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Washed Out – Within and Without – Live Review

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Rough Trade East did a great thing last Friday in bringing Washed Out to the store. They played Lovebox earlier in the day and are currently promoting their latest album release. Within and Without is a great album, and the guys have moved up a gear from their lo-fi days. The quality and fidelity is much higher and the song writing is just as brilliant. It may have lost some of its charm from being so well-produced, but you cannot say it’s not a great album. The big tracks, Eyes be Closed, Far Away and Amor Fati, are highlights, and the rest of the album is much more than just filler. Washed Out have always been an album band anyway, so go get drunk here, wake up with some pretty little thing you romanced in the night and put Within and Without on, let it wash over you, get blissed out and fall in love.

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The In-store was just off the back of their show at Lovebox Festival earlier that day. I’m sure that the full electronic performance at Lovebox was great, but what they did at Rough Trade on Brick Lane was just special. They had stripped back all the electronics and the five piece band had more maracas than you could shake a maraca at, simply wired keyboards and multiple vocalists achieving their lovely sound. Most of the tracks they played were of a lounge-jazz persuasion but it came out brilliantly. Obviously in a record store no one is going to be jumping around like mad so this laid back performance was perfect and it really eschued the talented musicians that Ernest Greene has assembled. They played a couple of tracks from the new album including Eyes be Closed and they also played some of their best from the first two albums; notably Feel It All Around and New Theory. Speaking to the bassist and the super-cool headdress-wearing keyboard player afterwards (who wanted to go riding around on Boris Bikes!) they said they thought that it went better than the performance at Lovebox. Really great, really special and you should have been there. Did I mention it was free?

YOWICS
xoxo

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Bon Iver – Bon Iver Listen

http://cdn.topspin.net/api/v2/widget/player/78889

Obviously, WordPress doesn’t want us to have a lovely embeded lovely album for you, but if you follow that link you can listen to Bon Iver’s new album in its entirety for free. Pitchfork gave it 9.5. It’s Bon Iver. It’s obviously special.

YOWICS xoxo

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact album listen in full

Gang Gang Dance are very good. They put together crazy electronic music that cannot really be put into any genre box very easily. Take a listen to their latest album released on May 9th in the UK. It’s being streamed in full. The internet has really changed music hasn’t it?
http://ganggangdance.com/eyecontact/eyecontact.swf

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in News, Uncategorized

 

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Panda Bear – Tomboy first listen free stream NPR

You can listen to TOMBOY in its entirety for free now streaming off NPR here. Thank Holy Moses that the wait is over. This has been my most anticipated release of the year and hope that it will be the soundtrack of my summer. Listening now. So far so great.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The Soft Moon – The Soft Moon Review

The Soft Moon

It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch, hasn’t it? Sorry we didn’t call. Your number got smudged when I got in the shower the morning after the night before. And then there was Christmas, and New Years. It’s all been a bit of a booze fueled blur really. Anyway, it wasn’t our fault…honest!

This review really belongs about two months in the past, but like a crack addicted parent, we’ve been a tad negligent. One man band Luis Vasquez has been producing some deeply dark and sombre songs for a while now. Recently he has pulled in the help of some extra band members and released the Soft Moon’s self titled debut album on Captured Tracks last November.

This album has pretty much been the soundtrack to my December and I’ve spent a lot of time deciding what to make of it. In the end I was mightily impressed. In fact, this has been one of the albums of the year for me.

From opening track ‘Breathe the Fire’, you instantly get a feel for what the Soft Moon are all about. Deeply dark, cold and distant. Vasquez’s vocals are reminiscent of a younger Bobby Gillespie (you know, from like when he could still sing), and the heavy rhythmic bass isn’t far off a Primal Scream album either. Further into the album, things get a little more abstract with tracks ‘Circles’ and ‘Out of Time’ throwing some Krautrock inspired synths into the mix. The whole effect is quite powerful, and I can imagine it being fucking excellent live with the right acoustics.

The Soft Moon – Breathe the Fire

A reprieve to the early heavier tracks comes in the way of the more melodic (if just as sombre) ‘When It’s Over’. I have often thought, ‘what would the Cure have sounded like if they were actually properly miserable Goths?’. I think this song gives you a pretty good idea of what it would be like… and it’s bloody good.

The Soft Moon – When It’s Over

Its not long before things get a bit heavier again though. ‘Sewer Sickness’ and ‘Primal Eyes’ both draw on the post-punk sounds of the late 70’s, and in a similar vein ‘Into the Depths’ and ‘Tiny Spiders’ could be passed off as late Joy Division demos if it weren’t for the lack of Ian Curtis’ irreplaceable vocals. In complete contrast ‘Parallels’ is far more upbeat to what has preceded it, and could quite easily find it’s way to becoming the backing track for a new Volvo commercial.

The Soft Moon – Tiny Spiders

The stand out piece for me is undoubtedly ‘Dead Love’. The subtle rhythms, the haunting vocals and a solid chord structure present throughout the album comes together beautifully here to provide something a little more special than the rest of the album.

The most surprising thing about the album, and the band, is where they come from. You’d be forgiven for thinking that with all these post-punk and new-wave influences they could be from somewhere in the north of England or Scotland, or at least northern Europe. You’d be wrong. This isn’t exactly the sound I usually associate with San Francisco, but then again I don’t suppose The Grateful Dead are really that representative of the whole city.

Vasquez has done a fantastic job here using the influences of late 70s post-punk whilst mixing them perfectly with the current witch-house sound which is thriving across North America. The band are busy touring across America, but they’re planning a foray across the Atlantic later this year. I, for one, can’t wait.

4.5 crumbles (Mrs Hacker’s chicken crumble. Doesn’t necessarily sound appealing, but tastes amazing)

Joe xoxoxo

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Girl Talk album download

You can get ahold of Girl Talk’s new album All Day for free at the moment from here. Girl Talk has been making a lot of noise for a while now so get it while it’s hot!

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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