Monday, 31 October 2016

3WTM October 2016 Playlist

We've banged our heads together and as suspected Chris had more songs in his head this month while I wouldn't be cruel enough to say Neil's was so thick that no songs came out! On Spotify and Apple as usual.


3WTM October 2016 – Chris’s Selections
Well, it’s been another bumper month, and rather than keep some for another month, I thought I’d share them all. I’m not certain which five I’d have whittled it down to anyway, but I’m sure I would have managed.
High Flying Faith – EZTV – High In Place (2016)
I’m really enjoying this song. Its intro reminds me a little of Sick and Tired by The Cardigans which is no bad thing. The chords are actually quite interesting, swapping a major for its minor and a major for it minor, and throwing in an augmented 5th for good measure, and that’s just the intro. Vocally, I may be reminded of The House Of Love. I’ve downloaded the album and must have listened to it, but can’t remember much about it now – I must revisit it.
Orange Flower – Angelica Garcia – Medicine for Birds (2016)
I think she reminds me of Alanis Morissette and possibly a little of Courtney Barnett (but not much). Very basic, but very catchy. The only thing that lets it down as a track is the ‘amusing’ (annoying) conversation after the song has finished.
Taxi Driver – Pip – Blom – Are We There Yet? (Single 2016)
Ah – now maybe this one sounds a bit more like Courtney Barnett. I think Pip must be fairly new on the scene – she doesn’t seem to have much material out yet. I’ve just looked her up, she’s 19 and from Amsterdam. Again, quite basic, but quite catchy.
Universe Of Life – Feeder – All Bright Electric (2016)
I really like some Feeder stuff and some leaves me a little cold. This definitely falls into the category of the former. I’m a sucker for songs with James Bond sounding bits in them. I haven’t yet listened to the whole album but think I will on the strength of this song.
High Tide – Mystery Jets – Bubblegum EP (2016)
This might have been one that I cut from the list if I had to. It would have been a shame though. It’s a great song – maybe it plods a bit and doesn’t have great contrasts to it, but nonetheless, very listenable.
No Sleep – Twin Atlantic – GLA (2016)
This is from an album that I have managed to listen to a few times, and it’s a good album. So the track starts out with a good old fashioned Led Zeppesque guitar riff, then the singing starts and you think ‘hang on, this is Biffy Clyro’ and not just because of the thick Scottish accent. Scot-Rock – is that a thing? Maybe it is now.
Juliet – George Cosby – A Savage Kiss EP (2016)
Wow – what a voice. What a song. I’m put a little in mind of Rick Astley, and little in mind of The National (vocally). I’m a bit apprehensive about listening to more by him (not that there’s much out yet) in case it doesn’t come up to this high standard: but if it did …
Rendezvous Girl – Santigold – 99 Cents (2016)
I think I was oblivious to Santigold, and then on of their tracks showed up during a SongPop game with a girl from New York who I strongly suspect of being a robot … anyway, the five second clip was enough to encourage me to investigate, and it turned out to be a fine track indeed, but two or three years old, so I did a bit of digging and found an album brought out this year – many of the tracks weren’t to my liking, but this is a real gem.
Sorry People – Savoy Motel – Savoy Motel (2016)
After the main guitar riff, I find my mind saying to me ‘Fame’ from the Bowie song. Both NME and The Guardian are calling these old-school or 70’s based, with good reason. They do it very well though.
Hello Today – Black Honey – Hello Today (Single 2016)
Who does this remind me of? Is it Republica? Who knows. Cracking little rock song though.
Spirits – The Strumbellas – Hope (2015)
I’ve got quite a lot to say about this. First things first, it’s from last year, but I don’t think matters too much. My daughter shared a playlist with me (heavily influenced by one of her friends). It was an excellent playlist (for the most part) and this song was on. This particular song makes me think a little of Frank Turner’s stadium anthem type stuff, and it’s got its middle 8 complete with a choir of children singing along and tubular bells in the background, but it’s a great song, and, more importantly, it turns out to be from a great album. Hope turns out to be a gem of an album with quite a collection of quality songs. Have a listen if you get chance.
In A Black Out – Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mind (2016)
Well the initial guitar put me instantly in mind of The Partisan by Leonard Cohen, and listening now to that (which I thoroughly recommend you do) I can see exactly why – the whole song is very much in the same mould, although this one does build a little. Acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, a few backing vocals and a tiny bit of simple drumming in the middle. Very atmospheric.
Catherine The Great – The Divine Comedy – Foreverland (2016)
(Formerly?) my favourite band brought out a new album, and as with their other releases in the last few years, I bought it automatically, and then only found a couple of songs that I liked immediately. Some of them have grown on me a little, and I’ve now listened to the album a few times now. I also went to see them this month. I was a little reticent about seeing them, having only seen them at Leeds festival years and years ago (2001?) and I’d heard a couple of live recordings which didn’t do much for me. Anyway, it was a great gig, and the six-piece band (including Neil Hannon) gave very credible renditions of some quite complicated tracks. To the track … well this is fairly typical Divine Comedy – good melody, good instrumentation, good lyrics laced with whimsy. What’s not to love about the lyric ‘There were few brainier, just ask the king of Lithuania’?

So I've been listening to quite a few bands we already know of this month and I wasn't sure which to include on the playlist so I decided to include them all. Others who have released tracks but didn't make it include Dodgy, Kula Shaker and Green Day.

Take It Out On Me - White Lies
A return to form with this single from their new album.

Quicksand - Tom Chaplin
Formerly of Keane (he didn't write any songs for when they were popular). Popular in our household and thankfully that is "suck" he says at the start and not anything unchild friendly.

Born In The EU - Spector
A band I know Chris likes/liked. Topical song for the moment.

No One Will Ever Replace Us - The Courteeners
As The Sherlocks have been doing The Courteeners music better than they have recently (see Will You Be There?) I don't think the title is exactly true but it is an improvement on the last album and the other album tracks sound good too.

Buddy - The Orwells
Another good indie pop song from this American band.

Hole In My Soul - Kaiser Chiefs
Not getting a shortage of airplay but a good pop song from the Leeds band.

My Body - Young The Giant
I can't believe Chris has tipped us off on this excellent track and then not added it to his offerings for the playlist. It's such a good tune to train (run / spin) to "My body tells me no, but I won't quit 'cause I want more". Best find of the year for me.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

3WTM September 2016 Playlist

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

Here's the link to the Apple Music playlist.

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

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

2. Limousine - Beach Baby - No Mind No Money

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

3. Your Word - Eleanor Friedberger - New View

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

4. Loup Garou - Ed Harcourt - Furnaces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Fugue States - Cold Pumas - The Hanging Valley

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

11. Can You Hear Me - NGOD - Single

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

12. These Words - The Lemon Twigs - Single

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

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

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

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

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

15. Reliance - The Barmines - Single

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

16. Nobody's Human - Jessarae - EP

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

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

17. 4 Degrees - ANOHNI - Hopelessness

18. Tenement Song - Pixies - Head Carrier

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

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