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.

Chris:

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’?

John's:
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.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

3WTM September 2016 Playlist

For some reason, I've had more tracks than usual present themselves to me this September. Maybe the revised offering from Apple Music which came with iOS10 was something to do with it. I certainly find the weekly 'new music for Chris' automatic playlist to be well worth a listen. Some of these tracks were also left over from August. Anyway ... to the music.

Here's the link to the Apple Music playlist.

1. Life Itself - Glass Animals - How To Be A Human Being

Apple Music informs us that Glass Animals are an intriguing mix of synth pop, indie and hip-hop influences from Oxford. I'm glad they said that because I wouldn't know how to peg them. They perhaps remind me a little of  I Monster. I really like this anyway. There's something about the synth sound at the start of the track which reminds me of Yeasayer's I Am Chemistry as previously recommended by Neil.

2. Limousine - Beach Baby - No Mind No Money

Wow - this is a great debut album and this track is very representative of the kind of quality on there. I don't now much else about them, but they recently played at Reading and Leeds.

3. Your Word - Eleanor Friedberger - New View

Lovely laid back/stripped back song. I particularly like the change to a minor key for the chorus. I seem to think that this too is a good album, but haven't listened for a while. Described as 60's / 70's folk rock.

4. Loup Garou - Ed Harcourt - Furnaces

A new album from Ed Harcourt and it is very good. It lives up to the promise of the Time of Dust EP I listened to a lot. This song is about a werewolf (one more for the wolf playlist?) 'Loup Garou' being French for werewolf. It's quite catchy and quite varied.

5. If I Ever Was A Child - Wilco - Schmilco

This song reminds me very much of J.J. Cale. Very relaxed and stripped back with a steady driving/shuffling beat. Apparently they've been around for a while (since 1994). I like the album title.

6. I'm In Love - Teenage Fanclub - Here

I'm not sure what's going on here, I'm certainly aware of Teenage Fanclub's name, but I don't think I could tell you any of their songs even though they've been going ages. Well this song is just very catchy and quite straightforward. It has a 60s feel to it - great harmonies in the chorus.

7. Wake Up To This - King Creosote - Astronaut Meets Appleman

This reminds me a lot of Calexico, recent favourites. Again a great steady driving rhythm. It's also similar to the Modest Mouse - The Ground Walks With Time In A Box (as previously featured by John) although not quite as strong.

8. Dirty World - The Ramona Flowers - Part Time Spies

Bristol-based - John, you must have heard of these? Synthy guitar music. Fairly reminiscent of the 80s. I think this is their second album and it is well worth a listen. And what's that I hear in the lyrics? Another wolf reference?

9.Flow With It (You Got Me Feeling Like) - St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Sea of Noise

Retro-soul music at its best. This reminds me a little too of Neil's Field Music track 'The Noisy Days Are Over'.

10. Fugue States - Cold Pumas - The Hanging Valley

I think I thought this might appeal to both Neil and John. It's the kind of track that I'd probably like reluctantly. Fairly raw sounding.

11. Can You Hear Me - NGOD - Single

Well this is a Bradford based band with very little output to their name at the moment. This song is very lively, upbeat and catchy. Just my kind of thing, and anything with the line 'There's always summat going on' has to be worth a listen!

12. These Words - The Lemon Twigs - Single

This is a great song. ELO? Beegees? What's that, you want a piano solo followed by a xylophone solo followed by a guitar solo? You've got it! Apparently they're from Long Island.

13. Coming of Age - Julia Jacklin - Don't Let The kids Win

This album isn't out, but I bet it will be good. Julia's singing reminds me of Hayley Bonar who I've mentioned previously. Musically, this reminds me a little of She's Electric, and that's no bad thing.

14. Told You I'd Be With The Guys - Cherry Glazerr - Single

'I was a lone wolf'! I didn't know that line was in there until writing this just now. Weird. Guitar, drums, bass, vocals. Great track.

15. Reliance - The Barmines - Single

Another band with not much out yet. Really good guitar based song driven along by a strong bass-line. It puts me a little in mind of Andreas Johnson's Glorious but with much less instruments.

16. Nobody's Human - Jessarae - EP

Young American singer-songwriter. Guitar, kick drum, hand clapping, borderline angry vocals.

