Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Gossip - 2012

If you're finding it hard to get yourself amped up after a lovely bank holiday weekend - which I am - or just need that little boost on a Tuesday, this is the song for you. The Gossip's brand of guitar driven electro-pop is always willing to give you a little extra energy. 2012 has everything you'd expect - fast paced, catchy melody, lyrics sharp as knives (Tragedy brings misery/Misery loves company/And company is misleading), and the instantly recognisable vocals. While the band tend to be love or hate, this is a song that should convince at least some of the haters to reconsider - as always, open your mind and give it a shot.


Monday, 30 May 2011

Arctic Monkeys - She's Thunderstorms

Oh, thank god for the internet and its streaming albums a week early. I have been desperate to hear more from 'Suck It And See,' and I haven't been disappointed. Today's song is the opener, She's Thunderstorms, and it's quite simply great. While it's definitely a move away from the style that brought them to fame, they are yet another band whose presence is stamped all over whatever song they bring out. Starting out slow and intricate, the song does progress on to more familiar ground, but the overall relaxed feeling of the song never quite leaves. The melody and vocals are quite retro, giving an air of a band paying their dues in a smoky hall somewhere, which oddly enough makes She's Thunderstorms feel personal in the way the lyrics would have it be. A great opener from what's shaping up to be a great album - you can hear more here. It's where I'll be all day...


Friday, 27 May 2011

Royal Republic - Good To Be Bad

Stepping things up with a little alt-rock today, and my new favourites Royal Republic. With sweet little riffs and crashing drums, this song is catchy as hell - but, as usual, that's not all. There's something that invites comparisons to The Strokes in Good To Be Bad, but I can't decide if it's in the vocals or the melody. Wherever it stems from, it's clearly a good thing. The lyrics to the song are interesting too, an ode to walking on the wilder side (I do not compromise/Don't need your good advice/I'm sure I've heard it once, twice.) All in all, a great bit of alternative to get you through the day.


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Thriving Ivory - Angels On The Moon

Winding down a little, this is one of my favourite songs and it seems appropriate today. Beautiful and original, Angels On The Moon is addictive. It's mournful yet hopeful, and the melody soars and falls along with the vocals, giving it a sort of dramatic flair. The vocals are haunting, providing the emotion needed to really sell the lyrics. Oh, the lyrics. They're everything you'd expect from the sound of the song, and yet manage to still be more (This is to one last day in the shadows/And to know a brother's love/This is to New York City angels/And the rivers of our blood.) Gorgeous, poignant, and full of feeling, this is a song worth sitting down and really listening to - that's what I'll be doing.


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Charlie Simpson - Down, Down, Down

Shameful, shameful admission time - I love this song. Gorgeously, simply acoustic, with vocals that have definitely found their niche. It sounds a little like We Cry by The Script at first, but there's something infinitely sad and haunting about this song for the first half. Down, Down, Down speeds up in the second half, while retaining that same air - quite a feat actually. The lyrics bring the whole song together (There are too many people in this world tryin' to shout their name) and the vocals are seriously good. Put aside your prejudices and just give this song a go - I was skeptical before I listened to.

Finally, if you listen, don't like, and think I've sold out, The Guardian is streaming the new Cults' album - more on that tomorrow I think, but take a listen here.


Monday, 23 May 2011

Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Second albums are notoriously difficult, especially where the debut has launched your career in an almost unimaginable way. 'Born This Way' shows no signs of this though, being recognisable as Gaga while progressing in terms of music. Where some songs on 'The Fame' had all of the polish, this album has songs with soul in it. Fusing traditional American rock with an electro twist, this album fills a void no one could have been aware existed.

Opener Marry The Night is reminiscent of 90s discos, making you want to dance around in those dalmation leggings you thought were so cool, while Bad Kids is an ode to the rebellious 80s punk spirit (I’m a twit, degenerate young rebel and I’m proud of it/ Pump your fist if you would rather mess up than put up with this) while keeping the melody of a pretty, electro tune - the attitude's all in the vocals.

Personal highlights have to be the aforementioned Bad Kids, with Bloody Mary and You And I following closely behind - and Born This Way deserves a mention as the title track.

From an album that feels like a journey through the history of music, there's something for absolutely everyone. What's different about 'Born This Way' is that the tracks have been reimagined through a Lady Gaga filter - which can sometimes feel like taking an acid trip - but they are linked with the common thread of being unmistakably hers. This may be an album which will divide opinion, but it will be heard by millions of people - and rightfully so.


