple Plan and bands of that ilk, give them a go.

And last but not least on my little list:


"Look up twat in the glossary; and you'll find me," Essex boy Rob barks in frantic and brilliantly written 'Place Your Bets on Four.' With their lyrics comes a very clever insight into the mind of a British teenager- following issues like ill fated relationships and, eerm, sheep. (See Baa Baa Baghead for a surreal old skool track using mostly animal noises.) With much of their perky, ska influenced music, it seems that they would not be out of place in the mainstream, or at least periphery of the UK Indie scene, following the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and The Metros.
Watch this space.

Friday, 10 October 2008

So, They Thought I was a Robot..

Well, this week has been certainly rather frustrating. I have grown quite attached to posting on my virtual notepad and was happily planning on writing more posts until I found that my blog had been flagged up as a spam blog.

Needless to say, I wasn't a happy bunny.

But then, have you ever actually seen a bunny that is truly happy? They can't smile so how will we ever know?

It had said on the e-mail they sent me about it that, as I'm reading the e-mail, I'm probably not a robot.
Well, thanks a lot.

Now, I don't really mind that much, except it meant that I couldn't publish my last post for a few days, but it got me thinking about robots, you know, as you do.

So, in that case I decided to compile a list of some bands/artists that are somewhat robot related.
Plus it gave me an excuse to find bands with funny names/songs.

1. The Robot Ate Me

Taken from their album of the same name, The Robot Ate Me is a rather obscure band. Lasting only 5 years, the band hailing from San Diego made a fairly pleasant sound with their lo-fi indie warblings. Although not necessarily robot-like, this band seem to play music perfect for a particularly poignant moment on Skins.

2. IMA Robot

Ok, I think I love this band.
This electronica/vaguely pop punk(ish) band formed in the late 1990's and have made many an upbeat, shouty song, drawing influences from what sounds like David Bowie and/or FOB. Whatever they're doing, they seem to be doing it well, as they've performed on tour with the likes of The Von Bondies and Hoobastank. Arrg, this band remind me of another band but I can't quite place which one, if you think you can tell me please leave me a comment, else it shall be encircling my head forever more, and that won't end well.

3. Pirate Robot Midget
I had to include them, just for the name.

To be honest I'm not that big a fan of some of their stuff, but see if you can dig out Riva Starr's remix of It's My Beat Now. Most certainly following its robot credentials, this band are very much Electro, but may possibly rely too much on looping. (Then again, I guess you could argue the same about most Electro). This song reminds me a bit of Peaches, exuding a rather flamboyant attitude.

4. My Robot Friend

I remember stumbling drearily across this band in the wee hours of the morning during my summer break, and from the moment I first heard this track and another, titled Problems, I became hooked.
Oh, and while I'm gushing about this band, if you like them also try and check out their song 23 Minutes in Brussels, there's a Xylophone! Now I don't know about you but I don't half love a Xylophone every now and then, makes it seem more playful and pretty. And, let's face it, anyone who can play the Xylophone must be pretty darn cool.
Xylophones aside, I really love this band, they're a fine example of what good electronica music should be, and I encourage everyone to listen to their 2006 album Dial 0 whilst we all wait for the highly anticipated (well, by me at least) 2009 album Robot High School.

5. Robots in Disguise

How could I write a post about robots without mentioning this quirky duo?

I was introduced to the slightly chaotic, yet sophisticated electro that is Robots in Disguise through a friend about a year ago, and I have yet to grow tired of them. Although most would write them off as being 'that band with Noel Fielding's girlfriend in,' this band create 3 minute wonders and have become a staple of the Berlin electro scene. Without a doubt you should also check out their Myspace: and see if you can buy their newest album. Titled We're in the Music Biz and written with tongue firmly placed in cheek, it was released in February 2008 and, although doing well, this band deserve much more recognition.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Oh, Darling!

Wow, I'm quite surprised I actually received a response to my query as stated previously. Thanks for the comments, means I at least have some sort of vague path I can follow for now.

As you can imagine, things have been pretty hectic at my house for the past week or so. We haven't managed to set the date for the funeral yet due to waiting for the death certificate, and everything seems to be breaking in our house. I know they say things come in threes, but I didn't think it actually worked like that. Anyway, amidst all the shambles, I managed to discover a nice new shiny band for your delight.
Or at least I think they're new, I don't tend to pay much attention these days.
But shiny they are.

SeeqPod - Playable Search

Imagine actually being able to eat the clouds.
Then imagine that the clouds taste like candyfloss and you will have a true depiction of the chirpy twee that is Oh Darling. Taking influences from artists as diverse as The Pixies and Blondie, Oh Darling make sugary sweet 3 minute pop anthems so inoffensive even your gran would love them. Hell, even their album is called 'Nice, Nice.' With no news of a UK release (that I can find), it seems their sunshiny (yes, that's a word)music shall have to remain on the interweb for a bit longer. I would check out their Myspace though:

However, this band should come with a warning lable: Extensive listening could cause severe toothache and/or nausea.

N.B This music is here to give people a sample of the music, if any artist wishes me to take it down please message me and I will do so immediately.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Irrelevant twaddle from yours truly: The Difficult Second Post

Irrelevant twaddle from yours truly: The Difficult Second Post

The Difficult Second Post

I'm still toying with the idea of turning this Blog into a music oriented one, but I'm still unsure..
If anyone is actually reading this and has an opinion,( chances are you won't, but humour me, please) then please send me a comment suggesting whether I should:

A) Keep twittering on about my little life- you know, college, friends and all that jazz.


