Monday, 24 December 2018

3WTM 2018 Playlist

So what have I been listening to this year? I'm sure you've all been wondering. Well now you can hear with this great playlist.

Angry Cyclist - The Proclaimers
The Proclaimers? You bet! Somehow Spotify thought I might like this and they were right. Try it, forget who it's by, if you can, and you won't regret it.

110 Ways To Make Things Better - Jordan Allen
I still can't get over how much he sounds like the Pigeon Detectives. It was either this track or Synchronised to go on the playlist, I'd listen to all his stuff if I was you.

Stand Up Tragedy - The Fratellis
The more I hear of them, the more I like them. So underrated after a big hit early on.

Pressure (feat. UCLA Bruin Marching Band) - Muse
This song is good but add a marching band and it makes it, gives it that something extra that doesn't make it just another Muse track.

Never Enough - The Hunna
Not their most played track on Spotify, how that is, I have no idea. I loved it from the minute I heard it on the radio.

Running On Empty - Issac Gracie
Another radio earworm for me. Straight on to a playlist and on constant rotation.

Harder Than You Think - Public Enemy
The intro music from Channel 4's Last Leg.

Montage - Andy Hull and Robert McDowell
Say the word "montage" and I instantly think of Team America (f*%£ Yeah). However this is from the eBay advert and Swiss Army Man OST.

Last Century - The Almighty Rhombus
They've featured previously on the blog so it was great to hear they were back with new material. Check it out.

Simplify - Young The Giant
I enjoyed their My Body song so much I had to listen to their other tracks to see what else they had to offer. This is pretty good.

Love Is A Basic Need (Orchestral Version) - Embrace
Another strong track from the boys from West Yorkshire.

Unbelievers - Ezra Furman

Seavolution - Tiesto
Tastes change over time but I was certainly surprised to be recommended this by Neil, occasional contributor to the blog. Cracking track though.

Dished (Male Stripper) - Purple Disco Machine
Keeping the dance music section of the blog going. I'm loving this in my spinning classes at the moment.

Freaks - Timmy Trumpet
Known as the trumping song in our house, our kids go mental for it.

You Fine - Saint Motel
Darlings of the advertising world, Saint Motel's b-side is another foot-tapping tune ready to persuade you to use the latest brand.

The Heart Is A Muscle - Gang of Youths
I'm a bit late to the GoY party but I'm going to do some revision and make sure I'm up-to-date after finding this track.

No Roots - Alice Merton
As I'm currently doing rehab for my back I'm inclined to sing I've Got No Glutes to this as I try to improve my core (and my glutes).

You've Got Time - Regina Spektor
Another party I'm late to, not Regina but Orange Is The New Black, the Netflix series that this is the theme tune to.

Jordan B Peterson's Drinking Song - Akira The Don
When I was stuck in a traffic jam the other week, missing my eldest's parents evening, I started scouring Spotify and somehow I revisited Akira The Don. His (?) Drinking Song has been a favourite of mine for sometime and I was interested what he was up to now. It's a lot of spoken word over backing tracks which work well in the right kind of environment. This one seems to be an update / variance on the original Drinking Song and works for me. Is that Wheels as the backing tune? Try also Any Dream You Wanted.

Time To Give - White Lies
A return for White Lies and a return to form in my eyes / ears.

River Thames - MOSES
Thrown up by Spotify's Discover Weekly playlist. Not a bad algorithm that one.

The Revolution Will Be Digitised - Bibelots
As above, a new discovery for me.

That's Not Entertainment - The Lottery Winners
I do like discovering new music but it can be work at times, going through a lot of average songs. This was a nice find, it sounds like it should be on the Road Trip soundtrack.

If you've managed to read this far please take the time to leave a comment or send me a message on Twitter @johnalamb

Monday, 29 January 2018

3WTM November / December Playlist

Some of my favourites along with contributions from friend of the blog Andy P. As always, available on Apple Music and Spotify.

Andy's Choices:

Holly y Su banda - Benji Muji Mau
Not a normal genre that I would go for but just something fun and delightful and a bit  different. 

Johnny Flynn - The Landlord - English folk meets the blues. An interesting combination and not quite as folky as much of his other stuff but I think it's my favourite track off his latest album.

Pearl Love - Shuddering Trains
This is a local (to me anyway) young lady who has a delightfully delicate touch. She has been dabbling with music for a while but this is her first proper release. A great demonstration of how streaming allows new artists to get their music out there in an unhindered way.

Josh Doyle - Solarstorm
I saw Josh live a few months ago as the support act at a tiny venue and was really taken with his laid back approach. His career has gone through peaks and troughs over time but he just keeps going doing what he enjoys and seems to be somewhat ambivalent to how much commercial success.

Amy Wadge - One last dance 
Amy who? She's a Grammy award winner - still not heard of her but I guarantee you know her songs. Most notably she frequently co writes with Ed Sheeran including "thinking out loud"
She is a prolific song writer and if you get the chance to see her perform (and she doesn't do very many live dates) she is very entertaining. Many of her songs come about from events in her life - this was one that she wrote about her ninety something year old Grandparents who passed away within a few months of each other.

John's Choices:

To start off with I've got lots of old names that have been around a good while and will be familiar to you all but are their new tracks?

Geronimo - Stereophonics
Stereophonics seems to hit patches of form and then can come up with a dud album or two. Their latest offering certainly seems to be the former, with another strong single from the album.

