Tag Archives: Fire

Jack Garratt – “Fire”

11 Feb

Jack Garratt

It’s fair to say that 2016 has started pretty well for Jack Garratt. There’s been the BBC Sound Of poll win and the Critics Choice Brit Award, a ridiculously magnificent Craig David – Justin Timberlake mash-up for Radio One and now, with his debut album Phase just days away, he’s released the incendiary “Fire”.

It starts slow, a crackle and fizz of a fuse as it gradually burns, intensity rising as it edges to its destination, then kaboom! The gunpowder goes off in all sorts of directions as huge electro-dance-pop explodes into life, a kaleidoscopic firework display of styles. Synths wobble like a rocket’s trail as it launches into the night sky before showering us in sharp sparks of digital beats.

There’s a Catherine Wheel of UK garage bubbling under, spinning hypnotically as the vocals build to a grand crescendo, matched with multi-coloured cascades of electronics streaking and snaking all over. It’s frenetic, chaotic, seismic and magnificent. 2016 already feels like it could be the year of Jack.

”Fire” is taken from Jack Garratt’s debut album ‘Phase’ which is out on 19 February and available to pre-order now. There is also a deluxe edition which features older tracks that are no longer online like the gorgeous ”I Couldn’t Want You Anyway”.

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Nottee – “Fire”

4 Apr


While we like and enjoy a wide range of music and genres here at Alphabet Bands, you may have noticed a slight predilection for female fronted electronic pop, preferably smooth and soulful and best played late at night (possibly because that is when we do most of our writing). If possible, it should also be Swedish, because they seem to be incapable of making bad pop music at the moment.

So, when we first heard Nottee, we knew immediately we had found something we were going to love. Evidently she burst on to the scene about three years ago and then pretty much vanished. Then, somewhat out of the blue, she popped back up a few weeks back with this gorgeously mellow number, “Fire”, and announced a new album, Side by Side was due later this year. Where has she been for those missing years? Nobody* knows, but what is clear from “Fire” is that she is likely to be a name on many people’s lips by the end of 2014.

We talked about loving late night music and to be honest, “Fire” is possibly suited to even later night. We’re talking small hours, possibly even later. There’s a lovely, subtle Cafe Del Mar feeling to it, sunrise on the beach vibes as Nottee’s whisper soft vocals drift over gentle, ebbing guitar lines and cool synths. There’s also this distinct and fantastic little housey undercurrent, muted, composed and delicious. It’s a bit like someone has remixed this massive Ibiza banger down into a soft, nudging little pop tune but it is the pop tune that people will fall in love with and play again and again.

Is it summer yet? We want to sit on a beach at sunrise with Nottee on the stereo.

* By nobody, we mean that we don’t know and we haven’t asked. It’s not polite.

Via The 405

Stalk Nottee: Website / Facebook

2013 Tracks Of The Year – #15 – 11

10 Dec

Tracks of 2013 - 15-11

Hello and welcome to part three of our countdown of the 25 tracks this year that we loved more than any other. Parts one and two (where we listed the tracks that took the number 25 – 16) are here and here, and below we reveal who made it into the Top 15 and came oh so close to breaking the Top10.

But before that, as is customary, here’s a quick reminder of the random rules we have imposed upon ourselves. Feel free to skip this bit if you have already read it on the other posts.

The song doesn’t have to be an actual single and while that may seem a bit of a cheat, there’s a good reason behind it. We are looking at tracks that were released in one capacity or another over the last 12 months so that amazing album tracks will also be considered. We must note though, if a track was released online this year but will become a single next, then it won’t be included. The only other arbitrary rule we have implemented is, one song per artist.

Ok, let’s crack on with songs 15 – 11. Enjoy.

#15 Velvet Two Stripes – “Fire”

While it may seem that the majority of the music we have loved this year has been floaty light and dreamy or full on bright coloured electro-pop, we have still been prone to the odd moment of rocking, and that’s where the ladies of Swiss trio Velvet Two Stripes come in. “Fire” could, we said, be the soundtrack to a Jason Statham starring actioner, all cut scenes and bad-ass walking while the track (and numerous incidental items in the background) explodes around him. Sara wields her guitar like a weapon of mass destruction, letting fly with grinding, wailing licks that could bring a city to its knees and “Fire” is a bluesy riff driven slice of ka-boom that will stir heart, mind and anywhere else that could do with some life injecting into it.

