One of the things about being a blogger is that you do get sent a hell of a lot of stuff, and sometimes there’s stuff that slips through the net.* Apparently American duo And The Giraffe did send me an mail a few months ago, which I didn’t remember getting. However, they got in touch again, and the video they have had made for the opening track on their EP Something For Everyone entitled ‘Underground Love’ is great. And apparently was shot for $0, in their own words ‘apart from the cost of paying for food and parking when we traveled to different locations. It was shot with the help of a very good friend of ours, Harrison Sanborn over the course of about 2 or 3 days.’
Now, even if the results had been just average, that’s pretty impressive. But to do it and actually produce a better video than some people make with a budget into six figures (that could be dollars, pounds or any currency, I suppose), is no mean feat. And the Giraffe is made up of two best friends, Nick Roberts and Josh Morris. ‘Together they make ambient dream-folk music and hope to continue doing so for as long as time allows.’
Check out the video – I think this is fantastic.
You can download their EP on a pay what you like basis – it’s a beautiful record. I’m typing this on a Sunday evening and it fits the mood perfectly.
*Just by way of example, I was clearing out some emails one time and discoveerd that one of the bands who I hadn’t dealt with an email from were The Last Battle. As 17 Seconds Records ended up putting out their debut single and debut album, this is a sign that no response is not a sign that you will never get featured on 17 Seconds.
Laura J. Martin -‘The Hangman Tree’ (Static Caravan)
Liverpudlian Laura finally releases her debut album, several singles down the line, including the rather fine title track. In that time she has collaborated with members of Teenage Fanclub and Gorky’s for last year’s album as Jonny, amongst other projects, not to mention being proficient at both the mandolin and flute, both of which she plays live.
Her vocal style is somewhere around the Kate Bush, Joanna Newsom and Bjork end of the spectrum. It’s a good sort of kooky, without being melodramatic or histrionic. Amongst her interests are Japanese folklore, but there’s also a sense in which this is a very English record – in the way that the pastoral sounds of Fairport Convention or Virginia Astley make for a very English sound. The psychedelic folk feel might gtet it labelled acid folk or some such bizarre type label, if labelling or pigeon-holing is your thing.
The album is very much as one piece, and there are no doubt those who will find the spirit impenetrable. But there will be those who fall in live with it, who embrace and relish its charms and unusual approach, up against so much run of the mill folk and pop music today. Set to become a cult classic, I think.
The Hangman Tree is released on Static Caravan on January 23.
This popped into my inbox a couple of weeks ago, and to my shame, I told their patient PR person that I would cover them, and then didn’t!
So apologies to James, and apologies to Echotape. Because the track they sent me ‘Came Into My Blood’ is awesome. It takes their influences – who include the likes of M83, Mogwai, The Horrors and Echo & The Bunnymen (all faves around 17 Seconds Towers), and nods to Radiohead post OK Computer and the Errors, and run with it. A long, long way, in fact.
They have a four track EP on the way, for their debut album, they have worked with legendary producer Youth (he once of Killing Joke) who has worked with the likes of The Verve, The Orb and The Futureheads. They will support Killing Joke at London’s Roundhouse in March. I can’t find out who’s in the band – but just enjoy the music for what it is!
Back in 2008 I was bigging up Santogold (as she was then) around this blog, and she was runner-up album of the year in 2008 on this blog (and did pretty well in quite a few other people’s polls too).
Anyway, after being way, way too quiet for far too long, she has returned! Santi White is now Santigold and she’s back with a new album, called Master Of My Make Believe. The first track to do the rounds is a track called ‘Big Mouth.’ THe animated video is awesome – and there may just possibly be a none-too-subtle dig at Lady Gaga here….
This rules, as far as I am concerned. Great to have her back -and I can’t wait to hear the album.
Blah blah blah…manufactured…blah blah blah…Saturday Night Live…Her Lips…blah blah blah…
…have you quite finished?