OK - so now on to four tracks from Neil, I won't add any words:

17. 4 Degrees - ANOHNI - Hopelessness

18. Tenement Song - Pixies - Head Carrier

19. Connan Mockasin - The Fat White Family - Breaking Into Aldi (Single)

20. When You Were Gone - Cool Ghouls - Animal Races


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

3WTM August 2016 Playlist

Here we go again, another month and another 15 tracks for you to sample. 5 from each of us as we share what is new to us over the past month or so. Not necessarily new releases but songs that we've discovered one way or another. All available as a playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

John's Selections:

I Wanna Stay Away - The Black Tambourines
From Falmouth in Cornwall they are a garage band with plenty of noise going on. I like it.

Told You So - Cub Sport
I hate to say I told you so but I just happened to write a song saying that, many times. As this is coming from an Australian band who had to change their name from Cub Scouts following a legal dispute with Scouts Australia you get the feeling it was karma - they wrote the song in 2012 and changed their name in 2013. Funnily enough they'd never been in the scouts.

White Heels - Modern Pleasure
Modern Pleasure hail from Leeds and I've had them on my New Music playlist for a while, waiting for the chance to share. Their other track Messina has had a lot more plays.

Love Of An Orchestra - Noah And The Whale
Early material from Noah and the Whale and certainly not Neil's kind of music (sorry) but having heard it in my local chain pub I though Chris might like it.

Boys That Sing - Viola Beach
Viola Beach are a band that sadly came to fame in February as they died in a car crash along with their manager. They had a hit following their deaths with Swings and Waterslides. This is maybe the lesser know single that reach number 27.

Chris's Selections:

Karma Seeker – VANT – Karma Seeker (Single)

I don’t know much about VANT – they are London based and started out in 2013. I don’t think they have any albums out yet, just a few singles to their name. I’m not sure how I came across this – I was probably listening to ‘Rock’ new releases. It’s a good track, but not game changing or anything.


Watching the Waiting – Wye Oak – Tween

Wye Oak are an Indie-folk group from Baltimore. This song is taken from their recent album Tween. I really like it. I’m a sucker for songs with a simple drum beat on each beat of the bar, reinforced with a bass note. This just has a lovely floaty feel to it too – great airy vocals and simple atmospheric backing. Mumford and Sons with a less angst-ridden and female vocal?


Dancehall Domine – The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers

I suspect that this was played on the ‘Alternative’ radio station on Apple Music, which I’ve started to listening to more now that I’ve upped my data plan and can listen to streaming music on the go. Maybe it reminds me of Primal Scream, but they have so many guises that that doesn’t really say much about it. Oh – they’re Canadian. This single is from their latest album which was released two years ago.


Avalanche – Bad Sounds – Avalanche Single

Bath-based apparently, and fairly new on the scene with little else released (one other single as far as I can tell). How to describe this? Apparently it’s 70s influenced but heading in a Brit Pop direction. I think it’s a great sound with all sorts going on. I wish them success.


Called you Queen – Hayley Bonar

I fell instantly in love with one of Hayley Bonar’s previous tracks having heard it on 6 music and putting on a travel themed CD for our CD consortium. She has recently had a new album out, and this track is fairly representative of the kind of stuff she produces. I have previously compared her sound with that of The Bangles, and I think that stands.

Neil's Selections:

Prophets of Rage by Prophets of Rage
I'm generally disappointed by supergroups as they never seem to better the sum of their parts, but when you put Tom Morello's guitar and Brad Wilks' drums (both from Rage Against the Machine) together with Chuck D's and B-Real's voice (Public Enemy and Cypress Hill respectively) then you know you're onto something good. I know any resulting album will probably be rubbish, but this song is perfect for me.

Big Cat by Wild Beasts
I've been a fan of Wild Beasts for a while, and I implore anyone who ever gets chance to see them live to do just that - they are great entertainers. I can't quite believe that the band are onto their fifth album, Big Cat is the second single.

Fill in the Blank by Car Seat Headrest
Another band on their umpteenth album but one I have only just been introduced to, courtesy of Steve Lamacq. Fans of American slacker rock will enjoy this, I think it's very reminiscent of Beck, or the Strokes.

No Matter Where We Go by Whitney
Don't know much about this band/person (suppose I should do a Google search) but I love the retro cool feel of the song. Think Unknown Mortal Orchestra or Tame Impala, but with a 70s arrangement. Nice summer cruising song.

