Sunday, 28 February 2010

Lazy Sunday - The Chills

Lazy sunday and top of the pile this week is something by mighty fine New Zealand band the Chills. I've know idea what the title means with the etc. or what the lyrics are about. Its a simple piano ballad with a lovely tune

Friday, 26 February 2010

My indie past - The Orchids

I used to own a lot of records from the Sarah record label, which was the home to lots of bands who can sang lovelorn songs with quiet almost fey slightly off key vocals set to jangly guitars. I can only describe them as "twee" the term that came to name this type of music. One of the bands were The Orchids from Glasgow who had formed in 1986.
They released some good stuff but nothing that stood out too much from the other bands on the label. Then I heard this
For me it was a transformation of Primal Scream Loaded proportions. The soulful backing vocals really shouldn't work but they lift the song to classic single status.
"Get yourself high , feed your soul , set yourself free"
The album it came from "Unholy Soul" continued the trend with a variety and experimentation coupled with great tunes, which lifted them above the "Sarah" norm.
They disappeared after the release of their 3rd lp "Striving for the Lazy Perfection" until 2007 when out of the blue a new lp appeared.
"Good to be Stranger" saw a return to the more straight forward jangle pop. It's a good lp but I miss a bit the "let's try this" feeling of the previous lps. I've posted the title track so you can compare and contrast
You can buy Unholy Soul here
Their website can be found here

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Strange Covers - Heaven 17

A while back I posted Heaven 17's cover version of The Associates "Party Fears Two". It wasn't what you'd expect being basically a slowed down version featuring mainly just piano and voice. This next cover is a bit more like their usual sound. It was recorded as The British Electric Foundation which is usually Heaven 17 with a guest vocalist but to confuse matters this has usual lead singer Glen Gregory take vocal duties.

It is one of my favourite songs. I'm still not sure how a song about a bloke who climbs telegraph poles for a living can evoke so much! Although i think the lines quoted below have something to do with it It isn't as good as the original but it is worth a listen

And I need you more than want you

And I want you for all time

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A Year in Books 10 - Juliet Naked

I should own up that I'm a Nick Hornby fan, I've liked pretty much everything he has done including the so called "disappointing ones", "How to be Good" and "A Long Way Down", Add to that the fact that in "31 songs" he chose to write about an obscure Bible b side and that any music loving male would shudder in recognition when reading "High Fidelity"

If he was American i think he would be held up as a great writer in the mould of Anne Tyler, whereas here he is viewed a bit in the press's book pages as a laddier version of Richard Curtis. Even the good reviews can't disguise a suspicion that he really writes chick lit for men in their 30s and 40s.

"Juliet Naked" revolves around 3 main characters, a slightly nerdy and sad obsessive fan of an American singer songwriter who suddenly dropped out of the music business, his long time girlfriend who feels her life has hit a dead end and Tucker Crowe the before mentioned singer who's is in the death throws of his latest relationship. The lives of all 3 change after a the release of demo versions of the singers most famous lp which brings the 3 together.

As ever Nick Hornby's strengths are to the fore all the 3 main characters are well drawn, moments of truth are scattered among the prose as are moments of recognition especially in how we view our heroes and the work that they produce. His biggest strength is to make writing seem so easy and effortless which in itself takes the biggest effort.

My only gripe is with some of the minor characters eg the psychiatrist character Malcolm who acts as the voice of polite caution that can typify middle England. When ever he appears it feels slightly more laboured as he just doesn't feel credible.

On the surfaceit is a book about relationships and family but it is much more than that, the regret and disappointment of a life wasted, a feeling of is it too late?,the scariness of change, where does art come from and the meaning we attach to it, who we want our heroes to be, all topped off with a sense of redemption. The results is an ending that while satisfying leaves you with a desire to know "what happens next". Oh and it is also very funny.

I recognise that Nick Hornby's voice can be a bit narrow, but if you are middle aged and slightly middle class (whatever that means these days) then that voice rings true

You can buy Juliet Naked here

Monday, 22 February 2010

Miracle Mile Monday part 26

I guess you start getting to an age when the musicians who appear in the obituary pages are not some throw back to an age of 60 beat combos or 70s super groups, but people whose music you have grown up with. When it happens it can hit you with the weight of mortality. Being English I never really got all sub Princess Di worship of Kurt Cobain or Jeff Buckley. However, it has happened three times to me when the death of someone I've never met has sent me into a spin of sadness, where everything stops and I feel the emptiness of losing something important. All 3 times because it was a bolt out of the blue either through a tragic accident as with Kirsty MacColl, or because I just assumed they would go on forever as with John Peel and once because of the ordinariness of death. Grant Mclennan was hosting a party , went upstairs to lie down and never woke up, just at the time when his band had hit a second wind and were going from strength to strength.