Considering no-one knew who Lana Del Rey was, barely six months ago, it’s not much of an exaggeration to say that her forthcoming debut album, Born To Die, has been hotly anticipated, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Needless to say, the knives are out for her already. I know little of the person (and yes, I know that isn’t her real name), but what I do know is, the music has really grown on me. I was slightly staggered when NME named first single ‘Video Games’ track of the year, but somehow the track has worked its’ magic on me. And that’s without even having seen the video.
The title track of the album is out next week, and I have fallen hook, line and sinker for this:
Update: having posted this piece last night, I received a very polite email from a read, who submitted a remix he had done of ‘Video Games’ which he is happy for me to share with you. So here is Vapor Maché’s remix of ‘Video Games.’
He’s collaborated with former Belle and Sebastioan chanteuse Isobel Campbell on no less than three albums, to say nothing of his work with Queens Of The Stone Age.
But now Mark Lanegan is set to return with his first solo album in -count ’em! – eight years. Entitled Blues Funeral , and coming out on 4AD on February 6, the opening track ‘Gravedigger’s Song’ has been doing the rounds for a little while now. It is absolutely brilliant, and really quite addictive (I’ve started playing it on repeat).
The tracklisting for the album is as follows:
1. The Gravedigger’s Song
2. Bleeding Muddy Water
3. Gray Goes Black
4. St Louis Elegy
5. Riot In My House
6. Ode To Sad Disco
7. Phantasmagoria Blues
8. Quiver Syndrome
9. Harborview Hospital
11. Deep Black Vanishing Train
12. Tiny Grain Of Truth
Yet again, I’m hearing lots of new stuff and hardly having time to write about it all.
So here’s a things that have taken my fancy that I have heard recently.
First up, Azealia Banks continues to surprise and delight. Having hosted her free single recently, I was impressed to see that a huge number of people had downloaded it.
This is her latest track ‘NEEDSUMLOV’ which bears little or no ressemblance to ‘212.’ At this stage of her career, that’s probably a good thing. She’s getting a lot of coverage in the UK at the moment, to the extent that she’s moved here. Check her Soundcloud for more
Not content with putting out Howler’s debut album, Rough Trade have picked up Alabama Shakes and will release their debut album on April 9, Entitled Boys & Girls. The band are vocalist/guitarist Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, drummer Steve Johnson and bassist Zac Cockrell, and count Jack White among their growing band of admirers. Stream ‘Hold On’ below…
This is a Dubstep remix of The Beatles’ ‘A Day In the Life.’ To some this will be little short of Blasphemy. It’s my favourite Beatles’ track and I love what’s been done here by Voodoo Farm.
Enter Shikari -‘A Flash Flood Of Colour.’ (Hopeless Records)
The third studio album from the ‘English post-hardcore rockers’ (according to Wikipedia) arrives with us in the depths of January. No doubt there are cynics out there who might argue that this is to get a higher chart position than they might otherwise get, but when the tour to promote your third album includes dates at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange and the London Hammersmith Apollo, you have clearly reached a certain level of success.
Like the likes of Pendulum, Enter Shikari mix metal with sounds more commonly associated with the dancefloor. This is far from a new idea of course (look at how The Prodigy are headlining Download this year, primarily a metal festival, ‘Eyeless’ from Slipknot’s debut -over a decade ago now; and of course Korn’s recent dubstep adventures) the question is how well they can pull it off. The answer is -by and large – pretty well indeed. There’s quite a few party anthems in here, mixed in with the politics -‘Search Party’ and ‘Stalemate’, though the standout track to these ears is probably ‘Ghandi Mate, Ghandi.’
If the thought of listening to this album after what I’ve written above puts you off it – then that’s your call, but it’s a pity. Because there’s a hell of a lot of ideas, music and songs, dammit on display here- and I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. Whatever time of year this album comes out, it deserves to do well.
A Flash Flood Of Colour is released on Hopeless Records on January 16.