Monthly Archives: May 2011

Toy Horses – What About The Future?

Welsh band, Toy Horses, have received Stephen Fry’s approval on Twitter when he declared, “And my new favourite indie band must be Toy Horses, and not just because of the lyrics of “What About the Future”.

In part of the song, the lyrics go, “…and we will both like Stephen Fry, he’s such a clever f***ing guy.” Now we can see why he likes the song…

Even so, he’s got good reason to. What About The Future is a sweet, romantic and comic song that involves such lines as, “There’s a thousand things I’d do for but I’ll never miss an episode of Doctor Who” and “Well I’m just a geek and you’re no fool. You’ll have to tell me what to wear so that I can look cool.” One of the most comic lines has to be, “I’ll buy a tardis and stick it in the gym”.

Toy Horses

Welsh duo Toy Horses

With its sweet intentions, this song is perfect in most ways. The lyrics are genuine and happy portraying how people daydream about their future with their partners. The song highlights how its not about what you have but who you have which is perhaps the most romantic thing about it.

Summing up everything that’s great about this song are the lyrics near the end, “And then one day when we’re really old and we’re all cwtched up so we don’t get cold. You’ll be dressed in purple and I’ll be fat and I’ll kiss you on the cheek, what’d you think of that?”

Toy Horses have produced a fantastic song. It’s great, it’s summery and most importantly, it’s touching. It gets my seal of approval too.

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Thomas Tantrum – Hot Hot Summer Remix

So I’ve recently heard that Thomas Tantrum have, in fact, had remix of their newest single, Hot Hot Summer, done by Will Sanderson under his new guise of GWAIIU.

Starting off rather slowly and annoyingly with the beeps, this version actually gets quite good.

Thomas Tantrum

Thomas Tantrum

The long introduction becomes quite boring after a while but eventually the rest of the music kicks in and it begins to sound like a song rather than just a couple of irritating noises.

The ex-Chew Lips member has completely revamped the song using darker tones than the happier, pop version. With more futuristic and electronic sounds, he’s made a rather indie-pop song into a solid electro/dubstep song.

Megan Thomas’ vocals fit this genre of music perfectly. Her voice is so versatile, it literally sounds good however and whenever she sings.

In some ways, this remix fits the undertones of the song better than the pop version. The lyrics are sad yet Thomas Tantrum’s version is happy. Will Sanderson has perhaps, more successfully, captured the essence and darker tones of the tune. Well worth a listen.

hot-hot-summer-gwaiiu-remix

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Boy Friend – Lovedropper

Ever heard of these girls? Boy Friend consists of two best friends from Austin, Texas, who decided to get together and write music in the winter of 2010. In that time, they have recorded their EP in the bedroom of Christa Palazzolo (one part of the duo) and have just released their debut single, Lovedropper on the Hell, Yes! record label.

Texas duo, Boy Friend

Texas duo, Boy Friend

Blending mystical sounds, smooth electronics and minimalist lyrics, they’ve managed to produce a classic single. Lovedropper is bass heavy but is immensely relaxing. Contradictory? Maybe, but it is.

Lovedropper has gentle harmonies made with angelic voices. The music is simple but pleasing. Everything about it works well. This duo have ticked all the right boxes for me. Take a look/listen for yourselves (the video is rather strange and also vertical…don’t ask).

BOY FRIEND – Lovedropper (Official Video) from HELL, YES! on Vimeo.

BOY FRIEND – Lovedropper (Official Video) from HELL, YES! on Vimeo.

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EMA – Milkman

New musical superstar, EMA, is set for big things this month as she’s just released her latest single, Milkman, and her debut album, Past Life Martyred Saints, both of which were released only last week.

Since her last single, The Grey Ship, EMA has sprung to fame and developed a pretty loyal fan base. Now, she’s released an even better tune that knocks socks off The Grey Ship.

Stills from EMA's Milkman video

Stills from EMA's Milkman video

Milkman is more upbeat than the last single with more energy and fire behind it. This song is a lot less depressing. With heavier drums and more bass (if that’s possible), it’s a cracking alternative rock song.

The electric guitar plays a back seat role this time whereas before it’s been the highlight. The vocals are better and way more intriguing than before as well. She really does have a female rockstar voice and this song is perfect at showcasing that.

Again though, the lyrics aren’t fantastic. Like The Grey Ship, it does lack musical genius in that department but even so, it doesn’t matter. This single is full-bodied and interesting whether or not the lyrics are great or lousy. On top of this, you can’t actually hear the lyrics due to the mixing. It may just be me but I don’t really know what she’s singing, all I know is that it sounds good vocally and musically.

