Thursday, 27 February 2014

Lykki Li - new track/album preview 'I Never Learn'

I don't usually bother to blog previews but this one is super gorgeous. May seems ages away to wait for the album so jump on this short taster below that is sounding like a great follow on from Wounded Rhymes. It has that signature Lykki dark romance married with earthy imagery to compliment a mood soaked soundscape.

The melancholic first lady of emotion is windswept under a full moon, musing over a deserted house and lost love. Dramatic dustsheets cover everything while the light from a beautiful sunlit garden puts a mysterious mist in the shot. Meanwhile a handsome dejected man pausing in his journey is no doubt tormented.

If anyone else attempted this, they would be risking kitsch central after a wrong turn down the path most tacky. *And* a tear even drops from her eye. Sha la la la laaa phantom lovers...or something. She's back!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Woman’s Hour

This isn't a celebration of Jenni Murray and Radio 4's Woman's Hour (shame, but no feministing to see here), but rather, the latest single from a band of the same name. ‘Her Ghost’ sounds to me like the Chromatics in places, Fiona Burgess vocals intermittently mirror Ruth Radelet and it has that same chill-wavy feel and bassline earmarking Johnny Jewel's signature production on 'Kill for Love'.

It also sounds a lot like Bat For Lashes 'What's a Girl To Do' muddled in with  Feargal Sharkey’s ‘A Good Heart’ at the start, albeit much slower. Stay with me people. Music has many different and varied triggers and I'm burying the slight Simple Minds-y bit. (Apparently I imagined that one. Phew!)

Bringing it up to date, it echoes The XX with that marriage of guitar and synth thing, particularly in Darkest Place, estrangement and angst-ridden vocals that become the seduced and equally seducing alongside a super lovely beat. Beautifully composed.

This is just what I needed to put things in boxes in preparation for moving house next week. Biggups to Woman’s Hour, a four piece from Kendal for coming into my peripheral online existence at a momentous time.

Very simply, it’s like the XX went out and got drunk listening to the Drive soundtrack and stuck a middle finger up at indie landfill. Here's another from 2013.

I lovelovelove these tracks so put them in your songkick, your spotify, your itunes listy thing, your whatevs and then put them in your real life. To  more of the same...enjoy!

Pre-order here:

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Poliça live at The Troxy, London (12 Feb 2014)

Its been a bit busy IRL and this is the first gig of 2014 for me, in fact the first one since Depeche Mode, a good one, but a screen time massive one which means everyone looks teeny and it has a touch of the impersonals about it all.

Poliça at Troxy wasn’t super tiny, re Emika trying to dance about on a stage at Birthdays the size of a postage stamp, but on the whole it was medium (say Camden’s Koko) on the intimacy, a building steeped with history (unlike the O2), lovely staff that weren't overly frisking you on the door, and though I can’t speak for the gents, very nice ladies, however, a carpeted venue? Why would you do that other than perhaps to stop people slipping over on spilt beer which I might add, starts to smell how you would imagine Victorian England would have. I don’t smoke but there were times I wished someone would light one up to mask the odour of dead bodies.

Anyway, the music, the band and the set list were perfection. If you visit here enough, or know me really *really*, you will know that I bang on about two things a lot, the live-ness of music and women. Poliça score well on both. The music wasn’t as live as a busker, or even a festival tent, but it was kicking the sequenced arse of quite a few gigs I’ve been to, let’s just say, I didn’t feel like I was in the Top of the Pops studio (pointing at you Ultraista). 

There was a lot of echoing auto tune going on, but the balance was acceptable bearing in mind I would moan my head off if going to see an electronic based band was faced with a stripped down unplugged squeaky guitar affair. Two drummers, a guitarist and singer Channy Leaneagh, with a machine adding some science, removing her shoes towards the end of the night, perhaps saying more about women’s shoes but does indicate some exhausting effort on her part, filling the venue with the pure essence of Poliça‘s moody pop offering.

So women then? Shulamith, the latest album is superb, I adore it and its title was inspired by the lesser known and too often ignored feminist writings of Shulamith Firestone and ‘The Dialectic of Sex’. My album review is here for more details, but the basic premise is that every track on this album, as well as being musically brilliant is topically dancing around the position of women and their personal, professional and economic experience in the world. 

Having read this book on finishing the album, Channy felt her questions were answered and the album is more of a tribute to a brilliant, intelligent woman.  This is where I wish the auto tune could be taken down a notch so you could really here the lyrics. ‘Chain my Name’ is a comment on modern marriage for me,  ‘Matty’ a play on the word matrimony and ‘I need $’ stating the obvious for female independence.

‘Smug’ was definitely a highlight as it is one of my favourites reminding me of Aphex  Twin and a little of  Iamamiwhoami too. Tracks from Give You The Ghost sounded amazing and I will definitely be revisiting them. Oh and one last thing. The support, I didn’t get there early enough to catch the name but on first listen thought, ‘Christ sake, sounds like The Beastie Boys’, however eating humble pie now, Channy came on and sang with them for the last few tracks and it sounded fab.

Good show Poliça.

Next stop for the moment is Arcade Fire at Earl’s Court but there might well be a few before that one. Anyone wants to throw me some Prince tickets, feel free to indulge my guilty pleasure. Big blog love to you all. x

Related Post: Shulamith: Album Review

Interview on BBC6 Music