Monday, 30 August 2010

Forest Swords

Forest Swords - Rattling Cage from ///NO PAIN IN POP\\\ on Vimeo.

The first track I heard from Forest Swords was 'Rattling Cage', one of the two captivating efforts present on his most recent 7'' out on No Pain In Pop, although it doesn't so much rattle as float due to a generous helping of reverb. The lush ghostly twinkles bring to mind ghostly happenings and the indecipherable vocals and unexpected crashes of guitar do nothing to chase off this sinister presence.

Its companion piece, 'Hjurt', floats poignantly along before being dubbed into fragile hypnagogia from which it falls upon your subjective response as regards whether to continue further into the sinister ambiance initially conjured by 'Rattling Cage' or to float on by.

Forest Swords also have an EP (which is clearly long enough to be an album) out on Olde English Spelling Bee, which is the sort of place you would expect to find him BUT the boy is from Liverpool which is mental both sonically and geographically.

Anyway, the EP is also very good and long enough to get nice and lost in his world. His skill at crafting these sonic landscapes is in some ways comparable to that of Burial, although obviously the music is not so similar.

I think the plan is to release a full album which will basically be the EP plus the 7'' though I can't remember where I read that so it might be a lie. They also made what, judging by the tracklisting, looks like a very interesting mixtape for Gorilla Vs Bear before the EP dropped but I wasn't on the ball enough to pick it up and don't know anywhere to find it now. If YOU know, inform me please. Cheers.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

In Defence of...



1. The Klaxons...who have a new album out in a couple of days (on the 23rd August) entitled 'Surfing the Void' (artwork above) and who are currently getting a lot of shit for various reasons. One of these being that they are not cool to like because they got dragged into the whole NME-SKINS-TOPMAN thing a few years back (see also reactions to Foals' new album) though the backlash on Klaxons has been worse than that on Foals because the Klaxons also got dragged into NME's nu-rave thing which got hyped to death. Like actual death. As in, it is now actually dead.

Another reason is that it has taken them a while (3 years) to come up with a follow up record which sounds pretty similar to the first one and then there is all that stuff about their record label making them scrap an album because it was too experimental and proggy 'n' that Klaxons were all sellouts claiming to have remembered that they were a pop band at heart and so on and so forth.

So, in their defence...as much as pitchfork are hyping chillwave at the moment, NME hyped nu-rave. This is no reason to hate a band. Neither is it acceptable to hate a band for taking a while to release a follow-up album (see the Avalanches). Finally, all that shit about finding themselves/selling out can pale into comparison if the music itself is any good and, although I've only heard the couple of tracks floating around the ether, it may well be. Myths of the Near Future was and is a great album so I have high hopes for the follow up even if it is just a Myths of the Near Future Part 2 or B-sides or offcuts. The artwork is also rather awesome.

2. The Drums...who are currently getting a lot of shit because of this sort of stuff...



Anyway, basically getting hate for looking like some kind of Chris Morris parody band. I mean they look like a bunch of hipsters and sing about surfing and that which seems to be a popular topic at the moment. And some people say they sound a bit like the Smiths which obviously really annoys fans of the Smiths. And also they seem to have quite a hefty PR campaign for some reason so some folk feel like their PARODY SURFING SMITHS HIPSTER CHRIS MORRIS NONSENSE IS BEING FORCED INTO THEIR EARS.

Anyway...in their defence, they are actually just a band who write harmless indie-pop songs about surfing and shit and who have released an EP and an album, both of which are rather good. Nothing to get so worked up about anyway. They are also touring with Surfer Blood soon who are rather good.

3. Wavves...not actually sure if this man needs defended but thought I'd have a nice trio of defence in this post. And some folk have written some nasty things about the boy. He simply writes fuzzy songs about having a bit of a boring life. Which also happen to be rather awesome. And popular. I even like the new album, which has been cleaned up considerably to the point where the tracks are resembling songs now.

Anyway, yeah.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

...

Hi. Last post was one year ago...ONE YEAR!! That's ridiculous. I haven't even looked at this piece of crap for an entire year. I actually forgot the URL so this took me ages to find. Also forgot all my log-in details so that had to be reset and all.

Anyway, guess I'll get back to writing about music. Might even put this blog somewhere where people can actually see it. Might not though. Just checked through all my saved scribblings and there is a review of Wavves' debut album which was meant to be posted after it came out. Which was roughly a year ago. Would be rather painful to post it now considering that the man's second album is already in the public domain. Hmm...

So, where are the musical battle lines drawn as of 21:39, 25th July 2010? No idea. Seems like chillwave is still sloshing about in hipsters' headphones the world over, caught in all of its undulating sundrenched cliches on records such as Washed Out - Life of Leisure and Toro Y Moi - Causers of This. Elsewhere, dubstep continues to sprawl out of practical definition, Big Boi makes a reasonable claim for hip hop album of the year while Four Tet and Pantha Du Prince spice up the more electronic side of things. Been a pretty damn good year for music so far actually. Ghostly murmurs of Witch House being the next big thing though that whole scene sounds ridiculous.

And now: moving seemlessly onto the Mercury Music Prize 2010! Here are the nominations which were announced the other day:

Biffy Clyro - Only Revolution

Neither here nor there on this being nominated.

Dizzee Rascal - Tongue N' Cheek

Haven't heard this album but I can tell you that from my high horse this looks like shit!

Kit Downes Trio - Golden

WHO!? One second...it's not on Spotify! Bet this is the token jazz album. Could go downstairs and find it on the Sonos. Hmm...one second...myspace! Having to pause Stars - Set Yourself on Fire for this...Only listened to 'Golden' which has a grand total of 12 plays!!!! (13 now) It is lovely. Going to have to come back to this one, sounds like proper late-night, candle-light jazz. Oh right, some of the other tunes go a bit mental. Still, very nice. Won't win though. Cool if it did.

Foals - Total Life Forever

Bought this the other week, totally different from the first album which is both good and bad. Bad in that this isn't more of the same but good in that it is still pretty awesome stuff.

I Am Kloot - Sky At Night

Meh.

Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can

Good Mercury folky album.

Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More

Okay.

Corinne Bailey Rae - The Sea

Meh.

Paul Weller - Wake Up The Nation

No comment.

Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

Good mercury album. Thought they might overlook this one because it was released a while back. Probably in with a shot for victory.

Villagers - Becoming A Jackal

Didn't think that this would get nominated. A pleasant surpirse though! Is a really accomplished debut from the singer-songwriter.

The XX - xx

The favourites. Almost universal critical acclaim when it dropped. Brilliant album. Deserves your ears. Deserves the award.


I reckon it is between Foals, Wild Beasts and Mumford and Sons. The XX deserve it but the favourites don't tend to win the Mercury. I might bet on Foals, their album also ties in with the whole chillwave thing in a way. Mind you, the winner is always fairly unpredictable. As long as Dizzee doesn't win, I will still be able to sleep at night.

The winner is announced on the 7th September which is ages away, innit.

Epic post. Might post again before the year is out! Peace and love.