Category Archives: british music

Fresh Tracks: Everything Everything

In December 2012, the world was supposed to end. God had planned on a rapture the likes of which had only been seen once before. Who by you ask? By Noah of course. The legendary bearded gentleman that built that fine wooden arc we’ve all heard about countless times throughout our youth. He and his family were chosen out of everybody in the world to carry on the human race because of their devotion to awesomeness.

Well this time around God chose a band named Everything Everything to build an Arc that would outlast the end of the world. But when December 21st, 2012 came around, to his surprise (and absolutely no one else’s) he was foiled by science. When the end of the world had been avoided, God said to the band, “Fuck. Sorry boys, I really thought that would work. But as long as you made that Arc we might as well do something good with it”. So in two fell swoops, God uncapped his magic marker, gently sniffed the tip of it, and turned their Arc into what will be one of the most impressive albums to come out in 2013.

So there you have it. Everything Everything’s new album, Arc. Engineered by God. Powered by divine intervention.

But seriously, this is only the tip of exciting news in releases to hit stores of all sorts this year but holy hell is it a fantastic start. When Everything Everything released their debut album Man Alive, it was interesting to say the least. Their attempt at mixing a kind of prog or art rock-esque styling with smooth pop didn’t seem too polished except for a few stand out tracks that became singles such as MY KZ, UR BF. It seems like they’ve well and truly crossed their T’s and dotted their lower case j’s in this second release.

The reviews for Arc are just beginning to come in from the major outlets and so far the sentiment is that it’s the work of a band at the top of their game. Described by most of the top reviewers as a more “honest” album than their first (whatever that means), the first single, Cough Cough, is being flogged like crazy here in Australia on Triple J and I believe it is one of the top 100 most played songs of the year on that particular channel. It’s fresher tracks like Kemosabe, Duet and Torso Of The Week that have me giddy like a twelve year old girl about this record. Showcasing all the best elements of the band including the most original use of falsetto in all the perfect places combined with hallmark Everything Everything harmonies and that static, creepy-crawly style guitar with soothing electronics. I know that description sounds like a whole lot of different noises and flows crashing around, but believe me it is such a perfectly melodic mess from beginning to end.

Everything Everything’s, Arc is available on iTunes as of right now. You can like their facebook page HERE.

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Issue Nine

It’s almost the end of Movember. I’m upset about it. I know you’re all upset about it. But don’t wallow on the end of this great month. Let us reflect on the tremendous times that we’ve had. Let us remeber the hair that has sprouted aloft on our upper lips. For you ladies it might be the playful tickle you got when kissing that guy you’ve had a crush on for months, just waiting for November when he of course looked his best. For the men it could be the 16 year old Whiskey that aged that little bit more whilst encaged in your face jungle, becoming a delicious blend of malt liquor and unwashed hair, perhaps mixed with day old toothpaste and toast crumbs and released during a shower for maximum taste. Ahh the good times.

But alas, these glorious days are behind us and what better way to reminisce than with a good old fashioned “high-school leavers” style slideshow of all your greatest moustache moments. Hell, while you’re at it, why not chuck in a soundtrack to back it up and really jerk those tears from your sockets. Here are some suggestions I prepared earlier.

10. Hunting Grounds – Star Shards

This weeks top ten starts with a couple of haggard rock tunes. This particular one comes from Aussie outfit Hunting Grounds off their debut album “In Hindsight”. It’s becoming very hard to get noticed in the current Australian indie scene with all the amazing talent that has been seemingly popping out of nowhere as of late but these guys have gotten a lot of airplay on Triple J (and a cheeky shazam from myself) and rightfully so. I have to say their sound does stick out a little from the plethora of hyper trendy general pants employees that have sprouted into the scene; at least Hunting Grounds brought talent along for the ride.

9. The Cribs – Come On, Be A No-One

Worst music related blog ever. This has been out for so long and I actually really love The Cribs. Got all their past records and all that stuff but still failed to catch the news of this release on it’s way out. But who cares. The blog isn’t about what’s new and cool, it’s about me and what I’m listening to. It’s like the super sweet 16th of the music blogosphere and everybody knows you only tune in to that show to watch the spoilt princess have a tantrum. Speaking of which, sounds kind of like the lead singer of The Cribs and how he comes across in recordings; just a wailing rocker having a massive whacked out tantrum but in a cool way. Doesn’t make sense I know, so just listen to the song and hear the brilliantly crazy mess that is this band.