The Next Time We Wed - The Fratellis
I think The Fratellis are underrated or maybe it's just me who has underrated them? I absolutely love Me And The Devil from their 2016 album and this track is up there again. Don't be like me and pass them by. You'll regret it.

Run It Wild - Robbie Williams
I don't listen to commercial radio, so maybe Robbie is getting a lot of air time there but I certainly haven't heard him half as much as I normally would expect. I'm really enjoying his latest material yet on the radio this morning they were playing one of his old tracks. That's WWWTM all over!

Always Ascending - Franz Ferdinand
You can't miss the distinctive vocals, so it's always going to sound like Franz Ferdinand but the track itself has got an 80s feel to it, maybe even a bit of ELO...

Nothing To Live Down - Shed Seven
I had to put another Shed Seven track on, their latest album is getting loads of coverage and great feedback from critics and fans alike. This track has been on the 6 Music playlist. People Will Talk remains my favourite track off the album. Well worth listening to for those who bother reading this blurb to go with the tracks.

Permanent Vacation - The Academic
The Academic are a band from Ireland that have more of an American sunshine band sound to them.

Love You So Bad - Ezra Furman
Probably my favourite of the playlist but it seems not to everyone's taste. It's definitely worth checking out.

Holly Wood - Will Joseph Cook

Miami - Baxter Dury
I found Baxter through a recommendation on Twitter by Reverend and the Makers. He's not one to play in front of the kids but really has something to his music.

Golden Slumbers - Elbow
You can't fail to have heard this over Christmas, the cover version of The Beatles track has gone down a storm, even in my Elbow-hating-office.

Out of Her Mind - Cassia
More Vampire Weekend inspired music, seems they really hit a note with some bands.

New Year - Catholic Action
There's only one time to release this track isn't there.

Me & You - George Ezra
This original track written especially for the Channel 4 adaptation of the popular book We're Going on a Bear Hunt by George Ezra. It's a lovely, catchy song played at the end of the film.

Lemon to a Knife Fight - The Wombats
The Wombats were featured in the early days of this blog so it would be rude not to mention they're touring again and have this song out.

Happy New Year - Big Moon

Cold Cold Cold - Cage The Elephant
CTE are such a hit a miss band for me. It takes a lot of energy to listen to all their tracks. When I saw this track was on someone's most listened to track of 2017 I had to check it out. It's another winner.

Ophelia - The Lumineers
As above, I discovered this track from someone showing their most played tracks on Spotify via Twitter.

I Can't Quit - The Vaccines
The new single from this band that I've followed ever since my good friend Neil introduced me to them. I hope the rest of the album is this good.

Anyone Knows What Love Is - Irma Thomas
This features on a Black Mirror episode and really brought the whole plot together at the end. The excellent 15 Million Merits is another great track from this episode but sadly it's not on Spotify. It's by Stephen Merits if anyone wants to hunt it down.

I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor - Anton Du Beke
Those music snobs out there can move along straight away. However if you like a bit of Richard Cheese or Mike Flowers Pops you may appreciate this swing version of The Arctic Monkeys.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

3WTM October Playlist

Just me (John) this month but I've got a bumper selection of songs for you. A real mix of new bands and old bands returning with new material.  Check them out on Apple and Spotify as normal.

Up All Night - Beck
A few (normal) people on Twitter were saying how good this track so I had a little listen. Not what I would normally expect from Beck but good all the same.

Rosie - Jordan Allen
What a great find. Sounds like Pigeon Detectives to me.

Room In My House - Shed Seven
Back with a new album and out on tour again, it seems like all the nineties pop bands are coming up with songs and touring again. It makes it even harder to believe that the music industry is poor. Either that or there isn't any better work out there for musicians.

Under A Million Lights - Tom Chaplin
More new material from Tom, once of Keane, maybe he's more than a flash in the pan now he's writing his own tracks.

Take Me Home - Milburn
The brains behind Milburn, Joe Carnall, has been working closely with Reverend and the Makers and I incorrectly credited John McClure with writing Juliet Knows (by RatM) when in fact it was Joe. This track with Joe's original band is not in the same vain but has a nice little hook to it.

Hourglass - Imitating Aeroplanes

Tord Øverland Knudsen out of The Wombats is part of this band and it has more of a Norwegian feel than The Wombats do. In fact I would never have put the two together. I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Can't Do - Everything Everything

More quality from EE, as I said last month, nothing new in terms of style but great all the same.

Distance Yourself - Baby Strange

The lead singer's voice has a bit of the Ricky from Kaiser Chiefs about it.

Loveblood - Sundra Karma

Always makes me thinks it is Arcade Fire when it comes on. 100% compliment. I discovered this after featuring one of Sundra's other songs on here.

New Home - The Bay Rays

I feel like this has an 70s or 80s rock feel to it but as they're a bit before my time I can't say that for sure. A good, upbeat track.

Losing Your Love - Paris Youth Foundation

This Liverpool band have been described as Wolf Alice meets The Strokes by the NME.

Black Magic - The Amazons

My daughter was disappointed when this wasn't Little Mix - I wasn't!

Go - Valley Lodge

I've got this from Shazaming a football related programme, maybe Final Score on the BBC? It's got a real hook of a riff! UPDATE: It's from the excellent Thrice Champions Podcast, they use it on the intro.

The Man - The Killers

I'm enjoying this track from The Killers, quite a lot of synths but that's no bad thing.

Oxygen - Catfish and the Bottlemen

I've always enjoyed CatB without me really getting in to them. This suggests to me I should be checking out more of their material.

