Friday, 29 April 2011

Song of the Day: "All Matter"

Summer lovin' courtesy of Bilal. This Philly-based talent has a great experimental take on modern soul. Enjoy this one in the dipping sunshine and have a great long weekend. If you're not in England, well have a great weekend anyway. I'm gonna be watching Jamie xx and Bibio DJ at a one-day festival in Bristol, so New Things is gonna go quiet for a few days. Missing yous already, and thanks for reading.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Song of the Day: "Dead Gulf"

This is another gem from Jamie Harley, done for duo AnR. It's soundtracking my manic day: time to channel those meditative vibes or whatever. My brain's not really working. Ha.

Sunday, 24 April 2011


The stuff I grew up on/loved.

Song of the Day: "Jimmy Francis"

Here's another lovely track from teen talent dream, Moths. It's off the LYFSTYL blog Blissful Allusion compilation, which you can peep right here

image courtesy of ryan mcginley

On Rotation

What I've been listening to this week. Been revisiting some old loves, some more recent loves, and discovering new gems. Left to right we have:
TV On The Radio - Nine Types of Light
Weekend - Sports
Little Scream - The Golden Record
Tune-Yards - WHOKILL
Missy Elliott - Under Construction
Anna Calvi - Jezebel (single)
Summer Camp - I Want You (single)
Oh Land - Oh Land EP

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Reviewed: Vivian Girls - Share The Joy

The pioneers of girly garage-pop, blunt fringes and lazy harmonies return.

This is the third offering from the rather confusing trio that is Vivian Girls. They don’t quite go for sun-drenched melody lines a la Best Coast. They don’t push the breathy vocals and shimmering tamourine-driven percussion quite like La Sera. And there’s no point pretending they’ve got the same punchy and stylised production force as sits behind their other heavily-fringed peers, Dum Dum Girls.

Instead, on Share The Joy this band thrash from one influence to the next with a hyperactive sort of frivolity. They can move from decade to decade within the same song, recalling sixties doowop vocals sighed over nineties-inspired guitar. But then there’s that nod to the seventies garage sound that simply can’t be ignored. How to pull this together into a cohesive record? Well, here are a few bulletpoint guidelines.
First off, stop comparing them to Best Coast. Although ex-drummer Ali Koehler now plays with Bethany Costentino’s band, there’s no way Vivian Girls are guilty of imitating that sort of sound. Bitching about how ‘Dance (If You Wanna)’ misses the mark isn’t getting you anywhere.

Right, now we’ve got that settled, prepare yourself for the sort of listen that soars through its highs and crucnhes to dissapointing lows when focus is lost. Opener ‘The Other Girls’ slips from distorted guitars into a treble-heavy riff all in the first thirty seconds of the record. The unexpected length of the song, and of others on the album, comes mostly from a slightly clumsy solo but still thrashes out with a catchy hook.
It’s the interesting chord choices that really set the record apart though. Just when you feel Vivian Girls are leaning too heavily on tried-and-tested formulae for sixties pop, they throw in inversions and chord shapes to tug at the ear beautifully. You can hear their youth pour through on the tongue-in-cheek ‘Take It As It Comes’, just after a tale is told of a mother losing all her children in sixteen horrifying scenarios on ‘Sixteen Ways’.

Storytelling sits at the core of this record, even when the content clearly hasn’t been lived out by the band members. The simple harmonies, slightly husky vocals and oft-humourous lyrics make it clear Vivian Girls aren’t out to be read literally.

Instead, they invite you to go along this shambolic journey of risky songwriting and the gambles it entails. Some are won, some are inevitably lost (see ‘Vanishing Of Time’) but Share The Joy still holds some promise for fans of dreamy garage pop.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Song of the Day: "Gorilla"

Here's a little treat from the young Jersey producer, known to us all as Clams Casino. He caused quite a stir earlier this year with the instrumental for L'il B's "I'm God", but it's this recent tune that's been on repeat for me today. 

It's got that marriage of spaced-out stoner prog crossed with slurry hip hop bass that I love. Anyone who heard me rave on about Gucci Mane x These New Puritans a few months ago will know what I'm talking about.

His EP is due out in June, on Tri Angle. Considering their track record with the likes of How To Dress Well and oOoOO (still as annoying as ever to type) it should be all kinds of awesome. For now, enjoy "Gorilla".

Icons of Mythology x Actual Pain

Oh yes. There's been a new Actual Pain drop on Street Casuals, and it's looking pretty darn great. This is one of my favourite brands that they stock, and with prices starting from £21 each, it may be time for me to end my whole 'no shopping til May' thing.

By the way, that's not been going well. Pictures coming soon (hopefully) to explain.

all images by street casuals

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Reviewed: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Belong

Here's the Addict Music review I wrote ages ago for the Pure At Heart record I didn't really rate. Stream the entire album here.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have enlisted the help of Flood (The Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Jesus and Mary Chain) and Alan Moulder (PJ Harvey, A Perfect Circle) on their sophomore offering Belong. The result is, predictably, very 1990s. In fact, it is so much so that this record doesn’t really feel all that relevant in 2011.

The pop sensibilities that wooed the industry on their 2009 debut have been injected with a heavier intensity, mostly due to the distorted guitar sound on ‘Belong’. The title track and lead single explodes about fifteen seconds in, with the Pains of Being Pure at Heart perhaps eager to show that they’ve grown and developed over the last two years.

It’s always tricky navigating the terrain of that second full-length release when working off hype from the first: just ask the Vines and The Killers. This particular four-piece seem to want to combat that by pushing their scuzzy pop sound into harsher territory. The result? Fairly average, but a valiant effort.
That Jesus & Mary Chain guitar texture that filled their eponymous debut with so much hazy warmth now feels forced, and almost clinical on this new record. Perhaps the production techniques of hugely impressive industry veterans has polished the Pains, but the new sheen sits incongruously with the lyrical content of most of the songs. Sticking to simple storylines, and avoiding the bulk of tongue-in-cheek jokes and puns that were scattered throughout their debut effort, Belong just doesn’t really have a spark that lasts for long enough.
At their toned-down moments, the sincerity they’ve made a name for themselves with is allowed to shine through. ‘Anne With An E’ in particular tones down all the new production tricks and takes the listener in beyond the guitar purr in a way that really works. This album has some good potential but perhaps falls victim to its own ambition. Be patient with it, and it may still reward you.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Regal Rose

Peace Sign Necklace £8
Handmade Trinket Necklace £7
Silver Stone Kamala Cuff £16
Snake Wrap Earring £15
Stacked Cross Ring £9
Double Finger Cross Ring £12
I want you. I first noticed you at the Soho Hotel on Tuesday, and I haven't been able to get you off my mind since. Please, be mine. All of you.

Unicorn Ring £12
Regal Rose was one of the great brands showing at Push PR's press day this week. Their cross motifs, ridiculous prices and delicate quirks make me swoon. See my post on DEERBRAINS here about the rest of the prettiness I encountered that evening too.

images by regalrose and me

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

FREE SHIT Part 17: Interpol

Oh, well hello there: anyone who's as much of a fan of Interpol and Salem's different brands of simmering brood as I am will revel in this. The suited-up New Yorkers have been painted all over with Salem's bass- and synth-heavy brush on "Try It On". It basically just sounds like a Salem song now, but I clearly have no problem with that.

Download it below to hear all about Interpol's coming plans, via their mail-outs.

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