new music april

Hello fellow indie music lovers (and musically fluid friends)! I’ve been meaning to write this post for almost a week now and am finally getting around to it! That’s right, congratulate me.

In anticipation of my very first pay day since starting work at Event Cinemas (yay for not being skint anymore!), I bought some new music, which for me is cause for celebration, and I thought I’d share some of the new stuff I’ve been listening to (all you Tegan and Sara haters out there, take note).

Broken Bells, self-titled
Who are they? Broken Bells is a collaboration between The Shins front man, James Mercer, and artist-producer, Danger Mouse (real name, Brian Burton)… how can you go wrong here, seriously. The problem is.. I feel like the album kind of loses momentum towards the second half (perhaps because it has less funk than the first few songs). Also, I can definitely appreciate this music on a certain level, but for me, the best music is the kind that evokes your emotions in some way, be it sadness or happiness or love or whatever, resulting in an emotional connection to the music.. unfortunately, this album just doesn’t do it for me. Having said that.. there are some really awesome, catchy tunes here. Album highlights: The High Road, Vaporize and The Ghost Inside. If you like….. then this album is for you. The Shins, Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz, Beck’s Modern Guilt, good beats and production. Check it out here: www.myspace.com/brokenbells

The Optimist by New Young Pony Club
All I have to say is that this album from four-piece London rock band, New Young Pony Club is HOT. If you like….. then this album is for you. Female-fronted rock, an amalgamation of pop, rock, punk and dance music all in one. Check it out here: www.myspace.com/newyoungponyclub

Teen Dream by Beach House
Who are they? Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. The problem is.. No problem! This album is fantastic! It’s my favourite new album at the moment. Sarah and I both heard the last song, ‘Take Care’, when we were browsing JB Hi-Fi one day and were immediately captivated, although neither of us were game enough to buy the album that day. I bought it a few weeks later and do not regret it for one second! Why I love it. It’s all about the emotions people. This music evokes so many different images and emotions in me. Just the sound of Victoria Legrand’s earthy, husky, deep voice makes me go nuts. It’s like I can feel the pain and sadness in her voice. I can’t help getting lost in this music, and that’s the kind of music I love. Album highlights: Zebra, Silver Soul, Norway, and Take Care. If you like…… then this album is for you. Emotional, cinematic music, organs and synths, husky voices, scandinavian sounding music. Check it out here: www.myspace.com/beachhousemusic

Causers of This by Toro Y Moi
Who are they? Chazwick Bundwick. I first heard the song ‘Minors’ on FBI radio and was instantly attracted to his sound. The problem is.. Sometimes a lot is really too much. Bundwick likes to mix a whole bunch of beats and synths and cuts of vocals and in some songs, the cacophony becomes too overwhelming and disjointed. Perhaps that’s his purpose, and I can appreciate that artistically.. but in terms of sound aesthetics.. not too pleasing. Also, the album starts to lose appeal as it progresses – it’s hard to keep listening all the way through. Having said that.. It’s refreshing to hear something new and different. Also, the beats are great and I love the sound of his vocals. Album highlights: Blessa, Minors, Imprint After. If you like…….. then this album is for you. Chillwave, synths, electronica, new sounds. Check it out here: www.myspace.com/toroymoi

Heavy Water/I’d Rather Be Sleeping by Grouper
Who are they? Ambient/Noise musician, Liz Harris. I first heard this song on Skins episode 306 and just loved the sound of it. Why I love it.. It’s just got a really emotional sound to it – I love that guitar and the etherealness of Harris’ voice. If you like……… then this song is for you. Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, ambient/atmospheric sounds, rustic-sounding guitars, scandinavian sounding music, reverb, ethereal vocals. Check it out here: www.myspace.com/grouperrepuorg

Believer by Susanna and the Magical Orchestra
Who are they? Norwegian duo, Susanna Karolina Wallumrød and Morten Qvenild. Why I love it.. This is my favourite song at the moment. I first heard this song on Naomi’s episode of Skins season 3 (seriously good music on this episode.. more to come) in one of the most beautiful, tender love scenes I’ve ever seen (watch it here if you’re keen. Warning: contains mature content). It’s just so sparse and intimate – there’s almost nothing but the sound of Wallumød’s voice and a keyboard of some kind (or perhaps a harp even?). The combination of this song and the visuals in episode 306 is just so magical and touching. The song is so involving that every time I listen to it I have to literally stop what I’m doing and/or thinking and fully immerse myself in it. If you like…… then this is the song for you. Beach House, Grouper, Skins/Naomily/making love on a mat beside a campfire beside a lake in the english countryside with the help of booze and ciggies (or perhaps just the idea of it), scandinavian sounding music, emotional music, ethereal vocals, sparse, intimate music. Check it out here: http://www.myspace.com/susannamagical

