Thursday, 28 February 2013

Song Of The Day 28/02/2013: King Creosote - So Forlorn

King Creosote is a Scottish singer/songwriter. He's also the leader of the Fence Collective, a Scottish label that puts out records by a variety of excellent bands & singers such as Withered Hand and James Yorkston. I got into King Creosote a couple of years ago when his album with Jon Hopkins was getting praise all over the music press - that record, 'Diamond Mine', really is a spectacular (if spectacularly short) piece of rural modern folk. Beyond that, though, he's released over 40 solo records. I haven't really scratched the surface yet.

This song appears on (at least) a couple of his records, 'KC Rules OK!' (probably the best record of his I've heard) and the album that this recording comes from, 'Kenny and Beth's Musakal Boat Rides'. I prefer this version - the guitar part (apparently sampled from Funkadelic, if you trust YouTube comments) treads the line between 'driving' and 'annoying' pretty closely, but always stays on the right side of the line.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Song Of The Day 27/01/2013: The National - Exile Vilify

The National are definitely my favourite band, and have been for a number of years. I try and refrain from getting too fanboy-ish on here, but they've just announced the upcoming release of a new record, their first since 2010's brilliant-but-not-quite-as-good-as-Boxer 'High Violet', and that seems like a pretty good excuse to post a song of theirs. I was at ATP in Camber Sands in December when they previewed a few new songs from the record, and from what I can tell it'll have more of the slow, sombre stuff (check out 'I Need My Girl', which has been doing the rounds for a while) than the last record. Now all they need to do is throw in a few shouty Abel- or Available-type songs and it'll be a return to what they do best.

This song, from the Portal 2 soundtrack, is a fairly simple piano ballad that the band released as half of a double A side in 2011. It's not all that typical a National song in general, but the vocals and lyrics are quintessential Berninger.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Song Of The Day 26/02/2013: Young Romance - Swollen Hearts, Bitten Tongues

In this blog's long hiatus I lacked a vehicle for talking about new bands I discovered, so now it's back I'm going to revisit some of the bands I discovered in the past year or so. One of those new bands I've listened to the most is Young Romance, a boy-girl indiepop duo from London who play sweet, slightly fuzzed-up tunes underneath surprisingly melancholy lyrics. The band consists of Claire (officially vocals and drums, but probably more 'spectacular vocalist who happens to also have a drum') and Paolo (guitars & backing vocals). This is the song of theirs that seems to be most widely known, having been on the Indietracks compilation last year.

Not much of their stuff is widely available. They released a single on EardrumsPop, and have a Bandcamp, but other than that stuff is pretty hard to come by. Probably my favourite song of theirs, 'Wild', was released as an acoustic demo last year, but seems to have disappeared from the internet. It's definitely worth an investigate if you can find it - there must be some kind of reason they took it down, so I won't post it on here, but trust me. It's good.

Unfortunately it seems like they only ever do gigs on Friday nights, which I can rarely make. Also, they recently pulled out of the OddBox 2013 Singles Club. Hopefully new songs (as well as actual releases of old songs) will be along sooner rather than later.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Song Of The Day 25/02/2013: Courtney Barnett - History Eraser

I only heard this song for the first time very recently, but it has been on extremely heavy rotation ever since. Courtney Barnett is a Melbourne singer/songwriter who is apparently just beginning to make waves over there. She released an EP last year, called "I've Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris", which is well worth a listen. This new single, though, which is apparently going to feature on a new EP this year, is a real step up. Hopefully she'll make it over to the UK at some point.

It has a very Pavement-y slacker vibe but lacks a lot of the laziness that ruins a lot of that kind of thing. Dan Luscombe, from the Drones, plays guitar on this song and definitely adds a bit of punch that was missing from the debut EP. Fundamentally, the song is just an incredibly catchy pop song, in the very best way that phrase could be used.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Song Of The Day 24/02/2013: Lower Dens - Brains

I haven't been on here in far too long. Shortly after posting the My Sad Captains summary below, I made a terrible mistake. I put the song 'A Present Tu Peux T'en Aller' by Les Surfs on 'repeat'. Physically unable to turn it off, I was forced to let it just go on and on until I got bored of it and was ready to listen to other music. I suppose I got off lightly in the end, with the video looping a mere 242,062 times. (Go on, do the maths. It's correct.) Now I have (hopefully) thoroughly got that song out of my system, it's time to start catching up on all the other things that have been going on in the music world in my absence.

I struggled to decide what to make my first 'Song Of The Day' in what is approaching 2 years. I toyed with being 'hilarious' and making it this, but in the end decided that would just be in bad taste, and that I should just mention it in my introduction. I toyed with doing a 'best song since I've been away' post, doing a 'best of 2012' post or doing a 'best song My Sad Captains released since my last post, seeing as they were the subject of the last post I made'. I in the end rejected them all, either because I'd just be posting what everyone else would have posted a couple of months ago or because the feature name was far too unwieldy, and decided just to post a song I liked.

I like this song. It's good. Good 'groove', good tune, good lyrics. I'm not going to say any more about it. After all, that's what this blog was and always will be about - completely uninformed listening to good songs.

I'm unlikely to be able to get back to the daily posting, but hopefully I'll be able to post more often than I did in 2012!