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

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

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

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

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

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Public Service Broadcasting and Maccabees

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

If the above embedded link doesn't work, try this instead

Sunday, 31 May 2015

3WTM May Playlist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 15 May 2015

A Few More Tracks To Share

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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