Archive for June, 2009

h1

Wye Oak- The Knot

June 22, 2009

There are not many groups named after trees and I know of no other group named after one particular tree with a peculiar spelled name.   The first time I saw Wye Oak I knew that the band had to be from Maryland and it reminded me of the one and only time I had seen the tree which is some time ago now.

Sadly the tree was damaged in a thunderstorm and had to be removed but thankfully for our ears the group are going strong and are on their second album.  While it won’t send a bolt of lightning to crack our limbs it is a cracker indeed- a delightful melancholic shimmering shoe-gaze sound that will keep your attention firmly rooted.

Appropriately named The Knot, you can stream the album in its entirety over at Merge Records where you can also pre-order it.   They also have a free download of Take It In which is one of the most ear-catching on the album.

No videos for the new album but for the one clickers a tune from their first album If Children:

Please Concrete

h1

Bike For Three!

June 22, 2009

It wouldn’t be often that I would come across something at NME that actually catches my attention but Bike For Three! is certainly one that has.  A Postal Service type collaboration in which the Canuck singer Buck 65 has never met the Belgian muscian Joëlle Phuong Minh Lê.  An excellent collaboration indeed with Bucks memorable voice and Joëlle’s beautiful ambient and dark electronic tones.  So many great tracks and All There Is To Say About Love and Lazarus Phenomenon are two of the more memorable.

NME have the tune More Heart Than Brains for download and head over to Rough Trade to buy the album of the same name.  RCRD LBL have the tune All There Is To Say About Love which you nab here and for the one-clickers the tune is below- not official so will probably be yanked soon!

All There Is To Say About Love

h1

South Ambulance- EP #5 An Indiecater Release

June 22, 2009

Another excellent release from Indiecater in the form of South Ambulance– simply named EP #5 but there is nothing simple about their tunes.   Delightfully layered with a tinge of melancholy that will catch you on the fist listen and keep you there for quite a few more.

Dear Mutiny kicks it off with staccato striking piano chords and a lonely sounding voice which is then joined in a harmony of discord with another striking piano and eventually a guitar joins the fray with some backing vocals.       Blissful dissonance!

They Stick Together has a more  jangly start with guitars but the ethereal voices are still there and What The Doctor Said turns into a great shoe-gaze number.

The Stay Away starts off with rather melancholic voices but is then lifted to give you that feeling of flowing along and coming back across yourself- brilliant!  Circling With Thee has a great fast pace which is followed by the Rabid Ghost and is a multi-layered tune that is perfect for the wind-down.

Maybe it’s their mention of Poe in their blurb at Indiecater that has me in a literary reminisce but the tunes actually remind of a passage from The Willows by Algernon Blackwood that I had read last year.

Great revelations of nature, of course, never fail to impress in one way or another, and I was no stranger to moods of the kind.  Mountains overawe and oceans terrify, while the mystery of great forests exercises a spell peculiarly its own.  But all these, at one point or another, somewhere link on intimately with human life and human experience. They stir comprehensible, even if alarming, emotions. They tend on the whole to exalt.

Dare I say that there there is The Swede in the story to go along with the fact that the band hail from Sweden- can’t seem to escape them these days but with tunes like these I welcome them all with open arms.

So head over to Indiecater and this delightful ep can be yours for the paltry sum of €2.50- for 6 tunes you can’t beat it!

South Ambulance_ep5-front

h1

Dan Deacon- ALT June 3rd 2009

June 20, 2009

Finally getting a chance to get this up- been a bit hectic of late so not much free time at all.

Eventful start to night when I met Damien Mulley outside and then realised I had lost my ticket…for a sold out show!  Thankfully it had fallen out of the pocket around the corner and there must have only been short sighted touts that night since it was still on the ground.

All of the supports were part of Dan Deacon’s Ensemble in one fashion or another.

First up were Teeth Mountain who had a good vibe and a savage girl on the drums- long tunes since they only played the two which unfortunately made them a bit repetitive.

Second up was Adventure who is just one guy and a keyboard. Good on the keyboard for most of the tunes but lacklustre since no vocals and barely any movement.  Was wondering at one stage if he had spent too much time down in the basement as a teenager- there is a lot of radon gas in Maryland and I think he might have been overexposed.

