10 August, 2008

Love Foxxx Remixxx & more.

Calvin Harris may have dented his cred with his Glastonbury frolicking with Dizzee (has anyone looked more out of place?) but his stock has definitely risen again thanks to some stonking remixes he's obviously been working flat out on. Adding his trademark choppy snyth and simple keyboard chords, he's gone and reworked Sophie Ellis-Bextor's "Off and On" and made it his own.

[mp3] Sophie Ellis-Bexter - Off and On (Calvin Harris Remix)

Bloc Party have moved so far away from the sounds of 2005 - all angular, arctic monkeys guitar groomed for the dance floor rock- and continue to plug their own ever-farther reaching niche of a sound. New single Mercury is fantastically non-linear, and its only after a few listens that the harking synth effects, twisted vocals and subterranean bass-line begin to unfold. The official remix sees CSS add their sparkly hand-clapping charm, coupled with some tightly molded disco drums and a hash up of Kele's vocals. The result leaves the dance floor beckoning.

[mp3] Bloc Party - Mercury (CSS Remix)

Since touring France, where their quirky synthesizers and unusual instruments (a keyboard you blow into?) have been lapped up, Metronomy have picked up a few French friends it would seem. And a perfect team, The Teenagers and Metronomy make too. The french trio are well known for their deadpan spoken vocals whereas Metronomy tend let their warped melodies and bouncy beats do their own talking. Put the two outfits together, AND add a reworked version of Goldfrapp's latest single "Happiness", and you have yourself a rather unusual, but wonderful sounding pop song.

[mp3] Goldfrapp - Happiness (Remixed by Metronomy Feat. The Teenagers)

25 July, 2008

Your Soundtrack

Because bandwidth is a bitch, I'm nice and there's been a lot of demand for the Golden Silvers' "Arrows of Eros" track, I've re-upped it along with its more low-key B side.

[mp3] Golden Silvers - Arrows of Eros
[mp3] Golden Silvers Fade to Black

If that wasn't ebough CatCutter records have released a rather nice free mix CD full of sparkling indie gems to see you through the summer. It's but a wee label, but home to many aspiring indie fledglings, of which many are worthy of a place in your library. The mix is 14 tracks but here's just a few tasters. Get the rest at CatCutter Records.

[mp3] Team Waterpolo - Problematic Girls
[mp3] goFASTER>> - NHS Dentist
[mp3] Foxes! - It's Ridiculous, Adam
[mp3] Targets - Familiar Sounds

22 July, 2008

Nights Out Repenting Sins

Since their massively disappointing debut LP Metronomy have been working overtime to reclaim the excitement that originally surrounded the trio of snyth-crazy electro hot-heads. Alongside a bunch of fantastic remixes they gave us the gloriously fun dance affair "Radio Ladio" and the spellbindingly surreal "My Heart Rate Rapid" and are set to eventually (sep 8) unveil their new full length follow-up Nights Out. Whereas almost all of the first album was snyth and keyboard tinkering, album number two welcomes some vocal work into their twisted-pop world.

Apparently the album is based around the idea of going out and having a crap time. Which doesn't sound too appealing. BUT if it leads to songs of the same quality as "Heartbreaker" then its something i'd be more than willing to invest into. "Heartbreaker", the (probable) next single to be taken from Nights Out takes a more mainstream approach to songwriting. It takes the typical Metronomy bleeps and fuzzed out electro messiness and adds, like full choruses and stuff.

Instrumental "The End of You Too", is how the first album should have sounded. Keyboard and bass seem to bounce off the walls, flying around at all angles. It's a wonderfully rich textured composition of a trademark Metronomy sound, that you can only begin to get to grips with after a few listens.

[mp3] Metronomy - The End of You Too
[mp3] Midnight Juggernauts - Into the Galaxy (Metronomy Remix)

14 July, 2008

Indie Schmindie Madness

I have not been blogging, talking about, reviewing or listening to enough music of late and so to fill this temporary void, please enjoy a (mega sized) post of indie/electro/rap gems. From the electo-infused pop silliness of Late of the Pier to the sad movie-ending-credit styled mourn of Bon Iver, its a lovely rounded mixture.

And yes Li'l Wayne is meant to be in there. Kinda taking a step away from the indie schmindie, but this is too good pop music to be ignored. I was also going to post In this club by Usher, remixed with Li'l Wayne and Rihanna but it was a bit too big. Maybe next time. Having been injected with this kinda stuff in the states its actually quite refreshing to hear it now back in the UK. And though li'l Wayne has an ego to rival rap king Kanye himself and the tendency to choke on his words rather than rap them with any tune, he still manages to sound rather good. See for yourself

[mp3] Pete and the Pirates - Bright Lights
[mp3] Danger 7h46
[mp3] L'il Wayne - Let the Beat Build (Prod. by Kanye West)
[mp3] Bon Iver -Flume
[mp3] Cool Kids - Bassment Party
[mp3] Late of the Pier - Heartbeat
[mp3] The Rifles - I Could Never Lie
[mp3] Black Kids - Party Traumatic
[mp3] Noah and the Whale - Give a Little Love

20 May, 2008

Tunes Tunes

Time is flying by with the sun shining high. Here are some appropriately seasonal pop numbers to enjoy through summer.

Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys and LA producer Boom Bip have put a whole new spin on the the term concept album with their debut collaboration under the moniker Neon Neon. Its called Stainless Steel and its an 80s themed mix of rap, snyth pop and bubbly pop. Think Back to the Future...

[mp3] Neon Neon - Raquel

A singer-songwriter of sickly sweet, synth topped pop gems, its no surprise that upcoming starlet Lykke Li is a Swedish export. Her album drops in the US in the next couple of weeks and single 'Breaking it up' is one of many highlights.

[mp3] Lykke Li - Breaking it up

White Lies are a living, breathing, shoe-gazing reincarnation of legends Joy Division. Think keyboards, organs, dreamy vocals and 2 note baselines coupled with some mighty fine production.

[mp3] White Lies - Unfinished Business

The Mystery Jets don't get the credit they deserve. Granted the first album was a little straight and narrow, but their second LP 21 oozes with charm. Young Love was an impossibly cheery pop hit and 'Two Doors Down' sparkles with revamped 80s pop gleam.

[mp3] Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down

08 March, 2008

Some UK Nonsense

Late of the Pier's new single, "Bears are Coming" waves goodbye to 80s synth and welcomes some tribal percussion and an unusual pop hook. Odd video too.

The Whip will release long awaited debut LP X Mark Destination this month. Like Does it Offend You, they're album packs a few rockier numbers alongside the dance hits of "Trash", "Divebomb" and "Sister Siam". After a couple of years recording and touring non stop its about time they got the hard copy out in stores.

[mp3] The Whip - Dubsex
[mp3] The Whip - Save My Soul

Likewise Blood Red Shoes have been amongst the "hotly tipped" for seemingly forever. After an EP, a single release or two and a whole load of touring, 11 tracks have finally made their way onto a shiny disc or two. Its amazing how much noise this duo can make. Its called Box of Secrets, go out and grab it.

[mp3] Blood Red Shoes - You Bring Me Down
[mp3] Blood Red Shoes - Doesn't Matter Much

26 February, 2008

After Hours

We Are Scientists have a new song. Its very refined, just a couple cords all the way through. My excitement in finding it wasn't matched on my first couple listens. But I'm hoping its a grower.

[mp3] We Are Scientists - After Hours

21 February, 2008

Miss Marling and Friends

The picture is a bit serious but thankfully its not all doom and gloom. As if recording with Noah and the Whale and releasing and promoting her debut album "Alas I cannot Swim" isn't enough, Laura Marling has teamed up with The Mystery Jets in their new single "Young Love". Marling has a great voice for pop and its nice hearing alongside the bigger sound of Mystery Jets rather than just over her solo stuff. This is definitely feel-good material.

[mp3] The Mystery Jets - Young Love (feat. Laura Marling)

Alongside Marling, there's a whole load of other female musicians making headlines. The whole world seems to be going mad for female voices and happy-go melodies. Duffy and Lykke Li are a just a couple of those with things happening right now.

[mp3] Duffy - Mercy
[mp3] Lykke Li -Dance. Dance. Dance
[mp3] Lykke Li - Complaint Department

Here's a nice little indie-pop number from Mae Shi, taken from their latest LP "Hlllyh". They've been dubbed experimental but with the proliferation of electronica outfits these days, they're nothing too edgy. This song is a lot of fun though.

[mp3] The Mae Shi - Run to Your Grave

Crystal Castles self titled debut is out this month and I am very much looking forward to seeing them in March. Thrash-electro? Here's one of the more tame numbers....

[mp3] Crystal Castles - Vanished

14 February, 2008

Dance in March

The release of 2008's "it" band, Foals debut LP "Antidotes" is drawing closer. So you don't have to wait so long to catch a listen, here's a little sample. Their style doesn't really exceed that demonstrated in their singles "balloons" and "hummer" - lots of thudding drums, really sharp and shimmering dance melodies and bloc-party-esque wails.

[mp3] Foals - Heavy Water (link removed)
[mp3] Foals -Red Sock Pugie(link removed)
[mp3] Foals -Two Steps Twice(link removed)

March also sees the release of another ever anticipated Kitsune compilation. A little strapped of big names and with too many remixes - another Teenagers' Homecoming remix (really?) - its not as good as the last couple. But hey its still Kitsune.

[mp3] Late of the Pier - Broken (Fairy Lights Mix)
[mp3] DATA - Aerius Light (Kitsune DJ Friendly Edit)

07 February, 2008

Grand Archives

The Grand Archives are Mat Brooke's ("Carissa's Wierd", "Band of Horses") latest project. Their self-titled debut will appear on shelves from the 19th February and its rather good. A more upbeat and optimistic affair than any of Brooke's work with other bands, the album is genuinely warming. Grand Archives employ the southern twang of Band of Horses (just listen to those harmonicas and steel pedal guitars) but add that little bit more through a whole load of studio experimentation which included using cellos for bass lines, violin bows on guitars and more percussion than you could possibly fit in an 11 track LP. Plenty of overlapping vocal harmonies and simple acoustic guitar chord progression mean this is accessible as indie comes.

