Cause I’m A Man – Tame Impala
This new track from the Aussie indie rockers is my current crank. Cause I’m A Man is the first official single from their soon to be released album Currents and it’s a damn good taste of what’s to come when the record is out on July 17th.
It’s a funky song, perfect for when you’re in a chilled mood and keen to bop your head along to something. A psychedelic synth undertone wafts throughout the song teamed up with a bass line which adds a catchy melody. In the verses Kevin Parker’s charming vocals drift across the top in a repeating scale of falsetto. But before you know it things are amped up a notch in the chorus with a grungy guitar riff and a stronger, gravelly vocal display which wakes you up from your hallucinations. It’s a compelling listen.
There’s a lot of symmetry in this track. When I consider the level of repetition separately I feel like it should be boring. But it’s not. Somehow Tame Impala have worked their alternative magic once again and Cause I’m A Man has really struck a chord with me. Bring on more of this when Currents is released!
The favourite thing I have in my bedroom is a large stack of tickets that sits on my dresser and takes pride of place.
I’m such a concert nerd that I keep hold of every ticket. I love nothing more than spending a few hours looking back through the pile, listening to the music and reminiscing on the best nights of my life. No exaggeration there. The best nights of my life are all concerts, there’s no question about it. However, when I look at the pile, I have so many good memories that I could never chose one particular gig as the best. I just have to count myself lucky that I’ve had so many amazing experiences.
Although my Coldplay butterfly confetti, that fell from the ceiling during Lovers In Japan on the bands Viva La Vida tour in 2009, is looking a little worse for wear, it makes me grin with happiness as I remember the truly magical moment.
My shiny, uniquely designed collection of Big Day Out tickets takes me back to the sun-filled days packed in at Mt Smart Stadium, rushing from act to act, with barely enough time to stop for food let alone a toilet break!
My Fleetwood Mac ticket has me craving a dance in the pouring rain at the Bowl of Brooklands and desperate for November to roll around so I can see them live again.
The Bon Iver stub reinforces my desperate need for new music from what is easily one of the best live acts ever to exist.
I could go on forever.
Memorabilia is the best!
Neptune – Terrible Sons
This last week I’ve been a happy girl. I’ve been impatiently waiting for some new material from the wonderful Kiwi star LA Mitchell for a while now. Granted, Neptune might not be quite the same powerhouse soul-pop I’m used to from LA (aka Lauren Barus) but this offering from side-project Terrible Sons, is just as spine-tingling, albeit in a different way.
Terrible Sons is the moniker for Lauren and her husband, Matt Barus. Of course these two aren’t newbies on the New Zealand music scene, the pair are both part of rock-band Dukes and each have stellar reputations. This is the first track from their soon-to-be-released album which brings together a bunch of songs telling the tales of life in Christchurch after earthquakes destroyed much of the city.
Neptune is a mellow offering which resonates with me. I’m certain this is due to the lovely contrast in the voices of Lauren and Matt. I’m used to hearing Lauren’s voice booming in her solo work, I love that style of hers, but this I love too. Neptune showcases a different side to her which is just as compelling, even if it’s not in such an attention grabbing manner. Her vocals take on an ethereal quality as they float alongside Matt’s silky and soothing accompaniment.
The delicate song is carried by a gentle acoustic melody which is brought alive in the chorus with the introduction of a chilling violin. With this, Neptune ebbs and flows in tempo and volume, creating a melancholic magic much like the beautiful ocean scenes depicted in the video that goes with it.
You also can’t go past the stunning lyrics in Neptune. Lauren and Matt Barus are poets as well as multi-talented musicians:
“black is the storm, ill-tempered and too hard to please”
“pain is so sharp, sharp as a lover can be”
If you like the works of Sean Carey and RY X, you’ll love Terrible Sons. Neptune has a similar tone to their works and is the perfect track for a bout of easy but compelling listening. I’m now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the duo’s new album.
Only Love – Mumford and Sons
This week I’ve been checking out Mumford and Sons new album Wilder Mind.
I’ve always been a fan of these guys. Their folk-belters like Awake My Soul, I Will Wait and Little Lion Man are songs which will always stand out for me as some of the best banjo-strumming, foot-stomping tracks we’ve heard in recent years. But like many, I also began to struggled with the same-same sound the guys were producing in every track on their first two albums. I eagerly went to their concert in 2012 only to leave feeling a little disappointed – I was overwhelmed by how much the songs blended together as one, yet, I had hope. I could tell Marcus and his bandmates had more to them, they weren’t going to be one-trick ponies, because they had more talent than they were showcasing. Wilder Mind is the album that proves that.
The range of songs on this album is impressive, the band have worked hard to produce something new and fresh and they’ve done that. It’s a bit of an experiment record, there are a few different routes they’ve gone down. Some songs showcase qualities of Radiohead, others have a riffs you’d expect to hear on a Coldplay track. My pick of the bunch from a few quick listens, is Only Love.
The track starts slowly with the male harmonies we all know and love, the type that really make your hairs stand up. I’m immediately caught up, the lyrics are the kind that make you stop, listen and think:
“And I hunger and I thirst
For some shiver
For some whispered words
And the promise to come”
But don’t fret, Only Love isn’t a depressing ballad. It may start slowly but this song is magic in the way it reaches a point where it just erupts! There isn’t much warning for the loud, invasive and energetic invasion of electric guitars that burst out in the middle of the song. It is magic.
This is the kind of song I needed to hear from Mumford and Sons, this is the song I want to see them play in concert.
Only Love marks a new direction for this band and I think it’s a good move.