Album Review: El Sur – WE

El Sur – WE

el sur we

Coming at your ears with an Alternative/Indie/Garage style of music, El Sur deliver a promising debut album which is the first of many steps in the ascending staircase that is their career. Originating from Buenos Aires, Argentina, El Sur deliver their vocals in solid English, but this is a minor detail; music is a universal language. If you’re wondering, ‘El Sur‘ directly translates from Spanish to English as ‘The Southern‘, and being from one of the southern-most countries in a continent known as South America, it’s fair to say they warrant their name; you don’t get much more ‘southern’ than that!

The album opens with ‘Untitled‘ a lively instrumental with a catchy, repetitive guitar riff that you’ll find yourself tapping, nodding or bobbing along to. The guitars are correlated with some addictive drum beats too, contributing to a successful and intriguing opener that sets an illustrious standard for the rest of the album.

Subsequently, we’re introduced to the gritty yet soft, undoctored vocals of El Sur on second track ‘Such A Shame‘ that portray a sense of realism and integrity behind the lyrics, thus the song being more believable and relatable. I believe that El Sur‘s almost-timid approach to Indie music will help them appeal to a wider audience in the future, and also leaves room for diversification further on down the line if they so choose to adapt their style like many bands do.

My personal favourite on ‘WE‘ is ‘All The Things You Did‘ which happens to be the song that first introduced me to El Sur as it was a pre-release from their debut album.

And we talk all night long,
About the things you did,
About the things you said

The album concludes with the aptly named ‘This Fire‘, one of the grittier songs on the album that features considerably larger amounts of distortion and intensity, very much mirroring it’s title. This ends the musical journey on a bright, ferocious and certainly unforgettable note.

Certainly a promising debut album from Argentine rockers El Sur. Who knows, maybe if they can continue to polish and improve their already awesome sound they could end up headlining national festivals Quilmes Rock and Creamfields BA, but I for one certainly hope to see them in England one day. Make sure that you check out the album at http://elsur.bandcamp.com/ as it’s available at a ‘PAY YOUR PRICE’ offer (which, if you so choose, can be FREE with no details required).

Check ’em out on…

Bandcamp: http://elsur.bandcamp.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/elsurband

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elsurband

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/elsur

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Audio Account #3

First up, apologies for the lack of posts recently but as you’re probably aware it’s exam season, therefore priorities must be set, however I’ve got a bit of a break until my next set of exams so I thought why not get an article out while I can. After all, I’ve been listening to enough music to both motivate and calm me for these dreaded exams, so it’s not like I’ve got nothing to write about!

#1: The Prodigy – Stand Up

the prodigy invaders must die

Some emotions just can’t be described in words. The Prodigy, pioneers of the music industry, prove their genius with one of my personal all-time favourites, Stand Up, a pure instrumental that reworks One Way Glass, a 1969 release from Manfred Mann. The build-up of the crescendo in the introduction really creates a chilling atmosphere until the beat kicks in, upbeat and frantic with extra synth being added in throughout, creating an fast tempo with diverse sounds. This song is a real motivator, I even used it as my alarm last year to somewhat get me in the mood for school (must have worked, I didn’t do too bad).

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONsaSQOUCyM

Link to Manfred Mann – One Way Glass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ2CDjXREIc

#2: Vampire Weekend – Step

vampire weekend step

Vampire Weekend are certainly an uncommon band, for they represent something different compared to the majority of unwashed, rugged Indie bands that we often see today. The difference is seen so much that during their rise to fame they received much backlash from the media and internet for their apparent ‘priveledged’ image. Not only this, but at times they were never the ‘easiest’ band to listen to, with very implicit lyrics that can refer to the most obscure things like whole songs pumped full of references about one of lead vocalist’s Ezra Koenig’s abandoned film projects (see Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa and Walcott). But don’t mistake this for any sense of dislike, I’m actually a rather big fan of Vampire Weekend’s earlier stuff, and an even bigger fan of their latest album released just last week, Modern Vampires of the City. Their sound seems to have matured along with the band members themselves, especially when looking at the lyrics of Step, my personal favourite from the new album. The presence of various references still remain amongst the lyrics which can be daunting at times, but if you research them up then the album really does become that little bit more enjoyable (check rapgenius.com for some really good deciphering of the meanings behind Koenig’s lyrics). There’s no doubt whatsoever that Koenig, a major in English Literature in his arsenal, is a very clever lyricist, however it’s a shame that this could probably end up deterring people due to it’s pure complexity.

