Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Bye-Bye For Now

I'm going here

then here

until next Monday. The blog's going quiet while I'm away, but go to the Facebook page to share any awesome tidbits I'll be missing as I kiss technology goodbye to camp at a festival and hang in Paree. I'll leave you with a song that's been relentlessly on my mind this past weekend, and one that fits with the whole silence/off the radar theme: Anna Calvi and "Blackout".

Friday, 22 July 2011

"Call Your Girlfriend" - A Tribute

Some guy from the BBC whom I've never heard of (Greg James) decided to pay homage to the awesomeness of Robyn's latest video. I love her, so check the original if you haven't already. His interpretation is pretty bangin' too. Few things better than white boys dancing freely.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Washed Out x Star Slinger

Washed Out - Eyes Be Closed (Star Slinger Remix)

Well obviously I was going to like this. Chillwave king Ernest Greene re-touched by Star Slinger's Darren Williams just has early morning summer party mood written all over it. It always makes me smile to hear Williams' attention to chord changes and patterns in his remixes, so that they really build. This is no exception.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

GlitterFace x Oh Land

Really, this is Oh Land's video for Rainbow. For reasons I will never understand, I didn't hear about this when it first came out a month ago (seriously, what was I doing from June 16 - 18th?) but it still looks as good now as it did then. It reminded me of this style clip of hers I stumbled across a few months ago, where she shows us her love of GlitterFace (from 3 min in).

Festivalgoers, take note: you are going to want to perfect this for the last night of whichever festival you're going to this summer. I'm planning on rocking it at Boomtown.

AUDIO PREMIERE: Metronomy x Clock Opera

Here's the new Metronomy remix Clock Opera have been dropping hints on Facebook about today. It takes all that summery goodness of "The Bay" and somehow manages to make it even better. THIS BABY GLOWS. Enjoy.

Metronomy - The Bay (Clock Opera Remix) by Anorak London

Monday, 18 July 2011

Song of the Day: "Care Bear"

New, from T3ETH!!! (aka: TEETH). That's not my punctuation choice, it's just how they do shit. And this video and song is sort of what my brain feels like in the aftermath of a ridiculous house-cooling party at mine. Party photos on the blog as soon as we get them developed and scanned. In the meantime, enjoy this jarring, angular electro punk from this London trio. And if you don't enjoy it, just imagine what my head feels like right now.

PS: My internet got destroyed at the party too, so the blog's gonna go quiet while we sort that all out. Wireless routers don't react well to liquids. Real Talk.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

FREE SHIT PART 24: Still Corners

Almost exactly a year ago I first posted about this band. Then they got signed to Sub Pop Records. Then a few weeks ago everyone was raving on about this new song, "Cuckoo" from the dreamy ethereal pop group while I was largely MIA and away from screens. Here it is now, with a free download in exchange for an email address. Their use of that organ sound & echoey drums still makes my skin tingle in a really good way.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

FREE SHIT Part 23: James Vincent McMorrow

I normally hate when indie or folk people cover pop songs and try to be all ironic/mocking about it but this is kinda lovely. James Vincent McMorrow (who will please fans of Bon Iver to no end) has a version of Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair" that you can grab below.

When he sings about haters it pretty much peaks for me. Greatness. I was gonna post this about three months ago, before it got buried in the drafts cemetery. After seeing McMorrow play at the Great Escape, I can now legitimately say that he's so much more of an engaging performer than his genre of music would typically suggest. Like, it's all sappy and stuff, but he's smiling and cracking jokes between songs so it's not lame. He is on point.


"Over You". This track comes from a really good record that I'd recommend checking out if you haven't already. Cat's Eyes have made me re-consider the merit of The Horrors (and apparently their own album is pretty awesome too. Haven't got round to listening to it though). Enjoy this dreamy, 60s-pop-inspired tune.

