Tag: Tame Impala

This Week Playlist (25th March 2019) – 6 cracking new songs to feast your ears on

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Sofi Tukker – Fantasy 

Back in 2016 (man, how time flies) I fell in love with Sofi Tukker’s Drinkee. Since then they’ve released a fair few tracks, but none have really worked for me. But Fantasy is all sorts of fun; a dash of Euro pop, a smidgen of late nineties dance, a dollop of Lana Del Ray and hey presto: it’s a winner.

SYML – Wildfire

Seattle’s SYML releases his debut album in early May, and in anticipation has released the Wildfire EP. I’ve heard the track Wildfire before (I think it came out last year but in a different form) but it’s a very impressive track. Its classy pop music; beautiful, tender vocals – high pitched and very near falsetto – with oozing electronic production.

LEFTI – All Night 

Well this is a party. Somehow finding the sweet spot between the classic sounds of disco and funk, Brooklyn’s LEFTI gives us some proper slap bass, cowbells and a guitar part Nile Rodgers would be proud of. It’s like 1978 just wandered into your headphones and now you can’t stop smiling.

Tame Impala – Patience

The keenly anticipated return of Tame Impala is finally here and they don’t sound like anybody else. There’s a timeless quality to their music; this track could concievably have come from any of the past five decades. Patience sounds to me like you’re sat on a beach and there’s a shack not far away playing dance music; you get all of the vibes but there’s no heavy beat and the sun is just washing over you.

Strand of Oaks – Visions

Philadelphia-based Tim Showalter (aka Strand of Oaks) released his latest album (Eraserland) on Friday. Visions is one of the tracks on Eraserland and reminds me a lot of Foals in their slower more brooding work. It’s quite haunting with it’s eery backing vocals and menacing guitars; you find yourself clinging to the constant drumbeat for relief.

Vesper Wood – Descend 

From her recently released Instar album, Descend is an ethereal track that feels delicate and sad, yet entirely captivating. It’s the kind of track that, when you’re really listening, you don’t want to move or you’ll break the spell. There’s some lovely strings on there, but the production is suitably low-key to allow that rather splendid voice to take centre stage.

 

Track of the Day: Hot Flash Heat Wave – Sky So Blue

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Hot Flash Heat Wave – Sky So Blue

Its freezing cold in London today, but San Francisco’s Hot Flash Heat Wave have managed to provide more than a little bit of warmth with their new single Sky So Blue.

Sky So Blue is a lazy summer afternoon in a park, drifting off into reverie through the sheer fatigue of doing nothing at all. It’s a cocktail of synths, psychedelia and sunshine. Lots of sunshine.

The thing I most enjoy is how it meanders between beautiful bits of musicianship; there’s plenty of things going on, but it never feels like any effort to get between them. Dream pop certainly, but also it owes a great debt to the wonderful Americana sounds of the west coast. Oh, and Tame Impala, obviously.

Enjoy!

 

Ramblings: peak excitement levels for new albums from The Twilight Sad, Foals and the return of Bombay Bicycle Club

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One of the exciting things about January is that every music publication gets to run two lists, the new(ish)/lesser known artists they think will be big in the year ahead and the list of more established artists that are set to release new material and albums in the coming year.

In truth, the ‘breakthrough star’ lists seem to be losing a lot of their appeal and ‘guaranteed hit’ status (pure speculation on my part, but I’d guess this decline is through a combination of how we consume music nowadays and how social media has changed how we interact with and receive information from artists directly. Plus there’s about a million of those lists now, which inherently makes them less impactful).

Similarly the album lists are often preempted by the – now very early – announcements of major festival headliners (case in point, I was discussing albums coming up with a friend the other day and he said ‘Tame Impala are headlining Coachella, so I assume they’ve got something new coming out’)

Bu leaving that aside, I could barely hide my excitement when I went through the list(s) of acts with new material this year. Two acts I really admire (The Twilight Sad and James Blake) are releasing new material on Friday. The year’s not even three weeks old and we’re getting stuff from critically acclaimed and adored artists.

