Albums Of 2011-Part 4.

29 10 2011

I’m starting to think I’ve stupidly create more work for myself, but then again- I’ve got sod all else to do but write so I’ll stop whinging and carry on. This year, a lot of dark, menacing records have come out. I’m going to mention a few of my favourites in this next piece. As much I love music that makes me feel like I’ve collapsed into some kind of trance like state; I adore anything that is dark, bold, cruel and brutal. Maybe it makes up for the fact that I’m stupidly laid back and a semi decent person (I don’t want to say I’m a good/gentle person because I’ll sound like an egotistical twerp.) Right, pointless introduction out of the way.

Anna Calvi-Anna Calvi: I’ve been a fan of Anna Calvi since 2009, so I’ve been waiting for this debut record for a long time. When I first heard her voice, I immediately felt exactly how I felt when I first heard Florence in 2007. That massive dark, grand sound with such a powerful voice just shattered my soul and caused a riot. I had to find anything and everything to do with Anna’s music. Her cover of Jezebel is mind-blowing. The drums at the start followed by the echoes of JEZEBEL!!! It’s so haunting. What I cherish the most about Anna Calvi’s music is how it makes you feel like you are in some warped kind of film. It fucks with your mind and rules your body. Think David Lynch but with a more romantic feel to it. Her music is like being chased through a dark forest, stumbling over scattered twigs and stones. You run and run, but sooner or later whatever is chasing you will probably get you. It’s okay. Her music is so bold and atmospheric. This is music to take a walk in the dark as the fog rules the night sky and you cannot see where you are going. Walking into the unknown whilst listening to something so beautiful yet sinister at the same time. It’s so spooky and eerie. Her voice, when whispered into your ear, causes your body to just shake. You tremble and just turn to mush. Then her huge powerful voice kicks in and your jaw drops. Her guitar playing, oh shit. She is a beast on the guitar. Her music makes you feel like you are on a film set, lurking in the shadows- standing where you shouldn’t be. Seeing things you shouldn’t be seeing. It’s an incredible record and as far as debut records go- Anna really did raise the bar at the start of the year with this one.

CocknBullKid-Adulthood: Another debut album I had been waiting so long for. Worth the wait? Of course. I’ve been a huge fan of Anita’s work for years. I remember first hearing On My Own and just being in awe of her. She was offering something that was so badly needed in the music industry. She cites Morrissey as one of her influences, and it is so clear in her music. She has these wonderful dark lyrics that are cleverly hidden over a cheery beat. I adore Adulthood so much. It touches on the angst and fury of growing up. They say being a teenager is hard- they don’t tell you that being an adult is even harder. This album lets you embrace all the mistakes you may have made in your life. It allows you to be a mess and in a vulnerable state. All of these things are totally okay to feel. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you HAVE to be secure or stable. People’s high expectations can cause tremendously low self esteem. It’s probably the reason why we sometimes do the things that we do. Hold Onto Your Misery has some gorgeous lyrics, a particular favourite of mine is: “A little cynicism will do you good.”  I had the pleasure of interviewing her last Halloween, it was one of the best interviews I’ve done- she’s just a fantastic person who is so charming, smart and passionate about what is doing. Oh and she’s a fan of Seinfeld, that itself makes her amazing. I remember when Anita was starting out and stupid publications (also ignorant too) were calling her a Grime artist just because of the colour of her skin. The same happened with Santigold when she started out, people were quick to assume she was a rapper just because she’s black. Skin colour doesn’t play a part in the music an artist creates. Fuck, your skin colour isn’t important at all. What I love about Anita is that her lyrics are honest and vulnerable. She doesn’t used pretentious vocabulary in order to make you feel what she is saying. As it comes from the heart, you feel it in yours.

Kurt Vile-Smoke Ring For My Halo: Sticking with dark albums, Kurt Vile put out an exquisite and haunting album this year. Smoke Ring For My Halo has got to be one of the most underrated albums of the year. It just oozes a fuck load of fragilty. The lyrics shoot right into your heart and just make you fall over through sheer pain of feeling every word he sings to you. Baby’s Arms is one of the most gorgeous love songs. It isn’t your traditional love songs though. It’s basically Kurt saying he can’t stand anything or anyone- but the person he loves. We’ve all felt that way. You just feel so disappointed in the world and you want to turn your back on it. Then you fall into the arms and eyes of the one that you adore, and nothing else matters. To some it sounds a bit too much and sickly, but the way Kurt does it is almost in a Tom Waits kind of way. Kurt has this distinctive deep tone that reminds you of artists such as Lou Reeds. He has a bluesy and traditional rock & roll feel to his music. It’s an album that will make you want to throw some clothes and books in the back of car, and make you just drive off somewhere. Pretty much how Blood Pressures by The Kills should make you feel. Just drive on a dusty, desolate road and off into the unknown. Who knows where you’ll end up, the journey will change your life. Kurt Vile is an astounding artist who just tugs and tugs at your heartstrings with his music, but it doesn’t feel forced. It’s a natural thing, and that is why it is easy to embrace this record. It’s exceptional.

