Sunday, 31 January 2016

3WTM January 2016 Playlist

We're back already with another five tracks each that we've been listening to over the last month or so. Some may be new releases or just songs we've only just discovered. As it's January you've even got a bonus track to listen to. Comments as always more than welcome. Stream at Apple, Google Play and Spotify.

Chris's 5:

Sara Hartman – Monster Lead Me Home
Debut single from a New York singer/songwriter. A good song with a decent beat, but nothing really sets it apart from others of its ilk.

Bas Jan – Sat Nav
Where to pigeon-hole this? Bas Jan is apparently the latest creation of Serafina Steer – and that doesn’t help me much because I’m completely ignorant of her work. Some really nice wailing guitar in it. It’s reminding me of something but I don’t recall what. I don’t know – have a listen and help me out.

Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You)
I’m not quite sure how this came into my radar – it’s from 2014 and I’ve been trying to go for brand new stuff – maybe it was on the ‘Alternative’ radio channel on Apple Music (which I’ve spent quite a bit of time listening to). These are an American synthpop act. Nothing wrong with this track, but I wouldn’t give it 5 stars either.

Daughter – Numbers
Another female vocalist which reminds me of other things - probably Eliza Shaddad as featured on last month’s playlist among them. Atmospheric. Sparse in places. Quite rich in texture in others. I haven’t got around to listening to all of ‘Not to Disappear’ yet.

Panic At The Disco! - Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time

Well I think these are fairly mainstream or popular anyway in America, but I’m not going to let that put me off. I first came across these a couple of years ago via the excellent ‘Vices and Virtues’ album (check out The Ballad Of Mona Lisa if you get chance) which was also much liked amongst friends. I very eagerly awaited their next album as their back catalogue had failed to impress quite as much, and when ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die’ came out in 2013, it too was a disappointment. So it was with some trepidation that I listened to ‘Death Of A Bachelor’, but I was pleasantly surprised this time – more of a return to the album I loved previously (but not as good).

Neil's 5:

Good News - Bloc Party
There was a point in January when I thought my 5 song choices for this playlist would read like a 'look who's made a comeback' list. Save for this track by Bloc Party and Mystery Jets, who you'll read about later, the others have since fallen by the wayside, however I believe that like the Mystery Jets, this Bloc Party 'comeback' has got all the hallmarks of a classic and deserves to be talked about among all the new stuff.

T.I.W.Y.G - Savages
You can't beat a bit of all-girl post punk rock, and this latest offering from Savages has me thinking of Metric and Operator Please.

I am Chemistry - Yeasayer
This blog has championed Yeasayer almost since their inception in 2006 (2080 appeared on one of John's playlists that preceded this blog) and it's great to see them back with their radio-friendly experimental american pop.

How to Recognise a Work of Art - Meilyr Jones
Meilyr Jones is the next talented singer/songwriter to emerge from Wales. Ex-frontman of Race Horses, he has released his debut album this month along with this single. In his own words “I wrote the song about the preposterous world of art collectors, the panic of what is popular, what will succeed, telling people what to like, and what to eat, and the recycling of pop culture."

Queen Bitch - David Bowie
No January playlist can be allowed to be published without a homage to the star, the icon and the change agent that was David Bowie. Almost everything that I listen and have listened to has been influenced by him. I used this song on this blog to celebrate his 65th birthday in 2012, it still is one of my all-time favourite songs, from his 1971 album Hunky Dory.

John's 5:

Ode to Anthony H. Wilson
This track was a number one hit in the UK for physical sales so you may all know about it but in the age of digital downloads you may not. Mike Garry and Joe Duddell combine on this charity single as a tribute to former Factory Records owner and general entrepreneur Tony Wilson. He passed away in 2007 leaving a legacy behind him that spanned nightclubs, record labels, television and radio. The poet Mike Garry approached Joe Duddell (a conductor of some stature having worked with New Order, James and Elbow fame) with his poem about “Mr Manchester” and Duddell added the beautiful backdrop to his words.

You Stole The Sun – Twisted Wheel
This track has been my soundtrack to December and January as I decided whether or not to include it in one of the monthly playlists. Twisted Wheel have appeared on the blog before, back in 2008 and I found this gem when trying to find out what they’ve been up to recently. Sadly they split up in 2014 and this is from their first stock of songs back in 2008.

Get Low – Stornoway
There’s something about checking out a band years on from when you first heard them. It’s like meeting up with an old friend and seeing how they’ve changed – although you don’t tend to celebrate the failures so much with bands, it’s usually more a miracle if they’re still going. Named after the Scottish coastal town they’re actually from Oxford. They just wanted a name that seemed remote. Back in 2009 they released the wonderful Zorbing and while they don’t seemed to have travelled far from their original roots they are still going strong with this track released in 2015.

