Saturday, August 30, 2014

MV : "Un lundi comme un autre" by Watoo Watoo

Watoo Watoo released a great new album earlier in the year, review coming very soon!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Top 5 Records (August)

1) under the red sky - Bob Dylan
2) stones in the road - Mary Chapin Carpenter
3) world of strangers - Zoe Muth
4) days of abandon - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
5) return to Bohemia - The Cleaners From Venus

Thursday, August 28, 2014

MV : "Positive reaction" by Mandy

One of those lost 80s gems...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Palms On Fire - cars EP

Russia is all over the news these days but what about Russian indiepop? So enter Palms On Fire with their joyously twee guitar and girly vocal sound. Their new EP on the eternally brilliant Dufflecoat Records is a journey through sweet pop and delicate melodies. The title track is the pick with its simple yet acoustically intricate melody. "Suitcase" with its retro electronic touches is also lovely, reminding one a bit of 80s children's TV show theme music.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Byrds - younger than yesterday

A tasty mix of country rock and psychedelia, "Younger than yesterday" was The Byrds' fourth album and is packed with interesting songs including the opening pop tastic "So you want to be a rock and roll star" but its only the start of a fine collection.

"Renaissance fair" locks into some lovely psychedelic grooves. The Dylan cover of "My back pages" is simply superb with typical Byrds-esque harmonies. Its an album of many layers with so much to appreciate.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kim Wilde - another step

Kim Wilde's 5th studio album from 1986 featured the monster hit "You keep me hanging on", a classy slice of late 80s pop with all the right sounds and attitude and the song that broke her in the US at last. It does the right thing for a cover version in that it mashes up the original and tries to produce something different while being familiar enough to gain instant recognition. It almost succeeds though maybe lost in the state of the art synths and production is lost a bit of heart.

Much of the rest of the album is in the same vein, a stand out track being "She hasn't got time for you", it feels softer and more heart felt than much of the rest of the album which can be harsh and mechanical at times. Its still pretty good but you just feel that is could overall have been a bit more soulful.

This re-issued version of the album comes with a second CD of remixes and single versions, including seven versions of "Say you really want me" back to back, its a good song but that might test the resolve of even the biggest fan!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Broken Twin - may

An ethereal and haunting soundscape thanks to  Broken Twin's beautiful vocals sparsely accompanied throughout. Its like a collection of Nordic Noir soundtracks for series yet to be made (well she is Danish), songs perfect for self destruction and despair and the bleakness of loss.

"No darkness" for example perfectly suits a grey cold sky. A simple restrained wisp of a track. Another bleak slice is "Soon after this", its dark and mournful but so beautiful too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - days of abandon

A softer more poppy more melodic sound is at the heart of the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's third album. Its still great and is a welcome evolution of sound though at times you do miss the sharper lower-fi edge of some of their earlier work...

...but not enough to not enjoy "Days of abandon" hugely. "Until the sun explodes" is euphoric, an uplifting pop blast and a bit Cure-ish at times. Stand out track is the beautiful "Kelly", a classic slice of melodic guitar pop. Single "Simple and sure" is joyous with a light life-affirming chorus. It has no fuzz but does have hand claps. Yay!

So the "difficult third album" isn't at all, POBPAH resisted falling back on old glories and set out on a different sound (a number of personnel changes no doubt had something to do with it). A dreamy pop album for the year and many more beyond it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Coldplay - ghost stories

For their sixth album Coldplay toned down the big sound somewhat, though there is plenty of their anthemic rock on show, in the dancey and euphoric "Sky full of stars" especially. More interesting though are the more low-key tracks like "Magic" which still manages to pack in Coldplay-esque melody magic (ahem) without the bombast. "Midnight" is a real grower, mysterious and beautiful.

Some say the album will not suit many of their fans who like the big tunes blasting out of their car stereos, i still found the album perfect for a roadtrip personally. Its an interesting and layered album, sometimes delicate and sometimes esoteric. And so often really good.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Top 5 Records (July)

1) Phil Reynolds and the Dearly Departed - if my feet were fingers, i'd stab you in the eye
2) Ane Brun - rarities
3) Various - Hello everyone: popsike sparks from Denmark Street 1968-70
4) Mary Chapin Carpenter - stones in the road
5) The Olive Shoots - anteros