Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Chinese Christmas Cards

07/03/2010

Before talking about these guys, I just want to say that I wish all the best to Mark Linkous’ family, and that his contribution to the musicsphere through Sparklehorse will never be forgotten.

So, anyways. I still haven’t been able to update myself enough – my weekend was just as busy as my week! But my friend over at Soundheard showed me something I loved today, and it’s definitely what I’m going to share here.

Chinese Christmas Cards hail from Barcelona and they’re pretty much unknown and unsigned – only 185 listeners in last.fm so far! Though they only have one serious hit, they make music out of passion for it, writing and composing tunes in a little room filled with guitars, synths and computers. They claim to mix song-writing and electronic qualities in their songs, and you can single out both details in Welcome to Life, where the feel-good lyrics, the Postal Service-ish (in my humble opinion) beat, and the incredibly catchy guitar can seriously make you dance out in your room. It’s a stereotypical mood-lifting gem; “welcome to life, welcome to feelings, everything is beautiful…”

(mp3) Welcome to Life – Chinese Christmas Cards

[EDIT] Their second song, an amazing 5-minute joyride:

(mp3) No Radar no Phone – Chinese Christmas Cards

the pressure de-pressure depression

04/03/2010

I haven’t blogged for about a week and I’ve been having serious issues with this. I haven’t even checked Pitchfork in a week; the situation’s that bad. Today’s been the first time I could even breathe before having to go to sleep, or the first time I’m going to be able to afford sleeping at all – I couldn’t even write about something I wanted to since sunday.

For obvious school/pressure/depression reasons, I have no songs to share, at least for today; friday’s probably promising to be an all-updating music day. I’m thinking about putting together the songs I’ve most been listening to and compiling them, perhaps.

Meanwhile, I’d just like to share with whoever still reads this that I went to the Coldplay concert here Sunday. I’m not the biggest Coldplay fan, though I do think Chris Martin is really adorable when he’s alone embracing the piano. Nonetheless, it was one of the most beautiful concerts I’ve ever attended. I’m not saying it was better than Radiohead or anything of the kind, but it was truly a breathtaking performance. I’ve never seen something as gorgeous as the explosion of neon-coloured plastic butterflies that were exploded through multiple air tunnels, allowing them to hover all over our heads – regardless of where in the audience we were. Everything was pink, the screen images were amazingly touching, all was in sync. And, of course, there was the naturally lovely Yellow performance with gigantic yellow balloons being thrown around and deep-yellow lights enveloping us in a hypnotic environment that I wish I had never left. Especially when they moved to the little stage to the right to play Shiver and, well, I was right in front of it.

I miss this blog and I miss new music… Tomorrow?

soirées de poche

24/02/2010

It seems like I haven’t posted in forever! Carnaval here finally ended and I’m back to boring old school, whose boring old self is filling us up with homework. Endlessly.

I know, it’s such a High School-ish complaint, but my time has been really short to do anything that doesn’t involve working, so I haven’t had time to figure an article out yet.

Meanwhile, though, I’d like to show my deepest, fullest appreciation for the loveliest video to ever have been filmed. A 25-minute masterpiece with some of Beirut’s best tracks and, of course, Zach Condon’s gorgeous face I cannot seem to get enough of.

Enjoy.

Lawrence Arabia

20/02/2010

James Milne is love on prozac. His songs make me as happy as an Of Montreal tune, as a Jónsi release, as swirling Passion Pit beats… There’s just something about him.

James Milne is Lawrence Arabia of New Zealand, and I just had to express my gratitude for discovering him. His sound is entirely coated with a surplus of joy, with some sort of tangible comfort –  his beats, his horns, all of the instruments he squeezes together in his songs, in fact, are filled with passion and topped with a deliciously syrupy voice. He sounds like he’s having fun while he plays, you can almost feel his smile through his words, and I like hearing things like that.

His January album, Chant Darling, proves that nothing should be judged by its cover: the dark, grey portrait of a man in what can only be said as a threatening solitude is an incredible mislead to what’s packed inside. In fact, it’s the complete opposite: his songs are all so pretty, so get-up-your-chair-and-sing, such a good company for summer, that it’s seriously almost like he’s mocking the man in the album cover.

I’m trying every torrent imaginable to get my hands on his shiny little gem of a record. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with what I’ve collected thus far – bliss shimmering at its best.

(mp3) The Beautiful Young Crew – Lawrence Arabia

(mp3) Apple Pie Bed – Lawrence Arabia

ezequiel ezequiel

18/02/2010

Talk about highly underrated… if you ever decide to stop by ezequiel ezequiel‘s last.fm page, well, don’t – there’s nothing to be seen. It’s just another huge mystery to me as to why he’s not talked about, why no one even knows his name, but that won’t keep me from loving his sound.

He’s one-man band Ezequiel Claverie, and I’m not even sure where he’s from – according to his myspace page, it’s Argentina, but I’ve heard London elsewhere. Regardless, what I’ve heard of him so far is so unbelievably gentle and delicate, it’s like some sort of porcelain sound. Up From the Mountain is a more wasted composition, while Raise the Dead owns my heart with its acoustic background, his soft, wintry vocals, and the almost sad atmosphere created by these two together. Winter Rise is his most played track thus far, being a gorgeous, nearly 5-minute piece with a slow yet sure beginning, a simple beat and a constant underlying softness. It’s what I’d have leaking through my headphones late at night, in preferably colder weather tied to a low yet reflective inner mood.

