Icelandic folk/pop collective Of Monsters and Men released their highly acclaimed debut album, ‘My Head is an Animal’ this week. Have a read of my review here:
When you’ve been to the same school as Bombay Bicycle Club, Cajun Dance Party and Theme Park it’s obvious that indie-pop is going to be your direction, especially with the success these three have had. Blimey, just imagine the indie discos that went down there.
Casablanca are hopefully the next act follow in the lace-up grooved footsteps of their school peers as they release their first single ‘Yes’ next month. The London five-piece used to be called ‘Lo-Fi Culture Scene’ who at their tender age (year 8/9 at the time) had a substantial hold on the circuit playing various festivals and support slots with Bloc Party and The Maccabees. Their new name gives them maturity and this strong single the front to push themselves back into music, much further than before.
‘Yes’ has the euphoric peaks and funky cowbell beat of Friendly Fires combined with a strident riffs and front man Jacob Wheldon’s forceful chorus vocal that simply goes ‘yes, yes, yes, yes.’ Don’t worry it sounds a lot better than it looks written out. It’s actually going to be damn exciting to see what Casablanca can devise for a debut record.
‘Yes’ is out 17th September via Party Politics
The serene music of Anja McCloskey has been conjuring some interest for a little while. The half-American, half-German Southampton-based singer/songwriter has reintroduced the accordion. This for many is a foreign instrument, only really used in traditional music and is certainly not heard every time you switch on the radio in 2012. Can you imagine Rihanna or Rita Ora with an accordion? But that’s McCloskey’s main USP, along with her floaty, organic voice and her ability to musically take everyone back a few hundred years in ‘An Estimation.’
Taking you back in time is not as dull as it may first seem. Previous singles ‘A Kiss’, ‘And Her Head’ and ‘Italian Song’ have all shown how violins, accordions and clarinets can graciously combine with the standard band set up of guitars, bass and drums. Songs like ‘Tornado’ and ‘Blinded By Blue’ use their mid tempo to show the traditional twist. It sounds like it should be performed at an outdoor travelling fair in the countryside. Horses and cattle would be roaming in the background and spectators swaying in expression. Or maybe ever busting out a little jig in the livelier opener ‘Decisions’ and new single ‘Instigate it’ with the sing-a-long, ‘he loved you and he danced for you.’
Whilst the upbeat, proves great, there are a few of the slower kind that seem a little weak. ‘Ivory’, ‘Tagetes’ and ‘Quite Low’ all have similar piano melodies with a scattered look in from some other instruments. Luckily the optimistic tones of the majority of tracks overshadow these just about, giving a hopeful debut from Anja McCloskey.
New single ‘Instigate It’ is out 27th August
‘An Estimation’ is released on 3rd September. Both via Sotones Records.
Hadouken! released their new single ‘Bad Signal’ last week. Read my review here:
‘I’m no teenage icon, I’m no Frankie Avalon.’ Despite the humbling words, frontman Justin Young is just itching to change this. With ever sprouting hair and that Bruce Springsteen vest making an appearance every time he makes an appearance, he’s rebelling! The combination of the subtle angst within his over-pronounced vocal and Freddie Cowan’s lightning riffs shows a positive progression, leading up to their second album. Icon status cannot be purchased and is rarely awarded, so Young is obviously admitting defeat for the minute. Although Spector’s Fred Macpherson did tweet ‘I’m no teenage icon, I’m no Justin Hayward-Young’, so maybe he has reached that status?
Taking a sample from 80’s U.S R&B/funk collective Trouble Funk and fusing it with hungover keys, a troubled sax and highly-strung pop vocals does produce a pleasurable listen. However, the amount of sampling is a brush away from unacceptable; it’s just a bloody good job that Trouble Funk knew what they were doing back in ’86. Touchy mastermind Adam Bainbridge once commented, “I don’t belong in an indie band, thank you very much.” He’d better scavenge for some more bangin’ tunes to use then if he wants to remain a colourful piece in this producing game. If it doesn’t all work out, he could make a packet if the dance mat was ever revived and include this jam.
Rejoice one and all, Gotye is feeling better! After weeks and months of that straining number one repeating it’s pitiful self, we are given a hideously uplifting second chance from the Belgian. Has someone slipped him something? He’s gone from heartbroken and lonesome to snatching the perfect lead in a potential jazzy spectacular from (Lord) Andrew Lloyd-Webber. Enthusiastic side steps and elaborate arm movements are recommended. Why not throw in a jaw-aching smile too and we all might feel enlightened by Gotye’s suspicious change of spirit. Hopefully this lasts or else it’ll be a lost cause, keep smiling!
Oxford girls Evarose released their new EP ‘Elements’ earlier this month. Take a look at my review here:
Mississippi duo ILLLS have released their ‘Dark Paradise’ EP. See what I thought of it here:
The Cast of Cheers release their new single ‘Human Elevator’ today. Check out my review here: