Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NEWS// Dum Dum Girls: Bedroom Eyes MP3

The latest track from the Dum Dum Girls is a real stonker. The majority of the song is solid, but the thing that stood out for me was the chorus. I really could listen to that subtle reverberation on the end of 'eyes' for a long, long time. A confident drum beat supports the fiery guitar, and there is that definite style to the music that makes it accessible, yet still pretty unique. Stream it above, or hit the down arrow  to grab it for yourselves, free of charge. Look out for the Dum Dum Girls' album, 'Only in Dreams', out on September 26th.

NEWS// 4bidden: I Have A Dream MP3

This track is the soundtrack to getting lost in space. Not awe at the planets and stars and whatnot, but terror. Fear of the mysterious and fear of the unknown. Martin Luther King Jnr. makes an appearance, hence the title of the track. The irony comes into play when you realise that you've been surrounded by a nightmare, rather than a dream. The gas chambers hiss and the bass shifts and turns. Beeps sound important but you don't know what they mean. Dark mixing and haunting melodies. One fantastic track. Stream it above.

NEWS// Sims: Wildlife EP

A solid and intriguing concept here from Sims and his latest EP 'Wildlife', which you can download for free over in his Bandcamp tent. If you had no idea Sims was a rapper, the cover (a cute-ish bunny) and the title may well mislead you. Even the first track, 'The Lighthouse', which you can stream above, doesn't hint at this EP's sound at the very start. This is some hip hop music, but instead of cars and city streets, the whole thing is based around, like the name suggests, 'Wildlife'. While some songs let nature take a back seat to other ideas, that was the element I wanted to listen to the most. From the tinkling beginning of 'Mad House' to the female vocals on 'The Line', something about this EP clicks for me. It might just be my favourite hip hop EP I've heard for a while. Check it out.

NEWS// The Morning Clouds: The Wrong Things MP3

I was sent this track the other day, and I've basically had it on repeat. The latest project from Josh Wambeke, 'The Wrong Things' is taken from The Morning Clouds' forthcoming EP, 'Wasted Youth Blues', and it sounds really great. The ethereal vocals float above a fantastically slow and soothing synth that throbs and subtly change keys every so often. A melodic guitar comes in over a spaced out drum beat, but through it all, subdued yearning burns under a layer of undeniable calm. A country twang tints the tone, and I love it. Download 'The Wrong Things' here (right click-save as), then visit here for more info.

NEWS// Charlotte Gainsbourg: White Telephone MP3

Part French and semi-English, Charlotte Gainsbourg is a remarkable woman, and one of many talents. From acting in both films and television, she branched out into music way back in 1986, a move many were very happy about. Her latest album, 'Stage Whisper' is out in November, but here's a track that recently dropped from it. I'm overjoyed to be able to say that 'White Telephone' is seriously worth a listen. A mellow guitar plods along while Charlotte turns what could have been very boring lyrics into something quite emotional. It all works, and I can't wait to here what else will spring from the new record! Listen above.

NEWS// Flight Facilities: Feeling MP3

With a solid dance beat and some disco vocals, you simply can't go wrong. Flight Facilities seem to have caught onto this with their latest song 'Feeling', a funky house track that gets your head bobbing as easily as it gets your feet tapping. The best way to enjoy it? Grab a cup of coffee and bust some moves, anywhere and anytime. There is some serious boogie going on right now, inspired by this track, I promise you! Have a listen above and try your hardest not to move at all. Can you feel it? That urge to dance!?

NEWS// Rebecca Peake: Time Bomb MP3

I think I've recently fallen for Rebecca Peake, and trust me, I'm not complaining. Hailing from the US, Peake has taken it upon herself to record a track every day, for a whole year. I've already posted one of those songs, 'Map of the Diamond', which was fantastic, but waking up to another has been even better. 'Time Bomb' dropped an hour ago over on her SoundCloud retreat, and with tags like organ and vocals, I couldn't resist having a listen. It is, unsurprisingly, a stunningly beautiful number. The vocals are haunting at the start, backed by the throbbing organ and detailed by flickering torchlight. As the song progresses however, they gain an element of quiet sadness, finally accepting their death and loosening their stubborn grasp on reality. Stream 'Time Bomb' above, 'cos I love it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NEWS// Jape: The Oldest Mind MP3

This new track from Irish band Jape dropped three weeks ago, but like a good wine, it has retained its taste. I know wine gets better with age, but seeing as that doesn't work, just roll with it. The song itself, 'The Oldest Mind', is the softest shoegaze you're going to hear for a long time. Like a slow moving glacier (see what I did there), this track is carried from below by a throbbing bass line, detailed in floaty vocals and flickering synths. The song moves through tunnels of incomprehensible reverb into caverns of vast echoing melody. It works incredibly well in what it does, and even when muffled under a layer of lo-fi nostalgia, the passion comes through. A very rewarding track, listen through it at the top.

NEWS// Phoria: Dolls Spinning Wide (Demo) MP3

Think you've heard this new track before? Well, you haven't. Phoria is an upcoming band from Brighton who just take a very heavy Radiohead influence, which you really do notice. Does this hinder the music though? No, I don't reckon it does. That particular inspiration is tinged by others, like Mogwai and Sigur Ros, and their sounds seep into Phoria's work, making for a very interesting listen. The guitars are bleak and mournful, and the vocals match that with semi-depressing lyricism. All this misery however, is carried along by some really fantastic instrumentation that amplifies the emotion to an epic level. Organs, violins and creeping percussion phase in and out, searching for answers and putting forward a lot of questions. All in all, just love it.

NEWS// Planète: You EP

I've just stumbled upon this nice little EP by the name of 'You', which dropped a couple of days ago via the SoundCloud and a fella called Dion Tartaglione. 'You' is four tracks long, but the amount of ambient soundscape that the artist has managed to mould and craft is quite incredible. Both the opening and title track can streamed above. Tinkling effects litter the ground as shafts of light pierce the cloudy canopy high above your head. Fascinating and dreamy, the vocals lull you into a sense of drunken happiness as a playful beat cracks and crunches underfoot. Download the whole EP here, free of charge.

NEWS// Ronan Dempsey: Keep on Running MP3

There is something incredibly brilliant about this track. A War of the Worlds melancholy tints the sad guitar, highlighting the fragility of man and the need to make the most of now. A simple drum beat matches your heart as you run through a park, lamps leading the way as dew-drops patter all around. You've been running through the night. Your legs ache but the warm amber glow of the rising sun is worth the hurt. Sweat drips, akin to that of the dew. You feel sick, but the thought of stopping hurts more. So you just 'Keep on Running'.

NEWS// Rebecca Peake: Map of the Diamond MP3

Under the water, a whole different world. Reality is muffled, then disappears completely. Your heartbeat thunders and for just a few seconds you walk a land far stranger than your own. Alien beeps dapple the shifting sonic walls and you catch whispers on the warm, soothing breeze. An unnerving state of calm numbs your senses and your mind is overrun with dark shapes that moan and flit. Doors open and lids lift. Secrets reveal themselves to you, but before you have the chance to listen, the need for air clenches its fist around your lungs. You gasp as a force beyond your control pulls you from the water. Dripping, breathing, you sit up. Your pulse slows, but your imagination is still racing. Listen above.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Mellow little number here from Chicago duo THE-DRUM, entitled 'Omar'. Dreamy, surreal vocals bob up and down on waves of synth and echo before a lush beat surrounds them. The samples are mixed and layered with notable skill, swelling with the sound in a manner quite mesmerising. Like the picture above, we're given a small window to look through, into a vibrant and inviting new world, all the while rooted by reality. 'Omar' is a tantalising glimpse into somewhere better than here, and I love that. Stream above or hear more.

NEWS// Penguin Prison: Don't Fuck With My Money MP3

Ever needed to just get up and jump about to a catchy tune that makes everything seem that little bit better? Well, 'Don't Fuck With My Money' seems to be just that. From the larger than life lyricism to the smile-inducing scream at 2:43, everything about this track works, and works perfectly. Penguin Prison is Chris Clover, New Yorker and all round electro-pop wonder who dropped 'Don't Fuck With My Money' just four days ago. Have a listen above, then take a trip over to Clover's spot on the Cloud of Sound for loads more.