Dangerous Day - Space

I was a big fan of Space back in the day and I was interested to hear what new material from them would be like. It's not bad but I'm not jumping for joy just yet. Shared more out of interest than anything else.

Almost Human - Air Traffic

Somehow two of my email addresses are subscribed to Air Traffic's mailing list. So I was fully aware they were touring again and they have released this single as part of their tour. Not bad guys.

Friend of a Friend - Red Rum Club

Another Liverpool band who are missing a trick if you ask me, if I was them I'd have my logo with the two Rs backwards as a nod to The Shining.

Detectorists - Johnny Flynn

The theme tune to the excellent BBC Four comedy written by Mackenzie Crook which he stars in alongside the brilliant Toby Jones. It's a slow moving comedy about two guys who spend most of their time with their metal detectors, making them "detectorists".

Go Mental - Robbie Williams

Not politically correct in this time of mental health awareness as my wife tells me but I can't help yelling along as well as joining in on the soul side of the song.

Holy Mountain - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

I know this song is everywhere but I'm really enjoying it. I was surprised to hear my colleagues don't feel the same, including a long time Noel fan. Is it just me? Comment below to give me your view. The sample is The Ice Cream and their track, The Chewin' Gum Kid.

Caught By The Wind - The Stereophonics

I like their latest single and it's great to see them doing so well twenty years and ten albums since they burst on to the scene. Hurry up and wait indeed.

Warriors - Too Many Zooz

The latest iPhone advert track, Discovered playing in a subway allegedly.

One of Us - New Politics

Danish pop band from Copenhagen, they've been around for years but this is one of their latest tracks.

Friday, 15 September 2017

3WTM Latest Playlist

A playlist of what music we have just discovered, new or old, that we feel needs sharing. We hope you find a gem or two. Stream on Apple or Spotify as normal. If someone fancies checking the Apple one and letting me know it works, that would be much appreciated.
Chris' Selection:
Beehive – Mark Lanegan Band – Gargoyle 2017
I like Mark Lanegan. His voice is a bit like Iggy Pop turned down a notch. Apparently, he can be a bit dour. This puts me a little in mind of House of Love.
Guns – Broken Witt Rebels – Georgia Pine EP - 2016
Vocally this reminds me a little of Kings of Leon – a great track that skips along nicely. Guitar-based I might add.
Comeback Kid – Kasabian – For Crying Out Loud – 2017
This was in my playlist of the week from Apple Music and very good it is too. I was mainly drawn to it for the title of the album to be honest – ‘For Crying Out Loud’ is a phrase I might well use in exasperation when a stronger phrase would be more apposite. You tend to know what you’re going to get from Kasabian, and this delivers.
Arabian Heights – The Afghan Whigs – In Spades - 2017
I’ve never heard of these but they’ve been around quite a bit. They’re an American group who were around in the late 80s and 90s, but then split up. They reformed in 2011. Anyway, this track sounds very polished. I love the guitar playing in it and the general feel.
Evergreen – The Darling Buds – Evergreen EP - 2107
I used to love The Darling Buds – one of the first indie bands I got into. I saw them play at The Leadmill and remember them coming out and dancing next to us later in the evening. Well this is very much like them – makes me think a little of The Bangles I suppose.
Teardrops In A Hurricane – Jordan Mackampa – Tales From The Broken – EP – 2017
There’s something about this that reminds me of Black and Gold by Sam Sparro. It doesn’t have quite as strong a beat – but it is a steady and consistent beat. Gorgeous vocals – very laid back.
Million Dollar Secret – Lucius – Tales From The Broken – EP – 2017
Also quite laid back. Lucius are a 4-piece from Brooklyn with just a couple of Eps to their name. No drums – no guitars. Ambient synthy sounds.
On Her Journey To The Sun – Rikard Sjöblom’s Gungfly  - On Her Journey To The Sun – 2017
Prog rock? Psychedelic pop? Lovely lilting feel and great instrumentalisation with some great solos. Soaring vocals in places.
Delirium Tremendous – Felix Hagan & The Family – Delirium Tremendous – Single – 2017
Would this be classed more as pop? Who knows? It’s very catchy. In places it makes me thing of Rock Lobster. It is very catchy and probably the track I enjoy most amongst my selections this month.
John's Selection:
Better - Matthew Ebel - Cognitive Dissonance
Matthew Ebel is a great talent and Cognitive Dissonance is a good album but he and it doesn't know what it wants to be. One second he's Ben Folds (piano, odd swearing, humour), next second he's Dave Grohl (singing style) and then on some tracks he goes all Daft Punk on us. I urge you to listen to the album just to appreciate his chameleon style. In this track he's just Ben and Dave but you get the picture. Will be interesting to see if my friend Spanners likes the track.
Juliet Knows - Reverend and the Makers

Wisely John McClure has let his pal Joe Carnall (of Milburn fame) sing the lead vocals on this and it lifts it up to the levels it deserves. I'm sure John would admit that he's not the greatest singer out there but what he adds as a front man and lyricist shouldn't be questioned. This is the second single off the forthcoming album that I have already pre-ordered.

T-Shirt Weather - Circa Waves

This track is a few years old and one I've just discovered - or at least it has now come in to my consciousness. The band, from Liverpool, released their second album last year and are well worth checking out.

