Friday, 31 December 2010

Song of the Day: "Cantaloupe"

Matt Kivel might be a bit of a workaholic. He's behind this song of the day under his Sleeping Bags moniker; he also moonlights in Princeton, Kisses, Mystery Claws & Gold Room. Someone's got a case of ole Jack White syndrome, eh? 

Ok, I won't make jokes. 

All silly humour aside, this is the sort of drone, noise and layered sound that shimmers with explosive joy. This is music that's full to the brim. Minimalism has no place here. Fans of Sonic Youth, Broken Social Scene and the low moans of the Velvet Underground will find themselves smiling.

Grab a free download of the single (courtesy of the NME) and of course buy it if you like what you hear. Happy New Year too.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Song of the Day: "My Angel Lonely"

Jack Tatum clearly loves the 80s. He loves hazy guitar pop melded with dreamy vocals and all the best synth effects. As luck would have it, so do I. Wild Nothing is his 2009 creation, and now features Nathan Goodman (guitar and synths), Clay Violand (bass) and Michael Skattum (drums) live.

Full-length Gemini was released earlier this year, to some pretty rave reviews. It's a solid record, with all the right amounts of dips and pulls in dynamic. Have a listen on Spotify here for a nostalgic taste of a decade you potentially were too young to appreciate. Holla if you were born in the 80s! And if not, hey, enjoy it anyway.

image courtesy of theartofagency

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Styled by Jennifer Eymere


And she does it again. Erin Wasson is one of my top picks for Super-Babe of 2010. Here she is in Jalouse Nov 2010, shot by Mason Poole and styled by Jennifer Eymere.

images courtesy of fashiongonerogue

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Saturday, 25 December 2010



This is Sufjan Stevens' "That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!" with video by John P Gelety. Kinda dark. But in happier news, it's time to gorge on hot food and family drama. It's also my 200th post. YAY. 

There's a little blog hiatus coming up, since I'm with the fam again and as a result, without the internet.

Big festive love to all my readers.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Song of the Day: "Stretch Your Face"

The warped quasi-galactic noise released by Tom Fec (of Black Moth Super Rainbow) makes me both feel ill and giddy. This song equals my new thing to like thanks to a stomach-churning synth line that runs through the brain relentlessly. Plus, that haunting vocal line has staying power too. Urgh, I love it.

image courtesy of potholesinmyblog

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Song of the Day: "Wilderness"

Just beautiful. Part of that ethereal LA sound that has recently made waves in the blogosphere, this is Pat Grossi at play. This little gem came to me courtesy of a friend on Spotify, so thanks Nancy.

image courtesy of indierockcafe

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

"Come For Me, Cover Me."

That's what I feel when I listen to these two songs by Deerhunter. They're "Cover Me (Slowly"), leading into "Agoraphobia". Neither are a particularly new thing, but my sudden homesickness for a warm and balmy Christmas is. Cue the dreamy sounds of summer courtesy of this album.

image courtesy of tuula


Hello, F2D Clothing. This is a Birmingham-born label, short for Fresh 2 Def, and leaps onto my list of new things to like this year. In the nick of time, no less. The brainchild of friends Daniel Gardiner, Gary Thompson and Marcus Isaac has now grown into a rather tasty collection, that falls somewhere between high street, high end, and street wear.

Personally, the simple bomber cut blended with subtle and cohesive branding does it for me. Plus, Dani over at their PR is a total sweetheart, and sent me over an email full of F2D goodies in record time. F2D makes clothes that perfectly couple classy shapes with a so-called urban edge. Winners. Winners all the way.

The stock from their brand-new Survive Series is selling out fast, so check it out below if you're interested in picking up a few winter warmers before the new year.

images courtesy of f2dclothing

Monday, 20 December 2010

The Magic + The Deep Field

Joan As Police Woman is back: I've literally been waiting to hear about this for eight months. You know when you've been listening to old records by someone whose music you love, and you look back realising it's been two five years since they were made? Yeah, that's where I was getting with Joan Wasser.

She's got a richness to her voice that powers her own brand of soul-influenced and anecdotal music. Self-described as "punk rock R'n'B", it's a particular blend of ringing guitar tones, tinkling piano and emotive lyrics that are never, ever cheesy.

