Monday, November 30, 2009


Finally the Gloves remix of Miami Horror's genius hit; Sometimes, has landed. You should all know why this is a big deal by now so all I'll say is he's done for the song what Aeroplane and Au Revoir Simone did for Paris.

Sometimes (Gloves Remix) - Miami Horror


Tuesday, November 24, 2009













I still can't make my mind up about Annie. There's no denying that Anthonio was amazing, and the Fred Falke remix made a nigh on perfect pop song even better, but I think as a whole her collected body of work is rather hit and miss.

Of course anything I think or feel about an artist is instantly reset when I see the words "Produced by Paul Epworth", a man I have almost as much respect for as the lead singer of the band he helped create the perfect album with. You know exactly what I'm talking about.

Anyway Epworth has co-produced with a bunch of other people that I couldn't care less about Annie's new album, Can't Stop. He took the reigns for one such track, All Night.

All Night is roughly about as poppy as it can get before I switch off and disregard it, but Annie has always had this widespread indie appeal, something impossibly hard to attain for a pop artist but invaluable once it's there. As immediate as her work is, she'll never be a Gaga or a Minogue.

Also, I'll include her upcoming single Songs Remind Me Of You. Stop me if i'm wrong but the instrumentals sound almost identical to New Order's Blue Monday, minus the earth shaking bass. Bit dodgy that.

All Night - Annie

Songs Remind Me Of You - Annie


Now for something completely different, Cage The Elephant. An Indie-Rock band from Texas, their track; Ain't No Rest For The Wicked has this iconic blue-grassy quality that would sound perfect during the opening for the movie in your mind you've always planned on making. Truly an amazing song.

Ain't No Rest For The Wicked - Cage The Elephant


LCD Soundsystem
created this track; Big Ideas, for the card-counting casino heist film, 21. It's classic James Murphy, who clearly has the recipe for brewing and bottling triple distilled cool. This song is all rise.

Big Ideas - LCD Soundsystem


Here's a track from Hey Today! called If I Was Wonderman. Recently Featured on the Bang Gang 12 Inches compilation. Reminds me of Daft Punk before they switched from space-disco-loving-party-throwing-future-robots to inevitable-machine-uprising-human-race-ending-psycho-robots. Robots that refuse to release any new material! Getting real sick of waiting.

Hopefully this will ease the pain.

If I Was Wonderman - Hey Today!


Diminishing Returns is a new song by Ali Love, channeling 80's power ballad heartbreak induced love songs. Has a really smooth, laid back feel to it. Very cool.

Diminishing Returns (Extended Edit) - Ali Love


Ra Ra Riot's album; The Rhumb Line, is hardly new. If you don't have it go out and get it. This track, Ghost Under Rocks, is probably the best I have heard from them so far. At times you can see how comparisons can be drawn to Vampire Weekend, but this song sounds so much more textured than the stripped down sound the other is known for. The strings that kick in near the end are a really great touch.

Ghost Under Rocks - Ra Ra Riot


Buy the music that these people slave over. They don't do it for the love of it, they do it to get money, power and chicks, so help them out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I've convinced myself now that Intimacy Remixed was a cruel ploy by enemies of Bloc Party to damage their untarnished streak of greatness, It was truly awful.

More realistically though, I'd like to think that perhaps Bloc Party didn't have much say in the matter, as the remixes, and remixers; chosen to submit work to the album basically made a mess of the whole thing, which I doubt Kele Okereke would be too keen on if given a say in the matter. The opportunity for fans to remix three or their songs was similarly squandered, with a single digit number worth of remixes worth even mentioning.

Finally though I've found some not necessarily new remixes from Intimacy that have genuinely impressed me.

The mysterious and relatively unknown Adam Jeffery has remixed Letter To My Son under his misleading moniker; Twins, and it's a really good rework. It reminds me of the Silent Alarm remixes: the general trend being that the remixers acknowledged and preserved the heart and soul of the song, only adjusting the mood and atmosphere to create something compelling. Twins has done the same thing here, cut and pasted some vocals, added an eerie instrumental backdrop and amplified the sense of sadness and regret that took center stage in the original. It's remixes like this that should have been on the reinvented iteration of Intimacy.

Secondly, I've tracked down the Frankmusik remix of Talons, which you'd be forgiven in thinking had nothing to do with Frankmusik at all from the sounds of it. But the Electro-Pop wizard's trademark vocal splicing and jittery effects are here and just as effective as always. He's essentially doubled the length of the song, pulling somewhat of a Fred Falke; and like Fred Falke, he's kept it interesting the whole way through.

p.s. Kele recently shaved off the dreads and stacked on, like, 400 pounds of muscle; likely in a bid to intimidate racist punk legends.