Imagine Life - Thirteen Senses

Another song from the past that I have just discovered. I actually came across this track on a podcast about cycling. I believe a member of the band are really in to their cycling and allowed the excellent The Cyclist Podcast to use their music. The element that got me was the hook that sounds not dissimilar to Arcade Fire's Wake Up although when listening to the track as a whole it's harder to spot. See if you agree.

Junk Food Forever - The Amazons

Having run out of podcasts and struggling to find anything of quality on my usual radio stations, I turned to Radio 1. Well I was taken back when this quality, guitar based track came on. From Reading and included in the station's "Sound of 2017", they're pretty good!

Desire - Everything Everything

More of the same from Everything Everything, so much so that I had to check it was a new track. Sometimes we just want bands to give us more of what they do best and EE deliver.

Bring You Down - The Real People

1995 / 1996 was my era for music, I inhaled every guitar band I came across and loved every minute. So when I came across a band I'd not heard of from that time I had to learn more. This track is great, how did I miss it? It turns out they were big friends of Oasis as they gave them a scouse helping hand when the Mancunian scene was a little less friendly.

Young Love - The Lottery Winners

This is a pop song that I've had on my playlist for quite sometime, I really need to share it. It's "just" a catchy tune that won't go away. We all know that any song like that isn't "just" anything. Enjoy this earworm.

Friday, 26 May 2017

3WTM April and May Playlist

Each month we put forward the tracks we've been listening to. Usually more new music because that's how it goes month to month but if we've found any gems from the past then we add those to. We were aiming for April for this one but it's more like May in the end! Stream on Spotify or the not so good Apple Music.

John's Selection

Amigo – Chef’Special
It’s a nice upbeat track that’s a bit Vampire Weekend like. Chef’Special are a band from Haarlem in The Netherlands.

Shake – The Rassle
The Rassle are a band we featured a good while back on the back as they evolved out of the excellent The Virgins band (worth checking out Rich Girls if you don’t know that track already). Never hitting the highs of The Virgins, The Rassle have however produced some quality pop tracks over the years.

The Time I Met The Devil – Brave Giant
Seems I really like a banjo (or is it a mandolin?) in a song and this rattles along at a great pace. You can’t help put tap your foot.

Back Then – Formation
Wow, on a roll this month and really happy with these tracks. This duo are from London and that’s about all I know sadly. They have an album out so I’m off to check that out. You should too.

Silver Heat – Ten Tonnes
Ten Tonnes is the alias of a 19 year old and wow, I’m impressed. It seems a really grown up track, I think you’re going to like people.

(Don’t Let Them Catch You) Crying  – Madness (Leo Zero Tufnell Remix)
This is great, reminds me of the great Abdomo song (No 1 by Grove Armada) that just eats away at you over time and by the end it’s sunk its teeth in to you and won’t let go.

Chris's Selection

Whisper I’lllistentohearit – Spoon, Hot Thoughts.
I’m new to Spoon I think, but they’ve been around since 1993 – they’re from Austin Texas. This song is a very open sounding arrangement – guitars, synths, a straightforward drum beat. It perhaps makes me think a little of Arcade Fire.

Wes Come Back – Rodes Rollins – Young Adult EP. I think this young lady is American too and at the start of her career from the look of things. This song is very laid back. It reminds me a little of Underwater Love by Smoke City.

Somebody Better – Black Honey – Somebody Better Single. This is a group from Brighton and a belter of a song – again, they haven’t got much out.

Please Me – Puppet Rebellion – Please Me Single.
Manchester band (who've featured on the blog before - JL). Possibly aimed at a younger audience, maybe not, this is a decent enough song. It puts me a little in mind of Two Door Cinema Club in places.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

3WTM February Playlist 2017

So each month we choose some tracks that have been hitting the right notes, we then share them as a playlist on Spotify and Apple Music. Check 'em out!

Chris' Tracks

New Estate – Giant Rooks – New Estate EP – A German Alt-Pop quintet apparently. Upbeat guitars, synth, piano – vocals hint a little at Alt-J.

Fly-By Alien – VANT – Dumb Blood – I think VANT are reasonably well known. Probably at the heavy end of stuff that I like, but good.

The Lost Sky – Jesca Hoop – in a complete U-turn from VANT – simple acoustic guitar, light female vocals, plucked cellos? A bit of a folky feel to this, beautiful and interesting. Great harmonies. Jesca Hoop is from California, but gave up the California sun in 2008 to move to Manchester (of all places).

Up to the Surface – Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound. Cloud Nothings are an American indie-rock band. This track is OK, but maybe a bit steady.

Overflow – Ten Fé – Hit The Light. Ten Fé are a London based act. This track puts me slightly in mind of Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap, but it’s only a passing resemblance, and probably down to the bass part. Is there a bit of Ultravox in there?

Six Flags in F or G – Surfer Blood – Snowdonia. Rock Lobster.

Substitute – Billy Bibby and The Wry Smiles. Were the wry smiles a reaction to the name ‘Billy Bibby’? Who knows? Oh – apparently he used to be the guitarist with Catfish and the Bottlemen. A pretty good song, all in all.

Evening Prayer – Half Waif – Life Will See You Now. A bit of an odd one this. It’s a song about a bloke who made a 3-D print of a tumour he’d had removed. Or more, it’s about the relationship of the songwriter to the bloke who made a 3-D print of his tumour. I saw someone on line compare to The Human League in style and it seems a reasonable observation to me.

Dama de Lavanda – The Paperhead – Chew. Well this starts out with a similar guitar riff to Morning’s Eleven by The Magic Numbers. A bit of trumpet gives a mariachi feel in places.

