Gotye is a Belgian-born Aussie with a brilliant voice, who’s been releasing music for a decade but found global success this Summer with Somebody I Used To Know.
(It was number one for eight weeks in Australia, the longest running hit since 1997 with Savage Garden’s Truly Madly Deeply. If that doesn’t tickle your shrimp, watch the video anyway to admire how many hours of work it would’ve taken.)
MP3| Gotye - Somebody I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)
Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of an album you’ve ignored for a bit too long, found coated in a layer of virtual dust.
This week the hypnotic Black Sands has soundtracked most of my days. Released in March 2010it’s the fourth and latest album from influential instrumental trip-hop producer Simon Green (aka Bonobo). Still riding on the tidal waves of its success, Green continues to tour North America, soon Europe, but has promised studio time soon to work on new material. Yes pls.
A couple of favourites:
If you haven’t heard (about) the soundtrack to recent gory Gosling-fest Drive, you’re missing out on a perfectly crafted audio accompaniment to a bloody good film.
But this isn’t a post about that College song - instead, I’d like to pay homage to the new appreciation of 80’s sounds and synths that it’s brought about. New Look’s ‘Let Me Drive You Home’ would feel right at home on the track list, slowly building up to layers of haunting harmonised vocal and thick synth:
MP3| New Look - Let Me Drive You Home (Live)
This one’s a good six years old, but is one of the best age-defying 80’s inspired tracks around, from Aussie quartet Van She.
MP3| Van She - Kelly
Kele Okereke is adding strings to his bow. Having recently announced a series of short stories to give his creativity yet another outlet, he’s also gone from Boxer to Hunter with his latest EP, to be released through Wichita tomorrow, the seventh of November.
It’s a seven track treasure trove produced by XXXChange (who did a similarly slick job on Kele’s last album) which will not fail to put Kele and Bloc Party fans alike into a frenzy. Especially after those reunion rumours and that odd assumption he’d been fired…
Opener ‘What Did I Do’, the lead single which has been gathering hype for a while now, sets the tone and pairs Okereke with old friend and Boxer regular Lucy Taylor.
MP3| Kele - What Did I Do? (feat. Lucy Taylor)
‘Release Me’ manages to marry lamenting lyrics with a dance-floor melody, and ‘Goodbye Horses’ covers the hit single by Q Lazzarus without losing any of its 80s charm. (Though if you were assuming the two artists shared an interest in showjumping let Lazzarus put you on the right track: “The horses represent the five senses from Hindu philosophy (The Bhagavad Gita) and the ability to lift one’s perception above these physical limitations and to see beyond this limited Earthly perspective.” So there.)
It’s hard not to be reminded of Bloc’s most recent album Intimacy when hearing ‘Cable’s Goodbye’, a panpipe-punctuated march which won’t leave your head for a while. Closing the EP, ‘You Belong To Someone Else’ is a surprise hit - any song which combines the lyric ‘I think you’re great’ with hand-clapping back vocals and jumpy african drums should not really be this good. The image of Kele doing a little fist dance on stage and enticing the crowd into some ‘eyeyeys’ is inescapable
MP3| Kele - You Belong To Someone Else
There’s always an element of lyricism over melody when it comes to Kele, and tracks like ‘Devotion’ may fall short when it comes to the latter, but the sense that he’s completely comfortable in this genre is never lost. (Having Sub Focus, RAC, and Fred Falke on the credits will help with this.)
A definite must-hear.
Feist’s eagerly anticipated third album Metals has finally found its way into my possession. The Canadian has stuck to what she does best - sultry vocals mixed with gentle melodies - and it’s definitely worth a listen for a Feist fan, but I only found two or three tracks which shine through all the lilting.
The Circle Marries The Line, her geometric ode to sunset, is a beautiful example
MP3| Feist - The Circle Married The Line
If you don’t mind someone else taking the reins from a favourite artist, I recommend that someone be Diplo. Here’s his beat-heavy take on I Feel It All
MP3| Feist - I Feel It All (Diplo Remix)
This morning I fished a rather exciting e-mail from the depths of my inbox. Sender: The Maccabees.
In the early days I remember handing over e-mail addresses at gigs in return for anything that could be signed by a lead singer or stuck on a pencil case, but few bands have managed to keep hold of me as a subscriber for as long as these Brighton bumpkins.
Today they have announced the release date of their third album, entitled Given to the Wild, to be the NINTH of JANUARY 2012.
While I run to try and find a funky countdown widget, enjoy a couple of Maccabees gems which have yet to surface on any official LP:
First, the cover of Boom Boom Pow done in the Live Lounge, listen out for Orlando’s convincing Fergie:
MP3| The Maccabees - Boom Boom Pow (Black Eyed Peas Cover)
And, harking back to their pre-album era, a catchy demo about the humble bike.
MP3| The Maccabees - Bicycle Rush
For more info on the new album clickety-click: www.themaccabees.co.uk
Welcome to le grapevine.
This is an attempt to share with the interweb a few bits and bobs I have collected in my time as a music listener. While I wouldn’t promise to cater to all tastes, or be particularly disciplined with writing things, I’d like to think one day someone might read this, enjoy it, download a track or two, and go on to create a far superior music blog of their own.
So here goes.
Inaugural posts deserve timeless classics. Here are a couple with a twist.
The Twelves’ remix of 80s staple Take On Me adds crunchy drums and, more crucially, manages not to force mental pictures of parents in shoulderpads into my head
MP3| Aha - Take On Me (The Twelves Remix)
For those unfamiliar with Bullion’s attempt to drip copious Jay Dilla into The Beach Boys’ classic album Pet Sounds, I have four words of advice only. Get Hold Of It. Until then, enjoy this highlight
MP3| Bullion - Let’s Go Away For A While (The Beach Boys/Jay Dilla)