Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ryan Adams - Desire

Seeing as it's sunny where I am, I thought today's song should fit that mood. Desire is fit for a summer's night, with that beautiful haunting quality that's just right. A gorgeous harmonica interlude in the middle only adds to that sense, and the way the guitar weaves in and out of the melody is just right. Ryan's vocals are, as usual, amazing, with the true blues quality bringing out the hurt and hope in the lyrics. Both sad and uplifting, this is a song you don't want to be without - not many can carry off such contrasts simultaneously. Listen and by comforted by the knowledge that his new album is out soon.


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Mona - Lines Are In The Sand

Bring on the new wave of guitar rock - it's been too long since the last collective intake of the style. Mona are the heralds of an era, with Kings of Leon-esque vocals and melodies but a different imprint. Making their mark everywhere they go, Lines Are In The Sand is a fantastic example of why the next few months will see them hitting the airwaves with a vengeance. Being tipped for the big time sometimes hampers a band's creativity, but Mona seem to keep producing great songs. The key to this song is how adaptable it is - be it in a dark room late at night, or a background song for working, it instantly evokes emotion within the listener. Remember the name - you're going to be hearing it, soon.


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Lostprophets - Last Summer

Oh, the days we spend trying to recreate our teens - how useful to have songs like Last Summer to help us recreate the mood. This song is perhaps the most readily relatable songs I've ever heard, with everyone able to evoke a memory, a story, even a feeling. With exactly the right balance between melody and vocals, there is a sense of longing and urgency which is conveyed at the most accessible level (Things are good like this/These are times we'll miss). Unfortunately, true anthems like this are rare these days, so take a break from searching them out and enjoy the golden days of the Lostprophets summer.


Monday, 28 March 2011

Green Day - Favourite Son

From the epic American Idiot musical, this song is a personal addiction. Favourite Son slots perfectly into the album, right where you didn't know you needed it, and is simply great. There is more than one version of this song about - the original stage version (with vocals from Joshua Henry) and the version Billie Joe did (which is the one above.) The authentic Green Day version is much less pop-y, but still retains that hook which draws you in. Lyrically, this song is fantastic, exactly in the tone and nature of the album (No one says it's fair/Turn a teenage lush to a millionaire.) Seguing effortlessly into Are We The Waiting, this song is made for the stage, and it'll be a sad day when the run of this show comes to an end. Luckily, we still have the cast recording to relive it.


Sunday, 27 March 2011

InMemory - Accents Are Overrated

Guilty pleasure this week is a relatively old song - definitely one of my early teen loves. Even now there's still something about it that makes it great to listen to. Okay, it might not have the finesse I tend to expect from my music now, but it's fast paced, catchy, and has some brilliant lines - and if you haven't guessed by now, I'm a sucker for those things. Simply beating you with drums, guitar and vocals, the song tells of a late night seduction. (My name is whatever you prefer/You said my friends call me insecure) A fun little bit of pop-rock which does exactly what it's supposed to - although you'll probably listen to it alone in your car, or with your headphones on.


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Marina and the Diamonds - Oh No

Marina and the Diamonds are masters of witty, cutting lyrics in a bright pop package, and that's a huge part of the charm of debut 'The Family Jewels.' Oh No is an outstanding example of this, with a tune infectious enough to warrant a warning. Yet the lyrics are a cynical, perceptive take on modern life, epitomised in the well known line - TV taught me how to feel/Now real life has no appeal. This is the perfect song to get you ready for a Saturday night, whatever you're doing, and the rest of the album is worth a listen too. Take a look at the bright, cartoon retro-pop video, and join in the madness.


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Editors - Blood

Having first seen the Editors as a support band (for Franz Ferdinand incase you were wondering), a love affair has blossomed. With incredible vocals, instantly identifiable, and melodies which are at once compelling and totally unique, the Editors are a band that slot perfectly into the gap left between mainstream and alternative. Blood, from debut album 'The Back Room', is a driven, piercing tune, with selective and precise lyrics (Blood runs through your veins/That's where our similarities end.) The Editors are masters of the minimalist approach to lyricism, yet there is so much meaning packed into their songs it is impossible not to love them. They've come along way from a support act - they should be headlining your music selection tonight.


