On a personal level, I know that a lot of people have had a tough year. Given that 2009 pretty much brought me to my knees, I sympathise. My highlight of the year has been the birth of my first (and QED so far only) child in March, though inevitably things have been soundtracked pretty continually.
So, if you want a track to soundtrack your night tonight, may I recommend this?
Hailing from Liverpool, Laura J. Martin is a flute-playing, mandolin tottin, loops backed singer with some excellent ideas on display for all to hear. She lists artists as diverse as Wu-Tang Clan, Lalo Schifrin and David Bowie as influences. Her haunting style suggests that the inevitable comparisons to artists like Joanna Newsom, Kate Bush and Bjork are to be deserved, rather than derided for being too ‘obvious.’
She released her first single ‘Doki Doki’ back in 2008, and a number of singles have followed since then, including ‘The Hanging Tree’ ‘Spy’ and ‘Kiss By Good Night’ (sic). 2012 will see the release of her debut album The Hangman Tree, released on January 23 through Static Caravan. Check out these tracks for now…
This popped into my inbox a little while ago. FEVR PITCH are an LA-based electro/dubstep group consisting of Marty Rod (singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist), British dance producer Mark Okah (who also directed the video below) and Dubstep, drumpstep DJ/producer/remixer extraordinaire Kill Paris (possibly not his real name).
Their rather awesome EP The Flash EP, was released in October - and thus alas, is too late for consideration in my end of year lists for 2011.
Not that that should stop you checking this out, because it’s really rather fine. All four tracks stand alone in their own right, and make for a proper EP (as opposed to some ‘great, good song now let’s cobble some crap to go alongside it’ approach). In as encouraging way as possible, I think if you enjoy MGMT and Animal Collective and music in that vein, I think this EP will appeal to you. I’m loving this - and hoping to hear more from the band sometime very, very soon.
Stream the EP below. If you like it - go and buy it!
A few weeks before Christmas, I received an email from her PR company to say that Sinead O’Connor was releasing a new album How About I Be Me (And You Be You?) on February 20.
Now, that was certainly good news to me. I first came across Sinead O’Connor…no, not with that song but back in 1988 when she appeared on The Roxy and Top Of the Pops performing a song called ‘Mandinka’. This was followed by a mesmerising track called I Want Your hands On Me and then a certain Prince cover brought her massive success.
Quite why a woman with a shaved head seemed so controversial I don’t know. She was forthright in her opinions - and that shocked many. Rather like with Madonna, people seemed to forget it was her msuic that bought her to attention in the first place. More fool them.
The tracklisting for her new album - her ninth -is as follows:
1. “4th And Vine”
2. “Reason With Me”
3. “Old Lady”
4. “Take Off Your Shoes”
5. “Back Where You Belong”
6. “The Wolf Is Getting Married”
7. “Queen Of Denmark”
8. “Very Far From Home”
9. “I Had A Baby”
Hope you all had a great Christmas (or whatever festival you choose to celebrate, or indeed none). It was all good fun around 17 Seconds Towers yesterday; with a whole heep of books (not all music related either), DVDs, and music gratefully received by yours truly. And it was son 17 Seconds’ first Christmas, which I think he enjoyed greatly. The cold he gave me was not particularly well received - but the lie-in until 9AM yesterday most definitely was.
This is not part of the Christmas mp3 fest - but this track by The Last Battle was part of their online single last year ‘Nature’s Glorious Rage’ and it’s rather fine.
Now, most of the tracks for my Christmas posts I have put up have been free downloads.
However, Scottish Fiction have put together a fine seven track EP which can be downloaded for the princely sum of £2 - or more (I paid £2.50). It features one of my favourite acts of the year - Spook School - along with six other acts. Most importantly - apart from featuring Spook School - is the fact that the money goes to Shelter, which is really, really important. Particularly at Christmas.
As seems to be the in thing, they have given away as a free track as a Christmas present. I genuinely think this track ‘Jumped Up Boy In Livery’ is as good as much of the rest of the stuff they have produced - and hopefully they will make a major impact in 2012. I don’t think it’s a Christmas song per se, but that doesn’t matter.
Lead singer Matthew had this to say :’Never before have I had the audacity to pen lyrics that are so indulgently self-pitying - and, for me, that’s saying something. Let’s just say that it has been one of those months. Merry Christmas. Kites gift you ‘This Jumped-Up Boy In Livery.’
I’ve already posted some Frightened Rabbit Christmas contributions a few weeks ago, but they have finished a new Christmas song, literally in the last forty-eight hours and put it up to download called ‘Cheap Gold.’
In addition to the rather fine free EP that they have made available to downlaod for free from their website, it’s now the fourth song to appear from the Frabbits this year; they have written a new album so let’s hope that that will see the light of day in 2012.
In the meantime, enjoy this. It’s really very good indeed.
The rantings and ravings of a thirty-something music fan, from Edinburgh, Scotland.
I've been writing this blog since July 2006. I also write for Is This Music?. I've had my own show on Fresh Air radio, DJed in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and in 2008 set up 17 Seconds Records.
The best way is by this blog's own email address: email@example.com
I'm always up for featuring bands or artists on here, so get in touch. And if you represent one of the artists involved and would like me to remove the track, that's fine too (you will just lose some free publicity, as well as looking like Goliath picking on David). The mp3s posted here are for a short time only, a maximum of two weeks and are intended for people to evaluate the music, and not as a replacement for buying music. If you like what you hear, support the artists involved by buying the music, and going to shows, buying T-shirts etc.
Please note: I receive a lot of emails every day encouraging me to check out new bands, but it does take a while to get through them all. Please do not send follow-up emails, it makes an already difficult job impossible.
Some music I love - and think you should check out too