NEWS// Billion $ Quartet: Soon Be Over (feat. Are You ME?) MP3

This is a prime example of why using images above posts is a wonderful idea. This new track from Billion $ Quartet, entitled 'Soon Be Over' didn't have any art to go along with it, giving me the chance to share the amazing image you see above. Click on the image to see where I re-blogged it from. The track itself contains some surreal underwater vocals that swim over subdued beats and hazy synths. Finger snaps detail the R&B vibe and the lyrics ultimately lead into an unnerving futuristic finish, flashing lens flares and polished shines blinding as you approach. 'Soon Be Over' is pretty awesome, so head over here to check out the rest of Billion $ Quartet's awesome stuff. But stream the track above first!

NEWS// Twin Steps: Wave of my Emotion MP3

Taken from Twin Steps and their latest EP 'Serial Parade', 'Wave of my Emotion' is some serious fun, be it lined with much darker undertones. Kicking things of with some yearning guitar, childish mockery erupts, followed closely by unique vocals that waver under a layer of reverb. All in all, it's something beautifully different, and that can only be a good thing. Oh, and another bonus? The song is free, so stream it above, then download it over here.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekly Classics: Soundgarden: Black Hole Sun

I thought I'd heighten the usual weekly classics header, just so I can fit more stuff into it. On reflection, partly in favour of my love for art, as well as music, I have decided to use an image with the dimensions of the one above in every news post. The reviews will keep the usual template, but from now on both the news and weekly classics will have a cool photo, the creator of which will be linked, of course. You may be wondering, why such a radical change to the blog? Well, in Music Dissection's ongoing strive for perfection, I came to the conclusion that the merging of sight and sound would make for a much greater and rewarding experience for you, the readers and listeners. In terms of this week's weekly classic, we've got one of my favourite ever tracks from Soundgarden. Coincidentally, Chris Cornell's work with Soundgarden delivered his best vocals, in my honest opinion. Listen below. EDIT: Also, due to the growing number of labels, they've got a page to themselves!

NEWS// Lazydisco: More Tigers (C90s Remix) MP3

I love the art for Lazydisco's original track, 'More Tigers', but the song I'm posting is the remix from the C90s. Like a breath of fresh air after a party, the remix is some seriously fresh and seriously funky music. The original number actually has five remixes, and you can buy all six over on the Beatport. A song perfect for the summer with its playful beat and tinkling effects, C90s' version of 'More Tigers' radiates sunshine and is at least worth a listen. Stream the whole thing below!

NEWS// St. Lucia: All Eyes On You MP3

This is some solid alternative pop rock right here, but the thing that stood out for me is the fantastically smooth saxophone lull from 2:25. I'm an absolute sucker for anything and anyone who throws a saxophone in their music, and when it's thrown into such a catchy track I'm afraid I just have to share it. 'All Eyes on You' grooves along with a lush dance beat, intertwining with the happiest, lightest vocals you've ever heard. Visit St. Lucia on the SoundCloud.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

NEWS// IOOOIO: Adventure MP3

The reverb lathered over the vocals on this new track from IOOOIO amplify them to a scale almost cinematic in their execution, which makes the whole thing this grand affair you can't help but enjoy. The dance beat requires a bit of foot-tapping and head nodding, and all in all it is, like the title infers, a bit of an adventure, be it one well worth going out on. Available to buy September 1st, I eagerly suggest streaming the track below before visiting IOOOIO's SoundCloud page!

NEWS// Gung Ho: Twin Rays MP3

A new single here from Gung Ho, entitled 'Twin Rays'. It's a manic lo-fi mash of surf-pop and garage rock, bathing in the summer sun and watching a lonely cloud wander across the sky. The track has some brilliant drums and a layer of reverb muffling almost everything. The slow down at the very end makes for an apt finish too, which is another reason, along with the cover art, to grab 'Twin Rays'. Download it over on the Bandcamp now, completely free of charge.

NEWS// Zorro Park: Fools MP3

Released yesterday for free, 'Fools' kicks things off with a lush, throbbing tone that massages away any worries you may have had. This is suddenly highlighted by a fantastically clear drum-stick beat, but the real selling point for this track is its structure. The song builds and builds before falling quiet. Another build leads into more quiet, and the end is tied together by that same crystal clear beat. A lot of thought has gone into 'Fools' and it shows. Download.

