Friday, 27 November 2009


Happy November! Here's a little MP3 mix tape for you. Some of my favourites this year. So far...

1. Mount Eerie - Wind's Dark Poem MP3
2. Beach House - Norway MP3
3. The xx - Crystalised MP3
4. Wild Beasts - All The King's Men MP3
5. Hudson Mohawke - Joy Fantastic MP3
6. Max Tundra - Which Song MP3
7. Gus Gus - Add This Song MP3 (harshly edited version: all I could find)
8. Mat Riviere - FYH MP3
9. Micachu - Vulture MP3
10. Atlas Sound - Walkabout MP3

Thursday, 26 November 2009

We've seen them all, and we've chosen you.

MP3: All The King's Men

Well, this is an absolute beauty of a performance from Wild Beasts. I've had these guys on the periphery of my music radar for a while, since Napoleon IIIrd supported them on tour this year. They're one of those bands that are obvious real quality, but it didn't quite click. The sticking point was the occasionally yelping, histrionic delivery of the vocal, recalling Sparks perhaps with a touch of the Jeff Buckleys.

But when something is good, it gets through eventually. "All The King's Men" is an evocative song with a humid, exhilarating feeling to the instrumentation, bringing to mind the excitement of a party on a steaming summer night. Lyrically, it's a cryptic treatise on seduction, sex and procreation. The first verse draws out some strikingly non P.C. positions, such as casting women as attention loving wallflowers and men as predators. It goes on to talk about what men and women want from each other, and what they end up with, in broad, sweeping terms. It's tricky to untangle the intent of the lyrics, in which nobody comes out particularly well. But it's fun trying.

A genuinely rich piece of music, and a highlight from the album Two Dancers.

WATCH: Live at Hoxton Hall
BUY: Vinyl with download code from Norman Records

And here's a video made by some dancers the band apparently met at SXSW.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Darkest Before Dawn

MP3: Oppressions Each
Tickets: Here

Awesome hella-hippy duo Brightblack Morning Light leave their natural Mid West habitat (via a show at All Tomorrow's Parties) for a one-off evening at London's lovely Luminaire this December 7th, playing songs from their acclaimed third album "Motion To Rejoin".

Naybob Shineywater and Rachel Hughes say of the band's wigwam-inhabiting Alabama roots: "We feel like Southern music should be played by Southern people, and don't dig it when other folks imitate accents. Posturing is a disease, awaken the inner self! We both grew up in Alabama, yet we both left for the same reason. The environmental degradation due to corporate development is staggering and unchecked, it makes us disgusted. However, in the Western USA we are gathered with the many folks to protect wilderness, rivers and oceans."

Brightblack's take on rootsy americana absorbs blues, gospel and folk traditions to create a lush, pastoral, slow-motion world. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Collected Flowers

Animal Collective's album-highlight "In The Flowers" get a single release.

Moving to a Beach House, gonna eat a lot of peaches

MP3: Norway

Awesome Baltimore chamber-pop duo Beach House have revealed a taster of their new album "Teen Dream". It's called "Norway". It's free, which they seem to find odd from their use of inverted commas around the word "single" on the band Twitter. But I like free singles. Makes a lot of sense. People will take a punt on a free MP3 innit. And more people should like Beach House.

In keeping with recent live shows, it's more upbeat that the swirling, laconic sound of their 2008 breakthrough album "Devotion"; this one's an exhilarating few minutes of breathlessly infatuated, dreamy pop music. "Teen Dreams" indeed.