Letter To My Son (Twins Remix) - Bloc Party
Talons (Frankmusik Remix) - Bloc Party

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Esser is a band from Essex lead by multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Esser. It's important to stress this because to the casual observer it would seem that this is simply one man's solo project. Esser appears on all the advertising and promotional material, as well as the album cover, all by his lonesome. Perhaps because he's a rather unique chap, with what could most politely be described as an "interesting looking" face, and all at once one of the most ridiculous yet glorious hairstyles I've seen in a while.

With Esser as both the principle songwriter, and lead singer, as well as playing many of the instruments heard on the LP, it's safe to say that Braveface is effectively his creation. And he deserves a ton of credit as well, Braveface is, in a word; amazing.

Sonically it lies somewhere between Electro-Pop and Indie, with the lyrical delivery having a rhythmic progression reminiscent of that found in UK Grime and Hip-Hop. Although there are outliers which deviate from this description littered throughout the album.

It's clear that Esser aimed for catchy accessibility on Braveface, with most of the tracks being loud, punchy three minute pop-gems with scathing and witty observations at the forefront of the songs. Songs like Headlock and Work It Out are perfect examples of the style most of Braveface's numbers entail. Generally dealing with heartbreak and love-loss, but instead of self-pitying introspection and solemn observations, Esser's tracks generally point the finger at what is clearly a long line of self-obsessed users and unfaithful lovers. It's refreshing to hear this approach after so many artists in the same genre tend to use self deprecation or unfulfilled yearning as story-telling techniques in their songs.

It's not all anger and spite however, the previously mentioned Work It Out is a proposition from one party to their better half, to work out their relationship issues and remember why they fell in love in the first place.

There are numerous moments in Braveface where you think to yourself "Wow, that's a great line", and it's definitely one of the best facets of Esser's debut; the songwriting is spot on ninety-five percent of the time. You'll definitely be singing along to many of these songs before long. A great example can be found in the title track:

"So when you wake up in the morning,
And the sunlight hurts your eyes,
Don't want the world to see your demons,
So you keep them locked inside,

And you put on your braveface."

It's tough to single out sterling examples because there are so many to choose from, every track on the album has its own identity and quality to it, Esser set a high benchmark that is easily met across the board.

However I think some of the best moments on Braveface come from those songs that break the mold set by the surrounding mood of the album. Both Bones, and the album closer Stop Dancing, take down the tempo and attempt completely different instrumental styles. Bones reminded me more than once of Bloc Party's style and sound, which impressed me to no end. Stop Dancing also had tinges of A Weekend In The City and Intimacy to it, but comparisons aside, these are both very much still Esser's songs and two of the best on the album. It definitely serves to highlight the strength of Benjamin Esser's versatility when you hear an amalgamation of so many different styles created so well on a debut album.

It's tracks like these that make me very excited for Esser's hopefully long and fruitful music career to come, he's set himself up to basically go anywhere from here, with a varied, yet cohesive selection of songs that never fall flat or disappoint. It is, however, an album in danger of becoming one of those amazing releases nobody heard; as Esser's popularity has been secured in the UK but the band remains relatively unheard of outside of their own country. Do yourself a favour and pick it up if you can, you owe it to yourself to experience and fall in love with Braveface.


I Love You - Esser


Here's a few cool dancey numbers, all feature really interesting vocal aspects to them. The Aston Shuffle track may at first sound a bit middle of the road but the second half is the saving grace of the song; it changes up completely.

Take My Hand (Justin Faust Deep Mix) - Nightriders
Do You Want More - The Aston Shuffle (Feat. Danimal Kingdom)
Lies (Alex Metric Remix) - Fenech-Soler


Some really quality covers have been released this year. Mystery Jets & Esser teamed up to cover The Cure's In Between Days and added a cool electronic backdrop over the relatively faithful vocal rendition. It's good that it remains pretty much very close to the path the original took because there's not a whole heap more you can do to this song to make it any better.

Fascination Street, which appeared on one of The Cure's most popular albums; Disintegration, has been basically warped into a completely different creature by Metronomy. Not only does this not sound like The Cure, it also sounds nothing like Metronomy. No, the closest comparison I could probably make is that it sounds like Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release-era Simian Mobile Disco. It's going to either be a song you love, or despise. I personally love it. Either way you have to admire the audacity associated with such a huge departure from the original sound.

Also, Sky Ferreira recently covered Miike Snow's massive blog-universe hit, Animal. Her version is a stripped down acoustic number, just her and her piano. It's got a completely different feel, but it's easily as good as the original. I also included another track of hers, Lolita. This girl is going to be HUGE very soon.

