After the hullaballoo of the last few weeks, we thought this week would be the perfect time to just relax and catch up on some tracks and videos that came in while we were neck deep in best of 2012 lists and 2013 preview pieces. So, before we take a well deserved week off over the holiday period, we will spend a couple of days with some new music and some new twists on festive classics as well. What better way to start than with a brand new track and video from the wonderful and exceptionally talented John Grant?
Last week those lovely people over at Bella Union announced that John’s second solo album, Pale Green Ghosts will be released on Monday 11 March and while we were still making a note in our diary, we were treated to a video for the title track as well.
Queen Of Denmark is one of our favourite albums of the last few years and while it played gently with a range of musical styles, nothing on it really prepared us for “Pale Green Ghosts”. It was recorded in Iceland but feels significantly more teutonic with krautrocky electronics fizzing incessantly alongside an ominous sounding refrain of strings. It’s not what we expected, all fuzzy and glitchy, but we absolutely love it. Roll on 11 March.
‘Tis the season and as the wintry weather begins to take hold across the UK the esteemed Jack Robert Hardman has entered into the spirit of things, and offered his latest single “Plymouth” as a free download.
Taken from his eponymous debut album, “Plymouth” further showcases Jack’s versatility as an artist, following on from the playful pop of previous single “Lights Of London” and the folky warmth of “Famous”. It is the perfect track for a snowy winter’s eve. A relaxed and cool harmony drifts smoke like over delicate strings and keys. The layers build gradually but with an air of sophistication and never overbearing. It is a lovely, soft track, just right to be enjoyed on an evening of marshmallow laden hot chocolates.
Click below for your free download of “Plymouth”.
Jack’s debut album, Jack Robert Hardman is out now on iTunes.
Read More: ’H’ is for Jack Robert Hardman / In Review: Jack Robert Hardman – Jack Robert Hardman
We’re not sure if summer has already been and gone here in the UK, we did have at least two days of pretty hot weather the other week so that could well have been it. If so, it’s a damn shame because the debut release from Brighton based Lovepark is perfect for late summer evening listening. Preferably after some alfresco drinking and dining, when moving to reach for your beer is about all the energy you can muster as the sun drops lazily over the horizon. The warm, dreamy sounds gently nudge and probe into your subconscious, simultaneously relaxing you while stirring something from within, a happy memory perhaps or a sense of contentment. Not bad for four skater boys who met on the ramps of Burgess Hill.
“How Do I See?” and it’s Double A-side companion, “Shudder” will be released only on a limited edition (to 500 copies) purple 7″ on 2 July. The band will be playing a show to launch the single at the Queen of Hoxton on 4 July.
It’s Valentine’s day, which means loved ones are hurriedly buying last minute gifts for other loved ones, knowing that if they forget again, they could well cease to be loved ones soon (this is supposed to be an humourous analogy by the way, not representative of real life). The best gifts on Valentine’s day are the ones you weren’t expecting and amongst the many bands who have offered free downloads today, these two unexpected gems really stand out.
“Raindrops” by The Good Natured stands out, not because we expect them to be anything less than great, but because it is a departure from the high energy power pop they usually put out. In fact, “Raindrops” is anything but high energy. The track, which was made available today on the band’s Facebook page, is slow, atmospheric, remorseful and overflowing with heartbreak. It swirls like mist across an autumn field at daybreak; the wrought emotional breathing buried within and the ice cold vocal send shivers up and down your spine. It is beautiful, just beautiful.
Take a listen below and head over to Soundcloud for the free download.
There was a mini craze a while back, where a number of musicians recorded cover versions of the Chris Issak classic, “Wicked Game”. We don’t quite recall what started the craze but it was a heck of a lot more fun and interesting than planking. Anyway, one of the bands to cover the track was Exlovers, who recorded it whilst working on their forthcoming album, Moth (to be released on the Young & Lost Club label on 14 May 2012). We are suckers for a bit of “Wicked Game” and really dig this version, which is even more stripped down than the original and even manages to give it a slight Gothic feel.
Take a listen below and check out Soundcloud for the free download.
To avoid confusion, when we say The T2s, we are talking not of the hip-hop group Threat 2 Society (who are sometimes known by this abbreviation), but of a collective of like minded musicians who came together at the Red Bull Music Academy to make a chilled out disco delight.
The blurb says it’s a “sizzling disco monster created by a seven-headed international dream team consisting of Nick Hook (Cubic Zirconia, USA), Ronika (UK), Marco Passarani (ITA), Dorian Concept (AUT), Jivraj Singh (IND), SALVA (USA), Doc Daneeka (UK). Group dynamics don’t get more die-cast than this,” and to paraphrase Jerry Maguire, you had us at Ronika
The track itself is a relaxed piece of disco heaven with a heady mix of groovetacular bass lines, beats keys and Ronika’s soft vocals tinged with just a hint of heartbreak. Check it out below and if you dig it, and you really will, head on over to Soundcloud for your free download.