31 May 2016

Faves | Porches + Frankie Cosmos + Bombino

I've taken to listening to a lot of stuff on Soundcloud and Bandcamp as both are really great spots for finding new shit that I might have otherwise overlooked. 

Honestly, I feel like a tool for not sharing these guys sooner - I logged into my last.fm account and these were the three music making entities that I had listened to most over the last year and I haven't mentioned them here anywhere! Apolojeez!

Porches • Pool

Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Facebook
Porches is a band out of New York lead by front man Aaron Maine. I've been into their music since Slow Dance in the Cosmos but the release of Pool really solidified my adoration for their music. It's moody dark danceable synthpop that most mornings I sing along to in the shower.

Frankie Cosmos • Next Thing

Website | Bandcamp | Facebook
Frankie Cosmos is also straight out of New York City and began as a solo project for one Greta Kline (her bandcamp goes way back to 2009 - when she was only 15) and is now a fully fledged band. I love the simplicity and honesty of Frankie cosmos - there are wonderful sweet songs about missing her dead dog, to feeling inadequate, relationship breakdowns, and all the other mundane miracles that make up being alive. Next Thing is really great. Listen to it eh!

Bombino • Azel

Website | Facebook | Youtube
Martyn Pepperell got me into Bombino after tweeting that the new album was being produced by Dave Longreth of Dirty Projectors (one of my favourite bands).

Omar "Bombino" Moctar is a Tuareg musician who hails from Niger and makes a version of desert rock that he referred to as "tuareggae" - while reggae is not my bag, this music definitely is. It's such a beautiful soulful album with such incredible musicianship. Their voices give me chills. I've totally converted my workmate Kat and the two of us have listened to Azel countless times over the last few months.

25 February 2016

'Manta Ray' by J.Ralph featuring Anohni (fka Antony)

When I first heard the album "I Am A Bird Now" by Anthony and the Johnsons, I felt like someone had reached deep inside me to the part of me that is weary and tear-stained, and lifted its face to the sky and shown me that I'm not alone in my sorrow - the mournfulness, hope, and vulnerability embodied in the music was so very necessary for me to connect to a part of myself that most of the time I would rather pretend didn't exist.

This new song Manta Ray was written for a documentary called "Racing Extinction" with the composer J.Ralph and it's very beautiful and bright and sad. The song has been nominated for Best Original Song at this year's Academy Award which is totally deserved and really cool - what's not cool is that Anohni wasn't invited to perform at the Awards Ceremony.

Like, REALLY NOT COOL GUYS. One of the things I had always liked about the Oscars was that all of the nominees for Best Original Song would perform over the course of the night - a nice break from Billy Crystal lollygagging about, and a chance for gems like this to occur.

Well, not this year. I recommend reading this piece that Anohni wrote about her decision not to attend this year's Oscars. Made me sad and furious.

28 January 2016

Week in Tunes | Chairlift, Florist

I've taken to listening to a lot of stuff on Soundcloud and Bandcamp as both are really great spots for finding new shit that I might have otherwise overlooked. Here's some great stuff I've been into this week.

Chairlift • Moth

Soundcloud | Facebook | Website

Chairlift are an American outfit (originally from Colorado but New York based now) who have been together since 2006. They make some pretty choice dancey "avant-pop" music that I've been listening to a lot this past fortnight.

Moth on the whole is well worth a listen - you may have already heard the lead single 'Ch-Ching' but I highly recommend 'Moth to the Flame' as the best track on the album. It's my number one jam at the moment.

Other boss as fuck tracks include:
- 'Polymorphing'
- 'Crying in Public'

Florist • The Birds Outside Sang

Website | Facebook | Bandcamp

Florist is Emily Sprague and chums and they're also from NY, but originally from the Catskill Mountains which is what their first EP is kind of about.

The Birds Outside Sang is a really lovely tender album - reminds me lots of Frankie Cosmos sonically but lyrically has the same poignant awareness of mortality you might find Sufjan's Carrie and Lowell or some of the tracks on Oh, Inverted World by The Shins.

Bandcamp did a really neat interview/profile of the band and the how the album came about (short answer: Sprague got fucked up after being hit by a truck and made the album while recovering) - check it out if you've got a few minutes.

> Hypemachine has the whole album up for streaming here.

13 January 2016

Week in Tunes | Wafia + She-Devils + Cameron Avery

I've taken to listening to a lot of stuff on Soundcloud and Bandcamp as both are really great spots for finding new shit that I might have otherwise overlooked. Here's some great stuff I've been into this week.

Wafia • XXIX EP

Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Facebook
Wafia is based in Brisbane, Australia and makes mellow melancholy jams. I heard Heartburn and just couldn't stop listening to it. Slick production and a sentiment I feel uncomfortably familiar with.

Bonus: there's also a great video of her performing it live with Ta-Ku which is worth checking out. I also recommend the cover of Let Me Love You (originally by Mario).

She-Devils • S/T EP

Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Facebook
She-Devils are a duo, Audrey Ann and Kyle Jukka, out of Montreal Canada and their sound has a real 60's hazy surf throwback vibe while still being fresh and lush. Super chill, makes me want to get high and lie in some grass squinting at clouds.