Dirty Beaches-Badlands: CANADA! If you were a woman, I would kiss you. Canada, this year you’ve given us some treats. The Weeknd, Feist’s new album and of course- Dirty Beaches. Badlands is a gritty, creepy, passionate record. Lord Knows Best was one of the songs at the start of the year to have truly gripped my heart and kept a secure place there throughout the year. Everything about Badlands is everything I want in a record. Take the track Horses, it sounds like a 60s garage rock track. It’s so amazing. I love this record because it does something to your brain. A lot of records I have loved this year are ones that you play by yourself with no interruptions; Badlands is one of them. I find listening to music a private thing. I wouldn’t ask a bunch of people to come round and listen to the new record by..I don’t know with me. Mainly because everyone I know hates the stuff I listen to. I’m fine with it to be honest. Badlands sends you off into a different place entirely. You feel like you are in the 60s, then you feel you’re back in 2011. It fucks your brain up, seriously but you love it. It is done in a good way- trust me, that can happen. It has a lo-fi feel to it mixed with hints of garage rock. It just merges everything I love into one. This record just makes you want to drink some Whiskey (I’ve never tried Whiskey) and listen to this album whilst sat in a huge, comfy chair. First listen I fell in love with this record- many more listens later, I’m still in love. A solid record that you should probably open your heart and ears to.

 

 

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2011- Musically, you weren’t that bad.

24 08 2011

I know it’s only August, but I feel I need to write this down now. Was 2011 awful? For music? No. For other things? More than likely. Yes this year was shit due to Gaga putting an album out, Amy Winehouse’s tragic death and ITV still allowing X-Factor to exist. Why it exists, I have no idea. But it is does, for those who don’t know any better.

I’m going to attempt to think of 10 reasons (in NO order because I will want to change my mind if I do that) as to why music this year was not shit. I may rant, I may not be able to think of 10 reasons.

-The Kills : Finally my favourite duo EVER released the flow-up to Midnight Boom. Blood Pressures is probably my favourite album of the year. However, come 7th November and I will say Florence’s album is. The Kills are a band that I will always love. They could (I know they won’t) make the most wankiest record ever, and I would still find something to love about it. Blood Pressures has a bluesy feel to it but still has the same raw vibe No Wow and Keep On Your Mean Side have. The Last Goodbye is the saddest song I’ve heard this year. If a song could break your heart, that would be it. The lyrics to Baby Says are stunning. I just ove how Jamie and Alison’s voices fit together. I think their bond is one of the greatest things ever. Everyone needs a friendship like that. “Send your love on a rampage, give her everything you’ve got. And when you come to hate her, show her more than just a spark” is one of the best lines off the album. However, not just from The Kills but my favourite line from a song that I have heard this year is easily, “How can I rely on my heart if I break it, with my own two hands.” The way Alison’s voice sounds on this is so beautiful but it just tears you up so much. I’m just happy to have another record by The Kills in my collection.

-The Horrors: I still want to slap people who dismiss The Horrors. Just like I want to slap those that think Skying sounds like Simple Minds. I think those that are saying these things are actually deaf. Or just extremely fucking stupid. Skying is the best album put out this year by an English group. I am still in love with the sound they had wth Strange House. But, I love how they have developed with each album. You cannot deny how much of a masterpiece Primary Colours was and still is. They’re just everything a band should be. They don’t justify what they do to anyone. They make music for them. That’s how it should be. They haven’t bought into a gimmick and gotten famous based on that. They are ALL fantastic musicians. Joshua is genius on that guitar. There aren’t enough words for me to describe my love for The Horrors.

