Monthly Archives: February 2013

Gold Fields to make US TV debut on JKL

Once again, not really news. More a reminder. Gold Fields are an Aussie dance-pop/indie/tribal/fucking-every-genre-ever act that deserve international acclaim and are certainly on the fast track to getting it. I’ve talked about them a lot on this blog. In fact, you could even say they’ve brainwashed me to total, utter musical subjectivity. They are pretty epic though.

So, back to happenings. Gold Fields are making what is not only their mainstream television debut, but at the same time, their live US television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live tomorrow night (the 27th of February) at 11:35PM on ABC. To Australian fans hoping to catch the live performance; I guess we’re going to have to download the episode or stream it online. Either way, it may be worth the watch. If I’m right, and I’m basing this on absolutely nothing other than a YouTube video I saw, Gold Fields will be the first Aussie act to play live on Kimmel since Gotye in mid 2012. Make that leap. Gotye with his international hit Somebody that I used to know that blew up like crazy. Gotye, who also played live on SNL and maintained #1 for quite a prolonged period of time. And then our dear friends Gold Fields. So stoked for these guys.
Anyway, check it out, it’s sure to be an unreal performance. They’ll be playing their hit single, Dark Again.

Phoenix: Rising from the ashes

OK, so maybe this header applies more to the legendary mythical bird than the French-born band version of Phoenix. They’ve not come from the ashes so to speak, since riding high on the success of their last release, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix back in 2009. Regardless, they have been one of my favourite acts for a while, especially after seeing them live for the first time at one of the most stunning venues I’ve ever stepped foot inside, The Orpheum in Vancouver.

But they went missing for a while. You have noticed only about a month ago I posted 5 albums to look out for in early 2013 and this was one of them. At the time it was very hush hush about when the first single was to drop but finally it’s here and received a good flogging of enthusiasm on social media. Sadly, I’m a bit late to the punch. But nevertheless, I am a massive fan of Phoenix, so I absolutely have to plug their newest single, Entertainment. 

Entertainment is a weird mix of past Phoenix combined with an exciting musical avenue that they will hopefully be exploring in the wider album. The verse sounds like it could have easily fit in amongst the sterling track listing of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, yet comes with it a kind of fast-paced ruggedness that I have only noticed in a quiet few of their past tracks. The chorus, to be honest, takes a little getting used to. I read an article raving about this track that admitted it took 12 solid listens to fully appreciate it. I’m not up to 12 but I see where the guy is coming from. It’s not the catchiest thing you’ve ever heard. But it’s Phoenix,so you’ll of course give it a solid go and like most of their songs, end up loving it.

Can’t wait for the full album to drop. It’s going to be called Bankrupt! and if Phoenix are the same band I think they are, it should be an absolute machine. In the meantime, what does everyone else think of the new single, Entertainment?

Love Song Dedications

You just know we had to have a top ten indie love songs edition for Valentines Day. The only exception to this is that most of them aren’t particularly mushy classics. Since the vibe on Valentines Day seems to lean more towards the “tragic love” style punter, I figured I’d mix it up, assuming that a lot of people will be getting super wasted on this most promising of holidays and jamming out to themes that include: unlucky in love, love-lorn (always wanted to find an appropriate way to fit that word into a sentence. There’s one off the bucket list), heartbroken and of course the highly sought after, head over heels in love.

10. Ra Ra Riot – Can You Tell?

This is a simple, beautifully written song. According to statistics, 200% more relationships are added to Facebook on Valentines Day and if that really is the case, I feel the lyrics of this song fit perfectly. Anyone who has ever had their heart thumping outside of their chest at the mere thought of getting through a date with a person they like can relate to this. Valentines Line: I think about you nightly. Can you tell that I’m losing sleep?”.

9. Tan Vampires – I Found A Body

I’ve featured these guys on previous top tens, constantly repeating my astonishment that they have around about 1,000 fans on facebok. Seriously, get behind them. All that aside, I Found a Body is one of the most romantic songs I’ve ever heard. Not so much in the verse lyrics, but purely the chorus. To me, it really seems to be about the kind of relationship that tries so hard to be independent and focus on bad things that could happen that it misses out on the best parts of being a couple. Of course the chorus lets you know that they sorted shit out. Valentines Line: “I found a body to call my home”

8. Josh Pyke – Forever Song

This is probably one of the most romantically intentioned songs I’ve ever heard. It comes in eight out of pure nostalgia. It’s not new at all, but it’s a go-to for anyone with a guitar and stage that wants to really nail that romantic shout-out to their lady friend. As a single dude who seems to go out a lot, I like to think that in amongst all the stupidity of the bachelor-life there is something like this still around. Valentines Line: I want the song I can sing forever, I don’t care for structure just to know it’s mine”