Pit Pony by She Drew the Gun
I can't complete a months' selection without including some female-fronted indie rock outfit. It was either these, or The Kills, or Honeyblood's new single, but this won out primarily because I could include the others in a future selection.

Monday, 11 July 2016

3WTM July Playlist 2016 - New (ish) Music

After a rest in June we're back with some more tracks for you to sample. Just me and Chris this month and as you didn't get last month's you can have it early this month!

Chris’s Contributions


Friends – Eliza and the Bear – Eliza and the Bear

This song seems to turn up quite a bit, but I can’t remember any of the places I’ve heard it. Great song, even if the appeal is a little obvious.


Automatic – Wolf Parade – Wold Parade EP 4

Another song for the ‘wolf’ playlist. Another upbeat driving rhythm which I tend to be a sucker for.


Back of Beyond – Band of Skulls – By Default

What a great album ‘By Default’ is with a reasonably varied collection of songs. It’s an album I’ve listened to quite a few times, and am actually getting to know. This is one of the catchy best though, but it was tricky to know which track to go for to represent the album.


So We Can Stay Alive – Garbage – Strange Little Birds

Garbage are back. I can’t say that I know much of their earlier stuff, only the well-known tracks. Well this is an interesting album – a bit dark/heavy in places, but tempered with the odd major chord and interesting melody. Interesting and well-structured songs, any of a number of tracks could have featured in the playlist.


Tahabort – Imarahan – Imarahan

Who doesn’t like a bit of music from Southern Algeria? OK, so I have no idea what the lyrics are about, but that’s true of a lot of stuff I listen to – not because it’s foreign, but because I don’t put a huge amount of effort into listening to the lyrics. Instrumentally, I love these songs, and have quite easily listened to the whole album a couple of times without understanding a word of what’s being sung about. Their bandcamp page for this track describes their style as ‘hypnotic, sublime jazz, funk desert riffs’.

John's Contributions

Cut Out Club - Out Of My World
A band from Tel Aviv that I think I found through Spotify's Discover playlist. It's a playlist tailored for each subscriber and changes each week. What a great idea. 

Sometimes - Oscar
Taken from his debut album 'Cut and Paste' this a great little pop number from the London based artist.

Guns - Broken Wit Rebels
For me they sound like Kings of Leon but what do I know? They will be playing at Tramlines as well as many other dates this month so you can check them out yourselves...

Fountains Of Youth - Local Natives
After enjoying their debut album so much they went off my radar when their second album didn't quite hit the same highs. This is their second recent track and I'm enjoying it very much.

Take It Out On Me - White Lies
What a great band White Lies are live. The guys voice is just amazing and I like this new track from them. If you haven't been in to them before check out the track Death, I think it's still my most played track on iTunes ...ever!

Big Quiet - The Dead Ships
A band from LA that have a great vibe about them. Indie pop guitar just the way I like it.

The Walls Are Coming Down - Fanfarlo
This is a track I've had kicking about on Spotify playlists for a couple of months. It's from 2009 so you may be familiar with it already.

Neon Experience - Junius Meyvant
As I get to contribute more this month without Neil's additions I get to add another one from Junius. A great soulful voice.

Poem - She Drew The Gun
A relatively new outfit, having started as a solo artist in 2013, Louisa Roach has since turned her project in to a band.

Solitude - M83 
A French electronic band. How did they get on this playlist. Heard off a work colleague's streaming service is about as random as I get when it comes to discoveries. 

So Natural - North American
Relaxing, dreamy track. I can imagine listening to this in the sun and it being heaven.

The Song They Play Everynight - Little Green Cars:

What's on next?
"The Song They Play Everynight."
What is it? 
"The Song They Play Everynight."

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

3WTM May 2016 Playlist

Hey another month and another 15 tracks for you to stream. Check them out on Spotify and Apple Music.

