A cozy hollow of musical treats to share


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Last Month's Playlist

Here's last month's playlist to share!

Give it a shuffle, and enjoy.

Duet Cassette: Bastille & Gabrielle Aplin

After an array of unique covers, Bastille have teamed up with the innocent sound of Gabrielle Aplin for their latest spectrum to hit perfection:

Haunting Hibernation: Youth Lagoon

Hidden beneath a dusty dredge of emotion and blanketed under a leafy layer of mental dysphoria is Youth Lagoon, AKA Trevor Powers. The Californian musician released his debut album The Year of Hibernation in September 2011, and for me, it has taken a long cold year for Powers to come out of hibernation and find me.

Described as 'dream pop', 'experimental', 'atmospheric' and 'electronic', Powers' music is certainly eclectic; but there is something engaging about it, which makes Youth Lagoon stand out among others still sleeping in this genre. 

While complex euphoric music is no new feat, with different genres of euphoria emerging, The Year of Hibernation is a leafy mix of day dreaming, scenic songs, clever touches and beautiful lyrics that still make sense when you aren't listening to the words. It is easy listening music making you feel 'deep' inside. The digital chords, synthesized vocals, hollow beginnings, and progressive arrangements make the whole record a magical journey.

In fact, the more you listen, the more you get the impression that Powers himself has been on a journey through this record. 
'When I was seventeen, 
my mother said to me, 
"Don't stop imagining. 
The day that you do is the day that you die".
(From Seventeen)

His words are sometimes all over the places, and even a little whiney and repetitive, but at the heart of them is a world of stories. They are meaningful, even if you're not sure about their exact meaning. 

You wore a hoodless sweatshirt on your bed that night 
With black leggings, I've never seen your face so white
Your honesty was killing me 
The monsters in the room were all dancing to the music all around us
(From Montana)

Perhaps it is the sense that Powers himself has delved and explored deep into personal wounds, battles and emotions, that makes The Year of Hibernation come to life. It doesn't just feel like you are waking up the youthful hipster in yourself, but it feels like you are part of a very personal, very large following. Despite others being awoken to Youth Lagoon before me, I still feel a magical privacy with the music.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Cover: Bastille - What Would You Do

Bastille have covered the infamous City High rap song, 'What Would You Do', and it's beautiful. The South London quartet, headed up by Dan Smith, seem to infuse their own style and sound into everything they touch. Magic.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Rediscovery: Tracy Chapman

Rediscovering Tracy Chapman today.

I love this comment. It eloquently sums up someone's love, inspiration and admiration for the singer.

Gig Review: Dillon


Hoxton Square Bar and Grill, London
Sunday 21st October 2012

To Drink:
1 Gin & Tonic
1 Vodka + Tomato Juice (#Hangover)

For Starters:
Dillon's support act was made up of a beautiful female vocalist, a guitarist, and another guy doing, well, everything else apparently.

They made long, psychedelic interludes which would probably have been much more enjoyable if it was 5am on a Saturday night in a grimy east London basement club and I was wasted. However, it was not, and I was not.  The music was very electronic, almost tribal in places, and not something to sing along to, with no defined melody or catchy tracks. Nonetheless, the girls voice was rich.Whether she was singing words or just tuneful 'aaaaaaaaahs', I respected the interesting combinations of electronic instruments with clearly 3 talented musicians. But...none of this even matters, because they did not even introduce themselves or say hello. The mystery band of electric music-teers will remain ever mysterious nameless from my pallet.

For Mains:
What a cute dish. Her voice, although she was feeling under the weather and perhaps a little croaky, was beautiful. The tone and German accent gave off emotions, while the interesting melodies of her songs simmered with the right balance of meaning and tune.

For anyone unaccustomed to Dillon's music, I think it's a beautiful original concotion, like Lykke Li or Ellie Goulding, with an extra bite of atmosphere. It's quirky, imaginative, and always surprising.

Again, like the inconspicuous electric music-teers just before her, Dillon lacked a certain value of entertainment, or crowd interaction, perhaps because, it's just all about the music, dude. There was very little conversation, but as things started to relax, she started to get things going, and in a magical instant she had fans, ladies, fellas and the bar staff singing the chorus of 'tip tapping', rather impressively I thought, right from the start of the song to the finish, while she set up the verses.

