Sunday, 19 July 2015

3WTM July 2015 Playlist

Mwahahaha. John has left me in charge of compiling a playlist for July as he won't have much chance to do one himself.

Ironically, I'd just decided to stop trying to seek out great new music as John was doing such a great job with his playlists. I've also knocked Spotify on the head, with the advent of Apple Music - the £15.00 for the whole family was too good to refuse. I did have various difficulties in setting up Apple Music and Family Sharing or Apple Family or whatever it's called, but got there in the end, and we now all have our own personally tailored music experiences. I'm not too sure how good the tailoring is, but I'm sure I'll be swift to find out (see what I did there?).

OK - onto the music.

Well before I stopped my subscription to Spotify, I copied some of the tracks from my 'Good New Music' playlist into a new playlist, taking the opportunity to rename it ... 'Good New Music'. And it is some of those tracks that I will share, I think. However, I'll create a new playlist called '3WTM July 2015' and see how sharing that goes.

1. Laura Welsh - Break The Fall (Single)

What to say? She seems to be a relative newcomer with an album and a couple of EPs to her name. I suppose a comparison to Florence and the Machine is a bit obvious, but is the best I can do. This song dates back to 2014.



2. The Wombats - Give Me A Try - Glitterbug

Well they've been around for a while, but haven't yet made into my music collection - until now, that is. Good catchy song - bordering a little on dance, but luckily (as far as I'm concerned) not going too far into the territory.



3. Still - The Japanese House - Pools To Breathe In (EP)

There's probably a genre which sums this up perfectly, but I'm not too hot with genres - I'll go with ambient and minimalist. I have to be very careful listening to this around the house - the gentle laid back feel to it doesn't prepare you for the occasional expletive.



4. Wolves Without Teeth - Of Monsters And Men - Beneath The Skin

A return to the blog for 'Of Monsters And Men' who now have a second album out (and what a great album it is). I have three of the tracks in my 'Good New Music' playlist, but picked this one because it has 'wolves' in the title - I seem to have been noticing 'wolf' or various derivatives of it quite a lot recently in either song titles, or album titles - I even had a wolf-based playlist on Spotify (not transferred across to Apple yet). I see now that 'Running With The Wolves' by AURORA featured in a previous post of mine.



5. Good Morning Mr Wolf - Patrick Watson - Love Songs For Robots

Oh what the hell - now we're on the wolves, we might as well stay there for a bit. New to me, but Patrick Watson has been around for a while (9 years or so). I'm not even going to try with a genre for this - again, possibly though minimalist in places ooh - I see it says 'ambient' in his bio and 'electronica'.



6. Bros - Wolf Alice -  My Love Is Cool

Yay, another 'wolf' track - although it does go a bit against the grain to mention 'Bros' in a music blog! Hmm, take a sniff, then a sip, swill it round, spit it out, savour the flavour ... I'm getting Cranberries and Strawberry Switchblade and there my list of fruit related bands runs dry.



7. Higher (feat. Labrinth) - Sigma

OK - enough with the wolves ... and what's this? A dance track? Surely not? Whatever am I thinking of? I kinda like this, that's all.




8. Death Is A Girl - Mini Mansions - The Great Pretenders

Hmm, I'm still a little out of my familiar territory - what have we here? Maybe there's some Metronomy in there, maybe some Scissor Sisters, possibly some Depeche Mode - Apple class it as 'Rock' - I'm not sure that I'd agree.



9. Tear In My Heart - twenty one pilots - Blurryface

Phew - back in familiar territory (musically at least as I've never heard of twenty one pilots). I love the middle 8 in this, and I love the line 'cursing my government for not using my taxes to fill holes with more cement' even if they do mean tarmac.



10 Witness - Mew - + -

Now there's an album title to mess up my track title syntax (+ -). Ah - I see these are from Denmark and specialise in amped-up art-rock. I don't think I could have put it better myself - well you've just read my earlier efforts and you know I can't. I liked this track, checked out the album and liked it, but it went no further than that for me.



11. Even If I'm Loud It Doesn't Mean I'm Talking To You - Tove Styrke - Kiddo

Hey Mickey! 'Pop'? Eeek. Still - this is just good fun - very catchy.



12. Narrow Mouth - The Early November - Imbue

Possibly close to the generic American not-quite-grunge rock that many bands churn out and which can leave me fairly cold, these guys get it right and remind me of Medina Lake who I also like despite myself.



13. The Left Is Right - Desaparecidos - Payola

I've not got a lot to say about this.