Chris's Contributions

1. RCVR (feat. Debbie Gibson) – Big Black Delta – Trágame Tierra
I don’t know much about Big Black Delta, but Trágame Tierra is a great album many great tracks, and quite varied in style. OK – so a quick read on Wikipedia reveals that Big Black Delta is a solo project of Jonathan Bates (vocalist/bassist from Mellowdrone) and that this is his second album. RCVR was released in October – if you vaguely like it, it might well worth be checking out the whole album.
2. Baby Move On – The Hosts – Moon
Well right from the off, this reminds me of Roy Orbison/Travelling Wilburys. Oh – and they’re from Sheffield. This is their second album, which is full of tracks which sound very much like the kind of stuff Richard Hawley writes.
3. Victoria – Beverly – The Blue Swell
What? Another second album! You better believe it. This is another good album and I could have chosen any of a number of tracks – in the end, I went for Victoria which seems fairly representative and is a nice simple, catchy song.
4. Burn The Witch – Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
I’ll state my position on Radiohead – along with many other people, I loved the first three albums. Kid A was then one hell of a curve ball and I put in quite a lot of effort to get to like it, and eventually did. I didn’t then follow up that amount of effort with subsequent albums – they’d gone too far adrift for my liking. So, when news of an imminent new track reached me, I was a little indifferent, but curious. Curious enough to buy it on the day it came out, and this was it. I love it. I love the quality of the sound. As for the album, I get on much better with than with anything else since Kid A and have listened to it a few times now. It asks a bit from the listener, but that’s good.
5. 1985 – Haken – Affinity
I’ve had to put a track from the new Haken album. There are pretty much my new favourite band, but that is based mainly on their superb last album (The Mountain) and the Restoration EP they put out over a year ago (I have discussed the superb 19-minute song – Crystallised - from that on this blog previously). I have chosen this track as perhaps the most accessible to people – unfortunately, it’s 9 minutes long and perhaps doesn’t belong on the playlist, but the shorter songs aren’t quite as listenable to as this one. This track does vary enough to maintain your interest. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of prog anyway, honest.
Neil's Contributions

Stone Roses - All for One
Ok, so it's not 'I am the Resurrection', but every time it comes on the radio I get a little excited. Doesn't deserve all the criticism it has received, it's still a good rock song.

Michael Kiwanuka - Black Man in a White World
Proof that if you hear something enough times then it will stick. Not my cup of tea at all but catchy and melodic.

Fujiya & Miyagi - Serotonin Rushes
I've no idea who these guys are, but I'm led to believe they've been around for a long time. This is very cool, and sort of ideal for the build up to Summer. Great bass.

Lindstrøm - Closing Shot
Again, another pre-Summer barbeque sound. Sounds like Todd Terje and Daft Punk wrestling in a duvet.

The Coral - Holy Revelation
It's just a very good indie pop song.

John's Contributions

Come As You Are - Prep School (Nirvana Cover)
Used on an advert for a video game it can seem a bit of a slow starter but bursts in to life at the end. Stick with it.

Gold Laces - Junius Meyvant
"Icelandic Best Newcomer" and what a great voice. He's playing three dates in the UK in September, Manchester, Glasgow and BRISTOL! The little Louisiana. I think I might go along.

Race of Life - Vangoffey
Neil introduced us to Vangoffey the other month and I followed the trail to this excellent track. Enjoy.

There's A Storm Coming - Richard Hawley
Not sure how I came across this track but it's just beautiful.

Rock N Roll Friend - Patsy's Rats
Like Gold Laces, this fell in to my inbox and I thought Neil would like it. Let's hope I'm right.

Friday, 29 April 2016

3WTM April 2016 Playlist

The three of us (Chris, Neil and John) chose five songs that we've been enjoying and share them for each other and readers to enjoy. Comments always welcome as to which ones you've enjoyed and which ones you haven't, reasons why not compulsory. This month's playlist as always is available to stream. Check it out at Apple or Spotify.

Bend with the Wind – Exmagician – Scan the Blue

I think Belfast duo Exmagician are fairly new to the scene, and I’ve really enjoyed listening to the album ‘Scan the Blue’. This particular track features an unusual time signature which is either 11/4 or alternating bars of 6/4 and 5/4 – see if you can keep track of the ‘11’ beats. Aside from that, it’s a great track too.

Far Away – Junip – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Soundtrack)

You’ve guessed it – I heard this track whilst watching the aforementioned film. I really liked it and had to Shazam it. When it turned out to be a Swedish Folk-Rock outfit, it ticked several boxes on my list of things I seem to like. Looking into it now – I see that the singer is none other than José González. I did then download their latest album and it may have featured in one of my ‘Reviews with a View’ on Strava, but I didn’t like the songs as much as this one.