NEWS// White Ship: Folky Dolky EP

Little gem of an EP here from White Ship. Five electronic tracks laced in folk passion and muffled nostalgia. They're not the most memorable, nor the best in the world, but they're fantastic in coaxing forth even the most hidden of memories. The third track, 'Spokes', hit me as some simply brilliant music, and you can stream it below. It seems to mourn the loss of innocence as it crackles under the dust of forgotten toys. Download the whole thing for free over here.

NEWS// The Bird Day: Moody Trudy MP3

This is a relatively old track, having dropped a few months ago as a single from US band The Bird Day and their forthcoming album, 'Fed Odd'. But hey, it's still an eargasm. The vocals are undeniably nice and the whole track feels surrounded by that air of playful frivolity that never fails to lighten a mood. The deep singing of the guy contrasts ever so wonderfully with the higher range of the girl. Supported by a surreal dreamy beat, this makes for one great number.

Friday, August 26, 2011

NEWS// Daniel Klag: Weird Fiction LP

Some pretty fantastic ambient electronic from Daniel Klag right here, perfect for stormy weather. He actually sent me the album a few days ago, but I've been keeping it to myself, savouring its sounds. Every track on 'Weird Fiction' tells a story. A journey to some far off planet on the opening song, to some heart-pumping espionage mission on the last. Everything in between makes perfect sense, as Klag takes your mind to corners of the imagination you never knew existed. A vast chasm, dripping with water that seeps from a hidden lake. The climbing of a mountain to discover the meaning of strength and a view to take your breath away. The mortality of man and the realisation of hope. These concepts are explored in a manner both intriguing and ultimately eye-opening, if you'd just take the time to listen. After this record, I hope to stay in contact with Daniel and in turn offer his wondrous creations up to you This is a reflection of life that appears more true than that which it reflects. It's epic in scope, yet modest in its execution. Frankly? Genius.

NEWS// Dominic Pierce: For Real EP

Free, three track EP here from Dominic Pierce. The sampling and mixing is fantastic, especially on the first track, 'Thinkin About U', which you can stream below. The whole thing grooves along, though the other two tracks are decidedly slower and more ambient than this one. With art like this as well, who can possibly deny themselves a download? Grab all three songs here, then put on some headphones and chill. I personally can't wait for more like this from Pierce.

NEWS// Voltaire Twins: Animalia MP3

A brother and sister from Australia, Voltaire Twins released this track only a couple of weeks ago, but it's already stacked up three remixes, the most popular of which has been downloaded over one thousand times. Sitting here in the thunder and the rain, there is something all together appealing about the surreal electricity that runs down the length of this song, and I love it. New wave pop with that family connection, 'Animalia' oozes childhood memory and sounds great.

NEWS// Quistard: Goodnight MP3

Had a busy day? Need some downtime? Don't power nap or pay for a massage. Head to Music Dissection and stream some chill, downtempo electronica. More specifically, 'Goodnight' from Quistard, a new Brighton lad by the name of Simon Haines. The minimalistic cover art very much emulates the feeling of the track itself. The production is excellent, supporting the beat which details the waves. Said waves lap at the shore, smoothing stone into pebbles and anger into calm.


This fantastic new track from PURITY RING dropped a few hours ago, and I've had it on repeat in between posts. The beat is delicious. The vocals are eerie and relay some pretty creepy lyricism. An air of confidence surrounds 'Belispeak', fusing with the reverb and creating something undeniably nice on the ears. Stream the song below, then head over to PURITY SPEAK's spot on the SoundCloud to listen through two other equally magnificent tracks. I'm hitting play again!

NEWS// Leisure: Green Light MP3

Wonderful little number here from Leisure, entitled 'Green Light'. Love the art that goes with it, and love the track. Lyrically, this is brilliant writing right here. In terms of a comparison with Leisure's earlier work, it feels less orchestral with the loss of the string accompaniment, but 'Green Light' feels that little bit more personal because of it. To be honest the sound hasn't really lost any scope or size and works either way. I just love Leisure whatever they do. Download.