7. Jonezetta – The City We Live In

Oh wow. This is old! This sweet little tune was a part of one of my favourite albums as a teenager and one of the only albums that remains a classic in my eyes. I’ve attempted a long distance relationship before and let me tell you, it’s tough work. For these guys travelling around the country touring in bands I couldn’t imagine how they manage their relationships. Then again, if we didn’t believe that some things are just “meant to happen” we wouldn’t even have Valentines Day to begin with. Valentines Line: “Wherever you are, I’m waiting, waiting for you here”

6. The Heartbreaks – I Didn’t Think It Would Hurt to Think of You

Anyone heard the phrase, “Don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone”? Of course you have. But have you heard a song about that particular sensation before? You have? Oh. Not like this though. This I guess would be the first heartbreak style song and what better band to have it come from then The Heartbreaks. This is just straight up poppy rock at its best. You know when you break up and it’s “for the best”, but it’s just so damn hard to accept and move on, especially in a small town. Kinda like this. Valentines Line: “In a town as small as this there’s no escaping you”

5. Friendly Fires – True Love

If you can’t figure out what this is about, get out. This is in the love-lorn category. A lot of punters are sitting at home this Valentines Day either pretending that they “don’t subscribe to fake holidays” or wishing they were out with someone special right now.Well my friends, Friendly Fires understands your pain and they wrote a song about. But in a positive spin, they expressed these aforementioned emotions with an up-tempo, electronically symphonic, funky frenzy of amazing audio to dance your sad feelings away. Valentines “All I want is to feel true love”

4. Tokyo Police Club – Favourite Food

Although lyrically, it takes a lot of reading into it to understand what this song is truly about, Favourite Food is about getting over a tough break-up. I keep reading that February is relationship season but for me, the first quarter of the year, historically, represents a high break-up ratio. With that said, the messaging in these lyrics are brilliant. Basically, it encourages new singles to pick themselves back up, shrug it off and try again. Valentines Day: “But there’s another girl on another day, and your favourite food still tastes the same”

3. HelloGoodbye – The Thought Gives Me The Creeps

What says romance more than a ukelele? Seriously. If you thought goings on during Valentines Day gets cheesy, you should hear HelloGoodbyes entry into mainstream, a little song called Call N’ Return. That however, is not the focus of my attention. This song is another stunner coming straight from the heart. A lot of needy girlfriends or boyfriends are thinking, “What would I ever do without my significant other?” Sigh. Lighten up, it’s a nice sentiment. Valentines Line: “Oh, what if I never knew your name, oh my God the thoughts insane. And if your love is not the same, as it seems inside my brain.”

2. Stepdad – Pick & Choose

I’m starting to second guess the way I ordered this top ten Valentines list. Oh well, here at number two we have the glorious Stepdad with Pick & Choose, one of the obvious highlights from their debut LP Wildlife Pop. This is just a really fun number that says if you’re in love, just fucking enjoy it. Although some of the verses seem like a needy dude who’s girlfriend doesn’t give him the time of day, I choose to ignore that for the purpose of this blog only. I said I’d have songs in support of  those in terrible relationships too. Valentines Line: “If I could pick, could pick & choose, I’d pick you, it’s all good”

1. The Drums – Forever & Ever Amen

In doing a little bit of research for this special blog, I came across this song with the article declaring “This song just sounds exactly like love don’t you think?” Yes I do think. This is the pinnacle of bopping along the streets whilst whistling at the sky not a care in the world head over heels in love songs that all your single friends hate to hear. I love the sentiment here. Don’t get too caught up in your relationships and over-think shit. Being in love is great, just enjoy it and have fun with it. Valentines Line: “We are in love”

Happy Valentine’s Day folks.

Issue Fourteen

I hate the long wait for new albums. They always seem to announce all the good stuff months before they’re due to be released and make everyone just sit on their excitement, twiddling their ears (I don’t know if that makes sense but seems like the more likely body part to be affected in this instance). Gold Fields released Dark Again back in October with the album due to be released in March. Foals new record, Holy Fire still has two days before it pops. Don’t even get me started on Northeast Party House. They promised a full length album back in October sometime and I haven’t even seen a preview yet.

