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).