Anyone else who's been hungry for her new material will be so psyched to hear that album The Deep Field drops on January 24th. Pop in your email address for free downloads of 'The Magic' (below), 'Magpies' from To Survive, and 'The Ride' from Real Life.

She plays Brighton's Komedia on February 2nd , and The Barbican on February 6th.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Song of the Day: "Apply"

I know it's not the done thing to post about the same artist loads unless you're doing their PR (or they're Robyn), but Glasser is again on my mind. Just when I thought I'd played her album out, I fell in love with its opening track another time. 

Maybe since I tend to start listening to CDs from the last four or five songs nowadays, this sweet number started to fall off my radar. Well, no more. Her hypnotic combination of syncopated quasi-tribal percussion, ridiculous harmonies and penchant for that creeping crescendo helps Cameron Mesirow strike gold again. Again. Yeah.

image courtesy of faronheit

Friday, 17 December 2010

Teresa Queiros Photography

The Rita Series

Simple and beautiful portraiture. This probably won't be the last you'll see of her work on NewThings; her subtle use of tone and focus has me hooked.

all images courtesy of teresaqueiros

Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Smith Westerns

Smith Westerns - Weekend from Fat Possum Records on Vimeo.

Lo-fi, Chicago ex-punkers with an ear for a pop hook and an obsession with girls. No-one in this band is older than twenty-one. They don't try to act it either. I like.

LP Dye It Blonde due out on Fat Possum on January 18th.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Anna Calvi

My introduction to Anna Calvi came from a pretty weird medium, but still places her as my new thing to like today. She started following me on Twitter, and when I went to check out her music I was blown away by her the sheer power of her vocal. All those not in favour of a little bit of vibrato and a whole lot of drama may as well leave now. Calvi indulges in the big operatic sound of my other quirky faves, Mary and the Boy, and doesn't seem to give a crap about recent leanings towards minimalist synth-driven soundscapes.

Here's lead single 'Jezebel': our lead-in to her brand of flamenco crossed with fiery blues, all driven by strong guitar and a sense of fearlessness. Come join the party if you like your PJ Harvey and Diamanda Galas. And even if you don't, have a listen anyway - considering this is a live shot, there's a lot to be said for Calvi's talent and skill. 

With props from The Guardian, Dazed & Confused, BBC Sound of 2011 and The Line of Best Fit under her belt, I'm already looking forward to hearing her LP in full. The self-titled album drops on January 17th 2011, via Domino Records.

Song of the Day: "Go Outside"

This is Cults. If you haven't yet heard of them, you probably will soon. They're a San Diego couple now based in New York, feeding the world with their morsels of shimmery pop. Props to them for starting out with only a furtive BandCamp page to their name. It built up enough hype to have Pitchfork, The Guardian and now Q Mag singing their praises based pretty much on three songs.

I've had this particular one in and out of my head for months now, and it took me ages to place it. Cults, I blame you for being so delightfully catchy, child-like and almost sickeningly sweet.

You don't actually make me sick though. You make me happy.

image courtesy of sonicitch

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


So. Many. Maxis. (Plus a couple of midis thrown in for good measure). This is pretty much all I've been buying recently, and this great fashion photography blog showcases my recent obsession well. They also shoot for Korea and Harper's Bazaar Korea.

Top picks have to be the leopard print dress, and ridiculous one by Chloe (second from the bottom). Swoon.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Song of the Day: "Still Sound"

Deliciously juicy funk-inspired bassline. Plink-plonking synth effects under echoey vocals. And those oh-so-subtle backing vocal pads behind it all. Regardless of the explosion of posts and tweets about it, this song still so deserves the hype.

images courtesy of toro y moi

Muzac Mondaze via UO

Yay to this. Here We Go Magic just can't seem to stop bugging me with their catchiness. It's a problem.


Sunday, 12 December 2010

TOP 10 of 2010: #1

This is my album of the year. Kinda sucks that The NME released their list before I did, and this also topped theirs, but that's that. Hidden weaves a dark and brooding story from start to finish, peppered with beautiful baroque elements of woodwind and brass. 