The Twilight Sad 

I’m particularly looking forward to The Twilight Sad release, partly as they made my favourite song of last year but mostly because I think they suit the LP format beautifully and rarely make a wrong step on their albums.

They have done a phenomenal job on Twitter creating a buzz for the release. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band create momentum and excitement in such an organic way; they and their fans are building up to Friday as a real key milestone for an underrated band. And the initial reviews certainly seem to indicate that the buzz is worth it.

Foals

The band I was originally going to centre this post around is the mighty Foals. They went big on a teaser last week for their new material that had rock and indie fans everywhere salivating. Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost is the name of the new album, and it will come in two parts, one in March and the other in the autumn. They must have a lot of faith in the albums to give it that title, it’s a reviewers dream to have something like that if an album – particularly a double album – isn’t very good… 

I’ve been a fan of Foals since I first heard 2008 single Cassius on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show. They sounded unusual and brilliant, and their singles became highlights whenever they were released. But the other side of the coin was that they seemed a sloppy live band. I remember watching them on TV (it was probably a Glastonbury set) and it sounded pretty rough. Yet their albums seemed to continue getting stronger, and I thought 2015’s What Went Down was a very good album – with a monster single of the same name – that was widely overlooked.

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In fact I thought they were ready for big festival slots, they were a band who had honed their live set into something wonderful – I saw them at Wembley Arena and they were absolutely fantastic – and they had enough big songs to justify top billing. Yet the big festivals didn’t quite agree. Glastonbury put them on the Pyramid stage below Muse, which I think was very much the wrong way round. Leeds and Reading did give them a headline slot, but as co-headliners alongside Disclosure. Certainly not a bad set of slots, but they deserved to be up there on their own.

And now we come to their new album(s), and I’m at peak excitement levels. The little teaser they’ve put out is impressive, and I keep my fingers crossed that this is the album that lands them on the top of the British music scene.

Bombay Bicycle Club

Speaking of fantastic bands, I lost my shit yesterday when I saw the news that Bombay Bicycle Club are back together and making new music. They were one of my favourite bands in the world when they went on hiatus (I saw their last tour three times) and I think music has missed their contributions. Seeing that they’re back together was my favourite moment of 2019 so far.

Until next time ….

Friday Feeling Playlist: A tribute to the Buggedout Weekender

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It’s Friday. Woo-hoo!

One of the regular features I’d like to add is a feel-good playlist to power us through Friday afternoons/help shake off the hangover/get ready for a big night out [choose the most appropriate for you]. There will be a theme to each week’s playlist – which I’ll briefly explain – and there has to be an upbeat feel to the song for it to be included.

This week’s theme is the Buggedout Weekender. By way of background, almost a year ago to the day my – then fiance, now – husband and I went to Butlins in Bognor Regis with 20-odd of our friends for a weekend of dancing, laughter and joy.

That weekend was incredibly special; it was one of the best of my life. To be with such good friends, far away from anywhere we know yet surrounded by people who were having a good time was just amazing. We partied hard. Some of my friends were still messaging a couple of weeks later saying they hadn’t recovered. But there were so many moments – highlights – that I think we’d all admit it was worth it.

Buggedout’s slogan is that its ‘just a big disco’. And it was. But it was also something a little life altering. Last week I watched a documentary on the rave culture in the early 90’s and those who attended said it felt non-judgmental, safe and free. It struck me that it was similar language to the hippy movement. And what’s most surprising to me is that, when I think back to the Buggedout Weekender, I felt like it had those elements as well, and they’re not always easy to come by.

So here is the first Friday Feeling playlist.

  • Bicep – because they were brilliant that weekend, closing the event on the Sunday.
  • Daniel Avery – because he was my gateway into the world of Buggedout, and I shall forever be grateful.
  • Armand Van Helden – because he headlined the Saturday night and played pretty much every 90’s dance classic I can think of.
  • George Fitzgerald – because his set on the Friday night was the main reason I couldn’t get out of bed on the Saturday. I went way too hard and heavy.
  • Tame Impala (Soulwax Remix) – Heidi played this at the end of her set and it was magnificent.