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. 

2 comments:

Chris Phillips said...

Chris’s Thoughts on Neil’s Tracks

White Denim. Strong track – very much in keeping with their previous stuff. I’ve listened to the album too and would rate it better than Corsica Lemonade, but not as strong as ‘D’ – early days though. 4/5

Courtney Barnett. Great story, great vibe, great rhythm. 4.2/5

Hinds. There’s quite a bit of Velvet Underground in the simplicity of this track, but I find it too trebly and piercing, so it doesn’t quite charm like The Velvet Underground. 3.6/5

Dark Dark Dark. Even before I realised it was the theme song to ‘Thirteen’ I liked this. Accordion, piano, cello all combining very atmospherically. 4.5/5

Estrons – I don’t know what to say really – it’s OK. Maybe it will grow. Currently 3.5/5

Chris’s Thoughts on John’s Tracks

I Set The Sea On Fire – I really like this 4.3/5 (good to read that they’re a Sheffield band)

Bleachers – Yep, I really like this too 4.3/5

Thousand – And another great track – reminds me a little of Noah and The Whale 4.2/5

Saint Motel – Once I’ve got past the fact that the opening riff makes me think of The Doors ‘Touch Me’ (one of my favourite Doors songs) then I really like this too. 4.3/5

Holy Bouncer – This one puts me in mind of ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ and also the ‘Rock and Roll Is Cold’ track I chose back in November. Good stuff, and a fitting closer to the playlist. 4.2/5 completes a very consistent set of songs from John.

John Lamb said...

My thoughts on the tracks:

Cry Baby - starts really strong and I can see why it's the album opener but if anything steps down a gear after that. Bit of shame.

Wintersleep - They featured on this blog back in 2009 http://whatswrongwiththemainstream.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Wintersleep and have changed a bit since. However different they are it's a strong track and I will check out some of their other recent stuff.

Slip Into Nevermore - I enjoyed this, a nice mix of styles and influences that give the track depth and feeling. Thumbs up.

Cold To See Clear - Nada Surf have been around for what feels like forever yet I've never really experienced more than a track on a free CD. On this showing I will check out more.

Delete - and this caps off the best five tracks as a whole that I think Chris has contributed to our monthly playlist. I wouldn't have put this down as Chris's tastes but I enjoyed it very much. I wouldn't describe it as relaxed though - maybe compared to the rest on the album?

Neil's:
Make A Man - A good pop song, high energy, definitely only ever played loud.

Bamboo - I like the term surf-charm that Neil used to describe it, fits it perfectly. Relaxed and a bit screechy all at once.

Courtney Barnett - Made me revisit this track and the more I hear it the more I'm thinking she's more than a one hit wonder.

Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah) - I like a good soul song and this is so good it makes me think I've heard it before. Probably my favourite of the playlist this month.

In Your Dreams - I love discovering music through adverts or TV programmes, they tend to get in to your conscious before you know it. You find yourself humming it before you know where you heard it. So it's great Neil's brought one of these to the blog. Capping off a great playlist this month.