Friday, 24 June 2011

Caravage – Don't Be Yourself * Single of the day * release date 21/6/2011

Yep, gimme a real guitar led pop track and I'm happy. Don't Be Yourself opens with a great lead guitar line that catches your attention and fortunately the rest of the song manages to live up to it.

Caravage are a four piece from Grenoble, France and apart from that fact I've got precious little information about them. I daren't even hazard a guess at the line up since ReverbNation and MySpace have different rhythm sections listed.

Best then to just let the music speak for itself on this one, it does a good job.

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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Jonny Cola & The A-Grades – Postcode Wars * Single of the day * release date 20/6/2011

I've listened to Postcode Wars probably a dozen times now and the first verse still makes me wonder what the hell I'm listening to. As soon as Jonny Cola & The A-Grades get into their stride it becomes obvious that they have absorbed and understood pretty much everything that is best about British music and are using it to great effect.

There are hints of Pulp and flickers of Blur, both of whom built on some great British pop traditions, however Jonny Cola & The A-Grades have evolved it a bit further to really produce a sound of their own.

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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Dan Mangan – Sold * Single of the day * release date 20/6/2011

Sold is fine skiffling guitar song from Dan Mangan who carries you along with him over building vocal bridges and through contrasting changes in tempo and feel.

Especially pleasing is the use of a lagging harmony which conveys a real sense of weariness before the line 'tired of sleeping with the light on'.

If you're making the trip to Glastonbury this year Dan will be playing the Other Stage between 11:00-11:35 on Sunday morning, so no long lay in if you want to catch him. Don't worry though if you haven't got a ticket, he'll be back for a few more UK dates in September.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

About Group – Don't Worry * Single of the day * release date 20/6/2011

If the vocals on Don't Worry sound familiar don't worry because the singer of About Group is Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip. Now given that One Life Stand by Hot Chip was in my top 3 favourite singles of 2009 Alexis has an unfair advantage because as soon as I heard his distinctive tones my ears pricked up like a dog hearing a tin being opened at dinner time.

Don’t Worry is a completely different style, but still a fantastic song, that really does take me to a different place where I'm more relaxed, yet resigned to the fact that what is - is. As such About Group have rewarded me for my canine hearing by delivering exactly what they say on the tin.

Monday, 20 June 2011

The Miserable Rich – Anything's Possible * Single of the day * release date 19/6/2011

The Miserable Rich are a chamber pop band based in Brighton. There is no denying the influence of the chamber orchestra on their sound, going one step further than just the odd violin or cello in the band, The Miserable Rich are using classical instrumentation as the central pillar of Anything's Possible and this gives the track a really lush rich sound which underpins a great song.

The real trick is that this is undeniably a pop song and that's what makes the track sound out of the ordinary. Had this not been the case the feel would be retro, which Anything's Possible certainly is not and The Miserable Rich would have missed the target. As it is they have hit the bullseye.

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Friday, 17 June 2011

Alex Hulme – There Was A Boy * Single of the day * Release date 13/6/2011

It is one of the hazards of listening to so much music every week that occasionally I get so blinkered into looking for something with an edge that I can ignore a good song that's well performed. Fortunately because I keep listening to my short list throughout the week I frequently relent.

There Was A Boy is one such case in point. Alex Hulme has produced a very pleasing and memorable track by putting across a good song in a very straight forward manner. The more I've listened to it the more I've enjoyed it and really that is the essence of good music.

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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Satellite Stories – Family * Single of the day * release date 14/6/2011

Family is bouncy indie pop from Finnish foursome Satellite Stories. Built over a jangly guitar base, which they do very well, the lyrics are basically life plans. I'm guessing that vocalist Esa will be incommunicado on the 15th of April 2023 (assuming it was he who set this date).

Where Satellite Stories make great capital from their sound groundwork and catchy chorus is in the arrangement. Just when you get used to where the song is going they start exploring it from slightly different angles. Thus ensuring it retains interest through to a satisfying conclusion.

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