-Zola Jesus: Quite simply one of my favourite female musicians ever. Her voice is so haunting. It takes over you and before you know it, you have been thrown into a world that you never thought existed. I love how dark and eerie her music is. I have every faith that her new album, Conatus is going to be nothing short of amazing. I love that her music just blows me away with every listen. I listen to songs such as Trust Me and Run Me Out, and this wave of amazement just takes over me. She has this force within her music that I’ve never heard in anyone before, she’s only 21 years old! I love the build-up in all her songs. It’s like this intense and euphoric takeover. Why didn’t this year suck because of Nika? Well, just listen to Vessel.

-The Weeknd: Of all the artists I found at stupid o’clock in the morning due to not being able to sleep, The Weeknd is hands down, the best thing I have discovered this year on the internet. I love his voice so much. So soulful. I love that he’s sampled Aaliyah’s voice on one of his songs and he’s also sampled Siouxise & The Banshees too. His Mixtapes are utterly mind-blowing. Trust me, you need this guy in your life. Head over to his wesite and get his Mixtapes. You’ll here amazing songs such as THIS TRACK!

-Cults: Okay, so I heard about this duo last year but their debut album came out this year so it’s allowed. What I love about this duo is their 1960s feel they have to their music. Never Saw The Point means so much to me, “I never saw the point in trying, ’cause I would only let you down. And I just couldn’t take you down there with me, I couldn’t stand to see you drown.” It’s just such a gorgeous and fragile song, I suppose that is why I adore it so much. Since its release lat year, Best Coast’s debut album has been played every day- I’m clearly going to do the same with Cults. I love that it doesn’t sound like anything around now. A fantastic debut album.

-Seapony: Seapony make me want to leave everything and everyone behind and just go live on a beach. I can’t swim, so I guess it’d be boring after a day or so. However, there is nothing more peaceful than looking out to a strectch of water listening to your favourite music. I’d love to do that to Seapony. I love the summer vibe they feel. Is it chillwave? I don’t know, I reckon they fit under the dream-pop genre. They remind me of The Drums mixed with Beach House and a hint of The Raveonettes. I just adore the whole sound and the gentle vocals. Especially on ongs such as Dreaming and Late Summer.

-Blood Orange: This year Dev Hynes released the first album of his current project, Blood Orange. I love everything he does. Whether it’s for others (Solange Knowles), as Lightspeed Champion or Blood Orange. Coastal Grooves is a MUST-HAVE in your collection. It’s such a strong album. It feels like New York City must have felt in the 1980s. It has a brilliant feel to it. It’s music you can just relax to and walk round the park  in the sun to. There is no denying the genius that Dev is. He kills the guitar, he’s got such a distinctive voice. I just love love love him. Anything he does is just perfect.

-Summer Camp: Another duo that have won my heart over this year. I love everything about their music, however it is one song in particular that since first hearing it in February this year I have played every day. Not a day has gone by where I haven’t played it since. The synths kick in during this song and it is is SO good. Elizabeth’s voice is stunning. The lyrics to I Want You are so dark, and slightly brutal. But hey, all comes with liking someone, right? I don’t know. I like to think I don’t know. “You’re so smart, you break my heart” if someone said that to me, I’d be so flattered. It’s probably my favourite song of this year. If I was a DJ I’d play this all the time, and if no one danced to it- I’d bar them from the club.

-Morrissey: I could write an essay on this man until my hands were numb from typing. I’ve probably done it before to be honest. This year on Janice Long’s show, she played three new songs by my god, Morrissey. Every single song was perfect. For me, I fell more in love with Action Is My Middle Name. The lyrics are typical Morrissey- witty and oh so bloody charming. People Are The Same Everywhere- well, the title speaks for itself really. So true. What I love about Moz is that he has always done what is real and honest to him, he’s never answered to anyone. It’s something I admire and love about him. It’s why I love him. We should ALWAYS do things for us, that makes us happy- because the day you let others rule you, you are no longer a person. I saw him twice this year- and yes as soon as he walked on stage, I bawled. I’ve seen him 4 times so far, and each time I have gone with my mum. She loves him as much as I do. I could never ever go to a Moz gig with anyone but my mum, it’d be wrong. I told her this, and she agrees. Hopefully he wil release his new album soon. “Biting my initials into your neck. You are my possession, you don’t realise yet. Am I moving too fast for you? Am I begining to confuse you?” Only Morrissey could say such a thing. Hero. Absolute hero.