Somehow combining forward-thinking hip-hop with Radiohead-like mumbled vocals and jumpy piano lines, TNPS prove they are one to watch. On a first listen, it's endearing to hear repeated musical themes and refrains cropping up from one song to the next, pulling a thread of consistency through the record. Although this may not be the easiest melodic listening initially, it's a really rewarding record to fall in love with. 

Goodbye, top ten of 2010: you've been fun.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

TOP 10 OF 2010: #2

 "Love Kills".

Robyn equals my Queen of Pop: Part three of her Body Talk trilogy just kills it, on every level. She's included five tracks each from parts one and two, and also hit us with five brand new beauties. As far as tracklist strategy goes, it's genius. She pretty much pulls all the highlights from the two first records to create a near-flawless release.

This is Scand electro-pop at its best - bright, restless, wonderfully melodic and still lyrically sound. Although it still amazes me that Robyn isn't a massive pop sensation that's not even the point here; she weaves tales of heartbreak, heartache and a fucking dying club scene over euphoric beats with effortless cool. I would recommend this record to anyone who still has a pop sensibility, though battered after years of rubbish releases in the charts. 

This. Shit. Is. Bananas.

image courtesy of robyn/konichiwarecords

Friday, 10 December 2010

TOP 10 OF 2010: #3


"I Want To".

It's fair to say that this blog has already featured plenty on Best Coast over the last few months. For that reason, I won't re-gush all over this post. Most importantly, this album makes my top five because it pretty much will always make me think of summer 2010 in Brighton. 

Her hazy, breezy pop style epitomises days spent on the beach, that holiday feeling replete with friends, food, and all the other images Southern Comfort ads channel into us. This song in particular was on repeat on my speakers for hours at one point. A great one to have fun singing your own three-part harmony line over, if  you're also a vocals geek like me. 

image courtesy of bestcoast

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Swooning Over James Franco


If a man can look that hot with a 'stache, you know he's got a good thing going. These are stills grabbed from a fourteen-clip series of actors, well, acting. Franco makes out with himself in the mirror and it's one of the best things ever.

Matt Damon threatens to punch you in the face (PS: when did he get so old?). Natalie Portman looks sexy on a chair. Michael Douglas just sits in a chair. I didn't watch them all, but they're each less than a minute long.

Check them here. All music by Owen Pallett too, which just adds another level of awesome.

images courtesy of the NYTimes

TOP 10 OF 2010: #4

Click above to watch the video for "Constellations".

Darwin Deez has had quite a year. With his quirky and adorable dance-breaks, trademark New York sound, and ridiculous curls, he's always had interviewers and fans alike intrigued. This album was a major part of my transition into spring. 

The jangly and jumpy guitar paired with his signature tuning make this one of my definite favourites of the year - obviously, of course. Otherwise it wouldn't be here.

image courtesy of luckynumbermusic

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

TOP 10 OF 2010: #5

"Castles In The Snow".

This 80s-inspired synth-heavy record pulls all the best out of that decade and sprinkles it with a 'nowness' and relevance. In particular, where George Lewis Jr. lazily croons over echoey guitars with such ease, I find myself basically falling in love with him. I recommend this to anyone who's starting to lose their faith in new music and needs that spark back. This is good stuff. 

Plus, the vocal hook in "Slow" literally haunted my brain for weeks.

image courtesy of neonwaves

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

TOP 10 OF 2010: #6

"Dust Devil".

This album is just one of those incredible and gorgeous records that seems full of undiscovered joys with every listen. Obviously with my background as a singer, I fell in love with the harmonies and vocal loops used by the Deheza twins throughout. In particular this song still gives me goosebumps when I listen to it, even after playing out this album all summer long.

Sadly Claudia has left the band so their live sets now sound a bit dynamically empty. Saying that, they still put on a brilliant show at Heaven a month ago. I'm not giving up on them any time soon.

image courtesy of shout4music

Monday, 6 December 2010

TOP 10 OF 2010: #7

"Super Soaker".

The lazy stoner-haze vocal. The scuzzy guitars. The bright harmonies hidden beneath a crackling hiss and fuzz. This was one of my soundtracks to the summer and always makes me smile.

image courtesy of stereogum
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