I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore – Lucy Dacus – No Burden

Another new artist from Richmond (the lack of further qualification probably signifies that it’s in London). A great track – I think which will be up both Neil and John’s streets. I’ve been wrong on that score before though. I can’t remember much more about the album though, but I imagine it’s much in the same vein.

Düsseldorf – Teleman – Brilliant Sanity

Another track from an album which featured on ‘Review with a View’. I have decided that I should have a rating system for how much a band sounds like either Franz Ferdinand, Semisonic, or The Velvet Underground as I have found myself often using these as reference points. Well this song would have a Franz score of 4/5 for the music and a Semi score of 4/5 for the vocal. Vocals and music get 1/5 as a Velvet score. This is my favourite track from their (second) album.

The Last Thing On My Mind – The Joy Formidable – Hitch


The online review I’ve just read of this album laments on how their third album fails to deliver on the promise built by the previous two, but having not heard the previous two, I’m in no position to be disappointed, and instead am very pleased with it. I’m a bit nervous about listening to their earlier stuff now.

John's choices:

Happy - Misty Miller

I'm never sure when I post songs whether everyone is aware of them and it's just me who has finally become aware of them. This song falls in to that category as it's so good surely other people know about it? Misty ticks so many boxes, she's from Wimbledon (my mate supports AFC Wimbledon), she came to prominence playing the ukulele (just like Neil) and she cites Velvet Underground as an influence (and we already know how much Chris likes them).

Trouble on Oxford Street - Skinny Lister

If the last track was one I thought Neil would like then this is the opposite but how could I not include it with lyrics like "It went off like Krakatoa, Like Rocky Balboa". A bit ska/folk like it reminds me of Parka who featured on this blog in the past. Released as a single last year it's taken from the six piece's second album. They're based in London.

No Flavour - Phobophobes

Another band from London and I've been enjoying this track over the past month or so.
I've been listening to this one for a while and I'm excited to share this psychedelic rock track from this band showing real promise. 

Rebel - Louis Berry

Found via Spotify's Discover feature, this soulful number is not by the first African American to practice law in a segregated city in Central Louisiana (you recognised the name too?). This is Louis from Liverpool and he's got quite a bit to say and quite a swagger. I've got a feeling we might here more from him.

Trust Me I'm A Genius - The Family Rain

I'm way too late to this party as this is a 2012 release from a band hailing from Bath. However I'm not proud or a music snob, if a songs got to be played, it's got to be played. This is one of those rock, stomping tracks.

Neil's Choices (words by John):

Woke up Hurting by Frightened Rabbit

This Scottish band originally from Selkirk still feel pretty fresh to me despite having been around since 2003. This track is taken from their 2016 album Painting of a Panic Attack

Under the Sun by DIIV

Formed in Brooklyn in 2011 DIIV are now on to their second album and this is one of four singles taken from the album.

Walk among the Cobras by Dan Sartain

Dan featued on the blog back in 2009 with Replacement Man and recently supported World Record Store Day with this released on 7".

Cockeyed Rabbit Wrapped in Plastic by Slug

Slug were formed in Sunderland in 2014 by Ian Black, former member of Field Music. Their EP is available to download now.

Jessica by NZCA Lines

NZCA Lines is the one man band Michael Lovett created as his alter ego. Formerly of a rock pop outfit he's taken a new direction with this manifestation. 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Mid Month Bonus

A bonus playlist, what's going on? I've had some tracks going around and around in my "assessment" playlist for some time and as they weren't quite making the main playlist (because of familiarity not quality) I thought I'd throw them out there for other people to enjoy. Stream it on Spotify here. Update: and Apple Music.

Long Hair - Drowners

This is taken from the band's 2014 album and is a track I came across searching out new music on Spotify. With a Welsh lead and Americans making up the rest of the band it's got a good mix of musical influences - or so it feels anyway.

She Chose You - Marrow

This is the album opener from the Chicago band's 2015 album, The Gold Standard. They are essentially Kids These Days reincarnated - a band who released a couple of albums between 2009 and 2013.

Don't Fall - Chameleons

I've only discovered this band because of a friend asking me to go to their gig. They're the forerunners of sounds created by the likes of Editors and Interpol.

Buckle - We Are Scientists

The first of a few tracks that are from bands I've mentioned before. Not quite different enough to be on the monthly playlist but certainly worth sharing with you as they've had plenty of plays from me.