EMA has and is continuing to make a strong name for herself. After recently performing in London’s Macbeth, I’m sure she’s attracted even more attention. I look forward to hearing the album EMA…

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O’Death – Bugs

New York quintet, O’Death, are to release their latest single, Bugs, on May 30.

In 2009, the band received some shocking news that their drummer, David Rogers-Berry, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. After ten months of chemotherapy and a shoulder replacement, the band headed back to the studio and are now ready to get on with life and producing sweet, sweet music.

O'Death Outside album artwork

O'Death's album cover for forthcoming album, Outside

Bugs is a pleasant folk song with beautiful vocals and calming music. Blending soft, high-pitched vocals with fast tempo Irish folk guitars, this song is the essence of what makes folk music interesting.

O’Death have taken traditional elements of the folk genre and given it a modern day twist. Think Mumford and Sons but think grander, more enticing and more innovative.

The thing that makes this song so engaging is that so much can be heard going on in it. There are the Irish-inspired folk guitars alongside the hilly-billy banjo of Southern America, played by Gabe Darling. There’s the high-pitched typical New York style vocals from Greg Jamie combined with the folk drum beat.

However, my favourite sound in this song has to be the violin, played by Robert Pycior. It adds that very traditional element of folk to the music and gives it a grounding in that genre. It helps enhance all the other instruments with its simple yet beautiful melody.

O’Death have produced a wonderful sound in Bugs. I just hope the album is as great…

O’Death – Bugs (Official Video) from City Slang on Vimeo.

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Baddies – Tiger Face

Southend band, Baddies, have returned. Their new single is titled Tiger Face and combines wacky (and slightly angry) vocals with scratchy, distorted guitars.

Tiger Face has some rather unusual lyrics such as “I am the animal…Put on the tiger face.” Althought slightly strange, it all adds to their unique sound. Baddies have put together rock guitars and drums with electronic sounds to create a fantastic and crazy song.

Baddies

Baddies

This is a melodic tune that, although mainly made up of numerous distorted guitars, captures the essence of punk music. NME have proclaimed they are, “Piston-driven post-punk for the art yob generation – catch them before they explode”.

As the song begins, you’re tricked into thinking it may be calm and collected but don’t be fooled by the whispering introduction of “Come on, put on the tiger face…” Shortly after, all hell breaks lose and you’re left with an intense, angry, punk-infused tune.

Baddies have returned with a triumphant single which is sure to grab people’s attention through it’s unusual lyrics and catchy music. Take a listen yourself:

Tiger Face

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The Coathangers – Hurricane Video

I’m not sure where to begin with this one. I think it’s safe to say this is one of the weirdest videos and songs I’ve ever heard.

The Coathangers are from Atlanta. They are a four piece girl rock band made up of: Julia “Crook Kid Coathanger” Kugel (guitar/vocals), Stephanie “Rusty Coathanger” Luke (drums/vocals), Candice “Bebe Coathanger” Jones (keyboard/vocals) and Meredith “Minnie Coathanger” Franco (bass/vocals).

The Coathangers

Freeze frames from The Coathangers' Hurricane video

Now I’ve introduced the band, I’ll introduce the song. Hurricane is a pure rock song which combines gritty guitar with croaky vocals (vocals, I may add, that should never come from a female mouth). The vocals by Stephanie Luke are horrible. Not only are they deep and croaky, you can’t even understand what is being sung. I’m going to put it down to the fact that you don’t very often get drummers who sing the main vocals and this is probably the reason. They sound terrible.

However, Julia Kugel, the other main vocalist in the song, sings the chorus much better. This is the catchy part of the song and is actually sung really well while still keeping in touch with the band’s rock style. God knows why she doesn’t just sing the whole thing…

Apart from some atrocious vocals, the rest of the track is pretty good. Musically, it fits with their experimental punk/rock theme they’ve got going on. It’s a good track and it’s great to see four women taking charge in the rock genre. This is rarely done successfully but these girls put up a challenge. This video definitely portrays them in a light that no-one would associate women with and definitely challenges the stereotypes of girls in a rock band. To this, there can only be a thumbs up.

As much as I like the catchiness of the chorus and the rawness of the music, I just can’t seem to like the song overall due to the croaky and unnerving vocals. Maybe others will like this but I certainly don’t. Shame really.

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