B) Stick to what I'm good at and write about music. Most styles, though probably focusing on more alternative, indie, folk, rock-ish stuff.

Or I could just flitter in between, who knows?

Well, until told otherwise I shall preceed with the latter.

So, things have been a bit up in the air recently in my little bubble that I call a world. One of my relatives has passed away, though to be fair I didn't even know he was ill until the day he died. My family is quite small, so it was a bit of a shock, though he did live a long and full life, so there's that to be thankful for at least. Although I'm obviously saddened by the death of my relative, it hasn't made me feel that upset.

Is that a bad thing?

I guess I've just felt very philosophical about the whole thing, I understand that it's a sad thing to leave the planet, and obviously it depends entirely upon the situation in which the person died, but it got me thinking about the whole process. You live, you meet people and form relationships of varying degrees, then you age and die. It's all a bit morbid really, isn't it?
I mean I know there's more to it than that, but if you were to strip down life into parts, it is just basically that.

Which leads me on to a bit of a rant, aimed particularly at someone who I know won't read this, so I shall feel free to vent. Since we only stay on this little rock we call Earth for a supposedly pre-determined number of years, why make life difficult for yourself? It's perfectly natural to feel like an outsider at times, god knows enough of us get called that, or 'freak,' 'loser,' *insert ever-so-witty-insult-here.* But really if you keep thinking it yourself then you're hardly going to lead a very happy existence are you? You should focus on the friendships you have with people; concentrate on their good qualities and not their flaws, be open to meeting new people and make sure that you keep in touch with those more familiar acquaintances. If you think someone is slipping away from you then grasp the situation by the metaphorical horns and sort it out, we only get one life afterall. Though, that's only a guess, nobody's really had the kindness to come back and tell us if we get another shot at it all, selfish swines.

The point is that yeah ok you can go and be depressed and think nobody likes you, but then nobody will like you and you will lead a pretty miserable existence. However, if you do actually want to sing a little song, dance a liitle dance and generally love everyone (mann..) then bloody well get on with it!

Anyway, enough obscure philosophical jibberish, it's music tiiiiiime!

Rather aptly, here's my list of the top 10 Death related/Funeral songs, just because I'm a ray of sunshine:

1. The Smiths- Asleep
- The haunting piano vocal add a sense of beautiful tragedy to this song, accentuated by Morrissey's desparate cries for another world, "a better world."
Definitely a song to listen to when you're being a miserable sod.

2. Joy Division- The Eternal
Yes, I'm sorry but what did you expect from me, Alphabeat?
The heavy drum beat echoes throughout the song, tolling joyfully for those feeling melancholic. The immense reverb of Curtis' vocals provide a chilling listen.

3. The Cure- Friday I'm in Love
Well they can't all be wrist-slittingly solemn can they?
(apologies to any self harmers, blah blah blah..)
I would like to have this at my funeral, it's upbeat and carries a positive message, which I think is important in funerals, they're all a bit dreary really otherwise.

4. For more mainstream music fans..

Coldplay- Fix You
(Or most of their back catalogue really, they don't exactly branch out of their box.)
I think the fact that an organ is used makes it more customary as a funeral song. Chris Martin's falsetto is also strangely haunting, and, to me anyway, portrays both hope and sadness. This one in particular illustrates both of these qualities.

5. Sigur Ros- Straumnes
Mesmerisingly wondrous, a song that can reduce even the most tough person to a weeping little puppy. Although only just over a minute long, this instrumental track is good for creating an atmosphere of reflection and hope, emphasised by the sustained string notes. Actually, I would recommend their entire back catalogue if you're into the whole instrumental/'can't understand a word they're saying' thing, their new album is actually quite powerful, it's great to relax to with some candles after a loooong week.

6. Emmy the Great-Edward is Deadward
(Couldn't find a video on Youtube :( )

I've become quite obsessed with this song, the lyrics tell the tale of someone struggling to cope with the loss of a significant other and the heartbreak that comes along with it. Her lyrics are, quite frankly genius on this track, she makes you empathise with her whilst at the same time not being weighted down by the gloomy subject matter. The juxtaposition of the concept of death and the cheery melody is done with precision and elegance. As you can tell, I don't half love this track.

7. Chris T-T - 7 Hearts
This is a more jaunty version of the song. The track I have is much more stripped down, just Chris, a kazoo (I think) and an acoustic guitar. As with Emmy the Great, Chris paints a picture of love gone awry, and he does it so well. Chris is the reason I've become more interested in folk. LISTEN TO IT!

8. Oasis-Live Forever
(Just to be ironic)
Although this song might be perceived as insensitive, I think it's quite uplifting, the chorus refrain "You and I are gonna live forever" strikes a chord.

9. The Verve- Bittersweet Symphony
Saw them live at Glastonbury this year and this song blew me away.
The grandeur strings riff can be used to highlight both elation and despair., and although Ashcroft's vocals do not exactly suit the theme of a funeral, it can offer some sense of relief for those mourning that there is indeed life after the death of their loved one.

10. Green Day- Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
Though the title may give you a sense of irony, the song itself is brilliant. The string notes in the background merge wonderfully with the guitar, and lyrics such as "hope you had the time of your life" and "for what it's worth, it was worth all the while" really get to me, believe it or not I tend to choke up when I hear this one.

Ok, so this list isn't 'definitive,' just songs I could think of off the top of my head, feel free to comment and say more if you so wish.

I promise the next blog entry will be more geared towards either my attempt at satirical reality or musical ponderings, and much less sober.