With that aside, all this waiting forced me to take a look back at some older stuff, pick peoples brains. Hell, I even attended a music festival on the weekend for some extra inspiration. Seriously but, fuck Laneway was good. Divine Fits, Japandroids and High High’s had to be amongst my favourites, but I admit I did get sucked into Alt-J and even The  Ruebens a little bit. Don’t blame me if today’s top ten is a little outdated, they’re still epic tunes.
10. Divine Fits – My Love Is Real

This, without a doubt, had to be one of the highlights of Laneway. I was a party to some risky business in ducking out on Bat For Lashes headlining set on the main stage to go see these guys and they did not disappoint. Got there just in time for their killer single Flaggin’ a Ride, but it was the songs like My Love Is Real that really stood out. I didn’t take to the song in the recorded form but after hearing it live I was well and truly hooked.
9. Alt-J – Taro

This song comes courtesy of another sterling Laneway moment. I never really bought into the hype around British Indie/Folk outfit Alt-J. Still don’t really. But I had to admit, sitting on a small grassy hill with friends on a bright day with a beer in one hand, a cider in the other, and Taro playing perfectly in the background. It was one for the memory bank.
8. The Jezabels – Rosebud

Rosebud is an absolutely beautiful track that is also quite a bit older than most the songs I post on this blog. It’s just been playing in the office on someone’s playlist for so long I couldn’t escape it and finally pulled out Shazam to grab this one for myself. When I say quite a bit old, I mean 2011. Listening to it you’d think it was something straight out of the nineties though. I don’t even like the nineties all that much but that’s only a tribute to how good The Jezabels really are.
7. Active Child – Hanging On

Another oldie that’s also on the work playlist. I’ve had it stuck in my head for a while now. It looks like this track was also released in 2011 and sports a similar kind of folky, indie feel to a lot of what’s in at the moment (according to the Hottest 100 results this year). Hearing this all the time at work is definitely not doing any favours for my productivity. Although it’s a wicked track, it does have the potential to hypnotize you to sleep.

6. High Highs – In A Dream

High Highs have to be my favourite live act from Laneway. I really wanted to see their set beforehand but wasn’t sure of time. A friend and I suddenly found ourselves wandering and drawn to a kind of “that’s a nice song coming from that stage, we should check it out”, situation. We read the set times wrong and only realised at the very end of the set when they played Open Season that it was actually High Highs. I would’ve posted that particular song but this one is their newbie and it still does them justice.
5. CYMBALS – The Natural World

I usually celebrate the first of every month with the release of a new BIRP! playlist. However, 2013 hasn’t been as spot on as it usually is, resulting in less notice worthy songs than I could count on one hand per issue. Keep in mind that the playlist is usually around a 120 song offering. That aside, I guess I can forgive them because one is better than none, and CYMBALS came along and saved the day. The Natural World can be a bit simple and haggard at times but that’s what I like about it. You can almost imagine writing this yourself on your Dad’s old synth and a computer in the garage even though you’ve never played synth or even have an elementary understanding of how it works. Not me…you.
4. The Royal Concept – Lost In You

I raved about the “faux Phoenix” Swedish outfit, The Royal Concept early on and included most of their EP in previous countdowns that I’ve done. So naturally, when I heard their new single World On Fire, I thought to myself…THIS…IS…LAME? Not expecting that? Me neither. Luckily for them, I found this doozy lying around iTunes and it roped me back in. They’re a talented band but that new single sounds like they’ve been chosen to represent for the EuroVision contest and not in a good way. This one is great though. The singer has a very cool and impressive voice and the band are terrific instrumentalists and they just nailed it with Lost In You, putting together a simple, likeable tune.
3. Gold Fields – Happy Boy

The only reason this is third is because I already kind of half blogged about it. I wrote a post in itself announcing Happy Boy as Gold Fields brilliant new track but wasn’t able to find the YouTube clip. Well, it’s up but I feel it would be rude to the others if I also made it number one. That aside, this is an absolutely unreal song and in my opinion, the worst track on the upcoming record. Not saying it’s bad. Just saying it’s the least awesome in what is a stunning mistress of a CD.
2. Japandroids – Fire’s Highway

It’s gritty, haggard, brusiy even. But that’s what’s amazing about Canadian duo Japandroids, I still feel a bit old or weird saying it in this day and age (even though the word’s ‘day’ and ‘age’ used in conjunction make me sound old anyway) but they are pure Rock N’ Roll. Like real, thrash about playing a shitty guitar, screaming down the mic with the crowd sweating and charging along. These guys actually made Laneway for me. They played at that point where you’re just the right type of drunk and the only word to describe every single track they write is anthemic. This song in recorded form just doesn’t do them justice.
1. POP ETC – Speak Up

I feel weird putting this at number one. But it’s such a fucking cool song. Yes, the band name sounds like they’re going to be a little cheesy. Yes, most of their songs are a little cheesy, not this one thankfully. And YES, this was released as part of the Twilight soundtrack. My sister maintains that Twilight, despite being an absolutely horrendously horrible series, release the best soundtracks. With tunes like this, I’m starting to believe her.
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