Archive for October, 2010

07
Oct
10

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – LITTLE COMETS VIDEO

LITTLE COMETS – ISLES

This four piece band from the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne have been around too long to qualify for a post on The Recommender’s main section, (as that’s reserved for the discovery of only the freshest cuts), but today we focus on a new video they’ve released that’s so special we simply couldn’t resist giving it our spotlight.

For those unfamiliar with the band, they jam out the kind of edgy guitars familiar with Foals, with the added twinkle of Vampire Weekend. Perhaps an obvious yet helpful comparison could offer up the aesthetic of The Maccabees. It’s music packed with many strengths, all poured over with intelligent lyrics, as the group claim as much inspiration from reading books as they do musicians for their heartfelt atmospheric stories.

And so to this remarkable video, directed by Aoife McArdle, (who has also worked with the likes of Clock Opera and Shy Child). It does something very special and it’s caused us to sit up – watch it below and we are sure it will capture your attention too.

Like a series of photographs, the video paints us a real landscape of council estates, hooded teenagers and a working class counter-culture. Our country isn’t all green, rolling hills, or a cosmopolitan London – it’s a awash with sites that are run down and bricked up. A land of rust and broken glass, of detritus and fry ups, of the plastic and synthetic.

The genres that this band dabble in are so often associated with the middle classes, with descriptions like ‘math rock’ or adjectives such as ‘intellectual’ banded around, yet this band have created a video for their new single, Isles, that serves up an image of the UK that most British people need to see, let alone those readers from abroad.

The lyrics yearn with the voice of an observer trying to pull hope from the bleak constraints of a broken land. They speak of never “looking up to see the stars” and of the ignored hope inside the working classes, before hitting an anthemic, touching chorus. It’s a Britain a lot of us have seen but it’s rarely re-visited by many.

View All Photos | myspace.com/jazzylemon © | Little Comets

It’s the honesty and visceral imagery inside the song and particularly its extraordinary video that shows us something as endearing as it is repulsive to those outside of it. It’s a Britain where we are found to be as proud of our grit as we are our authenticity. It’s Sean Meadows’ England, or Mike Smith‘s poetic ship yards. That’s this countries majority – we are there – this is ours.

The band fell out with their major label, Columbia, over issues surrounding their previous album, so they now find themselves in a new position, releasing through the independent label, Dirty Hits. If this fresh beginning continues to produce charming tracks of this calibre then freeing themselves from what they’ve called the “grizzly clutches” will prove to be a well placed slap in the major label’s faces.

Watch the video, stream the single, which is released on the 18th October, and download the orchestral version which they’ve handed to us as a free addition. You can also catch them live as they tour the UK throughout October, often in support of Darwin Deez at selected shows.

LITTLE COMETS – ISLES

LITTLE COMETS – ISLES (ORCHESTRAL VERSION)

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05
Oct
10

THE RECOMMENDER – VILLA

VILLA

Do you know what the ‘Iambic Pentameter’ is?  It’s something we want to discuss today as we feel there’s a similar thing found in music.  There’s a certain pace of a beat that seems to fit so well inside our heads and it’s a difficult one to pin down or describe, but when you hear it, particularly in electronic music, it just feels right.  Perhaps it’s the way it’s played? Perhaps it’s that it’s a great beat to move to, allowing steps between the beats, so you can dance with ease to it?  Perhaps it’s something to do with how it matches the beat of your heart, or on a deeper level psychologically – the beat of your mother’s heart in the womb.  The Iambic Pentameter is usually associated with the rhythm of poetry or language and where or how you stress parts of each sentence.  It’s a trick that Shakespeare mastered and is commonly used – whether we know we ‘re doing it or not – when we speak in English.  It’s about pace, comfort and being easy on the ear.  This is where we get to a new trio from Belgium called Villa, who have been found floating about the remix market rather a lot in over the last year or so.  They seem to have nailed down the art of a beat that’s so comfortable you may begin to notice that your limbs move autonomously.  It’s a beat born in the disco halls of the 70s, with that familiar thump-clap-thump-clap that’s so easy to nod to.  It’s something that they’ve used very successfully time and again with the majority of their many remixes, from Gorillaz, to Ali Love, to Moby, to Keane, to The C90s, to Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and another disco-infused act, The Golden Filter, among others.  You may not like everyone on their selected list, but because they twist each original track into a floor-filling masterclass they bypass any disdain.  Notably, they often still maintain the original songs vocals, which is a trick all the best remixers seem to follow – to leave the bones of the tune, whilst still carving out a new piece of music.  They plan to have another push in the coming weeks of their excellent re-take on the Nacht Und Nebel’s 1984 hit, Beats Of Love, which features vocals by Lou Hayter of the exciting UK band, The New Sins, and rather fondly reminds us of the hypnotic Fan Death.  Expect classic disco strings, their signature mid-tempo and a set of sensual but equally deadpan vocals (yes, just like all the best 70s disco!).  We all know a good remix is a great way to get noticed in these modern times, but if you can back it up with a cover this fresh and original then our hearts will follow you long after the Iambic Pentameter has stopped.   (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:        VILLA – BEATS OF LOVE ft THE NEW SINS

