It’s The New Thing

Top Albums 2007: No. 23 – Au Revoir Simone – The Bird of Music
December 16, 2007, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Au Revoir Simone

All girl trio Au Revoir Simone definitely sweetened up 2007 with their sugar-coated pop numbers. On The Bird of Music the guitar moves aside for the keyboard, which remains constant throughout the record. Single Sad Song is a definite highlight which its melodic chorus and trumpets that combine incredibly well with the harmonic vocals. You can’t relentlessly listen to heavy, dark music (well, I’m sure Gothy McGoth begs to differ) and The Bird of Music definitely provides a break from that with its sun-drenched, synth-pop songs.

Mp3: Sad Song

Mp3: Night Majestic

Mp3: Lark


Top Albums 2007: No. 24 – No Age – Weirdo Rippers
December 9, 2007, 5:18 pm
Filed under: No Age

At just over 30 minutes long, Weirdo Rippers is no mammoth, epic. But what No Age provide are short bursts of direct rock infused with dreamy and experimental sounds. Glorious opener Every Artist Needs A Tragedy kicks off with 2 minutes of hazy guitar and scattered cymbals before launching into a clean cut guitar riff, closely followed by drones of heavy guitar and distorted vocals. The short record achieves a great balance between tracks seeping with energy and tracks with a slow burning dazed aura.

Mp3: Every Artist Needs A Tragedy

Mp3: Everybody’s Down

Top Albums 2007: No. 25 – A Place To Bury Strangers – S/T
December 7, 2007, 6:26 pm
Filed under: A Place To Bury Strangers

New York’s “loudest band” finally struck with their debut album after a series of EPs. Brutal walls of noise and distortion drenched guitar make up the trio’s gloriously loud and atmospheric album. Sure, you can take the cynical approach and say they rip off Joy Division, My Bloody Valentine and key influence Jesus and the Mary Chain, put the reality of it is that APTBS have produced a strong, powerful record abundant with behemoth shoegaze tracks that do not fail to amaze.

Mp3: Missing You

Mp3: I Know I’ll See You

Mp3: Ocean

Sleeping States
December 4, 2007, 3:32 pm
Filed under: Sleeping States

At 16 its upsetting to be completely disenchanted with something, whatever it may be. In my case, it has to be acoustic guitar music. Maybe one of the reasons is the pure saturation of it in the music industry, but there are more integral reasons than that. The fact that the majority of acoustic guitar work that sees the light of day is: horribly written, cringeworthingly sentimental and in general unoriginal. Cases in point include the likes of James Blunt and Plain White T’s. Just the purely sickening cliches of lyrics combined with the most boring of song structures makes me sick to the core.

Alas, this year in particular I have found faith in acoustic guitar, partially down to Thurston Moore’s immense record Trees Outside the Academy, but also due to a (for lack of a better word) beautiful album by Londoner Markland Starkie aka Sleeping States. The album is one of pure, unrefined genius and majesty. The debut album, titled There The Open Spaces, is recorded in an incredibly effective Lo-Fi style, “at home or elsewhere” reads the albums notes. Starkie’s vocals are fragile and delicate that perfectly complement the intricate guitar melodies. The melodies are usually created with detuned guitars, sometimes accompanied by spacey keyboards or interrupted by moving bursts of electric guitar. The lengths of the songs vary hugely, with short acoustic bursts in Planning My Escape, or 6 minute solo-esque movements in Memory Games. Starkie’s lyrics also add to the wondrous record, the physical metaphors in Contact Luncay, “As I wander from the scrublands of my mind to the mountains of my heart” and tales of the friend zone in The Next Step. The lo-fi recording of the album also makes the tracks a lot more direct as it’s devoid of the over produced sheen of too many acoustic albums.

Definitely an album of the year.

Mp3: Rivers

Mp3: Contact Lunacy

Mp3: Planning My Escape