16 8 / 2012
I first got into electro pop when I was about 14 when my sister introduced me to Ben Gibbard’s side project, The Postal Service. After several hours/days/weeks/months of Myspace stalking later, I found these other four bands and thus my love for electro pop was born.
So, here we go!
1) The Sounds
Tony the Beat
Dying To Say This To You, 2006
Album unknown, date unknown.
Beware of switching movie theatres
Chain Letter EP, 2004
Stop acting like you know more about the internet cafe than me
Noe We Have Something To Celebrate, 2006
4) Playradioplay! (Now recording under the name Analog Rebellion)
Decipher Reflections From Reality
Album unknown, date unknown
Even Fairytale Characters Would Be Jealous
The Frequency EP, 2007
5) The Secret Handshake (Luis Dubuc from Of Legends)
One Full Year, 2007
6) The Postal Service
Brand New Colony
Give Up, 2003
23 7 / 2012
In honour of the 10th Mixtape, I have decided to create a personal mixtape. The kind of ideal mixtape that I would have wanted to have made for my young teenage self. The bands will consist solely of bands that were touring my area heavily when I was youngster, and were key bands for creating the music scene in the shire. So, let us begin!
1) The Maple State - The First Law of Thermodynamics - 2004
Introduced to me by my sister, The Maple State became a solid favourite of mine, and still are. Their earlier music features more electronica stuff and Clash-esque vox, which is classic Maple State. Their later stuff is more modern, but is still brilliant.
2) Furthest Drive Home - Better Beaching - 2005 (?)
3) The Riverclub - Demo 1 - 2007
4) Tonight is Goodbye - Black Dress - 2007
5) Arthur - On top of the world - 2008
16 7 / 2012
1) Caggie Dunlop - Video Games cover
I am not a huge fan of Lana Del Ray. I’m not ashamed to admit it, seeing as I see her more as a fad. Saying that, her song Video Games has some very pretty melodies in it, and therefore, earns a place in one of these mixtapes. However, rather than the Miss Wooldridge Grant version, I have included the version sung by serialist pouter from fictional reality series Made in Chelsea, also known as Caggie Dunlop. Her talent is, I admit, debatable as well, however I prefer this version by a million miles. There is something very relaxing to listen to a very stripped down track.
2) José González - Crosses
Swedish Junip guitarist Jose Gonzalez has made a name for himself by releasing his own EPS and albums. His song, Heartbeats, became a hit due to his simplistic harmonies, fast paced chord sequencing, paired with his soft vocals. Crosses is a favourite of mine, consisting of thundering chords with repetitive melodies.
3) Ghost Saddles - Atlas Shrugged
Former The Maple State (RIP) frontman, Gregory Counsell, has headed back into the studio and created a series of songs with two previous Maple State members. These songs are far from the upbeat indie electronica that was a signature sound of TMS. Atlas Shrugged was the first song of a few that were uploaded onto various websites, such as myspace.com/ghostsaddles and their soundcloud account. However, most of them have since been taken down, apart from one song ‘Last One Back’.
Atlas Shrugged is a song that contains touching visual lyrics, eloquent melodies and a rather matured rawness that leaves the listener with a sweet aftertaste. “You’re holding a match in a bathtub of oil” is a particular favourite of mine.
4) Ben Francis Leftwich - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyue2N1XZ0M
I first heard this track a week before Reading Festival last summer on the radio. As soon as I heard it, I fell in love. Lucky for me, Ben Francis Leftwich was playing at Reading Festival 2011, and I thoroughly enjoyed his beautiful high pitched melodies in the middle of the rainy day. When I listen to his album, Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm, I fall into a trance.
5) Jont - Another Door Closes
A very old friend of mine, Jont, is a self confessed troubadour and travels all over the world to host unlits in a variety of locations. An unlit is defined as a mixture between a party and gig and was created by Jont himself. It is where nice and friendly people invite strangers into their home and encourage up and coming performers to showcase their music.
Jont is the most wonderful composer and arranger, and has created some of the greatest music I have ever heard in my life. This is a revamped version of his track Butter, taken from his 2002 release and my favourite album, Everything you need to know about life in 74 minutes. The addition of the bass, drums and piano picks up this song completely, and perfectly accomodate Jont’s soft vocals.
In Transmission - Collections Create
This track I stumbled upon on Youtube, and I am so glad that I did. A beautiful ongoing 6 minutes of relaxing music, which is largely instrumental, with only some background vocals used as a way to enhance the track itself. The video, shot by Hellogoodbye’s Forrest Kline, and heightens the repetitive melodies by using blue as a theme. This is ideal for fans of Volcano Choir and Collection of Colonies of Bees.
