Meursault are back.

Meursault (led by Neil Pennycook), is returning. It seems as if Pennycook has been off doing various other ventures over the last couple of years, but now he’s focusing his attentions on Meursault. There’s an EP release on the horizon and the new album is going to coming out in early 2017 so keep your eyes peeled. More info from Song, by Toad.

Below is the title track from the upcoming EP, and it’s great.

Christmas Part V

Right, my last little christmas post. Sad times. As I said before I don’t really have many more musical offerings this christmas as I imagine you’re sick of all the horrible music already, but here is a little light in these dark days.

And that light is Hey Rosetta!’s holiday EP A Cup of Kindness Yet. I’ve been meaning to listen to it for a while (it’s been out since mid November) but only just got round to it a few days ago.

I’m going to say that this is probably the best christmas EP I have heard in quite some time (maybe in all time) especially since the first track, Carry Me Home, is my favourite christmas song of this year.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

 

SiriusXM Canada is going to donate $10,000 to Kids Help Phone if “Carry Me Home” reaches 40,000 YouTube views by Jan. 1, 2013. Help the cause by sharing the video now and follow SiriusXM Canada on Facebook and Twitter.

Randolph’s Leap

I only heard about this band about a week ago as it was in the Blog Sound of 2013 which is good in a way, as I suppose that’s what it’s there for (even though there’s been some oo-ing and err-ing about the list itself seeing as it’s so similar to the Beeb’s list).

Right, back to the point.. Randolph’s Leap have released the Hermit EP in October and before that the album As Fast As A Man in September. However I’ve not yet had a chance to listen to the album but the EP is just great. That means this isn’t so much a review as just a, “I’m now aware of them, I think they’re really good, you should listen to them”. That’s if you haven’t already heard of them, which you most probably have if you’re reading this.

I find I get dragged into a lot of ‘moody’ music more and more and I really do want to get away from that but I find that all the best music out there isn’t that cheery unfortunately. This band however do make me smile, with their jaunty tunes and animated melodies. I’m definitely going to be taking the time to have a listen to their album as soon as I can.

They can be found on bandcamp here.

Asian She – Asian She EP

Asian She

I first heard about this band from Eaten By Monsters and it’s a great find. 6 17  is without a doubt my favourite track off the record. It has so many intense moments in it which keep drawing me back to listening to it. I think that the most effective part of this music is the ‘background’ of it. By that I mean all the sounds that aren’t all that clear but which give the music it’s mood and life.

I must say that I have been going off of guitars a lot lately but their use here is so superb I’m slowly being won back over. I’ve been thinking about this review for a few days and I definitely wanted to write about it because I think it’s one of the best  EP’s I’ve listened to this year and I’ll certainly be listening to it way into the new year.

∆ (alt-j) are my favourite shape…

The phenomenon that is ∆ (Alt-J). I remember seeing them on the 6th of October in 2011 for their first gig in London at The Victoria in Dalston which was promoting their first single (Bloodflood and Tessellate), which was released 4 days later. Just over a year on and they’ve won the Mercury Prize. I’m not going to go into explaining their name because hopefully everyone gets it by now (maybe I think their name’s a little pretentious but hey, it worked!).

I have the good fortune that one of my best friends is the bassist Gwil Sainsbury’s brother (the short one on the right). I can remember hearing about them (in their previous incarnations) every week, and they were pretty damn good back then, although I never once imagined they’d get this far so quickly. From then on it seems they’ve only got better. But how far can they go and what’s next?

Well they’ve been confirmed as headliners for the NME/Radio 1 stage at Reading and Leeds festival next year as well as doing a tour of North America in spring, so they’ve got a lot on the horizon. Let’s hope they announce a new tour (for a new album perhaps?) sometime next year in the UK because I am dying to see them again.

As I sit here listening to their album An Awesome Wave for the umpteenth time I can’t help but thinking (yet again) how great the album is. I think it’s just that the music is so original it makes it incredibly easy to listen to over and over again. My favourite song is Bloodflood, mainly due to the last 30 seconds or so where everything comes in at once and you’re confronted with a big wall of sound. I probably don’t need to tell you how great they are though as they’ve been so widely covered, but I just wanted to let you know they get my nod of approval. So yes, you have permission to go crazy about them.

Christmas is Here – Part III (The bad bit)

It’s a sad day for everyone due to the news at the death of Sir Patrick Moore. Nevertheless, the blog must go on, and hopefully another free album will cheer you up! But I’m not sure it will. This time it’s the XO for the Holidays Volume V. I have to say, I’m not that impressed with it this year. Yes it’s still got the magical cheer and for those less into the christmas cheers some more depressing numbers, but I feel that the quality of alternative christmas songs is heading downhill. Could I be wrong? Perhaps it’s just that all christmas songs are eventually doomed, just because of their content? I know that there are plenty of good christmas songs out there, such as those from Mogwai, Eels and Frightened Rabbit. These, however, are very rare, and maybe that’s for the best.

