It’s been a slow process but after about a month of listening to alt-J’s latest album This Is All Yours I’ve finally cracked it. This album is worth the labour of love it’s taken me to get to know each song inside and out, it’s got a lot more depth than the groups first album An Awesome Wave. Each song has so many more elements to it and takes on a new life when you blast it as loud as your car stereo will let you.
All of the tracks have their own bits of magic but the one that’s standing out for my most is Nara.
It brings together a church theme, with ringing bells and lyrics like “hallelujah” with the grungy synth sound we’ve come to love so much from alt-J. Add into the mix the English lads haunting harmonies and it’s a stunning combination. It’s all brought together beautifully with use of light and shade. The tempo picks up only to drop while the sound plummets up and down. It’s a chilling effect.
I can’t wait to finally see these guys own the stage at Falls Festival in Byron Bay this new year. This song will make the audience go crazy I feel absolutely certain of it. Bring it on.
Listen up Ben Howard fans, he’s done it again! The brit musicians new album I Forget Where We Were was released this month and it’s just as good, if not better than the first. The slow, shy and soulful crooner has once again managed to create a record full of songs that can’t be compared to any other current artist. After Every Kingdom was so faultless, I didn’t think he could do it again but I got a taste of what was to come at his Auckland concert in August and I was blown away. I can’t remember the last time I marked in my diary a release date like an excited teenager but for this album I’m glad I did. When the album was released in New Zealand I snapped it up right away and you should do the same.
Taking into account the fact that Howard’s songs are growers (you need at least five listens to really get a feel for them) I’ve spent a good many weeks listening to I Forget Where We Were over and over and it’s been with much pleasure. Conrad has quickly become my pick for best song on the record. Add it to your Spotify playlist right now, you won’t regret it.
Conrad is the kind of song that makes you want to close your eyes, put your hands in the air, tap your foot and sway all at the same time. In fact I’m pretty sure that’s what I did when I heard it for the first time live at his concert this year. It was a moment so memorable that during my first album listen, the feeling came rushing back to me when this song started to play.
Conrad features a genius finger picked electric guitar riff which hums throughout the song. It’s played with the perfection we’ve come to expect from Howard and is complimented by a solid bass line, layered on top of a gentle drum beat. But of course Howard’s chilling vocals steal the show. His melancholic tone echoes throughout the verse in a peaceful lullaby type melody. The chorus retains that same mellow feel while picking the tempo up a little bit and bringing the drum beat through more strongly.
Howard’s trademark build up is felt intensely in this song. Through each verse every different musical element is thickened, more volume and intensity is added but so subtly you hardly realise it’s happening. The song could almost become repetitive but Howard avoids it doing so by adding in these mixes as well as building the strength in his vocals. Finishing on a satisfying guitar solo is the perfect compliment to a beautiful song.
Yesterday I had a long car trip, I was stoked. There’s no better time to listen to a new album in its entirety and really get a feel for it. That’s exactly what I did with Vance Joys latest album Dream Your Life Away and I’m pleased to say it’s an album worth listening to more than once!
My favourite song shone out quickly – Georgia. It’s a gorgeous soulful piece which captivates a real emotion in the lyrics and flow of the song. Joy’s trademark crack in his voice shines in this song, it adds an element of raw feeling to the words of this love song.
Yes. That’s the next best part! It’s a love song which you want to play over and over. Id compare it to the works of artists like Chris Martin and Paul Simon but with less of a pop sound and more of the fashionable indie-folk sound elements that are so popular today.