Sunday, 23 August 2009

I'm Not a Robot

In a year awash with female singer-songwriters, it's difficult to tell the good from the bad. I'm sorry, but Duffy and Adele sound too similar to me to tantalise my ears much, and I'm still making my mind up about Lady Gaga (she has a couple of good tracks but I can't help but feel angry whenever I listen to her for too long), there's just so many of them about these days that it's hard to find something truly refreshing. Of course Florence and Emmy both do a great job at just that, but I've now found a cross between the two, and she goes under the pseudonym Marina and the Diamonds.

Marina and the Diamonds

Ok, so she's not exactly unique, but she manages to combine the quirky lyrical talent of Emmy the Great whilst still having a voice so powerful it could almost rival Florence's, not an easy thing to accomplish. She's still operating very much under the radar, with only one E.P. to her name, but has managed to bag herself a place on the NME Radar Tour alongside Golden Silvers and Local Natives.

If you're going to Reading then try and catch her playing Little John's Farm, she'll be definitely worth a watch.

Marina and the Diamonds' Crown Jewels E.P. is available on iTunes.

Marina and the Diamonds- I Am Not A Robot.MP3

Friday, 21 August 2009

Try This At Home

The newest track leaked by Frank Turner from his upcoming album Poetry for the Dead, set to be released on September 7th (the start of my final year of childhood education-eep!). I'm a huge fan of his stuff and this song fails to disappoint, as always. I'm so excited about this album that I've already pre-ordered it.

This track was performed at the prestigious SXSW earlier this year; it's one of his punkier anthems, I much prefer this to his other new one The Road (which, although equally good, isn't as memorable as Try This at Home, in my humble opinion). Enjoy.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Wave Pictures

Heard these guys from my tent at Glastonbury this year and thought they were excellent. Should really have gone down to see them play the John Peel stage, but it was too early and the sun was out so I didn't want to jinx things. Still, it was the perfect background music to a lazy Sunday morning at camp.

The Wave Pictures make sunny Indie/Folk that definitely hints of the Beach Boys surfer genre, these guys definitely don't sound like they come from 2009. If you're in need of unconventional, mellow music to make you smile, check out We Dress Up Like Snowmen and We Never Motored West, which you can download below:

The Wave Pictures- We Never Motored West.MP3

Marmaduke Duke

Just found an interesting take on The Cure's Friday I'm in Love.' Not quite sure what to make of it, it's certainly taking it in a completely different direction, I'm just not sure where to.

Marmaduke Duke- Friday I'm in Love.MP3

I am definitely a purist when it comes to The Cure, so I don't think it has a patch on the original track, which was one of my favourites growing up. It's certainly not the worst thing I've ever heard though, I like the drum rolls though, gives it more of a military and slightly Bloc Party-esque vibe.

However, I am much more of a fan of Marmaduke Duke's new album. I quite enjoyed their debut but I love how much poppier their second outing is, definitely much easier on the ears than some of their previous stuff. I've been playing it on repeat all day today, and this song really sticks out to me as easily one of the best on the album. What I love more though is Jacknife Lee's Remix of the track, it's fat with a PH.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Bittersweet Silence

So, The Verve are to split- again.

Is anyone really that bothered?



Didn't think so.

This is the third time in the band's career that they've decided to split, and I very much doubt it will be the last.

It is alleged that Verve guitarist Nick McCabe and bassist Simon Jones are no longer on speaking terms with lead singer Richard Ashcroft, following on from a statement on Myspace by McCabe saying that the and are on an "indefinite holiday." It's hardly a holiday if you're not going to come back, now is it? A source close to the band told the Sunday Mirror that the band haven't spoken to the frontman since doing V festival last year: "As far as Nick and Simon are concerned, Verve no longer exists," claiming that Ashcroft was using the reformation as an attempt to resurrect his failed solo career (though if you've heard any of his solo stuff, you know that it would only be the equivalent of flogging a dead horse).

Although the music industry is collectively rolling their eyes, the source also reputed that even if Ashcroft was to come back with his tail between his legs, the pair would simply tell him to "fuck off." But instead of filling their 'holiday' with sudoku and Tweeting, McCabe and Jones have formed a new band, Black Ships, with Goldfrapp violinist Davide Rossi. Let's hope their upcoming debut is better than the last Verve album, which was a bit of a letdown for me.

Still, nothing compares to the seminal Bittersweet Symphony. The song of my childhood, my dad would often play this in the car on family holidays, it still manages to bring a shiver down my spine and an overwhelming sense of hope.