My Type - Saint Motel

Chris helped me hunt this track down after I'd heard it on an advert for a TV programme. Since then I've not been able to get away from it with it used on various commercials and constantly on my stereo.

Nothing But Love - James

The best song off the new album and a single to match the quality off the last album which was James at their best.

She Changes The Weather - Swim Deep

The second song to feature from this band and this album on the blog. A beautiful steady piano opening that grows in to itself.

The Great Defector - Bell X1

I've never really looked in to Bell X1 before despite seeing their name crop up all over the place. However this track came on my Spotify Discover playlist and I enjoyed it. Reminds me of Tom Petty. The band's name comes from the first plane to go supersonic and they are the band to have the most airplay in Ireland after U2,

Up & Up - Coldplay

They are known to their fans for having a really strong song as the last track on their album - Everything's Not Lost, Amsterdam and Til Kingdom Come certainly are. This is no exception and worth checking out if you've not heard it yet. Middle of the road they may be but they do it well.

Middle Of Nowhere - Hot Hot Heat

A great pop ditty from the band who brought you Bandages. I recently found out they are still going and have a track out called Kid Who Stays In The Picture. However it is this is a track from 2005 that I hadn't really taken note of that I've been enjoying. It didn't enjoy any success over here but having been used in a US programme, One Tree Hill it seems other people have taken note and it's had over 3 million plays on Spotify.

Upside Down & Inside Out - OK Go

I've happily put OK Go in the same pigeon hole as Hot Hot Heat which neither band appreciating that as OK Go are from Chicago originally and HHH are from Canada. I've been enjoying a few of OK Go's recent releases but this one is a bit more experimental and there's something about how he says 'freight train' that's got stuck in my head.

Free Stuff - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes

Another band that have featured on this blog more than once and won't need an introduction to some. As they were a band that came to prominence at about the same time this blog got going I've always had a soft spot for them. It was one of the few free CDs I got in the early days and that debut album was a corker. According to wikipedia Alex behind the band benefited from some seed money from Heath Ledger which I thought was interesting. This song was released this year. The other new track, No Love Like Yours is also worth checking out.

Last Night - The Sherlocks

If you like The Courteeners then there's a good chance you'll like this Sheffield band who've again featured on this blog before.

You Are Killing Me - The Dandy Warhols

A new track from a band I've been following since 1997, they always sit well next to OK Go and Hot Hot Heat. This track was released earlier this year.

Magnificent Time - Travis

I didn't know Travis had been back for a while, they released an album in 2013 it turns out. 3 Miles High the previous single to this got quite a bit of play on Radio 2 I'm told. I found it a bit drab but this is a bit more upbeat.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

3WTM March 2016 Playlist

As usual, three of us choose five tracks we've been listening to recently. Usually new tracks to us but not necessarily recent releases, just songs we'd like to share. Find them on Apple, Google and Spotify.

Neil's up first:

Dark Dark Dark - In your Dreams

This is the title music for BBC Three's first online-only drama, Thirteen (even though they've now started showing it on BBC2). Sarah and I are quite gripped with it, and the music is very well matched to the programme. Sort of like PJ Harvey, in a haunting kind of way.

White Denim - Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)

What can I say about this track, except that it's flipping ace. Proggy-blues at it's very best, the track wouldn't sound out of place in between Led Zeppelin and Jackson Browne. The first single off their new album 'stiff', I'm certainly looking forward to getting acquainted with it in the near future.

Courtney Barnett - Elevator Operator

Observant readers of this blog will realise that Courtney Barnett's album made it into my top 5 for 2015, and as it was released quite early in the year then that makes this track almost a year old. However, it has just been released as a single and is getting lots of airplay on 6music at the moment. It has a great storyline and Courtney tells it in her classic deadpan way. I use this blog to chronicle my music of the moment, and this is certainly bouncing around my head on a very regular basis.

Hinds - Bamboo

Another that is getting lots of airplay and is therefore rattling around my head. I love the surf-charm of the melody, and the apparent shambolicism of the lyrics. I'm also pretty sure I could play this on my ukulele too.

