Under all of the glossy, 80’s inspired euphoria, Chvrches simply write great songs. 2015’s ‘Every Eye Open‘, the follow up to the 2013 debut ‘The Bones Of What You Believe‘ was very simply a stronger slice of pop. Every single chorus is colossal and single worthy. Every emotion is conveyed with more depth and each arrangement more serving of the song over style. That is not to say they have lost anything in the style department. Chvrches still out-1980’s M83, the Flashdance soundtrack and a prawn cocktail, all with reverberated abandon.
Emily chimed “if you were hoping for a more complex, evolved Chvrches sound for their sophomore album, you might not find it here. But who would want that, really? The trio sticks to their considerable strengths with lush synth-pop and Lauren Mayberry‘s vibrant, punchy vocal delivery, and I’m happy to say that this album is every bit as magical as their first. “Clearest Blue” feels like the band’s climactic take on pop anthems of yesteryear”.
Yifat quickly added that “despite not being a huge fan of happy songs and/or synth-pop, this band made me fall in love with it. Lauren‘s vocals are piercing through and I found myself drawn to this album and playing all of it time after time without getting bored. If that doesn’t imply it’s a favorite album, then i don’t know what does.
Valya concluded that “Chvrches has managed to create a self produced musical masterpiece. Their electro pop mystical sound is something of another world taking you to a realm full of kaleidoscopes and stardust. Despite the light and fluffy beats if you listen closely the lyrics are actually very dark in describing relationships, reconciliation, and devastation. In my mind they have separated themselves from the likes of PassionPit, Disclosure, and Purity Ring and have, as they claim, made themselves gold.
Following his respectful and intelligent work on the late Gil Scott-Heron‘s “We’re New Here”, Jamie XX finally delivered what we had all been waiting for; his debut solo album. Our gal Ledewitt praised the “variety and nuance”.
Jabes mused that the artist had “Stepped slightly outside the perfect dream-like box he displays on past singles and remixes, Jamie XX brought a little more to the party with ‘In Colour‘. Jamie Xx‘s signature sound sweeps through every track, with a dash of Jamaican steelpan here, and the familiar vocals from fellow member of The XX‘s Romy Madley Croft there, the album is a perfect culmination of his career and the exact package fans wanted and expected”.
“Electronica albums are seldom this genuinely evocative. ALL THE FEELS as the kids would say” injected Roger.
T.R. Wicks wanted the final word stating “Without a doubt, the highlight on Jamie XX debut solo record was ‘Loud Places‘. It showcases a song that not only reminds us of Jamie Smith‘s impact and innovation on modern dance (specifically post-dub) genres, but crosses that bridge of solid songwriting arrangement mixed with eclectic samples and exciting beat making. Jamie Smith’s evolution, in and out of The XX is a joy to watch. ‘Sleep Sound‘ and ‘Obvs‘ re-enforce Smith’s originality, in this sleek, chameleonic and utterly creative dance record.”
Foalsnever seem to run out of creative ideas. Their last three albums have been nothing short of brilliant; bolder, dirtier and stronger. ‘What Went Down’ seems to have trimmed the fat on the intrinsic layers that make up Foals songs to concentrate more and more on quality songwriting. ‘Lonely Hunter‘ is sexy, addictive and loud as hell. What Went Down is one climax after another sloshed down with that fire that makes this band so brilliant.
Jabes labelled it “a damn good rock album, and you know we don’t get a lot of those anymore”
Sam was quick to add: “returning larger than ever, this album reaffirms Foals as a band to conquer world tours and headline major festivals”.
Lail Arad holds a special place in my heart, not least because her debut album ‘Someone New‘ was easily one of the albums of 2010 and one that I have found myself frequently returning to since. Quite some time has passed since then and while the London born raconteur has been keeping herself busy with performances on both sides of the Atlantic I was starting to itch for some new music.
All that has changed this year with the singer unleashing, what I imagine was, all her pent up creativity in a series of songs and videos. “When We Grow Up” is the third of these “surprise” singles and is perhaps the catchiest of the three dealing in witty lines and bravado without ever taking itself too seriously. The accompanying video follows Arad as she glide in a carefree manner across New York’s infamous MOMA acting a little like a living installation invigorating the place.
Also worth checking out her ode to Leonard Cohen with the track ‘1934‘ which was released on the living legend’s 80th birthday.
