Weekend Wind Down

I’ve slowed everything down. Getting drunk is happening by chance, rather than by habit. And conversations with friends have more fluidity, and involve more joking about funny youtube videos than life crap… Speaking of which, I have started a new job. It’s not my dream job (not even remotely) but it’s interesting enough. But in amongst all this good, I am flat broke from my summer fun.
So here I sit, in my room, while a storm brews outside, and I realise (in my state of poverty) I’ve had more time to listen to music. In fact, there has been quite a bit of really outstanding new stuff, but also some disappointments (The Notwist, Beck…); The really unique music is coming from those that have faded into the background and quietly worked away, focussed, and coming up with something new to say.

Clean Bandit remind me a lot of Cock N Bull Kid. Remember her? Not many do, because she seemed to disappear, sadly. What I particularly like with Clean Bandit is that they’re not afraid of a dirty, probably even derivative beat; but slice it up with sexy vocals and a broad arrangement.

Múm – Candlestick

I’m truly surprised that these guys have released yet another near-perfect album. They might not be getting the kind of attention Little Dragon or Massive Attack receive, but they are piece by piece continuing to produce music which is sure to influence future muso hopefuls.

Um, eat your heart out, Jai Paul! Brooklyn’s Ang Low has an absolutely beautiful voice; one that transcends obvious gender and hits motown-like highs and lows. And the production has already shown us a few different sides of Low, in only a few songs listed on Soundcloud.
As for the influences, Gold Flake Paint had their finger on Low’s pulse mid last year and when interviewed, Low said “I wasn’t able to listen to a lot of secular music growing up, I would have to sneak around to listen to it. My mom would only let us play Christian or Christmas music in the house, so I gravitated towards artists like Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker, and Mariah Carey’s Christmas Album..lol. But as I got older and could buy my own CD’s I really got into Brian McKnight, Erika Badu, and Musiq Soulchild, just to name a few.”

This one only just grabbed my attention so, briefly, O s c a are a London group and this is an early taste. Plenty of piano and simple, earnest vocals/lyrics (somewhat Coldplay-esque; but old, organic Coldplay).

What a beautiful voice this young Melbourne fella has! I expected Hayden Calnin to rival Matt Corby, but in reality, there’s just no point in comparing. With Comatose, Calnin proves that he’s putting as much thought as possible into the arrangement of each song, rather than relying solely on his voice.

I am fairly certain that some years ago I wrote about PJ Wolf on this site, but I can’t seem to find evidence of this. But I liked him well enough to buy his album. And, understandably, the chilled guitar-focussed melodies were a product of their time. And so emerges a new project, Thief.
Catchy electronic sounds sweep out the chilled vibe and bring a much needed vibrant energy. This music reminds me greatly of James Yuill and Depeche Mode.
Thief is touring in support of The Aston Shuffle. See you at the Canberra gig! Tour info below.

2/21 – Royal Croquet Club, Adelaide
2/22 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
2/23 – Secret Show, Perth
2/27 – The Argyle House, Newcastle
2/28 – Academy, Canberra
3/1 – The Standard, Sydney

Jack Colwell & the Owls – Far From View

Jack Colwell has always strayed from his peers, stubbornly crafting a style that delivers an honest and exposed insight into his complex emotions. Many musicians make the mistake of cleaning up their music so that album to album, you know who you’re listening to (painting it all in a bland beige). Not so with Colwell, who prefers instead to allow his music to shift and grow, as he matures.
The accompanying video (directed by talents, Brian Fairbairn and Karl Eccleston) for his latest single release, Far From View, draws on the devastating impact of the song, unifying Colwell’s personal struggles with shame, with the listeners’.
And, no, as you can see in the video, Colwell isn’t one to dance in an aesthetically pleasing style. But he moves measuredly with the beat, and is an absolute treat to see live (think part Iggy Pop, part Spice Girls). Make sure you catch his next show.

[EDIT: Hereafter I will include a stream mix via Soundcloud (with all available songs). Enjoy and please share the love x ]

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