VOLVIC LEMON AND LIME WATER
Anything citrus and I’m usually loving it. This amazing invention was just a clear (excuse the pun) favourite. I know its been out for years and years, but its definitely my favourite flavour out of this and the strawberry one, I think the was a peach one too. But yes yummy yummy citrus water, and I love that it comes in those big bottles too.
I’ve had my account for a long time, probably almost two years but I never used it. Lately I’ve been using it a lot. I just assumed it’d just be really commerical stuff, but it has nearly everything I love, and the playlist thing is great, I’m even kinda tempted to do one of those monthly pay thingies at the moment I’ve been re-living my youth with it and listening to Deftones which has been alot of good times, it just saves uploading the CD to my computer of illegally downloading, which is bad times Spotify gets a thumbs up.
THE NEW PANDA BEAR ALBUM COVER
Its been a while since the Animal Collective-alum has released a full album, 2007s ‘Person Pitch’ is a massive favourite of mine so I’m really loving the new songs that have been floating about, I even bought the ‘You Can Count on Me’ 7″ which is badass and the art work is pretty nice. I’m liking the new album cover it was much better than that weird angel cover that was floating about or that atomic bomb/tree looking cover that was out even before the angel one. I like how simple the new and official cover it, and I can’t wait till the album is actually released, hurry up Pandz!.
Probably the best beatmaker of his generation, forget Dr. Dre and even Timbaland, J Dilla was the real deal. He made real beats even just as instrumentals they leave a resonance thats thought provoking, clever and damn right catchy. Re-tracing my hip-hopness lately, I thought I’d give ‘Donuts’ another spin, I have to say I always found listening to instrumentals pretty daunting, especially as someone who gravitates towards good lyrics, Dilla’s beats never made me feel like it was a obligation to listen to them, possibly due to their very short running time. But I digress, ‘Stop’ kinda reminded me of those old days when I was like 14-15 during the summer hanging out late and listening to hip-hop, my they were halcyon days, ha!
Sam Beam aka Iron & Wine has always been a bit of a hero of mine, especially with that epic beard, eh?. I just love the way how subtle his music is but it seems to have such a resounding effect of me. His new album ‘Kiss Each Other Clean’ has only been out for a couple of days, between this and The Decemberists new one I’ve been in indie boy heaven. With the many highlights on the the 10 track album, ‘Godless Brother In Love’ sticks out for me. I heard this before the album dropped on a daytrotter session he did and I though it was such a beautiful song.
Amazing song from an amazing talent. Alela Diane came to my attention around 2007 her second album 2004’s ‘The Pirates Gospel’ ( her first album ‘Forest Parade’ was only made available at early shows and are all out of print and apparently Diane has no intention of a re-release, shame) was getting a european release courtesy of label Names Records. Her blend of folksy rhythms and almost bluegrass timbre’s made me really enjoy her album. She is also very good live, but better in a much more intimate setting. The two times I’ve seen her were at the lovely Bush Hall round the corner from the more well known Shepherds Bush Empire. I will be seeing her in a more club setting at the Scala in May as she is gearing up to release her new record which is apparently going to be released around the same time.
Being someone that hates very few things its pretty fun to update this so here is my newest favourite stuff.
PATRICK WOLF’S NEW SONGS
His forth record wa s supposed to be a double album titled ‘Battle’ but that never worked out instead he released ‘The Bachelor’ which was a favourite of mine. Now Wolf is gearing up to release his highly anticipated fifth record now ti tled ‘Lupercalia’. He is now on a pre-promotional tour and is showcasing some new songs two of which are singles entitled ‘Time of My Life’ and ‘The City’ both extrovert and gleefully happy and is probably as close to the mainstream as hes going to get, but I’m sure he doesn’t care about that.
Other songs that he has been playing are:
Bermondsey Street, The Days, Together, Slow Motion, House, The Halcyon
BLUEBERRY KRISPY KREME DOUGHNUT
I bought one on the way home from uni and I loved it. Anything blueberry and banana is always good in my book and thi s was just awesome. Not reall into the whole powered sugar thing though, I always think it makes things look awful. Anyway. the doughnut is just like any other just with blueberry jam. I’ve come to realize that I don’t actually like any of the chocolate ones I prefer fruit filled doughnuts, so yeah this one and the banana creme are the best.
CHICKEN TERIYAKI ONIGIRI
Japanese food is something that I absolutely love, especially those bento meals. Onigiri (or Riceball) are a great healthy snack. The sushi chain Wasabi sells singular riceballs which is great for on the go. They come wrapped in seaweed which is dried (I don’t eat it) but the chicken teriyaki one is delicious.
There should be more places that sells food like this all it is, is moulded white rice with fillings I mean, how hard is that to make?
JOANNA NEWSOM HAVE ONE ON ME
While only three albums deep, Joanna Newsom has already established herself as one of today’s most ambitious recording artists. ‘Have One on Me’ is eighteen songs worth of material spanning over 3 discs of enchanting stories and delicately played melodies that feel like her most ethereal material to date, but it can feel like an almost Herculean task to get through and can prove a little bit daunting to the untrained ‘Newsom’ ear but for fans its pretty much a musical orgasm. The first disc is probably the most cohesive set of songs with ‘Easy’ showcases Newsom’s strength both in song writing and her piano playing which makes a makes a triumphant appearance as it was almost non-existent on ‘Ys’. Newsom has lost the vocal awkwardness and naiveté that was splattered abundantly on her début ‘The Milk-Eyed Mender’. The title track the is the crowning moment, in terms of fluidity and grandeur with simple vocal/harp intro that turns into a Renaissance jam fest which features instruments from the Middle-Ages such as the vielle and rebec. Towards the end you can almost picture Newsom playing this at a Renaissance Royal occasion full of dancing and mead drinking, some speculate that she has time travelled to bring this brand of music to the uneducated.
Newsom has really challenged her musical chops on this album from the delicate balladry of ‘Kingfisher’ and ‘Jackrabbits’ to the full band Arthurian nature of ‘Soft As Chalk’ . Even with the Motown flavoured ‘Good Intentions Paving Company’ still feels a part of the package she flirts with this style once again on later songs such as ‘Baby Birch’ and ‘Esme’. While the third disc is probably the less enthralling than the other two, the last song ‘Does Not Suffice’ rounds off the eighteen songs nicely and harks back to ‘This Side of The Blue’ where the piano is really the only thing you hear, aside from her voice of course. ‘Go Long’ shines its lament over lost love is Newsom at her most vulnerable, still using the imagery of Blue Beard and Indian princesses and even the karma sutra bounce around her harp and highlight a loneliness listeners aren’t used to. There are also references to fellow folk artist Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy albums ‘Ease Down the Road’, ‘Master and Everyone’ and ‘The Letting Go’ maybe this song is about her admiration for Will Oldham, who knows.
Best Tracks: Easy, Good Intentions Paving Company, Baby Birch, Go Long, Jackrabbits
SUFJAN STEVENS THE AGE OF ADZ
Everyone’s favourite troubadour released ‘All Delighted People’ out of the blue in August. And this perplexing release started to make indie kids mouths water in preparation for a full album release just two months later. The Age of Adz (pronounced Odds). Comes five years after his fifth real studio album ‘Illinois’ (although a b-side record as well as a mixed media music piece was released as a love letter to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway). A huge departure from his orchestral familiarity, sees Stevens treading old ground and drawing influence from his all-electronic album “Enjoy Your Rabbit” and while ..Adz does still hold those orchestral sounds and tones, a blanket of electronic samples and drones surrounds the whole record. The title track is one of the crowing moments with its fuzzy distortion mixing with choral chants and woodwind sections fluttering all over the 8 minute opus. This new mix of eletronica and instrumentation follows through most notably on the song “Get Real, Get Right” where the lyrics reflect right back to the hyper-religious “Seven Swans” as he sings “I must do myself a favour and get real/Get right with the Lord”.
The last song ‘Impossible Soul’ is a multi-layered, almost schizophrenic party of many different styles like pop, rock, folk, and even disco. If features a lot of harmonising and group singing. I think I even heard some auto-tune thrown into the sound gumbo. As well Shara Nelson of My Brightest Diamond graces the song with her soulful vocal acrobatics. As the song ends it goes from being quite industrial to what we all known him best for, folky-pop with twangy guitars and percussion. A stellar album from someone who rarely disappoints and a contender for best album of the year.