Midnight at KOKO – Fake Club
Fake Club are a five piece, all female band formed in London. They supplied the soundtrack for 2013 film Powder Room which was a British film which spent most of its time in the toilets of a club. It wasn’t well received. This track however is great and deserved a better film.

Chasing The Tail Of A Dream – The Coral
I had quite a few tracks vying for my final selection, I could have gone for quite a few American bands that I’ve featured on the blog in the past, OK Go, Hot Hot Heat, The Dandy Warhols but in the end I decided to choose a track that might please the pallet of my fellow bloggers more. This latest single from The Coral is a bit of a change in direction in my opinion, certainly a long way away from the jangly tones of Dreaming of You. ‘Chasing’ has been followed up by Miss Fortune and this is of a similar vein. If you like ‘Chasing’ check it out.

Telemere – Mystery Jets

It nearly kicked off in the blog head office as we all tried to claim Telemore as ours for this month’s playlist. As our parents took it off us exclaiming “if you can’t play nice none of you can have it” we decided on a compromise, we would have it as the 16th track. There for everyone to enjoy. Mystery Jets are a band that have been around for a fair while and I was introduced to them by Neil singing as he rode beside me through the rain in the Lake District. Despite this (winking emoji Neil, remember no more fighting at HQ) I still love the Two Doors Down track from 2008 and it made me listen with intrigue to their latest album. What a cracking album. Neil agrees. However I’ll leave you with the words of Chris “This was released as a single last month ahead of the album release this month. Apparently a ‘Telemere’ is a ‘region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of the chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration of fusion with neighbouring chromosomes’. Atmospheric and a steady grower. Representative of the album itself – worth a listen.”

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

3WTM December 2015 Playlist

Again this month we have a collaboration between the three of us (Neil, Chris and John). If you enjoy the new style please leave us a comment, share with your mates or send us cash. We're not fussy. You can as before stream the playlist on Google Play, Apple & Spotify.


Hot Coals - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Now bear with this one, it's a bit slow to get growing, grating even at the start but is the long, whimsical kind of track that I'm hoping Chris and any of our readers may enjoy. If you're the kind of person who needs to be won over in the first minute this isn't the track for you. The piano on it is just beautiful and doesn't really start until nearly three minutes in. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros appeared on this blog back when their debut album was released - and what an album that was. I wouldn't have been able to guess it was them on this track based on that first album and so this really requires a listen with fresh ears.

It such a grower that even though I've written this while listening to it I cannot turn it off and move on to the next track until it's had its first full play.

The Big Blue - SULK

This band remind me of The Seahorses a bit and coming across this release from 2013 has been a real joy. It takes me back to 1990s indie and listening to other tracks from their album Graceless I can hear elements of The Stone Roses (on Back In Boom) and looking at the production influences they've had on that first album. They've had people who have worked with Pulp, Whitelies, Suede, Ride and Elastica. Check out the album if this is your cup of tea, new album out in March 2016.

We Can Do What We Want - Drenge

Knowing that they hail from the Peak District was enough to get me into this band and yet I'm late to the party. After all, our own Schonberg (Neil) gave them a mention for their quality debut in 2013. This is taken from their new album and is a real foot-stomper.

A Bar In Amsterdam - Katzenjammer

I was recently handed a CD at a Christmas curry night out of this band's set-list when a friend went to see them. Having an early start the next morning I popped it on in the car and it certainly got me going. He said they were fantastic live.

Waiting Around For Grace - Pond

What a terrible name but I guess they're saying their music is a diverse as the life you find in a pond. This track really kicks in after a minute gets lost about three minutes in and resets.


1. The Noisy Days are Over - Field Music
The triumphant return of Field Music, with their irregular time sequences and Steely Dan-esque quirky prog rhythms.
Chris: OK – well I like this a lot. I might have to revisit Field Music, because on the strength of this, I don’t know what I didn’t get into previously. Fairly long and samey in structure. 4.1/5
John: 80s feel for me and while it's not quite a cow bell, satisfies the Will Farrell in me. Two minutes too long though.

2. Wide Open - The Chemical Brothers (featuring Beck)
The first of two collaborations this month. I found myself singing along to this track before I knew who it was. Beck does a great job of enhancing classic chilled out Chemical Brothers beats.
Chris: I really like this one too 4.25/5
John: I wouldn't have placed this as a Chemical Brothers track and I don't think it's the Beck element. It's them at their chilled out best.

3. The Zoo - Fews
This reminds me of mid-noughties indie rock, it wouldn't have been out of place on an early 3WTM playlist from 2005.
Chris: And this one. There’s a very 80’s alternative feel to it. 4.25/5
John: Wow we are going chilled out Neil. Flows over you nicely and the riff works great. 