Hear them here:        DAN LE SAC vs SCROOBIUS PIP – GET BETTER (VILLA VOCAL REMIX)

Hear them here:        MOBY – WAIT FOR ME (VILLA REMIX)

Hear them here:        THE GOLDEN FILTER – THUNDERBIRD (VILLA REMIX)

Hear them here:         THE C90S – 10.01 (VILLA REMIX)

Hear them here:        KEANE – CLEAR SKIES (VILLA REMIX)

Hear them here:        MUSIC GO MUSIC – WARM IN THE SHADOWS (VILLA REMIX)

01
Oct
10

THE RECOMMENDER – LEELOU

LEELOU

Today’s post feels like it could have simply been another update in a series of articles focussed on electro pop female solo artists on this blog.  Everyone knows that there’s been a lengthy queue of talented women carving out successful solo careers in the UK in recent years and Leelou fits so naturally into that family tree that her career could have been written on a napkin 12 months ago following the success of Marina & The Diamonds, Florence & The Machine, etc.  However, this is no contrived creation, like some Simon Cowell factory line, but more a natural evolution from the successes of pop’s recent past.  The path through this effeminate hierarchy takes us slightly off the electro end of pop when you reach The Good Natured, who took more cues from Bat For Lashes than Madonna, swiftly followed by Yadi, who added in a little percussion in place of the synths.  Most recently Recommendered on this avenue was FOE, who ditched the polish by bringing us elements of grunge, but with it an alluring sexuality and a gritty edge.  As we reach the latest junction we uncover Leelou, (aka Rebekah Dobbins), who has paired up with Paul Simm (Sugababes, Neneh Cherry, Amy Winehouse), and created the kind of pop that’s heavily dipped in a form of post punk that was first established in the late 1970s with Siouxsie & The Banshees.  If this influence turns out to be a sign of things to come then it would feel like the history of stylish, confident, female solo artists has come full circle.  How very tidy, but its way too early to make such neat suggestions.  Leelou’s music is often packed with brushed guitar riffs and driving drums, but there is a pop artist at its heart.  Consider it to perhaps be more a gothic version of  Kim Wilde, rather than a full-on Siouxsie Soux, especially with her striking looks, but even more so when you reach the sing-along choruses and (rather basic) lyrics, “We’ve made a fire, don’t put it out“.   Thankfully her edge is swiftly recovered by selecting some excellent people to collaborate with – firstly with Tessa Pollitt, of The Slits, whose addition provides an obvious grit to the inflected vocals.  Additionally, there’s a collaboration with different areas of the fashion and art worlds, pulling in favours for her video for Gasoline, (see below), from designers such as Atlanta Weller, Bordelle, Hannah Martin, House of Harlot, Tour de Force, with Ruth Crawford as art director.  The debut EP, Kiss. Death. Love. Come,  is out on 8th November on Deathless Records (pre-order it here). We have only one slightly worrying question after all this – if female solo artists are evolving at this rate and with this much dynamic quality, what’s happened to all the men!?  (MB)

Find her here:        Myspace

Hear her here:        LEELOU – GASOLINE

Here her here:       HOLLYWOOD, MON AMOUR ft LEELOU – DON’T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME)

Hear her here:        LEELOU – BURN YOUR HOUSES DOWN

Here her here:        LEELOU – KISS LIKE CARNIVORES




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