Category Archives: fenech soler

5 Albums To Look For In 2013

Gold Fields – Black Sun (March)

My favourite new Australian band are set to release their debut album “Black Sun” this coming March and I couldn’t be more excited. They’ve been very slow to release any information or early tracks which is only helping to build the excitement world wide. The first single off the album “Dark Again (Lights Out)” is already on the Triple J hit list as well as getting smashed out daily on Channel V and has previously received a number one spot on this blog.

Black Sun is the product of a journey that began in the summer of 2011, when the band decamped to Los Angeles to spend six weeks working with producer Mickey Petralia (Ladytron, Peaches) and then retreated to a remote Australian farm manor to continue writing songs, which they later recorded with Scott Horscroft (The Presets, Sleepy Jackson, Silverchair) as co-producer/engineer. After learning a lot from both Horscroft and Petralia, Gold Fields decided to re-record and produce the whole album themselves in leader singer Mark Fuller’s parents garage in Ballarat.

Phoenix – TBA (April)

Word on the street is that Phoenix have done some recordings for the new album, presumably titled TPC, and describe it as very experimental. In an interview with Pedestrian.tv at Sydney’s Good Vibrations Festival, Thomas Mars and Deck D’Arcy revealed that the new recordings might be a departure from the ‘hooky pop’ of their last album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

In the interview they mentioned a lot of drum machines and percussions will be influencing the new tracks as well as some orchestral parts but an interesting comment was made about recording with percussionists in Byron Bay. Although I do dig experimental Phoenix, I’m really hoping the album isn’t traditional Byron Bay style a.k.a bongo’s over a homeless guy that can barely play two chords on a rusty guitar. I’m actually anticipating something more to the degree of their effort two albums ago in United. This band seems to skip styles every two albums, with It’s Never Been Like That sounding closer to 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and United being reminiscent of Alphabetical. 

Foals – Holy Fire (February)

Foals have taken nearly three years to deliver the sequel to Total Life Forever and let’s be honest, it had to be a good one. February in 2013 marks their third studio album, which is highly anticipated after the guys went quiet for quite some time.

Speaking to NME about the new album, frontman Yannis Philippakis recently said, “There are some heavier moments and some dirtier moments. It’s swampy, some of the grooves are quite stinky. There’s a track called ‘My Number’ that had a Curtis Mayfield groove which was pretty unashamedly funk, for want of a better word”.

I’m also heavily jealous of friends who are travelling the UK in the next few months as they also plan to tour pretty fiendishly following the release of this record, and with tracks like My Number and Inhaler already showcased it’s safe to say their shows will have gotten a shit tonne more enjoyable than the cargo loads of fun it already was.

Fenech-Soler – TBA (March-May)

Cult-status electronic rockers Fenech-Soler premiered the video for their single “All I know” back in October, 2012. As it was their first new original material in 2 years I was understandably excited for what is to come while the band finishes up their second album, slated for a Spring 2013 release. While no other songs have yet been heard, the first single has all the same anthemic quality that Demons had from their first album with big massive buildups carried by singer Ben Duffy’s voice crashing into pulsating four-to-the-floor drops. 

If this upcoming release is anything at all like their first studio album, fans and soon-to-be fans are going to be in for an absolute treat. These guys remind me of a UK version of something like The Presets. Not as specific as sounding like them, but in the way that they have that uncanny ability to take electro-rock music into the most unbelievably catchy domain it could ever possibly go into. Between Duffy’s amazing voice and form and the beat of tracks like Golden Sun and Stone Bridge, it only takes a few listens to start kicking yourself and wondering why you didn’t hear this stuff years ago.

Future Screens – TBA (January)

Never heard of Future Screens? Not many people have. It’s hard to understand the logistics behind a band of this calibre only obtaining a measly 1,000 likes on Facebook once you’ve heard their releases so far. Songs like Don’t Stop (which was heavily favoured on the sterling BIRP! July playlist) and Sidewalk Chalk were two of my favourite releases from 2012 and it was not even a difficult decision to sideline my hate for junk mail from random pointless websites and sign up for Future Screens band camp newsletters.

It was only the other day I received an email informing me of this future release and although nothing has yet appeared on the internet, iTunes or even Band Camp (I’m assuming due to the bands humble status and lack of music label), I can only assume based on every single thing they’ve done so far that when this new album is ejected unto the world it will be one of the best things to grace your ears in 2013.

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.

Issue Two

Although my first post was purely for a bit of fun, I’m pleased to report a lot of good feedback so far. As history would have it the sequel is usually not as good as the original but let’s hope this week pleases, cause to be honest these ten songs have pleased the hell out of me over the past two weeks (that sounded weird but whatever).