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Panic! At The Disco - Vices and Virtues

Oh, my boys are back. Having waited a long time for 'Vices and Virtues', Panic fans have been well rewarded with the release of the album today - and with the stream from the facebook page for UK readers, where the album hasn't been released yet...

Stylistically, it's almost as if A Fever You Can't Sweat Out and Pretty. Odd. had a wilful child together - there are such strong elements of both in the melodies, and the mixture in tone of the album. The duality goes perfectly with the title, bringing to mind long summer days and sleek darkened ninghtclubs alternately. With the delicious vocals that fans have come to expect, the songs are given an added polish and element of vice. The sheer range of instruments which are brought into play in the album should definitely be noted too, impressive and beautifully used as they are.

Lyrically, much as I would like to argue otherwise, there's something missing - but there was always going to be realistically. However, there are some properly brilliant lines which should not be overlooked. Even taking single The Ballad of Mona Lisa, you have the element of storytelling which is a hallmark of P!ATD.

Put simply, Vices and Virtues is a triumph. Now comes the impatient wait for the tour... more to come in that case.

Personal highlights are Hurricane, Let's Kill Tonight, The Ballad of Mona Lisa, and of course the long awaited Nearly Witches full track.


Vices and Virtues by Panic! At The Disco, released today (22/3/11) in the USA, 28/3/11 elsewhere.

Monday, 21 March 2011

A Fine Frenzy - Almost Lover

Having discovered this song not so long ago, it's only fitting that it makes the song of the day. Beautiful, simple, and simply amazing, Almost Lover is a powerful lament. The strings and piano mix effortlessly, and are all that is needed to back such a strong vocal performance. Lyrically, this song is equally as pretty, with the chorus being especially poignant (Should have known you'd bring me heartache/Almost lovers always do.) Almost all of the best adjectives to describe this song have been used up already, so I'll end just by saying this - listen.


Sunday, 20 March 2011

3OH3 - Richman

Another guilty pleasure, albeit slightly different. 3OH!3 are a strange band, as capable of turning out great hits as bizarre, sometimes pointless songs, but this song is an inexplicable favourite. With cocky, somewhat misogynistic lyrics, and a beat it's impossible not to dance to, Richman is a mixed song. Heavy on the synth, especially in the bridge, but with a chorus that's been dancing around my mind all day, this is one song that you can love and hate simultaneously. Surely that's reason enough to give it a listen.


Saturday, 19 March 2011

Kate Nash - Mariella

Being a long time Kate Nash fan is sometimes quite difficult, as she divides opinions so absolutely. However, there's something about her music that's just so beautifully witty under a guise of 'cute and quirky.' Mariella is from debut album 'Made of Bricks', and it's a song many will listen to only to think 'yeah, that's me.' With the classic lyrics Sometimes I wish I was like Mariella/She got some pritt-stick and glued her lips together, this song is full of spirit and, at times, utter ridiculousness (see the 'never ever' riff at the end.) Don't let the beginning fool you; this is a song to dance around to. See beyond the hype - let Kate Nash into your life.


Friday, 18 March 2011

The Maine - I Wanna Love You (cover)

Yet another example of eclectic song of the day tastes, with this beautiful sunny day best accompanied by The Maine's cover of an Akon original. From the 'Punk Goes Crunk' album, this is a masterful reworking of an R&B classic. Perfect for those who like their music a little more pop-punk, but don't want to lose the underlying tone of the song. It's not groundbreaking, not the song of the century by any means - but it's catchy as hell, and perfect for those summer afternoons they promise us are coming... so give it a listen, save it to your playlist, and thank me come summer.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

blink-182 - The Rock Show

The word 'icon' is thrown around a lot (and I'm pretty guilty of this), but blink-182 taught a generation how to not give a damn and just have fun. The Rock Show is an riotous teenage anthem, with an instantly recognisable chorus and a rebellious message (Seventeen without a purpose or direction/We don't owe anyone a fucking explanation.) Blink made a career out of accessible, catchy, and long lasting punk pop - leaving fans all over waiting - somewhat impatiently - for the new album. Viva la blink!