Despite her beautiful voice, there was no telling whether Dillon was beautiful in the flesh. The entire set was in almost pitch darkness, with a couple of strobes brightening up occasionally like a flicker of hope, before descending once more into black. I understand the atmosphere, the interesting brooding with which darkness brings, and the rich, organic concentrate of music; however I wanted to see her. It was infuriating not to be looking at this beautiful Germanic creature, to the extent that the personableness of the gig itself was somewhat lost.

But, she managed to win us back losing her voice in the final encore, revealing that somewhere in the darkness, her cute personality was quietly and demurely singing '[past lover] fuck you. And die. Fuck you. And die' before she went off to nurse a lemsip and a strepsil.

For Pudding:
A walk to the tube in the rain, followed by a good night's sleep.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Fro Pas

Having an Afro is fun.
Blocking everyone behind you at the
gig from catching a glimpse of the band: not fun.
Corn roll that, or move to the back.

Tantalising - Matt Corby

Sometimes hearing things first is good. It ensures assumptions about appearance are not made. It ensures you don't just hear the music, but listen to it.

 This aside, Matt Corby seems to back up his tantalising vocals, with his tantalising looks. Beautiful Song, beautiful voice, beautiful.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Video: Tom Vek - Aroused

Cigarettes vs. Arousal.

Legend Lyrics: Jamie MacDowell (& Tom Thum) - Thanks

 Tom Thum, the Australian beat boxer on this track, invited his friend Jamie MacDowell on stage to sing and strum at his Edinburgh Fringe show in August. The song is beautiful, but it is only when you properly discover the complexity and imaginative lyrics that you appreciate the song and genius behind it.

I've got no need for anyone but you.
I could get used to losing nutrients and them kilograms, abandon all the food groups.
Man, the truth is I would stand upright all night long if you asked me too.
Because that would mean more room for you.

There ain't a coat that could protect me from the coldness like you do.
Can't find comfort within cardigan, that i can't find in you.
I've got no use for, what some would call the usual pursuits, because i got used to the unusual in you.

I don't need light, I barely need my eyes, because you turn up on the other side behind them. Just like light, you follow through.
And I can make excuses for the places that I said I'd be tonight, if you don't mind, I'd rather follow you.

As far as food goes, I'll survive without it, so far I've been fine.
Since meeting you, I've lost my appetite, and ain't got plans to find it.
Just like fighters meet the bruises, and chemicals will find their users, just like lightning meets the gloom, well I met you.

And since then I've been experiencing a longing that comes close to being lonely, and goes in hand with hopeful.
It's oh so quotable. It seems, the more i let myself believe, the less the rest of this will mean.

Now there's just two good ways to stun a man, the gun, and then there's you.
But there's a hundred ways to love you and one hundred ways I'll use.
I'll even keep the best of all of them for last, so i can prove that after all, there's even more to look forward to.

I don't need light, I barely need my eyes, because you turn up on the other side behind them. Just like light, you follow through.
And I can make excuses for the places that I said I'd be tonight, if you don't mind, I'd rather follow you.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Festival Review - Truck

In the month of July, nestled among the hazy, green Oxfordshire fields, wedged between the hustle and bustle of farm life, is Truck Festival. Not to be confused with Truck Fest, (The Original Road Haulage and Trucking Events Company...!?!) Truck Festival is a small UK music festival with big line up.

Described as ‘the godfather of small festivals’, this year Truck boasted headliners like The Temper Trap, Mystery Jets and Tim Minchin on the Main Stage. Alongside these, there are plenty other smaller acts to keep things cruising. 

Funky rock posh boys Theme Park kept the crowd merry, while folk newcomers Lucy Rose and King Charles packed out the (sweaty) Second Stage.

A personal favourite for me were Man Like Me. Their previous single Squeeze was featured a few months ago, and sums up the band: completely bonkers. At one point, the red Second Stage tent was filled with people jumping around to one topless skinny bloke, someone who looked like the topless skinny bloke, and a black man wearing what can only be described as a shiny African woman's dress. Their energy transcended into the crowd. We were now in a parallel universe where everything was red, we were all dancing in shiny African dresses. And loving it. 

Aside from the music, Truck Festival had a go at the standard ‘vintage dress’ shop, ‘massage and relaxation centre’, and an embarrassingly dead marquee disco. The food stalls, despite running out on the last night, were stocked with local YUMMY produce, and the chips – Oh the chips – kept my wheels turning.
As for the people themselves, there are a few families with wee ones, and a few too many cocky teenagers, but everyone seemed to mind their own business.