16 4 / 2012
I always seem to, every morning, wake up with a particular song in my head. It is always mixed as well. So, I thought I would combine 3 of the songs I have had recently, and will add two more when I have two more.
1) Backstreet Boys - Backstreet’s Back
I have no explanation for this. I just woke up one morning, and it was rolling around in my head. And actually, despite the dodgy dancing, it is a good song. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I really am not. I listened it to a lot when pop groups were everywhere, and actually, there was a reason Backstreet boys were famous. They were good.
2) The Beatles - Day in the Life
After spending last week at my Uncle’s (who is a huge fan of the Beatles), I have been listening to them non stop for the past week. Even though the red album is probably my favourite, there are many songs on the Blue and White albums that I enjoy listening to, and this is one of them.
3) Hellogoodbye - The thoughts that give me the creeps
I didn’t wake up with this song in my head, but I did wake up with this video. The mind is a strange and wonderful thing. Anyway, the link between Backstreet Boys and the Beatles has no explanation, because I don’t even know myself. But, if they did name themselves after their song, then the link between Hellogoodbye and The Beatles doesn’t need any explanation.
I like this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WPnaDet8eg) because you can see the process of recording that they were going through at that time, listen to the album track and listen to how they have evolved since the demo.
I really like the beginning and how it works well in the song. I find the instrumental section and the use of the guitar, ukulele, glockenspiel and piano within it, contrasts to their previous work, but they have still retained the essence that is Hellogoodbye.
To entertain yourself, and to see what they did when they popped over here last year, watch this video.
P.s, sneak preview of next week’s mixtape:
15 4 / 2012
12 4 / 2012
Now, I am not a big fan of remixes. I am not ashamed to admit it, because I feel that when an artist is writing a record or song, they create it how they feel it should be created. So, to have another artist come in and say, ‘Right, that’s great, BUT here’s how you should’ve done it’, is not only insulting to the original artist, but also the music.
Saying that, there are a few remixes that I do really enjoy, due to the excellence from one artist, drawing on what another artist has done. Rather than chopping and changing it completely, they manage to adapt the original to create their own version, that still has links to the original, but in a completely subtle way.
So, below are the remixes I have found that have surprised me in their creativity, as well as their ability to still be very much a derivative of the original.
1) U Smile - Justin Bieber
Before you click off this page in an instant, WAIT. JUST WAIT. Ok. This is not some teen poppy song featuring lyrics about GURLS. This is a shockingly impressive piece of music, which, actually, shows the impressive musical nature of Justin Bieber. Yes, yes, I can hear the screams of delight from the 14 year olds, and the depressed sighs of all you 16+ people out there, but just listen first.
2) Adele - Rolling in the Deep (Jamie xx shuffle)
The use of the voice morph in the chorus is a bit odd the first time you hear it, however, the synth works well with the drum machine, and works well with the familiar “we could’ve had it allllllll” that all of us have heard one point or another. To be perfectly honest, i’ve heard this song so much, I can’t bear to listen to it anymore. This edit, however, seems to pick it up again, and give it new life.
3) Mark Ronson - God put a smile upon your face
An instrumental tune, which is much more funky than the original, which I feel requires more sitting back and listening, rather than dancing to.
Also, interestingly, it is one of Coldplay’s more upbeat songs in Rush of Blood to the Head in regards to tempo, but, compared to Ronson’s updated remix, it is much slower in comparison.
The use of brass in the song playing the melody adds more of a wholesome sound to this song, and, despite possibly taking it back to the days of swing music, featuring heavily-brass dominant orchestras, the music doesn’t sound dated. Interestingly, the guitars do not feature as much as they do in the original.
4) Proxies (Originally Canterbury) - Ready Yet? Remix
I really liked the original, so much so I included it in one of my previous mixtapes. However, there’s something about this remix that I find is unbeatable. Maybe it’s the bit where the tempo speeds up, and it goes from a dubstep song to a drum and bass after the interlude? Maybe it’s the part of the song where the two singers harmonise “with the faces and places that you meet” in an a capella fashion? Maybe it’s the repetitive bass line before the second chorus? Whatever it is, it is sheer brilliance.
31 3 / 2012
“Yes it’s true. After fourteen years the Vans Warped Tour is returning to Europe with a show in London this November
The lineup, venue and ticket info are yet to come but starting today, Warped fans can sign up for future updates to get the first word on details.
Sign up today on the Warped UK site”
Head on over to http://www.vanswarpedtouruk.com/ to sign up.