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Archive for the 'Music' Category

Gregory and the Hawk – Meonie and Kitchi

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Gregory and the Hawk - Meonie and KitchiGregory and the Hawk in fact isn’t someone called gregory, or a hawk. It’s actually a singer called Meredith Godreau, who releases music under Gregory and the Hawk to avoid being lumped in with the rest of the female singer/songwriters. Her new album, Moenie and Kitchi , is out now, and definitely worth a listen.

Why? Well in a nutshell, Gregory and the Hawk make lovely, lovely music. But not in a ‘what’s a cute word that rhymes with rabbit way’, in a simple, pure way. No aims, no agenda, just an album to take you to another place where everything’s just a little bit better. Meonie and Kitchi sounds like a Fionn Regan track but with a more charming vocalist and with hints of Regina Spektor. If this album had been made before the film ‘Juno’ was released, I imagine Kimya Dawson would’ve been out the door to make way for these guys. Catchy, but not over-whelming or obvious, these songs make you want to lie back and just listen whilst your troubles ooze away.

You can get Meonie and Kitchi by Gregory and the Hawk from Amazon for £8.98, or download it from FatCat Records.

Folktronica

Friday, October 31st, 2008

James Yuill - Turning Down Water For AirJames Yuill, on first appearances, is a skinny bloke with a guitar and glasses that won’t stay up. However, bend your ears in the direction of his album, or catch him live, you’ll realise there’s a bit more to him than a another geeky looking guy with a guitar. With his many boxes of tricks, James Yuill adds all sorts of weird and wonderful electronic magic, from samples to bleeps and blips to crazy Daft Punk inspired riffs to complement his insightful acoustic sound.

As ridiculous as it may sound on paper, James Yuill’s unusual combination of fusing electronica and acoustic is a success, particularly live where you can witness him pushing buttons, hitting keys and strumming away, and you can also play the rather fun game of ‘spot the sample’ as he subtly includes bits of other songs in his electronica mash up.

His debut album, Turning Down Water For Air is out now on the brilliant Moshi Moshi label, and you can get it from Amazon for £9.98.

Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million SunsSnow Patrol release their new album, A Hundred Million Suns, next Monday (27th). This is their fourth album, and sees the band take a more orchestral direction, but the album is still full of the catchy pop hooks and soaring chorus of their last album, the multi-million selling Eyes Open.

Performing on Later with Jools Holland last week, the band played their new single, Take Back The City, another epic pop track, and two other tracks from the new album, one of which featured a group of backing singers and a string and brass orchestra. Whether this was just a one off or these new additions to the band will be hitting the road with them on their next tour remains to be seen.

If you loved Eyes Open, no doubt this will hit the mark for you too. If, however, you’re still hoping Snow Patrol might revert to their slightly more experimental, earlier work – a track on one of their earlier albums had the rather incredible title Get Balsamic Vinegar…quick You Fool- then I’m afraid this is another disappointment. Pre-order A Hundred Million Suns from Amazon now and make up your own mind.

The Late Greats- Life Without Balloons

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

The Late Greats - Life Without BalloonsEastbourne’s finest The Late Greats released their debut album this week, ‘Life Without Balloons’, on the brilliant Izumi Records label.Taking their name from a song by the band Wilco, The Late Greats other influences can be heard all over this album, from At The Drive In to Bloc Party, this is spiky indie pop at it’s best.

The double vocals of Max ‘Velvet Hands’ Arnold and Ryan ‘Piss Whiskey’ Griffiths complement each other perfectly, and their ridiculously catchy riffs will be in your head for the foreseeable future after one listen. Life Without Balloons is cheerful, unpretentious, solid music that has a comforting familiarity about it. They’re not trying to break boundaries, change politics with their lyrics or invent new sounds, but this record is like a cup of tea – dependable, perfect for lifting spirits, and quite good at fixing problems.

You can get a copy from Amazon for £7.98.

The Fins Debut With their Single ADAPTOR

Monday, October 6th, 2008

The FinsHampshire lads The Fins have been battling their way to stardom since they got together in 2005. In the past few years they have set up their own record label ‘Numerical Blue’ and played 100 gigs all over the UK.

Today they launched their brand new single ‘Adaptor’ and band members James, Lawrence, Ryan, Rauf and Macca have had a pretty amazing week. Not only have they knocked many popular UK artists off the top of Amazon’s hottest release charts but it is so popular Amazon has sold out!

Check out the official Fins website for more information about the band and head over to iTunes to download the single. It’s definitely worth a listen!

Everything is Borrowed

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

The Streets - Everything is BorrowedThe Streets released their first album, Original Pirate Material, in 2002, and since then Mike Skinner’s been likened to Dostoevsky by some and called the ultimate chav by others. His latest release, Everything is Borrowed, is undoubtedly his most accomplished album to date. Instead of his trademark sampling, it features an orchestra and a choir and even the odd guitar solo.

