Music to my Ears #3

Another month nearly over, another post to share some very well-loved albums. Somehow I accidentally managed to select albums all released in 2014, which is strange for someone who is usually at least 5 years behind everyone else. They are all excellent albums worth your time, promise (or at least they were for me…but that sounds a lot less convincing).

Chet Faker: Built on Glass (2014)

Chet Faker Built on Glass

I think I discovered Chet Faker through Pandora and have been enjoying his chilled vibes ever since. His music is a real mixture of influences, with a bit of R&B, soul, jazz all wrapped up in a modern techno sound that gets better each time I listen. Each song has a different feel to it and yet it all flows together as an album really smoothly (it’s actually split into two half’s but I didn’t even realise this until today) . I love it all. Its well reviewed by most for good reason and a great album to have on for a relaxed sunday get together over a few beers. He is right up the top of artists I would travel to see live.

Listen to: Talk is Cheap, Gold, 1998 and Cigarettes & Loneliness (my favourite)

Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness (2014)

Tiny Ruins Brightly Painted One

You might remember Angel Olsen from my Laneway related music post where I mused over musicians I was excited to see. Well I saw Angel Olsen, and she was just as good live (and also a total babe). I have still been loving this album pretty much constantly and wanted to bring it up again in case you hadn’t taken my advice to give her a listen last time round. I love this album because it shows off two very different sides to Angel’s music. There’s the electronic folk rock side that is upbeat, energy driven and fun like in Hi-Five and Forgiven/Forgotten and then there is her other quieter, more minimal and emotional songs (that if I’m honest I connect with and adore the most) like Unfucktheworld and  White Fire. Its all good stuff and if you are into alternative rock/folk music then this could be right up your alley.

Listen to: Unfucktheworld (the song that made me fall in love with this album), Hi-Five, and the beautiful Windows.

Tiny Ruins: Brightly Painted One (2014)Tiny Ruins Brightly Painted One

Another Laneway find, we were lucky enough to stumble across this act whilst trying to source coffee and from across a very hot carpark I was enchanted by the dreamy, delicate vocals of Hollie Fullbrook. Their album offers the same evocative and gentle sounds that are a result of her simple yet beautiful lyrics and the sparse use of instruments. The sound reminds me of things like Fleet Foxes or Kings of Convenience, and its equally as wonderful. This is the kind of album where each song asks to be replayed over and over until you finally get the image being created. Its beautiful and definitely worth a listen, especially if you need something for relaxing evening (i’m thinking bath, candles and wine…).

Listen to: Me at the Museum, You in the Winter Gardens, Carriages and Reasonable Man

Give them all a listen and let me know what you think 🙂 What have your ears been listening to?

signature

Advertisements

Review of 2015’s Laneway Festival

So it’s been just under a week since Laneway, and I figured it was probably time I shared my experience after reading quite a few others. Spoiler alert: I had an amazing day.

Overall, Laneway 2015 was organised amazingly well. It was sold out and yet the crowds didn’t bother me at all. I waited no longer than 5 minutes for the bathroom and enjoyed about 11 different acts. I’ll run you through my day:Laneway 2015 Silo Park

We made our way to Laneway pretty early, getting there for Princess Chelsea at 12.00pm and let us walk around and explore a bit before the crowds arrived. We then found a spot on the grass, in the shade of the silos, to see Princess Chelsea put on a beautifully sweet and charming show. I think one reviewer put it perfectly when they compared her to Lena Dunham hosting a kitten kissing competition. It was pretty adorable, and she played my favourite song of hers, Cigarette Duet. It was a pretty perfect start to a gorgeous day.

Laneway 2015 Princess Chelsea

Princess Chelsea in the midday sunshine

 

We then ambled over to see the last 20 minutes of Tiny Ruins, a New Zealand artist who was captivating in her soft voice and quiet hold over the crowd. We also enjoyed a delicious vietnamese cold coffee to battle the sunshine. Conan Mockasin took the stage next, and put on a show that was weird but nonetheless entertaining in its 70s psychedelic rock vibes that had everyone dancing.

Laneway 2015 Connan Mockasin

Connan doing his thing. Whatever that is.

Auckland Laneway 2015

Angel Olsen was someone I was looking forward to seeing all week, and she didn’t disappoint, playing a bunch of my favourite songs in a very effortless way. I was pretty much captivated for the entire 40 minute set and didn’t want it to end. New girl crush by the way. The moment her set ended, Courtney Barnett started on the stage next door so we grabbed a quick cold drink and then watched her take over the stage, obviously having just as much fun as all of us who were watching her.

Angel Olsen at Laneway 2015

Angel Olsen a little bit crooked. I blame all of my dancing.

Royal Blood’s rock performance was one of my favourite moments of the day, with a huge number of people all yelling out the lyrics and dancing along to their high energy tracks. I am not a dancer but I don’t think anyone stood still throughout their songs. There was a lot of head banging and I didn’t even care.

Laneway 2015 Royal Blood

British Duo, Royal Blood

After a couple of hours of dancing around in the heat our energy reserves were pretty depleted so we grabbed a delicious meal at Bird on a Wire who were selling giant bowls of their delicious salads, topped with fresh chicken or crispy tofu. It was exactly what we needed to prepare ourselves for the next few hours.Auckland Harbour Laneway 2015

Jon Hopkins played a beautiful techno/synth set in the sunshine in front of the silos, with people dancing along to his seamlessly hypnotic electronica tracks. We then made our way to see some of Angus and Julia stone, where for the first time all day I found the crowds a little overwhelming.

