Tuesday 27 September 2016

Frank Gamble - Heart Speaks

Going into this, I know nothing about Frank Gamble and I can't decide whether to attempt to scour the internet for information and call it "research" or just continue rambling and hope that a post comes out of it by the end. I think Frank Gamble are two people, and I'm fairly sure that the female member of the duo (my brain seems to think it's a male/female two-piece situation) used to music under a different name, possibly her real name. I think someone told me about this months ago and I also think that this female in question confirmed this in the last week or so on her real personal actual Twitter. But obviously I can't recall her name. YADI! Hannah Yadi is her name, Frank Gamble is now her game. Oh my God I'm glad that is all cleared up.

'Heart Speaks' is a song that Frank Gamble have released recently, it's not their first but it's without a doubt their biggest yet. Starting as an unsuspecting pop song (Is that the right verb... I don't know if that makes it sound as though the track isn't sure what it's going to do... maybe it isn't.) 'Heart Speaks' quite literally metaphorically explodes into an electronic starburst of vocal samples and trippy synths.  This, really, is kind of the definitive sound of pop in 2016, isn't it? This is, I reckon, what people thought the future was going to sound like. All that "music made with computers" stuff. It's good this.


Monday 26 September 2016

Thomston - Rocketfuel

Thomas Stoneman, Prince of New Zealand, is about to release his debut album Topograph and it's come round so quick I had literally no idea that it was coming out as soon as this Friday. Whaaat. I must have been a fan of Thomston for about two years now so it's cool to see this album come around after so long. I also can't find anywhere to buy a physical copy of this release which is stressing me out because I can't believe that's something I'm expected to live without.

We've been treated to 'Rocketfuel' on the lead up to the album and damn if this is what's in store for the other unreleased tracks on Topograph this album is going to be iconic. 'Rocketfuel' doesn't really sound much like any of Thomston's earlier songs; it's far more upbeat, there are some drum sounds and patterns that I wouldn't really ever have expected to come from Thomston, but it's such a great change of pace. Stoneman's lyrics have always been quite intelligently strung together but it's a lot more blatant on 'Rocketfuel' with various space and speed metaphors scattered throughout. My personal favourite line is "third degree, you know you burn me", but that's just one of the gems.

If that wasn't enough, Thomston also recently did a cover of Ariana Grande's 'One Last Time' which you can watch below. It's good. And melancholy. Which is nice.

While She Sleeps - Civil Isolation

It took me a little while to get into While She Sleeps. Their brand of whatever sub-genre you want to call this wasn't really what I was into around the time that the five piece released their first... mini-album (? eight tracks is way too many for an EP) The North Stands For Nothing. But by the time their debut full length This Is The Six came around things started to click a little more. And obviously their last album, 2015's Brainwashed, was nothing short of excellent.

This brings us to While She Sleeps' as yet untitled third album, due out next year, and the not so unorthodox way in which their funding the recording of the album, via PledgeMusic. There's a video on their campaign page that tells the story of the band via a fake Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption voiceover and also annoying soundbites of Beez saying how great a band they're going to be. To clarify, it's Beez that is annoying, not the fact that they're a great band. Some may think that a campaign like this ten years into a band's career is a sign of weakness, or that the band don't have the momentum to keep going without fan funding, but when you think about it, being at the point in your career where you have a wide fan base to support you, this kind of thing is really a no-brainer.

The first track we've been treated to from this forthcoming album is 'Civil Isolation'. For me, personally, the most important thing in music made by heavier bands is making the songs catchy especially in terms of getting new fans in and While She Sleeps do that really well. Still being super heavy and usually with pretty dark lyrical themes, tracks like 'Civil Isolation' are just straight up great rock songs, and the dual vocals sound so great on this track too. The mad subtle yet effective visuals (see below) are so rad as well.


Tuesday 20 September 2016

Dead! - Something More Original

Let's talk about Dead!.
I've had my beef with Dead!, I've written 'em off, I've sat back, I've taken it in, I've taken it back.