John's Selections

The Kids Don't Wanna Come Home - Declan McKenna
Winner of Glastonbury's Emerging Talent Award. Brazil was his big hit of the time. I'm off to check it out.

Fill In The Blank - Car Seat Headrest
I heard of them through Twitter, I get the feeling that's a strategy rather than by chance.

Blown Rose - Blossoms
OK I'm a bit late with this one. I've been listening to it for a while and it's hear for anyone who has caught this emerging band yet.

Great Pile Of Nothing - Mozes And The Firstborn
It's got a real feel of American indie, early nighties maybe. However they're from the Nederlands, this is off their second album released in 2016.

The Walker - Fitz and the Tantrums
Somehow I've ended up on their mailing list and until now they've not hit the mark. I like this though, especially the whistling. Boom!

Pentagrams - Deja Vega
No idea how I stumbled across this track but I know it's not recent, from the end of 2015. Good track though, worth sharing.

Feeling OK - Best Coast
I've been listening to this track since April so I don't know how I've passed it up each month, it certainly deserves our attention. It's off their California Nights album released in 2015.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

3WTM January 2017 Playlist

A monthly run down of what we've been listening to. Available on Apple and Spotify.

John's Selections:

Virgin Suicide – Virgin Suicide
A Danish band who have supported The Charlatans and have been The Guardian’s band of the week. They’ve got an indie guitar pop sound with an American west coast feel.

Public Display of Affection – EAT FAST
I can't find out much about this band but I don't think that matters. They've got an album out and seem to have their own sound and I like it.

The King And All Of His Men – Wolf Gang
I like discovering music in different ways and would happily use Shazam in a cinema if it wasn’t frowned upon. This song was used by the BBC on their football programme Final Score. Having found Pumpin Blood through the same programme, they clearly have good taste. I enjoyed finding this the other day and following it to find Lion In Cages, another quality song by the band. Sadly the London based band split in 2015.

Gonna Die Alone – Hanni El Khatib
What a cheery thought. I do like the song though. He’s been around since 2010 and this is a recent track released in 2016 from the San Francisco artist.

Silk – Wolf Alice
I hadn’t got Wolf Alice before. I’ve revisited their music on a couple of occasions because of recommendations but still I didn’t get them. Then I saw the Trainspotting 2 trailer. Music put to images, especially ones stirring up feelings of nostalgia, wow that’s a great thing in life. Wolf Alice I get you now.

Oh Mary – Kulashaker
This song has been on my Spotify for a while and it’s taken a while to grow on me. “Oh Mary what have you done?” You’ve given me a new track to enjoy by a band I used to love.

Satisfaction - The Bay Rays
As they supported The Slaves I'm guessing Neil's heard this band already but for those of you who haven't (including me before now) then this band are worth checking out. They're still touring if you want to catch up with them.

One Drop - Be Charlotte
19 years old and from Scotland. You can tell the later from the music and it works. You certainly wouldn't tell her age from the track. Some real talent right there.

Good Girls - Crystal Fighters
A band on their third album and they've finally come on my radar. I can't work out if I've just missed everything or they've finally broken through. A bit of both I guess. They sound like a dancey version of Vampire Weekend.

January 17 – Chris’s Choices
Drifting Apart – Goan Dogs – Drifting Apart (Single). Haunting, captivating and beautiful (despite the negative theme). I like this song so much that I dare not listen to the other two singles that Goan Dogs have released, if that makes sense.

Glue Bag Flags – Smoove & Turrell – Crown Posada. A great upbeat soul track.

Do You Have A Name – Glass Caves – Do You Have A Name (Single) – Pontefract based Alt-Rock with one album to their name.

Empty Promises – Mainland – Empty Promises (Single) – strong track which sounds very similar to Bloc Party’s Luna with vocals by the singer from The Walkmen – to my mind anyway.

Terribly So – Howe Gleb – Future Standards. I’m not sure how this crept into my weekly playlist from Apple. Think Leonard Cohen with a jazz/swing feel.

Diary – Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat To Earth. Clear female vocals over simple piano arpeggios start this atmospheric song off

Badguys – Christopher Paul Stelling – Badguys (Single). Great track with a quirky time signature

Pulling At The Grey – Young Romance – Another’s Blood.

Modern Contemporary – Rainbow Arabia – L.A. Heartbreak.

The Pact – Puppet Rebellion – The Pact (Single)

The State I’m In – Josephin Ohm + The Liberation – The State I’m In (Single)

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Spinning Playlist

Since April I've been going to spinning classes twice a week. Well in fact I've been going to "Indoor Cycling" as Spinning is a brand and that's probably for the best as the receptionist often confuses Spinning for Swimming. Anyway with three different instructors and many hours on the bike I've built up a list of my favourite tracks to spin to. Listen to it as a playlist or read the text below and combine it with a work out on an exercise bike. I hope you enjoy. Available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Thunderstruck - AC/DC
I'd only just discovered this track when shortly after it was introduced as our first track to start off a session. What a track! Get those legs going, get your cadence / revs per minute (RPM) above 120 and get going. The bikes we ride have a brake setting on them, it's essentially the amount of resistance, like gears at some gyms. Get in a low gear and get those legs spinning! Time to get warm.

Beat It - Fall Out Boy
Steadily increasing the resistance (quarter or half a turn at a time for us) aiming to keep your legs going at the same speed. Another turn and another verse, go, go, go. On the chorus it's great to churn out those kilometres. Just BEAT IT.