Crowds at Laneway 2015

Crowding in beside the Silos to catch a glimpse of Banks

The crowds packed in for Banks, who despite some technical issues, had everyone enthralled with her quiet, shy demeanour but her beautiful voice and big beats. It took a bit of work making our way up close so with Little Dragon up next we decided to hold our ground amongst the pulsing crowd who were crammed into the small space. Probably the most memorable moment of the whole 11 hour day was watching the sun set over Auckland harbour during the Little Dragon set. It was spell binding. Dancing along with hundreds of other fans to some of their best songs made me forget about the heat and my sore legs and the crowds and just enjoy the moment.

Little Dragon at Laneway 2015

Little Dragon putting on one hell of a show as the sun goes down

After an hour of full on dancing, I needed a bit of a rest before St Vincent took the stage dressed up like some kind of gorgeous alien model. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to watch much of her but once she had started I was hooked on her quirky synth sounds and awkward dance moves. St Vincent was one of the best performers of the day, with her crowd in the palm of her hand hanging on to each and every sound that came out of her mouth.

St Vincent Laneway 2015

Before heading home, slightly sunburnt and totally exhausted, I wanted to see some of Flying Lotus who was finishing off the evening with his amazing 3D show. I only knew two of his songs so once I had heard them both, my weary legs demanded I take them home. As a small sidenote, Silo Park looked just as beautiful in the dark, lit up spectacularly, as it did in the gorgeous summer sunlight. What a beautifully charming venue to spend the day in. Sunset over Auckland Laneway 2015

I know some people complained about Laneway; the crowds, the long lines for the drinks/bathrooms etc. etc. I had a totally different experience and so I think this is up to the individual. We decided not to bother with alcohol because I paid a fair bit for my ticket and wanted to get my music’s worth out of it. After drinking at Big Day Out last year, I found that I had more fun this year, danced just as much and didn’t need anything extra as I was pretty giddy just on the experience of the whole day. The heat was at times pretty unbearable but there was free water all over the place and spots of shade to cool down. The clashes were minimal (for me) and the only act I missed was Belle and Sebastian. We went in wanting to make the most of our day, and got way more than we bargained for.

Auckland Laneway 2015

If you made it to the end of all that congrats, your reward is my 5 lessons learnt at Laneway 2015:

  1. If you are wanting to see lots of new amazing acts, get there early. More space, more relaxed atmosphere and heaps of wonderful music.
  2. Listen to a few of the acts before hand to help plan out who you would like to see and make the most of your time
  3. If you want to get drunk, go to a bar. The more you drink, the more time spent in lines, less spent experiencing great music.
  4. Reapply sunblock. Turns out that 1 application at 11am does not prevent you looking like a lobster at work on Monday.
  5. Take advantage of the free water and stay hydrated.

What was your experience at Laneway 2015?

Music | Loving for Laneway

Its summer and summer wouldn’t be summer without a music festival. Last year it was Big Day Out, this year it’s Laneway and I couldn’t be much more excited.Laneway Festival 2015

Even if you don’t happen to be going along, there are a few faces who I had no clue about prior to excitedly spending my pay on a ticket. So I thought I should share a few new favourites. (I’ll be honest, I knew about 3 acts at the time I bought my ticket, fools rush in?)

1. Courteney Barnett

Courtney is an Australian singer with rambling lyrics that are hilarious and weirdly witty, as well as a unique style of dead pan story telling singing that reminds me of Kimya Dawson. Listen to Avant Gardener (ever wanted a song about having a panic attack during a heat wave in public) and Pickles in a Jar.

Courteney Barnett Laneway 2015

2. Jon Hopkins

I never thought I would be keen to see a sonic technician live but this guys arrangements hook me and apparently he is quite the live performer (I’m curious to see more than anything else). His synth/keyboard tunes are smooth and easy to relax into, I find them oddly hypnotic. Some may seem familiar as he has done a bucketload of collaborations. And I had never heard is name until a couple of weeks ago. Win. Might not be for everyone but take a listen to Breathe This Air and a familiar sounding Light Through the Veins (if you have 9 minutes free).

Jon Hopkins

3. St Vincent

I’m sure everyone other than me is already aware of St Vincent, sometimes I think I go through life without acknowledging anything new. St Vincent (Annie Clark) is someone quite unusual, in a great way, with some twisted indie pop melodies and haunting but playful vocals I don’t really have anything to compare her to. If you haven’t already, try out Cruel and Cheerleader, a couple of new favourites. I can already imagine how incredible she will be live. Dreamlike techno? I’m just going to stop trying.

St Vincent

4. Angel Olsen

I saved my favourite for last. I have fallen fast for Angel Olsen’s retro style of music, playing her songs on repeat since discovering her just 4 days ago. She is now probably the act I am most excited to see. This is one example of where I listen to one song and become instantly attached to a musician. Her LP, Burn Your Fire For No Witness is already going to be one of my favourite albums of 2015. Her style ranges from heart wrenching folk, like my favourite track unf*cktheworld and Windows, to experimental electric rock and more upbeat tracks like Hi-5. Her music is dreamy and intense. I would pay to go to Laneway for her set alone.

Angel Olsen

These 4 are all new to my ears, there are also the old favourites who I have wanted to see for a while like Banks, Belle and Sebastian and Little Dragon! And with a timetable of minimum clashes I am pretty hopeful at catching all of them. Bring on Monday 😀

Let me know if you are going and who you are excited for (not that I can squeeze much more into my day)!

xx

signature