Let's be honest, it all went a bit tits up for me from the get go because naming your band after a My Chemical Romance song is all just a bit much. Alas, now I just pretend that that's not what this is. Also this lot look a bit "this is going to be for teenage girls", don't they? And as I haven't really been into that kind of thing for about four years, it's fair to say that's not what I'm about. The thing is though, I think that's as far as a lot of people get with this band and I totally understand why. It also doesn't help when you have Beez and Hill of That's Not Metal "fame" harping on about how terrible they think they are just because they like getting annoyed at things. I like getting annoyed at things, but their rant on Dead! put me off getting unnecessarily annoyed at things just because I can.

I had my first real life run in with Dead! a few months ago and I wouldn't say I wasn't impressed, I just don't think I knew what I was expecting. I think Dead! are marketed in a way that doesn't do them justice; so going into their set my eyes had already rolled round to the back of my head. But for whatever reason, benefit of the doubt maybe, I went to see them again a month later at 2000 Trees and more about it kind of "made sense". These guys aren't the MCR tribute band that they're kind of made out to be. Their music has all the punk elements of everyone's favourite new band of 2016 it's just that they have a bit more of a theatrical tinge to their songs. And not those kind of awful Creeper theatrics, just some stuff that makes them more... original.

HI, SEAMLESS LINK ALERT. Their new single (obviously, this is me, and so this has been out for ages) is called 'Something More Original'. It follows their last single (obviously) 'You're So Cheap' which was also quite good, so it looks like they're on a roll. I think those not so familiar with Dead!'s actual music would be pleasantly surprised by these songs. In particular, the chorus on 'Something More Original' is kind of as good as "rock" choruses get from bands this size, in terms of catchiness (definitely a word) and length of hook, it pretty much does the job. Finally, the video for this is kinda different too where performance videos are concerned, it's an interesting watch and also you can't really see much which is weird, but it works.

In conclusion, I am a Dead! apologist and maybe you should be too.

Monday 19 September 2016

Say Lou Lou - Stayin' Alive

I think it's more than fair to say that Say Lou Lou have been quiet on us for quite a while now. In fact, since the release of their debut album Lucid Dreaming back in April last year there have been minimal murmurs from the Swedish/Australian twins' camp. The only information up until last month that we'd heard from the duo is that they are definitely at work on their second album. If this is anything to go by that second album may not be as distant as we think.

Say Lou Lou have released a cover of Bee Gees Stayin' Alive. So lets talk about covers. Covers are cool but covers are even cooler when you're a hip new artist/group/ensemble and you cover something left field and (almost) forty years old. The tone of the Kilbey-Jansson twins' voices matches the everything in the composition underneath so perfectly, this almost sounds effortless. In fact this cover actually sounds as though it could even be Say Lou Lou's own track. That's how fitting this is to be perfectly honest. It's cool as well that Say Lou Lou are sisters and Bee Gees were brothers, a subtle link but a link nevertheless.

Also can we please just show some appreciation for the 1970s-esque power suits worn by Say Lou Lou in that promo pic because that whole image is quite truly something else.

Northern Lights: KLOE, Anna Of The North

Kloe is from Scotland which is in the north, and Anna Of The North is from Norway which is also north and her stage name has the word "north" in it (DUH) so everything kind of just makes sense doesn't it?

KLOE -  Liability

Liability is the song that I thought 'UDSM' was going to be but it wasn't but it doesn't matter because it's here now, which is lovely because it's very good. Kloe still hasn't quite topped the pop excellence that was 'Teenage Craze' but 'Liability' sure does make it real close. The video is a continuation of the late night escapades we saw the start of in 'UDSM', apart from this time there's a nipple, which is fine because it's 2016 and that kind of thing is widely acceptable in pop music videos by teenage artists. Let it be, world. 'Liability' has a very good hook. Obviously in light of this it sounds very good live. I have no idea what's next to come from Kloe but I assume it'll all be as good as, if not improved on this, so that's something nice to look forward to for 2017 (whhhaaa??), isn't it?