Monday, 11 July 2011

FREE SHIT PART 22: Male Bonding

Male Bonding - Bones by subpop

These Dalston boys are giving away ramshackling single, "Bones" for a limited time only. Get this hot cake while it's, er, hot innit. Also, if you actually really like Male Bonding and live in London, they're playing Angel's Buffalo Bar this Thursday (July 14th). It's a real fun venue where you can get up close and personal, so grab £6 tickets here if your fancy is tickled.

Here's a sense of how cool they are: when I went to see Gold Panda play last autumn, he was wearing a Male Bonding t-shirt. GLITCHWAVE PRODUCER COOL. I just made glitchwave up.

Song of the Day: "Chair"

Big Deal, you've completely seduced me. It's official. Here's "Chair", which I've heard is the upcoming single from their LP.

photo by me

Thursday, 7 July 2011


And the song's called "Warpaint" too. These women somehow make sounding like A Perfect Circle relevant to 2011: let's show them some love for that. Enjoy this beautiful video and song.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Song of the Day: Piece By Piece

Piece by Piece by Charleston UK

This new London trio just crossed my radar and I'm loving the vocals on this. It's a really refreshing take on the whole witch house thing, without sounding too forced. Fingers crossed they're as good live as on this single. Enjoy, and keep up with them on Facebook right here.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Q & A with Bonjay

I like that this title rhymes. More than that, I like this band. Bonjay are currently releasing their brand of electronic-dancehall through One Bird Records, and blowing my mind with it.

I spoke to both Alanna Stuart and Ian 'Pho' Swain about recording the record, curried goat and who the hell 'Donna Boogie' is (clue: she may or may not have been Stuart, at some point). It's all over on Don't Panic online (where I've been spending all my time and thus ignoring my darling blog. Shitters).

image courtesy of ErikaWall

Monday, 4 July 2011

Stream Washed Out's 'Within & Without'

Thanks, Guardian Music blog. You know you're the sexiest, right?

Reviewed: Niki And The Dove - The Fox EP

Disclaimer: this is one of the most perfect EPs I've heard in a while. I had a whole lot more gushing and rambling that I had to cut out of this review, but please, listen to Niki And The Dove if you've not already. They're effing great.

Beautiful glacial pop from one of Sweden's most promising new acts.

There are certain things the Swedes are known for nailing: English as a second language, that thing where they look effortlessly hot all the time, and making pop music (again, in English) that reverberates with such honesty. New duo Niki And The Dove are no different, and are out to shake us to our cores with a combination of saccharine sweet vocals, grinding bass and drum machines as we haven't heard them for decades.

Vocalist Malin Dahlström and jack-of-all-musical-trades Gustaf Karlöf are swiftly becoming masters of a sort of understated elation. Their attention to the detail of dynamic swells makes B-side 'Gentle Roar' feel like a warm wash of ambience, even amidst the slightly menacing whispered vocal lines and heavy bass samples.

Niki and the Dove "The Fox" 12" by subpop

As the song clambers to its climax it's not unlike a shriek of joy muffled into a pillowcase or someone launching a celebratory backflip that no-one notices. Never has a song with an opening verse about trains in the tube sounded so haunting, the subtlety of the production carrying it into almost sinister territory.

Lead single 'The Fox' jolts and jars with a cello sample and the tinkles of shattering glass. It's addictive, danceable and mischievously dark. The round tones of Dahlström's voice perch perfectly over layers of synths, whether she's cooing about the aforementioned fox, or howling until her voice breaks. It's the live drum machine performance of 'Somebody' that really clinches this three-song EP.

Even without the gloss of the studio treatment, Karlöf's pounding drum machine transports us right into the fist-pumping jubilance of top 1980s pop. The lyrics may be set more to the sad tune of worry and insecurity, but you're likely to find yourself singing them at the top of your lungs, head throw back in true 80s opulence.

Niki And The Dove have an excellent track record so far if this and their previous EPs are anything to go by. We've got our ears to the ground for the album release later this year.