You can stream other gems off his free Winter Rise EP from his myspace page, including track Dear Permafrost, whose initial drumming reminds me so much of There There by Radiohead.

(mp3) Raise the Dead – ezequiel ezequiel

(mp3) Up from the Mountain – ezequiel ezequiel

(mp3) Winter Rise – ezequiel ezequiel

LITTLE SECRETS

16/02/2010

I AM SO EXCITED THAT I’M USING CONSTANT CAPSLOCK.

I AM JUST TOO EXCITED.

PASSION PIT’S SNEAK PEAK AT THEIR UNRELEASED MUSIC VIDEO IS HERE.

I feel like a child forgotten by his parents in FAO Schwartz.

PS: Angelakos, marry me?

a little bit of Rio! :)

13/02/2010

I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the city is upside down with all the Carnival festivities – some of the most important parades are here and people go crazy over the holiday celebrations. With so much going on and so many people going around the streets and beaches with deafening speakers and contagious brazilian sounds, I got in the mood to share some of my favourites, all rooting straight from Rio. Internationally-known figures like Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes, which I’m sure you all have heard of, used to compose their masterpieces right here and I think that’s pretty exciting. :)

P.S.: Fun fact, Seu Jorge is one of Jonny Greenwood‘s favourite musicians.

(mp3) Pedro Pedreiro – Chico Buarque

(mp3) Ela é Carioca – Antônio Carlos Jobim

(mp3) Pretinha – Seu Jorge

Dakotafish

09/02/2010

To me, this is just further proof of how unbearably unfair the music business is nowadays. While terrible bands that produce nothing beyond noise pollution at its worst are capable of ascending to fame and fortune in the quickest manner, bands that are amazing are, unfortunately, not. This is the case of Dakotafish, one-man-band Mike Fish with collaborations from Coliz Arthur and Jennifer Argenti. They produce music in a small studio in rural California, and I only found them by what would only be a “mistake”: clicking on the wrong link in Last.fm and being then led to his page accidentally. But I did give them a try after all, and I have to hand it to them: they’re amazing together. For starters, Mike Fish – creator, singer, and instrumentalist – sounds like Thom Yorke. Yes, he often sounds like freaking Thom Yorke! Can someone tell me why this guy hasn’t hit instant fame already?!

Then there’s the systematic beats intertwined with the orchestral Sigur Rós-quality of instrumental arrangement that’s simply a delight to listen to. I mean, for Radiohead fans out there, this is a strong recommendation; Teenage Years, for example, starts off with a carefully-plucked acoustic and a masterful Yorke voice, with almost as much talent in reaching the farthest pitches as Radiohead’s own.

Dakotafish are giving away two free songs in their website (I haven’t yet tried to download anything else, I don’t know how easy that’ll be), so why the hell not try it out?

Miike Snow’s bonus track

07/02/2010

I have no idea how many people even know about this, how common it is, but I only found it out yesterday. Apparently, Miike Snow’s self-titled 2009 album has a bonus track to it, released in the UK version of the CD that isn’t even in the band’s Wiki page. I was searching for Billie Holiday in the Hype Machine since I had been listening to her all weekend long, and was in search of any interesting remix of one of her songs that would be appropriate for this blog but still captured the essence of Lady Day. I didn’t find anything (Frank Sinatra gets one and Billie doesn’t, this is absurd), but I did find a handful of blogs talking about Miike Snow’s “Billie Holiday” bonus track. My heart’s still set on “Animal”, but this track has an amazing feel to it. It’s a tripping sing-along with clear-cut lyrics and a downbeat-electro swirl; someone like Fred Falke or The Twelves could easily make this a dancefloor-worthy gem, with its catchy chorus blaring through the speakers in a drunken, almost sexy atmosphere.

(mp3) Billie Holiday – Miike Snow

Peasant

04/02/2010

You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get inside when listening to people like Justin Vernon and Elliott Smith? I mean, he’s no Between the Bars or Hazelton (not yet at least), but all he does sure produces the same tingling sensation.

Peasant is one-man band Damien DeRose who, after graduating, sunk into the music & literature grounds and, according to his page in last.fm, writes and records in his own bedroom and is set out to release a new album March 2nd, Shady Retreat.I definitely wouldn’t expect any less of his upcoming record than what I’ve heard fear not, distant lover and the two previously-released samples from the former record itself;  it’s set to become a blend of recently-acquired studio knowledge and his previous friendliness with do-it-yourself music in his beginning years.

DeRose’s not exactly unknown in the music industry, but hasn’t been listened to enough – I mean, the way he plays his guitar, it’s almost like he’s flirting with it. With a honeyed voice and delicious, captivating plucking, his sound is the type of acoustic you listen to before falling asleep, with a darling charm about it that just makes dreaming all that better.

(mp3) The End – Peasant

(mp3) Well Alright – Peasant

(mp3) Into the Woods – Peasant