Potential improvements for next year lie with the dodgy loos getting a good cleaning, the lack of pubs/bars atmosphere, and a serious need for some after dark escapades. 

Overall, Truck is a chilled out festival. It’s easy to get to, it’s not too busy and the staff were helpful and friendly. If you’re after hard core clubbing and drugging, Truck is not the right ride for you; but if you want a little laid back adventure with interesting music, food and atmosphere, then hitch a lift for Truck.

Friday, 17 August 2012

This Time For Africa

Digging the African influence right now.

But it's not all waka waka


Monday, 16 July 2012

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Changing Tracks

The music industry is changing. No one can dispute that; and yet it is difficult to foresee how the relationship between artists, record labels and gigs will impact the business. 

It is now a cliché to now comment on the problems that mainstream record labels, and indeed artists, are facing. Illegal music downloads are rampant. But there are also positive factors at play, which have turned the industry on its head, and shaken things up for the experienced music fat-cats.

'Internet YouTube sensations', social media self-publicity, and unsigned artists having the ability to sell tracks on iTunes, means there is no longer a monopoly dictating who can make it, and who cannot. Fresh, upcoming artists and talented bands are able to break through and penetrate the business, while the strategically constructed image of squeaky clean solo artists and bands, is no longer dominating the charts and the industry.

So then, what now is the 'industry', in 'music industry'? Where can the money be made? It is surely impossible to prevent illegal downloads, and certainly to prevent the listening. With YouTube, Vevo, Spotify, Deezer, Artists' own websites and other modern means of accessing music, surely soon even the business of legal downloads will start to crumble.

And yet we still want new music to be made. We want artists and groups, old and new, from every genre to aspire to make music. Obviously it is not all about the money, but there must be some sort of business there to satisfy production.

Among the muddle of media, festivals, appearances, and deals, are the performances. The gigs and shows where we can discover, support and enjoy the music at its best. That is perhaps where we should flash the cash. Instead of criticizing the availability of free music at our fingertips, we should embrace it. Going to see artists live, singing your favourite song, cannot be felt fully through your iPod or online. What is more, often it is online that we actually find these artists. Through tweets, blogs and YouTube, we can find music we would never think to listen to before. Our music taste can expand, our knowledge can grow, and instead of paying 99p for an intangible single, our money may be better spent booking tickets and going out to watch them perform. Whether it is at an opera house, an arena stage, a grimey basement, or an old run-down bar, sometimes going to see artists is the best way for you, and them, to get something back.

More innovative still, are the modern applications and platforms, which have seen this change coming. Live music is nothing new. People have been enjoying live music and entertainments for hundreds of years, which tends to suggest it isn't going anywhere. One example of said modern platforms is BandsInTown: a website, smartphone and facebook app, which allows users to type in their favourite artists and effectively 'follow' them for gig dates. When your tracked artists announce dates near your location, BandsInTown notifies you and helps you buy tickets. Furthermore, a 'Concert Cloud' shows users their tracked artists, alongside apparently similar artists, potentially helping users find new bands.

Altogether a simple but clever idea by App creators, CellFish Media, which steers clear of any possible negative impact on the music industry and socially promotes live music and new artists. It is by no means the only app or idea out there, [1] and it is not always perfect in finding every upcoming concert, but it certainly gives us a flavour of things to come.

In ten years time, music and money will still be made. However, it will not be made by the managers, record labels and production companies who are taking a cut out of the music industry; but the artists, venues and modern applications which are the music industry.

[1] http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/05/5-music-apps-scaremiddlemen/


Legend Lyrics: Jessie Ware - Wildest Moments

 From the outside
Everyone must be wondering why we try
Why do we try
Maybe in our wildest moments
We could be the greatest,
Maybe in our wildest moments
We could be the worst of all
Wait on, summer sky
Wherever there’s smoke, there'll soon be fire

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Summer Rain Wave

Pool parties? Sun burn? Outdoor Tennis? ...Not so much. Maybe this will help:

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Alt-J - Changing

 Alt-J are a standard four piece band with a very different sound.

Together, Thom, Gwil, Joe, and Gus use guitar, vocals, keyboard and drums to make music. The foursome met at Leeds Uni in 2007, and from student dormroom jamming, the band and its members have grown, creating and producing a new exciting sound.