Breed - Nirvana
It would be easy to go for Smells Like Teen Spirit but I've never enjoyed this song so much as when on a (stationary) bike. "I don't care, I don't care" going up a steep hill, pounding your legs, sweat dripping off you, attacking the bike. This track is just awesome. COME ON!

Cowboy - Kid Rock
Some instructors don't believe in recovery time (Tom) while others build in a quick breather. This is your chance. Sat down, in a low gear / low resistance you can have a minute. With that minute up you'll hear the track change, time for a seated hill climb. Keep adding resistance and keep that RPM at 80. Easy to start with but keep adding resistance and stay seated. Keep it at 80 as long as you can but by the end you should feel like you're riding through treacle. Add more until it's a struggle to stay at 30 RPM.

Enter Sandman - Metallica
Time to stand up and hit the pedals. Take a small amount off so you can hit that magic 80 again. I never got this track until I exercised to it. Even now while I'm listening to it and writing the post, it's not the same. Listen to it while pedalling and you'll get it. Standing hill climb all the way. Keep that resistance on and don't forget to pull up on one foot as you push with the other (as Andy P, blog contributor is always telling us).

ABC - The Jacksons
Bit flatter now and a bit of fun. Something that made me smile. In the old days I would have played drinking games with vodka jelly to tracks like this, now I'm wearing Lycra! So each time they ABC you stand up and 123 you sit down. Pay attention now and do it with a smile.

Give Me Your Love - Sigala
While some instructors like to put on some heavy rock and just go with whatever comes next (Tom), others like a real mix of current, rock, pop and dance (Tara). Not only that but Tara plans the whole session around the tracks with notes. I'm very impressed with the preperation this must take. I'm sure on her notes for this song it probably says "Get some miles in". So with some resistance on, ride like anything and keep your cadence above 100, higher if possible.

Runnin' Wild - Airbourne
Discovered through spinning class, I love this track. From the hair rock era, it's great. Time to crack up the gears and make it hard. Get out of your saddle as it becomes tough. Time for "No Overtakes". Standing sprints up the hill, stop the other person passing you. Sprint every time you hit the chorus, keep it going, don't let anyone pass you. It should still be tough when you're not sprinting. Out of the saddle all the way.

Move Your Feet - Junior Senior
One of my suggestions that got added to the class. Back to the flat and time to get those legs spinning again. We want mileage and we want it now. We're getting near the end of the session now so get those Ks on the board and get that average cadence up.

Voodoo Child - Rogue Traders
Keep that pace up but add a bit of resistance. And again. And again. Keep your pace on the beat. How long can you hold it.

A-Punk - Vampire Weekend
Andy P enjoyed this track so much at spinning that he bought the album. When you're riding a bike at 7am there are certain songs that just work well, slap you around the face and get your legs going. By now you're feeling it. Don't stop. Time for some seated sprints. 30 second full on with 10 second rests. GO.

Paradise City - Guns N Roses
"The ultimate Spinning song" as named by one instructor and it's been used by all three instructors at one point or another. With a fair amount of resistance towards the end of the a session its great to crack on and keep those legs going. Go on the whistle (never noticed it in the track before) and get going. When you're hitting the fifth minute mark you're thinking it's near the end but as Amy would shout "PUSH, PUSH, PUSH". How much do you want Axel Rose to shut up and finish the song? Not much? Then you're not pushing hard enough.

Dance The Night Away - The Mavericks
We don't take ourselves too seriously and I always enjoy the randomness of some of the songs. A warm down song that makes you smile, half in enjoyment, half in disbelief that you're riding a stationery bike, wiping your brow with a towel first thing in a morning. Time to come to a crawl and start stretching those arms and get that lactic out of your legs. Steady as you go. No more kudos to be earned, just bring that heart rate down and dance the night away.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

3WTM November 2016 Playlist

Adding variety and richness in the blog this month is Andy as he gives us seven tracks for us to check out (we'll call him Andy P as I'm hopeful of another Andy contributing at some point). That should give us a nice round 20 for our playlist this month. On Apple and Spotify as usual.

Neil's Choices:

"Consume or be consumed" by Slaves,featuring Beastie Boy Mike D on some of the vocals, and also his ace production.

Sounds very much like the BB spin off band BS2000 (if you can remember them?)

"Popular music" by LIFE - I know John is/used to be a fan of the boys from Hull, well they supported Slaves last night and finished with this one.

"TCR" by Sleaford Mods - I was going to put this forward for last month's playlist but it was the only track I had so thought I'd save it. You'll either love it or hate it, you'll either think it's clever or rubbish. Marmite music.

"Way we Won't" by Grandaddy - Yey, Grandaddy are back and they sound as fresh as ever.

John's choices:

Stages – The Frank and Walters.
I knew of The Frank and Walters just as I was getting in to music in the early nineties. That was the jangly pop song After All (worth checking out if you don’t know it). This is a bit heavier I guess and a really strong track.

A House on Fire – TRAAMS.
It’s a long one at 8:41 but I think it’s worth it. TRAAMS are a post-punk band, whatever that means! This track came out in October to support their tour which has sadly just ended but I’m sure they’ll be back if this track is anything to go by.

Wolves – Pigeon Detectives.
Especially for Chris and his love of tracks involving Wolves. Pidgeon Detectives burst on to the scene in 2007 with the excellent Wait For Me album. Excellent live, it’s great to see them back with their 5th (FIFTH!) album.

