Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Top 50 Songs of 2011: 10- 1

10. Korallreven - As Young As Yesterday
9. New Look – Janet
8. Friends - I'm His Girl

7. Wavves - Nodding Off (feat. Best Coast)
6. Gucci Mane - Dollar Sign (These New Puritans Remix)
5. Lykke Li - Get Some (Remix by Beck)
4. A$AP Rocky - Wassup
3. Anna Calvi - Suzanne & I
2. M83 - Midnight City
1. Niki & The Dove - The Drummer

And there it is: my one-track heart belongs to Niki and the Dove this year, with their perfect pop on "The Drummer". To listen to most of these tracks all at once on Spotify, click here for my Top Fiddy playlist.

A bunch of the songs weren't available on Spotify, but I just replaced them with other gems I loved that ended up on the bench when I was making my final cuts. I'm now in South Africa, then Botswana with my grandma's dial-up internet connection, so am going to go quiet on the blogging front for a while.

Have a great holiday season errbody, and I'll be back soon with more New Things To Like for 2012.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Sprawl II by Arcade Fire

Last week the Arcade Fire dropped a series of ridiculous and hilarious videos via their Facebook, showing them voicing over footage of some lovely Haiting people dancing or hanging out wearing giant Arcade Fire member 3D masks. It sounds creepier than it was, promise.

Anyway, it was all part of a teaser trio for their new interactive "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" video. You can interact with it in two different ways, either with dancing hands in front of your web cam or clicks, and also watch a standard version. I went hand dancing all the way and it was great.

The mental image of different Arcade Fire fans all over the world doing jazz hands in front of their screens while giggling uncontrollably just stands as another example of how special this band are. I'll leave you with the traditional version below, then implore you to head to Sprawl2 and go wild on the interactive ones yourself.

Top 50 Songs of 2011: 20- 11

Top 20 time. My housemates probably never want to hear any of these songs again, pulsing through the walls/floor. Awkward.

20. Stay + - Fever
19. Active Child - Hanging On (White Sea Remix)
18. Jamie xx - Far Nearer
17. Clams Casino – Gorilla
16. Metronomy - The Bay (The 2 Bears Remix)

15. Braids – Lammicken
14. tUnE-yArDs – Bizness
13. High Rankin - The Things You Do (Toronto Is Broken Remix)
12. The Drums - Money (Chad Valley Remix)
11. Icona Pop – Manners

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Top 50 Songs of 2011: 30- 21

We're hitting the halfway mark with this bunch, so go ahead and have a listen to see if any of your faves from the year are on the list. Picking top songs often means cutting offerings from artists who released albums that as a whole were amazing, but didn't necessarily have one stand-out track; for that, Wild Beasts, I hope I am forgiven.

I mean we all know Year End Lists are just a bit silly anyway, but I figured it would be my totally on-the-cheap Christmas gift to anyone who reads this blog. Happy Holidays?

30. Ghostpoet - Longing For The Night
29. Bonjay – Stumble
28. Masterface - Excuse Me Girl
27. Sleep Over - Romantic Streams
26. Chelsea Wolfe – Moses
25. Pandr Eyez - Little Bit

24. SBTRKT feat. Yukimi Nagano - Wildfire
23. Boy Friend - Egyptian Wrinkle
22. Summer Camp - Better Off Without You
21. TEETH - U R 1 (Friendly Ghost Remix)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Top 50 Songs of 2011: 40- 31

Here's the next ten, which I hope you all enjoy. Feel free to drop me a line on Facebook or in the comments section about the tracks that made your ears happiest in 2011 too.

