Album of the Year?

Hi All!

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So I promised you last post that I was planning to expose you to the album that has played non-stop, on repeat for weeks now and may very well be my album of the year. This little black horse that came out of nowhere and blew my mind is Alt-J’s An Awesome Wave. Alt-J are an indie English band and this is their debut album. Debut. I kid you not. The synth/indie/folk/pop (the number of genres I need to begin to describe this are a little disturbing) album) and band are compared commonly to Radiohead but for me personally I hear more of a more upbeat and inventive Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes in terms of their vocals and the lack of comprehensible structure/beat. The vocals are strange and unusual in an awesome and dreamlike way. The whole album just carries me through this slightly psychedelic, visual (don’t ask me how) and dynamic journey punctuated with clever rhythms and strange instrumentals. How the whole album sounds both hopeful and accessible whilst arty and melancholic slightly confuses me the result is nothing less than wonderful. Go and listen to any song of the album and I feel you will hear something new.

Having said that my favourites off the album (nearly impossible to choose) range from the smooth synth tune Tessellate with its slightly deeper base line to Breezeblocks with the popular R&B/Island rhythms that are crazy addictive and then to Matilda which to me demonstrates how charged with emotion the album can get. I also must mention Taro as another favourite, it is folky and moving without losing the quirky qualities that make this album work . I don’t even really know how to describe these songs to do them justice.

The album as a whole works perfectly with charged up stunners interspersed with some more instrumental palate cleansers. The whole thing goes together to create an electrifying and quirky listen that I think compares well to The XX’s debut in that it kind of defies traditional classification. I tried my best to explain the adoration I have for this album but I am not a music reviewer and this will leave a lot unsaid. Spend an evening listening to this and I promise you won’t regret it. If I ever see them playing here in New Zealand I will sell my firstborn for tickets.

Xx

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Albums of June

Hi all!

So it may be the 8th of July but here are some overdue albums for last month. I had two real gems that I have been enjoying all month and decided I had to briefly share them with you!
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1. The Phoenix Foundation: Fandango

Such a unique little kiwi band that I have never taken the time to properly listen to before but I am glad I finally decided to give their indie/alternative album a go. This album is full of quirks and unique songs that sound familiar and yet completely new all at once. I find this type of music really hard to describe so I won’t even try but if you have watched Boy or Eagle vs Shark and enjoyed the rather wonderful music that went with them then you can thank The Phoenix Foundation. Go and give them a listen and if you like what you here they are playing throughout NZ very soon (and for a very affordable price) so come along!

Songs you should listen to: Black Mould, The Captain, Thames Soup, Corale.

2. The National: Trouble Will Find Me

The National are another new band for me and one I am not sure how I have gone so long without coming across their albums. On Wikipedia they are compared to Joy Division, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Leonard Cohen, 3 amazing artists/bands who I thoroughly enjoy listening to so it comes as no surprise that this mellow yet self-assured album is a winner. Although the album sounds melancholic there’s more to the lyrics and mesmerizing baritone vocals than first meets the eye. It took me a few listens to really start getting where this album was coming from. Intense and soulful, beautiful and dark. If you somehow haven’t come across them give it a go!

Songs you should listen to: Don’t Swallow the Cap, Sea of Love, Heavenfaced, Slipped.

So there are two albums I demand you go listen to for at least 5 minutes and report back with any thoughts.

Let me know if you already know about these bands and what albums of theirs I should listen to next.

Xx

Albums of February!

Hi All!

So the end of February approached at light speed and suddenly today I realized I had to get organized and do my monthly posts! This month, music-wise, I signed up for the 30 day free trial on Spotify (slow to the party, I know) and have been having heaps of fun finding old music that I no longer have and also listening to some new albums. Here are three albums I have been listening to quite a lot this month, only one is a brand new to me find but there are heaps more I just haven’t had the time to listen to properly yet. So enjoy!

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1. The O.C. Volume 2

So way back when I was pretty obsessed with the O.C. My best friend had all the DVDs and we would watch them endlessly. One of my favorite parts of the O.C. is the great music they use. So many bands I love I discovered through the O.C. haha, is that sad? I love all their sound tracks but this 2nd one is a favorite and just happened to be the one I kept putting on this month. A great mix of indie/alternative music that is quirky, fun and a little bit interesting.

