Friday, 25 January 2013

Daughter LIVE at the Hackney Empire 24/0/12

I'd never been to the Hackney Empire before and I didn't have the highest of hopes and so was pleasantly surprised... Correction, I was BLOWN AWAY by the gorgeousness of it and the high sound quality. I'm not one to choose seated over standing either and seeing as there wasn't the option to stand I was grumbling about it. Turns out, seated was what I needed. It allowed me to not worry about knocking drinks out of people's hands or people pushing in front of me. It was about absorbing as much atmosphere and sound as I possibly could because I wanted to take Daughter's music away with me forever after last night.

The band comes from a mix of countries inc. Switzerland, France and "Greater London" the crowd discovered after some polite heckling halfway through the set. Despite having a nervous stage presence, Daughter managed to deliver pleasantly shy stage banter that set the crowd giggling and respond by showing love of the three piece's tracks.

The gig was the trio's largest headliner to date and was the perfect opportunity to showcase a couple of new tracks that blew us all away. With more of a rock feel when performed live as-opposed to on record, the build and emotive push of the tracks were all the better live. For instance, the use of a violin's bows for tracks including the gorgeous 'Love' meant the emotions felt on stage could only be reciprocated back to them from everyone in the crowd.

Technically, the band was spot on, Elena's vocals faultless, a small snag on the guitar here and lack of control in tempo there... but as such a minimal group, the control, direction, builds and anticipation of drops were faultless.

The newer tracks, 'Love', 'Landfill', 'Home' and 'Run' were all stand out tracks for me that kept my eyebrows knitted together in concern and a heartfelt pain.

Ending on 'Home' meant I continued to hum the track the entire way home.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Dutch Uncles' 'Out of Touch In The Wild'

These Uncles have been around for a while...BUT with the release of their latest single 'Flexxin' and video to accompany which launched this week to co-inside with I'm sure, the album 'Out of Touch In The Wild' released on the 14th January.

This is the bands third full length album and it's shaping their musical career....With fairly gentle instrumentation and sympathetic vocals that remind me of Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor, the lads have created an authentic, edgy, indie album. If you're a fan of Vampire Weekend, Hot Chip, Field Music, Imogen Heap or Bombay Bicycle Club then you'll most likely want to have a wee listen of this here album.

 'Flexxin' is an upbeat and joyous track featuring jovial strings, whilst ' Brio' boasts a grandeur build in layers and larger soundscapes. Perhaps the catchiest out of the ten tracks is 'Fester' which'll get your head bobing and encourage the listener to join in with the addictive vocal motif 'takes me to the bone'. Ending on 'Brio' has the advantage of an ongoing chugging of the strings that provide a continuous tension towards the end and build of the final climatic chorus which serves as a wonderful desert to the album.

A more down-tempoed track, 'Phaedra' has the exquisite joy of unpredictable turns and directions. The ongoing motifs and general accompaniment parts are sewn together via keys, xylophones and stripped percussion. Whilst the movement of the chords and the vocals leap around - in a way that keeps the listener on their toes but also unable to singalong too. So sit, shut up and listen.

Fave tracks: 'Flexxin', 'Brio', 'Phaedra' and 'Fester'.

Check out the video here for 'Flexxin'.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Everything Everything's 'Arc'

So I may have been slightly reluctant to listen to the new album. But then I heard 'Cough Cough', loved it, listened to their previous stuff and was again, sadly disappointed. I was assured by a reliable muso source however that the new album is something to give a listen to and so I did.

With such a distinctive falsetto that undoubtedly gives the band their alternative flavour likened to contemporaries unusual vocals/frontman based bands Bombay Bicycle Club, Alt J and Klaxons, the boys based in Manchester are up against some tough competition.
Obvisouly, the opening track 'Cough Cough' is an indie anthem favoured by all Xfm and Radio one listeners as well as fans of Foals, Friendly Fires and all of the above.
Next single to be released 'Kemosabe' has also received much airplay and with its quirky electronic beats, repetitive hooks similar to that of Delphic I'm sure it's set to please.

I wasn't quite expecting such troughs and peaks to the album though, with tracks such as the gentle 'The House is Dust' which is a slow paced track unfortunately fails to develop. The distinctive vocals and patiently sparse instrumentation goes together well and a striped down track is also unexpected in this album. However, it simply fails to deliver anything exciting until the warming winding down and Radiohead influenced outro takes over.
Similarly, 'Torso of The Week' also lacks anything distinctive apart from well produced guitar licks.

Otherwise tracks 'Duet', 'Choice Mountain' and 'Undrowned' all contain dominating riffs and smoother vocal lines that have stronger musical directions.

Fave tracks; 'Cough Cough', 'Don't Try', 

Monday, 14 January 2013

C2C's 'Tetra' album

Electronic French turntable group, C2C bring out their  first full length album 'Tetra'. An amalgamation of DJs and producers who have been active since the early noughties offer their latest album which has much to offer to those disco hunting and genre mashing enthusiasts out there. They endeavour to create and write music themselves with the use of turntables to create new approaches to the tracks. If you like Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, Gorillaz or even Disclosure  then you'll like these boys. If you're having a down day, need a pick up, then there's not one down turned paced track on this album, o no. It's nothing but pure good fun from start to finish.

Opening with 'The Cell', the first track is gentle on the ears as far as electronica goes. Next up,
'Down the Road' is a southern state R&B influenced track. With such distinctive vocals including a strong blues line and all the magic of a harmonica - the track is a brilliant mash up of two completely clashing genres that C2C manage to blend together perfectly. With large drops, sparse instrumentation in places and massive layers in others, the track is very Daft Punk influenced, the catchy vocals and exquisite production has sewn the track together as a stand out feature on the album.

Modern day influences are evident throughout the album including garage influenced beats but 'Happy'  is reminiscent of Basement Jaxx 'Do Your Thing' whilst 'Who You Are' contains more R&B influences as well as Olivier Daysoul who has a similar sound to Sam Smith's (From Disclosure's 'Latch' track) combined with Andre 3000s rap textures. Bang on trend in other words. 'Le Banquet' has sounds and DJ-ing that screams 90s influences from the likes of Run DMC but also manages to cram in a sitar and robotic-esque vocals and in places, a dubstep like bass.

Other tracks such as 'Kings Season' (feat.Rita J & Mongai) has a distinctive bass, production and effects very similar to The Gorillaz' 'Plastic Beach' album.
 'Because of You' and 'The Beat' sounds like cousins of 'Kings Season' in that they're a similarly rap based track, slightly more melodic but less electronic based. 

'Genius' is an unexpected small gem on the album with it's 70s influenced vocals, cheesy melodies, it's neo pop/funk sounds add an air of fun and irony to a good song. Very few people could handle these kind of influences but C2C just about get away with it. Contrast that with one of the tail end tracks,  'F.U.Y.A' on the album you'd be shocked to hear that it's the same group of lads with it's strong based melodies and heavy development.

Enjoyed from beginning to end, I haven't heard music as refreshing as this for a while. Definitely a new pre-drink album for a good night out. Speaking of which, the boys are set to play KOKO on the 14th March with more dates to follow. I absolutely have to check them out live.

Fave tracks: Happy, Down The Road, Le Banquet, Genius and Delta. - Le Banquet