However, unlike previous albums, it seems Mike Skinner has finally moved on from drinking too much and dating celebrities and is starting to focus on bigger issues, like the environment and the afterlife, too match his new found serious musicianship.

His witty, kitchen-sink lyrics are on form and as funny and accurate as ever. If you’re not a Streets fan, you probably won’t be after hearing this, but if you are then you’ll recognise this as a giant leap forward for the band.

Everything is Borrowed by The Streets is available from Amazon for £8.98.

Carla Bruni does Later

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Calra Bruni - Comme si de rien n’étaitCarla Bruni, the First Lady of France, made her musical debut on Jools Holland’s Later show on Tuesday night. Sharing the rather eclectic bill with Metallica and Kings of Leon amongst others, she played songs from her third album ‘Comme si de rien n’était’ (which roughly translates as ‘as if nothing was’).

After retiring from modelling, the 40 year-old turned to music, which she fits in around her duty as wife of French President Nicholas Sarkozy. She played two songs on the show and did a brief interview, where she said that her husband didn’t particularly enjoy her music and she often kept him awake in the middle of the night with it.

She was accompanied by a guitarist and bass player and despite the fact most of the audience probably didn’t have the French skills to understand what she was singing about, she seemed to go down a treat.

Catch the extended version of the show on Friday at 23:35 on BBC2.

You can get a copy of Carla Bruni’s latest album, from Amazon.

Elbow win Mercury Prize

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Elbow - The Seldom Seen KidManchester based band Elbow triumphed at the Nationwide Mercury Prize, winning the accolade for their album The Seldom Seen Kid. The prize is judged by music industry insiders and awards the best album of the last 12 months. Also nominated this year were Radiohead, Laura Marling, Adele, British Sea Power and The Last Shadow Puppets.

Aside from the prestige of winning the award, the band also receive a cheque for £20,000. Elbow have been together for nearly 20 years, and have experienced their fair share of lows, including waiting nearly a decade to be signed, and then being dropped a few years later. The Seldom Seen Kid is the band’s fourth album, and is dedicated to the memory of Brian Glancy, a friend of the band and a much loved prominent figure on the Manchester music scene who died suddenly in 2006.

It received huge critical acclaim, and is arguably the band’s best work to date. From the dark, foreboding sounds of Grounds for Divorce to the beautiful centre piece of the album The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver, The Seldom Seen Kid is melancholic, uplifting, heartbreaking and epic.

The band described their win as ‘the best thing that’s ever happened to us’, and after years of producing incredible but largely unheard music, their gracious and humble attitude showed that no one deserved it more than Elbow.

Get a copy of the Mercury Prize winning The Seldom Seen Kid from Amazon.

The biggest hype since Arctic Monkeys…

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Glasvegas by GlasvegasGlasvegas release their debut album today, one of the most highly anticipated and critically acclaimed albums of the year.

Hailing from Glasgow, the four piece have been together since 2000, but only really made it onto the music radar late last year when they released the single ‘Daddy’s Gone’ which started a bidding war amongst the major record labels. Their self titled album showcases their honest, brutal, but also beautiful lyrics, in a retro rock and roll style that’s high in atmosphere and low in pretension.

Currently in the middle of a hype storm, with claims of ‘the best thing to come out of Scotland’ and ‘they’ll outsell Oasis’ flying around, it’s a wonder the band managed to make an album at all under such immense pressure. But they’ve made an album that well and truly lives up to the hype and the high standard set by their singles. Whether they outsell Oasis isn’t important, they’re certainly more relevant and talented and crucially, far more gracious. Their debut is a powerful collection of songs that sum up our culture in an eloquent way, set to huge, epic-like music.

See what all the hype’s about, get Glasvegas by Glasvegas from Amazon for £8.88.

Love will Tear us Apart

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

ControlThis weekend I watched ‘Control’, a film based on the life of the late Ian Curtis lead singer of Joy Division. If you’re interested in Factory Records, Joy Division, beautifully made films or just tragic love stories then you need to give this a watch.

Filmed completely in black and white, the film charts Ian Curtis’ early life and career in Joy Division, right up until his suicide in 1980, aged just 23. Directed by Anton Corbijn, who filmed some of the band’s videos, ‘Control’ captures the intensity of Joy Division’s music, and the impact this had on their lead singer’s personal life. Amazingly the cast play all the music themselves – during live scenes the music you hear is the actors themselves playing and singing.

Sam Riley, who plays Ian Curtis had had no previous acting experience, but received huge critical acclaim for his portrayal of the troubled musician, despite only being born the year Curtis committed suicide.

A light-hearted rom-com this certainly isn’t, but if you’re looking for a though-provoking, emotive and wonderfully made film, you can’t do much better than ‘Control’.

Head to Amazon to pick up a copy for only £5.98.