The gloves are off, the wisdom teeth are out

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mDxcDjg9P4

Once again, please comment thoughts and opinions, would love for people to get involved!

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Off The Record #2 – Summer Music

Summer; the season of sun, fun and hella good times. There’s nothing better than kicking back and relaxing on a lovely day with your friends and loved ones, but amongst the noises of children playing, birds squawking and the monotonous tunes of ice-cream vans, there’s something missing, and that’s the music.

But what is that perfect summer song?

To tell you the truth, as with everything else in music, it’s all a matter of opinion. A more appropriate question would be:

What is my perfect summer song?

Personally, my song choice usually reflects upon my mood, therefore my summer preferences are usually split up into upbeat, happy songs or more sombre, poetic songs if I’m feeling slightly down. I like a lot of synth in my positive songs; it helps to set the out-of-this-world cheerful atmosphere. Personal favourites and examples of this being Röyksopp, Japandroids and Groove Armada.

Adversely, if I’m in a sombre mood than there’s nothing better than natural, minimalistic sounding music, a kind of calming tone that purely relies on displays of raw emotion through the acoustic guitar and vocals. My prime examples for this would be Lone Wolf and Half Moon Run.

But that’s just my opinion, of the many millions of other people out there who enjoy music, therefore please comment below your thoughts and opinions, and what music is your summer preference?

A few songs to check out:

Half Moon Run – Full Circle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azV0Y7v6wsg)

Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRVCtbfuDqw)

Passion Pit – Moth’s Wings (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umoU5PVnfTU)

Röyksopp – Happy Up Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmcPeuf5aXo)

Hoodie Allen – Lucky Man (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGPIwv8iZgc)

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Album Review: Micky Worthless – You Bodied My Heart… You Fucking Whore

Micky Worthless – You Bodied My Heart… You Fucking Whore

mickydigs

Just a quick disclaimer: this music isn’t for the faint-hearted.

If you’re a fan of the UK rap scene, you’ve probably heard of rap battling, you’ve probably heard of Don’t Flop and you really should have heard of Micky Worthless, DF’s resident ‘G’. Through his battles, Micky has proven himself to be one of the most genuinely hilarious guys in rap today.

He’s known more for jokes and entertainment rather than any intricate wordplay and genius schemes, and that does shine through in his debut album here. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a great listen if you already know about Micky’s style and simply the way acts.

The beats are insanely catchy, especially on ‘Colour Code Everything/I’m Not Crying Now’ where if you played Pokémon as a kid, you’d definitely recognise the eerie Lavender Town theme. The lyrics, providing you aren’t in public, are easy to grasp and rap along to as well, although the majority of them ARE about sex.

In conclusion, it’s a decent debut from Micky, but if you’re going to check him out, make sure you watch a couple of his battles first to understand what Micky’s like before listening to his tracks, it will make you enjoy the music more.

Check the album out here: http://mickyworthless.bandcamp.com/album/you-bodied-my-heart-you-fucking-whore-2

A couple of his battles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfwCEGYNEM0, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpisnteIO4A

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Off The Record #1 – Dream Pop

Hey readers, another new kind of feature I’ve decided to create here. ‘Off The Record’ is going to be a series of posts that aren’t necessarily related to anything, other than my current thoughts and opinions on something. Hope you enjoy!

Recently, I’ve been trying to broaden my musical horizons and listen to new material that I wouldn’t normally find myself pursuing, and through this I managed to discover a band that you may have heard of called Beach House. I first listened to the unique sound of the dynamic duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally back in February, however I kept finding myself coming back to the ethereal, dreamy sound of their fourth (and most recent) album Bloom. What attracted me the most to their music was simply the style and bone-chilling ambience that it created. It felt almost as if I was dreaming.

