Jan 19 2015

CM Top Albums of 2014: Lykke Li – I Never Learn

lykke li i never learn

Filled with the reverberated and mischievous doo-wop of ‘Wounded Rhymes‘ and the beautifully creative and shy debut ‘Youth Novels‘, ‘I Never Learn‘ is Lykke Li‘s most definitive statement to date. ‘No rest for the wicked’ is simply a perfect ballad.

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Words by T.R Wicks

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TRACKS:

doublecougar


Jan 15 2015

CM Top Albums of 2014: Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

todd terje its album time

It’s hard to believe this is Todd Terje‘s debut given how prolific he has become. ‘It’s Album Time’ combines a unique take on modern dance music, and most importantly, an infectious playfulness that makes this both an entirely unpredictable but joyous album.

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Words by T.R. Wicks
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TRACKS:

doublecougar


Jan 14 2015

CM Top Albums of 2014: Jungle – Jungle

jungle album cover

I’ve been waiting for a band as good as Jungle for about a decade. A band that’s 1 part concise and avante garde pop and 2 parts pure groove. It could be used as reference to a history of the best and sexiest basslines, whilst being one of the catchiest and slick of all pop packages.

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Words by T.R. Wicks
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TRACKS:

doublecougar


Jan 13 2015

CM Top Albums of 2014: FKA Twigs – LP1

FKA-twigs-LP1

FKA TwigsLP1‘ was probably the most intelligent and tender record of year. A smooth Delivery of avant-garde art as intimate as the recorded sound can get and heartbreakingly vunerable. This is a perfect modern record to which many artists could learn valuable lessons from. ‘Water Me‘ was so soul bearing it hurt.

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Words by T.R. Wicks

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TRACKS:

doublecougar


Aug 17 2014

Weekend Videos: The Flight – The Idol And The Idle


The musical partnership between Joe Henson and Alexis Smith aka The Flight have produced something impressive dating back to their coming together in 2005. Since then, their creative production hub in East London has worked with some of the biggest names in music such as Lana Del Rey, Bjork and Elbow.

Their latest EP ‘The Sinner Inside‘ sees talented American singer/songwriter Alana Stewart, an artist we have been following for some time, taking on vocal duties may just be their most wondrous and exciting project to date.

The Idol and the Idle‘, the 2nd track from the EP is everything British music should be proud of. Understated is a word that is thrown around in this post-XX time, but moody, patient production cooks at the bottom of a pot of brooding vocal sass and beautiful analogue synths. The fact that the song is immediately so iconic without an obvious chorus only strengthens their case.

The lyric “God gets muddy in the glass” is the stuff of Twain, and conjures up a revelation of a world stuck between false promises, filling our voids with frivolous and carnal passions. This is combined with a stark and gritty video accompaniment that asks whether it is better to drink, dance and lay my way into middle age, or to actually think outside the box. Or look up from the box. Or remove my face from someone’s box. Either way I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.

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Post by T.R. Wicks

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TRACKS:

doublecougar


Jan 10 2014

Cougar Microbes Albums of 2013: Haim – ‘Days Are Gone’

Haim Days Are Gone (Albums of 2013)

It’s hard to say that Haim came out of nowhere considering they had already been heavily namedropped as one of the artists to watch for 2013. The good news is once the girls dropped their debut  it showed that much of the hype was justified. With a phenomenal live show in their arsenal, worth losing friendships over, long live these sisters.

The feeling I get when I hear an album’s concept executed flawlessly is a smile that starts in my belly, and slowly works its way to my mouth. That’s the only way to explain the warmth that the retro-lusting artistry of ‘Days Are Gone‘ gives me. Ariel Reichstag really killed in 2013 helming two of the year’s best albums (this one and Vampire Weekend’s), and you can really hear his touch combined with the HAIM sisters years of dedication to songwriting. In the time since loving this album’s near-perfection, I’ve come across a few bands that you’d have to describe as simply “Post-HAIM”, making me hopeful that we are moving into an era of 1000 Stevie Nicks’s. I could go for that” – Daniel Benny

Days Are Gone‘ visited the garage sale of 80’s mainstream and turned it into something cool and fresh again. Haim have fashioned a fantastic debut filled with the hooks and irresistible, guilty-pleasure synths, and the overall result is sleek, sexy and tight”. – T.R. Wicks

Skinny Jewish girls who truly know how to rock – a rare breed indeed. Charming vocal harmonies, lyrics with life advice you wish you’d heard sooner, and the lead sister shreds on guitar” – Jabes

Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2013

TRACKS:

doublecougar


Jan 9 2014

Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2013: Kavinsky – ‘Outrun’

kavinsky outrun (albums of 2013)

Just like the image on the cover of Kavinsky‘s ‘Outrun‘ the music it contains is completely over the top. The French house maestro offers a high octane mix of retro sounds and sinister atmospherics that remains enjoyable even after repeat plays.  The kind of music that makes you want to rent (or buy) an 80’s Ferrari and drive at night with your shades on.