4. Shut 'em Up - The Prodigy and Manfred Mann vs. Public Enemy
The second collaboration, classic Public Enemy lyrics scoured over equally classic Prodigy beats, with a Manfred Mann sample thrown in for extra epic anthem-ness.
Chris: And then this happens. The Manfred Mann bit is great, and then the rest of it kicks in – I try not to award less than 3/5, but I’m going for 2/5 – I like the picture of the fox though.
John: Love it. Can just imagine running to it, BOOM!

5. Be Right Back, Moving House - Ghostpoet
This one has grown on me over the last month or so, and if you can get over the slight affectation at the end of each line, I'm sure it'll grow on you too.

Chris: I listened to the Ghostpoet album when it came out and liked it, but decided it was one that I wouldn’t listen to all the way through again – it is good to hear isolated tracks from time to time though, and this is a great example of that. I’m going to go for 4/5 which matches the number of your tracks that I really like this month.
John: A track with depth for me and grows nicely over the six minutes. Leaves me wanting more at the end.

3WTM December 2015 playlist – Chris’s bit
Grimes – Flesh Without Blood – Art Angels

This was on my shortlist a while back, but I never got around to including it. I don’t know much about Grimes. Apparently she’s Canadian and has a variety of influences including genres I’m not particularly keen on. The album is OK, but I’m not hugely sold on it, but this track is very catchy. At a guess, I would think that it might be more John than Neil, but I could be wrong.
John: Not my cup of tea sadly. Heard the hype about the album and checked it out. It's nice enough but is the side of female vocals I'm not too keen on. Neither pretty or melodic enough.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Bone – Paper Mâché Dream Balloon

Again, I was thinking about this track last month. It has a very retro hippie feel to it and I think it might appeal to … Neil? It is very happy. The album it’s from is pretty good, and has songs with a similar vibe on it. They are Australian. Wikipedia helpfully inform me that one of the genres they might be assigned to is neo-psychedelia.
John: Gotta love that neo-psychedelia!? Upbeat pop on this one, checking out some of their other tracks I guess I can get the psychedelia tag a bit more.

Eliza Shaddad – Wars – Wars (single)

Not much to say about this really. I really like it, she seems to be another new artist with not much back catalogue. This month’s shortlist contained several songs from different acts that could all sit convincingly aside this on an album (to my ear at least).
John: A bit more my thing with sultry tones over indie beats.

Spring King - Who Are You? – Who Are You (single)

This is a cracking song which I would imagine has global appeal. Oh! Apparently the first ever band ever played on Apple Beats radio … and oh no! This song has been Annie Mac’s Radio 1 hottest record, so maybe this belongs on a ‘Whatsrightwiththemainstream’ blog.
John: It was on my list but you got in there first. Full throttle music, bet they're good live.

The Drink – The Coming Rain – Capital

OK, so this is the track I intended to feature last month, but I did a quick scan of the album and picked another (fine) track instead. I don’t want this to slip through the net though, so it’s another instance of a band featuring two months running.
John: Nice melodic backing with Simon and Garfunkel vocals sung by The Bangles. That's what it sounds to me anyway (refer to their cover of Hazy Shade of Winter).

Monday, 30 November 2015

3WTM November 2015 Playlist

This month we have a collaboration between three of the contributors to the blog over the years. Chris, Neil and John have come up with tracks for you to enjoy and Neil starts us off with tracks tailored to Chris and John's tastes. He'd make a great DJ as two of his tracks were on Chris and John's track listings already. The clear lesson is get your choices in early. I've added Neil's and Chris's private comments to me about the tracks, hopefully they don't mind and as they were never planned to be openly aired it may also explain the shortness or rambling nature to some of them. Plus the deal was I did the blurb for each song but this way I don't need to do that!

As before you can stream the playlist on Spotify, Google Play and Apple Music.


First two for John:

Return to the Moon (Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, with Crescendo) by El Vy.
El Vy is fronted by the lead singer of The National, Matt Berninger, and this track has his trademark low voice all over it. I know you (John) were a fan of The National, so I'm guessing that you'll like this. It's fairly upbeat for the genre, and the song that follows it on the album is fairly rocky, but then it falls into 'samey' mode. I'll continue to listen though, because like The National albums, it's bound to be a slow burner.

John - "I would never have placed Matt's voice, with the sound of the whole track being a bit lighter than the stuff he's done with The National. Certainly a grower with a nod to the 90s with the sound in my opinion. Time to check out some more." Heart of Gold by The Sherlocks.
Hailing from Sheffield, The Sherlocks sound like what The Courteeners would have sounded like had they been born in Wincobank. I was first alerted to them about two or three years ago by a friend from Kimberworth Park. He'd been to see some 16 year olds play in my old local pub, The Domino (RIP) and had posted on Facebook "wow, these are the future of rock and roll" or something like that. Well, here they are.

