Tag Archives: Indie

Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better (Video)

Well hello there new song Sufjan! You’re giving us such pleasure. Who needs a proper video, when you can have a great new song and watch the small waves coming in at a stoney shore. This is the Sufjan we all started to love with his first albums. Heartwarming stuff!

Advertisements

Låpsley – Understudy EP

Because you took something away from yourself
Come back to this world and take your heart to higher shelf

Is there such a thing as falling in love with a voice? Can you have a relationship with a person who you have never spoken to or seen in real life? I mean, can something like this really work? If it would, I’d totally fall for Holly Fletcher! The voice and brains behind Låpsley! Today she released her 4 track ‘Understudy EP’ and heck, it is one brilliant piece of music.

Lead track ‘Falling Short’ has been causing waves in the blogosphere for a couple of months now, and it was inevitable that some hot label would pick her up. It’s a tasteful recap of a breaking heart, completed by subtle piano chords, finger snapping and electronic beat fragments. Above all sits Fletcher’s voice. It’s so intimate that it could break the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. Second song ‘Brownlow’ picks up the same ingredients but adds haunting sounds and a life embracing organ sitting very low in the mix. Then there are added synth horns – if you ask yourself, if they can ever sound not cheesy, then listen to this track! – and swelling bassdrops that remind one of Jamie XX’s post-dubstep. 8896 turns to the darker side again without repeating the recipe of the opener. Dancing is a sad closer about a difficult relationship that slowly ascends into a brooding, almost noisy finale to the best four songs I have heard in the last couple of months.

The recent scouse exports seem to up the notch. I love that about my former home and the city’s music scene deserves a lot more credit and attention. It’s not all about London. What was true for guitar music is now definitely also true for the hip and cool electronic singer-songwriter stuff that keeps bubbling strong in the UK music scene.

I’ve always been an understudy
I know you would never love me

There’s something romantically looming and haunting in Låpsley’s sound that manages to set her apart well enough from other peers like Kwabs or her labelmate FKA Twigs to make her unique. It’s the perfect soundtrack for those dark winter days where sunlight seems to be a memory of the distant past and candles, wine and cigarettes are all that can comfort you to sleep.

If this is any indication of what there is still to come, her album should be hotly tipped for this years Mercury Prize. If it doesn’t arrive this year, then I will be heartbroken but I’ll already know what I’ll be looking out for in the year ahead!

Låpsley – Understudy EP is out now via XL/Beggars.
Pick up a copy here (physical) or here (digital)!

Ariel Pink – pom pom

*This is not at all aimed at insulting a label or a person. It’s just a strong personal opinion on a record.*

Where should I start on this one? I should probably go right into a direct rant about how much I hate this album. So let’s do it. It’s fucking awful. It’s that plain and simple.

1. The album
66 minutes is a lot of time to ask from your listener these days. While the pop mainstream focuses on releasing single after single (Pitbull, Perry, Jessie J etc) new acts tend to throw out a couple of EPs before they tackle the album (Broods, Ryn Weaver, hell even in punk). Ariel Pink is passed the phase of a newcomer though, so fair play to him. He’s released a shitload of albums, eps and singles. Shitloads of every format.
Continue reading Ariel Pink – pom pom

Leoniden – Invert India

THE THINGS I HATE THEY WILL NEVER TURN THEY JUST MOVE INTO ANOTHER CITY

It has been some time since I have stumbled across a totally new band that made me dance around the room in celebration. But during one of my ventures deeper and deeper into the youtubesphere I found the video to City by a band called Leoniden. The first lines are just accompanied by hectic drums and more vocals until guitars and synths kick in, paving the way for one of the catchiest choruses I’ve heard in years. I suddenly felt this sense of excitement I last felt when “Banquet” came on at MTV for the first time. So I started digging deeper and found the band was signed to Delikatess Tonträger, a small but very fine label from Hamburg.

Continue reading Leoniden – Invert India

Review Roundup with Modern Baseball, The Hotelier & You Blew It!

It feels like time is flying by. We’re already in the middle of june and all the albums and bands we’d like to write about we can’t write about because we are all caught up in our day-jobs. So this post is paying a tribute to three albums that I’ve been listening to constantly for the last couple of months. I guess it’s fair to say that they all have a similar background but all go their own ways. They’ve nearly all been released this year (sorry Modern Baseball was in October last year) and they are all quality records!

Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All

There’s hardly been an album that set me back to my teenage days quite as much as this one. I know, that they’ve been around some time now and the whole college rock, pop punk and emo revival thing have been going strong for a few years now, but Modern Baseball’s new album is part of the cream of the crop! It’s just a couple of awkward dudes singing about love and loss wrapped in sugar coated anthems. I still find myself smiling at various parts during the album or remembering exactly how it was when I found myself in the same situation back then. I never went to college in the US but the video to “My Graduation” is so full of memorable moments of teenage complexity that you can’t help but scream: “Yes, yes, you’re right! That’s exactly how it was!”. Wonderful, just wonderful!

The album is out now via one of our new favorite labels: Run For Cover! You can (and should) pick up your copy here!

The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace Is There


Not so long ago this band was known under the moniker The Hotel Year. “Home, Like Noplace is There” is their second album and their first on Tiny Engines. Please listen to this one! The opener sets the tone with sweet guitar picking, a roughened voice that reminds me of Jawbreaker and Saves the Day at the same time. Before the feedback guitars turn in the massive chorus of “ohs & ahs” makes for a delightful tension build-up. The four boys from Worcester, Massachusetts have recorded nine brilliant anthems, put them on a record and gave them to everyone who’s looking for loud punk played with a lot of heart. There are quite a few moments that will remind you of Title Fight, but they are less straight forward. There are moments that has nonchalantly borrowed from the early Rise Against, but without the politics. There’s always a great balance between hardcore energy and pop melodies.

For me this has been one of the big surprises in 2014 so far. I haven’t got tired of the songs yet which is always a good sign. And I’m sure I’ll stick to the album for the remainder of the year. Especially with summer in good spirits now, this could be the perfect soundtrack for your trip to the lake, a barbecue or just to making out.

The album is out now via Tiny Engines. You can pick up your copy here.

You Blew It! – Keep Doing What You’re Doing

This was probably the album I struggled most with. Released back in January on indie-favorite Topshelf Records, I needed to digest it for quite some time. I was a massive fan of predecessor “Grow Up, Dude” with it’s fragile structures, dissonant guitars and crackling vocals. The only downside back then was the thin production and the vinyl version – that sounded even thinner as I wrote here.The songs and lyrics though, blew me away. “Keep Doing What You’re Doing” has been quite a step away from the raw qualities of its predecessor. The production is a lot cleaner, the songs a lot less dissonant and raucous. While this was one of the qualities that I loved most, after almost half a year now the album has grown a lot on me. They could potentially take the band to another audience and also remind me of what Jimmy Eat World or Get Up Kids did with their sophomore albums. I can really recommend this album to all fans of good pop tunes with a punk edge. And a quality that hasn’t vanished are the lyrics. My word – I feel like I’m 14 again – or 18! Brilliance!

The album is out via Topshelf Records. You should pick up your copy here!

Talking Pop – We Are Scientists

Summer 2006.
I spent the summer in Barcelona in a desperate attempt to improve my Spanish. I ended up going out a lot more than I ever did before, I probably drank a lot more than I should have, I didn’t sleep as much as one should have over the course of my time there and I probably improved my English more than my Spanish. But I also met a lot of great people. This trip was the reason for me to go to study in the UK and for why I am where I’m at now.
During one of the days, I was talking to Dan, one of the great people I met, about music. I bought the Killers first record at Fnac and he kept on raving about how good the album was. He then went on and on about this new US band he just saw in Manchester. His eyes were shining so brightly when he recalled it in his memory. He was talking about We Are Scientists.


Continue reading Talking Pop – We Are Scientists

The Trouble With Templeton – Rookie

You were new, never seen your face before

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on a train.
The darkness outside has long laid ist coat over the green fields, red brick houses and little farms. The streetlights flash, blurring into small lines on the horizon as we pass them by. Soon I’ll be back home. Soon I won’t smell the stale air-conditioned air anymore. I’m thinking of the warm blue smoke that will fill my lungs while the cool midnight air will brush through my hair. The strap of my messenger bag will dig into my left shoulder. My legs will be tired, I’ll be tired.


Continue reading The Trouble With Templeton – Rookie