ESTRONS - Make a Man

I went to the Outlines festival in Sheffield last month, an all-day affair with bands and DJs playing at six venues throughout the city centre. My friend Andy and I decided that we'd like to catch at least one band at 'skate central', a stage set up on the roller-hockey pitch at SIlver Blades - you could hire skates and whizz up and down while the bands were on or, if you preferred, buy some beer and stand and watch. The first band on were Estrons, who were very loud and energetic, they struck a chord, even against more 'established' acts throughout the day (Spring King, NZCA Lines) and for that they deserve a place on this playlist. After Outlines, they jetted off to Austen for SXSW as one of BBC Introducing's selections, so we can probably expect more from them in the future.

On to Chris's:

Delete – DMA’s – Hill’s End
I think this is the debut album for this Australian band. This track is one of the more relaxed from the album, but it builds nicely. I wouldn’t go overboard about it, but it’s pleasant enough.

Cold To See Clear – Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are

Apologies again for another track that just OK, and there’s nothing wrong with this, but there’s nothing particularly new about it either. Rhythmically similar to Doves ‘Pounding’ in places, but not quite as driving.

Slip Into Nevermore – Prince Rama – Xtreme Now

There’s a lot of Belle and Sebastian in this – vocals duplicated by male and female singers at the same time. Some of the synth arpeggios are reminiscent of the 80s. Nice energetic acoustic guitar strumming. There’s one chord change in there that I particularly like too.

Freak Out – Wintersleep – The Great Detachment

A Canadian band who debuted in 2001 – as far as I can make out this is their first album and it’s a good one. Lively and melodic with plenty of guitars in - just my kind of stuff. As a curious aside, this album features a track called ‘Amerika’ as does another new album this month ‘II’ by Liima (as reviewed during a recent Strava update)

Cry Baby – Cage The Elephant – Tell Me I’m Pretty

I really thought John would feature a track from this album in December or January, but he seemed to be not too sold on the album. Well I keep returning to it and enjoying it very much. I find this particular track to be very catchy – hard not to tap your steering wheel along with it when driving.

Now John's:

Tastes Like Funk - I Set The Sea On Fire

This track really got in my head while I was painting the flat and, as the name suggests, it's a really funky number. I was amazed when I found out this band were from Sheffield! It's got a real American sound to it. They're touring locally at the moment.

Rollercoaster - Bleachers

A band from New York influenced by the John Hughes films of the 80s - who isn't in one way or another? They've certainly hit the 1980s sound with this.

The Flying Pyramid - Thousand

What a riff, if ever a track was made to go on an advert then this is it. As far as I can work out they're from France.

Cold Cold Man : Saint Motel

I think I'm very late with this band and their jangling pop. I've just been going through their back catalogue and I'm very much enjoying this. The band are from Los Angeles and have been going since 2009.

Anticipation : Holy Bouncer

Wow, how much does this sound like Embrace?! However listening to their other tracks that's more a one off than a way of life. 

Sunday, 28 February 2016

3WTM February 2016 Playlist

As always this month's playlist is available to stream on Spotify, Google Play and Apple Music.

Neil's choices:

Ezra Furman - Lousy Connection
After a few aborted attempts over the last year or so, I finally got to see Ezra Furman live this week. Coming less than a week after a colossal performance by John Grant, the gig had a lot to live up to, but Ezra did not disappoint. His band, the boyfriends, were amazing, both with their instruments and with their backing vocals, and Ezra was triumphant with his soulful fury. This track is taken from his latest album (released last year).

Steve Mason - Planet Sizes
A new album from Steve Mason beckons and this is the first single from it. I was never really into the Beta Band, but I've been really pleased with Steve Mason's solo stuff (well, what I've heard anyway).

Beirut – Perth
Sometimes I wonder if my musical tastes are changing as I mellow into middle-age and then I realise that my musical tastes are chosen for me by the music that is fed to me each day by the radio. This has a classic ear worm organ hook...

Animal Collective – FloriDada
... And here's another catchy hook that's lodged itself in my cranium as well as my daughter's and my wife's. Animal Collectives "My Girls" was a real favourite of mine, this is much more poppy and radio-friendly. I shouldn't like it, but I do. And I bet you two do too.

My fifth song would have been the most excellent first single off The Wave Pictures upteenth album, but as they're only releasing it as a very short (1000) run of vinyl LPs then there's no way it's going to turn up on Google Music (would be interested to know if you get any joy from Spotify and Apple though?) So, I then moved onto The Coral (appeared only a few playlists ago, so bad timing), Bob Mould (single and album not out yet, so not currently available online), and Damien Jurado (same). Fifth choice (and I was scraping the bottom of the barrel by now) was


Blossoms - At Most a Kiss
If I had a pound for every time someone prefixes the name of this band with "Stockport's" then I'd have £47.62 by now. A slice of indie pop that's nice to drive to.

