Posts Tagged ‘Arcade Fire




To be honest, we aren’t exactly shy of contrasts and comparisons on this blog.  Upon hearing a tune for the first time it’s in our nature to immediately liken it’s components to that of other music we’ve previously heard.  We all do it, don’t we?  Well, how would you like to hear our strangest musical allegory to date?  We think we just heard Win Butler, of Arcade Fire fame, fronting The Go Team!  That’s what smacked our imagination full in the face upon pressing play on the brilliant tune, Havin’ My Baby, by the excellent Think About Life!  Don’t worry though, for the comparison didn’t last long, as the frontman, Martin Cesar, goes on to sound just as much like Tunde Adebimpe, on Johanna, or even Kele Okereke, on the track Sweet Sixteen.  He’s backed up by the extaordinary music, which is straight out of The School Of Awesomeness, where these prefects are clearly shaping up to obtain top qualifications.  It’s the tinkering bounce in the beat and the tricks up their sleeves, that reveal themselves rewardingly as each tune unfolds, that convinced us to enter them onto The Recommender today.  Just like TV On The Radio – with whom they seem to share playful ideals – they seem more than happy to experiment without losing the tune, or indeed the listener.  There’s plenty of funk, genial samples and handclaps throughout, planting smiles across the room as they serve up their satisfying soul food.  They played Europe’s leading festival of new music, The Great Escape, in our home city of Brighton back in May, which suggested that the UK hasn’t quite caught onto them, following their 2006 self-titled debut release.  The Canadian four piece’s lineup has slightly changed prior to their second album, Family, bringing in Caila Thompson-Hannant on bass and vocals, which perhaps explains why it’s taken the sophomore LP three more years to get here.  In truth, their label, Alienate Recordings, stuttered for a UK release, arriving on the record store’s shelves of America and Japan before here.  We suggest that you now have a flick through the below tunes and consider leaving a comment with your own collection of comparisons.  (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:        THINK ABOUT LIFE – HAVIN’ MY BABY

Hear them here:        THINK ABOUT LIFE – SWEET SIXTEEN

Hear them here:         THINK ABOUT LIFE – JOHANNA




We want to touch on why we listen to music on this post today, because upon discovering Parlovr (pronounced Parlour) we were distinctly reminded of this consideration.  We guess that everyone has varying reasons for listening to music and all of them are valid, as the experience is always for the ear of the beholder, but we believe there’s some underlying commonalities.  Ever since Neanderthal Man first hit a beat with a dinosaur bone onto the taut hind of a Sabertooth Tiger we’ve enjoyed rhythm and melody.  There’s always something tribal involved, isn’t there?  Something that penetrates deeper within you, often creating a sort of involuntary reaction, or dancing as some people call it.  OK, so the likes of Aqua and Fergie might not get your neurons firing, but Parlovr head straight for your cerebral cortex and jerk around masterfully.  They sit in your soul and set about stirring a little thunder and lightning inside you.  It’s almost a religious reaction, as you find yourself utterly wrapped up in it, losing yourself for three or four minutes.  This is what all the REALLY good music does, right?  It’s on this particular point that the similarities to fellow Canadians, Arcade Fire, surface.  Big, cacophonous drums, that sound recorded in a room far too large, alongside loose guitar strings, with lyrics of ambition, hope and love that are externalised through vocals that break into the occasional shout.  “I held the hand of an angel, many nights ago“, is hailed out as the track Pen To The Paper rattles along to a confident climax.  We almost want to throw our heads back and our arms aloft, as we sing along.  There’s bits of Pixies, Modest Mouse and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah found here, suggesting that North Americans really do create this kind of euphoric music better than anyone else.  Montreal’s Parlovr release their self-titled debut, on Dine Alone Records, on July 5th in the UK.  We found it a confident, consistent, epic album that dips to a lo-fi pulse, before rising to throbbing peaks on an enjoyable, energetic, melodic rollercoaster.  Discover Parlovr and we think that you’ll indirectly re-discover one or two of the reasons why you adore listening to music.   (MB)

Find them here:         Myspace


Hear them here:        PARLOVR – PEN TO THE PAPER




We like to think our blog is a broad church, writing up a variety of genres, but this week we uncovered one of those bands that seem to hop over the pigeon holes like, well, a very unwilling pigeon.  We recently uncovered this Canadian three piece and within approximately thirty seconds had our blog’s quills dipped and ready – so instantly likeable is every demo they’ve produced to date.  The Big Stereo blog described their sound as “pan flute disco punk“, which is brilliantly accurate, as they fully employ the Peruvian instruments and pounding four beats, but there’s also evidence of a fantastic, refined style to go with their confident pomp – which, when all packaged up together, will surely have the teen crowd jumping.  Disco implies something simple and although their lyrics are occasionally a little obvious, it’s saved by their intelligent tropical additions that riff away within each song, giving the listener a more subtle balance on each track.  On their demo Glory Of The Night, they show us that they can slow it down, which is encouraging evidence of a broader tunesmithery.  Fans of Friendly Fires, or the more recent Tanlines, will have their ears twisting around to this blend of electro indie pop.  Their songs flow smoothly and enjoy drops the size of the Angel Falls, as they crash into huge, confident choruses.  In a year when giant acts such as Arcade Fire and Crystal Castles bring out their new LPs, it’s great to see that Canada’s factory lines are also still producing exciting new acts such as Young Empires.  They’re still currently unsigned, but starting to get noticed, as apparently the Canadian A&R regularly line up outside their gigs.  They plan to head over to the UK for a few shows in late July and naturally The Recommender is fighting hard to obtain them for a Brighton showcase.  We will of course keep you informed, but in the meantime get your panpipes out and enjoy a little blast along to this.    (MB)

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        YOUNG EMPIRES – RAIN OF GOLD

Hear them here:        YOUNG EMPIRES – GLORY OF THE NIGHT



Just a quickie to let you know the exciting news that ARCADE FIRE will be releasing a documentary video of the making and touring of their seminal album, Neon Bible.