John - "Already down on my list for this month they certainly do sound like The Courteeners and have been supporting them as well as Reverend and the Makers on tour recently - certainly my cup of tea. A nationwide tour is now planned by them for next year. It's a thumbs up from me."
Now, two for Chris: You and Him by John Grant.
You will be aware of John Grant from his 'GMF' track that featured on one of our previous mix CDs, an American who moved to Iceland to record his second album and never came back. Lots of quirkiness to his song-writing that I think might appeal to you, this one has some great rhyming in it, and a bit of funky electronic production that I've begun to see crop up in some of your listening choices.
Chris - "Well I was avoiding the John Grant album for ages. We all loved GMF, but I found myself wondering if I would like to listen to lots of songs like it - or if he was a one-trick pony kind of thing. Well anyway, I was trying out the 'Alternative' radio channel on Apple Music and it played the track I said I was thinking of putting on - Disappointing. Well I liked it right away so went ahead and downloaded the album. I've probably listened it through a couple of times. First time probably as background music and I liked it... He is witty, and I like his voice."
Times Square by Destroyer.
Our current mix CD has a reprise of this track from the Poison Season album, but this is the full song, great use of piano and saxophone in a full sound, and I love the drums on it.

Chris - "I'm not sure which version I've been listening to now as it's been the playlist I made myself having given my CD to a friend. Quite an astonishing co-incidence that I'd already decided that this was your kind of thing. Listening now, I agree, the drumming is good - it brings home to me how I tend to overlook the drumming when listening to a song. I like it, but maybe wouldn't seek it out to play it if you know what I mean." Finally, one for me: Trials of a Modern Man by Vangoffey.
Vangoffey is essentially Danny Goffey from Supergrass, and this song has all the energy and zip of a classic Supergrass track. I particularly like the 'first world problems' angle to the lyrics and the line "I've got a house and a car, kids and a wife, but I'm busting out my brains just to keep them in my life" is very poignant!

John - "I thought this had a real American feel to it and only once I'd read Neil's notes did I then make the connection with Supergrass which is easy to hear now I know. I've actually been disappointed by the music that Gaz Coombes has produced and so it's a good surprise to hear Danny's quality coming through - it's like Gary and Robbie from Take That both going solo all over again, it's always the ones you don't expect to succeed that do well."

Chris - "Trials of A Modern Man. Yep - like the song, but it probably earns the same 3.75 stars as the previous track for similar reasons."

On To Chris's Choices

Rock n Roll is Cold by Matthew E White.
Reminds me very much of J.J. Cale - chords are also very close to 'Country Girl' by Primal Scream.

Neil - "I like the Matthew E White track, very reminiscent of Phosphorescence."

John - "This song can pass you by but then when it stops you suddenly realise you've been nodding your head and tapping your feet."

Snakeskin by Deerhunter
This puts me in mind of Franz Ferdinand, and a specific track which I can't call to mind at the moment.

John - "As I promised to give a bit more blurb on the tracks I'll point out this is taken from their latest album, Fading Frontier, released in last month (October) and is their 6th studio album. The likeness to Franz Ferdinand for me comes from the tempo with both bands having quite distinctive singers."

Priestess by Puma Rosa.
Long, and despite it not developing massively towards the end I don't tire of it at all. Very atmospheric.

John - "Great for Chris to bring this to our attention especially as it became 'the second most blogged about song worldwide' not sure where the bio got its stats from but we certainly missed it. Zane Lowe gave it the world exclusive treatment on Beats 1 - that's where he's got to nowadays. This was the London band's debut single and we hope for more of the same"

Faultlines by Lanterns On The Lake. 
I might go so far as to give this one five stars.

Neil - "Saw Lanterns on the Lake at No Direction Home in 2012, you can get lost in their swirling, sometimes ghostly sound."

John - "I can totally get Neil's comments and can see why Chris likes them. It's taken from their current album Beings, I also like Ships In The Rain taken from the Newcastle band's 2011 album."

Potter's Grave by The Drink.
This will probably appeal to you both, but I could be wrong.

John - "I think if this track had a male lead we would be talking about how they are a mix between Vampire Weekend and Fleet Foxes. But they don't and further listening suggests that comparison is quite wide of the mark. For a band that only appeared in 2014 they already have two albums out, Captial, of which Potter's Grave is chosen from is their second album. A really good choice off the album, Roller one of the singles is also worth a spin."