We wouldn’t want too many good christmas songs now would we, that would be going against christmas itself! That’s what it’s all about isn’t it, bad songs, too much alcohol and happy people. Bah humbug.* Also you may have noticed the snow pouring down the page, I’m not sure if I like them, and think they’re just a bit annoying. I’m probably going to get rid of it, what do you think?

 

Electric Shepherd – Dovetail

 

*I’m not actually this moody about christmas, at the time, I do like the overly cheery songs and all the tackiness that comes with it!

Seasfire – We Will Wake EP

I remember seeing the very end of a Seasfire’s set back in March, I and at the time I had no idea who they were. I’d briefly looked them up before I went to the gig but I suppose I didn’t give myself enough time to let the music take effect. Or maybe they just didn’t have much music to listen to back then. Nevertheless, I was foolish (and maybe I drank a wee bit too much) so only got there as they were finishing and can’t remember much of that (It’s not that I was horrendously drunk, because I remembered the Broken Records set, so do not fear).

Well for the most part this new offering is rather good. The title track is definitely the stand out here. It captures the voice of Josh Thorn, the lead singer, really well and there’s a slight uneasiness in this song and especially throughout the rest of the EP. Another thing I like is that occasionally the music turns from this worrying noise into moments of complete calm (achieved mainly by the solo piano and voice I think) and then thrusts you back into it. How Do You Sleep captures this especially well, and while not up there with We Will Wakeis still an great song.

However, the rest of the EP just feels like there’s a little bit too much of a pop feel to it. That could have been completely what they’re aiming for and it probably was as all the songs do seem to all fit together quite nicely, it’s just not really my thing. And on the whole that’s not necessarily a problem, and it’s also not a major criticism, I just feel that the music falls slightly from the very good of We Will Wake to just good for How Do You Sleep, down to average for the other three tracks. The thing is the final three songs seem a bit too standard after such highlights as the first track and their song from before the EP came out, Falling, which was absolutely fantastic. Hopefully they’ll be releasing a full album soon and they’ll be able to bring out some more of the talented music writers that are definitely there, but perhaps need a bit more time to create great songs.

Chvrches – The Mother We Share

I might be a bit late jumping on the bandwagon here, as things seem to have been hotting up over this band and mixed feelings have been bouncing around (and yes, I’m aware that’s from about two months ago). However, I’ve only recently heard of them due to the Blog Sound of 2013, which is the blogosphere’s take on who’ll be big next year, but I must confess, I’d only heard of four out of the 15 bands on the list, but that just goes to show how much I know about the ‘music scene’ at the moment.

I digress, for I do actually quite like Chvrches. I’m less keen on Lies (their only other recorded song at the moment it would seem) but I think The Mother We Share is a cracker. It does have a vague Passion Pit feel to it but I won’t dwell on that. I find it a really up lifting song and love the sound of it.

Hopefully there’ll be more released from this band soon as I’d been keen to see if they can keep to this level if they bought an album (or even EP) out.

Loads – A Fight for Land EP

It’s always odd, listening to your friends music. Obviously you have an overwhelming desire to see it in as good a light as possible, and I always end up feeling awkward when I find things I don’t like about it. However, luckily there wasn’t much here for me to feel awkward about.

When I first heard this I had no idea that it was by my friend, until the singing came in, and even then it took a couple of seconds for me to realise. This stuff is quite a bit different to what he used to do and personally I think it’s a lot better (don’t hate me JJ). I love the way that the soundscapes just wash over you, especially in Unroof and Backbone.

At the beginning of Grow Enormous I couldn’t help but think of Foals, and I do hate comparing music to other artists, or using the classic ‘if you like this you’ll like this’, but this time I had no choice. I’m not saying that’s not a good thing, it’s just the guitar parts at the very beginning did sound a lot like those from Foals, so I think we can all see some influence there… However as soon as the vocals came in the music changed, and for the better I think. The sound moved away from what I originally thought it’d be and became something more interesting. The vocals are quite interesting, and usually ‘interesting’ seems to be code for something that just doesn’t sit right, and occasionally it doesn’t, but most of the time I enjoyed listening to it.

Overall the feel is slightly rough, and that’s not a bad thing. I think this EP is awesome, and I can imagine him going places. I’m not entirely sure if it’s recorded by him on his own or whether he got people in for some of the other instruments, because as far as I’m aware he just plays guitar and sings. This EP is definitely worth a listen, and a free download, which is always a bonus.

Christmas is Here – Part II

Apparently the christmas music I’m into is too moody. Well, I definitely think the ‘alternative’ christmas music that I enjoy is a lot better and musically is probably more valid than this. So, due to me not being happy enough (IT’S CHRISTMASS!) I’m going to be posting some more cheerful music! There’s always some of Sufjan Steven’s annual christmas songs to choose from, and I’ve also just downloaded the Paste Holiday Sampler 2012 which is available for free download below. Part of Sufjan’s christmas album is also available from here (and below).

Hopefully some of the music from these two albums will be a bit cheerier and stop you from committing suicide this christmas. Come on, it’s not that bad, it might even snow it’s that bloody cold.