14. Fall Again - Tremonti - Cauterize

Another out and out rock track, and again it puts me in mind of Madina Lake. There are plenty of guitars in here!



15. Trip Switch - Nothing But Thieves

It only seems right to end on a new track found through Apple Music (I'm still not sure how it's going to drip feed new stuff that I'll like, but it's early days).



16. The Road - Man Of Moon

Well, here we go - a new song found using Apple Music.



Now, can I share my Apple playlist?

Also - I must mention Everything Everything again - we can't have a month go by without mentioning them. I have to say that their new album Get To Heaven is outstanding.

Monday, 29 June 2015

3WTM June 2015 Playlist

Another month and some more cracking tunes discovered, new and old tracks in June's playlist. As before the playlist is available on Spotify. Enjoy!



It Gets Better - The Preatures
The Preatures are from Australia and I think I picked this track up through Chris co-writer of the blog. Great tip off Chris.




The Badest - DJ Yoda
I've always liked DJ Yoda's ability to mix music genres, often hip hop with 70s or 80s music. This has got that same feel, one of a few new tracks from his album I'm enjoying.




Me And The Devil - The Fratellis
The most played song on the playlist this month. A belter. I was a fan of The Fratellis before but this is awesome.



No No No - Yes Sunshine
A great find, suggested by Spotify I think.


Who Fell Down The Stairs - The Cheap Thrills
Another guitar band and another corker from the Liverpool band.



Watch Me Fall - Puppet Rebellion
The first band I have got in to from them following me on Twitter. I checked them out and sent them a complimentary tweet. Sadly they then sent me an automated tweet to check them out. #twitterfail.



Agree To Disagree - The Blue Collars
These guys remind me a fair bit of The Twang, maybe not quite as melodic but I bet they like party just as much!




Bullet Train - Two Weeks Running
Released at the end of November this is another track I'm just catching up on through Spotify. Other streaming services are available...


Right Action - Franz Ferdinand
OK so I was aware of this track already but it goes so well with The Fratellis song it just has to go on this playlist.


4th And Roebling - The Districts



Go - The Chemical Brothers
Another strong track from my Bros.



S.O.B. - Nathaniel Ratelif & The Night Sweats
A great foot tapping blues track. Son of a bitch, give me a drink!



All Day - Tom Williams
I always think of Tom as a friend of the blog but I guess that's just because we've featured him and he's kept going as long as we have.


All Your Friends - LIFE
I'm going to keep posting these guys so you might as well decide you like them now. Another stonking track from LIFE.


The Ballad of Mr. Steak - Kishi Bashi

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Ex-Noah and the Whale - Fred Abbott - Free Download



It seems since Noah and the Whale split up (when did this happen, no one tells me nothing*) Fred has been busy and has carried on the Tom Petty sound in to his solo album material. I'm not sure if Funny How... is about being out of the band but it certainly seems more upbeat than a lot of the bands more recent material. His album is out on the 20th of July, make sure you don't forget to check it out.

*There's nothing more satisfying than throwing a double negative in to make me sound intelligent.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Public Service Broadcasting and Maccabees


I remember the cards you used to get in CDs that let you sign up to band's mailing lists. They'd ask you how often you bought CDs and what your other favourite bands. Presumably so they could get support act ideas. These two bands probably wouldn't have featured together on many of those cards but I bet they share some fans. Public Service Broadcasting remixing Marks To Prove It by Maccabees seems a genius move if you ask me. Does it work? Judge for yourself.

If the above embedded link doesn't work, try this instead http://www.vevo.com/watch/GBUV71500658

Sunday, 31 May 2015

3WTM May Playlist

The 3WTM Playlist has been something this blog has prided itself in over the years but sadly it's been a bit sporadic at times. So three months in a row is not a bad record. Now check out these records.



Bad Boyfrined - Spector
I'm starting to get excited about the next Spector album. Having already enjoyed All The Sad Young Men and Don't Make Me Try it was definitely a relief to see them carry on the form in Bad Boyfriend. Their first album was hit and miss and failed to live up to expectations. Maybe this one meet them?



Collaborations Don't Work - FFS
Franz Ferdinand and Sparks (FFS) team up and then they tell us collaborations don't work. Except they do. This may be taking the piss out of themselves but you can't help but smile as you listen to it. Then you start singing along. Then you start singing it at work to your fellow collaborators. Still it's all good.