Taking the 80’s revival to it’s reverberating limit, Kavinksy thumps and echoes along like an x-rated Miami Vice soundtrack, in a night of bright lights and fast sex. Drive’s main theme of ‘Nightcall’ couldn’t have imagined a better setting for this sassy gloss. Inch perfect production and ever surprising us at each turn, ‘Outrun‘ jumps between nostalgia and the present with effortless precision” – T.R. Wicks

Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2013

TRACKS:

doublecougar


Jan 9 2014

Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2013: Kanye West – ‘Yeezus’

Kanye West Yeezus (albums of 2013)

Love him or hate him Kanye West succeeded in simultaneously being the most talked about and the most outspoken artist in 2013. While many of us were eager for a follow up to 2010’s brilliant ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy no one fully expected the barrage that is ‘Yeezus‘.

We’ve waxed lyrical about it and we’ve compared his record to other Kardashian romancer Lamar Odom but here is why the Cougar team loved it.

If there was a land where an artist’s talent was to equal his/her ego, Kanye West would most certainly be the King. The self ­proclaimed ‘creative genius’ once again tops my list of best albums of the year, and with the humbly named ‘Yeezus‘ proves that you can copulate with a Kardashian and name your child as a direction yet still remain on top. Yeezus‘ is completely different from his previous work, and from anything that had previously been done, yes I mean by ANYONE. It perfectly represents him though:  angry on ‘New Slaves‘ and ‘Black Skinhead’.  Extravagant, pioneering, grandiloquent on ‘ I am a God‘, and yes, even funny. This album also proves that he can mix genres like no other, but also bring people together like no other merging electronic music, hip hop, rock, jazz and punk gathering genius from all around the world including the best of the french electronic scene (Daft Punk, Brodinski, Gesaffelstein), Brit DJ/producer Hudson Mohawke and his collaborative project TNGHT, and contributions from indie darling Justin Vernon and R&B hard hitters like Uncle Charlie Wilson and Frank Ocean” – Olivia

“‘Yeezus‘ mighty “On Sight” kicks off the album with the angry Kanye beats we knew he was about to lash out at us at any moment. About a minute in everything comes to a halt with an angelic sample of Holy Name of Mary Choral Family singing “Oh, he gives us what we need. It may not be what we want.” Perfectly summing up Kanye‘s understanding of why he believes he was put on this earth, and that he truly considers himself to be a God of music.

An album of mostly heavy synth beats ‘Yeezus‘ holds true to Kanye‘s unique craft. The best display on the album, “Blood on the Leaves” opens with the haunting Nina Simone sample, piquing curiosity only to guide you right back into Yeezy‘s dark underworld. The bottom line: Kanye refuses to let anyone see him as anything other than brilliantly out of his mind“. – Jabes

This dark album was sometimes a challenge, but I mean that as a compliment. It’s gritty production and forceful performances really take you into the head of one of music’s most creative souls. “Black Skinhead” was ferocious but at the same time intriguing. The great use of vocal samples and futuristic synthesizers compliment the danceable yet artistic pieces of rage in this modern masterpiece“. – T.R. Wicks

“Its hard to classify ‘Yeezus‘ as just an album. It is much more than that. Starting with the SNL performances, to the cryptic guerrilla marketing, then the album, then the aftermath… In the previous month, Kanye released the video for “Bound 2” which rapidly went viral in combination with the James Franco/Seth Rogen spoof*. Kanye also went on a morning radio rampage claiming to be the ” No. 1 most impactful artist of our generation” and “Shakespeare in the flesh.” Unfortunately, I think he may be correct. The album lives up to the hype. Its dark. It’s creative. It’s heavy. It’s sexy.

* I have a theory that the spoof was Kanye organized/commissioned. The exact frame-by-frame tribute came out too quickly and was too good. This also wouldn’t be out of Kanye character” – Robin Petering

Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2013

TRACKS:

 

doublecougar