You’ll find a couple of songs in here this week that have been around for a while (one over two years old) but you can’t argue with playlist stats and as I’m heading to NZ this week to catch up with old buddies from my time in the Canadian snow, I’ve gotten a bit nostalgic about some of the songs I used to ride to.

So without further adue, here are this weeks top ten songs as judged by my ears.


10. Little Comets – Bridge Burn
Don’t worry, I’m not re-hashing all the same bands from last week (it’s why the repeat offenders are coming in early). You’ll understand why this had to be here after you take a listen. You already know I love Little Comets and this is another sterling track off their “Jennifer and Other Short Stories EP”. These guys usually blend up to sound like a cross between the blues-tinged folk style of some of The Kooks softer stuff and the dancy, pop infused hits of The Wombats. Those facts aside, this track is one of their own; making you appreciate musical talent in its simplicity.


9. Kyle Andrews – Polar Bear

Another song from an artist that was in last weeks top ten, but seriously how can you not listen to this album for over a month? This is heaps more relaxed than the track that came in number one last week and it shows exactly why the album is such a decent mix of everything that is good about music. Kyle Andrews is a relatively new find for me which is why he comes in again this week with another track. Once again, you can check out his stuff at kyleandrews.bandcamp.com


8. Tycho – Coastal Brake

Funny thing is I literally started listening to this band in the middle of writing this blog and decided on the spot that I want to chuck them in. I think these guys only do electro instrumental stuff but its so easy to get lost in this song. It is purely coincidence that I put a semi-instrumental song in at number 8 last week. With a brand new album out called “Dive”, you can Check out their other stuff at tycho.bandcamp.com.



7. Fenech-Soler – Golden Sun

This is one of those almost two years old songs that I was talking about. These guys are absolutely great. As a two piece electro outfit originating from the UK, they got pretty well known pretty fast and you’ll understand why when you listen to this catchy number. Everytime I play this song in front of someone they always ask “Who is this?” followed by me later hearing it blasting in their cars. Hopefully it has the same effect on whoever reads this blog.



6. Reptar – Houseboat Babies

Remember that fictional show that the kids from Rugrats used to love? Yeah, that’s where you’ve heard the name Reptar. But these guys have way better songs than that (albiet awesome) theme song with the burps from the Nickelodeon classic. The vocals take a bit of getting used to but I love them, and this is my top ten so suck it. These guys played at SXSW this year by the way, and this song is really cool. The album is unreal too. Check it out on iTunes it’s called “Body Faucets”.

5. Gold Fields – Treehouse
This is another one from at least two years back. I recently checked my iTunes for which song on my entire library had the most plays since owning a computer, and it was this song by a whopping 87 plays. It’s impossible not to get addicted to this song which may be one of the reasons why it was the 5th most played song on Triple J in 2011. Sadly (and surprisingly) it didn’t make it into the hottest 100 this year. It might not be the number one song for this week but it is definitely at number one for the last year. Oh and new album coming soon by these guys too.

4. Late of the Pier – Best in the Class

I feel this song actually has really inspiring lyrics for the type of song that it is. These guys are like prog rock/electro/brit pop and just pure craziness. Late of the Pier have been absent from the music world for a while now and this was their last single. It wasn’t released on any particular album but it was a sweet little tune. Their only album “Fantasy Black Channel” is absolutely nuts and I highly recommend that everybody go and check it out.

3. Passion Pit – Carried Away
As this is a top ten of music in my iTunes, it’d be stupid to not include this band. Most of you would already know them from the song “Little Secrets” or perhaps just know them because they’re last record was completely awesome from top to bottom. I started listening to Passion Pit whilst overseas so their sound brings back great memories for me. I bought the new album “Gossamer” this week and have had a few songs on repeat. This just happens to be my favourite from the new album.

2. Twin Shadow – Beg for the Night

These guys were a surprise for me. With a new album out called “Confess” I’d heard a few songs but nothing really stuck. I put this one in the list of maybes and within a day it has jumped to being on repeat pretty much all day today. This being said, it probably requires a bunch of listens before you really get into it. Twin Shadow have that little 80’s feel mixed with electro/indie stylings and I guess if I keep doing these blogs you’ll come to understand how much I do love the 80’s and anything that reminds me of my favourite bands from the 80’s. Get ready to replay the chorus over and over.

1. Van She – Tears
Damn I have been waiting a bloody long time for these guys to bring out a new album. I even resorted to listening to every single Van She Technologic Remix ever created just to get my fix until it was dropped. I bought this album the other day alongside Passion Pit’s newy and got caught onto this song faster than anything ever. Since then its plagued any room I can hook music up to. Easily my favourite on the album and easily the number one choice for this weeks Issue. Enjoy.

Well that’s it for the second run. Hope you enjoyed and feel free to follow the blog via Twitter or comment on any of the posts with your own stuff that you think I should check out. Issue three in a week or two. Whenever I feel like it.