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By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 21st December 2010 at 10:00 am
The other night my mates and I walked through the door of the pub and what was playing on the PA? Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ of course. (I groaned inwardly as I made my way swiftly to the bar for a pint of Harp.) If you’re like me and looking for something a bit different this holiday season, have a listen and download I Like Trains‘ cover of the song below. After too much holiday brew, it’s a very chill and welcome number to listen to.
MP3: I Like Trains – Last Christmas (Wham! cover)
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 20th December 2010 at 10:00 am
I am not shy about my love for the Crookes. The Sheffield band makes such good time rock ‘n’ roll, my heart goes pitter-pat every time I listen to them. And I die a little inside every time I see a gig I can’t go to.
But I think the Crookes will be spreading their love musically further afield, if their free Christmas single ‘It’s Just Not Christmas Without You’ is any indication. ’60s style Roy Orbison vocals and instrumentation make may this song soar. The ‘b-side’ is a spare, ukulele and vocals only number called ‘All Alone on Christmas’. “Where the lonely hearts go? / nobody wants to be alone on Christmas”? I swoon, but in a bittersweet way. These are certainly sappy, but it’s Christmas! You’re allowed things sappy and sentimental this time of year. It’s like having eaten a big candy cane or chocolate orange and getting that warm, happy feeling inside.
Both songs (plus a holiday message from the Crookes that I won’t spoil for you) can be downloaded for free from the band’s Web site.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 17th December 2010 at 12:00 pm
While it will take me a while to come off the high that was the ‘Man Alive Ensemble’ iPhone/iPad/Web live performance (which, incidentally, you can watch here [probably for a limited time] if you missed it as it went out live Wednesday [15 December] night), I would like to bring your attention to Everything Everything‘s next single, ‘Photoshop Handsome’. The video for the song is such a trip; watch it below if you’ve been living under a rock and missed it when we featured the promo as a VOTM last month.
But I think it’s a bit of a shame that everyone’s talking about the video, which never would have happened if they’d never written and recorded the actual song, which will be released in mid-January as a single, the third official from ‘Man Alive’ (reviewed here in August). ‘Photoshop Handsome’ is boppy, it’s catchy and it’s very unique. I remember hearing it for the first time, listening to it as part of ‘Man Alive’ and thinking, wow, this sounds nothing – nothing – like anything I’ve heard before. It’s got military-style drums (the kind that make me expect stomping feet at their gigs); lead singer Jonathan Higgs’s unusual word delivery, spanning from falsetto to hip hop quickfire vocals; shouty backing vocals from the rest of the band that sound like they must be so much fun to sing (and indeed, I am eager to join in whenever I have the pleasure to see these four guys perform in 2011); and yet, there’s an underlying earworm of a melody.
Flippin’ heck, Everything Everything. You are definitely at the top of my list of bands I must see live as soon as possible. See you next year!
The single for ‘Photoshop Handsome’ will be released on 17 January 2011 by Geffen. Also included below are two remixes you can listen to, one by Soil in the Synth (more bleepy and videogame-y than the original) and the other by Sunday Girl (more clubby, with a female vocal replacing Higgs’s own). What do you think of these interpretations? Let us know in the comments.
Everything Everything – Photoshop Handsome (Soil in the Synth remix)
Everything Everything – Photoshop Handsome (Sunday Girl remix)
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 16th December 2010 at 10:00 am
I’ve always got my ear out for new electrobands. While Run Toto Run have been on the Manchester scene for a while and previously made quite a splash with their xylophone-containing cover of Passion Pit‘s ‘Sleepyhead’ (watch video here), this was my first real introduction to them: a song called ‘This is a Lull’, which you can listen to and download below. What I find great about this song is the contrast between the mad electronic beats and singer/songwriter Rachael Kichenside’s angelic vocals.
The promo video for the song, also below, reminds me of those low-budget videos I loved from the ’80s. You know what I just realised? The green screen animation reminds me of the Jonsi gig Mary Beth and I went to last month – birds flying in the background, the sky changing colour, etc. It’s trippy and maybe a bit too trippy but the tune, but aren’t electronica music videos trippy to begin with anyway? (Also, can I say I adore Rachael’s feathered outfit in this video and think it’s stunning?)
MP3: Run Toto Run – This is a Lull
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 13th December 2010 at 10:00 am
Whenever I think of Bear Hands from New York, I think of their superb song ‘What a Drag’, with its thudding drums and tropical vibe. So I was really pleased to learn their debut album, ‘Burning Bush Supper Club’, was recently released on Cantora Records.
And I was even more pleased to be given the green light to give away a song from the new album, ‘Crime Pays’. They filmed a promo video for the song as well, so I thought, the more the merrier, right? The band’s guitarist Ted Feldman had this to say about the video:
Andrei Bowden Schwartz directed the ‘Crime Pays’ video from a concept that my filmmaker friend Sam Shainberg and I had birthed one day over Vietnamese sandwiches. Andrei was the Director of Photography for Bear Hands’ first music video, ‘What a Drag.’ He and I have a production company called Matchbook Pictures that made this video happen, with Dan Cerruti producing. We had a lot of help from both friends and strangers. It took four days to shoot, all around New York City, where Sam, Andrei, Dan, Dorian and I grew up throwing molotov cocktails into windows and picking up prostitutes.
You can listen and download the song and watch the video below.
MP3: Bear Hands – Crime Pays
‘Burning Bush Supper Club’ from Bear Hands is available now.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 9th December 2010 at 10:00 am
This is very interesting. One of the most hotly-tipped bands of the moment, Mona, decided to cover Baltimore dream pop band Beach House‘s ‘Walk in the Park’ and we can give the results away to you today. Aren’t we nice? (Just remember us at TGTF when you’re out holiday shopping.)