This was my Glastonbury 'moment' circa 2008. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Songs to Make you go Aaaw..

Possibly the quaintest songs I've ever heard. Beautiful.

Coeur de Pirate

This week I've been obsessed with all things French; binging on Nutella and a whole lot of bread, and I finally got round to watching Persepolis which I'd definitely recommend if you want a bittersweet tale of war and, errm, Punk. I've also been lucky enough to find this song by Coeur de Pirate, a solo project of French Canadian Beatrice Martin, that's guaranteed to give you toothache with it's saccharine sweetness.

Coeur de Pirate- Comme des Enfants.MP3

I also managed to unearth an unfamiliar Soko track that absolutely melts my heart. I really am pathetic when it comes to music, aren't I?


This song is drenched in naive innocence and shows the usually blunt and cold Soko as a vulnerable girl in love. Aaw bless.

For fans of plinky plonky piano, I'd definitely check this out:

Soko- Take my Heart.MP3

Monday, 10 August 2009

Mystery of Le Mousquetaires

In an effort to prolong my boredom during the liberating but somewhat monotonous holidays, I've been delving into the underground realms of Folk Noir. Folk Noir (a branch of Neofolk) is described as music that shows 'dark undertones-' so like most folk then, I mean the genre has never been one full of chirpy prozac ridden harmonies and rosy cheeked youths playing xylophones, has it?
(Well, certainly not the type of folk I am accustomed to anyway).

Le Fils des Trois Mousquetaires

What strikes me as interesting about this band is that there is absolutely no information about them on t'internet; I found them on which directed me to their Myspace page, only to have it tell me to go back to their page, quite an odd promo tactic. And all without any trace of a bio. Strange. Infact, the only bit of information I have regarding this band is that they're from Belgium. Not that it matters a great deal, the music speaks more than any amount of biographical waffle.

There's something very distinctive and almost alluring about the mysterious gent's voice which suggests he's either a devout Doherty fan, or is his slightly more demure and possibly Belgian twin. But, for all we know, the guy could be your run of the mill butcher from Bruges who just happens to like a good singsong.

If this is typical Folk Noir then the Beatles must have been the emo kids of the 60's, there's not much in the way of sinister, brutal melodies here. The songs amble along at their own pace, slowly drawing you in before leaving you feeling thoroughly hypnotised. Although there are tinges of melancholy in wistful She Won't Be Home, it's certainly not going to be the music you'd top yourself to. I actually find the vocals to have a highly therapeutic effect on me, most notably Lullaby that plays up to its name entirely; gentle rocking acoustic chords over the top of the vocalists smooth as honey melody, perfect for chilling out and contemplating life.

Or just good to have a nap to, either way I like it.

Looking on the band's page, there's one comment that pretty much sums up my opinion of these guys and Folk Noir in general: 'strange beauty.'

Le Fils de Trois Mousquetaires- Lullaby.MP3

Le Fils de Trois Mousquetairs- She Won't Be Home.MP3

Monday, 3 August 2009

New Florence Track

The follow up to Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up), Drumming Song is now available to watch on Youtube and Myspace.

Florence + The Machine - Drumming Song

I love Florence, it's no secret that she has an amazing voice and writes songs
catchier than swine flu at an old folks' home, and her new single is no exception. This track is one of the more melodramatic stompers on her album, taking the jilted drumbeat and using it to create something almost tribal. However, it does seem that there's no real chorus here, or at least not one that stands out amazingly, but since when do songs need a chorus to be great? Bohemian Rhapsody went down quite well so I hear, and that was obviously a collection of about 4 different songs meshed together, with not much of a refrain in sight.

Florence and the Machine's new single, Drumming Song, is available to buy from 7th September.

Her album Lungs is out now- well worth the pennies in your pocket!

Is This It?

I've been meaning to post this track for a while. I was lucky enough to see a surprise set from the quirky ginger hippy at the DirtyBoots stage on the Thursday night of Glastonbury, and as well as being pleasantly surprised at his wit between songs, this track in particular rekindled my love of his music.

This was the only video I could find as it's a new one, and for a live track the quality is pretty good.

If this has whet your whistle for Mr Newton Faulkner's blend of chilled yet uplifting 'pop,' then I'd also recommend downloading People Should Smile More and Massive Attack cover Teardrop, as well as his chart hit Dream Catch Me.

His new album Rebuilt by Humans is out on September 21st.