Future Islands were next and by God did they make up for the lack of energy in the previous act- the lead singer was bouncing around all over the place but sound wise they were a bit too psychedelic for my liking and tuned out.

The set up for Dan Deacon then started- this being about midnight- and the audience were definitely dedicated Dan fans since there was a cheer when the megaphone came out and the green skull was put up.  Dan and the Ensemble then came on about half 12- quite a bit different than his usual one man show in the middle of the crowd to one up on stage with about 12 musicians.

Can’t remember the complete playlist but to be honest for Dan Deacon its not about what he played but about the cooperative experience that you get at one of his gigs.  That being said I did love when Snookered came on and it definitely seemed like an extended version which was brilliant even if the crowd were waning at the end.  Of course you cannot contain Dan on the stage forever and he came down on the floor for some of usual fun with the audience.

He had the crowd kneel down and form a circle around the singled out Kenny who performed a slow interpretive dance with the crowd following suit and after that finally disintegrated the audience were split into two sides and a dance off ensued.  The Tunnel was up and Dan wanted it to go out into the street which it did but not quite as long as it did on the second night from the reports-via ThrillPier-that I heard.  Alas I didn’t join this time- sometimes it does help to have a few drinks in order to fully enjoy the DD crowd fun and as I had to drive home no drinks for me.   Thankfully I wasn’t the only one and the band kept playing to the remaining few of us until the crowd started to filter back in.  The wind-down was starting then and we were played some funky bossa nova and crowd surfing by one of the band members…who went off to get changed into a crab costume for some more!

So it was at 2am that the gig finally ended and I have to say that Dan Deacon is always a great experience.  I do like the tunes from Bromst and they sound great live…and yet I missed the chaos of his gig at Electric Picnic last year where you had the feeling of a near death experience by being in such a crowd mosh.

If you haven’t heard any of his work you can head to his official site (as he says ‘A really bad, formerly good page) where you can get almost all of his back-catalogue for free- not quite as cohesive as Bromst so definitely make sure you have a listen to that.

h1

Choir Of Young Believers

June 10, 2009

A Choir they might not be but I am a fervent believer that their voices are heaven sent.   Choir of Young Believers have some seriously catchy tunes that will lift up your spirits- haunting falsettos and melodies will certainly leave you with an angelic feeling at least.

I heard the tune Claustrophobia a while back and when trying to remember where I came across it- unsurprisingly from Eardrums on A Good Crop compilation in 2008- I also came across a post from mp3hugger back in 07 so his finely tuned years were ahead of the curve as always!

No videos for Claustrophobia but a good live acoustic version of the excellent tunes Riot and Sharpen Your Knife.

Riot and Sharpen Your Knife– Live version with simple acoustic versions


You can also download a new track Action/Reaction from RCRD LBL– while I think their older tunes are more atmospheric have a look at an intimate version of Action/Reaction which is just sublime.

Slightly better quality  at Soundvenue.

h1

Moby- Pale Horses

June 10, 2009

Has been a while I have been looking forward to something from Moby but from what I have heard of his new album Wait For Me it sounds like he has returned to form.   The most ear catching tune I have heard so far has got to be Pale Horses with a strong bluesy female voice and and subtle  electronica.

The new album is released on June 30th but at the moment you can stream some of the new tracks- including Pale Horses- and download an Apparat remix over at RCRD LBL.   Quite a good blurb there as well about his thinking on how he approached the new album:

“At that moment, I decided to just make records that were more personal,” says Moby, “maybe more experimental, and a little more challenging, maybe not as easy to like, but things that I found to be artistically and creatively more satisfying. That was the idea behind making the new album.”

Pale Horses

h1

Promise And The Monster

June 9, 2009

Promise And The Monster is the moniker for the artist Billie Lindahl and what a delightful ethereal voice that emits from her.  No surprise then that she hails from Sweden and that I first heard of her from Eardrums latest compilation.  I would seriously consider moving there just to be surrounded by the immense vocal talent that resides in that country.

You can get all of Eardrums compilations for free and Promise And The Monster features on the second one of the Birdsongs, Beesongs with the tune Words.  No video for that so for the one-clickers there are the excellent tunes below from her album Transparent Knives.

Sheets

Light Reflecting Papers