I'm not sure if the second Miracle Mile track from "Limbo" is a tribute or homage or related at all. All I know is that it feels to me like a fitting memory

Now I won't go to sleep
Without your sweet lullaby
I might fall in too deep
And maybe catch the devil's eye

I also ran, a dreams a plan if there's gold in wonder
I sing because I do , because I can
Because the ghost of a tune
Has got me grinning like a loon

And you sleep with a song
And you dream as you depart
But I won't call you gone
Little man with a quiet heart
Keep your elbows in the breeze my son
Dream about a better bright tomorrow

I also ran, a dreams a plan if there's gold in wonder

I sing because I do , because I can
Because the ghost of a tune
Keeps me singing to the moon

Then like the ghost of a better tune
That's got me grinning like a loon
That keeps me singing to the moon
You left the room too soon

Ghostwritten - The Miracle Mile

update from the comments - this was written by Trev in the recording diary

This was the the last song that we recorded for the album, which seems sadly appropriate. 'Perry and Simone' from 'Heartbreak Star' was playing on the ipod 'select' as I heard the news of Grant McLennan's passing. “Come see the paradise” indeed. After marinating in the music of GM and the Go Betweens for a couple of days, I then sat down and wrote ‘Ghostwritten’ . I rarely write directly about other folk (far too self obsessed) but I’d forgotten quite how seminal the GB’s were for me. Along with Waits/Springsteen/The Smiths/Blue Nile/Paddy Mac’ etc, they shaped my post punk musical obsessions...became as influential as any in defining and refining my approach to writing. I've got a few skeletons in my musical attic, albums that haven't survived or aged well, but I'll pat myself on the back over The Go Betweens. I got there fairly early with 'Liberty Belle', fell for 'The Wrong Road' and, later, the mysteries of 'Cattle and Cane' and was forever smitten. The songs seem just as 'right' now as the did then; they breathe their very own exotic air, yet maintain a whiff of the mundane, something special to fuel anyone’s day. The sensibilities aren't male, or ‘cock ‘n’roll’, girl friends connected as much as I did. I loved the vulnerability of the poetry, and that, particularly with Grant, the songs seemed inclusive, "an open invitation" to his world, the songs going exactly where I hoped they would, (with a few twists along the way) me grinning like a loon as they did. There'd always be that 'favourite Beatle' discussion, Robert and Grant's bittersweet combination is beyond that, but I do love those solo albums; there are times when a cup of sweet milky tea is 'just right'. 'Oceans Apart' was a welcome return. Hearing 'The Statue' was like bumping into a best mate years down the line. Of course, Grant is already missed, but there's a big heart to be heard in his words and music. God bless him!
The legacy of any great artist remains intact and influential forever. We’re often guided by the hands of folk departed, and, while I’m not crediting Grant with a co-write here, he was definitely helping to shape the chords as I wrote. The song is not ‘about’ anything specific, a reflection on the joys and possibilities of song writing, the importance of inspiration and influence and, ultimately, as a recognition of a kindred spirit, a nod in his direction as he leaves the room. It might be a bit sweet for some. Apologies. I did try to sharpen it with some vinegar, but it didn’t seem right. Where’s Robert Forster when you need him?

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Lazy sunday - xtc

Lazy Sunday and top of the shuffle pile is a track from XTC's Mummer lp released in 1983. This lp I think marks the start of their pastoral period (sorry sounding like a music journalist for a moment there). It seems very English in its sound, what I like about it strangely is the last 60 secs when the words have stopped and what you are left with is some babababas against an acoustic strum that just feels like a song for a hazy summer afternoon

Saturday, 20 February 2010

the music lovers - oops sorry

Apologies to all for any confusion but in my post on the music lovers I think I may have given a link to the wrong song - I've corrected the link on the original post which can be found here

a Year in books 10 - Things the Grandchildren Should Know

Music autobiographies tend to fall into that "for fans only" bracket. However Mark Everett or Eels as he records as, has written a book that transcends whether you like his music or not. If you like his music you probably know how tragedy has followed tragedy, as part of his coping mechanism is to turn the experiences into something positive ie his music. For those who don't know, this is what has happened to his family

Father - a genius who developed the theory of multiple universes, who died of a heart attack , Eels discovered the body.

