Who’d have thought organising a wedding would take up so much time!
Claire will actually probably kill me for saying that, she has done most of it after all, but I am still busy.
For instance I’m busy getting used to using my shiny new new work provided MacBook Pro. Oooh it’s lovely. Quite confusing, for my sadly under developed Mac muscle, but still lovely. After finally working out how to ‘install’ things, and getting used to using the silly apple key for all my shortcuts I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.
If anybody has some nice tips for some nice apps it would be most appreciated. Oh yeah, what is the fuss about Quicksilver? What does it do that OS X doesn’t?
Anyway, I digress. What I really want to talk about is music. This year has kicked off with a small landslide of quality releases.
The Bees – Octopus
The Bees have a strong background in electronic music. Though if you listen to their work you’d be forgiven for missing it.
I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to describe their sound for a while. I was even half considering drawing a diagram. I’m not going to, but it would have featured images of loads of influences in different quantities all passing through and massive analogue amp filter machine marked WARM.
It would have been a nice diagram.
The Bees are almost like walking sample machines. They soak sounds from the likes of classic rock, dub reggae, soul and funk and then squeeze them out over some really wholesome chunky drumming. Even with those Finest raw ingredients there is another layer of quality that is added somewhere. I can only really describe it as a warmth… a round warmth.
It’s a warm, round sound.
Octopus, as you’d expect from the name, has a bit of a nautical slant. It has sea shanties for the modern sailor – that (trust me) is a good thing. It’s a cracking album with every tune really standing up on it’s own well. Stand out tunes for me are ‘Love in the Harbour’, ‘The Ocularist’ and ‘Hot One’.
It’s a stick on for my end of year list. Already.
The Bees seem to struggle to get recognition for their efforts. Their last album ‘Free the Bees’ was also a great album that you should check that out too.
As I said there has been a lot of good stuff released recently, so here are a load of quickies…
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
Dammit this girl has a cracking voice. She’s a nut case, but what a voice!
Amy falls neatly into the Lily Allen category of ‘People I Thought I had to Avoid cos there not Cool… but are Really Actually Rather Cracking…’ and the album is really rather good. Most of the production is really tight and snippy, and subtle enough just to give her voice the funky jazz support it needs. Aside from a few dodgy chip ins from rappers with the wrong flow it’s all good.
Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future
Damn you Klaxons- you almost had me. Somewhere between the brilliant Xan Valleys EP and the full album you have seriously messed up!
Songs on the full album have been tweaked. When I say tweaked, I of course mean ruined. Some of your fresh sheen has been lost, perhaps you were thoroughly sullied by NME?
It’s not an awful album, I still like it quite like it… it just could have been so, so, so, so, so much better.
Oh yeah and I really shouldn’t have watched you on The Friday Night Project either. That was seriously weak.
Noisettes – What’s the Time Mr. Wolf?
I haven’t really given this the time it deserves, but the time has got has been enough to impress me.
There seems to be a lot of bands hitting the scene at the moment with female front… er… people and the Noisettes are certainly one of them. They are probably my faves of the lot, although Be Your Own Pet are pretty close.
Noisettes lurch wonderfully through pointy sharp guitar assaults, choppy jumpy dancers and really nice slow poignant ditties. They are all official genres by the way. I should write for NME.
Hot Club de Paris – Drop it ’til it Pops
Thirty seconds into this album I had this local Liverpool band written off as slightly annoying punk ska wannaband. Fortunately I persevered and I’ve been rewarded with a really nice album, that’s full of fun, wit and charm that isn’t like that at all.
Some of the tunes can originally sound a bit generic and standard, but the always seem to pull it out of the hat by the end. Plus any band that records a love song with completely beatboxed sounds and the lyrics “… and to teach us to score some sluts.” has gone a lone way to winning me over without even trying.
Well worth a listen.
The View – Hats off to the Buskers
I like The View. At the moment.
They are a cheeky bunch, and they are yet another band to make feel old by looking barely old enough to shave. Their singles are nice slabs of Indie Pop, with ‘Same Jeans’ being just the right side of annoyingly catchy.
I’m struggling to remember anything that’s not a single though. Hard to detest but difficult to get gospel about…
Right that’ll do you
I’m sure I’ve missed loads that I wanted to talk about, but I think that’s enough for now.
I’m literally about to pop over to Liverpool for some ‘wedding planning’ with my best man.
I should have a fully formed opinion of Guinness Red by tomorrow.