It’s the first ever DVD they’ve released of their live performances and they claim it will give an intimate view of this most private of bands. It will be named Mirror Noir and is available now.

I show a clip from it below of them playing a strange impromptu gig, in an elevator!! It’s a totally gorgeous moment.

They have also confirmed the fantastic news that they are currently working on new material for their much-anticipated third album.

This band are just about as good as it gets live – Exciting, passionate, loud, frenetic, highly energetic, contagiously enjoyable and it really is like experiencing a religious experience. With so many band members on stage singing their hearts out you don’t know where to look.

You will see the violinists singing along to frontman Winn Butler, even when they don’t have microphones near them, simply because they’re so caught up in the moment. You will see Winn’s brother, Will Butler, literally running the length of the stage, instrument in hand, like an over-excited child that’s had too much sugar. You will see them climbing the amps, headbutting gongs and cymbals and swapping instruments. They’ve even been known to turn up in the venue’s foyer, after the gig has finished, to play in a small huddle to the fans as they are leaving.

It’s amazing. Really amazing.

I attach below a clip of one of their live sets from the Coachella Festival.

I can’t wait to catch them live again.

See you back here real soon for more great stuff from The Recommender



OK, so we got ourselves some sort of credit crunching financial global nightmare, but what the fuck, let the music play. Spare the money-worries and get your attention onto this lovely slice of RECOMMENDER. Welcome back out of the darkness friends…

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

Nothing new to the blog world here, but I couldn’t resist grabbing yet another wonderful Aussie band from Sydney. This 4-piece, signed to the massive Modular Records label, are well worth their Recommender posting. In recent years Australia has been throwing out quality acts at us like a Shane Warne spin bowl and Van She are flying directly for your middle stump. Totally blissed out guitar pop with a yearning towards the 80’s-era prog rock and synth catchiness. Think of the Presets holding hands with Ladyhawke and you get the shelf upon which to happily place them. They’ve an ear for a good chorus and the songs skip along like a high point from any Flaming Lips album. On a separate note, two of the band members regrouped to produce remixes under the guise Van She Technologic (or as Van She Tech). The remixes are totally ace and boy have they been busy, so perhaps I’ll reserve a separate post for those in a future Recommender. Van She have released their debut album, V, earlier this year in most parts of the world, having previously only released an EP. Search it out and get involved…

Find them here:    Myspace

Hear them here:   VAN SHE – CAT & THE EYE

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

OK, so I don’t get it. Really. What is this electro-punk, jagged-edged, shouty business all about??? We should all know Crystal Castles by now right? The two-some from Canada, (Ethan Kath and Alice Glass) who discovered their sound by accident. (This was achieved by Glass accidentally leaving the mic on when laying down vocals over a bunch of tracks Ethan had recorded for them. With her mic still left on she spent time shouting experimentally over his beats and created the first single by chance. Hence the name of the tune – ‘Alice Practice’. The shouty/beat mixture was picked up and became said ‘sound’ for them). As much as I admit that I struggle with their ‘sound’, I cannot help but see something interesting here. I usually think I’m perhaps getting too old, or that my tastes have finally missed the boat, when I struggle to enjoy what seems a sensation to the rest of the world, but it’s sometimes good to see through the obvious hype and let the dust settle on these sorts of acts, (such as people did with say Klaxons). I saw Crystal Castles live recently and their whole show was done in strobe. And I mean the entire set. My eyes took days to recover. Was this good as well as different? I just can’t decide. She is very sexy and he’s strangely mysterious, so that’s something that entices, but to their credit they also have generated some interesting remixes, so I attach the LA RIOTS remix of Crimewave to give you a taster. Anything the Riots touch turns to dancefloor gold, so perhaps it roses the tint in my glasses, but judge for yourselves. Check the rest of their original tunes on the links provided…

Find them here: Myspace

Hear them here:   CRYSTAL CASTLES – CRIMEWAVE (LA Riots Remix)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

This New York area 6-piece are an indie band that’s caught my eye recently (or should that be my ear?). Sold as Vampire Weekend meets the Arcade Fire is somewhat over doing it me thinks, but nonetheless gives a relatively good idea of their sound and influence. Cute, delicate vocals float over strings and a pounding echo. Like Arcade Fire they are nicely upbeat so they avoid getting too boring too quickly and survive any pointless drifting. Having regrouped after the death of their drummer, John Pike, in 2007 they have now put together a well produced debut album, The Rhumb Line, following previously released EPs. They’re backing this up with a new tour supporting Vampire Weekend. Check them out.

Find them here:   Myspace

Hear them here:   RA RA RIOT – DYING IS FINE

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

On a separate note, I’d just like to thank the fans of The Recommender. Your input always helps, so keep the messages and comments coming and continue to spread the word etc. This blog has grown exponentially over the last few weeks and months and now generates thousands of visitors each and every month, so it’s nice to know you’re out there and long may it continue. As always let me know any thoughts…

Until the next one then. All the best,

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August 2020



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CLUB SMITH (Previously known as THE HAIR)


Mike Bradford (MB) - Creator and Contributor (UK)

Olivia Gable (OG) - Contributor (Austin, USA)

Matt Allfrey (MA) - Contributor (UK)

Natasha Ryan - Photographer (New York, USA)