Our Last Shot - Groenland
This track starts of querky, the kind you get in an 'independent' film stacked with stars who want to 'just give something back to the industry'. Like the fake sentiment of the actors and actresses this song steadily turns in to something produced by the Brits School. Still worth of a listen and a part of this month's playlist. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon this song as it was released back in 2013 but it's worth your time.



When They Fight, They Fight - Generations
I'm guessing I discovered the last one on Spotify and this is no different and the two go well together. It's got a west coast surfer feel to this catchy, infectious pop song.



Sometimes I Feel So Deserted - The Chemical Brothers
As I'm doing a lot of running lately there are no better bands than The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, if you can call him a band as it's a one man name, (to quote the song) and The Chemical Brothers. Upbeat, great tempo, it's another one to pound the ears as I pound the streets.



Exodus of the Year - Royal Canoe
Another Spotify discovery and on my first few listens I wasn't too sure about it but each time it seeps in through every pore and draws you in to the song. Take a few listens and I'm sure you'll feel the same.


Regret - Everything Everything
EE, how do you do this? I start off thinking this isn't as good as the track I featured in last month's playlist yet it grows on me again and again. Now I think it's a solid track and can't separate the two.



Go Go Go - Life
For me Life are the next big thing. If only everyone else knew. They're like The Vaccines but a bit punkier and a bit cooler. This isn't their best track but certainly another step towards what I hope will be a cracking debut album.



Hold On Tight - Greg Holden
I feel it's not cool to like this song but having been introduced to it by Chris (co-writer of this blog) I think I can get away with it. It's all about appreciating what you have in life and I'm a big believer in that.


Flute - New World Sound
Not normally the type of track to feature on this blog but certainly one I enjoyed as is psyched me up for my 10K this morning. That and The Walk by The Foos had me buzzing on the start line and ready to go.


Loveblood - Sundara Karma
Another tip off by Chris and it's one of those tracks that I lazily compare to Arcade Fire. A band with such a diverse sound and such an energy that it's easy to link bands to. However I do think if like them you may like this.


Stupid Games - WATERS
I certainly get enough emails from the PR people for this band but again it was Chris's playlist on Spotify that I found it. Chris does seem to like new music with a hint of retro, especially if they've got synths. This ticks all those boxes.


Needle And A Knife - Tennis
They brought us the excellent Origins that featured on a previous blog and Needle and A Knife is another impressive track from this husband and wife duo from the states.


The Way That I Live - Ed Harcourt
The first of a few tracks that I've enjoyed from artists that have been on the blog recently. A big, strong ballad from the Mercury nominated artist.



Wrong Direction - British India
A recent track from the Aussie band, sounding great as I sip my Fosters.


Lonely At The Drop - Jimi Goodwin
Certainly some solid stuff from the ex-Doves man.

As always these tracks and others featured on this blog this month are available on our Spotify playlist.

Friday, 15 May 2015

A Few More Tracks To Share

Oops - forgot to publish this a couple of weeks ago - anyway, here it is.

Inspired by John's excellent playlists, I thought I'd share a few more tracks which seem to me to have something special. Many of these are already on my 'Great Songs To Share' Spotify list.

I'll start with an old track - and one which I'd never heard of until it was played on 6 Music the other night - it's 'Vitamin C' by Can from 1972. I'd never even heard of Can - they were apparently an experimental outfit who produced some stuff that even their mothers would struggle to like - well I don't think that's true of this track.





Right ... next up, Laleh and 'Speaking of Truth' - and OH WOW. A recent release is 'Speaking Of Truth - Orchestrated'


This has got absolutely beautiful orchestration in it, and stunning singing - I have listened to it many times. So, just now, when I was searching for the link to paste into this article, I found the original song from a couple of years ago - and what a cracking original. I think I probably prefer it, so here it is:



I have subsequently bought the album with the original on it, but had to buy an imported CD as it hasn't been released in the UK. It's a great album with some songs in Swedish on it.

Just another great song - I don't know anything about Aurora, but here she is with 'Running With The Wolves':



You probably don't need me to introduce you to this track, but it is stunning and is included anyway. The National and Sunshine On My Back



OK, next up, Zac Brown Band, Chris Cornel wtih Heavy Is The Head. Great.



