Category Archives: Indie

The xx – I Dare You (2017)

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‘I Dare You’ finds The xx’s Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim exploring their feelings. Madley Croft was about to get engaged and Oliver Sim was thinking about his issues with alcohol. Unlike much of last year’s album I See You, the resulting song is positive in mood. Have a great week.

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Sufjan Stevens – Mystery of Love (2017)

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Last week, Sufjan Stevens released a new video for his song ‘Mystery of Love’, which he penned for the Luca Guadagnino film Call Me By Your Name. This is Sufjan, near his etherial best.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2017

Samuelsounds begins a short hiatus this festive season. I leave you with my favourite sounds of 2017 in no particular order. See you in the new year.

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Over Everything

Dan Auerbach – King Of A One Horse Town

Dornik – God Knows

LCD Soundsystem – Call The Police

Future Islands – Ran

Father John Misty – Total Entertainment Forever

Arcade Fire – Everything Now

The National – The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness

Kamasi Washington – Truth

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Honourable mentions also go to: Real Estate for ‘Darling‘; Foxygen for ‘On Lankershim‘; Mac DeMarco for ‘This Old Dog‘; John Mayer for ‘Moving On and Getting Over‘; Big Thief for ‘Shark Smile‘; Kevin Morby for ‘Come To Me Now‘; St. Vincent for ‘New York‘; Rex Orange County for ‘Edition‘; Public Service Broadcasting for ‘Progress‘; Lorde for ‘Green Light‘; and alt- J for’3WW‘.

 

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Sparklehorse – Cow (1995)

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I cannot believe I haven’t posted this one already. The stupendous ‘Cow’ from Sparklehorse’s 1995 debut Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot. Everything feels a little bit better with banjo. Sparklehorse was the musical project of Mark Linkous. His beautiful, fragile music masked a stranger thing. Linkous shot himself through the heart in 2010 aged 47.

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Alvvays – The Agency Group (2013)

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Now let’s turn up the dissonance dial a touch. Toronto-based band Alvvays self-released their debut album in 2013. It featured this peach. Molly Rankin hits the high notes on ‘The Agency Group’.

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Big Thief – Masterpiece (2016)

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And now to a different strand of the mythical folk rock genre. Brooklyn’s Big Thief balances the singer-songwriter’s storytelling with indie rock. Their debut album’s title track ‘Masterpiece’ sums it up. Adrianne Lenker sings: “There’s only so much letting go you can ask someone to do.”

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – French Press (2017) 

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One of Melbourne current standout bands, Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever grabbed enough people’s attention this year on the strength of their first single ‘French Press’. The band was formed by singer-guitarists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo and Joe White, and all three of their instruments are at the fore on this somewhat downcast surf rock jam.

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Alvvays – Dreams Tonite (2017)

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Toronto-based indie pop band Alvvays released their sophomore album Antisocialites this year. The second track is ‘Dreams Tonite’ with its dreamy 1980s pop sound. Think Chromatics. Think Beach House. Think Cocteau Twins.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1999

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 1999 in no particular order:

Röyksopp – So Easy

Blur – Coffee And TV

Dr. Dre – Still D.R.E.

Wilco – She’s A Jar

Pavement – Spit On A Stranger

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – I See A Darkness

dEUS – Instant Street

The Flaming Lips – Race For The Prize

Sigur Rós – Starálfur

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Honourable mentions also go to: Pépé Bradock & The Grand Brûlé’s Choir for ‘Deep Burnt‘; Mos Def for ‘Ms. Fat Booty‘; Shack for ‘Comedy‘; Pete Heller for ‘Big Love‘ and Death in Vegas for ‘Dirge‘.

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Band Of Horses – The Funeral (2006)

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A simple start, a high pitch and a break out equals a strong lead single. ‘The Funeral’ is the fourth track on Band Of Horses’ 2006 album Everything All The Time. My Morning Jacket, Neil Young… the musical references are hardly hidden, but the sound is sweet. Ben Bridwell’s soaring vocals leave listeners with a definite impression.

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Rex Orange County – Edition (2017)

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19-year-old Alex O’Connor is also known by his stage name Rex Orange County. The singer-songwriter was born in Haslemere, a-far-from-gritty corner of Surrey. From there, he took the influences and Thundercat, Toro Y Moi and Frank Ocean and divined his path. This white man has found his jazzy R&B chi; Surrey’s answer to Jon Bellion.

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The Charlatans – Forever (1999)

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In 1999, The Charlatans were flying high off the success of previous album Tellin’ Stories and didn’t they let everyone know it when the needle dropped. ‘Forever’ kicks off the band’s Us and Us Only album and it has the swagger of a small group of standout opening tracks. In relatively recent years, I am thinking comparisons with Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, Radiohead’s ‘Airbag’ and The Strokes’ ‘Is This It’. High praise indeed. Swirling organs, a drumming masterclass and menacing lyrics made for a lesson in post-Chemical-Brothers rock’n’roll. Have a great week.

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Gomez – 78 Stone Wobble (1998)

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Bring It On was the debut album by Gomez that won the 1998 Mercury Music Prize. The Southport band had an original take on bluesy rock, as exemplified by one of the LP’s standout tracks ’78 Stone Wobble’. Acoustic guitar and distorted vocals were an unusual mix, but absolutely on point. It was reminiscent of Beck.

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Death in Vegas – Dirge (1999)

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Good morning. We start this week with Dot Allison’s hippy, hazy vocal mantra that is Death in Vegas’ ‘Dirge’. Kicking off their on their second LP The Contino Sessions, the chant became a familiar call in trip hop and indie sets alike. Feel the white noise my friends and have a great week.

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