Sister - committed suicide

Mother - died of cancer

Cousin - was an air stewardess on the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon.

Add these together with a series of failed relationships with unstable women and the death of friends, this book should be a harrowing read, written by someone in the throws of deep depression. This however is an inspiring read full of wisdom and humour even when the reality is at it's darkest. The book is at its best when Eels writes about his upbringing (think an off beat take on the "Ice Storm") and early days as a musician. When success does come Eels recognises this as a balance to some of the terrible things that have happened to him (it's the classic give someone a tape at a party , surprisingly they turn out to a) listen to it b) like it and c) be influential enough to be able to do something about it).

As Eels starts to find success the book becomes a bit more like the traditional music book, however, Eels writer's voice is still very natural and the anecdotes chosen propel the story on and never get in the way.
If you want a different kind of music history told with candour and built around hope for the future then give this a go

You can buy Eels book here

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Singular Sounds M - Music Lovers (song link corrected)

For "M" there are a few in the only one track camp to choose from, it could have been Momus or Malcolm McClaren.

Instead I've gone for a track that appeared on one of the monthly cds that come free with Word magazine. This one from September 2005. It has a bit of an easy listening feel to it as it waltzes along. Also with such a great title you can't really go wrong. I don't know much about the band apart from the fact that they are from San Francisco but remind me more of an echo of late 80s British pop bands who in turn looked back to the songs of Burt Bacharach etc. Re listening to this as well as a couple more tracks on their myspace site has tempted me to take a punt on one of their lps

Amended link to correct song!

Former Miss Ontario - Music Lovers

Their Myspace site can be found here and looking at the messages it seems they have decided to call it a day, which is a real shame.

you can buy their cds here

Ps I normally write posts about 2 weeks in advance of posting. Since I wrote this I've gone and bought their lp "the words we say before we sleep" ( a title raymond carver would have been proud of). If you like the track I've posted here then I'd recommend getting the lp, it is full of great songs in a similar vein to Miss Ontario

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

How Much??

I read a post on the blog 2 U I Bestow where there was a bit of a debate about the price of concert tickets in Ireland and the differences between the North and the South. This also tied in with me buying a ticket to see James at the Royal Albert Hall. The price of the ticket was £45, yes £45! Now i think James are fantastic live and will probably be worth every penny but ... £45!?
Now I'm not sure how much of this is down to it being the Albert Hall, I can't believe they would be charging this if it was Brixton academy or somewhere like that, so I don't really blame the band.
It did remind me of something else I read (I've lifted this from a post I made on the above mentioned blog) a speech a while back given by someone who represented a lot of bands, who basically said that 10 years ago the money made by their artists came from the following places in order of importance
Sales, publishing , radio ,merchandise ,sponsorship , live and that now the order was
Publishing , live , merchandise , radio , sponsorship , sales.
Now this feels like it came from some record company big wig who sees music as a unit. He was making the point that business will always exploit areas of growth thus cd prices coming down ticket prices going up. What is interesting is this applies just as much to the James of the world as it does to the U2s. Artists like James and Lloyd Cole etc now operate a bit outside the normal record company model. They raise money in different ways (Lloyd Cole is offering the chance to pre pay for an lp that hasn't yet been recorded to help pay for the recording) to make music to play live to make money to make music and so the cycle goes on. It only takes a few 1000 dedicated fans to make it work. The danger is that you get the balancing act wrong and it all becomes too much even for the dedicated. This is before the venues also realise that they are on to a good thing and start increasing the cost of putting on the gig in the first place.

Anyway £'s all a long way from when they were doing this

Monday, 15 February 2010

Miracle Mile Monday part 25

Miracle Mile's 7th and to date last lp was released as usual to great reviews and lots of quotes about "undiscovered gems" , "music's best kept secret" etc. The first track I've posted is the opening track which just instills in me a sense of longing and belonging. The chorus is liquid warmth. I think I'd read that Trevor Jones shies away from using female backing vocals as it can give a too obvious commercial feel to a song (I may have dreamt this and be way off the mark). However he relents on this track and they fit just perfectly adding a sense of depth. The Sunday Time voted this one of their songs of the year. This was a radio 2 single of the week that never was (and I mean that as a compliment!)

you can buy Limbo form the band's website here

Sunday, 14 February 2010

lazy sunday - Joy division

It's sunday and top of the shuffle pile this week is a track by Joy Division. What do I like about this apart from Ian Curtis's fantastic voice ? One of the key elements of the bands sound which isnt mentioned that much is the drumming of Stephen Norris which as ever is relentless in its control

A tune for Valentine's day this isnt!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Say Something - Concepts 1 Songs For Drella

I must admit I've got more than a bit of a soft spot for concept lps. Not the ones about far way galaxies or the lives of goblins, more the ones that tell a story and follow a theme.