Jump In by High Places
Who are they? Experimental music duo Rob Barber and Mary Pearson. Why I love it. I also heard this song first on Skins episode 306. It’s just such a fun song and I love the combination of all those different layers of glockenspiel and what sounds like glass chimes or beer bottles or something. The lyrics are simple and yet to me, so meaningful. If you like……… then this song is for you. Scandinavian sounding music (yet again), Grouper, Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, indie folk music, glockenspiels, multi-layered music, ingenuity. Check it out here: http://hypem.com/track/570307/High+Places+-+Jump+In

Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap
Who are they? Australian alternative rock band. This song has been around for a while so I won’t say much about it. Love the vocals, love the guitar riff. It was also used in Skins episode 402. Sadly this is the only song I’ve gotten to know by The Temper Trap. Will check them out more when I get around to it. There’s so much good indie music out there, it’s hard to keep up! Check it out here: www.myspace.com/thetempertrap

My Night with the Prostitute from Marseille by Beirut/Realpeople
Who are they? Beirut is an indie folk band that fuses Western and Eastern European sounds. I was never really a big fan of Beirut’s sound, but I heard this song playing when I went to Adriano Zumbo with a few friends, loved it, Shazam-ed it, and found out it was Beirut (or more specifically, Realpeople). It’s all quite confusing. Basically, Beirut recently released a double EP, the second being an electronic based one called Holland, which is credited to the name, Realpeople, rather than Beirut. Why I love it. I mostly just love indie music coupled with electronic sounds and beats. I think it’s just a really interesting mix of sounds and styles. If you like……… then this song is for you. Beirut, Sufjan Stevens, The Temper Trap, electronic folk, experimental music. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDuDGjw86og

Go by Jonsi
Who are they? Solo project by the vocalist and guitarist of Icelandic group, Sigur Ros. Well known for his amazing falsetto and musical sound. The problem.. Not sure yet. I only bought it the other day so I need more time to get to know it but thought it was worth mentioning nevertheless. Why I love it.. Well, you have the vocalist/guitarist from Sigur Ros, who are more well-known for creating somber, beautifully haunting music, trying his hand at writing pop music. It’s a new take on pop and as far as I can tell right now, I don’t think the experiment has failed. Looking forward to getting more into this album. If you like………. then this album is for you. Sigur Ros, electronica, indie pop, cinematic music, the closing song from How to Train Your Dragon (because that’s by Jonsi), music with foreign influences, scandinavian sounding music. Check it out here: http://jonsi.com/media and/or download ‘Boy Lilikoi’ for free from iTunes now!

Ok this post is longer (and took longer to write) than I expected. Anyhoo, hope you find something new and interesting to tickle your fancy. If you’re bored, or just don’t like studying for mid-terms like me, give me a shout out and let me know what you’ve been listening to lately.

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  1. Hey great reviews, clear and succinct without the fluff of most of what I read…Love Broken Bells, have crossed by New Pony Club a few times in JB but never tempted – I do own their previous work though.

    Catch you around!

    What are your thoughts on Grizzly Bear and Middle East?

  2. Haha well I appreciate that Ash.. I’m not much of a reviewer. Mostly just like talking about myself =P

    Yeah Broken Bells is good! Sometimes I’m in the mood for it. Just seriously, James Mercer and Dangermouse.. can’t go wrong there. Ooo how’s NYPC’s older stuff? The only older song I have is Ice Cream (fantastic song).

    Hmm I have ‘Yellow House’ by Grizzly Bear but wasn’t too into it to be honest. Liked the first few songs on it though but never got attached to the rest of it. And I love ‘Blood’ by The Middle East, and can appreciate the other songs on the EP but never got too attached to it either. But I like them both =). What do you think of them? Do you have ‘Veckatimest’?

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