John's choices:

Four of my bands have all had previous successes but get nowhere near the attention they should do. As a friend said to me as we were watching Reverend and the Makers "Why don't I know more about this band?".

The Writing's On The Wall - OK Go
I was pleased to discover that OK Go are still releasing music and despite the different theme to their it's still hitting the mark. With a sound so close to New Order's Temptation I had to check it wasn't some sort of weird cover or sampled. Not sure how New Order fans will feel about it but let's call it a homage to them rather than a rip-off...

Neil - "I really like the OK Go track and I totally dig the Temptation vibe, in fact they sound much like Grouplove would covering New Order. They seem to have lost the edgy sound of their early years (what was the song called with the treadmills in the video? - Here It Goes Again - JL) but they seem to be able to rock the mellower vibe."

Chris - "I can see what Neil means about New Order very much. Great track. 4.25 stars"

To My Surprise - James
After the very pleasant return to form on their last album, I was excited to hear they had a new album out in March and a new single out this month. To My Surprise has a different sound due to the electronic beats but there's no mistaking the distinct voice of Tim Booth. While this song doesn't hit the heights of the previous album I'm still hopeful of another strong long player as their first single of Petit Mort was not by anyway the best on the album.

Neil - "The James song is getting quite a bit of airplay, and rightly so. It's great that a band can be around so long but still be able to find a fresh sound- I know its more electronic than before but you still know its James. Just wish Tim Booth wouldn't take himself so seriously..."

Chris - "again I agree with Neil's comments. I'm keen to hear the rest of the album when it's out. James albums (to me at least) seem to have a couple of great tracks on and a bunch of so-so tracks. 4 stars."

Think Of The Sunshine - Hurricane # 1
So Andy Bell (he of Hurricane #1 and Oasis) decides to get Ride back together again. His old band mates clearly weren't put off by that as they got together and wrote a new album without him. I was a big fan of Hurricane #1 back at the time of their first and second album. Whether it was the weight of "selling out" to The Sun newspaper (Only The Strongest Will Survive was used in their ad) that caused them to split we'll never know. They certainly sound different after all these years and without Andy Bell's influence. This is as upbeat as the title suggests.

Neil - "Oh yeah, Hurricane#1. Well, its OK to listen to, but doesn't really get going for me, but maybe I need to listen to it a few more times to appreciate it. Its certainly got the hallmarks of the post-Oasis rock genre."

Chris - "I can see why Neil mentions Oasis. In our band, we cover 'Staying Out For The Summer' and 'She's Electric' - we could play just this song instead as is has large helpings of each of the others. Nothing wrong with it at all so 4 stars."

Last To Know - Reverend and the Makers
With a sound of Richard Hawley or Arctic Monkeys at their b-side best, this track sung by Ed Cosens is the other side to the band and reflects the new album much better than the "bangers" that McClure describes the bands singles as. If you've been put off by this band in the past or have not enjoyed recent stuff I urge you to listen to this track. With Joe Carnall (of Sheffield band Milburn fame) currently being part of the band it really has a new edge and sound on the album and live.

Neil - "I'm guessing this is a bridging song from the new album? Very much not in the vein of classic Revs stuff, and nice to know that Jon McClure can hold a note! (apart from it's Ed Cosens - JL) Would need to hear more to get a decent opinion."

Chris - "I completely agree that this is like Richard Hawley and The Arctic Monkeys. It's almost as if they're from Sheffield! Another good song - I like the instrumentation. I'm going 3.75 stars for this (just because I got bored of giving 4 stars)"

Infatuation - The Tapestry
This four piece from Manchester are a quite a difficult band to find anything about on the internet, you certainly don't want to confuse them with the band from Guildford. This track is from 2014 and you might also want to check out Right as Rain.

Neil - "The final song, Infatuation, is ace. I really like the unproduced garage feel to it, and firmly believe that it wouldn't be out of place played in between a Flowered Up track and a Happy Mondays track at a late 80s indie disco."

Chris - " wow, what an intro - it would need to be a terrible song indeed to fail after that start. Why does everything remind me of Franz Ferdinand though? Let's go 4.25 stars to redress the balance." - "The Franz Ferdinand track I had in mind was 'Walk Away' by the way - and coincidentally it was playing in the pub I was in this lunchtime."

Saturday, 31 October 2015

3WTM October '15 Playlist

Just me left to my own devices today and I've got some corking tunes this month. I was asked recently by one of (our only?) reader if I particularly recommended any of the songs on the playlist. Well obviously I recommend them all as that's the whole reason behind it but in this time of fast food and 140 characters I understand we all want to accelerate to the good stuff. So I have highlighted the key tracks but you can check them out all out on Apple MusicSpotify or hopefully working for the first time, Google Play (thanks Neil).