In Between Days - Mystery Jets & Esser
Fascination Street - Metronomy
Animal - Sky Ferreira
Lolita - Sky Ferreira


Danimal Kingdom is the solo project from Dan The Carnivore, the former lead singer of now defunct band, Bolt Action Five. It doesn't sound like Bolt Action Five really, it's more like Lightspeed Champion than anything else I think. Interesting quasi-electronic indie pop gems.

Girl Boy Girl - Danimal Kingdom
Through The Ice - Danimal Kingdom


Sunday, November 8, 2009


Two Door Cinema Club have just released a new song, a prelude to the debut album release coming early next year. It's called I Can Talk and to be honest, it's not my favourite track from the trio, but it's still pretty damn catchy nonetheless. Also, bucking current trends of all remixes being released lately possessing some truly awful qualities, the I Can Talk remixes seem to be shaping up pretty nicely. I think i prefer both the Crystal Fighters and French Horn Rebellion remixes over the original actually.

I Can Talk - Two Door Cinema Club
I Can Talk (Crystal Fighters Remix) - Two Door Cinema Club
I Can Talk (French Horn Rebellion Remix) - Two Door Cinema Club


Fyfe Dangerfield of Guillemots fame is releasing a solo album. Here's a great track from the impending release, When You Walk In The Room. Sounds sort of the same, and also completely different from the band's work. Has a cool sort of bluesy-rock feel to it at times.

When You Walk In The Room - Fyfe Dangerfield


Really can't wait for Fenech-Soler's album to drop, from what I have heard so far it looks to be as cool and catchy as Friendly Fires debut album, with a bit more edginess. Golden Sun features a brass section throughout underneath falsetto vocals and the synthy dance work you've come to know and love from Electro bands of the 2000's.

Golden Sun - Fenech-Soler


Boy Crisis are a strange band. They clearly have their minds in the gutter at all times, with their songs having a strong sexual undercurrent, and, well actually; a strong sexual overcurrent as well. Strawberries is hilarious, disgusting, wildly inappropriate and insanely catchy all at once. It's a song you'd hate in theory but in practice you can't help but get caught up in the beat and sing along.

Strawberries - Boy Crisis


Finally, A female singer-songwriter who I feel I could grow to like as much as my future-wife to be, Kate Nash (She will be mine, oh yes; she will be mine.). Ellie Goulding utilises electronic backdrops to sing Indie style songs about love, loss and love-loss. Heard this a hundred times before? Maybe. But nobody has done it as well as Goulding so far in my opinion. She's going to be huge very soon, so jump on the bandwagon while there's still seats available.

Under The Sheets - Ellie Goulding
Starry Eyed - Ellie Goulding


Additionally here's a Tom Vek B-Side from the Nothing But Green Lights single called One Horse Race. Hardly new, but like all material from Vek; still one of the coolest songs around almost 5 years on. One Horse Race actually featured on a radio station in GTA IV most recently, so you may have heard it subconsciously without even knowing. Here's hoping he releases a second album in our lifetimes.

One Horse Race - Tom Vek


Thursday, November 5, 2009


DatA's debut album, Skywriter, came out earlier this year without anyone really taking notice. He probably deserves more acclaim and success than he has received, walking the fine line between french touch juggernauts Daft Punk and Justice, and doing it a hell of a lot better than most others I've heard.

Although to say he's a mere clone probably doesn't give him the credit he's entitled to.

The title track from the album features Benjamin Diamond. Now I don't really understand Diamond's deal, because while he sounds amazing when collaborating and guest vocal...i...sing (...?), He's really determined to stray as far into the Pop/Rock territory as his record label will allow on his solo work. And frankly he sucks. Benjamin Diamond should stick to what he's good at. Singing for French dudes.

Skywriter is no exception, my personal favourite on the album, thanks to both an awesome instrumental background and Diamond's silky vocals. Also check out So Much In Love, a very Daft Punk sounding song, with robotic vocoders and all.

Skywriter - DatA
So Much In Love - DatA

Monday, November 2, 2009


Matt Van Schie (Of Van She fame) has decided to take a crack at some solo material. I heard something about this a while back but haven't managed to find anything until now. Saturday Night sounds like something Van She may have made during the 5 years it took them to get their act together and release a debut record.

Here's hoping Van Schie releases some more stuff to keep us happy until the next album from the band. Very cool feel to the tracks I have heard so far.

Saturday Night - Matt Van Schie



These dudes; Gammalapagos, are from Germany, and from the promo release I have, sound like a completely different band in every single song of theirs. While some my condemn them for a lack of continuity I say kudos for the bravado to keep fluid and ever-changing.

Happily Ever After is a fairly moody track with electronic stylings. Quite subtle, it feels like there's an energy to it that's just bubbling under the surface, ready to break free. Only You Mario Ohnegeplärr is completely different, going for a more straight up indie rock vibe. The vocals sound both cheesy and awesome at the same time. Both tracks are really unlike anything that's out at the moment, and instantly caught my attention.

