Oh the times I have longed to belong to another era, taste the explosions of bass and echoing guitar solos in overcrowded venues, feel the excitement in every step, every encouraging scream… Witness the artists that gave music a meaning: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Queen, The Beatles, David Bowie, The Smiths…
And that was before I heard Wolf Alice.
The eerie, deep lyrics bouncing off the complementary way all instruments are woven together in a fresh, fun and perky manner. Eye catching titles (“Fluffy”, “Blush”, “Bros”…), contrastful harmonies, full of youth and optimism… If I could pick a band to represent 2015 Alternative Rock, I would definitely pick Wolf Alice.
I just can’t get enough of the way they keep you hanging onto a moment in time, in total suspension between the constant movement and buzz of life and the calm and depth of one’s inner thoughts.
All in all, great band musically speaking and, cherry on top, I don’t think it needs an explanation as to how cool they look:
These days, young Irish indie musicians gorged with talent seem to be popping up from every corner. Hozier, Villagers and now James Vincent McMorrow with his debut album Early in the Morning. The industry seems to be falling for his pitch-perfect voice and powerful vocal range, as well as his great performing abilities.
Mr McMorrow seems to have started an addiction to falsettos at some point in his life and still hasn’t had to chance to get to rehab. Falsettos, falsettos and more falsettos: that’s what hits me the most in his songs. He has an incredible diversity in his voice, and even though he sometimes overuses these high pitched sounds, it proves his acute aptitude to mould his voice into many different tones.
My personal favorite on this album, If I Had A Boat, throws you into the heart of the song with once again his characteristic harmonies – which are pretty seemless, nice job, kiddo – and a catchy folk resonance with a light tambourine rythm in the background. I can’t quite understand what he’s on about, but the lyrics seem vaguely familiar due to the recuring theme of water. The chorus comes up and seems to me like a slap in the face quickly followed by a soothing stroke with it’s background ooh’s: that’s what James Vincent McMorrow does to you.
I’ve always been a great lover of The Kooks. Their fresh view on everything, a young twist on Brit-Pop, all their tunes so catchy and lyrics telling the tales of boyhood.
Their new album Listen (new-ish, I guess it took me some time to come to terms with my favorite band making an album I strongly dislike) is utterly dissappointing.
It’s just a load of electro-pop-indie vomit which kind of makes me nauseous, and I doubt half the sounds on it are produced by actual instruments. Gahhhh, where has good music gone? And more importantly, why are good musicians making bad music?
Seriously. Take the third track Westside. Basically, there’s one teeny weeny guitar riff at the beginning, which is looped for what seems like eternity before this painful keyboardy sound is thrown onto a totally flat beat. The lyrics are so unlike The Kooks, especially as they’re repeated like a gazillion times and that’s what fills up the song to be honest. To me it just sounds like one of those annoying songs you skip on the radio in the summer when you’re looking for a song to spice up your road trips.
Okay, on a more positive note, there is one song I really love: See Me Now. Still, it doesn’t really sound Kookey but I am addicted to the simpleness of it. Just Luke singing, his pure voice bursting out onto quite a repetitive piano progression. Then comes in some bass, drums and backing vocals. Oh and there’s a nice bit of strings around the end of it that makes it feel extra 80’s.
Anyway, I sincerely hope this is only a test or something, because I can’t have all this talent beeing wasted on some commercial piece of crap.
These 34 year old besties are a crazy fusion between rock and folk, critics comparing them to “Dylan covering The White Stripes”; and after The Throes (2004), What The Toll Tells (2006), The Scenery Of Farewell (2007), The Bloom And The Blight (2012), here comes their fabulous, dazzling new album We Are Undone.
Sounds burst out from all over the place, this anthology of incohesion is a roar into the boundless void of Rock and Roll. The Two Galants, Tyson Vogel and Adam Stephenson, who sound anything but gentleman-like, seem to be screaming farewell to their punk/blues past.
One of my personal favorites here, which plunges you straight into a boiling hot tub of a mesmerizing confusion, The Age Nocturne. It starts with some reverb/ overdrive lead, but that slight softness is slowly driven away by a heavy and crunchy strum, which is the perfect background to Adam Stephenson’s powerful choleric voice. A subtle crescendo that leaves you totally bewildered.
I’m actually getting high on these guys, on their art of fusing different genres and making it sound completely natural.