Can't Connect - Planet

This band from Sydney are supporting 3WTM favourite British India on their latest tour and have a great early 90s indie feel to them. It's also worth checking out their track Undermine.

Learning To Fly – Liberty Ship.

A quick trip to Wikipedia reveals a request for donations and also details of Liberty Ship, a British designed boat produced on mass by the Americans during the second world war. The most ever produced of one boat design in fact. The band however are a four piece from Sheffield and can only hope to be mass produced (see what I’ve done there).

and new to the blog this month is Andy P:

Many thanks to John for the opportunity to add a few guest selections to the blog this month.
As you may see from the tracks below - my tastes are somewhat eclectic!

The Hoosiers,  Bumpy Ride, Bumpy Ride 2011
To me this typifies exactly what's wrong with the mainstream, it's a great song that rarely fails to bring a smile to my face. The Hoosiers stormed onto the scene with Goodbye Mr A and Worried About Ray in 2007. To start with they had  lots of promotion and support, but then when the second single from their second album only got to no 11 in the charts, they were dropped by their record label like a lead balloon. Fortunately they managed to negotiate to get the master recordings and re-released the entire album on their own label. They have gone on to record and release more new material using crowd funding to cover their costs. 

Christine and the Queens Tilted, Charleur Humaine 2015
Its nice to come across a new release where there is something a little different and engaging about it, quirky even. Christine seems to have found her own sound - its modern and crisp. One of those songs which when you hear for the first time makes you want to listen again and it even has a little bit of French rapping veru Blondie!

Bastille, Good Grief, Wild World 2016
OK so they are mainstream now - but I have been following these guys for several years and sometimes its annoying when they get too big! They built a huge following via social media and almost constant touring. The vocal is pitched unusually high to suit Dan Smith's voice and I love all the reinventions and cover versions (Other People's Heartache) they've done. Now the long awaited second album has finally arrived (after at least three iterrations of Bad Blood). Think this is my current favourite, it's one of the few (other than Motorhead) that hangs on the bass line - recognisable as soon as you hear it, just love this one

Travis, Idlewild featuring Josephine Oniyama, Everything at Once 2016
Travis still rocking and enjoying it after 20 years when some of their early contemporaries are have gone on to super stardom, Chris Martin mentioned them as one of his inspirations. Still recording new and interesting material this combines a classic Travis sound with a haunting vocal from the very talented Josephine Oniyama. Saw them live recently and was so impressed with the enthusiasm they obviously still have for recording and performing their music, unfortunately Josephine didn't tour with them because she still needs a day job to pay the bills! 

Catfish and the Bottlemen, Soundcheck The Ride 2016
Really like the feel of this band - melodic but with an edge and they've managed the difficult transition into their second album and kept a lot of that raw feel. Soundcheck the first single from the second albulm just grabs me.

Paper  Aeroplanes, Newport Beach from The Day We Ran Into the Sea- 2009
Definitely not in the mainstream but I do like this type of British folk. I like the soft acoustic tones and harmonies. When I listen to this track it brings back happy memories of family holidays in West Wales and time spent on Newport (Pembs) Beach - some very special spots and the something a bit more laid back and relaxed. It's nice when you can have a very personal connection with a track.

Gogol Bordello, Wunderlust King Super Taranta! 2007.
Its hard to categories just exactly what this is, but Ukrainian gypsy punk rock its a generally underrepresented genre and this track sums up the energy and enthusiasm that it involves. IMO they are one of the best live acts around with unbelievable energy.

3WTM November 2016 – Chris’s Selections

Weep – Magik*Magik - Makik*Magik
This is the debut album from Minna Choi who put together a group of musicians to produce soundscapes for other artists including Death Cab for Cutie, Sting and Santana among many others. I love the atmosphere of this track – and the whole album is worth a listen and is in a similar vein.
ClearInsisght – Slaughter Beach - Love/Venice EP
This definitely reminds me of something, but I can’t remember what, and probably something I’ve put on a previous playlist. Synth strings and guitars, what’s not to like.
Postdoc Blues – John K. Samson – Winter Wheat
I had to include this song because it gets ‘PowerPoint’ into the lyrics. I think it just dropped off the end of last month’s playlist.
Rise – Cath Tyldesley – Rise
Having mentioned Santana above, this song reminds me in feel to ‘Smooth’ which I happen to think is a good thing
Learning to Love the Bomb – Laish – Pendulum Swing
Another bounce along upbeat song – I haven’t yet deciphered the lyrics enough to learn why he is learning to love the bomb.

Monday, 31 October 2016

3WTM October 2016 Playlist

We've banged our heads together and as suspected Chris had more songs in his head this month while I wouldn't be cruel enough to say Neil's was so thick that no songs came out! On Spotify and Apple as usual.


