11-09-2013 // Must-Have of the Month: Mars Water - Subconscious|
Exactly five months ago I wrote about Mars Water’s 2012 release Tempus Fugit. I had been madly in love with it for several months and called it a true Summer-record. I still listen to it & have spent a few Summer nights with it playing on the beach stereo. and then I read something about a new album in August. I expected more up-tempo beach songs like 'Dreams' or 'Stay', both songs with Summer packed in every note and word.. I couldn’t have been more wrong; Subconscious is something completely different. Recognizable as a Mars Water album, due to Ponny Kosmas’ voice, but it ends there. Subconscious is rough, loud and in-your-face.
Subconscious is a concept album about advertising and our brains. All songs flow into each other and are meant to be listened to in one sitting, similar to watching a TV episode or movie. Sit back, turn it up, close your eyes, relax, and listen to the voices in your head.
This concept is easily found in the song titles and the lyrics, but it goes a little deeper than that. The overall feel of the album is haunting, smothering. It is an attack on your sanity with the constant grudges and loud guitars. Even the ‘easier’ songs are trying to commit murder on your brains and I can only assume the last line of Ponny’s little explanation (Sit back, turn it up, close your eyes, relax, and listen to the voices in your head) is a cynical one. There’s no relaxing, no sitting back, no voices in your head. Subconscious takes over your mind and everything in it.
Does all of that make this a bad album. Hell no! I did award it my Must-Have of the Month for September for a reason; I’m completely hooked on it. Subconscious is a haunting album in the best possible way an album can be. It is one huge trip from start to finish. I recommend strongly to listen to this album in one cut (although I’m aware I picked 4 songs here). I can relate to the “sit back, turn it up”, because it is the best way to experience this record to the fullest. Because that's with it is: an Experience. You should let this album win you over by storm. Let it suck you into the story underneath & spit you out after the last seconds. And when you lie there on the floor completely wrecked, you’ll probably want to hear it all again.
I hope you will. I know I wanted to. And still do. If you spend your money on one record this month, make it this psychedelic machine of lo-fi surf noise.
Great! Fucking! Record!
10-09-2013 // Track: Monster Rally - Return to Paradise|
Three years ago I went on vacation with my (ex-)girlfriend, we went to Portugal. It was a great trip, Portugal is a beautiful country. There's no direct link with this fine song from Monster Rally's upcoming album Ocean blue, but the sound and feel of this song takes me back to that week in Portugal. Although we've split up several years ago, it's raining outside & I'm sneezing my head off, this song is just what the title promises me: a Return to Paradise. I love it!
10-09-2013 // Track: Paper Trails - The Only One|
Evanescence?! Nope. Epica?! Nope. Within Temptation?! Nope. You give up? Paper Trails! An electro indie-pop duo from Los Angeles. David Duarte and Meesha Black write melodic dark rocksongs combing an echo from the past with tricks and tunes from the here and now; oldschool guitar riffs with pulsing. So far they've released 4 songs (soundcloud) with "The Only One" being the most addictive. If this duo is just starting, we're in for more great songs.
09-09-2013 // Track: Parlours - I Dream of Chicago|
This is 3 years old and Parlours have gone places since then, but listening to most of the songs they've made availalbe through NoiseTrade this old tune is the one that made my heart go a little faster. The latest (extremely smooth in a bad way) video for Slowly From the Earth is really disappointing and if Parlours will dream tonight, let it be of more tunes like "I Dream of Chicago".
07-09-2013 // Track: Poor Remy - Ghost|
Is there a better way to celebrate the weekend than a song like this? I don't know the lyrics, but I'm singing along anyway! The way this song starts out really sweet and relaxed and then becomes a little stronger and louder with every minute that passes is just really cool. Read somewhere that Poor Remy plays a very energetic liveshow. After hearing this song, I can totally imagine & hope to experience that somewhere in the future. For now, have a good weekend!
06-09-2013 // Track: Kings of Lowertown - Shotgun Preacher|
This is the kind of pumping and rolling bluestrack I need on a Friday morning. "Shotgun Preacher" comes from their upcoming album 60 More Miles and it has that fine dirty something to it, making this an irresistable song.
