Posts Tagged ‘Alternative’

I have Arcade Fire to thank eternally.

As an agency worker (currently) the assignments I am given are varied: both in their nature and entertainment value. Alas, for four days last week I was lumped into the nauseous, madness-inducing environment of a reprographics dungeon. The only solace of the job was that one of the scanning machines, when operated, sounded reminiscent of this particular song intro. Thus, Half Light II (No Celebration) was my light at the end of a very bleak tunnel lined with guillotines, hole-punchers and stapling machines! Funny what music can do for you.

 

Feathers by Symphonic Pictures is like a snapshot of sad 60’s cinematography; an old retro film reels, imaginary moving pictures flutter before your eyes, black and white polaroids imprint on your retina, credits queue. Achieved via a trio of nostalgia-inducing guitar twangs, soothing vocals and metal-clattering drums, Feathers is a lo-fi lament of pastimes, childhood and long-lost relatives. As raw, pure & obscure as anything Joy Division ever put out, Feathers is a treasure to behold in an era of generic rock. A truly inspirational piece of classical symphony, courtesy of an act with an apt name.

 

Published by The Monograph.

Crystal Shipsss is the nascent brainchild of Berlin-based songwriter Jacob Faurholt. Already with an impressive five albums under his belt, Yay is a debut for a new project Crystal Shipsss, Faurholt’s “one-man musical vessel”.

Crystal Shipsss – Yay.

“I only recorded when I felt inspired, and with the idea of just making music without overthinking it” says Danish-born Faurholt of his latest record. Sure enough Yay is easier to digest than one of his nation’s famous pastries: a majority of the songs barely exceed 100 seconds.

Traversing the White Stripes’ verve of Geyser to the devilishly dark tones of Burning Kingdom, Shipsss’ first outing is a fascinating exploration into Faurholt’s sea of subconscious. Smile is an acoustically distant MGMT ringer; Uh Huh is a heavenly Sigur Ros lullaby; Romantic is of a similar ilk. Simplistic blends of chords, keys and lo-fi resonance are stirred to create the whirling, airy effects.

Unlike most diamonds though, Yay is far from polished. The recording quality is thrillingly raw but fuzzy; the songs vary from spell-binding [Crystal Lipsss] to introverted [My Dark Slimy Soul & The Jacket]. Others could be considered filler or demos [Sunshine].

The impression gained is very much one of a work in progress, albeit a showcase of some stunning melodrama from a man who stars as an extra in German soaps. Faurholt has compiled the raw materials for something special, Yay being a prototype or teaser.

As mouth-watering in potential as Faurholt’s label [Raw Onions Records] is eye-watering in title.

 [UK release: 11th June]

Find Jacob Faurholt on WordPress: http://jacobfaurholt.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/crystal-shipsss-cassette-release/

Published by The Monograph.

Any thought on Alabama Shakes‘ debut performance on Later Live with Jools

Quite an individual style I thought… To me they looked like a group of misfits who had converged only because of music. Lead singer Brittany Howard is a male version of Lenny Kravitz. Bassist Zac Cockrell looks like a Magic Number who’s recently returned from a shopping spree at H&M, or simply – Zak Dingle off Emmerdale. Meanwhile, the woolly hat perched upon drummer Steve Johnson’s scalp makes him look like a small-time bandit.

On Hold On, Brittany Howard’s gob has no limits to its aperture! The rubbery thing just keeps stretching to the point where you could shove a baseball down there. Or any other sized ball or object of equivalent dimensions. Her voice has such power and soul. Combined with guitarist Heath Fogg’s (what a name, incidentally)  jazzy, groovy and bluesy twangs, the Shakes are a unique recipe

The Guardian spoke to the Shakes a few weeks back, see here for full interview.  Candidates for 2012’s best breakthrough?

‘I bring a little bit of that punk with me. The energy, man; I can still thrash. I can’t play the guitar very well but I can fake it’ – Brittany Howard.

Formerly Milburn and The Book Club, Dead Sons are Joe Carnall’s newest outfit. Dead good.