3WTM October 2016 – Chris’s Selections
Well, it’s been another bumper month, and rather than keep some for another month, I thought I’d share them all. I’m not certain which five I’d have whittled it down to anyway, but I’m sure I would have managed.
High Flying Faith – EZTV – High In Place (2016)
I’m really enjoying this song. Its intro reminds me a little of Sick and Tired by The Cardigans which is no bad thing. The chords are actually quite interesting, swapping a major for its minor and a major for it minor, and throwing in an augmented 5th for good measure, and that’s just the intro. Vocally, I may be reminded of The House Of Love. I’ve downloaded the album and must have listened to it, but can’t remember much about it now – I must revisit it.
Orange Flower – Angelica Garcia – Medicine for Birds (2016)
I think she reminds me of Alanis Morissette and possibly a little of Courtney Barnett (but not much). Very basic, but very catchy. The only thing that lets it down as a track is the ‘amusing’ (annoying) conversation after the song has finished.
Taxi Driver – Pip – Blom – Are We There Yet? (Single 2016)
Ah – now maybe this one sounds a bit more like Courtney Barnett. I think Pip must be fairly new on the scene – she doesn’t seem to have much material out yet. I’ve just looked her up, she’s 19 and from Amsterdam. Again, quite basic, but quite catchy.
Universe Of Life – Feeder – All Bright Electric (2016)
I really like some Feeder stuff and some leaves me a little cold. This definitely falls into the category of the former. I’m a sucker for songs with James Bond sounding bits in them. I haven’t yet listened to the whole album but think I will on the strength of this song.
High Tide – Mystery Jets – Bubblegum EP (2016)
This might have been one that I cut from the list if I had to. It would have been a shame though. It’s a great song – maybe it plods a bit and doesn’t have great contrasts to it, but nonetheless, very listenable.
No Sleep – Twin Atlantic – GLA (2016)
This is from an album that I have managed to listen to a few times, and it’s a good album. So the track starts out with a good old fashioned Led Zeppesque guitar riff, then the singing starts and you think ‘hang on, this is Biffy Clyro’ and not just because of the thick Scottish accent. Scot-Rock – is that a thing? Maybe it is now.
Juliet – George Cosby – A Savage Kiss EP (2016)
Wow – what a voice. What a song. I’m put a little in mind of Rick Astley, and little in mind of The National (vocally). I’m a bit apprehensive about listening to more by him (not that there’s much out yet) in case it doesn’t come up to this high standard: but if it did …
Rendezvous Girl – Santigold – 99 Cents (2016)
I think I was oblivious to Santigold, and then on of their tracks showed up during a SongPop game with a girl from New York who I strongly suspect of being a robot … anyway, the five second clip was enough to encourage me to investigate, and it turned out to be a fine track indeed, but two or three years old, so I did a bit of digging and found an album brought out this year – many of the tracks weren’t to my liking, but this is a real gem.
Sorry People – Savoy Motel – Savoy Motel (2016)
After the main guitar riff, I find my mind saying to me ‘Fame’ from the Bowie song. Both NME and The Guardian are calling these old-school or 70’s based, with good reason. They do it very well though.
Hello Today – Black Honey – Hello Today (Single 2016)
Who does this remind me of? Is it Republica? Who knows. Cracking little rock song though.
Spirits – The Strumbellas – Hope (2015)
I’ve got quite a lot to say about this. First things first, it’s from last year, but I don’t think matters too much. My daughter shared a playlist with me (heavily influenced by one of her friends). It was an excellent playlist (for the most part) and this song was on. This particular song makes me think a little of Frank Turner’s stadium anthem type stuff, and it’s got its middle 8 complete with a choir of children singing along and tubular bells in the background, but it’s a great song, and, more importantly, it turns out to be from a great album. Hope turns out to be a gem of an album with quite a collection of quality songs. Have a listen if you get chance.
In A Black Out – Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mind (2016)
Well the initial guitar put me instantly in mind of The Partisan by Leonard Cohen, and listening now to that (which I thoroughly recommend you do) I can see exactly why – the whole song is very much in the same mould, although this one does build a little. Acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, a few backing vocals and a tiny bit of simple drumming in the middle. Very atmospheric.
Catherine The Great – The Divine Comedy – Foreverland (2016)
(Formerly?) my favourite band brought out a new album, and as with their other releases in the last few years, I bought it automatically, and then only found a couple of songs that I liked immediately. Some of them have grown on me a little, and I’ve now listened to the album a few times now. I also went to see them this month. I was a little reticent about seeing them, having only seen them at Leeds festival years and years ago (2001?) and I’d heard a couple of live recordings which didn’t do much for me. Anyway, it was a great gig, and the six-piece band (including Neil Hannon) gave very credible renditions of some quite complicated tracks. To the track … well this is fairly typical Divine Comedy – good melody, good instrumentation, good lyrics laced with whimsy. What’s not to love about the lyric ‘There were few brainier, just ask the king of Lithuania’?

So I've been listening to quite a few bands we already know of this month and I wasn't sure which to include on the playlist so I decided to include them all. Others who have released tracks but didn't make it include Dodgy, Kula Shaker and Green Day.

Take It Out On Me - White Lies
A return to form with this single from their new album.

Quicksand - Tom Chaplin
Formerly of Keane (he didn't write any songs for when they were popular). Popular in our household and thankfully that is "suck" he says at the start and not anything unchild friendly.

Born In The EU - Spector
A band I know Chris likes/liked. Topical song for the moment.

No One Will Ever Replace Us - The Courteeners
As The Sherlocks have been doing The Courteeners music better than they have recently (see Will You Be There?) I don't think the title is exactly true but it is an improvement on the last album and the other album tracks sound good too.

Buddy - The Orwells
Another good indie pop song from this American band.

Hole In My Soul - Kaiser Chiefs
Not getting a shortage of airplay but a good pop song from the Leeds band.

My Body - Young The Giant
I can't believe Chris has tipped us off on this excellent track and then not added it to his offerings for the playlist. It's such a good tune to train (run / spin) to "My body tells me no, but I won't quit 'cause I want more". Best find of the year for me.