So I said I'd try and get some more guitars in this edition and I might have failed you. Though I have at least got some guitars from Post-Metal veterans Pelican and a new track from Grizzly Bear that'll hopefully suffice. Apart from that, I also have some neo-classical, some electronic pop and some folk-hop (yeah, I just come up with that genre and I don't think I'll be using it again) amongst your weekly dose of new music.
Saturday, 28 September 2013
Sunday, 22 September 2013
Looking at this week's selection, I seem to have an electronica bias. It wasn't intentional but I think I've just about managed to even things out with noisey dream pop and some hip hop thrown into the mix alongside a new track from genre blender Beck. I'll try and get some music with distorted guitars for next week to even things out but in the meantime, Enjoy.
Sunday, 15 September 2013
The musical output from recently reformed bands can seem to go one of two ways, it either shows a group revitalized, regaining the inspiration and energy that originally held them together, or it can serve to highlight why the split in the first place as they re-hashing past efforts. Thankfully, the first Sebadoh album in fourteen years, Defend Yourself, is the former. After Dinosaur Jr. reunion back in 2006, Lou Barlow and company have decided to give Sebadoh another go and seem to pick things up where they left off. The group had a knack for bringing together riffs that veered between melodic and dissonant, often within the same song. With lyrics that mixed the cryptic with a relatable earnestness that often put them closer to emo bands like Fugazi, rather than their peers like Guided by Voices and Pavement.
Nowadays, where anyone can make a decent recording with little investment, lo-fi is more of an aesthetic choice rather than a budget related necessity and Defend Yourself, despite being self-recorded by the group, eschews much of that low quality sound. What they have retain is that inconsistency that gave the band a certain charm, songs would switch between the noisey and abrasive to downbeat and heartbreakingly direct that often managed to catch you off guard.
I Will starts the album off with a with a deceptively folk-leaning intro as Lou claims 'Things have changed' before the electric guitars burst through reassuring listeners that, at least musically, this is the same Sebadoh as always. With tracks like Beat and Once revelling in murky grunge distortion, you could be forgiven for thinking your still in the 1990s. Elsewhere the band allow for some clean power pop moments on State of Mind and Inquiries is a welcome change to the preceding, letting the their weird, off-kilter tendencies shine through with it's strange country riffs.
Love You Here has the kind of heart on sleeve lyrics that have made the band so endearing, managing to be miserable without descending into complete self-pity. If anything has changed, it's Lou's voice. Maybe it has matured a little, often sounding like Michael Stype and in fact, the up-tempo number Oxygen sounds quite a lot like an R.E.M song. Let It Out is a highlight, with the group at their most direct and without the lo-fi distraction the emotive lyrics and considered melodies ring out even louder. There a few tracks that fall short, lacking the energy or engaging lyrics that the best material here has. Can't Depend slumps along with the hooks never taking hold and the aforementioned Oxygen sounds almost too clean cut for the group.
Sebadoh may well be defending themselves with this new release, proving they still have something to offer, and they do. The album reminds you that they created a certain strand of indie rock all of their own, and while Defend Yourself may not capture quite the same magic as releases like Bakesale and Harmacy, it is still put together with the same DIY tenacity and makes a worthwhile addition to their discography.
Originally Posted on figure8magazine.co.uk
Yep, looks like the clouds are rolling in and summer has officially long gone, but fear not music never stops. In fact I have quite a selection of brand new tunes that I have put together from all over these here interwbs. This week's section contains everything from stadium-sized indie-rock to subdued electronica and the latest in the seemingly never ending run of reuniting 90s bands. Do read on...
Friday, 6 September 2013
Australia has been providing a whole host of psychedelic leaning bands of late, and with an ear for melody Cloud Control stand out amongst the ranks. They create sun blazed psychedelic pop, owing as much to the music coming out of the west coast of America through the 60s as they do to current musical trends. The band have made a name for themselves supporting bigger acts like the Foofighters, Arcade Fire and Weezer, and you can see why, their melodies are immediate but have a tendency to stick around in your head after the song has finished. They've also nabbed to Australian Music Prize (which is the Australian equivalent of the Mercury prize) for the debut album back in 2011 amongst a whole host of plaudits, so the expectations are high for their sophmore release, Dream Cave.
They relocated to the UK to put together the new album, gaining more studio time and even utilizing a 2000 year-old quarry for the perfect reverb. You can tell they've taken their time, each song sounds considered and ideas don't stick around any longer than they need to. Take Moonrabbit for example, on which the major key melodies and girl-boy harmonies rick get irritating, but the track has moves on before outstaying its welcome. This particular track also epitomises their not so subtle 60s worship which is evident throughout the record.
The laid back Dojo Rising rides along on cool drumbeat as lead vocalist Alister Wright repeats 'I don't want anything' with the loose slacker feel of American indie rock, while Promises has a 50s pop vibe with its 6/4 rhythm and displaying a creative use of backing vocals. Co-vocalist Heidi Lenffer takes the lead on The Smoke, The Feeling an unashamedly 80's pop track. Effected vocals soar over track's propellant drum beat and simple, shimmering guitar lines. The epic pop sound remains on Scar, which starts off with the sound of organ arpeggios. The song provides the album's biggest chorus, powered along by a solid drum beat and distorted guitars, its hard to not imagine it going over well in a live performance.
Their sound can come across as being a bit light at times, tracks like Happy Birthday seem to slip by without ever taking hold. Still, they change things up near the end with the slower tempo and darker feel of Tombstone, allowing space for some huge echo to wash over the track amongst a great little warped guitar solo.
They may not as dedicated to recreating an era as other psych rock pedallers like Tame Impala, instead Cloud Control sound modern whilst keeping sonic reference points intact. Maybe their not as offbeat as other groups drawing on similar sounds but Cloud Control have crafted their on sound, with the kind of effortless pop hooks and uncluttered songwriting that could easily lead to them being the stadium headliners in the near future.
Originally posted on figure8magazine.co.uk.
Welcome to my latest run down of the most interesting music to bleep on to my radar over the last seven days. This week we have some experimental classical, interesting collaborations, and surprising comebacks amongst the tracks I've gathered for your listening pleasure.