40. Cold War Kids - Mine Is Yours (Passion Pit Remix)
39. YADi - Sahara Heart
38. 2:54 – Got A Hold

37. Big Deal – Chair
36. PS I Love You - Get Over
35. James Blake - I Never Learnt To Share
34. Purity Ring – Lofticries

33. Jay-Z & Kanye West - Niggas In Paris
32. Feist - How Come You Never Go There? (Beck Remix)

31. Friendly Fires - Show Me Lights

Listen: Sleigh Bells - Born To Lose

Born To Lose by Sleigh Bells

Sleigh Bells shared this new song with us earlier in the week, but I was selfishly uninterested in posting it until I could find a non-Spin-Magazine-affiliated link. And here it is. Apparently this record's going to take more of a melodic turn, with Alexis having a stronger writing role than on Treats. And it sounds like it's gonna be pretty guitar-heavy too.

The Reign Of Terror LP drops on Valentine's Day, 2012.

And 'cos I love you that much, here are the official lyrics to this track.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Top 50 Songs of 2011: 50- 41

And so begins the first of my 'End of Year' posts. It's been a really strong year for new music, and whittling my options down to the fifty you're gonna hear over the next few posts involved a lot of hair grabbing, actual cliche lip-biting, and body-rolling (while going back to my favourites).

Each of the songs listed here formed a big part of my year, and will always be my soundtrack to 2011 when I look back. Those that were made available for free download when originally released will be up for grabs, and for the rest I'll be sourcing videos or Soundcloud links.

For now, let's kick things off with numbers fifty to forty-one:

50. Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High
49. Echo Lake – Young Silence
48. Gold Panda – MPB
47. Moths – Jimmy Francis
46. Still Corners – Into The Trees
45. Nero - Promises (Skrillex Remix)

44. Kurt Vile - Baby's Arms
43. TV On The Radio – Caffeinated Consciousness
42. Bilal – All Matter
41. Little Scream - Heron And The Fox

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Watch Wavves - "Bug"

Wavves have a new video for single "Bug" off their Life Sux EP from earlier this year. I think I'll always have a soft spot for this band after they sound-tracked my summer of 2010, so I'm pretty excited to hear their next full-length.

In the meantime you can get the EP on iTunes and keep up with their general sillyness on their Tumblr and Facebook. And yes, just in case any of us forgot, they are massive stoners: hence the mermaid-cop-pill extravaganza you see above.

Q & A with 2:54

2:54 - Scarlet by 2:54 Band

I met up with Hannah and Colette Thurlow of 2:54 in a North London pub a while ago, and we giggled about Mastodon and lame people who don't dance/move at gigs. Sadly I had to keep it semi-professional for the final edit, which you can now read in this week's Don't Panic mag.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Bos Angeles debut video for "Days Of Youth"

The boys of Bos Angeles have this little gem to give to us: a super-saturated and stonerific video for "Days Of Youth" (I in no way know whether these kids smoke weed, and don't assume they do). Richard Board's voice has a richness in this which I love, though his low drone delivery won't be for everyone.

Personally, I'm saying yes to this.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Black Tie Experiment

Far Too Long by BlackTieExperiment

Black Tie Experiment are a Brighton-based soul/hip hop/generally awesome outfit, with a member or two at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM). I was played this track by a friend of mine a while ago, then reminded myself of these boys' talent when she sent me over a new teaser song below (which she laid down some backing vocals for).

Interstate (Sneak Peek) by BlackTieExperiment

Their nods to neo-soul, Chicago rap and jazz guitar show the type of versatility that hip hop hungers for at the moment. I also love that they play live instruments and incorporate delicate guitar picking with well thought-through harmonies and that sort of Jill Scott vibe that I still don't think UK audiences have heard enough of. And let it be known that there's probably no-one over the age of about twenty-one in this band either. If you like what you hear, I'm gonna do my darndest to find out when they're next gigging in the windy city by the sea.

Ominous Creep by BlackTieExperiment

In the meantime, go vote for them to get through to the next round of MTV's Brand New Unsigned to show your support. I just want the full tracks, already!

Disclaimer: regardless of how much I'm gushing in this post, they haven't asked me to write about them nor sent me their music. This is just one of those happy accidents that keep me in love with writing about music.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Watch: Korallreven - As Young As Yesterday

Korallreven dropped this video for "As Young As Yesterday" about two weeks ago, and just discovering it now means I have another excuse to play this really really loud again. Seriously, this song is just so well produced, I feel like I'm in love with it.