Songs you should listen to: Specialist (by Interpol), You got me all wrong (by dios (malos)), Popular mechanics for lovers (by Beulah) and Eastern Glow (by The Album Leaf)

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2. Emile Sande: Our Version of Events

So this is my amazing new find of the month! Somehow I clicked through to this album by the young, beautiful Scottish singer Emile Sande. I believe this is her debut album and I absolutely love it! I don’t listen to a lot of soul or R&B music but do love a good singer along those lines. Emile’s voice is simply stunning with a lot of soul and emotion and her songs are fun to sing along to even if I do a crap job of it. The album has a good mix of upbeat songs and slower, more melancholic tunes. Definitely give her a listen if you like R&B singer/songwriter stuff.

Songs you should listen to: Heaven, Suitcase, Next to Me, River

Lungs_FatM3. Florence + the Machine: Lungs

Last up is an old favorite that you will all know I am sure! I have listened to the new album by Florence + the Machine and it left me wanting to go back to this album which I used to have and loved to pieces. On Spotify one of the first things I did was go and find this again! Florence has one of the most beautiful and powerful voices in my opinion and this album exemplifies this along with a variety of amazing songs that incorporate rock, pop, soul and indie qualities. Such a huge talent and an album I could listen through over and over. (I should add that choosing my favorite songs below was quite a challenge).

Songs you should listen to: I’m not calling you a liar, Between two lungs, Cosmic Love, My Boy Builds Coffins

That’s it for this month! What’s been keeping your ears occupied?

Albums of October

Hi Everyone,

Hasn’t this month flown by? I have 3 more exams and then my final undergraduate year is over. I am feeling equal measures of excitement and terror. Here are the slightly random collection of albums I have been loving this month. It contains some of my favorite albums of the entire year!

1. Metronomy: The English Riviera

So this is my definite favorite of the month. I actually listened to the album once through and wasn’t that interested or impressed and took a couple weeks before I happened upon it again. Surprisingly, I then fell in love with the quirky indie pop beats that this English band has produced in their third album. The songs are full of variety and are totally catchy. Seriously though, this style of music is so hard for me to describe, sometimes I wonder why I bother to try in these posts haha. I absolutely cannot get enough of this album. It makes me want to dance which is strange because the last thing I would do is dance. Upbeat, unique, fun, quirky, 80’s synth, a little bit alternative. I love it. If there is one album from this post you take a look at let it be this! You’ll probably either love or hate it but its something a bit different 🙂
Songs you all must listen to: Everything Goes My Way, The Look and The Bay.

2. Miike Snow: Happy to You

So I have always loved music by Miike Snow and so I am not sure why it took me so long to listen to their new album. After listening to it a few times this definitely grew on me. Miike Snow is indie pop with a lot of great dance beats thrown in and that’s the best I can describe it. The songs are catchy and fun to do dishes to (this is a huge factor for me!). I am not a dance music person normally so although there is a definite beat in the album it doesn’t overshadow the interesting lead vocals and the pure gold that is the soaring tunes. I personally love the strange combination of elements that really come together throughout this album. Also an appearance by Lykke Li goes down very well.
Songs you all must listen to: The Wave, Devil’s Work, Bavarian #1, Garden

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3. Mumford and Sons: Babel

I loved loved loved Mumford and Sons’ last album and was highly excited when I heard they had released a new album! I had never expected to love the style of rustic but upbeat banjo playing and yet totally fell in love with Sigh No More. So how did the new album live up to my high expectations? Obviously I enjoyed this album otherwise I wouldn’t be including it in this monthly round up. The title track Babel is definitely catchy and emotive, everything their last album had captured perfectly. I’m not sure if this album is as strong as the last but it definitely satisfies my cravings for the rather addictive banjo playing and absolutely lust worthy voice of the lead singer that captures so much emotion in each note I can hardly handle it. Seriously, if this guy ever spoke to me I would probably die on the spot. Someone give him my phone number? Anyway… great album and worth a listen if you loved the last! No big changes but sort of what we would expect following their debut. And that’s just fine with me 🙂
Songs you all must listen to: Babel, I Will Wait, Hopeless Wanderer, Where Are You Now

4. Kings of Convenience: Quiet is the New Loud

Lastly I have the only album that isn’t a new one for me. This album has been a favorite for countless years and recently I found it in the depths of my computer and have been wallowing in it ever since. Okay I don’t know if wallowing is the right word. The duo from Norway have a soft and gentle acoustic sound that I love very much. The slow but catchy beats are paired with harmonized voices and idyllic acoustics. Definitely an album for a relaxing afternoon in the sun. This is my “calm down” album when stress levels are getting a bit intense. Somehow I haven’t got my hands on their new album so expect that in the future… Okay wait apparently their have been two albums since this. Wow. My bad.
Songs you all must listen to: I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From, Summer on the Westhill, Parallel Lines