#14 Violet – “Where The Wild Things Grow”

Back in February, we fell hard for a demo from Pixie Geldof’s Violet, properly hard. So much so that the haunting and delicate string arrangement and deep, languid vocals of “Where The Wild Things Grow” has lingered on rotation ever since. While we continue to wait patiently for a fully mastered version that thus far hasn’t come, we remain bewitched by the demo’s rich, soaring beauty and more Lana than Lana sensibilities. It is simply gorgeous.

#13 Blood Orange – “Chamakay”

In the Kindness directed video for “Chamakay”, the lead single from the second Blood Orange album, Cupid Deluxe, Dev Hynes can be seen busting out some old school Michael Jackson-esque moves in a variety of locations. We totally get why. It’s hard to listen to the smooth, soulful melodies without feeling compelled to indulge in a little armography and leg flickering yourself. Featuring the sultry voice of Caroline Polachek from Chairlift, “Chamakay” channels Terence Trent D’arby, D’Angelo and “Liberian Girl” crooning MJ into slow jam R’n’B grooves as a sexy sax sound disguises the heaviness of emotion within. Like Polachek’s vocal, the track is alluring and exotic, like the silhouette of a belly dancer seen across a smoky room, undulating and mesmerising all who are lucky enough to cast their eyes upon her.

#12 Ms Mr – “Fantasy”

Featuring Lizzie’s now trademark husky vocals, “Fantasy” saw MS MR embark on something bigger and more vibrant than their previous tracks. Painting from a broader palette, the result is a wonderful explosion of pop sound and colour; it’s effervescent and infectious. The drums are incessant, driving pulsating rhythms that evoke memories of Florence and the Machine but while never losing any of that glorious MS MR darkness and intrigue. “Fantasy” is a tune that should be sung loudly while dancing to wildly.

#11 Dancing Years – “Here’s To My Old Friends”

Our first exposure to Leeds based five-piece Dancing Years came in the form of soaring orchestral beauty and watercolours of emotion and sentiment. Their debut single, “Here’s To My Old Friends” plucks at the heartstrings, especially of those older listeners whose friends are no longer seen as often as they might like. Like reading an old diary or looking through an old photo album, it’s full of warm remorse, happy memories that bring a smile to your face and a tear to the eye. Like watching the sun set on the last day of summer, it’s plaintive and beautiful and as the sun finally falls, the violins rise and let out a mournful, yearning cry for a time that is gone but will never be forgotten.

Later on today we’ll reveal who made it into the Top 10 and then tomorrow, it’s the Top 5 and our favourite track of the year!

Listen: Velvet Two Stripes – “Fire”

29 Apr

Velvet Two Stripes

Mondays are tough aren’t they? Whether you have had a frenetic 48 hours of hedonistic debauchery, or just tried to relax and unwind over the weekend, when that alarm blares out on a Monday morning, you just want to the world to do one and let you crawl back under the duvet.

Or is that just us?

What you, and we, need is a little something to fire up the adrenaline and get us going once again. Enter stage rock, Swiss trio Velvet Two Stripes with the title track for their debut UK EP, Fire.

It could be the soundtrack to a Jason Statham starring actioner (and you can’t get much more adrenaline fueled than that), all cut scenes and bad-ass walking while the track (and numerous incidental items in the background) explodes around him. “Fire” is a bluesy riff driven slice of ka-boom that will stir heart, mind and anywhere else that could do with some life injecting into it. If you were so inclined, you could say it will ‘fire’ you up, but we’re not so let’s ignore that pun entirely. Full of edgy and visceral energy, it has two words for Monday morning lethargy (the first one rhymes with ‘truck’) so get it on, get it loud and get the week by the balls and say ‘you’re mine’. Monday mornings, you’re done.

The ‘Fire’ EP is due for release on 20 May and you can catch the trio at a handful of UK dates in the next few weeks. Details below.

Catch Velvet Two Stripes in the UK
Thursday 2nd May – Good Sex @ Proud Gallery, London.
Thursday 16th May – The Great Escape Festival. Brighton
Thursday16th May – Avondale House, Southampton
Saturday 18th May – The Great Escape Festival. Brighton
Sunday 25th August – Damn Dead Circus Festival, Essex

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