NEWS// Oddlogic: January Jone$ MP3

Download 'January Jone$' here or stream it below. I don't mind which, just have a listen to this track, the latest from Oddlogic. An old-fashioned start fuzzes and crackles before glitching all over the place. The samples are just great, especially that from 1:05 to about 1:18. This isn't the longest song in the world, but something about it feels good. As it draws to a close, all the beats and mixing stops and we skid to a soothing halt, refreshed and all the better for listening.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

REVIEW// The Weeknd: Thursday

First off, I love this album cover. I know I say this about loads of records but I really do think the art for 'Thursday' is quite well done. Secondly, I'd be surprised if you haven't heard of The Weeknd, because the hype has been building, ever since his free mixtape, 'House of Balloons'. Following in the same tradition, this album has been available to download free of charge. Wandering off on a tangent, I've just realised I've been spelling the artist name with an 'e'. Why people have to be difficult, I'll never know. The guy in question though is Abel Tesfaye, a 'contempory R&B' musician whose work forms a trilogy. 'House of Balloons' was the first, 'Thursday' is the second, and 'Echoes and Silence' is the final installment, dropping sometime this autumn. In terms of 'Thursday' though, there's still those things that annoyed me from Abel's previous work. The lyricism and delivery of them. The lyrics don't do anything for me at all. That and their delivery take away from the music throughout this album, just like they did on 'House of Balloons'. While the beats and backing tracks to the songs here aren't bad at all, the voice ruins it. Talking about days of the week and sex and drugs is bad enough, but when he sings them with such a high pitched tone, it makes those problems worse. Often, Tesfaye goes into these self-indulgent wails and arrogant high notes lathered in unnecessary effects. Frankly? I didn't want to listen again. 'Thursday' just doesn't work with me at all I'm afraid.
    Opening this nine track record is 'Lonely Star'. Steering away from vocals and lyricism, which I've had enough of talking about already, the intro to this number rocks. At first, crackling static backs a sampled voice and a piano melody. Sure enough however, a strange and unpleasant wail interrupts the promising start, and I can't help but complain. A pitch drop leads into the bulk of the song, which talks about his 'baby' and how she can 'have it all' and 'be a star'. Now, I'm not picking these lyrics from different sections of the track. They're all from one line, which should give you some indication of their quality. A track filled with yawn-inducing verses, the next eight aren't much better, if better at all. A relatively stark ending in which Abel lists the days of the week marks the start of 'Life of the Party'. The word 'party' hints at what the lyrics are about, so I won't go into them. The bass here's pretty nice, even threatening in their throbbing progression. This contrasts fantastically with one of the better introductions on 'Thursday'. The title track prowls, eerie as it emerges from the mist of an era long past. Then Abel has to ruin it yet again with talk of Wednesday and love. If shouting 'give me a break' was audible up in California, I would definitely shout it. I don't get why he couldn't have written anything more imaginable!
    I can't help feeling as though I'm going to go over the same things as I cover the next six tracks. 'The Zone' starts with some stupid wailing and a basic beat before Drake contributes. While it's a bit of variety, it doesn't lift the album out of the pit it's clawed its way into. 'The Birds' is split into two parts, the first off which is my personal favourite out of the nine tracks, which isn't really saying anything. The drum beat does two things for me. It carries the beat fantastically, and gives me a more prominent element to focus on other than the vocals. Which do, in the very end, steal the song's glory. Stupid wavering in his words just sound ridiculous, even when you label them experimental or avant garde. 'Part Two' is more of the same, be it with no drum beat and a couple of nice samples. 'Rolling Stone' has a nice catchy guitar beat and 'Gone' has some worthwhile synths, but the closing track, 'Heaven or Las Vegas' works well with it's rock-orientated feel.
    Overall, the beats, production and structure of most of the songs here are solid, but the lazy lyricism and 'I'm the best vocalist ever' singing lets that down. I'm left rather down heartened but not disappointed. While the polish has increased with The Weeknd's latest release, nothing much else has changed. I for one won't be returning to Abel Tesfaye anytime soon, but if you want to give it a whirl, listen to 'The Birds Part 1' below, then download it for free over here. Vocally and lyrically however, I'd set your expectations low.

