Monthly Archives: September 2011

Waters – London Show Video

Van Pierszalowski’s new project, Waters, is a long way off his previous work with Port O’Brien. He’s moved into grunge with his single For The One out on September 12 and debut album Out In The Light which will be released on September 19.

Waters is also doing a show in London tomorrow night at the Old Blue Last so if you’re around check it out. Here’s a video he shot in London earlier in the week to wet your appetite:

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Love Inks – Rock On

Love Inks recently released a video for their newest track Be Brave. Now they have also released a rather unusual video for Rock On, their cover of the 1970s pop track by David Essex.

At first, it sounds a little strange with the echo on the vocals and the basic bass riff overpowering everything but after a few listens, it definitely grows on you. The song itself is quite boring and repetitive but it suits Sherry LeBlanc’s angelic yet psychedelic vocals. Her voice pulls this cover off.

Watch it and listen yourself:

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Zola Jesus – Seekir

After the release of Vessel in July, Zola Jesus announced last week that Seekir is to be her second single taken from the anticipated album, Conatus.

Making a name for herself with her electronically mystifying songs and powerful vocals, Zola Jesus has become one of the most talked about musicians in the last year.

She is set to release Conatus on September 26 with the release of Seekir following on October 3.

Seekir is a song very much like Vessel with catchy, melodic vocals and Zola’s typical electronic style but it is a little less dark than the previous single. It has elements in it that could easily be placed into a Florence and the Machine song without it sounding out of place.

Zola Jesus has a unique sound. Electronic music nearly always sounds the same but Zola makes each song different with her wonderful, passionate vocals and individual style.

Listen to Seekir here.

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Blitzen Trapper – American Goldwing

Blitzen Trapper are back with their sixth studio album, American Goldwing, to be released on Monday 12 September on Sub Pop Records.

The Portland six piece have become well known for their country fused rock beats. Take Lynyrd Skynyrd and place them in today’s country music scene and you have the exact definition of Blitzen Trapper.

Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper American Goldwing album cover

Their newest adventure compacts the American country life into a fully fledged lyrically satisfying and musically inspiring album.

With tracks like Might Find It Cheap and future single, Love The Way You Walk Away (release date 19 September), kick starting things off, it opens with the typical sound that Blitzen Trapper have become renowned for. However, Your Crying Eyes blasts out above the rest of the songs with a much more rock sound, including some excellent guitar riffs and solos.

The album has a little bit for everyone. Tracks like Fletcher and My Home Town focus on country vocals, bangos and background guitar solos which are all rather expected in such songs but there are a couple of surprises hidden deep within this record. Girl In A Coat and Stranger In A Strange Land could be easily mistaken for Bob Dylan singles with the vocals having that croaky element to them (however I must say that Eric Earley’s voice is ten times better than Dylan’s).

Stranger In A Strange Land has some of the best lyrics on the album along with some of the most pleasant to listen to acoustic guitar.

Street Fighting Sun is another song that shakes the roots of this record. It’s a heavy rock track where Earley’s voice adapts again. He sounds similar in some respects to Robert Plant with the notes he can hit and hold, that high pitched sort of wail Plant is famous for. The harmonies in this song make it what it is, very Beatles-esque and spot on.

American Goldwing is a little piece of American rolled into eleven exceptional tracks. It is the perfect album to take if you ever drive cross-country in the United States. Trust me, it will make the trip even more spectacular. A fantastically produced, easy to listen to and stimulating record that should not be missed.

 

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The Drums – Portamento

The Drums

The Drums album cover

The Drums have released their anticipated new album, Portamento, today.

The New York trio have landed in the UK to do a number of sold-out headline shows and what better way to kick start things than with the release of their album.

Portamento has been talked about for weeks and finally its arrival is here. The latest surfing single, Money, is featured on the record.

The Drums are also giving away a free download of the Chad Valley remix of Money which can be found on http://soundcloud.com/workit/the-drums-money-chad-valley.

Portamento is available to buy now.

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Hyde & Beast – Slow Down

Dynamic duo, Hyde & Beast, have gained a lot of attention since the understated release of their debut single And The Pictures In The Sky. With both members stemming from other bands, this project was never meant to gain momentum the way it has. Now they’ve steamed ahead and released their album, Slow Down, which is just as original and intriguing as their previous tracks.

Slow Down mixes their more upbeat numbers with blues, folk, country and ballad tracks. After And The Pictures In The Sky and Never Come Back, songs like Last Chance For A Slow Dance and If You Could Buy Me Anything come as a bit of a welcome change, introducing more solemn and fragile beats to their sound.

Hyde and Beast

Neil Bassett and Dave Hyde

Focusing mainly on blues influences, Hyde & Beast sound like they’ve walked out of the 1970s music chart, especially with tracks like All Because Of You with a chorus that rings in your ears with the classic rock style music accompanying it. Dave Hyde’s vocals and harmonies here sound very similar to Freddie Mercury’s style of singing in the way he holds the notes.

Track four, You Will Be Lonely, has to be one of my favourites. It combines country, acoustic and blues into a sweet sounding, upbeat number (if you ignore the repeated lyrics of the chorus ‘You Will Be Lonely’). The harmonies however sound like they have been done by one of the BeeGees which could be disastrous but instead sound fantastic with the quirky country-based music.

Slow Down has so many different influences running through it. Wolfman Blues is a solid blues track but it’s not totally what you expect. It has been strangely distorted leading it to become quite disorientating. It sticks to its blues roots in the usual way. It’s an instrumental track which breaks the album up but in places it does sort of sound like some children have been let loose in the studio to play with all the equipment…

Lord, Send For Me however is the archetypal blues and country influenced track. It is yet another song that sounds like it’s from another era. This sound is rather unusual in today’s music scene but Hyde & Beast seem to be bringing back what once made good music. With strong folk influences, this has to be another of my favourites. The combination of the melodies and harmonies are perfect.

Towards the end of the album, it seems to calm down and become even more relaxing (if that’s possible). Everything gradually grinds to a halt. Go To Sleep is a lovely acoustic track taking everything away from the heavy bass, drum beats and electric guitar tricks found in the other songs. This strips the band back to basics as does Louis’ Lullaby (another instrumental with a few oohs and aahs in the background). Putting these at end of album helps bring it all to a close.

Hyde & Beast have produced a great album. It’s experimental, it’s intriguing and it’s most definitely worth a listen.

Slow Down is available to buy now.

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Dave Depper Bonus Tracks

Portland’s Dave Depper released The Ram Project only a few weeks ago. This was his version of Paul McCartney’s 1971 album, Ram.

Now he has followed in Paul McCartney’s footsteps once again and released two new bonus tracks that were originally recorded by McCartney around the time of Ram.

Another Day and Oh Woman Oh Why again stay true to the originals. Dave Depper is scarily talented in his abilities. He’s produced two more great tracks that don’t steal attention away from the originals but instead add a little extra.

The Ram Project is available to buy through City Slang now. The bonus tracks are also available for exclusive download at http://www.soundcloud.com

Take a listen here.

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