Posts Tagged ‘Vampire Weekend




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.

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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.





Welcome back to another fresh batch of selected goodness. It’s been an amazing month for The Recommender, as lots of great things are happening in the background which will only serve to help grow the blog. More news will follow once everything’s finalised, suffice to say, world domination is definitely still on the cards. Nice…


If you like your music with a lot of charm and down-beat pace, then look no further than this lot. This is a new ensemble put together by the music machine, Seth Kauffman. He’s released solo albums prior to this, but now he’s turned to getting a backing band together and their debut release, Citizen Dick, came out in April. Refusing the commonly used computer-aided instruments and samples so often found in modern music, his stripped-down approach has produced some truly refreshing and beautiful songs. Shuffling drums and a wonderful, melodic guitar that feels and sounds like it’s being played live, create an atmospheric set of songs that are warm to the touch. Songs that cover subjects such as lost love (“I’m trying to forget my dreams again”) and hopelessness  (“I can’t take more than 50 lashes”) are sung over some rather sunny, floppy music. This 4-piece from Black Mountain, USA, have produced an album of many highlights, one of which we list below, so hunt it out, kick back and enjoy.

Find them here:       Myspace

Hear them here:       FLOATING ACTION – MARIE CLAIRE        (ysi)


This is the exact reason that we all need to surf the blogs on a regular basis. On the odd occasion you will find tidy gems like this newly-formed band. It’s as if they’re almost invented purely to reward the hardy mp3 treasure hunters. This particular bounty was plucked from the awesome blog and record label, Neon Gold. And so to this New York pair, who prove to be more than familiar to us already in a couple of different guises. They’re actually a side project from Rostam Batmanglij, who play keys for Vampire Weekend and he’s paired up with the lead singer from Ra Ra Riot, Wes Miles. Both bands share that similar breezy, delicate, indie sound, but with this project they’ve dropped the guitars and developed a focus on an electronic, synth style and an almost R&B backing beat. It’s still slowed and light, but carries their ability to construct a melody along on the waves as they drift past your ears. It’s gorgeous stuff and we are informed that there is a planned full LP due for a release this summer! Cue plenty of blogs all over the world dribbling at the thought.

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:        DISCOVERY – ORANGE SHIRT        (ysi)


What a long way the West Country has come since The Wurzels! Especially since this bouncing trio emerged from that sleepy corner of the UK. They arrived kicking out lively, spikey, Rock-Pop, with tunes that are full of guitars, piano and the occasional drum machine. Tracks on 2008’s self-titled debut album swing wildly in the mix. Often utilising Rosie Varnier’s sexy vocals brilliantly (‘Butterfly’), then changing style to a pounding dance tune (‘Heartbreak‘). It’s a mish-mash, but often very enjoyable. There’s plenty of early No Doubt in there (‘Contain You’) and influences from Cindy Lauper bring an 80’s feel to some tracks. Self explained as “Kate Bush on crack” perhaps takes it a little too far, but judge for yourselves. Don’t get us wrong, this band is not re-inventing much here and is borderline annoying with their candy sound on occasion, but it’s their recent release of what is probably their strongest single to date, Heartbreak, that they once again come under our radars. We have another of their tunes, ‘You’ve Changed’, listed as a taster for you below. 

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:        ROSIE & THE GOLDBUG – YOU’VE CHANGED        (ysi)

Two tracks there to kick back to in the sunny weather and that last track should wake you up some. All good though. If you enjoyed them, let us know in the comments box as always.

We are currently on the hunt for a contributor from the US of A, so if you’re a budding blogger/writer, (with immaculate taste obviously), and come from the other side of our pond, then let us know at and we’ll take it from there. Look forward to searching out some talent…


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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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July 2020



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