Songs for Drella was Lou Reed's and John Cale's "tribute" to Andy Warhol. I'm not sure tribute is the right word perhaps a dedication is better. I first heard the lp when the songs were payed by the pair in a concert that was televised in 1989. The music is very simple , just guitar , keyboards and violin with vocals shared by Reed and Cale. It tells the story of Warhol's life through interpretation of his own thoughts and words (including one piece that has John Cale reading a long extract from Warhol's diaries) and the reaction of Reed and Cale to the events that surrounded Warhol. It focuses as much on his relationships as it does biographical details. The simplicity of the music just makes the story the words tell stand out even more

The lp starts with Andy growing up in and needing to escape from a "Smalltown" , and ends with Lou Reed's message to a the dead Warhol. What it makes it so good is that this is no love fest but recognises the difficulty of the relationships the 3 had with each other. For example the dairy entry chosen that Cale reads includes

"Then I saw Lou, I'm so mad at him, Lou Reed got married and didn't invite me, maybe he was worried I'd bring to many people. I don't get it. he could have at least called I mean he is doing so great why doesn't he call? I saw him at the MTV awards and he was one row away but he didn't even say hello I don't get it. You know I hate Lou I really do he wont even hire us to do his videos and I used to be so proud of him"

An lp of the songs came out the following year in 1990, the birth of which ended with John cale saying he would never work with Reed again. Although a full Velvet Underground reunion did happen a bit later , ending with John Cale repeating his promise - you'd think he'd learn

I've posted 3 tracks

Style in Takes - Andy starts to rise in the art world

I Believe - Lou Reeds reaction to Warhol's shooting

Hello it's me - the final track and Lou reeds message to Andy Warhol

Andy it's me, haven't seen you in a while
I wished I talked to you more when you were alive
I thought you were self-assured when you acted shy
Hello it's me

I really miss you, I really miss your mind
I haven't heard ideas like that in such a long, long time
I loved to watch you draw and watch you paint
But when I saw you last I turned away

When Billy Name was sick and locked up in his room
You asked me for some speed, I though it was for you
I'm sorry that I doubted your good heart
Things always seem to end before they start

Hello it's me, that was a great gallery show
Your cow wallpaper and your floating silver pillows
I wish I paid more attention when they laughed at you
Hello it's me

"Pop goes pop artist," the headline said
"Is shooting a put-on, is Warhol really dead?"
You get less time for stealing a car
I remember thinking as I heard my own record in a bar

They really hated you, now all that's changed
But I have some resentments that can never be unmade
You hit me where it hurt I didn't laugh
Your Diaries are not a worthy epitaph

Oh well now Andy - guess we've got to go
I hope some way somehow you like this little show
I know it's late in coming but it's the only way I know
Hello it's me - goodnight Andy...

Goodbye, Andy

You canbuy Songs for Drella here

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Life of Live - Echo and the Bunnymen

Every now and then a band would for some reason bypass Leeds and play Bradford instead. Echo and the Bunnymen were one of my favourite bands when I was in the 6th form , long coats from Oxfam were as much part of the school uniform as was the school tie. One of my friends an even bigger fan had shared a house with someone who knew Ian McCulloch and had once taken a phone message from him which in our eyes as good as made him the 5th bunnymen. So when they toured to promote their 5th album it was worth the short train ride from Leeds to Bradford. I do remember one of those embarrassing moments when we got in a cab asked for St Georges Hall and then looked mortified when the taxi pulled out of the station, crossed the road and then stopped to let us out outside the hall ".....fucking students"

The concert itself was a wall of noise with the new songs stripped of their studio sheen and thrashed out. They didn't disappoint on the dry ice front and all the band stood as if their feet were routed to the spot. Mac's hair was magnificent and noone was safe from his inter song "banter" They basically did a greatest hits set list with songs form the latest lp dropped in here and there. There was a sense of hero worship in crowd that Ididn't witness again until I saw Morrissey 10 years later

I think this lp is really under-rated. I remember the reviews were awful on release, there was a feeling the band had sold out especially in getting it produced by Laurie Latham who at that time was best known for producing Paul Young. I do think after the high of Ocean Rain whatever they came up with they were going to get a bit of a pasting.