They make a mix of electronic, soulful and folk music, carefully layered and knitted together to make unique tracks. There are hints of Bombay Bicycle vocals, dashes of electro synths, and the simple steady Mumford & Sons rhythm which somehow make complicated tracks, easy listening.

Describing Alt-J is difficult. Each song sounds like something else. Some tracks are dark, featuring dub, others feature playful bells and accapella harmonies. There are Indian vibes scattered across some songs, and the sound of classical orchestral strings in others. For me however, it’s singer Joe Newman’s voice that defines Alt-J. It’s soulful, versatile and rich.

After changing name from ‘Daljit Dhaliwal’, then ‘Films’, ‘Alt-J’ has finally stuck. Alt-J itself is apparently used in mathematical equations to show change. Whether this change means a ‘turning point in their lives’, or represents the change they add to current music, Alt-J’s tracks are full of change from one track to the next.

Let’s hope they don’t change too much.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Parachute Wafting

Remember those big giant mult-icoloured (yellow, red, green and blue) parachutes that you used to play games with in nursery and waft up and down and run under and round and inflate and deflate....These songs would be nice to do that to.

If You Wan't To Shape Up...Slow Down

Julia Stone, half of the sibling duo Angus & Julia Stone, has taken a song from hit musical Grease, and slowed it down to create the sublime beautiful track.

Instead of fairgrounds and sexy leather trousers, the lyrics of the song take a complete different meaning.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Re-crafted Cover: Sexy and He Knows It

Noah's cover of LFMAO's dance track is beast!

Completely revamps an overplayed track into something zany and fresh. 18 year-old Noah gives a rich, bluesy approach, and whether he's miming or not (current debate in my office), it's grand!

Wiggle wiggle wiggle

Monday, 30 April 2012

Random Collab

Who would have thunk LA pop Maroon 5's Adam Levine and rap's new rogue mogul Wiz Khalifa would have teamed up?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Thursday, 19 April 2012

A Reluctant Share

Reluctantly I share Jai Paul, an enchanting British songwriter and producer. 

Jai Paul and I have history. We go back a couple of years with 'BTSTU'. A beautiful, bewitching private passion I was introduced to by a friend. Despite Paul successfully entrancing some big music names like Annie Mac and Zane Lowe with this track, it remained somewhat private.

Then, Drake decides to sample over that gem of a song with some crappy rap misfit called, 'Dreams Money Can Buy'. Not cool. Luckily, most people were too falsely entranced by Drake's apparent genius to question the real origin of the mesmerizing backtrack. Even Beyonce apparently tried to grab a piece of the with her track 'Till The End Of Time', but still Jai Paul seemingly remained safely swept under the magic carpet.

So just as I was beginning to feel secure, and at one with my personal Jai Paul secret, he goes and bloody releases another spellbinding track, 'Jasmine'. Fuck. There's no hushing this up.

And so, I reluctantly share Jai Paul, a magician of music, a wizard of wacky music and a sorcerer of song.

Private. Public. Mutual.

It's a rare familiarality finding a song that has affected a private community. Far too often there are personal vendettas dotted between the comments section of a song; weaving in and out of hateful, irrelevant or gushing posts. Users seem determined to argue with people they have never met, and content to write spiteful, meaningless comments. This song is no exception.

However one comment caught my eye:

Without this comment, this was an incredible song. But now there is another story behind this song.

Not only that, 235 other people feel this story, and someone else has even added to the true story. There is a private community of mutual understanding that this song, and Hoodie Allen helps someone who feels trapped, feel better.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Polar Bears and Global Warming

3 Big Chill Songs.

  1.  Hiatus - Ghost Notes
  2. Cillo - Breathe
  3. DRT - Rising Sun (The Boogaloo Crew Remix)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

PLAYLIST - A Lonely Spring

Some mellow songs to embrace the spring gone from your step.

  1. Roads and Boats - Anything Could Happen
  2. TV Girl - It's Not Something
  3. The Young Friends - I Won't Break Your Heart 
  4. French Films - Take You With Me
  5. Noah and the Whale - Sometimes
  6. Marcus Foster - Couldn't Love You More
  7. The Cure - Lullaby
  8. Gabrielle Aplin - The Times Are A Changing (Bob Dylan Cover)