Monday, 20 February 2017

Youth Club - Are You Wanting It All

You've got to hand it to bands/artists/whoever for not getting stuck in a rut of producing the same thing over and over again, and I think that's something I worried about for Youth Club when I first heard them a couple of years ago after the release of their second EP, Brothers. Between then and now, Youth Club have released three tracks that, whilst staying true to themselves as what I'd call a tropical infused indie-pop band, sound miles apart from their first two EPs. The quartet also appear to have put out a Christmas single that completely passed me by. It's possible that this maybe just didn't make it on to stores in time for the festive period so nobody ever mentioned it? I've no idea, but it exists if that's something you fancy in mid-February.

The reason we are (read: I am) gathered here today is, however, for the band's new single 'Are You Wanting It All'. It's a slow burner for sure but it's probably the most sophisticated sounding track Youth Club have put out thus far. 'Are You Wanting It All' genuinely sounds (in the least contrived and purposeful way) as though it was made for radio; not that their other tracks weren't, because all of Youth Club's songs are radio friendly, but this really feels like "the one", you know? I also can not believe how straight out of the 80's the pre-chorus of "You take all of my time, you take over my mind" is - that's some straight up George Michael stuff right there.

Youth Club are playing a single release show for 'Are You Wanting It All' on Wednesday (22nd Feb)  at Camden Barfly (read: Camden Assembly, but we all know it's really the Barfly) for a mere £6.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Matthew Koma - Hard To Love

I was going to post this separately, and then I wasn't, and then it came on shuffle during the week and I thought "this does deserve its own post". I love things that are self-aware and that reference things they shouldn't really reference. Like, you know when characters in TV shows talk about other TV shows? I love that. It's actually one of the main reasons why I'm so invested in Wes Craven's Scream series, all the way through from the original film to the TV series. And for me this kind of thing permeates through to music too but it has to be done with an ounce of subtlety or intelligence or, as in this case, self-deprocation.

Chances are, you'll be aware of Matthew Koma's work because, as he so eloquently puts it, his "voice was on like every fucking house track". Which isn't quite true, although Koma has been dial-a-feat for many songs (that sounds far more like I'm taking shots than I am, I'm not), not all of them can be classified as house; please see The Knocks' 'I Wish (My Taylor Swift)'. Back to the point, Koma's new single 'Hard To Love' is quite the opposite, it's rather endearing actually, hearing someone sing about themselves in this particular manner. The real gem, just when you think you've heard it all, is the sample of Beck's 'Loser' that appears straight out of nowhere at the middle eight. With songs as good as this Matthew Koma will (hopefully) be a star in his own right in no time.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Last Week's Releases Today: Fifty Shades Of Bland

This week has gone really quickly and I didn't realise it was Thursday, so yeah, I guess it's fair to say the entirety of this post was a little... rushed. Might edit in some prose about singles from last week at some point in the next 24 hours, might not, we'll see.

EPs Released This Week:

Aaron Carter - LøVë I have so many issues with this EP; first of all how the hell are you even supposed to pronounce it's title, because I don't think that's correct in any European language. The second problem is that this sounds like a bunch of songs written to contend with Justin Bieber, which blows my mind considering that Aaron Carter is almost 30 years old. Who is this written for? Five uninspiring pop/RnB songs begging to be a hit. It's just not good enough. 'Let Me Let You' is probably the best song on here, apart from the fact that it sounds like every other pop/electronic hit from 2016. No tracks added to library.

Fyner Things - Casually Hot Obviously Bastien added one of these tracks to his 2017 playlist and I couldn't not get invested. I'm not sure how much I actually like this EP on a personal level, but I think it's really good. This pair only have 176 Facebook likes and six Twitter followers (including me) which has me mildly shook, like what the actual fuck is up with that? Interesting current R&B with exciting soul and electronic quirks ridden throughout to keep you on your toes. 4/4 tracks added to library.

Homebound - The Mould You Build Yourself Around Thank God, we really needed another UK pop punk band. It's something we were really missing. There's absolutely nothing that isn't average about this EP; don't bother unless you really desperately need a pop punk fix this month... but even then, there's got to be something better on the horizon? No tracks added to library.

Nao - For All We Know (Remixes EP) I'm not entirely sure what the point of this EP is, like, I'm not really sure that there's any need for it. Mura Masa confirms that I really don't like the music that he makes, and Stormzy's feature on 'Feels Like' is largely unnecessary. Those aside, as if we needed confirmation that SBTRKT and Kaytranada are two of the best in the game right now. 2/5 tracks added to library.

Rationale - Vessels I am really not a fan of Rationale and I can't put into words as to why. Obviously lots of people like him and what he's doing, and he's doing fairly well for himself, but I just don't like any of his songs in any capacity. Until I heard 'Reciprocate', this one is very good. 1/4 tracks added to library.

Albums Released This Week:

Amber Run - For A Moment, I Was Lost I've never liked Amber Run and right now, the acomplishment will just be making it the entire way through this 45 minute long album. It's just so boring. I'm two songs in and nothing has happened. At parts, they sound like Aquilo if they were an indie band but I don't think that's a route anybody has really wanted Aquilo to take. I found 'Perfect' mildly bearable but not to the point that I'd ever particularly want to listen to it again, you know? No tracks added to library.

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness - Zombies On Broadway We're not off to a good start with the sing-speaking on 'Brooklyn, You're Killing Me', are we? Although, I'll be honest, it's pretty much an upward trajectory from track two onwards. I'm not sure anybody highly invested in McMahon's other projects would be particularly happy with this as an album, but as an indie pop record that doesn't just sound like everything else it does the job pretty well. 5/11 tracks added to library.

Lupe Fiasco - Drogas Light I don't think I've ever been a fan of Lupe Fiasco but he's definitely an artist that I've always been quite intrigued by. From the 'Formation' sounding sample on 'Dopamine Lit' to my fave feat artist ever on 'NGL', Drogas Light kicks off in a positive light. 'Made In The USA' has quite a good sentiment but the "hook" is so aggressive it's a little hard to get on with. The three song arc in the middle which has a total run time of 17 minutes and 46 seconds is something I'm finding daunting though. 'Kill' is good but clocking in at over 7 minutes long, there's just absolutely no need for at least half of it, and it doesn't even feel like it's Lupe Fiasco's track. I have completely 180'd on the chorus to 'Wild Child' though. 5/14 tracks added to library.

Rag'n'Bone Man - Human The "Deluxe" version of this album is one hour and five minutes long. No body of music needs to be that long, let alone this one. I think Rag'n'Bone Man makes music for people who can't be bothered to look remotely hard for alternative-soul-pop anywhere else. There's nothing significantly wrong with Human but there's nothing significantly good about it either. It just kind of... exists for radio, which is a really sad concept when you think about it. At least that's what I thought until he attempts to rap on 'Ego', that was straight up shocking. No tracks added to library.

Various Artists - Fifty Shades Darker (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) It's hard not to compare this to the soundtrack from the first film because not only did that produce two massive singles worldwide ('Love Me Like You Do' and 'Earned It'), regardless of what you think of the film/books etc, the songs were genuinely good. In comparison, I'm struggling to find it in me to even care for this Tove Lo track. I just can't get over how boring all of these songs are; there's absolutely nothing daring about any of them. Isn't that the exact opposite of the point of this series? 1/19 tracks added to library.