It is over produced in places but has some great songs and in the lead off single "The Game" has one of the best lyrics that Mac has written. I've posted 3 songs, the 2 singles "The Game" and "Lips Like Sugar" which is just a great pop song and "All My Life " Mac's go at a John Lennon ballad
The one disappointing thing was a few of the songs had already appeared in different versions as b sides etc and so it felt a bit like they were running out of ideas

The Game - Echo and the Bunnymen

Lips Like Sugar - Echo and the Bunnymen

All my Life - Echo and the Bunnymen

A sense of duty
was my one intention
and an ugly beauty
was my own invention
Pride a proud refusal
and I refuse
to need your approval
Too many seekers
Too few beacons
But through the fog
we'll keep on beaming

Through the crying hours
of your glitter years
all the living out
of your tinsel tears
and the midnight trains
I never made
'cos I'd already
played...the game

got their own good reason
why their favorite season
is their favorite season
Winter winners
and those summers sons
aren't good for everyone
aren't good for everyone
Spring has sprung
and autumns well done
so well done

And it's a better thing
that we do now
forgetting everything
the whys and hows
While you reminisce
about the things you miss
you won't be ready
to kiss...goodbye

The earth is a world
The world is a ball
A ball in a game
with no rules at all
And just as I wonder
at the beauty of it all
you go and drop it
and it breaks and falls

I'll never understand
why you thought I would
need to be reassured
and be understood
When I always knew
that your bad's my good
and I was ready be loved

Born under Mars
With Jupiter rising
Fallen from stars
That lit my horizon

I'll never understand
why you thought I would
need to be reassured
and be understood
When I always knew
that your bad's my good
and I was ready be

Through the crying hours
of your glitter years
all the living out
of your tinsel tears
and the midnight trains
I never made
'cos I'd already

it's a better thing
that we do now
forgetting everything
the whys and hows
While you reminisce
about the things you miss
you won't be ready
to kiss...goodbye

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Cathedrals of Sound - What's it all about?

Having passed the 160 posts which is about 150 more than I thought I'd manage. I thought I'd take a pause for breath.

To try and make inspiration easier to come by I've kept to a few on running themes. Some of these have had the legs and some have started with good intentions but became a bit more sporadic as the ideas dried up. I did think that people who have stumbled across the blog recently might not have a clue as to the point of some of the posts so I thought it might be time for a bit of a recap (not helped by the fact that it is a bit hap hazard in how I label stuff)

So here it is

Miracle Mile Monday - does what it says on the tin , every Monday I post a track from the band The Miracle Mile,. This is just because I think their music is good enough for more people to hear (scrap that it is far too good for more people not to hear it) and hopefully go out an buy. I post 4 tracks from each album and am about to hit the home straight and already panicking that I need to think of a new Monday theme

Bigger than the Beatles - these are about bands that should have been massive but because of bad luck , cruel twists of fates or maybe because I'm deluded they were never as successful as they should have been

God Like Genius - Posts about individuals that in terms of music are just pure genius. I might not like everything they've done, they may be eccentrically inconsistent in terms of output and quality but more often than not they stand way above most other stuff that is around

Life of Live - A walk through my life of gigs with a post about every concert I've been to

Cult of the b Side - some band's b sides are better than a lot of other band's a sides

Strange Covers - cover versions as cover versions should be in that they offer something a bit different to the original

A year in Books - a mini review of every book I read during the year. Early rule of less than 100 words has slipped a bit recently, but hey rules are made to be bent a little.

Why I Love Country Music - although I don't own much if any pure country music a lot of bands I like have produced tracks with a bit of a country flavour

Never better than the first time - one of those that has run out of steam a bit , posts about bands who somehow never quite catch the magic of their debut lp again

My Indie Past - reading some great blogs has got me to rediscover my love for old 80s/90s indie bands, some disappeared after a few releases , some persevered and some underwent a metamorphosis and struck gold.

Singular Sounds - Having put all my records on my pc the anal male in me got interested in why for some artists I only had one track , so this is a walk through the alphabet with one such band for each letter

Say Something - I'm a bit too obsessed with lyrics for my own good, these are posts of songs with great words


And then more often than not i just post a track I like. I normally keep tracks posted for 2/3 months but I'm a bit disorganised in taking them down so you may be lucky with older posts.