VIDEO// St. Vincent: Cruel

Strange and somewhat unnerving video here from St. Vincent. The track itself is fine, mellow in its slightly old-fashioned air, but the video's creepy. A woman is taken by a man and his two scary kids, made to act like nothing is wrong, then buried alive! Weird, right!?

NEWS// Atlas Sound: Terra Incognito

Both guitar plucking and slow, mysterious vocals are present on Atlas Sound's latest track, 'Terra Incognito', and he manages to tie the music together ever so nicely, with a silky ribbon of sound. The cover art makes Bradford Cox, known widely for his work with Deerhunter, look haunted by some long-passed loss, and the song certainly reflects that. Taken from his forthcoming album, 'Parallax', which drops November 8th, 'Terra Incognito' can be downloaded here. /via/

NEWS// Wolves in the Throne Room: Woodland Cathedral MP3

New experimental black metal track here, which I like. Taken from Wolves in the Throne Room and their forthcoming album 'Celestial Lineage', which drops September 13th, 'Woodland Cathedral' floats slowly through narrow caves, ethereal vocals haunting in their execution. Emerging into a cavern, there is an epic, orchestral scope to the music. Religious wailing hints towards a cult, hiding below the ground, but the voice still retains that creepy transcendence. I love it.

NEWS// Alligator Indian: Honey Eye Bee Leave Ewe MP3

If you would care to ignore the demonic looking album cover, this new track, taken from Alligator Indian's forthcoming EP 'Football', sounds pretty nice. A phone ring intro leads into a basic drum beat and eventually some fantastically high vocals. The whole thing skips along the street, finger clicking and hands clapping in a manner quite joyous. The reverb on the singing works well, and the repetitive nature of the hook gets stuck in your head. A free download to lift your mood!

NEWS// Bon Iver & James Blake: Fall Creek Boys Choir MP3

This was sprung upon me upon my awakening this morning, and I'm happy to say it was a nice treat. The only frustrating thing is the lack of information as to what Bon Iver and James Blake are planning to do next, if anything at all. 'Fall Creek Boys Choir' is wonderful. It slows and swells, auto-tuned vocals adding a level of extra-terrestrial mystery. A classically sounding backing track floats with deep organs and a percussion to die for. Have a listen to the song below.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NEWS// Dreamers of the Ghetto: Tether MP3

Seriously hot out of the oven, this new track from Dreamers of the Ghetto dropped only an hour ago over on the Cloud of Sound, a song off of their forthcoming album, which drops October 4th. A bulky seven minutes running time, 'Tether' rocks with the gruff vocals we've come to expect and shakes with a passion that makes you feel for what this guy is singing about. A free download, grab it here, sit back and prepare to get lost in one epic rock wonder!

NEWS// Cold Love: Velvet Veins EP

Strange little two-track EP I've happened on here. Despite the somewhat sickly coloured album art, said songs aren't half bad. You can stream both below (one, pause, another), because I couldn't decide which to pick. The first is a much happier, beach-vibe infused number, while the second is a lot darker in its approach. Both boast affected vocals and a depth inducing echo though, which I'm a sucker for. As a free download too, there's no reason not to grab it, here.

NEWS// SNEAKPEEK: Walk All Over Me (Live) MP3

Fantastic live version of a track from SNEAKPEEK's forthcoming EP, which sounds great. Looking for some free lo-fi psychedelia smudged with some shoegaze grime? SNEAKPEEK deliver, a garage rock quartet from, I'm assuming, Los Angeles, but don't hold me to that. The female vocals are smothered in reverb but manage to retain a melody, which is just brilliant. Not forgetting that this is a live track, I can't wait to here what the band come out with for the EP! Listen below.

NEWS// Moon Bounce: Darn Your Best Frock EP

Drawn in part to this EP's cover art, 'Darn Your Best Frock' is a twenty-minute long collection of six tracks, all of which can be downloaded free of charge over here. 'First of All and in Conclusion' can be streamed below, but hey, why not treat yourselves and grab the whole thing? At first the mixed vocals startle, but soon they merge with the backing track to form something all together more unnerving. I love the experimentation here, which should at least warrant one listen? /via/

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

NEWS// Florence and the Machine: What the Water Gave Me MP3

I know everybody is going to be posting this, but if anyone only reads Music Dissection (I highly doubt this), I want them to experience this track too. And it really is a good'un. Full of lush texture and a somewhat creepy 'Wicker Man' esque cover, 'What the Water Gave Me' is absolutely fantastic. Full of builds and satisfying climaxes, turn your volume up and rock along. Whatever your thoughts on Florence and her crew, you can't deny she records some brilliant stuff.