8. Strange Talk – Falling In Love

Once again I’m on the fence about Strange Talk’s latest release. It’s got a lot less of those edgy, indie vibes we heard in the first EP and has broken out in a frenzy of corny pop lyrics and pockets of electro dance rubbish. Still, it’s better than that first single Cast Away they dropped the ball on about a month ago and I still believe in the band so much that I am hopeful the album will reveal a whole bunch of shining white knights to swoop in and take us away from the evil musical dungeon that has been these last few releases. Who knows, maybe you’ll like it?

7. The Preatures – Take A Card

Sorry is this an actual film clip? I didn’t realise. For a second I was suddenly inside a daydream or montage and this was the backing track for the first time I ever saw the keyboardist/singer from The Preatures. You have to admit, she is gorgeous and it makes the song that much more enjoyable to listen to. It’s just a chilled out fun song with everything your traditional mus-o could love; attitude, grit, talent, fun, that “Who gives a fuck” vibe and of cause there’s the sauce. Side note, I feel like the male lead singer reminds me a lot of my Dad in his old band in the 80’s which is absolute gold.

6. Architecture In Helsinki – Escapee

Funnily enough I’ve seen these guys live before. They’ve been around for a while, much like this song has apparently been around for a while. But I’ve never taken to them. Until now. My word this is a fun song. Kind of reminds me of Passion Pits stuff from Manners. It’s an epic tune built for those drunk, don’t-care-how-I-look-I-just-need-to-move moments, most frequently seen at festivals. I cringe at how being messy at a festival became cool yet habitually makes people look like tipped cows just flailing about with their udders exposed, half having the time of their life, half scared out of their wits; but if they’re doing it to this song, I’ll allow it.

5. Little Comets – The Western Boy

I wrote about this song being the stand out track on October’s Album of the Month and I stand by my decision. It’s coming in 5th only because it’s a little late in the season now and much more pressing matters have arisen. Anything you need to know about this song I wrote about in that post so check it out if you want a second opinion (given by the same person so I don’t know if you’d call it a second opinion really). Just enjoy.

4. Ben Folds Five – Drawing A Card

I haven’t always been the biggest Ben Folds fan. I know he’s huge and widely liked so it’s hardly new or unheard of tunes in this slot, but it’s a great song. The only other thing I’ve really liked was “You Don’t Know Me” with Regina Spektor. That was fantastic but every other thing really fell flat with me. Regardless I don’t have much personal insight or criticism into his music. He’s so well known, you either like him or you don’t. The song’s pretty good though.

3. Foals – Inhaler

Foals are FINALLY back with a new single and the album is to be released soon. I love these guys as do most people I know and it’s been a long time coming. It’s no surprise this track has been demolishing the Triple J hitlist for the past week or so. I once heard that these guys played backyard house parties even after they were already big enough to play University arena tours in the UK. Man, that would’ve been some killer party and it just makes them seem like absolute champs. Inhaler starts off very reminiscent of their better tracks from Total Life Forever but then suddenly busts out into a beautifully angry chorus. Terrific stress relief.

2. Buchanan – Run Faster

Great indie tune. I like to crank this one when I’m on the train home from the city just thinking about things and stuff. Don’t know much about the band but I’d liken it a lot to Gypsy & The Cat’s ‘Bloom’ that was on Issue Seven I believe. I think Buchanan are just at the beginning of what looks to be an amazing career and this track is the right way to start things off. For fans of High High’s or maybe Grizzly Bear, I recommend breaking this out on a Sunday.

1. Fenech-Soler – All I Know

Yes. Yes. Yes! I’ve been waiting and waiting since my time in Canada (which ended up July, 2011) for a new track to come out from Fenech-Soler. Not so well known in many places, I was shown this by a good friend of mine when we were driving around in a Van in the BC Rockies and loved them ever since. Kind of like the British version of The Presets, not so much in sound but in the way there’s two dudes rocking electro, dance sounds and managing to find that perfect mash between enjoyable, catchy pop and sweaty underground club anthems. When I play them, EVERYBODY asks who it is and immediately downloads it, so make sure to do the same. Thank me later.

I’m in the process of making this here site more use-able so make sure to check it out in the next couple of months to see the changes. Currently it’s pretty confusing to follow without having to sign up for twitter or a Google account but you can follow me on instagram @jessesmonster as I’ll be posting my favourite tunes throughout the week as well as many of the stupid-ish things I think are funny or interesting.