The 14-year old me would have totally been in love with little skater boy here, too. As far as music videos go it's not massively inspired but it touches on youth and the songs lyrical content in a way that just about works.

"Sa sa samoa" is also one of the best lyrical hooks of 2011.

Tennis sign to ATP Recordings

Cutesy-pop trio Tennis have just been picked up by the awesome ATP Recordings, who'll be putting out their second full-length record on February 13th, 2012. Originally just hubby-and-wife duo Patrick Riley and Aliana Moore on their first critically-acclaimed album, Tennis have now enlisted the help of drummer James Barone to become a proper, like, band.

They've worked with the Black Keys' Patrick Carney on Young And Old, and released the two songs in this post as a digital download you can get on iTunes. They've also beefed up their sound a little but still hold onto that whimsical sort of innocence (mostly oozing from Aliana's voice) that hooked listeners the first time round.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

FREE SHIT PART 32: Bear Driver

Bear Driver - Never Never by Bear Driver

Bear Driver are a new London five-piece I just got sent, whose list of influences reads like a fantasy of mine circa 2006. And I mean that in a good way: they've got all that Yo La Tengo-ness and lazy, sunny delivery that epitomises that end-of-high-school feeling without sounding contrived.

I'm excited to hear more from them and hear about their story. If you are too, check out their site here and grab this single "Never Never" as a free download above, for as long as Soundcloud allows it.

M83 adds US 2012 spring dates

Intro (ft Zola Jesus) by M83

Anthony Gonzales, everyone's favourite synth-blasting Frenchman of the moment, is set to embark on a hectic US spring tour. And since I'm always rambling on about things happening in London I thought I'd share these dates with any readers who happen to be based on the other side of the pond.

Tickets for the LA shows at Club Nokia in January are already sold out (and seriously, Club Nokia? As in the phones? Someone tell me it's shaped like a phone) but you can already book ones for the later shows, by clicking here. He's also passing through the UK at the end of next month, so get on that if you haven't seen him yet but are keen to.

US dates:

22/4 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore Auditorium

25/4 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre

26/4 – Seattle, WA – The Neptune

27/4 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre

29/4 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue

30/4 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre

1/5 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada Theatre

2/5 – Saint Louis, MO – The Pageant

4/5 – Chicago, IL – The Vic

5/5 – Detroit, MI – The Majestic Theatre

6/5 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy

7/5 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom

9/5 – Boston, MA – House of Blues

10/5 – New York, NY – Terminal 5

11/5 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer

12/5 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club

17/5 – Houston, TX – House of Blues

18/5 – Austin, TX – Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater

19/5 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater

Trailer Trash Tracys announce Europe & UK tour details

London four-piece Trailer Trash Tracys have just shared their new video for "You Wish You Were Red", as well as some rather exciting news for the people who want to see them live. They'll be touring Europe later this month with The Vaccines (fingers crossed they outshine them), and then heading back to our shores for a set of London dates. Boom.

Check out tour details below, and listen to the Ital remix of the single here too. He's another one of them 100% Silk artists, so is pretty adept at showing us the weird and dark side of disco-trance (that's a genre I just made up).

14 - Amsterdam Paradiso
15 - Copenhagen VEGA (w/ The Vaccines)
16 - Stockholm Debaser (w/ The Vaccines)
18 - Berlin Postbahnhof (w/ The Vaccines)
19 - Brussels AB (w/ The Vaccines)

9 - London Rough Trade East
12 - London Lexington
13 – Leeds Session
14 - Manchester Kraak Gallery
15 - Glasgow Captain's Rest

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sleigh Bells Plot Their Return

I am so excited about this. Sleigh Bells were one of my top acts of 2010, and it'll be great to see what they've got in store for us in 2012. PS: Alexis Krauss is likely to make you jizz yourself when she's on stage.

That's just a gentle warning.
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