Friday, 27 November 2009

Midwinter Lullabies

So, it seems at long last this year has taken its toll on me. College is becoming a living nightmare and I find myself embroiled in a pathetic teen drama that isn't even Hollyoaks worthy and, lets face it, it's not that difficult a depth to sink to. Still, amongst all the teenage angst I've managed to uncover some delicious music for you to sink your teeth into.

Well, maybe not 'sink your teeth' so much as caress it gently, for these guys are more hypnotising than heavy. Nevertheless they're just what the doctor ordered in terms of mood and style on a cold winter's eve. Whether or not you've yet succumbed to the hype of Mumford and Sons, you should know that they are possibly one of the finest acts to emerge from 2009. They are everything Fleet Foxes were last year and more: their songs pack a punch in terms of lyrical content, as well as having numerous singalong choruses (definitely at least half of the album is single worthy; not an easy feat for a band only two years into their career). However, the punch is soon negated by an overwhelming sense of warmth protruding from nearly every crevice of this album.

Sigh No More has been on repeat for the past few days, I find it's the perfect wind down to a stressful day. Winter Winds and a nice cup of tea- what more could a girl ask for?

Seriously though, if you download one album this year let it be this one, it's brilliant.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Rabbit in the Headlights

I really like this track, imagine it would be a great song to drive to.

Frightened Rabbit are one of my new favourite discoveries, definitely one of the more exciting bands the Scottish isles have spoiled us with this year (and lord knows there's been a few). It's only a matter of a time before these guys reach the same dizzy heights that fellow Scots Glasvegas effortlessly climbed to in 2008 (was it really that long ago?).

If you prefer the softer side of Biffy Clyro and Fleet Foxes but still like their fatally catchy choruses then Frightened Rabbit are your new best friends.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Definitely Not S.A.D

Let's be honest, this isn't exactly the most wonderful time of year. There's a chill in the air that doesn't yet hold that familiar festive excitement of winters past- more misery than merriment. The night engulfs us with an ever increasing vehemence and it's not even acceptable to be humming Fairytale of New York yet for fear of eternal ridicule.

Isn't November great?

However, there is a somewhat hazy light in the darkness in the shape of electro titans Asobi Seksu.

This is 3 minutes and 49 seconds of trippy, cathartic beauty. The song just screams summer and takes us back to the good old days when we actually saw the sun for more than half an hour and didn't have to dress like the Michelin Man everytime we ventured to the shops. The melody is gorgeous and has more than a hint of self-indulgence, (Yuki Chikudate's light and airy vocals make this track what it is, sends shivers down my spine) making this a very welcome antidote to the rather stodgy, heavy music that finds itself in the mainstream charts at the moment.

The video is also a perfect fit and makes one feel a certain sense of nostalgia, reminiscent of many a lazy sunny afternoon spent wandering through fields of wildflowers and blossom.. or at least a muddy field full of thousands of sweaty festival folk.
Same diff.

In terms of their previous stuff Transparence is very laidback which I think works quite well for them, allowing the vocals to truly shine. I for one definitely prefer this calmer, more pensive side to Asobi Seksu.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Ignore the Applause and Set the Theatre on Fire

Here's the brand new video from my favourite Punk/folk hybrid Frank Turner.

I have the pleasure of actually being in the video, having been in one of the many savage crowds Frank has had to contend with during his most recent UK tour. (Actually, not that anyone cares but at 0.27 you can actually see my 'interesting' face at the front of the crowd for his instore appearance at awesome music shop Rise).

The gig itself was truly something to behold- one man band Beans on Toast offered an unconventional yet inspired support, I don't think many were expecting to see a folk singer from London dancing and rapping to the sounds of an accordion and someone playing the Gameboy. And as for Frank, I have to say I was utterly impressed. When you hear the words 'singer songwriter' you immediately conjure up images of demure pretentious prats who play your typical folk-by-numbers stuff (see James Blunt or that other one). What you actually get in the case of Frank Turner is a raucous, heavy mess whose songs are almost brutal in their honesty.

Most notably Poetry of the Deed and encore Photosynthesis received an amazing reaction from the baying crowd, and with Frank and his band managing to produce some of the most upbeat yet heavy music to come from a singer-songwriter whilst trying not to sweat their gonads off in the near-tropical heat (what idiots put central heating on in a small gig venue?!), they certainly earnt it.

The track, from which his new album takes the same name, has all of the usual beautifully poetic lyrics that we've come to expect from Turner; the refrain at the end in particular always makes me smile. Poetry of the Deed is a stomper of a track that definitely deserves to score highly in the Top 40.

"Life is too short, to live without poetry
If you've got soul darling then come on and show it me.
But Life is too long to just sing the one song
So we'll burn like a beacon
And then we'll be gone."

Sunday, 1 November 2009

I Wish I Was Icelandic

Possibly the most beautiful song in existence. I prefer the live version of this track but for some reason it won't let me play it.

Had a bad day?
Work/school/college making your life hell?

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and just lose yourself in this.

This is why I love music.