Best Tracks: Futile Devices, Too Much, I Walked, Get Real Get Right, I Want to Be Well, Impossible Soul
Gold Panda is something that I didn’t think I was going to like. I saw a lot of buzz on the project from eletronic producer Derwin Panda (not sure if thats his actual name) and I had the assumption that he was one of the Los Angeles hipster kids trying to do what us Brits (and Europeans) seem to do effortlessly and that is make amazing dance music. While its probably not something I am an expert of, listening to Gold Panda reminded me of being a kid in the 90s and listening to all that dance music coming out at the time, it just puts you in a good mood and this is what ‘Marriage’ makes me feel it also reminds me of that Télépopmusik song ‘Breathe’ from the early 2000’s
MATT & KIM – CAMERAS
This song is pretty fun. It has a slightly different sound and explore a more hip-hop esque sound a big departure from what was on ‘Grand’ but its pretty cool. I did want to put the video on here but I couldn’t find it, its awesome its kinda like Mr and Mrs Smith where they are just kicking the crap out of each other if you get a chance check it out. ‘Cameras’ is from their new record ‘Sidewalks’.
MY NEW UKULELE
Seen as its a new year I thought I’d learn something new and I have a slight obsession with stringed instruments and the only thing that I can play pretty well is an Autoharp. I have a guitar and can sorta play it decent, but I’ve always liked the Ukulele it has a slightly harp sound and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is the one that I bought about a week ago I got it in an instrument shop thats just near Tottenham Court Road it was marked down from £50 to £30 and then when I went to pay for it, it ended up being just £20 so I was pretty happy about that.
While I haven’t purchased anything from their website yet I love the t-shirt there is all different kinds of artist with cool designs ranging from line drawings to more abstract patterns. They also have this awesome lucky dip thing that you pick an artist and they send you 5 t-shirts from that artist for $28 which works out at about £19 I think I’m going to order them this weekend. Oh and the t-shirt that I really want isn’t in the lucky dip thing but I’m still going to get it me thinks. I do like people dressed up as animals, especially girls.
THE DECEMBERISTS – THE KING IS DEAD
Its the first album of the year that I’ve really listened to all the way through and I’m really liking it. They are definitely one of my favourite bands ever. I will probably do a review of this once I’ve given it a thorough listen. Colin Meloy never disappoints well, I say that I wasn’t really into their last record ‘The Hazards of Love’ I’ve realized that I just don’t like musicals and thats what that album was indended to be. So yeah, back to the new one, It reminded me of their first album, less nautical themes but instead have a more country sound and even have alt-country genius Gillian Welch which is never a bad thing. So, check it out it came out a couple days ago.
I first got into them in 2006 when I was slightly obsessed with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (who quit using the moniker late 2010, sad times). For those who don’t know what Daytrotter is, its a music website that has artists mostly of the independent variety come in a play songs, usually from their latest project, Its kinda like Peel Sessions but not as well known, and what is amazing about it is that the sessions are free to download all you have to do is sign up, the most downloaded session was Bon Iver’s where he does the most amazing version of Lump Sum. I’ve been enjoying their Best of 2010 mixtape it has some great stuff on their from the likes of Beach House, AA Bondy and Gayngs (who do a good, albeit autotuned version of Sade’s ‘By Your Side’).
For anyone that knows me, knows that I’m a bit music collector, CD, Vinyls, Cassettes you name it so to fill up my blog I thought I’d make a little segment of things that I’ve bought recently.
PEGGY SUE – YO MAMA / HATSTAND BLUES 7″
One of my favourite acts of 2010 their blend of folk, pop and R&B make them one of the best bands you’ve never heard. ‘Yo Mama’ is a single that was lifted from their amazing debut album ‘Fossils and Other Phantoms’. The single has an exclusive b-side called ‘Hatstand Blues’ which is a fan favourite which in my opinion should have been on the record. What is also really nice about the single is that it showcases the artist Benjamin Phillips art, who is a stupidly talented artist from my hometown London. The last thing that is great is that the vinyl is red, I’m a sucker for coloured vinyls and this was right up my street.
FLEETWOOD MAC – RUMOURS
Charity shops are amazing, sometimes you can find some great things in them. Fleetwood Mac’s phenomenal album ‘Rumours’ is one of them. I got this in Oxfam for £2, yes 2 bloody pounds how great is that!. I thought it was gonna be a little bit shoddy and worn which I probably wouldn’t have minded sometimes it’s just alright to collect good albums the way they were intended. But for two quid its like its brand new the sleeve is a little big discoloured but other than that its great very happy with it.