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Forgive Durden - The End and The Beginning

Something a little different is the order of the day - from concept album 'Razia's Shadow: The Musical' comes The End and The Beginning. This song forms the climax of the story, with brothers Pallis (voiced by Brendon Urie) and Adakias arguing, while Anhura (voiced by Greta Salpeter) discovers Adakias' secret. The End and The Beginning is theatrical, dramatic, and more than a little conceptually brilliant. The whole album projects a stage show into your mind, taking you through each scene in vivid detail. Dark, relentless art - if this hooks you as it did me, give the album a listen start to finish and feel like you've been to the theatre from your seat.


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Gaslight Anthem - Diamond Street Church Choir

Since this week is turning out to be guitar driven classic rock themed, this is yet another new(ish) band who are turning out to be saviors of modern rock'n'roll. From second album 'American Slang' - possibly not quite a patch on the first, but still ridiculously good - this is one song that will have you singing along. With Springsteen-esque melodies, and vocals that make you wish you were out driving on a stretch of abandoned American highway, Diamond Street Church Choir is a classic in the making. Catchy as hell and with a stadium sized chorus to boot, this is the perfect slice of Americana.


Monday, 14 March 2011

The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?'

Mixing things up a little bit today is the album which has been on repeat since it arrived this morning. What Did You Expect From The Vaccines is one of those albums that can stay permanently in a CD player because you know that it has a song for any mood.

As regular readers (or people looking through the archives) may know, this blog has been a fan of The Vaccines (see SOTD post here), and this album signals the start of a long love affair. A return to the rock'n'roll era that's been sorely missed, The Vaccines fill a gaping hole in the music scene at the moment.

The album was just released today, but it's definitely a divider of opinions - give it a shot, it's worth it.

Highlights inclue Wreckin' Bar, If You Wanna, Norgaard, Family Friend, and my personal favourite, Post Break Up Sex.


Sunday, 13 March 2011

Taylor Swift - Better Than Revenge

Another Sunday, another guilty pleasure - and this one's a little guiltier than most. I like Taylor Swift, okay. Her lyrics go from sweet and lovely to biting and angry, leaving you unsure sometimes if you're listening to the same artist from song to song. Better Than Revenge, from latest album 'Speak Now' is a classic example of the latter type of song. With a tune so catchy it should come with a health warning, it combines pop sensibilities with some sharp lyrical barbs. Any teenage girl in the world can find something in this song to identify with - be that a good thing or bad.


Thursday, 10 March 2011

Bright Eyes - Four Winds

A little piece of escapism today, with Four Winds, the first single from the great Cassadaga album. Brilliantly surreal, but with that undertone of meaning which Bright Eyes do so subtly, this song is like a one way ticket to the ends of your imagination. Channeling an almost country music vibe (but don't let that deter you), Conor Oberst's vocals contrast beautifully with the melody swirling around it. The cheery, upbeat melody renders the lyrical bleakness perfectly - there are not many occasions in life you find yourself cheerily singing along to the words She's standing in the ashes at the end of the world/Four winds blowing through her hair. Bizarre, unique, and wonderful - like every great Bright Eyes song is.


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Paramore - Whoa

I've hoped for change/And it gets better every day - seeing as I managed to miss the boat with International Woman's Day yesterday, today is a veritable festival of favourite female artists. While Paramore might not be the all-female breakout band who might be a little more fitting, they are a long time favourite and Hayley Williams is a teenage icon. Whoa, from debut album 'All We Know Is Falling' is like coming home to an old friend. With deceptively simple ingredients - the guitars, the drums, the strong vocals - Paramore have made a 3 minute slice of brilliance. I could wax lyrical all day about this band, their progression from AWKIF to latest album 'Brand New Eyes,' about the energy and force of their lives shows, and about everything in between - but believe me, it's better if you discover all this for yourself.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Brandon Flowers - Playing With Fire

Now as a big Killers fan, and a big fan of Mr Flowers himself, this had to be today's track. One of the best songs from a stellar debut solo album, Playing With Fire is that rare breed of song that sounds just as good on a late night radio as driving down an empty road. With the usual gorgeous vocals, wailing guitars, and lyrics any song writer would be jealous of (This holy fountain of youth/Has been reduced to a drip), this song is simply sublime. Uplifting yet melancholy, Playing With Fire is a walking contradiction - join the paradox, embrace the cult.