C'est La Vie - Stereophonics

A band that has been made unfashionable by time alone. They've penned stonking track after track and while I'm not as big a fan as my friend who has named his company after them, I've certainly spent a fair amount of my time listing to their work. This is major highlight of the playlist.

Queen of Peace - Florence + The Machine

Certainly not a band struggling for recognition at the moment and her promotion to headline act at Glastonbury should be celebrated as another strong track hits our ears.

The Queen of Swans - Mercury Rev

Probably best known for their track Goddess on a Highway back in the nineties when they were loved by NME. I was surprised to see their name come up on latest releases and The Queen of Swans taken from their new album, The Light In You, is a good return to form for the band.

Capable of Anything - Ben Folds

Certainly a highlight of the playlist with a real magical feel to the opening and a message that can resonate with most people. It certainly reminds me of Parker Lewis and Patrick Wolf's The Magic Position.

Weekend - The Mispers

With a similar whimsical opening to the track above you get drawn in to the band despite their name and track title.

The Next Storm - Frank Turner

As I'm going to see him in November I'm getting in my revision from his latest album, I couldn't face doing a "going down a storm" cliché. D'oh.

No Hell - Cloud Cult

If Florence + The Machine are getting good coverage, Cloud Cult do not get anywhere near the international critical acclaim they should do. I can't work out if they don't tour in Europe because of environmental reasons or that they just don't want to but they would certainly be welcome with opened arms from our household.

Say You Don't Want It - One Night Only

Exploring further from last month's track I have found this cracking pop song that they released back in 2010. Sounding a bit like Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds) and having the production values of one of his tracks it's what the Pet Shop Boys would sound like if they preferred guitars to keyboards.

Start To Run - Dexters

Another reappearance from last month's playlist as I explored Dexters back catalogue.

Honey - Swim Deep

Only dreaming while you're sleeping is a sin as we all know or certainly that's the mantra that Swim Deep seem to be repeating through this song.

Electric Fever - Free Energy

Another track from Free Energy this month and when you've heard this track you won't be surprised to hear that the 2012 track is inspired by You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Unwind - Guy Garvey

Elbows front man goes it alone and this feels like he's very much returned to the music where Elbow began. Slow and not instant if you've read this far down in to the blog then you've probably got the staying power required to enjoy the track.

Just Like That - The Coronas

I have the feeling this song was selected as a single and then they had to address the slow start to the track. So what we've ended up with is a track hitting you between the eyes, calming down and revealing it's real qualities before getting up pace again by the end. See what you think.

Trust - Half Moon Run

I don't listen enough to music on the radio and even less to new music on the radio sadly. So when I keep hearing a band on the radio I know they must be gaining some traction. Check out Half Moon Run, I think I might be a bit late in telling you this...

Superhero Music - Fingathing

I know this isn't Chris's (note the apostrophes) cup of tea but as he's having a month off contributing to the blog I get to put it on. Hope the rest of you enjoy!

Enabler - Evans The Death

Having a cameo appearance from comedian Stewart Lee on one of your b-sides is pretty cool - on the a-side would be so last year. Check them out although any band that "distances themselves from indie pop" comes across as a bit snobby.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

3WTM September Playlist - Chris's Half

Well, the first thing I must address is the apostrophe in "Chris's" - apparently it's OK to do that now, and I kind of like it because it mirrors what would be said in speech, so I'm going with it.

Right - so having got that little niggle out of the way, on to the music.

I've been compiling my own 'Good New Music' playlist for a while now, so these songs haven't necessarily found their way into my life solely in the last month, but who said they had to? Anyway, John suggested that I do 10 songs or so this month, and he'd do ten or so.

First up:

Get Into It by The Strypes from Little Victories

So this is brand new, and what a track, what an album! 'Eighty-Four' from the same album would not be out of place on The Arctic Monkeys' (no 's' added there) 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'. Anyway the rest of this playlist will struggle to continue where this track leaves off, it's such a cracker ...

Bad Boyfriend by Spector from Moth Boys

OK - so Spector featured last month, but I was going to add one of their tracks anyway - I heard this album about the same time as Little Victories, and it's another great one, as John suggested it might be. As I commented to John in an email, I can't decide if the singer sounds like the bloke out of 'The Editors', 'The National' or 'White Lies' or maybe all three?

Disco Bands by Sunset Sons from She Wants - EP

OK - so I've mentioned this band before (back in January I think), but there's much to like here - my kind of track exactly, driving and upbeat. I'd love for these guys to bring an album out.