4.5 / 5 stars

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Q & A with Vivian Girls

Vivian Girls are about to head back to the UK for a tour later this month, so I caught up with them on Addict Music to see how they've taken to the new record's release and the pressures of a third album. Cassie Ramone also speaks to me about how the scenester label is frickin annoying when it's being slathered all over you.

First off, congrats on Share The Joy: it sounds great. It’s pretty different from your first two full-lengths though. What do you think has changed in your creative process?

Thank you! I think if anything has changed, our sensibilities are more refined and we are more willing to experiment.

How long were you working on the record for?

We started working on the record in August 2010 and finished in November. However, we didn’t work on it every day – we’d go over to Rear House a few days a week and work for a few hours. It was a good method for us, because it gave us space from the recordings so we could go back and listen with fresh ears.

What’s your typical songwriting process like? Do you each tend to bring ideas to the table, or work collaboratively from step one? Or is there one main songwriter?
I write most of the songs, but it is fairly open. The way it usually works is I write something alone, and we all hash it out together to turn it into a Vivian Girls song, but we have written several songs collaboratively as well. I consider Vivian Girls to be exactly in the middle of the spectrum of totally collaborative band ——– songwriter with backing band.

Share The Joy has a more polished sound, and obviously more expansive approach. How did it feel bringing longer solos and musical interludes into the new songs?

Pretty natural. I imagine it was an unexpected direction for us to go in, and it’s always fun to screw with peoples’ perceptions, but we were just doing what felt right to us.

We’ve noticed you’ve had a few line-up changes over the last few years. How does that impact upon your live shows, and the way you all interact musically?

It hasn’t really been as big of a deal as people make it out to be. Almost every band I can think of has had as many or more line-up changes as we have. But to answer your question, it has always worked out because Katy and I both have very defined roles in the band. Each time we’ve acquired a new member the dynamic didn’t change all THAT much; individual personalities aside, the band has always worked in pretty much the same way.

Clearly you’ve seen the whole Brooklyn ‘scene’ blow up and get lots of media attention since you first came out. How much does that sort of thing affect you? Are you ever tempted to believe the hype?

It was weird to see happen, because the press’s perceptions of the Brooklyn scene were and are really far off from what it’s actually like to be an artist there. Every piece I read seemed really narrow-minded and didn’t take into account many of the amazing bands that help make our community thrive; instead calling something a “scene” without knowing what they were talking about at all.

The best example of this is that we were getting attention right around the same time the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart were, and the press tried to make it seem like we were from the same scene, but we had never met or played with them until both our albums were released and we happened to be on tour in England at the same time. The Pains are wonderful people and we’re friends with them now, but it was just incorrect to assume that – because we are both from Brooklyn. If you want a more realistic view of the scene from which we came, look up bands like Hunchback, The Good Good, Dynamite Arrows, Bent Outta Shape, Ringers, Dead Dog, Stupid Party, and Shellshag.

What does the local Brooklyn music scene mean to you, now that you’ve seen and toured so many other cities?

I am still a big believer in the Brooklyn music scene. It has been interesting to watch it progress. I’ve lived there since 2004, and the scene seems to turn over completely every two years, but it’s always been great.

What do you make of London audiences at your shows? Where have you played some of your favourite shows on the American leg of your tour so far?

London is one of our favorite cities to play. We have always found that the audiences there are super receptive of what we do, and we tend to not get as much backlash in the UK in general as we have in the US. On this tour, some of my favorite shows have been in Portland, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

Finally, who are you listening to right now? Where do you tend to find the inspiration for writing your music?

I am currently obsessed with Greg Sage’s solo album Straight Ahead, and this one girl group song “Cause I Love Him” by Alder Ray. I find inspiration mostly in pop songs from the 60′s and 70′s, dark garage rock, and mid-century songs with an element of novelty or weirdness.
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