It should therefore come to no surprise that the genre of music made by Beach House is known as Dream Pop. Originally used exclusively in the mid-80’s in America, it has grown tremendously due to the electronic breakthrough in music and the introduction of synth, thus creating some outstanding records throughout the years. Representatives of the genre over the years include Mazzy Star, Bat For Lashes, Lykke Lii, The xx and even early-period The Verve.

Another of my favourites, young musician Trevor Powers has been actively creating music as Youth Lagoon since 2010 and has so far released two incredible albums, The Year of Hibernation and Wondrous Bughouse. Powers has noted that his second album was influenced from his fascination of “the human psyche and where the spiritual meets the physical world”.

I thoroughly recommend checking out a few Dream Pop artists if you can. It’s an experimental genre that can open your mind has few boundaries of creativity. Thanks for reading, and please comment any thoughts below!

Links:

Youth Lagoon – Attic Doctor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCRSOx6zyQ0)

Youth Lagoon – Montana (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbMiHqaE8VE)

Beach House – Lazuli (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvwl7INZykc)

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Album Review: Daughter – If You Leave

Waking up like an animal

I’m all ready for healing

My mind’s lost with nightmares streaming

Waking up (kicking screaming)

*Daughter – Human*

Album Review: Daughter – If You Leave

Formed in 2010, three-piece folk rock band Daughter moulded and developed their enchanting, hazy sound in the ‘Big Smoke’ itself, London. If You Leave was released last month in March 2013 following three previous EPs which created a certain hype around them, certainly contributing to the success of the album as it reached #16 on the Top 100 chart, and #4 on the UK indie album chart. While this is impressive, as a fan of the band I was fairly disappointed at this result; however the truth is that Daughter’s ethereal, tranquil sound simply doesn’t appeal to the mass-market.

This album isn’t something that’s going to make you get up and dance, not by a long shot. It’s a much more sensitive piece that flaunts the delicacies and intricacies that music can offer to people. If You Leave is very much a ‘mood’ album, by which I mean you’ll have to be feeling certain emotions to truly understand and enjoy the pure emotion that Daughter produce here.

Vocalist Elena Tonra’s voice is as haunting as it is emotional and, although it can feel slightly droning at times, is consistently goose-bump provoking. The melodies created by guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella contribute sometimes minimally, for the beauty of Tonra’s voice to take centre stage, but regularly create a tense, gripping atmosphere that any listener can appreciate.

A unique album that offers a lot of emotion and is certainly worth a listen if you’re feeling down or tranquil.

I used to dream of
Adventure
When I was younger
With lungs miniature
Good night with killing
Our brain cells
Is this called living
Or something else
Or something else

*Daughter – Amsterdam*

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Film Review: Trance

Danny Boyle’s Latest Masterpiece

Image

Coming off the back of hits Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, Trance was either going to continue to prove Danny Boyle to be one of the best modern directors in the industry, or point out the flaws of an over-worked man who struggled to meet the formidable expectations set by previous successes. Boyle has been a busy man as of late and there was always the potential that Trance could have been placed upon the backburner; not forgotten, but not given the attention that it deserved. Trance has shown a lot of promise, and boy did it deliver.

During the build-up to the Olympic Games, Danny Boyle allegedly only spent two days per week on the production of the Opening Ceremony. The rest of his time and effort evidently was placed upon his latest release. Despite meeting mixed reviews at early showings, Trance is most definitely my favourite film of the year so far, providing a great mix of entertainment, intrigue and deception. At times, the lines between reality and mind can be blurred, but by the end of the film you’re left with your questions answered and your mouths wide open in awe. Joe Ahearne’s superb story, doctored slightly by scriptwriter John Hodge lives up the billing, myself and many fans alike glad that Ahearne allowed Boyle to adapt his story into a feature film.

James McAvoy returns after the disappointing Welcome to the Punch to star alongside Rosario Dawson (Unstoppable, Sin City), the mysterious hypnotherapist, and Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Ocean’s Thirteen), the spirited gang-leader. All three impress throughout, with convincing, deep performances that adds to the all-around greatness of Trance.

I thoroughly recommend that if you get the opportunity, see this film. While it may not be outstanding, it’s a great watch nonetheless. Oh and did I mention it’s a DANNY BOYLE film?

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