-Florence & The Machine: I really couldn’t make this list without mentioning Florence could I. After hearing What The Water Gave Me (studio version) I cannot ait for 7th November. I just know that her second album will blow my mind. My last article on Florence just sums up my love for her, so I won’t bore you with another essay. Her album is out in time for my birthday (HI MUM!!!!) and I am hoping there’s a tour. The sound has a more soulful and gospel feel to it which I love so much. I’m beyond happy that the album is out this year, some said that it would be out the start of 2012, I guess it’s too good to make us wait. Besides, she’s worked with Paul Epworth on it- you just know it is going to be THE album of the year.

As I feel like I have missed so much out, here are some tracks by artists that have made 2011 less shittier than it was:

Yuck.

Washed Out.

Anna Calvi.

CocknBullKid.

Marina And The Diamonds.

Love Inks.

Sleigh Bells.

Youth Lagoon.

Warpaint (Video Of The Year.)

Widowspeak.

I’ll stop now because I could carry on with about 50 more artists.





The Shoes feat. CocknBullKid.

9 07 2011




CocknBullKid- Yellow video.

21 06 2011

Anita aka CocknBullKid’s new video to Yellow is brilliant! Amazing song. Bloody good video. Buy her album.





CocknBullKid-Adulthood.

16 05 2011

CocknBullKid- Adulthood (album stream link).

In 2007 I was immediately blown away by Anita Blay aka CocknBullKid. I heard On My Own and I felt something utterly indescribable. Since then, the odd song has appeared on the internet- singles/EPs.

Seeing her support Marina last year and being right at the front was a glorious feeling, after her performance I was lucky enough to interview her. She is one of the most hard-working artists in the UK right now. She is so talented and beautiful. The way she can sing the most painfully heartbreaking and honest lyrics over the most cheerful beats make her approachable.

She has had the Morrissey comparisons with her wonderfully cynical lyrics, and this is one of the many reasons as to why I love her.

You know when you find an artist you just latch onto before they are signed, and they get signed and you observe this buzz surround them. You see them become the star you knew they would be and deserve to be? That’s exactly what has happened here.

So, finally her album is here. Adulthood, in short, is bloody brilliant. You will want to dance, you will want to shut the world off and listen to the lyrics, you will want to cry- you will feel so many things. It’s just stunning.

I had every bit of faith that Anita would create a killer album. Did I think I think she would create the album of the year? Well considering I’ve sworn that The Kills have put the album of the year out- Anita has most certainly set the bar here.

Listening to it, it is hard to believe it is only her debut full length album. There are no fillers here; it’s just perfect from start to finish. I am not just saying this because I am a massive fan. Even if I knew nothing about her music, I would still hold this opinion. There is something about her voice that makes every part of you feel like you are alive. The album makes you feel alive. It wakes up that part of you that has been bored to tears from the mundane sounds of commercial radio.

I could quite easily sit here and type out the reasons as to why I love every single song on Adulthood. However, it’d just turn into some massive fan girl piece and I’d sound odd. I love how vulnerable each and every song is. Lyrics are a huge thing for me, and yes, here comes a Morrissey bit. This is why I love Anita- her words. How she puts across heartbreak and the like is just so gorgeous but at the same time it oozes vulnerability- just like Morrissey. So open and honest.

Dumb is my favourite. After playing the album over and over- Dumb has claimed a piece a part of my heart. It’s over 5 minutes of, “Bloody hell…who let Anita into my head.” To be honest, that’s how I feel about most of the songs here. Every single track feels like a diary entry, and that is why her songs are so easy to relate to. Every so often an artist comes along that can just seep into your mind and speak what you feel in your heart. For me, that artist is Anita.

I know I’m a sorry excuse for a Music Journalist by being so personal here, but her music has been there for many good and bad things since I discovered her music. From a shitty (when are the not) break-up to being miserable about well…life I suppose, her music has been a bit like a crutch. I’ve got certain artists I go to when everything seems a bit toss, and CocknBullKid is one of them. To some it seems like an insane thing to say, but she is almost like a female Morrissey. Well, to me she is anyway.

When I first heard CocknBullKid and Hold Onto Your Misery, it just sparked something. I’m not entirely sure what- all I know it was a bloody good feeling. Lines such as “The mouth is a trap, whatever I say I can’t take back.” Just made me nod in agreement. I probably swore out of joy too.

Hold Onto Your Misery is a personal favourite. Every single word sung hit me right in the gut. I cannot pick one line; the whole song is just perfect. “You’re most alive when nearest death.” When you know something shite is going to happen, you just feel much more alive. For me, I hate the fact I write more/better when I feel like shit- when everything is awful.