Sorry I Stole Your Man by Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas from Secret Evil

OK - so I start all my comments with 'OK' - good job I'm not a proper writer or anything. So - this album is over a year old I think, but a deluxe version has been released or something like that and so it popped up on my radar. Another cracking album. In places, I am reminded of either Amy Winehouse, or The Noisettes.

Thames Soup by The Phoenix Foundation from Fandango

This track is a little more laid back. Oh blimey - the album's from 2013! Oh well, it's new to me. I don't really know what to say about it though ... moving swiftly on ...

Anywhere We Go by Kaptan from Anywhere We Go - Single

Very acceptable little indie tune - don't know much about these, I think they are very new, but the bloke behind them/it has done some other things before. Helpful, I know.

If Birds Wish To Fly by Corey Brown from If Birds Wish To Fly - Single

This track had me at the Hammond Organ riff intro. Again - I don't seem to be able to find out much more about Corey Bowen - oh apparently he's from Middlesbrough. Well I hope he goes on to make more like this.

Heart & Soul by VITAMIN from Heart & Soul - Single

It's just an OK track in reality - if I had to lose a track from this list, this would probably be the one.

Busy Earnin' by Jungle from Jungle

This is another discover from 6 Music (I must borrow my wife's car more often). Again, an album from last year. Funky? Groovy? I just like it.

Heroine by Gengahr by A Dream Outside

Please, someone tell me what the main riff sounds almost exactly like? It's easy, but I just can't place it. IT'S DOING MY HEAD IN! Anyway another great track.

Misfit by Starling from Misfit - Single

Hmm - should I end on a downbeat note? Why not. 'Pensive' might describe this track. I recently downloaded a 'Nordic Noir' playlist featuring songs that had been included in the soundtracks to the recent Scandinavian dramas which have been appearing on TV over the last few years, and this track would fit right in with those. I'm just going to check if it's on that list ... Ha! No it isn't! Well perhaps someone should put the Nordic Noir programme makes onto it!

OK - and for completeness, here's a link to the Apple Music playlist with John's songs added to my songs:

Apple Music 3WTM September '15 Playlist

I won't say any more about Apple Music other than that it works out well for my family. I feel a bit bad about abandoning Spotify, but I'm managing so far.

3WTM September Playlist - John's Half

So this month's music playlist has been split between myself and Chris and hopefully you'll get a good mix of music from us both. Although I have to say mine has gone more middle of the road than ever. Not intentionally but just how it is sometimes. The playlist as a whole is available on the excellent Spotify and the terrible Apple Music (see Chris's post for the link).

Five Green Bottles - The Bulletproof Bomb

They're a five piece band from South London, and you can tell hear it in their brawl. It works well as one of the more raw music tracks on this playlist.

Think Yourself Lucky - Frankie and the Heartstrings

After a début album like the one Frankie et al produced it's hard not to have a soft spot for them and despite them not hitting the same highs since this is certainly a strong pop song.

Wolves - One Night Only

I thought One Night Only disappeared along time ago but it appears they didn't. They wrote great middle of the road indie pop. They haven't strayed too far but they seem to still offer a solid track or two. This one matches in perfectly with Chris's recent Wolves obsession with tracks.

When Did Your Heart Go Missing? - Rooney

Another lightweight indie pop track that I can't help but warm to and how can you not when they're named after the principal from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Planet Earth - Glass Pear

It's difficult to not compare this to ELO and All Over The World. It's not up there in terms of catchyness or quality but it's got a real similar feel to it.

Stay Strange - Dexters

Some terrible band names in this month's playlist and non more so than Dexters but don't judge a book by it's cover. They're a strong guitar band from London and the latest single Stay Strange has more depth to it than it at first appears.

Sylvia - Telekinesis

I'm guessing there aren't many baby girls called Sylvia and so the track name already sets your expectations at a certain level and genre. Described as indie guitar and power pop this band are a real find. The name being the alter-ego of Michael Benjamin Lerner from Seattle.

Bang Pop - Free Energy

70s inspired American guitar pop from Minnesota, works for me.

Pressure Off - Duran Duran

I've ummed and arrred about putting this on the playlist, it's getting radio play and is nothing new but I feel I have to share it with anyone who hasn't caught it yet. Brilliant nostalgic pop.

Let Me In - Grouplove

I know I put them on the playlist last month but I spotted another track not on either of their albums and definitely needed sharing.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

3WTM August Playlist

For those eagle-eyed amongst you, you may notice the August playlist has come out in September but I'm sure you won't hold that against me as it's now on Spotify and Apple. Apple listeners sadly don't have two of the tracks. No YouTube clips this time. If you liked those let me know in comments but I think most people are streaming the playlist.

Black Widow - Reverend and the Makers

The Rev is back and this time there aren't any synths as his Mrs takes time off with the new baby - check out Makin' Babies also on the new album. The album is ready to preorder and you can get those two tracks now when you preorder. Which I have of course done.