Anna Of The North - Us

Anna Of The North has this ability to make everything she comes out with sound so eerily pure yet retain all the good aspects of what you'd want to hear in a pop song. This is something I'm really into. Anna's overall pink aesthetic really emphasises the lack of complexity in her strategy as a musician too. I don't know whether things are purposefully simple or if it's just the way things have turned out, but either way it really works. It's no secret that I saw Anna Of The North twice at The Great Escape this year and I am looking tremendously forward to catching her again in London on Tuesday (tomorrow). It's also not sold out, so like, you should come.

Thursday 15 September 2016

Beat It: Norde, Joe Hertz, SG Lewis

I wasn't going to post these songs together, but then I thought they'd work quite nicely as an electronic trio all of at various builds and paces, so here they are. Also, yep everything here's late, tell me something I don't know.

Norde feat Lucas Nord - Missing You

Norde is a Swedish producer (real name Axel Ulfson) and bloody ages ago (read: a month ago) he put out a song featuring vocals from one of my 2016 faves Lucas Nord. Obviously both hailing from the pop capital of the world it'd be crazy to think 'Missing You' would and/or could be anything over than a massive VIBE. Having Norde behind the production on this track is a nice change of pace for Nord (is this confusing?) in comparison to the tracks on his EP/album/release Company that came out earlier this year. 'Missing You' is one of those tracks that actually quite sombre when you get down to the lyrics but is so upbeat the true mood doesn't entirely translate, but no complaints from this end.

Joe Hertz feat Bassette - Playing For You

I've done a lot of toing and froing about this track but despite everything we've been through, it's made it. A prestigious feat, I know. I'm sure everyone in Joe Hertz and Bassette's respective camps is absolutely thrilled. So I'm not head over heals for 'Playing For You' but as I'm sure I've one-sidedly discussed before, Hertz does mood-setting and vibe-placing very well, and this track is a prime example of just that. This is a solid end of summer chill-out rig and it would probably go down well at anyone's last ditch attempt at a barbecue.

SG Lewis - Meant To Be

Chances of Sam reading this in this day and age are slim to none, right? Cool. This is the first track we've heard that features actual Sam Lewis' vocals which is nice isn't it because in terms of electronic types who do vocals (take Calvin Harris for example) this isn't bad at all, is it? And really you don't need to be a particularly great vocalist to do vocals anymore, as long as the vibe is right. This also just so happens to be my favourite of the four tracks on Lewis' Yours EP. Whilst writing this section of this post basically a shit ton of stuff about SG Lewis that no one can comprehend has surfaced and I just don't really know where to go with any of it. I guess we just have to sit around and wait... for... the... album?

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Just August Things

As I said on Monday, I pretty much just blogged for like two weeks (if that) in August, so here’s a load of songs that are really good but I just need to get out of the way. They all deserve to have their own separate posts but I’d rather post them in some capacity than end up never posting them at all. You feel?

Tove Lo - Cool Girl

It feels as though no matter what Tove Lo does and/or says it's impossible not to like her, or at least that's what I thought. The definitive "Cool Girl". This is the first single to be taken from Tove's forthcoming second album Lady Wood. In comparison to that album title 'Cool Girl' doesn't at all seem like a silly name for a song. And the song is very good but obviously it's Tove Lo and not a ballad so of course it's great. The "I roll my eyes at you boy" line is iconic too. But the video has a ludicrous number of negative comments and I can't really fathom why... I guess some people just don't get it?

Fours - Painful To Watch

Fours are one of my favourite bands of 2016. Great guys. Great songs. Great live. There are no cons. Apart from the length of time it's taken for me to get around to posting this and I am so sorry. This isn't actually the song I'd assumed was going to be #thesingle from Fours' live set but after a few listens I'm definitely not mad. Edith and co seem to fast be becoming the internet's fave new indie pop quartet and I couldn't be more pleased. They're also doing a headline show at the end of the month which is going to be so lovely, you should come.