Her upcoming album ‘The Onion‘ is due out in 2016.
Mancunian Indie quintet AFFAIRS and producer EdBuller (Suede, Courteeners) proved that they make a dynamic match with previous single ‘Blood Science‘ and they teamed up in the studio again for spirited new track ‘Brothers‘.
The hazy, romanticism intro elevates before Liam Grindell’s baritone vocals add a unique edge to the Electro Indie ode to camaraderie. As Liam declares in the chorus ‘this is for my Brothers’, emotions soar in sync with the harmonies. Synths echo from all directions upon intricate, melodic guitars.
Not only does ‘Brothers‘ tell us that camaraderie is not dead, it also tells us that AFFAIRS are unafraid to make their own mark on the indie genre. The tinges of nostalgia hidden beneath the synths coupled with the bold, operatic vocals certainly deem AFFAIRS noteworthy on the vast, Indie scene.
If you were looking for an anti-ballad to play on repeat this Summer, call off the search. Searing through the ins and outs of a throwaway, shallow affair, ‘It’s Not Love’ is a track for anyone who’s ever enjoyed something fleeting.
Hailing from Dublin, Sal Vitro relocated to London and can now unveil their debut album ‘Cirque Du Sleaze’, a celebration of Rock’n’Rolls excessive pleasures and potential pitfalls. A fresh spin on good no-nonsense meat and potatoes rock, the album combines fine songwriting, rabble rousing vocals, and sleazy, bluesy, devil-may-care fun.
Touring with the likes of Thin Lizzy, Status Quo, Jeff Beck and Richie Sambora has rubbed off on these lads, and turned them into fine live performers – rocking out to audiences of 10,000 strong. Catch them before they start turning out in stadiums regularly.
Last month the Grammy award-winning British house duo Dirty Vegas return with their brand new single, ‘Do What You Feel’ – taken from their new album, ‘Photograph’ out this September on Italian dance label D:VISION.
Charged with acoustic guitars and feel-good vocals, ‘Do What You Feel’ is just the kind of vibrant summer anthem you’d expect from the South London lads, who first shot to fame in 2001 with their iconic debut single ‘Days Go By.’
Paul Harris and Steve Smith have been making music together for nearly 20 years. 2001’s debut single ’Days Go By’ catapulted them to Grammy success, winning the group Best Dance Recording. In the rollercoaster two years that followed, they released their eponymous debut album and headlined their own worldwide tour, in addition to supporting like-minded artists such as Moby, Underworld and GrooveArmada. They went on to sell over 1 million albums and were named No.6 in Billboard Magazine’s ‘Top selling Electronic artists of the 2000’s’.
All eyes are now on their fourth album, ‘Photograph’ due out later this year, featuring the new single, ‘Do What You Feel’, and last year’s ‘Let The Night’ alongside nine other brand new tracks. ‘We feel like this new album is some of our best work to date,’ says DirtyVegas. ‘It’s a journey back to our club roots.’
Check out the excellent remix package if you have a chance.
When I heard the news that ‘David Bowie is’ – possibly one of the greatest retrospective of this generation was coming to the Philarmonie de Paris, I was more than thrilled. I was even more excited because my lack of organisation has led me to miss the exhibition at the V&A back in 2013. This time I was not going to miss it.
David Bowie is a living alien genius, his contribution to music, art and fashion is undisputable and this exhibition definitely fulfilled my expectations. Word has it that he visited it under disguise at the V&A on it’s opening day, I really wonder what he thought of it.
Everything you know/do not know/need to know about Bowie is there. Lyrics, original his stage AMAZING costumes, photographs, album artwork, rare performance material, set designs – everything is there. To the point that one may feel like they are, for an hour or so sharing a special and unique experience with the master himself.
Everything about this exhibition is flawless. I loved the fact that the music changed depending on where you were in the room. You’d be looking at artwork from the era of ‘Young Americans’ and hear ‘Fame’ in the backrground. His metarphosis throughout the ages from Major Tom, to Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane to Halloween Jack is central to the exhibition vbecause it’s central to his life and to his work.
The omnipresence of Bowie (he IS everywhere) somehow makes you feel like he is there with you, or at least his body is. I never felt so close to him. And I loved it.
The exhibition is touring all over the world so don’t miss it. A few dates : It ‘ll be in Melbourne from the 16th July and Groningen from 15th December 2015.