No Drama Queen - Grouplove

Having seen Grouplove live a couple of years back with Schonberg I was amazed to find they'd released a second album without telling me. It didn't reach the heights of their great first album and I still hadn't followed them that closely so to find they'd released another track as part of a soundtrack was a pleasant surprise. Check it out.

The Blue Collars - Cheater

I've had a few songs of The Blue Collars on my "evaluate for the blog" playlist for a while now. As mentioned on a previous playlist they remind me of The Twang. The thing is they haven't quite got the melody element like The Twang and are a bit more raw. At times this is great and other times it can grate. If they can get the balance right they could be a band to be reckoned with.

Marching Orders - Editors

It's been a while since I've listened to an Editors track and the band have moved on enough to make their music sound fresh without losing their original appeal.

Brand New Day - Kodaline

Like Keane I guess. Well worth checking out.

Last Day Of Your Life - Glass Pear

If you're in to your cycling, as well as checking out my cycling blog you should also check out the excellent Cycling Podcast (I really can't recommend it enough). This track features as the intro and outro music. I thought it was just a piece written for them but it turns out it is a very accomplished track. Glass Pear are fronted by Yestyn Griffiths who is the younger brother of Jem, remember her? He even co-wrote some songs on her first album so a talented guy. Their guitarist and producer is Tom Welham and it turns out he's a cycling fan as far as I can work out and he is also the guitarist from Thirteen Senses. So during the Tour de France they also used a Thirteen Senses track on the podcast. 

Reconnect - Director

Another discovery through Spotify. Massive in Ireland back in 2006 this was the debut single from the band.

2468 - DJ Yoda

I've been a fan of DJ Yoda after downloading a set he did for Radio 1 quite a while back. I grabbed it off the excellent Pearson Towers web site which sadly, at the time of writing, seems to be no longer in operation. This is taken off his album Breakfast of Champions, which everyone knows is *insert your breakfast here*.

Baby Don't You Lie To Me - The Fratellis

Easy Money - Johnny Marr

OK so I'm slow on to this one but it's a cracking tune.

Marina & I - The Gorgeous Chans

Very Vampire Weekend, if that's your bag then this track will be too. This is the debut single from the band from Nottingham. Pretty tasty for a first effort if you ask me.

Shine - Years & Years

Finally something Years and Years has done has grabbed me and I get where they're coming from. Then again it took me longer than this with MGMT so guys it's me not you.

Cupboard Painted Red - Puppet Rebellion

As previously featured on this blog, the band come up with another strong track.

Daydreamer - Biopolar Sunshine

Dario G mixed with Semisonic. not really but kind of.

Stay High - Spector

The album is now out and on first listen it seems strong, Stay High is the latest single from the album, all have been solid tracks. Not just our house that plays 'veto' on films and songs then.

Walk In Space - Fingathing

Another track to go on the Space themed playlist (Schonberg and Crispie I'm talking to you). Fingathing remind me of Avalanches and Frontier Psychiatrist.

The Whip - Locksley

The Whip being the name of the track not the band. Fratellis-esque crowd anthem track.

Rise and Fall - Dorey the Wise

Starts off very jangley (maybe too much?) but a strong voice rescues the track. One for Frankie and the Heartstrings fans.

Roundabout - The Starkins

Quite a few finds through Spotify (I really must ditch either Spotify or Apple Music but Spotify is winning at the moment). This is one of them, they've got some more recent material but this is a good introduction to the band.

Mountain At My Gates - Foals

I've never really been in to Foals but I like this and I think I'll listen to more off their new album, out now kids.

Sing - Sounds Under Radio

Quite middle of the road but I like a good keyboard backed guitar band.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Frank Turner - Positive Songs For Negative People

Well well. I was beginning to despair. Whilst I've come across some great albums this year (by actively seeking out new stuff) only one or two had really hit the spot for me (Public Service Broadcasting and Django Django). Also, Apple Music hadn't really thrown anything my way that had caught my imagination ... and then came Frank Turner. New to me again (but of course checking back, he's been mentioned on here twice before) he's got a brand new album out, Positive Songs For Negative People. I read a little about him and at first thought 'Eton Old Boy - eugh', but why should that mean someone can't write good songs - of course it doesn't. There's a review of this album in the Guardian (where it only gets three stars!) here Frank Turner: Positive Songs for Negative People review, and it would seem that I seem to like music that doesn't demand much from the listener. Well, whatever it might say about me, I'm prepared to declare loud and clear that I think that this is a cracking album - just my kind of thing. Have a listen. There are links to a couple of tracks in the Guardian review.

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