Tag Archives: Sameblod

Sameblod – “Flourish”

6 Feb

Sameblod

Having already been treated to a little dash of glorious sunshine from the wonderful Summer Heart this week, it is now the turn of his compatriots and friends Sameblod to return and dazzle us. Surprisingly it has been nearly two years since we last posted anything from the Swedish synthpop duo but thank fully they have returned all guns blazing with “Flourish”.

While they previously served us with wonderfully languid summer evening sounds, “Flourish” is a full on late night in the local discotheque banger. The synths are rainbow hued as they pulse and flicker vibrantly, the beat bouncing off the walls with an insatiable joy and energy. Their vocals are still as soft focus as ever but now they are juxtaposed with an explosion of vitality. The synthpop flower has opened and a vivacious dance sound has burst forth. Bring on the summer.

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Death In The Afternoon – “Let’s Talk”

18 Sep

DitA

It’s been a while since we posted any Swedish pop music which, frankly, feels like a massive oversight on our part. Thankfully the wonderful Sommarhjarta label (home to blog favourites Summer Heart and Sameblod) has come to our rescue with a brand new single from dreamy-synth-pop duo, Death In The Afternoon.

Following on from their debut album, Kino, “Let’s Talk” is a gloriously warm track, with echoes of Bronksi Beat-esque synth and guitar lines permeating through the groovy bass track. Christian Nanzell’s vocals are feather light and soft, a refreshing counter to the sharp stab of drums that will have your feet tapping, then shuffling, then grooving gently around the bathroom as you get ready for an evening out. For example. We’re not saying that is something we’ve done in the last 24 hours or anything. Ahem.

It’s delightful in the subtle way it uplifts and inspires happiness and creates smiles. It takes you gently by the hand for a good boogie in its neon-lit retro-inspired and future proof discotheque and you just end up having a wonderful time, drenched in its gloriously dreamy pop glow.


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Listen: Summer Heart – “Beat Of Your Heart”

11 Jun

Summer Heart

We first encountered Summer Heart when he guested on one of our favourite albums of last year, the fantastic Braided Memos by Sameblod. Since then we have listened to and enjoyed his sounds on a regular basis yet oddly, not once has anything made its way to the blog. Well, all that changes now with his latest single, “Beat Of Your Heart”, which was released yesterday.

As you would imagine with an artist name like Summer Heart, the music of David Alexander is perfect for the warmer months. The sky is clear and bright and the melody tinkles like ice in a glass, condensation glistening on the outside as the cool drink battle the warm day for supremacy. Alexander’s vocals ring out like the call of a moistened finger as it glides atop the rim of a crystal wine glass before gently vibrating out into a wispy echo. Summer by name, summer by nature, you’ll want this playing out as your sunshine adventures unfurl.

“Beat Of Your Heart” is out now and available from the Summer Heart Bandcamp page.


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Listen: Sameblod – “Norwegian Summer”

15 May

sameblod norwegian summe

It’s been a year since Sameblod released their debut album and rocked our world (it was #5 in our albums of the year countdown) and now, after quietly slipping a couple of tracks and remixes online, they are back with a brand new release and once again, we are in love. ”I love the way you make me wait” they sing, which is exactly how we have felt while patiently awaiting their return.

Featuring trademark swirling Sameblod synths and carefree breeze like melodies, “Norwegian Summer” reprises the kind of cool summer evening sound that brought the band into our hearts in the first place. A bit more frenetic than previous offerings, it is no less infectious and enjoyable. Mikael’s vocals echoe around this deep valley of electronic wonder; synths tumble and cascade over synths while the beat clatters along underneath, sweeping forth all that exists around it.

“Norwegian Summer” is taken from the forthcoming ‘Swoon’ EP which is released on 31 May by Riot Factory records.


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2012 Albums of the Year: Part Three #5 – #1

15 Dec

2012 Albums of the Year 5 to 1

Here we are then with the final part of our albums of the year countdown. We’ve already taken a look at the records we ranked from 15 – 6 and today we reveal who made it into the Top 5 and more importantly who it is who has taken the coveted number one spot.

Before we get to that, here are a few artists and albums who were just outside the Top 15 but still worthy of a mention.

Citizens! – Here We Are
Chairlift – Something
Chad Valley – Young Hunger
Tame Impala – Lonerism
Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

And a reminder of who has featured on the list so far.

Numbers 15 – 11
15. Professor Penguin – Planes
14. Save The Clocktower – Through The Glass
13. Jack Robert Hardman – Jack Robert Hardman
12. The Penelopes – Never Live Another Yesterday
11. Adrian Younge – Something About April

Numbers 10 – 6
10. Conveyor – Conveyor
9. She Makes War – Little Battles
8. 2:54 – 2:54
7. Toy – Toy
6. Roman Ruins – Homebuilding

On to the Top 5 but before we move on, a quick confession. We have got a joint number one at the top of the list. The two albums we have chosen have affected us in extremely disparate ways over the months and try as we might, we couldn’t say we loved one more than the other. One is a sing-along indie gem, the other a heartbreaking piece of ambiance and emotion. You’ll see what we mean when you get there.