Album Of The Month: October

I know I’m a bit late. We’re almost due for an Album of the Month: November (which I assure you will be a lot quicker to develop then this one). It’s strange too, because this here album is quite possibly the easiest pick I’ve ever had to make. I mean, it’s shockingly brilliant. I literally can’t believe how much I am stoked over this record.
I prematurely announced that this record would be released on the 30th of September. However, due to the unforeseen circumstance of one of the band members breaking a bone or being sick or something reasonable, the release date was pushed back to the 15th of October. Not released on Australian iTunes, I was understandably furious that I could only listen to this glorious collection over YouTube, having to ride out the train and only listen to this new stuff on my computer when I got home. Furthermore, about four of the tracks on the album have been previously released, including two (Worry and Waiting in the Shadows in the Dead of Night) that were released back in February/March! Nevertheless, it is clear that in the short time Little Comets have been ticking along in the spotlight, their sound has matured at an incredible rate. Their debut record, In Search of Elusive Little Comets, was a collection of your standard British pop tunes with vibes taken straight off the likes of The Wombats, The Kooks or even perhaps to a lesser extent We Are Scientists.The vibrant three part harmonies and stop/start clanging of guitars rivalling the drummer for control of driving the beat of the songs, alongside Robert Coles unreal ability to make a crafted, polished voice sound gritty and cool. It was one to be reckoned with and justifiably gave them notoriety in the UK.
Little Comets Live accompanied by hanging percussion

Enough said about their old stuff. We’re hear to give praise to the new and mature version of Little Comets. Life Is Elsewhere is a polished number that doesn’t pit their old stuff against their new stuff, but rather effectively showcases their growth as a band the way the fans would want it to happen. There’s no “oh they’ve sold out” or “they tried too hard to be proper musicians and ended up making some wanky experimental record”. They just got better, more interesting and fresh. It’s still the same Little Comets vibe that all the fans (well assuming I speak on behalf of all the fans) loved, but not the same old shit. Tracks like The Western Boy resonated the most with me, highlighting the carefully crafted musicianship of the band in the alternating time signatures layed out in the drums, the jumpy falsetto over the scurrying lead guitar all culminating in the simple words “One day I’ll wake up and I won’t need you”pitching to the crowd a straight forward catchy chorus that shows the people that although their musicianship is getting much more wicked, the essence is still that of a fun, enjoyable British pop band. Older singles like Worry and Jennifer are easy tunes guaranteed to get stuck in the old noggin for days whilst having tines of originality that can only be identifiable in conjunction with this one particular band.

The stand out tracks for me would probably be Bayonne (featured on this months BIRP! Playlist and an earlier Whamtam Ten issue), Semaphores on the Lawn and W-O-E. Maybe this is because I am usually opposed to the first single after hearing awesome stuff on the rest of the record, I may have immediately dodged the singles. But these are just great tracks that include a whole mix of everything that is good about Little Comets. The first single of the record prior to the release is also the first track, titled A Little Opus and is actually a great song in its own right but for some reason was a little plain for me in comparison to all the other great stuff. All in all, save for maybe one crusier tune I think they didn’t spend much time on, it’s an almost flawless album.
So there’s my album of the month for…almost two months ago…better late than never! Do yourself a favour and go pick it up if you somehow can! We need to get them popular in Australia so they will tour over here!! Do it now.

Retro-(Re)-spect: Part One

I figured since the top ten is only coming out once every two weeks that I’d need a little filler in between to keep people checking the page out. After all, content is key and I can’t keep sharing the same exact post on twitter two weeks in a row. This brings me to my new segment; Retro(Re)spect. In this particular post I will be paying tribute to my favourite songs on rotation from previous decades as close as the naughties and far back as the dawn of man.


Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence

Released in 1990 (when I was two years old!) as the second single on their seventh studio album “Violator“, Enjoy The Silence is one of those brooding, end of the eighties new wave numbers that gives a good wink and nod to the darker side of the British electric scene. For a while this was one of those tracks that I knew like the back of my hand but couldn’t ever put my finger on who wrote it or what it was called. Thank god for Shazam, as last week in Queenstown airport it was playing over the speaker and I managed to catch it.

There was seriously that much good music around before I was even born and this guarantees that I would’ve missed a fair bit of it. So if anyone has any links or suggestions on some epic classics that could be posted in this new segment, chuck us a comment.