Oh! No link! Yet another excellent Django Django track - Shake And Trouble, but it's not on YouTube or Soundcloud. Oh well - have a listen somehow if you can.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Calexico - Edge of the Sun

Sometimes my trawling of new releases on Spotify doesn't always catch everything I might like. An example of this is Edge of the Sun by Calexico. This showed up instead on the Amazon website as a new release. Incidentally, it is within Spotify's catalogue,

Well, I knew nothing at all about Calexico - a quick look at their bio on Spotify informed me that they produced an album in Europe when they first formed, but moved to the States and met with greater success over there. They are named after a town on the border between California and Mexico, despite being based in Nevada, and perhaps unsurprisingly, their music is an eclectic mix of styles drawing from international influences. I listened to a couple of tracks on Spotify and it was enough to convince me that I would like the album, so went ahead and bought a copy from Amazon. This is now twice in a row that I've got lucky with a purchase - what a fantastic album it is. And also, the bonus material in the 'deluxe' version in fantastic too.

My only issue with the whole album, and it is more of a personal foible, is that there are a couple of tracks with steel guitar in them. I just don't get on with the sound of a steel guitar. I associate it with country music, and I don't like country music - although that is a massive sweeping generalisation. It just grates with me - so there it is.

The only problem now is ... I was looking for a way to share a track and found this video on YouTube. It is the only song from the album with a video (as yet) ... but it's very odd. A bit unsettling actually. I'll share it anyway:


Monday, 4 May 2015

Django Django - Born Under Saturn

Well, it's release day for Django Django's new album Born Under Saturn. I see they've featured on this blog a couple of times. Well based on the quality of their last couple of tracks, I took the plunge and bought the album without even a preliminary listen through. It is rapidly turning out to be one of my best buys ever.


Never do I buy and album and then just sit and listen to it through - I normally listen in the car or something or, while I'm doing something else. Well, here I am, doing exactly that - too gripped to even go and get breakfast. Well I suppose I am typing about it at the same time. I'm also quite chuffed to be first person to review the album on Amazon - if only I could have sounded wise in it.

Link Here


Thursday, 30 April 2015

3WTM April Playlist

This month I've taken the chance to further my music education by checking out current tracks as well as revisiting some older tracks. These are the best I've found.

New(ish) Tracks

First Light - Django Django



I'm not sure how I missed this one off last month's playlist. Schonberg introduced us to Django Django previously on this blog with the excellent Default. This is a lighter track, less foot stomping than Default but still has a quality to it.

Distance Past - Everything Everything



We're starting to get some sunshine and it's good to have tracks that can match that lift in mood. Give it chance it takes a bit to get going, as I write this I've had this track for a month and it's a real grower.

Hey Now - Matt and Kim



Despite the worst them having the worst band name on the planet Matt and Kim have managed to keep going and the upbeat New York duo keep the pace going with this ditty.

California - The Airborne Toxic Event



I know I keep going on about how The Airborne Toxic Event don't get enough airplay in the UK but they don't. So I'm behind most people finding out they have new material out. Check it out.

Chaucey P vs All the Girls In London - The Dandy Warhols



I've always followed The Dandy Warhols, not always liking what they've produced but they've never been that far wide of the mark. This is a pretty strong pop song, well worth a listen.

What Time Do You Call This? - Elbow



I really like Elbow, I really like Simon Pegg, how about a film with Elbow in and a song on the soundtrack by Simon Pegg! Well OK, maybe that wouldn't be good but the other way around... (it might be a tad to long but I'll let them off).

Ong Ong - Blur


I'm not a big fan of Go Out, the first new track I heard of Blur's. Don't get me wrong it's not bad but it's certainly not the track "equal to anything else in their back catalogue" as Spotify described the lead tracks off the new album. However Ong Ong had me hooked, an upbeat, summer style pop track. I think it's probably taken Damon this long to write a track like this and be comfortable enough in his own skin to let it see the light of day.

Come Home Baby - The Charlatans


Classic Charlatans, a distinctive sound that many have tried to reproduce but failed. It's nothing new but it's great that they can still acheive this level and that they're still making records. May it long continue.

Revision

I've used Spotify to look back at some bands that have featured on this blog over the years and see what they're up to now. Some haven't really produced anything since but had songs at the time that I either didn't mention or didn't even know about. In this section I'll let you know which ones are worth knowing about, new or old.

New Love - The Twang



This is what is clearly wrong with the mainstream, The Twang released a cracking debut (pop) album and yet their follow up didn't hit the same heights. That meant we didn't hear much of the second album or much of them since. While I have a feeling their distructive behaviour may have had a hand in that it has kept me from good songs such as Barney Rubble off the second album and this, New Love off the new album released at the end of last year. A new, more mature sound (not a translation for boring as can be the case) that you should check out.