Not a whole bunch of info on them, but from their press photos it looks like they are a complete idiots; in the very best way possible.

Happily Ever After - Gammalapagos
Only You Mario Ohnegeplärr - Gammalapagos

Sunday, November 1, 2009


frontman Tom Smith will always live in the colossal shadow Ian Curtis cast after his tragic suicide. Whether he likes it or not, people will always make comparisons between him and the late Joy Division lead singer for a many reasons. Firstly, and most obviously, his vocal qualities instantly remind you of the downplayed, dirge-like singing style of Curtis, the overall sound of the group itself has heavy Post-Punk tendencies; and being a band from England can't help matters much either. Unfortunately for Smith though, he simply is not as good as Curtis.

Also I'd like to say right now; that is an awful album cover.

All that said, In This Light And On This Evening is certainly my favourite Editors album thus far, their two previous albums left me questioning "Who cares?" when I heard of the impending release of the album. Only because I had heard such great things about this new record that I decided to give it a listen. It's an altogether more electronic effort than their previous work, with a heavy synth presence throughout the LP, and this definitely pulls the band out of their rut of painfully dull Indie Rock. Whether it pulls them far enough is debatable, but it's important to see some serious progress by a band's third album and Editors clearly appreciate the fact as well.

The album opens with its title track, which is arguably the closest to Joy Division they have ever sounded. Ironically it's both one of the best tracks on the album and easily the most damning. By opening with a song that sounds exactly like one of the most respected bands of the 20th century, Editors certainly set me up to compare everything that follows to both this first admittedly impressive track and everything Joy Division have done as well. Bad move, Tom Smith. The song explodes half way into a heavily distorted riff of Muse-esque grandeur, creating, in conjunction with the moody vocals and slow burning synth; a very dark and foreboding opener.

This leads into Bricks And Mortar, a song Editors truly make their own. The synths once again are a standout in this one, sounding like the best parts of the 80's New Wave movement, in a move reminiscent of The Horrors recent sophomore album. Tom Smith is definitely more capable than Ian Curtis at crafting uplifting stadium ballads, and Bricks And Mortar is definitely one of the best examples of the iconic Editors sound that featured on their previous albums, but this time done right.

Which brings me to Papillon, which perplexes as much as it disappoints. When I say Smith isn't as talented as Curtis, this song comes to mind as the perfect example. His lyrical writing abilities just pale in comparison to Curtis'. While "It kicks like a sleep twitch" is an admirable concept to evoke, there just has to be a better way to put it; to sing it; to repeat it over and over. The weakest line on the album and it's given center stage in Papillon, sung ad nausem, jarringly placed and awkwardly phrased. Papillon should not have been the leading single from In This Light And On This Evening. Hearing the single beforehand lowered my expectations (which is perhaps a good thing) and dulled my mild excitement for the album, and within the context of the release it still hasn't improved in my mind.

The Big Exit tries to salvage the mood evoked from the strength of the opening tracks, and for the most part, succeeds. It's a good song to have right in the center of the album, it keeps it alive when it is beginning to falter and it's impression remains even through the disappointing second half of the record. The high point of this down tempo brooding centerpiece is definitely the vocal risks and flourishes Smith attempts. It's a welcome change from his ordinarily dead-pan delivery, and for once we can see Editors as a band of their own, rather than a weak ghost of a bygone era.

The rest of the album begins to blend together into one long song, neither interesting nor inspiring. It's a shame because there are moments here where Editors began to shine, where they finally hit the nail on the head and made me feel something, anything. But it's back to old house tricks for the second half, there's some interesting instrumental work in Like Treasure, but, and do I apologise to Smith for singling him out constantly, as soon as his vocals come in, I just switch off. The lyrics aren't interesting, his singing style isn't good enough to get away with it, and to be honest there's just something about him that really irks me.

While Curtis' vocals took a few attempts to appreciate, there was always an amazingly evocative and literate undercurrent to every Joy Division song. You could just hear in every line that Curtis was a man who never switched off, always thinking, dreaming and evolving, even if it was channeled through a horrible depression, his lyrics gave Joy Division its whole identity. In fact, that's what Editors feel like; a band without an identity, it's like they can't decide who they want to be, or they have, but they just aren't talented enough to get there.

For this reason I don't think I'll ever be blown away by an Editors album unless they change up their game completely. Too many inescapable comparisons are drawn and Editors come out second-best in many of them. There are moments on In This Light And On This Evening that really impressed me, but they are just outweighed and overwhelmed by the incredible nothingness of that which surrounds it. Sometimes obviously stronger tracks can be showcased by the comparison to the weaker ones surrounding them, but on this album, It just feels like they're being dragged down by rest who can't keep afloat.


Bricks And Mortar - Editors