Saturday 31 January 2015

January Round-Up

Guess who's back...
After taking December off for some best of 2014 shenanigans, the monthly round-up is back for 2015, I know you've all been waiting for the news with bated breath. I'm probably going to take a similar approach to these as I was towards the end of last year. A gig, an album, the best songs of the month, and then some random bits.
Let's get on with it then...

January Playlists

Album of the Month

Light You Up - All We've Ever Known
It's been a long wait for everyone for the release of Light You Up's debut album, 'All We've Ever Known'. Originally recorded in The States over the Summer of 2013, it finally saw its release this week. I think at the start of January I already knew that this was going to be my album of the month. 'Monsters' and title track 'All We've Ever Known' have been sitting pretty in Light You Up's live set for a while now whilst 'Brother' has crept in recently and obviously we all know 'Foxfire', the only track to graduate from their 2012 EP 'Broken Jaw'. Overall 'All We've Ever Known' is a very strong rock/pop punk debut album. It's undeniable that the title track itself is the standout song on this full length effort by a mile. The chorus gets lodged in your head. Stuck. Superglued even. There's no doubt that had this song been released by an already well established band, it would be massive. I have got one gripe with this album though, and that's the guest vocal features. The first track we heard from AWEK in the run-up to its release was "Always Wanting More" featuring Alan Day of Four Year Strong fame. This song has such a great chorus, really great, but you don't notice it because you're siting around for whats-his-chops to chime in which doesn't happen until after the second chorus anyway and when it does, it's not that exciting . The most heartbreaking moment for me is A Loss For Words' Matty Arsenault's additional vocals on 'Foxfire'. I would firmly place A Loss For Words in my top three favourite bands, but slapping extra vocals on top of what was a nice instrumental section has near ruined this song for me on a personal level. Anyway, as I was saying, for a debut album, 'All We've Ever Known' is exceptional overall. Forget Roam and Neck Deep, Light You Up have got UK pop punk covered for 2015. Light You Up are on tour throughout March with Four Year Strong and Hit The Lights, you should probably go.

Other Albums That I Thoroughly Enjoyed This Month
Taking me by surprise doesn't quite do Rae Sremmurd's debut full length 'Sremmlife' any justice. This rap duo whom I sort of just thought were a joke (you know how you felt about Macklemore's 'Thrift Shop') have actually produced a pretty enjoyable album. Take the lyrics with a pinch of salt, or don't, they're hilarious either way. Rae Morris' 'Unguarded' and Meghan Trainor's 'Title' have both proved to be exciting debuts and JP Cooper's new EP 'When The Darkness Comes' was pretty great too.

Gig of the Month

Nimmo and Ekkah at The Lexington
Walking into The Lexington I was very conscious that tonight's little showcase starring Nimmo and Ekkah could potentially be my only gig of January, so for the sake of this monthly round up, I sort of needed it to be good. Nimmo were headlining the fourth night of The Line of Best Fits' Five Day Forecast, with support from fellow female fronted duo Ekkah. I don't know if I'm going to be able to accurately describe how I felt watching Ekkah's set, but it was something resembling pure excitement for what the future holds for these pop princesses in the making. Rebecca Wilson and Rebekah Pennington's flawlessly performed set, including synchronised dance moves, kept the room captivated despite the majority of the room only being familiar with a few tracks. These were most notably 'Figure It Out', recent single 'Last Chance to Dance', and their cover of Patrice Rushen's 'Forget Me Nots' which fitted so perfectly into their catalogue you'd be forgiven for thinking it was an Ekkah original. Honestly, Nimmo were going to have a tough time of it to overshadow their support act. I like Nimmo; I like their vibe, it's almost unconventional. Baggy t-shirts and a tomboy look give the two frontwomen a great contrast to Ekkah's shiny glam getup. Singles 'Jaded' and 'Others' went down a storm amongst the other unreleased songs in Nimmo's set with both vocalists Sarah Nimmo and Reva Gauntlett bouncing off each other throughout. This Thursday night in Islington really was an excellent showcase of the greatness to come from British acts in 2015. I'm looking forward to both Nimmo and Ekkah doing exceedingly well over the next twelve months.

Top Five Tracks of the Month

Video of the Month:

Unexpected Downright Club Smash of the Month:
Anyone who says that this isn't an incredible song is lying and that is the bottom line here.

There's this undoubtedly excellent club version too.

Mighty Fine Eateries of the Month
There is nothing I love on the planet more than free or discounted food and praise everybody for January bringing me plenty of that. Twice a year Yo Sushi extend their Blue Monday offer to last an entire month and January luckily happens to be one of those times. January Blues means that every plate on the belt is £2.50 all day Monday through to Thursday. For an entire week The House of Ho on Old Compton Street gave away a free bowl of Pho to every customer and all you had to do was make a reservation. Finally, until 15th February Gourmet Burger Kitchen are doing a 2 for £10 offer on a wide range of their burgers. 10p from every one of the GBK vouchers redeemed will be donated to Shelter.


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