Basically, the whole EP is the perfect soundtrack to listen to while dreamily plot the capture of your latest obsessive crush.

Cameron Avery • We're Just Making It Worse

Facebook (doesn't seem to have much else online!)
Cameron Avery is an Australian bloke who used to front a band called The Growl and currently plays bass for Tame Impala. He's had his fingers in many musical pies to say the least.

That his previous band was called The Growl is kinda telling - guy has a beautiful throaty expressive voice, and paired with the vocal sweetness of Alexandra Savior this track is such a longingly chic duet that I've kept coming back to it.

25 November 2015

Cry Guy

I have had a really challenging year. Like, next level difficult across the board. I've been struggling with changes and relationships at work, I've had some really intense personal relationship upsets, and a month ago my father died in a car accident. 2015 can suck a bag of dicks.

For all of the above reasons, I am about to go on break from work for the next six weeks. This will be the longest holiday that I've taken in 8 years. One of the reasons that I decided to take this big break is because my creative juices have receded deep within me to an almost California drought-esque level and I'd be doing a disservice to my employers and to myself if I kept coming in to stare at the screen and scroll through the internet numbly rather than produce anything of value. I'm going to take care of myself, take care of my house, and probably cry a lot in the sunshine as I rip out weeds.

When I do manage to get drawing, I inevitably make the kind of work that isn't quite right for promoting fun student events but feels good for me. At least with this one the colours are fun?

07 September 2015

Cool peeps: Sea Wolf

I stumbled across the song Young Bodies by Sea Wolf one day listening to a spotify track radio station and was instantly hooked.

I've listened to it repeatedly, to the point where it would be apt to say 'ad nauseum' only I'm not even close to being sick of it. The album that it lives on, Song Spells, No.1: Cedarsmoke, is beautiful and haunting and wistful. Give it a listen eh?

03 August 2015

Cool Peeps: Jotak√°

from 'La Siesta' - more on Behance

Jotak√° is an illustrator from Spain who does lovely graphic work that is quite sweet - I was really taken with his personal project 'La Siesta' which is about the importance of hugs. Bless.

from 'La Siesta' - more on Behance

08 February 2015

Tomemitsu / High Maintenance

It's been a while since I posted a thing. Sorry about that. Hope you didn't miss my very sporadic posts too much! (Hilariously, my New Year's resolution was to be resolutely less apologetic about my life choices. Whoops!)

I've had this beautiful tune by Tomemitsu called 'In Dreams' wafting through my brainbox and haunting my vascular muscle pumping place ever since I first heard it in the closing credits of an episode of "High Maintenance". It's just mournful and lovely and resonates with me in a deep and true way. Or something. I listened to the closing credits a few times and then speedily went to bandcamp and bought the album. I'd highly recommend giving it a listen up above (pun only somewhat intended).

Speaking of High recommendations, "High Maintenance" is a brilliant show that Critic design whizz kid Sam Clark sent my way. Excellent funny/poignant little vignettes of people with the commonality through them all being a dude who sells weed for a living.

The episode below is the one that features 'In Dreams' in the closing credits. Treat yourself.

High Maintenance // Rachel from Janky Clown Productions on Vimeo.

08 May 2014

Cool Peeps: Sharon Van Etten

There are two ladies that I discovered while working at Marbecks - one of them (Jessica Lea Mayfield) I have already talked about on this blog, but the other I have not. I shall dance about this subject no more! Her name is Sharon Van Etten and she released an album called Tramp which is to this day one of my favourite albums of all time. It is mournful and heart-rending and beautiful. You can listen to it as it was recorded on Spotify or buy the damn thing (worth it), but I've put together a playlist on youtube which has all the tracks from Tramp on it with an emphasis on good live recordings of the different tracks - there is also the demo version of Serpents which was used in an episode of The Walking Dead. Great stuff! Listen!

Anywho, what sparked this off was that I awoke the other morning to an email from a musical physicist friend of mine (the wonderful Mr Barker) linking to a webpage with the lead single and a date for Sharon's forthcoming album Are We There - the new single is called Taking Chances and I wanted to share the slightly creeptastic video for it.


Bonus link for the enthused: The New Yorker did a lovely little video of Sharon hanging out at home playing one of the tracks from Are We There called I Love You But I'm Lost and she talks a bit about making music and what it means to her, and flicks through some records at a local store, and generally you get a little insight into her life as a person. Pretty neat. I recommend clicking through!!

29 September 2013

Not dead, not for sale

Team! Hi!

Sorry for being so neglectful, my only excuse is that I've had a lot of work on, and whenever I find myself in front of a computer in my spare time I want to either a) look at wedding stuff, or b) play league of legends. Also netball. Netball is taking up a fair bit of my "not-at-work" time.

I think given that I now spend 40 hours a week looking at a computer and thinking about design, my motivation to post about my own work has been flagging. So I'm not going to beat myself up about that - if I want to post about my biz then I shall, but otherwise I'm going to use the blog when I feel like I've got something cool to share, or a rant that has bubbled its way to the top of my brain.

Sound good? Good. x