This week I read an incredible article about an experiment that the Washington Post set up about Art and Context, perception, and priorities. This is the link to a version of the article: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/joshua+bell It is only short and everybody should read it. It is very interesting.
Now, moving on this made me wonder what else people may be missing. I’ve written a short list of music that’s been on my brain this week. I spend my days (and nights) searching for new sounds to devour and I get excited when I find something fresh. So, I hope you enjoy and find something you like. If you do, please share the love. I’m always looking for new music.
I’m thinking about making this a regular thing, time-permitting, so if you like my choices keep checking back for future lists. The lists will only be short because no-one likes a lot of information to process at once. That’s no fun. Anyway…
1) Something I’m looking forward to:
Rocket Juice and The Moon: – Every so often an album is released that guilts me in to making the intimidating walk in to the local record store. I say intimidating because, alike thousands of other people, I have succumb to the pressures of free music and I feel like Judas when entering the glorious realm of physical media. It kills me… but… I will be making that extra special effort for the debut release by Rocket Juice and The Moon.
Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) has matured into one of Britain’s finest genre-spanning songwriters and his latest project sees him teamed with the world’s most glorified bassist in Flea (RHCP) and, for those in the business, a drummer that is held in very high regard: Tony Allen (Fela Kuti).
The music is jazzy. It is funky and has groove woven in to every part of every song. “It is music to dance to,” says Tony Allen. That is exactly what it is. Atmospheres are built and controlled with fun and a careless flair. Beautiful melodies and intricate rhythms straight from the heart of Africa put the spring back in your step. The beat goes on through the numerous guest vocalists that feature throughout and prevent familiarity between tracks. This is a very exciting project. NOTE: if you like this, check out The Good, The Bad, and The Queen.
The album will be released on 26th March but until then you can hear live tracks on their website: rocketjuiceandthemoon.com
2) Something I missed first time around
Groove Armada – Black Light: – This album was released in 2010. Since hearing the collaboration with Will young (stay with me guys) I have had a fondness towards Groove Armada but they’ve never really been in my playlist for anything. Recently I rediscovered the aforementioned track, History, and found myself craving more of the same. The track has an 80’s vibe to it, electric drum kit with very tinny snare and fuzz synths. It has been very well produced and Mr Young is on fine form. His vocals are sleek and mature with high notes that the Bee gees would be proud of but they also possess and edge that is almost retro. If you listened to this with your eyes closed you could be walking around New York City through Don’t Walk signs and yellow cabs in a blur that echoed a great night out.
The album, Black Light, does not disappoint. For me, History is a particular highlight but the opening number, Look Me In The Eye Sister is just as good: pounding bass that isn’t overused is always a treat.
So the album opens and closes well and, thankfully, the rest is bloody brilliant too. It’s full of sounds that echo the 80’s, are relevant in 2012, and feel at home in London, New York, and Paris. I live in Liverpool and it sounds amazing but the feel is definitely a cross between those major cities. It is an album that appeals to a vasty array of music fans. It’s essentially electro but there’s just enough guts and guitar to pass for even the most macho of rock fans.
This is an album that deserves a listen. It is class, fresh, catchy, and cool. Groove Armada might not be your new favourite artist but they could certainly qualify for your bit on the side.
3) Something I’m shamelessly plugging
Ford and the Shouts: – Now these will appeal to everybody. Completely unsigned and very talented, remember where you heard them first. Fronted by the classy Kirsty Ford, the band have been receiving a lot of attention recently and have been tipped for big things. Their stripped back, lazy summer’s day approach to music works in perfect conjunction with Kirsty’s heartfelt vocals. Raw emotion streams through the speakers whenever she steps to the mic. Every note is hit with true conviction that makes you stop and listen. Pull out your rocking chair and straw and basque in the sun, this is a return to the days of real blues.
4) A track I haven’t stopped listening to all week.
Kavinsky – Nightcall: – I first heard this on the 2011 movie “Drive” and was instantly hooked. In a similar vein to Black Light by Groove Armada, the feel to the song has an air of elegancy. It is a mixture of Paris and 70’s California.
Slow electric drums set the tone for the track. We’re left almost tripping up trying to get to the next beat. Heavy synths plod the bass line and vocals from out of space bring everything down before an uplifting chorus with clean vocals speaks the other side of the encounter. The impression is given that we’re looking in to a meeting for the first time between worlds. It is futuristic and at the same time oozes with nostalgia.
I also recommend you check out the film, Drive, too.
Hope this helps someone find a new love.