Friday, 26 August 2011

After stumbling across this over on The Recommender, I literally can't get enough.

This is exactly the kind of sleazy, devil may care grunge that's just perfect for a friday night. Everything from the ambivalent vocals to the mesh of musical styles both old and new, to the (rather inventive) comic book she's released to coincide with the single indicate that Foe isn't just another female alt artist, but something much more fresh and exciting. Foe is definitely one to watch out for, it's only a matter of time before she becomes a permanent fixture in the UK's indie and alternative scene.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Humble Beginnings.

Another day, another songwriter. Or at least that's what it's starting to seem like lately. Maybe the lukewarm summer sun is bringing them out from the shadows or perhaps they're just spurred on by the likes of folk posterboy Frank Turner: either way it's clear that everyone and his horse wants to get in on a bit of the action. While this can only be a good thing in terms of music as a whole, it's easy for a genre of this calibre to become stagnant and bland. However, every so often you find one artist interesting enough to make up for the stream of generic folk types, and today that's in the form of Mr Ben Parcell.

With an album entitled Humble Beginnings, Ben Parcell certainly lives up to expectations. Laidback and carefree, it draws on both punk and folk influences from the likes of Green Day and Billy Bragg to create an upbeat vibe that's perfect for accompanying days spent lazing about in the sun. Parcell, a self-confessed Turner fan, has clearly taken a leaf out of his hero's book when it comes to making music both passionate and distinctive; something that songs like Close Your Eyes do very well.

While it's not going to completely alter your conception of reality and there appears to be a distinct lack of hooks, this is a record that doesn't boast anything other than what it is. A good, solid, humble beginning. Having only started making music in 2010, Parcell has clearly got a long way to go until he draws in crowds on the scale of Turner and Bragg, but it seems to me that he's definitely one to watch out for in the future. I think I'll be keeping an eye on him (in a non-stalkery capacity).

Pull us a Pint, Boys

From JLS condoms to Manics party poppers, there seems to be no end to the lengths musicians (or rather their labels) will go to ensure we buy tacky crap with their logo on, moreso now that bands have to contend with a recovering economy and largescale piracy, amongst other such bother.

Personally I've never been one to buy into that kind of thing; admittedly I've been known to get a poster or two in my time, but largely I think the music is more than enough. I'd much prefer to use the money to see them at a gig rather than get some t-shirt that my mother will inevitably shrink in the wash.

However, the latest addition to the mountains of merch is something I think I can get behind. Rather appropriately, Northern band Elbow are set to release their very own brand of beer.

Robinson's brewery have created their very own brand of beery goodness as a tribute to the homegrown band's current success, having played some of the biggest festivals in the country and managing to pick up a second Mercury nomination for Build a Rocket Boys!
While the beer had previously only been available in the band's local city of Manchester, Robinson's have decided to roll out Build a Rocket Boys! beer and cask ale to the rest of the country as from October, with a significant percentage of sales going towards Oxfam's East Africa famine appeal.

As a fan of the frothy stuff, I'm intrigued to see if this will actually be any good. It's certainly a marketable idea in an age where many are scrimping on the luxuries but still want to enjoy a nice cold pint or two.

If you're interested in finding out just what Build a Rocket Boys! tastes like, keep an eye on 'Elbow beer' on Facebook for more info on when the beer will be released.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

This mysterious video has just been tweeted by Sigur Ros..

Anyone else excited?

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Revolution Will Not be Televised

A rather topical rant in the form of another charming folk ditty by emerging talent Grace Petrie.

Grace has been a firm favourite of mine ever since I stumbled across her set one sunny day at Glastonbury's Leftfield stage last year and she's yet to disappoint. Both genuinely thought provoking and refreshing, it's difficult to ignore this young woman's talent. Full of tales of love ire and the odd political diatribe, Petrie's new album Tell Me a Story is a fine testament to just how great the folk scene is at the moment. Every song packs as much punch as the last and one cannot help but hang on every word. If you like gutsy, real folk without an ounce of conceit, then look no further.