Sunday, January 13, 2013

Saturday Night Clouds of Sound

Welcome to 2013. Surprisingly, this Random Ramblings blog is in its 4th year of existence. It's a bit of a minor accomplishment since the main reason I had started this was so I had somewhere to post my year-end best of lists and so I could have some place to muse about all the music I love. Last year was a banner year as it brought about a name change and a new found consistency in posts. At the end of 2012, it turns out that I managed to average a post a week. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. That being said, this year's goal is to continue with that kind of consistency. So expect another year of mixtapes whether they've become expected (Monthly Backtracks) or whether they're packed with even more random themes.

So let's get to it with our first blog entry of the year. It's a slow time for new music which drives me a bit crazy since I'm always in need of something new. In spite of that, I still found bands to obsess over. Some are from new releases on the horizon and some are new discoveries that manged to slip through the cracks in 2012. Whatever the case may be, they're here and their songs are deservedly stuck in my head.

CHVRCHES - "The Mother We Share" & "Lies"
CHVRCHES is an electro-pop trio from Glasgow who instantly won me over not only because they have a cute lead singer who sings with a cute Scottish accent but because they've got great songs to back it up. Musically, they fall somewhere between The Knife, Purity Ring, and Robyn which is to say their songs are pretty addictive. Both "The Mother We Share" and "Lies" came out in 2012 so I'm a bit late on discovering them but that's fine since their debut album is supposedly due out some time this year.

Pulp - "After You"
Technically, this isn't really a new song from Pulp. "After You," in fact, was a demo that dates back to the We Love Life-era. But on Christmas, the band released this new recording, produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem while on the Coachella cruise. With its slitethering disco groove, there's no denying that this is definitely the band that we've come to adore right down to Jarvis Cocker delivering lines like "if you need to be naked, that's alright by me" the only way he can.

Suede - "Barriers"
No,'s not 1996. We are in fact here in 2013 talking about both Pulp and Suede. While new music from the former is highly unlikely, the latter actually has a new album called Bloodsports due out in March. And while "Barriers" may be a far, far cry from "Metal Mickey," it finds the band aiming for soaring U2-like heights. Yes, a good amount of people are going to hate it but I'm ok being in the minority of those who actually like this song.

Natural Assembly - "Carnal Blue"
London's Natural Assembly is a no-brainer when it comes to bands that I would like. Dark synths and processed vocals with obvious nods to early EBM and coldwave. This is the kind of stuff that finds its way onto my industrial radio show.

Factory Floor - "Fall Back"
Like Natural Assembly, fellow Londoners, Factory Floor also takes influence from EBM and coldwave. And although industrial music is a big part of the puzzle, the trio also manages to throw in some post-punk spikiness into their mix of pulsing beats, tranced out synths and ghostly vocals. The result is nearly 9-minutes of electronic bliss.


CHVRCHES - "We Sink"
As if there needed to be further evidence of my growing obsession with CHVRCHES, here's a video of another great song caled "We Sink" which they performed live for BBC Radio 1.

Charli XCX - "You (Ha Ha Ha)"
And speaking of obsessions, just because I obviously have a huge crush on her and also because I love her music, here's the latest video from Charli XCX for her latest single, "You (Ha Ha Ha)"

As always, listen loud and become immersed!

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