Early start… early sunshine. Some sun-infused electronic pop from Seattle-based duo Harrison Mills (Catacombkid) and Clayton Knight (BeachesBeaches). ‘Say My Name’ features on their 2014 album In Return. Leicester-born Zyra shines on vocals.
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.
Hailing from Manchester, Chris Illingworth, Nick Blacka and Rob Turner are GoGo Penguin. They create an ambient sound that is full of infectious piano melodies and rhythmic break beats. ‘Hopopono’ is the last track on their critically-acclaimed sophomore album, v2.0. Have a great weekend.
Andrew Bird isn’t the only kid on the block to experiment with indie pop and his own string arrangements. Owen Pallett (aka Final Fantasy) is also virtuoso violinist, plus a renowned contributor of arrangements for the likes of The National, Arcade Fire, Beirut and Grizzly Bear. ‘This Is The Dream Of Win & Regine’ featured on Final Fantasy’s debut studio album Has A Good Home. Have a great week.
Metronomy released their fourth album Love Letters in 2014. Its opener ‘The Upsetter’ was accompanied with a rather distracting conceptual video about a bearded woman who builds herself a fern-adorned woodland romance. But listen to Joseph Mount’s guitar work and vocals layered over electronica. How can you not fall in love?
Silk Rhodes is is the soulful combination of producer Michael Collins and vocalist Sasha Desree. There’s more than a flavour of Sly and The Family Stone, Prince and D’Angelo at their most minimal, which makes the Baltimore band’s sound vs. face value even more unexpected. Le nouveau Hall & Oates, peut-être?
Last night, I watched these guys in a sleepy corner of Surrey. They made a stadium sound within a pub. My ears are still ringing to the shrill of ‘Feels Like 37’. The Oasis-like melodies may be familiar, but the musicianship is hard to overlook. Vocalist Tommy O’Dell was comfortably centre stage with guitarist/producer Johnny Took to hand and Matt Mason on fireworks guitar and backing vocals.
Nick Murphy is better known by his stage name Chet Faker, which is a strange choice of moniker. I am not sure what the point is that he’s trying to make, but his music is evidently derivative. But that’s no bad thing if you are able to blend skillfully your mother’s affinity for Motown and your father’s for chill-out electronica. ‘Gold’ features on Faker’s debut LP, Built on Glass. Have a great week.