5. Sameblod – Braided Memos

sameblod_braidedmemos

Asked to describe their sound, Frederick Rundqvist and Mikael Mattisson classified it as ”hopeful-electronic-mellow-pop with a lot of different influences”, they pretty much nailed it. The album is full of confidence, of sanguinity, even in its darker moments there is an underlying sense of hope. Like the pea beneath the mattress of synthesiser sounds upon mattress after mattress of synthesiser sounds, try as you like, you will still be able to feel it there. “UR Road”, for example, is carefree, joyously whistling away, happy and content with life. It’s flamboyant, animated and uplifting with a smile that is infectious. Similarly, “Always”, which follows it, is the bright sun shining on young, happy-go-lucky people laughing and joking as they travel and jape together across European fields, mountain paths, beaches. All those places beautiful people go in music videos. Not all the tracks are as overtly uplifting but there is a wistful tenderness to almost all, “The Hardest Choice”, which features fellow Swede and purveyor of delightfully warm dream-pop in his own right, Summer Heart, begins and ends with birdsong. Rather than sounding twee, it completely fits the summery feel and transports you to the countryside.


Buy it from: Amazon

4. Nikki & the Dove – Instinct

Niki_And_The_Dove_Instinct

It was a long time coming and almost all of the songs had been given away for free in one form or another before it even came out, but Instinct was an absolutely amazing piece of pop music. On their debut, Malin Dahlstrom and Gustaf Karlof and showed that pop can be dark and light, pop can exist and flourish in the corner of your mind, probing and stimulating, and pop can still quicken your heart without the need to mainline sugar first. Tune follows big tune as they take the best elements of pop’s history and explode them across the dancefloor. The whole thing is undeniably infectious and in places utterly discolicious. “DJ, Ease My Mind” may start slowly but is soon a mass of compulsive percussion and hands in the air euphoria while “Somebody” makes you wonder what might have been if Prince still wrote like he did in his pomp. Instinct is just an utter pop joy.


Buy it from: Amazon

3. Jessie Ware – Devotion

Jessie Ware Devotion

Blessed with a velvet soft voice that just melts your heart, Jessie Ware broke out big style in 2012 with people falling over themselves to praise her, including a Mercury nomination, and with good reason. We were buying whatever she was selling which was exquisitely executed, soft and emotional pop music laced with R’n’B, electronics and soulful vocals. Devotion is a classy affair reminiscent of the sultry elegance of Sadé or the emotion of Whitney. “Running” is a glorious account of falling in love again while “Night Light” offers moments of simmering, dramatic intensity. Gentle melodies drip over subtle beats; down-tempo in style it may be but it still excites and moves the listener.


Buy it from: iTunes

=1. Of Monsters And Men – My Head Is An Animal

Of Monsters And Men>

From the moment we first heard “Little Talks” we knew there was something special about Of Monsters And Men. A spectacular show at London’s Lexington confirmed it and when we finally got hold of an import copy of My Head Is An Animal it didn’t leave the car stereo for months. It’s an album of rich indie-folk sounds overflowing with charm and whimsy. Largely fantastical in content, the listener is drawn in by its storybook feel. The songs evoke childhood memories, of fairytales, extraordinary adventures across Tolkien-esque landscapes and mythical beasts. All of which is presented by big, full sounds enriched by brass and accordion.

They don’t only do imagination and wonder though; emotion and human nature also play their part. In “Love Love Love” for example which adds fragility and a sense of susceptibility by eschewing percussion. Once you realise the drums are missing, the effect is disarming and the song immediately feels exposed and vulnerable. It is a lovely contrast to the strong and confident early sounds of the album, “Dirt Paws”, “Mountain Sound” and “Little Talks” are bold tales, laden with hey’s and la la la’s. Ready made for an audience to latch on to and sing along with, even if they have never heard the songs before.


Buy it from: Amazon

=1. Arrange – New Memory

arrange_New Memory

It’s hard to believe that Malcolm Lacey is only 19, such is the maturity and emotional depth of New Memory. He’s prolific as well; this was his seventh release as Arrange in two years. Such rapid productivity has not diminished the quality of his output and New Memory is an evocative and heart wrenching piece of haunting ambient sounds and whisper light vocals. Unlike so many artists who use music to convey tales of love won, lost and won again, Lacey’s lyrics recount an abusive childhood. Musically it plays like smoke on the wind, swirling gently it is poignant and ethereal. Lyrically there is such depth of emotion; it is hard not to shed a tear. Listening to “Where I Go At Night” in particular is like having your heart shattered into tiny pieces as he sings to his mother “I’ve been searching for years, and all I’ve got to hear you say is how you hurt so much, and that you blame yourself, but I hurt some too, and I know that you need help. If I could take it all, if I could lift your burden off of you, I would, if I could”. Everything about this record is achingly beautiful; ignore the lyrics and you have some of the most wondrous floating sounds to enjoy, listen to the very real pain in Lacey’s words and you have the most emotionally charged and moving piece of music you will hear in a long long time.


Buy it from: Arrange

So there you have it, our albums of the year list for 2012. It was another great year for music and choosing which albums we wanted to include was surprisingly difficult. Now it’s your turn, which albums did you love this year and what did you think of our list? Over to you.

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