John's Choices:

So I could have played it safe this month, James have new material out that I really like, Cloud Cult have a new album out that I've been playing regularly, Hot Hot Heat and OK Go both have songs I've been enjoying. However if you aren't in to those bands yet, I'm never going to get you in to those bands. Try these that I've just been getting to know.

The Arcs - Stay In My Corner
I've put this in for Neil although he's probably all over them, what with their Black Keys link Dan Auerbach (guitarist/vocalists).

Richard Lomax - I Cycle
This is my favourite for the month. Anybody who samples a bike noise to set his tune to and makes it work deserves some kudos. I always like it when the artist themselves contact me too, makes me feel like they really care about their music too. Richard is from Manchester and is a pretty prolific writer,  having written 52 songs last year. Practice makes perfect.

Bellevue Days - Ripped Jeans
The guys from Croydon are celebrating the announcement of their inclusion on the DIY and Generator Mapped Out Tour. Pop guitar band that ticks the right boxes for me.

Infidelity - Mutineers
For a band who claim to have driven their fan base via social media I can't help but feel driven as they've followed me, unfollowed me and followed me again on Twitter. It's worked though as I've now listened to their material. Another Manchester band, this is off their second album or so I can tell from their other vehicle, Facebook.

Icarus - Vagabond Poets
A footstomping track to end my five. A Scottish unsigned band, or that's what my research tells me. Guess I must have found it on Spotify then.

3WTM February 2016 – Chris’s Choices
Hmm – I think this has been a good month for ‘Prog’. I would share a Steven Wilson track from his new album (4 ½), and it would probably be ‘Don’t Hate Me’ – all 9:35 of it, but he’s not into streaming services, so it won’t be available to you, and so it won’t make its way onto this month’s playlist. However, the prog gods have been generous this month and I think I should make mention of Dream Theater’s ‘The Astonishing’. It is a concept album (which I like) it is a double album (over 2 hours in total) and it has been produced on a big scale (with a full orchestra and choir in places). It tells a story of a future in which there is no music, save for that made by machines, but a hero comes along to bring song to the lives of the repressed masses. It is generally very good, but a bit cheesy in places. It won’t feature on my playlist this month, but ‘The Gift Of Music’ is a fairly representative track which sets the scene for the rest of the album.
So – enough about what I’m not putting on, and on to what I am putting on.
‘Swimming Horses’ by The Mute Gods from ‘Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me’ (2016).
The Mute Gods are a recently formed outfit consisting of various talented musicians who have been doing the rounds for a while including Nick Beggs (the bassist from Kajagoogoo) who wrote most of the material.
‘2013’ by Sunflower Bean from the album ‘Human Ceremony’ (2016)
This is a good album of jangly guitar tunes. Sunflower Bean are a new band from Brooklyn. This probably isn’t the best track on the album, but is good and I’ve chosen it because it links with one of Neil’s tracks from last month which was taken from an album called 2013, despite being released in 2016. In fact, listening now, I think ‘Come On’ would have been a better selection and certainly up Neil’s street, but I’m sticking with ‘2013’.
‘Sauna’ by Gazebos from ‘Die Alone’ (2016)
This is probably in a similar vein. Gazebos are another new act – this time from Seattle. I’ve not yet heard the album all the way through.
‘You and I’ by Margaret Glaspy (single) (2016)
Margaret Glaspy doesn’t have a huge amount of material out on Apple Music – 7 tracks – 5 from an EP in 2013 and then two from her recent single. Apparently she’s got an album coming out in the summer. Anyway, this track is fairly raw, straightforward (drums, bass, single guitar from what I can hear) short and catchy.
So … to redress the balance, another long track …
‘Future You’ by LNZNDRF from ‘LNZNDRF’ (2016)
OK – so this is an instrumental track. I’ve chosen it again because of a link with one of Neil’s track. LNZNDRF (my fingers have trouble typing that) are a side-project comprising members of The National (Devendorfs) and Beirut (Lanz). This album is just out and features 4 instrumental tracks and 4 vocal tracks. Again, I’ve not listened to it all yet, but what I have heard is very good. This track is a builder and is the opener to the album.