There are touches of math rock, Pavement and Vampire Weekend within Memory Map’s ‘Magnetic Center’. The track features on the Indiana-based band’s 2014 LP The Sky As Well As Space.
Good morning! Ryan “Van” McCann and William “Billy” Bibby founded Catfish And The Bottlemen in 2007 from a bedroom in their shared hometown Llandudno. Before Billy Bibby left for “unforeseen personal circumstances” in 2014, the band had secured a deal with Island Records and had released the Jim Abbiss-produced single ‘Kathleen’. Abbiss had previously worked with Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian and Adele. The standout single provided three of the band with their platform for success. Have a great week.
Warren Hildebrand began his Foxes in Fiction project in 2005, during his sophomore year of high school. He tells people that it was an outlet for his drug-induced musical experimentation. In 2011, Hildebrand withdrew into his Toronto apartment, and began writing and recording what would become his second Foxes in Fiction album. Ontario Gothic was released on his own label, Orchid Tapes, and its title track oozes dream pop.
This song has just popped back into my life. 2014 was a stellar year for alt rock and pop with many bands producing their best work – think War On Drugs, Spoon and Future Islands. No more so than the latter who released their superlative LP Seasons. Singer Samuel Herring knocked it out of the park with the title track, but then let us reflect along with him on the beautiful ‘Like The Moon’.
In 2014, I was smitten by The War On Drugs. It was the year that they released Lost In The Dream on Secretly Canadian. One of its standout songs is ‘An Ocean In Between The Waves’ – close your eyes, picture a coastal train journey and hear the echoes of Dire Straits and Tom Petty.
Luke Oldfield’s musical ventures are always going to be listened to with a greater level of scrutiny. His father is none other than Mike Oldfield. Oldfield Jr’s band is Gypsyfingers, a duo with his wife Victoria Coghlan. Safety in familiarity initially, but then the pair teamed up with bandmates Simon Hedges on bass and Patrick Kenneally on drums and keyboards. By 2014, they were supporting James Blunt and pushing forward. ‘Eating me’ features on their album Circus Life, released that year. Inevitably, critics started to remind listeners that this single has echoes of his father’s work on the first side of Tubular Bells, the 1973 record that first launched the Virgin Records empire.
Like Alabama Shakes, St. Paul and the Broken Bones are also from the yellowhammer state, so comparisons were inevitable. The Shakes have Brittany Howard as their formidable vocal lead, whereas Paul Janeway puts the seven-piece Broken Bones firmly in the blue-eyed soul genre. The standout single from their breakthrough 2014 album Half The City is ‘Call Me’.
Self proclaimed purveyors of mystical pop Whyte Horses are excited to announce a new album, Hard Times, due for release in January. Back in 2014, this shape-shifting collective seemed to be more aligned to Merseybeat with their single ‘The Snowfalls’. It features on their 2014 collection Pop Or Not. It takes me back to the ‘beat revival of 1989/90; halcyon days.
The Family Crest is a creative collective from San Francisco. Liam McCormick and John Seeterlin built the band around a core of seven members but boast access to over 400 musicians, friends and fans. If you’ve not heard them before, the title track off their 2014 Kickstarter-funded album Beneath The Brine gives you an idea what this collaboration can do. One can only guess how many instruments make up the sound.
“Smoke your first cigarette/Scream as loud as you want/Scream as loud as you need/That’s what the 90’s were for.”
“We don’t need cheering up/We don’t need any more/We don’t need what we want/That’s what the 80’s were for.”
More than a touch of 1980’s synthpop the Austin band SPEAK. The band consists of the wonderfully names Troupe Gammage, Nick Hurt, Joey Delahoussaye and Jake Stewart. ‘Peaks’ featured on their sophomore album Pedals in 2014. Have a great weekend.
Released as the fourth single from Cage The Elephant’s third studio album Melophobia, ‘Cigarette Daydreams’ closes out the record. Matt Shultz sings “You sigh, look away/I can see it clear as day/Close your eyes, so afraid/Hide behind that baby face” against a backdrop of piano, strings and acoustic guitar. Well, what can so say to top that? Have a great week.