Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Band of the Week: Marmozets, McFly and more!

So, we'll kick off this week with Marmozets. Female fronted math rock. Very scrummy. For now, let's have their most recent single, Good Days, which you can download from their BandCamp page. There's also a great video to go with it which I posted HERE.

Then we'll have the pop-rock band McFly. Because I love them. Also, their new single is rather more awesome than their other recent material. So let's have the video to said new single, Love Is Easy.

Next up, this piece of... almost loveliness. It's a track by Neil Finn which is going to be included on the soundtrack to the upcoming film, The Hobbit. I wasn't too sure about it when I first listened, but I think it's growing on me. Have a listen - see what you think.

Finally, a band I found by accident courtesy of the latest episode of the excellent QI. They're called Maxillofacial Death Pyramid. Forgive the slightly weird name, they're actually pretty decent. Let's call it hardcore punk. Probably not quite the right genre, but that's what their Bandcamp says and I suck at genres.

That'll do for this week, I think.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Silver Smoke, Star Of Night by Jill Tracy

It is November. Normally, I have a rule that says I musn't listen to Christmas songs before the beginning of December. This year, there is an exception to the rule in the form of the glorious Silver Smoke, Star Of Night from dark cabaret queen Jill Tracy.

Where to start with this album? Imagine some of the best classic Christmas carols then mix them with Jill Tracy's beautiful voice and gorgeous piano work. There's some tracks on here that immediately lend themselves for a dark interpretation - take O Come O Come Emmanuel and the Coventry Carol, for example, both traditionally quite dark songs. Here, given an added Jill Tracy twist, they somehow gain new meaning.

Then of course there's the delicious instrumental tracks. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is one of my favourite carols and this instrumental version is absolutely scrumptious. Carol Of The Bells also sounds amazing on piano.

While I'm struggling to pick favourites from this album - there are only 8 tracks and I would love more - I don't think I've ever heard such a deliciously dark We Three Kings. Outside of the final two verses ("sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying" etc), I never thought this would lend itself to being so... oddly creepy. And yet, it's still strangely uplifting. Beautiful work.

Thrown in amongst the carols is one of Jill's original songs, Room 19. Though not immediately obvious as a Christmas song, a quick look at the story behind it will reveal why it's on here. Even minus the back story, Room 19 fits in so well on the album that I would've taken it even if it wasn't even remotely to do with Christmas.

Six tracks down. What am I missing? Ah, What Child Is This? A song I'm not at all familiar with, but it sounds brilliant here. Hmmm... not sure what else to say about that one.

Finally, the album closes with a beautiful instrumental version of In The Bleak Midwinter. And I mean beautiful. I love this song. Gorgeously soft piano really suits this carol, although I would love to hear what it sounds like with vocals.

That's your lot then. Just over half an hour of gorgeously dark, beautifully haunting Christmas songs. If it doesn't already feel like winter, I suggest curling up with this album for a few hours. Go on. Indulge.

The album is available HERE as a download or CD with beautiful artwork by Trista Musco and portaits by Audrey Penven. And just because my copy arrived a couple of days ago: LOOK HOW PRETTY!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Band of the Week: How To Destroy Angels, The Grazing Saints and more!

My little spate of posting on a weekly basis got screwed up last week. Sad times. Let's see how long it lasts this time, shall we? On to the music.

We kick off this week with dark ambient/post-industrial-ness in the form of How To Destroy Angels. They have a new EP coming out soon (i.e. next week), or so I am informed by their website. Debut album is also apparently due out next year. For now, check out Keep It Together.

Keep it together by howtodestroyangels

Their debut self-titled EP is available for free download from their store HERE. Tis rather lovely.

Next up, some bluesy indie rock from The Grazing Saints. Their new(ish) EP Infernal Combustion Engine is a free download from their Bandcamp. Have a listen:

Then we'll have... hip-hop...ska...punk...rock? It's Sonic Boom Six. Make your own mind up on genres because I can't pick one. Have a listen to recent single Virus. I'm fairly reliably informed it's more electronic than older material, but I think it sounds pretty good.

Finally, we'll have Diablo Swing Orchestra. Again. Yes, I know I only posted about them a few days ago. Avant-garde, jazzy metal. Most delicious. And I think we'll have the same video again, because Voodoo Mon Amour is just so damn catchy.

As always, check it out and (hopefully) enjoy.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Current Love: Voodoo Mon Amour by Diablo Swing Orchestra

So, basically, I finally got round to looking up Diablo Swing Orchestra and now I'm bemused as to why it took me so long because they're bloody awesome. Avant-garde metal. Like, jazzy, brass-ridden metal. Seriously cool. Check out Voodoo Mon Amour below.

Also, apologies for lack of Band of the Week this week. Job applications are getting in the way, but it should be back next week.