Thursday, 22 April 2010

Sunshine and Sunglasses and Summery Sounds....

'Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.' ~Plato

After many broken nights, minds and bottles, I return with vengeance and all that overblown melodrama that is necessary when it comes to fantasmic, spectacular new music....

It appears Mr Blue Sky is somewhat here as sunshine streams towards us on its magical beams, bringing happiness and skin cancer, not necessarily in that order, so I have attempted to shoehorn some summery style and sounds into this post...


Sunglasses have the most superhappyappropriate name possible for a summery band and their music offers a parallel and matching listen, also extending into a summery treat of a video, full of colourful visuals that could drive a stoner to ecstasy.

Samuel Cooper and Brady Keehn are two art school kids who have collaborated as Sunglasses to release the spontaneous and superb 'Whiplash', a track that literally vibes itself along on thumping percussion and keys. Cooper, also a filmmaker, created a trippy music video to accompany the track. Check it out, put on your sunglasses and literally freak out....

'Whiplash' music video...

Sunglasses' Myspace


A little bit of lovely lo-fi seems to be the recurring sound of summer this year, as band after band throw in some barely audible vocals amidst a collection of assorted instruments that plod softly and sweetly along, with an occasional blast of noise or fuzz to drown out the sounds of sunshine.

So here is another one I like!!

They are called Secret Cities and sing songs about Brian Wilson and boyfriends, whilst whistling and shaking their way through a plethora of instruments. Jolly melancholy are the buzz words on tracks such as the 80's jaunt of 'Pink Graffiti pt.1' and the laid back 'Boyfriends'. Their debut album is out in June and I eagerly await the release...

Secret Cities' Myspace


They have smug faces and hipster hair but the music that Sisters churn out is wondrously uplifting. Two guys (from bloody Brooklyn) simply making happy American indie that may sound oh so familiar but still sounds oh so superb when drifting through sunshine on your own private cloud...or even just sunbathing in a concrete garden with a smelly old BBQ burning away...

'Glue' and 'The Curse' grate away in the garage indie rock sound that reverbs and echoes around your room and head, whilst whining but comforting vocals slide alongside. Just give it a blast and turn it up if you can...

Sisters' Myspace


The summation of summery sunbeams (more crap basically)...

Albums out over the next week or so that you should buy include;
  • 'Swim' by Caribou [otherworldly uptempo dance-chill]
  • 'Transcontinental Hustle' by Gogol Bordello [Gypsy Punk Rock...nuff said]
  • 'My Best Friend Is You' by Kate Nash [jumpy alt-pop with screeches and bums]
  • 'All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu' by Rufus Wainwright [simply gorgeous pop]

Fingers and legs and arms and minds crossed for a continuation of Summery sunshine and sunny music that springs the souls and slaps the stars...or something like that...


Sunday, 4 April 2010

Eggciting Easter Euphoria....

'Music is an outburst of the soul.' ~Frederick Delius

It is the Easter Weekend so happy Easter Sunday Day to one and all, I hope that zombie Jesus and his bunny rabbit sidekicks bought you all of the chocolate eggs that you can cram down your throat until the inevitable sugar crash and rush to the toilet. I have spent a good week consistently drunk, with help from a Student Radio Conference, and Sonar Radio, who lived up to my every chundering expectation...

Onwards, with Easter comes new shit. So new music yeahhh???


Brooklyn is currently the musical mecca of awesome, hence why I dream of moving there and starting a fuzzy band full of hope, dreams and wine...

Anyway, Fang Island are another Brooklyn band living up to the hype that emanates from the district so brightly in 2010. Existing for a few years, their first self-titled album was released a couple of weeks ago and showcases an energy that can only be described as the power of (in the band's words) "everyone high-fiving everyone."

'Daisy' comes with a delirious drive that instigates dancing without reason whilst 'Treeton' stops and starts infectiously, hopping along in waves of exuberance. Fang Island make positively life-affirming, jump-for-joy alternative pop that clicks together in simple but effective perfection.


Indie supergroups are tricky to manage and even trickier to actually pull off. Gayngs are a collective of musicians, including Justin Vernon, Megafaun and Solid Gold, pulled together by producer Ryan Olson. So far, only one track has appeared online, but its a 6 and a half minute chillout mastercraft.

Using the laidback vocals of Bon Iver as a template and a slow burning mixture of instruments and beats, the gentle ebb and flow of 'The Gaudy Side of Town' seeps its way into your mind, lulling you into a state of serene satisfaction. It is one gigantic fusion of soul, indie, folk, chillwave and electronica that must surely be setting the scene for something mindblowing...

Gayngs' Myspace


I very rarely blog about hip-hop but when good stuff comes along, I simply MUST! Here it comes in the form of a free mixtape from Das Racist, a rap trio from (guess where!) Brooklyn. The three take the art of hip-hop, scratch a massive tear across it and try to kick things off once more, forging a new sound, rare in modern hip-hop.

From the gaudy humor of 'Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell' to the summery sampling of 'You Oughta Know' through to the auto-tune behind 'Fake Patios' and the classic hip-hop style of 'Deep Ass Shit'. Simply magnificent from start to finish, throwing new light onto an undervalued genre.

The stumbling raps, the slurring words, the lazy beats and awesome samples all pave the way towards a band who know how to party but also know their music, and know how to combine the two abilities into the awesome trio that is Das Racist.

Download out their mixtape 'Shut Up, Dude' here at Stereogum...

Das Racist's Myspace


The evolution of emphatic Easter Eggs (more crap basically)...

Albums out over the next week or so that you should buy include;
  • 'Our Inventions' by Lali Puna [inventive, innovative electronic pop]
  • 'Yeah, So' by Slow Club [rockabilly jangle indie pop]

So, go enjoy some chocolate whilst thinking about the crucifixion and subsequent zombie-like revival of Jesus. And listening to this lot of course. Your soul will thank you (and by extension, me) for it all later.

Have a Happy Rest of Easter!