February 21, 2010 § Leave a comment
My purchase of James Yorkston‘s most recent album “Folk Songs” was a very slightly pretentious affair.
It was one of those buys where I hadn’t listened much to the music before, merely seen the name on some NME gig listings, and in this case, I was enticed by the sketched goat that stood on the album cover.
However, it was one of those buys that despite my initial ignorance, turned out to be a pleasing success.
But that’s just my opinion.
This being watched however, the actual 2009 album I bought of his ‘folk songs’ is predictably much more ‘folkey’. It sounds much more like a non-precosious singer strumming out his stories in a pub than, well, if you were being cynically over-critical, Kimya Dawson with a large thesaurus.
Personally though, I think it’s all good.
Here’s a folk song specimen, really soothing. He’s a good friend of Andrew Bird.
To give the title slightly more relevance, Rough Trade are one of many shops now selling Four Tet‘s new single – “Sing”.
February 21, 2010 § 3 Comments
Ra Ra Riot – Too Too Too Fast (Say Hi Remix)
Say Hi completely strip this synthy yelp-along number down to piano chords and lyrics with a dusting of shaker. The super clean vocals are a final plea at the last stand of the relationship. Why does a break-up have to be so clean and clinical? Surely we deserve a bit of a painful scrap for the sake of this time a month ago? Am I the only one getting hurt here? This is too much and far too too too fast.
This song is heartfelt and charged with emotion but its light and nimble, there’s no burdening self-pity. Above all it sounds fantastic.
The Manchester Orchestra – Shake It Out (Acoustic)
I’m a big fan of acoustic versions, particularly when the original song is everything but acoustic. All the energy is coming from the melodies and harmonies. Its coming from the base music, rather than say the production or the pedals. The Manchester Orchestra still retain all the dynamics, impact and genuine appeal of the amped up mammoth of an original but here they just have each other, 2 guitars and a god damned glockenspiel on the finale. This is the outrageously tasty vegetarian option. Perhaps a risotto of some kind.
[Both these songs are available almost exclusively from Paste Magazine in return for a donation to Haiti]
Darwin Deez – DNA
Im finishing on a bit of a gamble here, I heard about Mr Deez when he turned up on the line-up of a festival I bought a ticket to. After a bit of trawling and a few mailing list sign ups i got a couple of mp3s to listen to. DNA is by far the best of all the stuff of his I have heard, although there are some pretty cool videos of what look like fairly impromptu ramshackle gigs in New York basements on Youtube. The skeleton army hand claps and fizzing snare drums combined with Facebook Chat bump of a bass drum bound all over carefully chosen apple and pear guitars chords and the occasional lead guitar part leaps and parachutes down over the resulting waterfall. This songs makes me wish I could have Synesthesia, if only for 2 minutes and 52 seconds
[To get hold of 2 Darwin Deez mp3s (including this one) just put an e-mail address in here]
February 14, 2010 § 2 Comments
Like some sort of indie stereotype who was shamelessly born in 1993, the only reason I found about this guy was through a curiosity to see who was making all the cool noises to accompany Sir Gibbard in The Postal Service.
I personally managed to pump this guy into my head in the summer: It was 4am, and I was walking back through Frinton on my way home, having just slept outside on a hard floor of a beach hut. It seemed like a mildly appropiate situation to be listening to Mr. Tamborello; he’s not just Indie Electronica. On “Everything is Possible” (2001 album), his glitch work on Accordions and acoustic guitars is eerily commendable and utterly original, his collaborations with artists like Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis are reasurringly Postal Service, but it’s so much more distinctive, intelligent and all round more interesting than anything he went on to do with Gibbard. There are some of the most emotional tracks on”Everything is Possible”, which you would think odd seeing as there’s no distressed singer to spell out how you’re feeling. To me that shows his mysteriously natural talent on the MiniKorg and his profound ability with other instruments and other artists. When I tried to play his music in the car, my mother complained panically that it was transferring her into a state of trance, and when I was walking through deserted Frinton before the birds had even woken up, despite being beyond frightened, I was strangely motivated, I was blown away by what this guy can do.
Here’s my favourite:
And the hit that brought upon The Postal Service:
But where I went from Mr. Tamborello, this is where the post becomes productive. There are many many artists that come close to dntel, not quite as original, but still well worth a snootle.
