Friday, March 29, 2013

Top 5 Records (March)

1) waiting for something to happen - Veronica Falls
2) evolution - The Hollies
3) era extra├▒a - Neon Indian
4) all things must pass - George Harrison
5) red - Taylor Swift

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Slumbook - everything that i could never tell you EP (Dufflecoat)

If classic sounding jingle jangle indie pop is your bag then checking out Slumbook should be next on your to-do list. Their EP has simple and effective songs like "Luminous" with melancholic vocals that remind me a bit of Gentle Despite but with a beautiful guitar sound ringing through the reflective air.

"Everything that i could never tell you" has a lengthly instrumental meander thats just magical. "Jealousy" is the sound of lazy Summer days and happy memories. Reflection, relaxation and sweet pop joy all so jingly well done.

Available on Dufflecoat Records

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

MV : "Oh boy" by Salon Music

Classic Japanese 80s alternative.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Monkees - head OST

The Monkees feature film "Head" is a messy mysterious psychedelic gem. Does it make sense? Maybe if you are on acid, but it does include some really great songs and this is the soundtrack.

"Long title : do i have to do all this over again" which is the song in the film's club scene (some screen caps below) as a piece of psychedelic pop it can't be beaten. In fact i'd rate it as one of the late 60s' finest songs. Check it out if you don't believe me, it expertly matches the Monkees harmonies and pop sound with something deeper and further maaaan.

The "Porpoise song" with its eerie organs and chilled out vibe also has to rate as a brilliant slice of psychedelia. "Daddy's Song" is a very different kind of song with its horn backing but works remarkably well as does the straight forward 60s rock of "Circle sky". Soundtracks often leave one disappointed but this doesn't. Some of the best songs from one of the best bands of the 60s (YES!)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Interview : Super Water Sympathy

On the eve of the release of their second album "Hydrogen child" Ansley Hughes from US indie band Super Water Sympathy were kind enough to grant Trip-TV the following interview.

Super Water Sympathy has been described as belonging to the genre “water pop”, what is that exactly? And how did the band come up with the concept?

One of the hardest questions to answer is when people ask us what kind of music we play... because, well, we don't really know. So one day we decided to come up with a genre. Something we could say, other than Billy's famous, "We're a mix between Marilyn Manson and Taylor Swift," response. So we came up with "water pop". First of all, it has a great ring to it. Second of all, I like to think it represents the fluidity of our sound. And coincidently, one day we realized every one of our songs on our freshman album (Vesper Belle) had some sort of reference to water, whether it be a waterfall or a tear drop. We like water. Bodies of water are great visual images... and considering we tend to focus more on painting pictures in people's minds with our lyrics, rather than always trying to make perfect lyrical sense, it fits.

Super Water Sympathy have a very rich sound with lots of variety in influences, what bands and artists have influenced you individually and as a band?

Thanks for opening the interview with a compliment! ... We do have lots of influences. Mine range anywhere between Dolores O'Riordan to Regina Spektor. However, I don't necessarily want to sound like anyone else... But rather learn from the choices they made and try to build my own individuality just as they did. The band is influenced heavily by bands such as Blur, Blink 182, Sigur Ros, Grandaddy and Coldplay, to name a few. Same situation here though.. We may like Grandaddy because of his quirky lyrics, or maybe we like the way Sigur Ros makes you feel when we listen to their music.. It's never about wanting to sound like someone else.

Your music stands out from much of the crowd, what do you think about the music scene?

Thanks again for the compliment! Ha! ... In my almost-three-years experience, I have learned that it is very difficult. Bands are surfacing every day... So you have to do all that you can to stand out. If you don't stand out, then you're just another band.. one band, of thousands and thousands. And in order to do that, you have to do something different. So we are always trying to figure out what that "something" is, and we're striving to find it and conquer it. Kind of a melodramtic response, but hey, the music industry is a melodramtic world.

How much of a collaboration from the band as a whole is Super Water Sympathy’s music?

We have never written a song that wasn't completely collaborative. Even if only two members write the primary music, and the primary lyrics, there are always changes that will be made and input from the other members.. But even that rarely happens.. We wrote almost the entirety of Hydrogen Child on tour last spring. Mostly with an acoustic guitar, a battery-powered keyboard, and pen and paper. Each song has a piece of each band member, whether its a single word, or a whole chorus. We don't release songs, or even play them in public, until everyone is happy with the product. Then we bless the song with sage and a black onyx stone.