Anyway if you are new to the blog then I hope that makes sense and if you have been around a while then apologies for the recap. Whoeveer uoi are I hope you like what you read and please feel free to leave commenst (it makes my day honestly especially if you recommend something to listen to /read) either agreeing or pointing out I'm talking out my arse (in a nice way)

Any suggestions for themes more than welcome!

Monday, 8 February 2010

miracle mile monday part 24

The final track from the Glow lp is "An Average Sadness. In Trevor's diary notes he writes

"I think most would crave a vivid life but ultimately settling for the golden mean. Those who don't suffer the extremes of human experience"

This is reflected in the songs lyric:

I will be there in the darkness
And I will be there in the light
But I won't be part of the madness
Oh for an average sadness

Musicwise this track seems to have its home in the deep south , you could almost hear it on the "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack

An Average Sadness - Miracle Mile

Next week sees the start of 4 tracks from the latest Miracle mile lp so 4 more weeks and I'll need a new theme for a monday!

As a reminder you can listen to a sample of the 15 tracks of the Glow as well as buy it for a princely sum of £10 here

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Lazy Sunday - Mcintoshross

Lazy Sunday and top of the shuffle pile is the title track from the lp by husband and wife team Ricky Ross and Lorraine Mcintosh. Avoiding the bombast that can creep into their band's work, they've quietly gone and made an lp of effective Scottish Americana (if such a thing exists). I like it because it is perfect music to read the Sunday papers to (of how it used to be in that distant land and time before kids)

You can buy the lp here

Friday, 5 February 2010

Competition Time - The Pearlfishers

Giveaway time! In doing a bit of sorting out I've found out that I liked this cd so much that for some reason I bought it twice! Rather than some Victor Kiam trait, it is more part of the perils of buying a lot of cds on pre order and then forgetting about them. The upside means that I keep getting nice surprises in the post, the downside is that occasionally this can happen.
So rather than flog it on ebay I thought I do a thankyou for sticking with me as I try this blogging thing. Based on readers, if you enter you'll have about a 1 in 150 chance of winning, based on comment writers it would probably be about 1 in 4 ( not bad odds).
If you like Scottish pop with a hint of Brian Wilson in there then this cd is worth having.

I've posted about the band and a track from the lp previously here

To enter - all you have to do is drop me a line to
I'll leave it a couple of weeks and then in true Swap shop stylee I'll get a celebrity (well okay my little boy) to pull out the winning name.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Strange Covers - Aztec Camera

I used to have one of those irrational dislikes for Cyndi Lauper, all based on the first time that hse appeared on Top of the Pops for some reason they did a quick interview after the song and she sounded like a hyper active child overdosing on helium. She seemed like the living version of that awful sign you'd sometimes see in a takeaway "you don't have to be mad to work here...." In my long coat from Oxfam all this calculated wackiness just wasn't on.

Anyway I cant deny despite the "zany" persona she has recorded 2 fantastic tunes in "Time after Time" and "True Colours". A while back I posted a cover of the first track and to complete the set here is a version of the second.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Looking Forward

I was trying to think of records I'm looking forward to in 2010. As i get older I guess i get more and more out of touch in terms of what is coming out when.

One lp i am looking forward to is the debut by Oxford band Stornoway. Their first single Zorbing was one of the best things I heard last year when it popped up on a compilation cd someone at work gave me.

They are one of the bands picked by the BBC as the "Sound of 2010" which I hope doesn't become too much of a millstone. They've played Later with Jools Holland, Glastonbury and Tate Modern, not bad for band with just two singles to their name

They sound a bit like a mix between Fleet Foxes and early James, but that doesn't really do them justice. It does have a bit of a pop folk feel with strings , trumpet etc layered on top of the usual guitar , bass, drums

Zorbing - Stornoway

I'm not sure when the lp will be out , what it will be called or even if it exists but if the other tracks are half as good as their debut single then it will be one of the best of the year

Lying in your attic
I can feel the static
The storm has broken, Heavens open
So electrifying, Oh I'm nearly flying
Lost my heart between the sheets of lightning

Their Myspace page is here which has a few more tracks to listen to

Monday, 1 February 2010

Miracle Mile monday part 23

The Third track form "Glow" sees the big radio friendly song but the chiming guitars and sing along chorus hides a the seed of of the feeling of an "increasing desire to be anywhere but here"

"But oh my love what have you done
Trading your hope for a place inthe sun"

Baby's in the House - Miracle Mile