Saturday, 21 May 2011

Panic! At The Disco feat. Fun - C'mon

From the minute I heard this song I loved it. The melody, the story, the vocals - just everything about it has the kind of childlike charm that instantly appeals. The tune alternates from whimsical and playful to a confused melancholy, lifting it above the other songs of it's kind - though admittedly there aren't many of them. The vocals from both bands are of their usual high standard, bringing something extra to the song in that aspect as well. The lyrics to the song seem to tell an Alice In Wonderland-esque story with some interesting quirks (I am a man of many hats although I never mastered anything/ But I am ten feet tall). Listen, be young, and enjoy your weekend.


Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Veronicas - 4Ever

Another slightly older song, in preparation for the weekend - and The Veronicas are perfect for that. With electro-pop to make you dance, a catchy melody to make you remember it, and lyrics perfect for singing along to, 4Ever has all the hallmarks of a weekend tune. Opening with a heady guitar riff, the song launches a high octane attack on the senses - incorporating a seductive, addictive chorus. The lyrics match the chorus, with an invitation to embrace a darker side to yourself (Come on baby we ain't gonna live forever/Let me show you all the things that we could do.) Start the weekend a little early with a treat - and I'm not just talking about this song.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Suicide Sports Club - 20 Girl

One of the many reasons I love TV is because it's yet another outlet for finding incredible songs - and today's song I first heard on CSI New York. From the fantastically named 'Electric Mistress,' 20 Girl is a haunting, melancholy trip which feels tired yet restless. Mixing guitars with strings and heavy, emotive vocals gives an acoustic feel to the song, but it's not dragging by any means. The chorus hooks with the repetition, and lyrically there are some great points (It's so easy/On your own) which contrast with the mood of the song. A soothing paradox for the tired soul.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Lissie - Cuckoo

Another tune to put you in the mood for summer - Lissie's Cuckoo is a bluesy-pop song that radiates sun and road trips. With a melody that just begs for you to clap and sing along, and strong vocals which tell more of the story than lyrics ever could, this is a song that will stand the test of time. Although the vocals tell a story, the lyrics do to, providing wonderful phrases (I fell in love with being defiant) and great refrains. Cuckoo is a song that deserves to be put on repeat with the windows down - a perfect summer festival fix wherever you want.


Monday, 16 May 2011

The Plasticines - Pas Avec Toi

French electro pop is like a glimpse into a whole new world, with the fun and effortlessly cool feeling that makes you long to be a part of it. Whatever the intangible quality of the music, The Plasticines have it in droves. Pas Avec Toi has the requisite chanting chorus, addictive riffs and a melody that makes you want to dance like crazy. The vocals are absolutely perfect with the song, giving it an added edge - the best way to make a pop song have a little bite. From 'About Love,' which is full of songs of this glorious genre, this song will signal the start of a life long love with another world - escape there now.


Friday, 13 May 2011

Fall Out Boy - From Now On, We Are Enemies

A shameful admission - despite having been a Fall Out Boy fan for many years, I have only just discovered this song. I think that's part of the problem, that I just assumed there was nothing on 'Believers Never Die' that I hadn't heard. Anyway, this is yet another amazing FOB song. Patrick will forever be in my top 5 vocalists, and the melody is instantly marked out as theirs - catchy and pop-punk with an edge. Lyrically it's wonderful - out of so many great lines it was hard to pick a favourite (I'm just the man on the balcony/ Singing "No one will ever remember me") but that's typical of this band. From Now On, We Are Enemies has made it to the top of the list today, and it'll be sticking in my head for a while - come join me.


Thursday, 12 May 2011

The Pretty Reckless - My Medicine

Sultry is the best word to describe this song - as long as you temper it with the vein of rock running through it. My Medicine is dirty glamour at its finest, delving deep into the heart of you in the best way. From the click of a lighter at the very beginning to the last syllable this song is studied arrogance and anger, making use of heavy guitar and tempting vocals in order to create the effect. The lyrics are also part of the effect, with the gorgeous refrain Somebody mixed my medicine tying the whole song together. My Medicine is a song for dark rooms and darker intentions - take a walk on the wild side tonight.