Its been said that Super Water Sympathy’s second album is much more representative of the bands’ sound compared to the first album, why do you think the first one turned out that way?

I think the major difference between Vesper Belle and Hydrogen Child is how much our songwriting abilities as a band have grown. We were writing Vesper Belle songs as we were recording them. Literally throwing lyrics and melodies in there, not really thinking about them much. We wrote the entirety of Hydrogen Child before we went into the studio (sans the track entitled "Magnolia Parade"). We picked apart every word, every melody. Maybe even a little too much! The point is, we had more than enough time to prepare, and essentially, we ended up with a twelve song album in five weeks. Honestly, our semi-recent involvement in the publishing world has influenced our songwriting as well. We're maturing creatively every day, so naturally, the first album wasn't quite as strong on our part. And hopefully each album will get better and better, so we can maybe form the Space Party before the next election.

How would you best describe the concept and feel of the new album?

I feel as though you might get a different answer from each memeber of the band if you asked each of us individually. Hydrogen Child means something different to all of us. For me, the album represents life, love and death. Humans spend a great portion of their lives searching for their soul mate.. then you spend the rest of your life with that person, and then you die. What happens after death? I don't know. But I would like to think it's nice. So even though it sounds kind of morbid, conceptually, it's really something serene and beautiful. We want to make people's brains light up like a Louisiana lightning storm in August.

Why did you choose Cam Blackwood to produce the new album? What was it like recording in London?

We chose Cam because we had a skype meeting with him and he said the "F" word like five times within the first three minutes of our conversation.

Okay, so that was why we initially liked him. Aside from all that, we felt that the other artists he had worked with had a similar feeling to what we were going for. His vision was spot-on, and he wanted us there for the entire summer originally. So we figured we could spare the five weeks.

London was beautiful. I love Clapham... and they loved us. Apparently you don't tip bartenders and waiters in London because they get paid regular wages. However, as Americans, we tip. And in London standards, we tip well. So they loved us. Absolutely loved us. It was awesome.

The video for Uh-oh was done in one take despite being very intricate with a lot of elements, how difficult was it to pull that off?

Oh dear God, it was INSANE!!!! No, but seriously, it was completely chaotic. I was absolutely shocked to see the final product. It looks so smooth and seamless. We did it in about eight to ten takes. Each take was about a minute and 45 seconds because they sped up the song, to create the slow-mo effect later. It was raining, and for some reason, FREEZING. Seriously, the day before it was sunny and 80 degrees. Those poor purple children, man. God, they were miserable, and still somehow they were well-behaved. Each take was filled with directions being yelled like "KIDS! RUN!" and "LATINO BUSINESS PEOPLE! GO!". So insane. It was a blast. Afterward we all jumped in the Red River and did synchronized swimming routines to summon the gods of the Horseshoe Casino.

Do you think Super Water Sympathy could one day come over to the UK to play any shows?

We have been talking to booking agents for the past couple of months, trying to lock one in for some time next year. Which would be awesome.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Foreign Talks (Expunged)

Foreign Talks release their debut self-titled album next month (April 2013) on Expunged Records, as the band are teenagers i could patronise them about their album being a mature and layered album beyond their tender years. I won't of course... though it is a mature and layered album full of great pop moments with four-part vocal harmonies.
Foreign Talks have two lead vocalists who contrast in style over a solid backing. "Years from now" has interesting intricate melodic patterns and rapid semi-spoken lyrics, the effect is intriguing although Foreign Talks have been compared to the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club they have their own sound and style based on intricate rapid word play. Sounds like "Mama" and "Falling leaves" show a real lyrical maturity, the latter having a glorious chorus.
So Foreign Talk's debut album, great start to their career and surely will be only the start on the evidence of this record.

Bandcamp : Violent Vickie - monster alley

"Violent Vickie is a multimedia feminist electro-punk band from San Francisco", nothing really can add to that except cool.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Colleagues EP (Dufflecoat)

Although they play melodic guitar pop like many bands, Indonesia's The Colleagues play it so well and stand out with the warmth of their delivery. "Daydreaming" has sweet warm vocals and a perfect and relaxed jingle jangle drenched pop melody. "I can never be" picks up the tempo and builds as it goes throwing in pop hook after pop hook without losing that sweet warmth in their core sound.