Oh! - What A Glorious Thing - Akira The Don



I just happened to hear Huw Thomas on Radio 1 quite some years back (2004) as he was standing in for Zane Low. He played the Drinking Song by Akira The Don, a track commenting on the accepted nature of drinking and the not so socially accepted, less offensive act of smoking weed. I still play that song a lot so I thought I'd see if Akira had ever managed to reach the same heights. It turns out he's still creating thoughtful new material. This effort from 2006 is less social commentary more describing what he did on an average day. It's a nice upbeat track ready for the sun to come out, I even forgive him for the Lovecats element to the track.

Edwould - Larrikin Love



You may remember Larrikin Love from a playlist way back and the excellent banjo infested Happy As Annie. Sadly there isn't any new material however there appears to be an album of all the material that was created at the time. This track is similar to Happy As, strap yourself in as it starts at a lick.

I Can Make You Love Me - British India



Previous playlisters may remember British India for their track Tie Up My Hands from their 2007 debut album Guillotine. It was a strong debut but as an Australian band they don't get much coverage over here and I hadn't realised how much material they have released. I Can Make You Love Me seems to be their most popular track. It's taken from their 2012 fourth album. Last month they released their fourth album Nothing Touches Me and I've been enjoying the track Wrong Direction if you wanted more of the same.

Apple Of My Eye - Ed Harcourt



Ed Harcourt featured a while back with the excellent piano led Revolution In The Heart back in 2006 yet despite being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize back in 2001 he's never hit the mainstream. This song, taken from his debut album in 2001, Here Be Monsters is another great track that is one of those songs you just cannot see getting airplay on the radio but more people should know.

Satisfied - Esser



You've got to have a bit of fun in the playlist right? Esser appeared on the blog with I Love You. This was also off the first album, I don't think there was a second...

Tie Me Up With Jackets - Fight Like Apes


OK so Fight Like Apes may have a new album out but I'm going to introduce you to a song from 2009. Man I'm so up to date.

Further Reading

Following on from last months playlist I looked up some of the bands to see if the rest of what they've got to offer keeps the quality as high. These are the bands that made the cut which suggests they're pretty good.

Dream Lover - The Vaccines



I'm already a big fan of The Vaccines as you may know but this is something different for the band, it makes me excited as to where they can go with their music and in particular the new album. If you're not a fan this might change your mind.

The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box - Modest Mouse



I've been enjoying taking in Modest Mouse's back catalogue as they've not received the airplay in the UK that they have elsewhere. This however is one of their latest efforts and what a stonker it is. I think most regular readers of this blog will soak the 6 minutes of this track up and then put it straight back on.

The Big Bad Wolf - The Heavy


Soul rockers The Heavy featured on this blog a little while back with their track taken that was used on a Guinness ad. You may have noticed another track of their's, How You Like Me Now, being featured on another advert for clothing. I however wanted to point out The Big Bad Wolf off the same album as What Makes A Good Man. Good things do come to those who wait. Another excellent track to check out by The Heavy is Short Change Hero.

Feed The Mantaray  - Slaves



More full on ear throbbing from the two piece hailing from Kent. How difficult it will be for them to keep their sound fresh with limited instruments we will have to wait and see. Also check out their latest single Cheer Up London.

So want all the tracks in one easy playlist. Spotify it is...

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Death Cab For Cutie

It's not often that I find a band in their infancy, become a firm fan and watch them go on to greatness. That is certainly the case with Death Cab For Cutie - I've come rather late to their party! Well, a couple of new songs from them appearing in the 'New Music Tuesday' playlist on Spotify caught my attention.

Firstly, Little Wanderer




and then No Room In Frame




Both really good tracks which got me really excited for their imminent new album Kintsugi. My interest was further stoked by delving into their back-catalogue. Their last album Codes and Keys is a belter as exemplified by the opening track Home Is A Fire



and Some Boys



So ... I went back another album - more great stuff, for instance, I Will Follow You Into The Dark



All boding very well for the new release ... which came out a couple of weeks ago ... and after all the anticipation ended up disappointing me slightly, and making me glad I'd listed on Spotify first before just buying it.

BUT, as is often the case, I was a bit hasty with my judgement and there's actually nothing wrong with the album. There's not a bad song on it in fact - it just doesn't dazzle.

I'm going to get to know them a bit more and will really enjoy doing so though.

This is the kind of thing I like finding - a great band with a quality back-catalogue that I'm not aware of.