04-09-2013 // Track: EMPRA - Strange Condition|
Australian four-piece EMPRA has recently released their new EP Strange Condition and this title track is a great song to get to know them. With most probably the last few days of Summer ahead of us it is time for one more beach party. This is made for drinking and screaming, dancing with a pretty girl and spilling your beer all over everyone's shoes. Nobody gives a fuck, because everyone's dancing to "Strange Condition". Like me, in my living room, right now!
03-09-2013 // Track: The Hot Sprockets - Comin On|
Another "no bullshit, just enjoy the fuck out of this"-track, this time by Irish band The Hot Sprockets. Set for release later this month, this fun and funky track sounds typical Irish for some reason. Whatever though, just enjoy it. I am, and I am in an important meeting right now, pretending to be taking notes on my tablet..
02-09-2013 // Album: Sheron - Ghost Hopes|
This was released a few months ago and I've been listening to it on a regular bases, but never got around to write a little something on it. Which is really too bad and I'm sorry for not sharing this beauty sooner with you, my dearest readers, because this 3-track EP deserves more than just that little bit of love it got from me these last few months, it deserves your love too!
Sheron is the new project by Andrew Sheron, who was previously known as Everyman Of Parts and is also a part of Balto, one of my favorite bands of the last few years and a band filled with talented musicians. Like Sheron. And Ghost of Hopes is his first release.
Opening track "Keyser Söze" has a certain urge to it, thanks to the pulsing violin pushing it forward. With Andrew's remarkable voice and the great percussion it's a beautiful track reveiling a new little secret everytime you listen to it. Sheron is definately trying out new things here and it's a direction well worth exploring. "Tell Me Again" and "The Doubted" are both more straight up singer-songwriter songs, but both are really good. The choir in "The Doubted" again shows some experimenting by Sheron and gives the song something extra.
For a 3-track EP this is pure gold. Three beautiful songs combined, I could only ask for more new music. Let's hope there's a full album in the works as I type. In the meanwhile, let's just turn up the volume and put this on repeat, in our bedrooms, while we lay in the dark, watching the ceiling, singing along, not knowing we're keeping up the rest of the neighbourhood.
02-09-2013 // Monday Morning Kick-Off: Grace & Tony - November|
After coming from completely different styles in music, Grace & Tony fell in love with each other and started making music together. This is now resulting in their debut album November being released on November 12th. They call their up-tempo tunes "Punkgrass" and that's just fine, I just think this is a great song & they have more over at their noisetrade-page. Get them for free and have a great week!
01-09-2013 // Introducing: Beccy Owen|
The Sweetest of Tales From The Bitterest Edge is Beccy Owen's debut record from back in 2002. It was recently re-released via bandcamp and it is one of the finest records I've discovered this year. The fact that it's over 10 years old doesn't matter at all, there's no timestamp on truly beautiful music.
Together with Paul Federici's Now and Then this album was pretty much my only soundtrack last week. The music of Beccy Owen fits in nice somewhere in between Tori Amos and Bridie Jackson. Being a huge fan of both, it's no surprise I've been enjoying this so much lately. So if either of those interest you, get this record!
There's also a recently released new EP called Drink, which is supposed to be a little teaser for a new album coming later this year & only available for a limited time. It's a little darker but also extremely beautiful. Drink is her 5th release in total and her first new solo work in five years, Beccy seems to be trying out new styles on it and it just makes me more curious about that new record. The Tori Amos-reference is pretty much gone here, eventually Beccy Owen will be without comparisation. She will just be Beccy Owen. A great singer-songwriter.
31-08-2013 // Track: Cub Sport - Paradise|
Cub Scouts have been stung by a cease and desist order from Scouts Australia, who sent a legal letter to the Brisbane group last month stating that their name conflicted with the registered Cub Scout trademark, Perth Now reports. The band’s frontman, Tim Nelson, says the moniker – which they have been using for over two years – was inspired by the “youthfulness” of their indie tunes, but Scouts Australia have concerns over avoiding any confusion between their activities and that of the Brisbane five-piece, who played for the Scouts in a live performance at their Jamboree in January. Source: http://cubsport.tumblr.com/.
The namechange is a little sad and completely silly from the Scouts Australia, but the music is still addictive as hell! The new song "Paradise" is another "Must-Dance-and-Sing" track and the video is the icing on the cake. Great track to kick off the weekend. Great track to dance to on the weekend. Great track to finish off the weekend on Monday morning. Or just play it 24/7 for the next few days. I wish I could!