Jan 31 2016

CM Top Albums of 2015: Jamie XX – In Colour

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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.”

 

TRACKS:

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Jan 31 2016

CM Top Albums of 2015: Foals – What Went Down

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Foals never 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”.

TRACKS:

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Nov 22 2015

Weekend Videos: Lail Arad – When We Grow Up

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.

TRACKS:


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Nov 16 2015

Weekend Videos: AFFAIRS- Brothers

Mancunian Indie quintet AFFAIRS and producer Ed Buller (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.

TRACKS:


Aug 4 2015

Dirty Vegas release Do What You Feel

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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 Groove Armada. 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 Dirty Vegas. ‘It’s a journey back to our club roots.’

Check out the excellent remix package if you have a chance.

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Jul 4 2015

David Bowie is…

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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.

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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.

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Post by Olivia

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TRACKS:

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Jun 1 2015

Introducing: MALKA ‘I Never Needed Love’ new single

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MALKA is an electro-Alt-Pop starlet from London UK, AKA Tamara Schlesinger. She is former frontwoman of the acclaimed folky outfit ‘6 Day Riot’ who has flirted with the UK charts, toured both sides of the Atlantic, and had music featured in major TV and films.

Her self-produced debut album as MALKAMarching to Another Beat’ is out June 2015 and in the meantime we have a musical morsel in form of her single ‘I Never Needed Love’ – an upbeat, playful, ner-ner-ner-ner-ner bass-heavy ditty with should almost certainly come with a free bottle of Lambrini. Not that lads won’t enjoy the tribal electro-rhythms of this heavily layered ear worm also. And not that lads can’t drink Lambrini if they want to either, of course they can. Just saying.

Either way, uplifting new single ‘I Never Needed Love’ comes resplendent with a carefree chorus chant, invigorating bass groove and soul claps, this is a great tune and we can’t wait for the album.

TRACKS:

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Apr 9 2015

Rosie And The Goldbug new single ‘Running In The Dark’

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Rosie and the Goldbug return with new single and EP ‘Running in The Dark‘, out May 4, after a few years of going into hiding – and the result is an explosion of colourful quirky fun.

Synth-laden electropop is not usually the first thing that comes to mind upon mention of Cornwall, but Rosie and The Goldbug combine camp beats with hints of Kate Bush and Goldfrapp that feel more at home on the dancefloor than on the beach.

Sparkly as magpies on LSD, ‘Running in the Dark‘ is at once silly and catchy, but Rosie Vanier‘s striking vocals tie it together and stop it from spilling over into sickly territory. Watch the video here:

Whether the new EP will attract as much attention from the critics as their earlier efforts remains to be seen, but us here at Cougar Microbes are definitely looking forward to hearing more.

TRACKS:

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