Monday, 7 March 2011

Counting Crows - Anna Begins

Counting Crows have an immense back catalogue of beautiful music, making it extremely difficult to pick out just one song for today - but Anna Begins is a long time favourite. Adam Duritz has such a unique voice, making songs which would be great on their own into instant hits. This song has everything you would expect from a Counting Crows song - the vocals, the intricate guitar work, even the brilliant but obscure lyrics - but there's something extra in Anna Begins which makes it just that good. Listen and fall in love.


Sunday, 6 March 2011

Selena Gomez and the Scene - Rock God

Oh yes, you knew it was coming - a guilty pleasure Sunday special. Rock God is pop-rock at its very finest, and so damn catchy it should come with a warning. Drum beats kicking, guitar and synth pounding in your ears, and (somewhat surprisingly) strong vocals, this song does exactly what it's supposed to. A fun tune that's well worth a listen - put your preconceptions aside and give it a go. You won't regret it.


Saturday, 5 March 2011

Green Day - King For A Day

A Green Day classic for today! This song is just so brilliantly catchy, upbeat, and surreal that no one could help but smile listening to it. If you've never seen it live, you are lacking a necessary life experience - the image of Tré Cool in a wide brimmed hat and pointy bra will stay with me until I die. With the unique refrain 'King for a day/Princess by dawn,' you will never stop enjoying listening to this song. Green Day have spanned nearly every genre in their career, but the one thing that never changes is just how good they are - how many bands can say that?


Friday, 4 March 2011

Stereophonics - Maybe Tomorrow

Arguably one of the best voices in music today, Kelly Jones is on top form in this acoustic performance of classic Maybe Tomorrow. With soulful, emotive vocals that are immediately distinguishable from anything else, this song is a classic example of how the Stereophonics have lasted so long as a band. This acoustic version provides the simple backdrop that enhances rather than detracts from the song, something that many acoustic versions find difficult to achieve. Quite simply, Maybe Tomorrow is a triumph for music, whatever version you listen to.


Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Audition - Warm Me Up

Warm Me Up is a delicious stomping tune that strikes the difficult balance between seduction and rock perfectly. With big vocals and even bigger guitars, this is the kind of tune any band would kill to write. Telling the age old story of wanting without being able to have, The Audition maintain their ability to create the kind of song that is utterly timeless. Crank up the volume and let the dance begin - don't try and tell me you don't love it.


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Taking Back Sunday - MakeDamnSure

This site really is on a teenage dreams theme these days. Anyway. MakeDamnSure (or Make Damn Sure, whichever way you like it) is that wonderful mixture of crooning and shouting that is pretty specific to Taking Back Sunday. Look out for the crashing guitars, pacing riffs, and some truly memorable lyrics (My inarticulate store bought hangover hobby kit it talks/And it says 'You are, you are so cool.') After re-discovering TBS in one of my daily track-hopping ventures, today is all about them... and there's no better place to start than with this song.


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Good Charlotte - Riot Girl

Taking a trip down early teenage years today, Riot Girl has to be the song. 'The Young and the Hopeless' is quite simply a punk-pop masterpiece, allowing everyone to embrace their inner teenager since 2002. This song is a fast-paced stampede through young love, with the bridge essentially a mocking of traditional ballads. With its references allowing you to place it in history (Christina wouldn't wanna meet her/She hates you Britney so you better run for cover), it's a song that's time specific and absolutely timeless all at once. If you like this, give the album a listen -although side effects include acting like you're 15 again.