Weekend Winddown

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The Middle East – The Darkest Side

It’s nice to come across beautiful songs via international blogs and find out they’re Australian. Soft guitar strumming, heartfelt music and lyrics, female backed vocals… I have been missing Angus and Julia Stone so this is a warm welcome. A couple of their other songs have come off very shoegaze. Hopefully they’ll stick more closely with the sound of this song.
Now if they could just release an album and do some more national touring!

Sarah Blasko – Lost & Defeated

Blasko’s third album promotes a return to her unique debut. I must say I’m more of a sucker for the folk imagery of her second album, but I think I’m in the minority.
As it stands As Day Follows Night is a solid thirder. Interestingly this time her album was produced by Björn Yttling of Swedish band Peter Bjorn and John. This song is a good example of what you can expect from the work as a whole.

Miike Snow – Sans Soleil

Wow, what a surprise these guys are! One band member, Pontus Winnberg formed part of the Bloodshy & Avant songwriting and production team who co-wrote and produced Britney Spears’ Toxic.
As Miike Snow these guys know how to blend piano and ambient dance beats, and have come up with what could possibly be my album of the year (ranging from sad songs like Sans Soleil to the danceable and beatworthy In Search Of and poppy Animal). Look into them!

La Roux – Cover my Eyes

Yes, sometimes the way she sings songs can kind of be annoying but Elly Jackson doesn’t always go for the top notes. The album has a few more surprises in store for the cynical listener.
For some reason this song really reminds me of UB40’s Where Did I Go Wrong.

Patrick Wolf – Count of Casualty

To be honest this is the first I’ve really heard a full album of Wolf’s and I’m impressed! There’s a bit of a medieval theme going on in The Bachelor and The Conqueror.
What makes it really stand out with the use of a choir. Dramatic!

Ghost in the Water – I’m Not Afraid of Falling

These guys remind me a lot of Decoder Ring. Decoder Ring when they had female vocals.
There are some beautiful synthetic musical moments going on in this song. Very uplifting stuff.
Ghost in the Water are a husband and wife team, who have been touring and building a solid reputation touring around the states.

Joakim – Lonely Hearts

An oldie which I heard very recently on the radio.
I ended up getting the album, Monsters & Silly Songs, which was sadly nothing like this melancholic song. The Joy Division-like singing matches the pitch of the music perfectly and strikes an emotional chord.

Ramona Falls – Melectric

Menomena are a long time favourite band of mine. They’re very good at hitting something bass-y in their music while playing instruments like the piano. They’re due to release something next year…
In the mean time band member Brent Knopf is showing another side of himself under the name Ramona Falls. This and one other song can be previewed at his myspace page.
Knopf has worked with the likes of Helio Sequence and Loch Lomond to create an album, Intuit, due out through Barsuk Records August 18 overseas (and hopefully here too!).

Little Dragon – Blinking Pigs

Originally known for including two musicians who performed for Jose Gonzalez’s albums, these guys have quickly made a name for themselves.
This song suggests Little Dragon are moving towards something a bit groovier. Maybe less of the Massive Attack Teardrop-type sound, and more of their own songs like After the Rain. Nice!

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