New Music Friday: 23rd November 2012
... And now for something completely different. Well, not completely. It's Cloud Corner, Jim, but not as we know it. I've helped come up with a new format for this column, and I think you'll find that it's much more satisfying for those who crave new music. You see, for some people, even the three or four best songs I choose to write about aren't enough, so things are going to be a little different from now on. Funnily enough, I'm celebrating my birthday today, but you're the ones receiving the presents in this inaugural edition of New Music Friday...
I decided to mix things up because, as you may have guessed, we get sent and discover so much stuff that we can't always fit everything in. From now on, I'm casting the net a little wider than I'm used to. For this edition I've scoured the internet to bring you some of the best stuff happening in the world of music today. There are 15 slices of delicious new music on offer - I was feeling extra generous, maybe because Thanksgiving was yesterday and I wanted to help our American readers fill up on more than just turkey. So grab a plate and dig in - I'm absolutely positive that there's something on this smorgasbord that'll be to your taste.
Track of the Week: Embers - 'Hollow Cage'
Every so often, a song comes along that leaves you genuinely speechless, your mind reeling as you try to take in what you've just listened to. Our Track of the Week is absolutely monumental in scope, and comes from a band who are surely destined for big things. Manchester's Embers have been picking up steam this year; a 7" single they put out in September is now sold out and highly sought after. If you've heard them before, you haven't heard them like this. Hollow Cage is a 7-minute post-rock behemoth, ebbing and flowing through dynamics and moods as it builds inexorably to a speaker-annihilating finale, drums pounding, guitars soaring, and plaintive vocals adding an even greater level of intensity. It's a most unexpected change of pace from an extremely promising band, and it's one of the very best songs of the year.
Rules - 'Telepathy'
I don't know much about this - the mysterious Washington DC-based producer who's responsible for the sonic wizardry that drives Rules's debut EP isn't giving much of anything away (in one sense) - but what I do know is that I like it a lot. Telepathy is the lead track from the aforementioned EP, introduced by a chiming three-note melody and some well-chosen vocal samples that later open out into some future-garage magic. What they are giving away is the EP itself, which can be downloaded for nothing from Bandcamp - you should get on that. Whoever said the best things in life don't come for free?
Blackie & the Oohoos - 'Black Hole'
This Belgian duo are definitely on to something. They recently released their second album, Song for Two Sisters, and one of my favourite things this week is one of the album highlights, a darkly romantic song called Black Hole. It is both grandiose and wonderfully intimate, those two sides of the band set brilliantly against each other as the song's brooding melody sweeps the listener along. It also has an impressive chorus that, without much effort at all, will be going around in your head for days after you first hear it.
Boy, oh boy, am I glad to be getting this one out of the way. Weeks like this are why I started doing this column in the first place, but holy shit, actually deciding what would make the cut this week was, er, difficult. As you can imagine, I get sent a lot of new music in a week; on my best days, I get to listen to roughly half of it. [read more]
St. Patrick's Day is on Sunday. Now, normally. I wouldn't have plans for it (there's only so many times one can re-watch the parade one took part in for years whilst in primary school, after all), but it turns out I'm going to see Bombay Bicycle Club, Jape and The Cast of Cheers in an 800-capacity venue instead. [read more]
This week's been pretty hot, both figuratively (as you'll see from the tracks I've picked for New Music Friday) and literally. It's been absolutely roasting all week; it's also not been a very good week to be stuck in an office with busted air conditioning, but I'm finally free for another few days. [read more]
A year (and two days) ago, I got my first review published on the 405. It was this. So to commemorate my one-year anniversary as a member of the writing team, and also to mark seven months of this column in its current guise as New Music Friday - nope, not six, because I completely forgot to do something last month - there's a larger helping of new music coming this week. [read more]