"Sweet old melody" is two songs in one, part one is slow and smooth with a retro 60s vibe and part 2 fast and frenetic and 90s electric haze. At first it seems a bit odd but then you realise it actually works so well. "Take it easy" shimmers with guitar effects and more glorious pop melodies.

A great single that demonstrates just how beautiful pop can be, and surprising too.

Available on Dufflecoat Records

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Slade - sladest

A Slade compilation album bringing together their best tracks which symbolised them the most, the slade-est tracks... sladest (geddit?) Actually this is a pretty decent collection of tracks, a great example of early 70s glam and hard rock.

The hits are all here like "Cum on feel the noize" and "Gudbye T'Jane" plus less familiar interesting tracks like the psychedelic-ish rock of "The shape of things to come" which didn't chart but are well worth a listen too. "One way hotel" is another great track with rather dark lyrics. These songs mixed with the familiar crowd pleasers that makes this compilation well worth checking out.

Soundcloud : The Acid Portal - black candles

Who are The Acid Portal? This introduces them, they have promise.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Choo Choo Trains - i choo​-​choo​-​choose you EP (Manic Pop!)

The Choo Choo Trains' new EP (7" on Manic Pop! Records or digital download) is out now and is full of straight forward but tweely effective 50s and 60s melodies. Opener "Save me" is easy and relaxed, there is no urgency in The Choo Choo Trains music but plenty of sweetness and a fragile beauty in every tune. "The most beautiful boy" has more of a retro surf or 60s garage vibe. "Futile" has a rock and roll melody driven by keyboards and is fantastic. The best track though all of the tracks are great.

"Breezy iz" is a melancholic instrumental and meanders off into a dreamy twangy soundscape. Finally "No. 38 to your heart" is a little more urgent in tempo but no less dreamy. Probably the most beautiful song you'll hear for a long time. So much to enjoy and i managed to avoid any train puns too!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bandcamp : Tradewinds Sailing Club - offshore EP

Great three track EP by Tradewinds Sailing Club which is free to download.

MV : "Dry land" by Harper Lee

Anyone know what film/programme the footage originally came from?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bandcamp : The Choo Choo Trains - i choo-choo-choose you

Great EP from The Choo Choo Trains, released last month. Review soon!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Order - blue monday '95 (London)

Thirty years ago today Blue Monday was first released on an unsuspecting world, its iconic floppy disc cover and innovative electro beat fused with essential pop melodies helping propelling it to become the biggest selling 12" single ever. I do not have that version however, but i do have the '95 re-release so lets review that instead...

We'll get the 1995 "Hardfloor" version out of the way first, its fine and updated though oddly sounds a bit more dated than the original version though that may be down to the original just being so timeless. There are 3 other mixes too which are OK, the Manuella one for example has some beautiful keyboards and builds up into a luscious soundscape. Its nothing terrible and is indeed pretty good, just not that essential compared to...

The original then, drum machines drive this futuristic journey through disco, funk and synths. Dead pan vocals and sound effects add to the overall effect. Its retro, its the early 80s, its when we had our VIC-20s and BBC Micros and 8-bit graphics were our window into the early cyber world... where this could have been the soundtrack.

The synths and electro-beat are just... unique even though they have been the inspiration for so much that has come subsequently. Thirty years on its still brilliant.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Hollies - evolution (EMI)

The Hollies released a few psychedelic albums in the late 60s though more on the pop + psych flourishes end than the more extreme weird stuff you may get elsewhere but no less welcome for that. The Evolution album as reissued on CD has the album twice in fact, mono and stereo versions which is maybe slightly pointless to be honest but anyway.

Favourite song so far is "Have you ever loved somebody" which is a great straight ahead 60s pop song with lovely harmonies. "Then the heartbreaks begin" is more experimental with its acoustic driven melody accompanied by juicy guitar licks and echoey noises in the background, but on top of it is another terrific pop song.

Nothing else really reaches the heights of these 2 songs though quite a few are also decent tracks, couldn't get into "Water on the brain" though which was a little too much whimsy.

Friday, March 1, 2013