Wednesday, 29 January 2014

New Brian Jonestown Massacre album

It'll sound heaps better when the physical album is spinning on my stereo, but for now the new Brian Jonestown Massacre album being previewed online sounds like something to get really excited about. The last album, Aufheben was an ace return to form, and Revelation keeps on in that pounding drum style (which I really welcome), with a mixture of dance music rhythms, tuneful guitar lines on an array of pedals, and sounds of strings and horns thrown in, and some interesting vocals. Hints of Strung Out in Heaven might be creeping in, as there's so much pure, 60s  pop melody - well, there so often is, but it's the pedals and style, sometimes stripped back too. There're wacked-out sounding vocal treatments, as well, so it's on a similar trippy vibe to the previous album, with some songs quite a lot slower. All in all, sounding really rich and great.

The preview is over at this Vimeo link here.

Bring it on!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Current listening: Taffy and Hufdis Huld

Just discovered a squally guitar band from Tokyo called Taffy on Club AC30 label.

Quite a different-sounding, nice cover of a Cure song here:

Had a nice Saturday morning moment when I ran down the stairs eager for post and my Hafdis Huld album was actually there waiting for me - good to start the morning with a new album. I really recommend her first album Dirty Paper Cup, which is from 2006 - not sure how she passed me by until recent years, but I am hooked currently. Lots of pure and sweet vocal melodies over gently pretty guitar pop, with folk inspiration and some interesting percussive instruments. This album has involvement from the folk artist Boo Hewerdine (who also worked with Roddy Woomble when he did his solo work). Surprised to see some of the songs on Hafdis' album are co-written by Chris Gentry - nothing online or in the sleevenotes to suggest it is he from Menswear, but I can only guess it is and that it's perhaps because her former band Gus Gus were around at the same time as them.

Some more from Hafdis Huld as she's so wonderful:

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Hafdis Huld

Listening to lots of Hafdis Huld, an Icelandic solo singer. Mainly gently acoustic, tuneful, twinkly-pretty songs. First discovered a few years ago when I received a stash of CD singles for reviewing for a music website - namely, a song sung in Icelandic about Spiderman (Kongula, which has a fun video of a spidey-suited man larking about, unable to scale a tree).

Lately, I feel like pretending I'm in Nordic climes in order to brace wintry times. This video by Hafdis helps:

Hometown Hero is another great song, with the chiming keys and electro beat in the mix:

There's a real playfulness and sweetness to Hafdis's music. I regret not getting to see her live last year in a café round King's Cross way. It was a gig put on by another site I used to write for, Glasswerk.

Hafdis seems to play cute for cameras but it seems like she has a genuine and fun sense of child-like wonder at times regardless too. This video involves her chasing down elves on a patch of wild land in Iceland, tempting them with blueberries, and talking about them dreamily. I like a pop singer who isn't afraid to be heart-on-sleeve silly and fun.

She's also sung some more serious sounding folk stuff in her native tongue, which is up on Youtube too. I think I must buy some of her albums soon, as she's had a few by now.