Firstly, Lali Puna. This girl, (backed with a willing band) has made a ton of music. She’s also remixed a ton of music. Slightly more melodic and less glitchy, mum would like this more. Moving more towards the big beacon of indy.
This Phil Oakley cover is in my opinion, amazing:
Maybe also, Apparat. He certainly keeps the music heavy and slightly odd. Boys Noize tellingly did a version of his “Arcadia” – it sounds good:
And thirdly, Styrofoam. Debatably a better glitch artist, styrofoam has progressed more and more towards indietronica since he started in 2000. Another similarity he has with Dntel is that he’s still in the progress of capturing a cult with his collaboration with Ben Gibbard:
Both Apparat and Lali Puna are German.
thanks for reading and maybe watching the space consuming youtube videos – (my laptop is broken, so no uploads were possible).
February 14, 2010 § Leave a comment
APFOS favourite The Tallest Man On Earth (pictured on a horse) is now signed to a pretty cool US label!
Dead Oceans have decided to raise their ceilings to accomodate the swedish talent who will be slotting in more than comfortably i’m sure alongside other big time indie deliverers as Dirty Projectors and Frog Eyes (recently snapped up from Absolutely Kosher)
As well as tour details for the US, Dead Oceans have promised the new Tallest Man On Earth record called The Wild Hunt will hit the UK stores in April 12th and will be across the Atlantic the next day. So thats really exciting. A taster mp3, King Of Spain, is available and you can stream it from here to readjust yourself to the beauty. The first post on this blog has more links and vids to fill your boots with.
The Tallest Man On Earth – King Of Spain
exciting times. Roll on April, happy valentines.
February 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
So its been too long since I could fill my lungs with the millions of colourful and curious bytes that make up the internet but im back in the game now and this blog needs some furniture.
Since my online blackout I’ve found myself hoarding CDs, a few gambles which did not pay off (Kubb‘s 2005 album which was available in Poundland was quite frankly optimistically priced), but also a bundle of delightful offerrings from RJD2, Beach House, Memory Tapes, and some older records from Richard Hawley and The Black Keys. Delightful stuff. It feels odd to start seeing “2010” on the back of CDs especially when you think about the distinctions we make today between decades gone by. Any of these artists are poised ready to define the decade of music, god knows they’re good enough.
RJD2 – A Son’s Cycle
Beach House – Norway
Memory Tapes- Run Out
And if your looking for the best value music around then plug yourself into this behemoth of boom. Paste Magazine has gone big time in getting help to Haiti. for a donation of at least $10 you can access as much of their collosal vault of music as you want, whenever you want. Its an infinite horizon of music including a load of exclusive stuff (The Decemberists covering Pink Floyd for 15 minutes? boom.) as well as heroes such as Andrew Bird and The Gaslight Anthem. Add some diamonds from The Rural Alberta Advantage, The Low Anthem and Deer Tick and then anything else from the ever expanding mass of 200+ other artists and you could seriously redecorate an iPod. Anything that does a bit of good in the world and also involves hearing Of Montreal exclaim that “We can do it softcore if you want, you know I take it both ways” is worth your time.
The Rural Alberta Advantage – Dont Haunt This Place
So yeah, thats all for now.
February 5, 2010 § 1 Comment
Nu-Jazz is definitely getting increasingly popular, however probably incapable of doing a “dub”.
Nuspirit Helsinki are a combination of many Scandinavian artists who got together in 1998.
take it further? do so with artists like Micatone, Hird, Art Bleek and others.
too reminiscent of Gran Turismo‘s memorably soothing soundtrack?
I have been likewise enticed by Keaver & Brause (if we’re keeping it relatively ambient).
Copy Haho [cawpy hahoe (proudly scottish)] are a recently emerging band from Scotland (despite having been around since late 2004). They are currently getting excited over a breakthrough tour with Los Campesinos! in March, with whom they share an evident bond. They provide a well-known sound, but undeniably pleasant.
(this intro was made long before Los Campesinos ! even considered putting exclamation marks on You! Me! Dancing! (4 years))
thanks for reading my badly-written, brief and less than informative notes, but I hope nevertheless potentially interesting,