Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Retro Cover : Il Medico La Studentessa OST

Blimey what could happen next?! I love a medical drama me... Original scan from here.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Top 5 Records (June)

1) february & heavenly - Tommy February6
2) twin beds - The Rosie Taylor Project
3) afar - The Ice Choir
4) there and back again - Phil Lesh & Friends
5) tiny machine - The Darling Buds

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Recorded For Japan

Recorded For Japan was a charity album (digital) with the proceeds going to the Red Cross helping the recovery and reconstruction effort in the recent major earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011. It also includes some really interesting and often great tracks from underground electro-pop and indie artists.

Highlights include Chairlift's cover of Propaganda's "The chase" which is space-y, bass-y and cool-y. Atmospheric heavenly synths amid a crunchy bassline melody. Acrylics' "Sparrow song" is also space pop, ethereal and atmospheric yet also fundamentally simple. This blog's favourites The Ice Choir also provide a delicious hard mix of "Two rings".

R. Stevie Moore is joined by members of MGMT for the psychedelic glory of "You are too far away from me" which drifts away after a fairly straight forward opening into a meander through widdly guitars, samples and space echoes. Its all good, and for a great cause of course, but the music was brilliant anyway, how could you resist it really?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Phil Lesh & Friends - there and back again

A former Grateful Dead member's solo album then, well these days with this kind of release you can expect thoughtful and intricate adult rock... and this is exactly what you get here with the Dead's bassist Phil Lesh who here works with the likes of Warren Haynes from the Allman Brothers, who wrote some of the songs on here.

"Patchwork quilt" is lovely and a highlight of the album or indeed any album, reflective and soulful and dripping with tasty guitar and keyboards. "No more do i" is complicated and bluesy, a nice song.

Another great song is "Night of 1000 stars" which is a great uptempo number with some 70s widdly guitar and atmospheric piano in the mix.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Retro Cover : Peter Reeves - the way i see it

He looks the epitome of late 60s style, but what is the way he sees it, and what is "it" exactly? We just imagine what it is he is peering at... but knowing the late 60s it could be anything! Original from here.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tripping The Light Fantastic / Honeyheads (Dufflecoat Split 7" EP)

Is there a better label these days for the indie pop glory of the split EP than Dufflecoat (Bandcamp)? Well i can't think of one and this is another cracker. Two tracks each from Tripping The Light Fantastic and Honeyheads both from Germany.

Tripping The Light Fantastic first (or TTLF from now on), "Neon ant colony" has a wonderful and quirky new wave feel, reminding me also of some early Flying Nun bands. "Lover not a fighter" is a stompy romp of a song, razor edge guitars and a riotous air. TTLF have plenty of energy, their songs have an edge of fun and the unexpected. Brilliant stuff.
Honeyheads have a more jingle-jangle feel, "Funeral Joe" and "Song of sealed lips" are both very 80s guitar pop songs, the former with an unusual and asymmetric melody. Again Honeyheads have a new wave-ish feel and a bit Even As We Speak too.

Yet again Dufflecoat have bought the wonderful world of indie pop to wider attention. Bored of the same rubbish indie landfill that dominates the media and collective mindshare? There is an alternative and it doesn't get better than this.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Old Lacy Bed - little girl EP (Dufflecoat)

Japan's Old Lacy Bed might be lo-fi and a little garage-y but they have plenty of great pop hooks. On their new 7" EP for Dufflecoat Records these can be heard on the atmospheric "Vivid" which combines a sometimes sparse arrangement with nostalgic echoes.

The title track is more up-beat and urgent, unlike a lot of current Asian female-vocal indiepop bands it doesn't sound very Cardigan-esque (not that there is anything wrong with that of course) though has a bit of a retro basement vibe. Some music is complicated, this is pretty basic but pleasingly basic and well-done indiepop.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Emily Bindiger - Emily (RPM)

Emily Bindiger, now known for being part of the award winning Accidentals, recorded this folk-psychedelia album in France in 1971 as a teenager. For years its been a bit of a lost cult classic but now has finally gained a proper CD release from the geniuses at RPM. And its one of the most amazing albums you'll ever hear.

Often sparse, always atmospheric, simple and maybe a bit naive it just sounds incredible and sometimes unlike much else out there. The songs often have a religious topic, though the innocence and uncynical nature of the song and singing give the songs a beautiful feel even for the unbeliever. "Confession" is acoustically driven, often just Emily's searing vocals and a basic backing, but then a horn sounds in the background and something shivers down your spine.

"Song of decision" is the highlight of the album for me, ethereal and tender with baroque organ and pipes sounding under the eager and sharp vocals. A soundscape of beauty and mystery. "Jesus said" is another wonderful song, simple and beautiful with vocals that swirl and fade into a dreamscape.

An unbelievable album, the liner notes say Emily later felt the production (which is a little rough at times) could have been better but maybe the rough edges are essential for the feel of the album. It may have been originally released in 1971 but this re-issue is the best album released this year. Essential.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

MV : "Abeno mix" by Machikado Keiki Japan

Everytime the Japanese stock market rises Machikado Keiki Japan promise their skirts will too (the market is down today apparently bah). Their debut single discusses recent Japanese economic policy, no really it does.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tunas Bangsa Simphony EP (SEA Indie)

A great EP from this Indonesian indie pop band released by SEA Indie (free download). Like many South East Asian indie pop bands Tunas Bangsa Simphony show the influence of twee bands like the Cardigans but have a really strong sound identity of their own, thanks to some soothing yet sweet and strong vocals from Karbel and a solid understanding of 60s and 70s pop.

"Indelible hearts" has a great pop melody and swirling chorus. "Love in Summer" like the name suggests shimmers with light and has a bouncy 60s pop melody and feel. "Anaesthetic kiss" adds a bit of a bit of a lounge-y 60s feel along with the usual pop highlights. Three superb pop tracks to lighten the darkest of days.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Darling Buds - sure thing

There was a certain kind of indie band in the late 80s and early 90s that was very popular. A little noisy but with good pop sensibilities and a cute female singer, preferably blonde. There were plenty of these bands around of which The Darling Buds were one of the best examples.

"Sure thing" was a single from their final album. It doesn't break new ground in any way, its a nice enough song with a bit of noise and a great pop hook. By 1992 however the winds of change were howling across the British indie soundscape (er, if that makes any sense?) Bands like the Darling Buds were becoming a bit of an anachronism. I recall they tried to rough up their image a bit but their day was over and this was their last UK single release

Sunday, June 2, 2013