Song of the Week – Sure Love

Sure Love – Jarryd James

Aussie muso Jarryd James has got me in a trance with his debut album Thirty One. With each listen this piece of work gets better and better. It’s got songs to cater for every mood and a modern and unique sound.

The Brisbane alt-pop artist burst onto the scene this year with his stellar singles Do You Remember and Give Me Something. With the help of Kiwi producer extraordinaire Joel Little he went from zero to hero in no time. Then just last month he made the fantastic decision of collaborating with Julia Stone on Regardless which dominated from the get go. If you don’t know these three songs already, get listening. If you do, Sure Love should be the first track you listen to on Thirty One. It’s a great follow up to these singles and deserves just as good a reaction.

Sure Love reminds me a lot of James Blake’s sound. It’s laid-back but upbeat at the same time with RnB like vocals.

The perfect kind of track to listen to as we head into warmer weather.


Concert Review: The Phoenix Foundation

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The Phoenix Foundation are the quintessential Wellington band to check out at a gig at San Fran. Why? They’re right at home there and know how to put on a damn good show. Tonight’s concert was no different.

The start of their Give Up Your Dreams album tour went down better than an ice cold beer for a crowd full of longtime fans who got the perfect set list to thank them for their ongoing support.

The bands earliest work had easily won me over before a few experimental records lost me in the middle, but this latest album is easily their greatest effort yet and tonight’s gig really showcased that. While the old favourites rang true, the new tracks were the most vibrant, energetic and dance inducing. They stood out a mile above the rest which was lucky considering it was a ‘GUYD’ heavy set.

The show was roaring from the get go with Mountain immediately setting the tone of their new live sound before Bob Lennon John Dylan – played with attitude – had every crowd member screaming the lyrics in perfect time with their pumping fists and jiving feet.

Another standout from the GUYD album was Prawn which slowed things down but in a melodic, magical fashion. These new tracks bring out a bizarre new dance style which has you tapping and swooping your feet in fast motion while moving your upper half in a hippy-like dazed fashion. It works surprisingly well – I promise.

Before long the guys, lead by an always enchanting Samuel Flynn Scott and Luke Buda, took us back “14 years” (sadly not 40 Years as many were hoping) and busted out a stunning rendition of Going Fishing. In the journey back through their work came Buffalo, a middle of the set highlight echoed passionately by the crowd, and Bright Grey which was performed with a contagious ferocity.

There’s something refreshing about The Phoenix Foundation and their don’t give a damn attitude. The guys are there to play their music the way they want to and nobody else will have a say in it. In a venue like San Fran this sits perfectly with the audience who’re happy to be taken in whatever random direction the group wants to go.

The set came to a radiant finish with the title track of the album provoking a singalong to be proud of for such a recent release. There’s something wonderfully satisfying about screaming lyrics with a depressing message like “don’t let anyone say that the world is your oyster, the world is not an oyster” when the music is invoking the complete opposite emotional reaction in you.

My only criticism tonight was that the encore wafted a bit and could’ve been brought together for one final hit singalong instead of fading out in a haze of synth sounds. But that is a mere afterthought. The Phoenix Foundation have been a New Zealand indie institution for more than a decade now, but they’re only getting better and this concert was proof of that.

Get along to see them on their NZ tour and you’ll be glad to GIVE UP YOUR DREAMS!

Song of the Week – Electric Love

Electric Love – BØRNS

This song is so catchy I can’t get enough. BØRNS have started getting a lot of airplay as of late and when you listen to this song you’ll know why. It’s an energetic, unique and punchy take on today’s much loved indie-rock genre.

BØRNS is the brain child of Garrett Borns, an American from Michigan who has a falsetto voice like nothing you’ve heard before. Backed up with jazzy drum beats and echoey synth sounds his voice is contagiously energetic.

Electric Love is the sort of song that makes you want to turn it up really loud in the car while banging the beat on the steering wheel and screaming really ridiculously high in an attempt to hit the main chorus hook.

It’s an awful lot of fun to listen to, I highly recommend you giving it a try. BØRNS will be featuring on all the festival line ups before you know it.