NEWS// Slow Magic: ▲ EP

I truly am sorry that I didn't explore Slow Magic before, as well as a little surprised. This anonymous, even mysterious collection of songs has been spreading around the blogosphere like wildfire. The first song, 'Corvette Cassette' can be streamed below, but you really need to head over to the Bandcamp to hear all three. Shoegaze in nature, with a steady sunshine beat backing affected vocals, Slow Magic have that ability to chill you out. So go ahead. Hit play and chill.

VIDEO// Lana Del Ray: Video Games

You know that Lana Del Ray track, the video for which had been taken down from Youtube because of copyright or something? Well, it's back, and it's wonderful. A montage of a whole load of footage, backed by Lana's fantastic vocals makes for easy watching as well as listening. View the video above or head over here just to listen. Enjoy it either way.

NEWS// Work Drugs: Swimmer Girl MP3

Calming vocals swim in unison under the warm waters of 'Swimmer Girl'. Subdued singing float on the surface as a lazy beat carries the waves away. Self-labeled smooth-fi, Work Drugs have crafted a tranquilising number that settles the agitation of work. A song for long summer days and evenings on the beach. A track for thinking big and a number for focusing on the tiny details, sit back and take in 'Swimmer Girl'. Then head over to the SoundCloud and download it for nothing.

VIDEO// Mountain Man: Holy Father

Brilliant sounds from Mountain Man here, who are unsurprisingly, not men. A female trio, the whole song is sung. There is no backing track or effects, just these three lasses, their vocals and a microphone, and that never fails to impress me. Stream the video above.

VIDEO// Coma Cinema: Business as Usual

Very moving video here, for a track from Coma Cinema's album 'Blue Sucide'. Full of hidden messages, from the claws to the blood to the children, a layer of melodic joys softens what could have been a very scary production. Love the track, and love the video.

VIDEO// Adam Warlock: Slugging Percentage

One of the better tracks from Adam Warlock's debut album, 'Dark Weapons', which I reviewed over here, the video to 'Slugging Percentage' has arrived. The beginning feels a bit cringe-worthy, with Warlock's grunts, but as it goes on you do get into the emotion and anger. Directed by Matt Swift, view the video above and download the album for free here.

NEWS// An Animal: Sutra MP3

Found this pretty old, but then pretty nice song via Life Aquatic, and love it. It's a hazy Indian afternoon as you sit, watching birds chatter as they soar into the air. A lazy guitar strums along to a semi-ambient beat. As the sun sets, its outline wavers in the heat and things begin to settle. An Animal (love the name) is a German outfit, and 'Sutra' is the only song on their SoundCloud. Stream the track below or visit Life Aquatic for a free download. 'Cos I love this number.

Weekly Classics: Led Zeppelin: Stairway to Heaven

Please find it in your hearts to forgive my forgetting this week's weekly classic, which I should have posted on Sunday. The classic song in question is one you all know. 'Stairway to Heaven' allegedly holds the record for most radio airplay, and is also a message about the devil when played backwards, though I don't believe the latter myself. Fantastically written, recorded and now a staple in British rock history. Have a listen below.

Monday, August 22, 2011

NEWS// Kid Smpl: End Scene MP3

Newest track from Kid Smpl here, whose previous tracks, 'Glow' and 'The Love' I enjoyed immensely. 'End Scene' is what its title suggests. The end of a war for many and the end of the world for some, the track's melancholy hums and wavering synths stand watch over the eventual calm. The beeps of hospital equipment keeping survivors alive detail a stark and empty soundscape. Wind rolls over bodies and hills and wreckage, and man realises what he has done...