Vitamin - Dancing On The Sun

Such a fan of Vitamin and how good they are and massive indie pop vibes. There's something eternally summery about the music that they make which is amusing because like, it's not sunny up north is it? Vitamin, compensating for terrible weather with terribly great songs since 2014. Although, I'll give it to them, this song is called 'Dancing On The Sun' so I guess the clue is pretty blatantly in the name. Vitamin also really get colours and generally good aesthetics, as demonstrated by the artwork that you can view with your eyes below. Looks lovely doesn't it?

Abir - Girls

This song came out ages ago but I only heard it for the first time last month because what is music discovery in 2016 anyway? Join me on this journey as I research whilst I type. When I say "research" I mean have a look at Abir's social media accounts, obviously. King and Queen of everything Tinashe and Allan Kingdom follow her on Twitter so if that's not some kind of indication of how good her songs are/are going to be I don't really know what is. So 'Girls' sounds like a mixture between Tinashe and Dua Lipa but with something darker and rawer (apparently that's a real life word) blended in. Stoked on this basically.

Blackpink - BOOMBAYAH

This new quartet have absolutely reignited my adoration for excellent k-pop. 'BOOMBAYAH' is basically absolutely everything that one needs an incredible pop banger to be, the catch is that it's in Korean (mostly) so it's trickier to sing along to but also you've got no idea what they're singing about and that element of mystery makes k-pop so much more interesting. Unfortunately, at the time of this song's inception they also released a song called 'Whistle' which was absolutely terrible but I'm happy to hold out hope for the material which will inevitably follow to be really great. Their dance routines are the best and also that native indian call bit is AMAZING.

Glades - Speechless

Glades, it's been a hot minute! Their last track 'Drive' came out a whopping seven months ago which is nuts, but also I didn't love it, which is okay, but this "new" (lol) one, 'Speechless', is very good and I like it almost as much as I liked 'Her (Loving You)' and I liked that one loads. This track is such a low-key vibe though, and I'd imagine that it's something that I'd listen to if I had a partner... alas, I don't have one so I'm just going to listen to it alone in the comfort of my own solitary company. It'd be nice for Glades to come all the way over to Europe, wouldn't it? Holding out for The Great Escape 2017 basically.

High Tyde - Speak

High Tyde. Brighton's most underrated boyband. It's come to my attention that it's hard for humans to gauge how good these are without seeing them live and being completely overcome with #vibe. It's really annoying though because of their singles the ones that are bangers, like 'Speak' are really good, catchy, interesting in terms of actual instrumentation, and quirky in just the right places but it doesn't feel as though the right people are paying attention. I reckon these could do with a nice big ol' support slots and that'd fire them into people's brains. High Tyde are on their own headline throughout October and into November, which is all well and good apart from the London date is Scala and that place is a hell hole so I'm probably gonna go to Brighton really.

Final WIIHAMB August actual blogged stuff playlist - Spotify only, bite me.

Monday 5 September 2016

August Albums 2016 and A Little Library

With every month that goes by I say I’ll stop slacking and then we reach the start of the following month and here I am apologising for the fiftieth time this year for basically just being pretty useless. I don’t know if I could really commit to going back to daily blogging next year… I don’t know if I could really commit to anything ever again but something needs to change. But that’s my problem not yours.

Here is a visual representation of my few favourite releases from August 2016. Apparently August isn’t actually that good for releases so I didn’t really love any of this stuff, just thought it was all quite good. I’d talk you through them but I don’t really think you care. @ me if you want to chat about The Hunna though.

Here is also a playlist of my favourite bits of all of the good releases that August saw.
I’ll add to this with singles I haven’t blogged about after I’ve blogged about some of the singles I didn’t blog about… maybe.