“Hold onto your misery. I need it, and it needs me.” Thing is, sadness and misery are two feelings that are more than likely consistent in us humans. Nobody is ever truly 100% happy, you always want more. I don’t think by nature I am a happy person. I’m content- but not happy. For me, that’s enough. I think misery is a feeling some of us need to embrace more and not be afraid of. That is why I love this song so much. It is okay to be insecure; it is okay to be miserable. “A little cynicism will do you good.” I love that line with every bone in my body. It’s just so wonderfully accurate.

“I’m all dressed up, nowhere to go.” Yellow is another stunner of a track. I hope she releases it as a single. The video would be amazing. Although, if everyone was dressed in yellow- it may cause migraines.

I just want to write so many pages as to why this album is out of this world. She’s supporting Duran Duran on their UK Tour, Anita is living the dream!I am fully aware that this has turned into a rant as to why I love her music and not an in-depth review of her album. You don’t need me to tell you how amazing it is, go listen to it. Find out for yourself.





2011.

19 12 2010

These are some artists who I hope to be big in 2011.

Anna Calvi- for the past 2 and a bit years I’ve been in love with her music. I hope this year people start paying attention.

The Vaccines

Tribes

Clare Maguire

Starsmith

CocknBullKid

Esben And The Witch- Like Anna Calvi, I’ve been into these guys for a long time…please 2011..make them massive!

Doll & The Kicks- I’m not going to ever stop promoting this band. They need to be signed. They’re the hardest working band I’ve ever heard of. They just need YOU to listen to them and support them.

Is Tropical

Foreign Office.

Spark

Katy B

There. That’s my list. Go listen to them. Spread the word.





My Singles Of 2010.

19 12 2010

Again, in no order aside from the last track.

Marina And The Diamonds- Shampain- I would have picked Oh No! due to my love for the lyrics. However, I have gone with Shampain as it reminds me of roadtrips to Manchester with my friends and singing a long very loudly, providing amusement for other drivers. Then again..Oh No! reminds me of dancing to it and reciting some of Marina’s moves in the video.

Zola Jesus-NightSo bloody eerie and mind blowing. The album is stunning. This song is just fucking out of this world. The intro just..I don’t know, the song leaves you paralysed- unable to move- in awe of what you’ve just heard.

New Young Pony Club- Lost A Girl- Sounds very 80s- but they do it in a good, credible way. It isn’t ripping anyone off nor are they copying any other 80s band.

Ou Est Le Swimming Pool- The Key- This band are mine and my best friend’s band. When we heard about Charlie we were inconsolable for ages. We went to Chazzstock in London and it was so moving. So sad. OELSP will always be one of my favourite bands, and luckily I saw them live. I have no idea what they’ll do now..it’s just a shame.

The Vaccines- Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)- They also played at Chazzstock and were joined by Faris and Tom from The Horrors. Yes, I had a massive fit of excitement during that. This song is the shortest song performed on Jools Holland- FACT! It is also one of the best songs of this year. I hope they’re massive in 2011.

CocknBullKid- Hold Onto Your Misery- Everyone knows how much I adore Anita Blay. She’s amazing. Her album is FINALLY out in February. I’m aware it’ll be one of my favourites of 2011.

Florence & The Machine- Cosmic Love- I know Lungs came out last year, but this single was released this year..so I can list it :p My love for Flo is massive and..yeah, you know. She’s THE ONE isn’t she. This is my favourite Flo song. Live is just tears me apart. I cannot describe it.

Ellie Goulding- Guns And Horses- I loved the demo of this, and I’m sure the video cured me of my phobia of horses slightly. I say it’s a phobia- I just really dislike horses. I could’ve listed Starry Eyed but I only like it when it’s done live. Under The Sheets was last year so…I’m going with Guns And Horses. She looks beautiful (as ever) in the video.

Warpaint- Undertow- This song lyrically blew my mind. Did you see them do this acoustic on BBC3 during Reading/Leeds Festival? That was something. Stella drumming on a box. How many would do that, and do iut well? This band were the best band of 2010. I love Jenny’s bass playing on this, it’s so relaxed. Theresa kills the guitar and Emily’s vocals are stunning. Stella is the best drummer around. Easily. And Undertow shows exactly why.

SONG OF THE YEAR.

Foals- Spanish Sahara- The build up in this song is beautiful. Yannis’ voice on this song is gorgeous. The lyrics are stunning. It lasts just over 6 minutes, perfect to play on repeat when on a long train journey.