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Thomas Tantrum - Hot Hot Summer

Oh, I love discovering new music, and today's song is one of the best I've heard in a while. The new single from Thomas Tantrum mixes the vocal prowess and quirky pop of Kate Nash with a more credible, slightly mystical act. The melody is gorgeous - catchy yet pretty, and mainstream without the connotations of selling out - and the mix of vocals bring everything together brilliantly, being strong enough to take on the melody and work with it. Hot Hot Summer lives up to its name as the hottest tune you'll hear this season - get it on your playlist as soon as possible...


Monday, 9 May 2011

Cobra Starship - You Make Me Feel

Perhaps one of my favourite things about Cobra Starship is that they can reinvent themselves over and over again and yet still retain this musical genius type of integrity. You Make Me Feel is grown up pop with that Peter Pan edge, it wouldn't feel out of place in a nightclub in some glamorous far flung place. There is however a vein of pure Cobra Starship running right through it, immediately identifiable, and that's what allows the song to stand out from the others of the same genre. Vocally seductive, synth beating at the heart of it, and lyrics that go deeper than you'd expect, it's a stellar tune. You Make Me Feel brings to mind the phrase electric glamour, and will be with you much longer than the hangover fro that fabulous club scene.


Saturday, 7 May 2011

Twin Atlantic - Yes, I Was Drunk

This song has been on constant repeat since I discovered it this morning, and it just embodies everything I love in a song. The recurring guitar riff is part of what makes the song, punchy and full of feeling. Yes, I Was Drunk is packed full of anger and sadness and everything in between - and the vocals reflect every tiny variation of emotion going on. The lyrics are typical of Twin Atlantic, with honesty and meaning running through the song (I hope you live for your freedom/ I hope you enjoy the lust.) Yes, I Was Drunk is the perfect song to turn up the volume and lose yourself in - I recommend doing so highly.


Friday, 6 May 2011

Mayday Parade - Black Cat

Logged in to my old Youtube account and this was the first song I came across - and it's a great one. With a brilliant story lying behind the lyrics, this has the makings of a great song before it has even begun. Yet once it starts, it's an infectious song with an alluringly edge to it, making it infinitely more interesting. The melody, the vocals and the lyrics all come together to produce the world's most realistic fairytale and what really goes on behind it (Get your hands off of my star/It's not your part but all your fault/And this jealous actress has a habit of making things sound way too tragic.) Just a delicious glimpse of pop-punk's darker side.


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Lucy Hale - If That's Love

Despite being completely frustrated that there isn't a full acoustic version of this song anywhere, it has to be the song of the day. First seen on CSI: Miami - which is where the clip above is from - this is absolutely beautiful. Firstly, Lucy Hale has an amazing voice, and the acoustic version of this song just showcases it even further. There is so much emotion in such a short burst of time, and the melody is simple but effective. There is no need to hide behind layers of synth, just a memorable, haunting tune. The lyrics are also great - maybe not the deepest in the world, but they provide a solid base for the song. All in all, the only real criticism is that there is far too little of it.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Panic! At The Disco - O2 ABC Glasgow, 2/5/11

Well, having only just recovered (only exaggerating a little bit) from Monday night, it's now review time. Last time I saw Panic was 2008, and it was a very different band on stage that night - and not just physically with two new members. It was amazing to see a band come in to their own and give a fantastic show.

Opening with new single Ready To Go, the crowd immediately entered into the spirit of things, singing along and jumping around like mad. Thinking that this was already great, the atmosphere kicked up a whole new level with But It's Better If You Do. Even a technical glitch in the middle of the gig (which the band handled fantastically - something a lot of others would have found awkward) couldn't dampen the atmosphere, and led to a vocal rendition of the guitar to George Michael's Careless Whisper from the unbelievably talented Brendon Urie.

Personal highlights included Lying Is The Most Fun and Hurricane, but it was a strangely (or not so strangely) emotional Camisado that stole the show for me. With Careless Whisper, Fat Bottomed Girls and How Soon Is Now? as fabulous cover versions, this was a show to remember - and it really will be remembered as the coming of age of an incredible band.


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Lightspeed Champion - Back To Black (cover)

A guilty pleasure of sorts, given that I wouldn't readily admit to having it on my ipod - and it's originally an Amy Winehouse song... Anyway, this song is a fantastic reinterpretation of it, mournful and melancholy. The melody has a kind of fragile beauty to it, much softer than the original, but the vocals still carry the emotion necessary to pull it off. The lyrics are wonderful at times (We only said goodbye with words) and in between are passable. As cover versions go, this is one of the great ones, a re-invention of a half decent tune as a gorgeous new creation. Give it a go, whatever your thoughts on the original - it'll change your mind.