Saturday, 28 July 2007

Mish-Mash Mix-Tape of New

Some new tunes I've been meaning to post for a while. Appologies for lack of updates.. I got a new mac book and haven't got my mp3s all on it yet and as I've been using it most the time (because using it is a dream) I haven't posted anything.

Simian Mobile Disco. A much hyped name at the moment, especially amongst young nu-rave scenesters. I was unsure why they were at all outstanding at first, but after some sampling of new album 'Attack Decay Sustain Release' I can really say they have quite a special talent for creating slow-burning but infectious electro numbers.

MP3 link: I Believe - Simian Mobile Disco
SMD Official Site

Calvin Harris. If his lyrics are anything to go by ('I get all the girls I get all the girls') then the guy regards himself as quite the successful 'player' when it comes to aquiring members of the opposite sex . New single 'The Girls' is the converse to the aforementioned SMD track with it's instant-rush super-funky bass line which struts it's way through most the track. This one is infectious too, and if it were an infection then it would definitley be an STD.

Mp3 link: The Girls - Calvin Harris
Calvin Harris Official Site

The Trills! Or 'The Thrills' as we know them, without the Irish accent. They've come up with a new album 'Teenager' and this is the first single to be taken-off it. This song really doesn't push the boundries for the Thrills, it's practically a paraphrasing of much of the material on their first album, lyrically at least (one horse town in particular dealt with very similar themes). But musically, musically it is very good. The album's release, perfectly-timed for summer (if summer ever arives that is - with the constant rain!), could be a smart move as the Thrills are definitley a summer-time band.

MP3 link: Nothing Changes Round Here - The Thrills
The Thrills Official Site

Finally, Rooney. I have no idea what their name is supposed to mean but am quite sure it can't have anything to do with England's star striker of the same name. I haven't been pulled in by any of their past work I have casually overheard, but their new single is a piece of perfectly-crafted indie-pop which demands your attention.

MP3 link: When did your heart go missing - Rooney
Rooney Official Site

Ta-rah for now x

Monday, 9 July 2007

Life is just a dancefloor but I made my best decisions standing by the wall holding a beer

Yesterday evening I was fortunate enough to catch an extremely talented Australian singer/songwriter who was in town and playing a small set at our local open-mic night, a Mr Paul Greene. This guy shone like a diamond in the rough amongst the other acts of the night, despite many of these being talented musicians and not just your any-guy-and-a-guitar acts sometimes customary at open-mic nights.

So moved was I by the four songs he played that I was immediately prompted to buy his studio LP 'Reset'on sale for a barganous £7. I also had a chat with him and found out that he'd been doing what he did so brilliantly for the best part of 7 years, 'could have bought a house' with the amount he spent on production, and his album is available in shops in Australia.

As for the music, he really had one of the most gorgeous acoustic guitar tones I can ever recall hearing. It was very full sounding (helped by the careful use of a delay pedal) and at times sounded like an electric guitar whilst he simultaneously strummed and played lead. To add to the atmosphere he innovativley employed a kick-pedal to build-up sections and carry his songs forward, appearing to do so effortlessly. This is illustrated here:

Being so blown away with the quality of his performance I had hardly taken in the lyrical contents of his songs. Listening to the LP I discover he writes his songs about the basics of life and relationships that many songwriters overlook in the fruitless pursuit of something greater, and does so with the fantastic tongue-in-cheek frankness seen in the title lyric of this post. The song 'Pretty Girls' from which this lyric is taken shows astute observations of basic social processes we all encounter every day, on a par with those of Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys (who also sings heavily on these themes, especially in their latest LP). In doing so he asks simple questions that we all might think but never say:

'But what's so good about pretty girls?
They always want too much
They always go too slow
And never give enough to the conversation
What's so good about pretty girls?
They always leave me alone
With a heart as cold as stone
Let me stumble my way back home

These lyrics made me laugh, because they're so true. He's singing of course about how people get by rellying on superficialities such as looks, substituting these for effortful conversation in this case. Later he reconciles:
'Life is just a party
But it's the people that I didn't meet that got me where I am today
So just give me a good loving woman at the end of the day
That knows the difference between beautiful and pretty'

Simple but so effective. I see no reason why this guy couldn't be extremely successful commercially, he's singing songs that can touch everyone and in a style which is so accessible to anyone. So Jack Johnson watch out - Paul Greene is about!

MP3: Pretty Girls - Paul Greene (highly recommended)
MP3: One Minute of One Day - Paul Greene (highly recommended)
MP3: Get Over It - Paul Greene

Paul Greene Official Website
Paul Greene on Myspace

Pretty Girls also really reminds me of this Elton John song, covered and shining in it's full splendour here by Ben Folds:

MP3: Tiny Dancer (Live) - Ben Folds (highly recommended) (info)