NEWS// Nick Waterhouse: Is That Clear EP

Nick Waterhouse is a revivalist. San Francisco-based artist, he works in the 1950s. 1950s equipment with which to record, and a 1950s style. Lush lo-fi quality matched with groovy beats and soulful singing make this some exceptionally vintage music. 'I Can Only Give You Everything' can be streamed below and is on Nick's recently released EP. Both this and 'Is That Clear' will get their own vinyl release in September though, don't worry. Just sit back and enjoy the sound.

REVIEW// Arks: - EP

     I was recently sent a link to this four-track EP from a trio called Arks, a shoegaze pop outfit hailing from Manchester and whose website can be found here. Dropped a few days ago, '-' and the band itself have been influenced by the likes of Radiohead (you all know I'm a massive fan), Sigur Ros and The Twilight Sad, which immediately caught my attention. And that attention wasn't wasted. Available in a 'pay what you want' fashion over at the settlement that is the Bandcamp, there is a strangely surreal air to the music. It's surrounded by a dreamy mist that twists and dances in the sunset glare as you walk deeper and deeper into its sonic soundscape. '-' is a clear blue ocean that erupts in colour the deeper you dive. On the surface, this mightn't appear as the best shoegaze EP out there, but take a moment to immerse yourself in the music and you might be surprised to find that you can breath much easier than before. A very soothing and relaxing listen, from the muffled vocals to the nostalgic lo-fi quality of the recording, everything about this EP is pleasing to the ear. These are twenty minutes worth your time and download.
     Opening with ‘Ontario’, the muffled vocals creep into your head. The guitars are laden with emotion and the drums carry that passion with undeniable ease. The melody floats with an airy happiness, tied to reality by undertones of unmistakable sadness. Blocking out everything else, this track dares to imagine a happier world while choking back tears. As the song progresses its presence grows, filling the room and leading into the next number, 'Glacier'. Like the name suggests, this is slow-moving and beautiful, yet throbbing from within with a subtle disquiet. Incomprehensible words drown in these waters while vaporous vocals are swallowed up by the fantastic guitar work. Majestic sounds build into almighty pillars of texture and feeling, all of which crash back to earth at the start of 'Untitled #2', which you can stream below. Lo-fi vocals add to the mood, which settles like the calm after a storm. The most ambient track on the EP, this slowly fluctuating wave spikes periodically in fit's of reoccurring passion, and I can't get enough of it. These are the sort of songs that get better and better with each listen, and those are the type of track that I just long to review. I just have to urge you to check these guys out.
     The final track here, 'Patterns', is the longest out of these four, running for just over a third of the EP. An agitated start is leveled out by the solid drum beat and as you listen the sound grows. It rises higher and higher, to an almost cinematic scope. Cymbal crashes light up the sky and at the very end everything goes quiet. As the guitars slow and stop and the drums fade into nothingness, you're left wondering about what you've just experienced. Then, out of the silence slithers something all together different. An ominous sneer ends the EP. After burying the sadness, that same lament has clawed its way back into the world. A message perhaps? Can we ever truly get rid of hate and anguish? However much we mask it or bury it in happiness, will it always find a way back into our lives? As the EP ends for the second time, these questions are left unanswered, and for the next few minutes you sit and think. Captivating in its execution and intriguing in its conclusion, '-' is surreal dream pop at its very best, floating along on a sea of underlying worry. I can't wait to see what Arks release next, hopefully in the very near future!

'Untitled #2'

NEWS// Abel: Tender Love MP3

When this track gets going, its spacey electronic feel sounds very much like that from Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. Sparse percussion at the start is met with alien buzzes and then an ambient backing melody. If you've ever listened to the musical War of the Worlds, you'll immediately realise the similarities, but rather than being a bad thing, I love it. Check out 'Tender Love' below, which dropped yesterday, then head over to the SoundCloud and explore more of Abel's tracks.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

NEWS// The Caretaker: Libet's Delay MP3

This is actually taken from the album, which is out now, but I won't be reviewing it because it really is, how shall we say, unreviewable. It is a lovely way to settle down in the evening though, and makes a good end to the day. It sounds like it was recorded in the 60s, discovered in an attic and played immediately. It crackles with the dust of centuries and paints a vivid picture of time gone by. When it ends you have to snap back into the present, which is just wonderful.