[mp3] Grand Archives - George Kaminski
[mp3] Grand Archives - Index Moon

24 January, 2008

Metronomy Relight

When Metronomy released their first and only album "Pip Paine (Pay back the £5000 you owe) a couple of years ago, the only feeling it left on fans and critics was one of disappointment. After their brilliant single, "You could Easily Have Me", the rest of the album failed to live up to its fantastic effect studded guitar and dance ethos. But new single, Radio Ladio is a return to the brilliance of their first single and hopefully marks a permanent return form. Trademark metronomy effects zip around alongside some justice-like children's choir to create a tune that is both danceable and easy to sing along to.

[mp3] Metronomy - Radio Ladio
[mp3] Metronomy - You Could Easily Have Me

The Mountain Goats are set to return with their sophomore, Heretic Pride. Very much living up to their name, the Goats are the outdoorsy type, mixing simple folk acoustic ballads and some singing thats destined for a campfire setting.

[mp3] Mountain Goats - New Zion

Los Campesinos! are set to release their debut LP without singles "The International Tweexcore Underground" and "You throw parties, we throw knives". Its okay though because there's plenty on there that sound just the same. Not that its bad or anything. Plenty of jing jangling pop goodness in their teen-heavy indie debut.

[mp3] Los Campesinos! - Broken Heartbeats Sound like Breakbeats

They've probably started to run out of money since their days of brit pop success, so Supergrass return in The Verve's footsteps. Their return with "Diamond Hoo Ha Man" is set for the end of March. Sounds a bit like their old stuff mixed in with a bit of Jet. The result is a tad bland.

[mp3] Supergrass - Diamond Hoo Ha Man

10 January, 2008

Pop Register's Top of 2007

Though all music critics like to present themselves as an all-seeing, all-knowing messenger of good music, I will admit that 12 months is a long time and I may well have missed some blinders over the last year. Regardless, here are the albums and the songs that the Popregister has adored over the last 12 months. These albums are not ranked in order of their musical complexity or their contribution towards contemporary music, rather are picked because I have enjoyed them most. (and yes, there is no Radiohead!)

The Popregister's Top 15 Albums

1. The Wombats - A Guide to...
- The most fun album of 2007, and for that reason my favorite.

2. Patrick Wolf - Magic Position
- There's no one quite like patrick wolf. His third LP marked his poppiest and best to date

3. Beirut - The Flying Club
- Surpassing his first effort, Beirut this time uses Paris as his primary influence. With a wide arsenal of instruments and a catalogue of styles dating back to the 40s its a layered and pop filled lp.

4. Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills
- An American indie band in the top 5! Every time i listened to this album I discovered my new favorite song. A grower of an album and indie pop at its best

5. The Maccabees - Colour it in
- With their jittery post punk guitar tunes and Orlando Week's tremoring warble the Maccabees were quickly cast into the category of post libertines garbage. But given a little time even the most cynical could come around to their trashy, duelling guitars and wailing choruses.

6. MIA - Kala
- Urban, electro, indie, jungle? Probably all and plenty more rolled into the formula. Plenty of pop sounds from the most unlikely of places.

7. Justice - †
- Uncompromising and ultra modern dance tunes. From the pop strings and childlike chorus of D.A.N.C.E. to the grinding, record screeching whirlwind of Stress, its def the best dance album of 2007

8. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
- Kings of American indie return with a southern twang. Plenty of whittling ballads and even some heavier tunes in their sophomore

9. Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
- Establishing themselves as rock heavyweights, the slightly less hairy kings return for a third effort. Arena anthems and plenty of growl.

10. Jack Penate - Spit at Stars
- Funky jigs, checkered shirts and plenty of bubbly pop tunes mixed in with some soulful acoustic tracks. What more could you want?

11. The Cribs - Mens Needs..
- Singing along to just a couple of tracks will leave you with a sore throat. Plenty of enthusiastic vocals in this to-the-formula English indie but some great infectious tunes and punchy guitar melodies.

12. Wu- Tang Clan - 8 Diagrams
- After seeing them perform on New Years there's no way they aren't making the list. 9 rappers, one group and a whole lot of madness. Wu Tang clan ain't nothing to fuck with!

13. Cold War Kids - Robbers and Cowards
- Though the spitting, shouting vocals are a bit much after a while, there's no knocking the lyrical quality (if a bit religious) and fantastic sound of the CWK's debut

14. Digitalism - Idealism
- Perhaps the most like Daft Punk of the emerging new wave of electro outfits. This record will take you around the universe in a futuristic sonic world of bleeps and thumps.

15. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga
- Tends to fizz rather than go off with a bang yet has grown on me along with many others. Inoffensive and highly engaging.

The Popregister's Top 10 Singles

1. Cajun Dance Party - Amylase
- Amazing that a bunch of teens can produce something so brilliant

2. Noah and the Whale - 5 Years Time
- Probably the happiest song i've ever heard

3. Lightspeed Champion - Midnight surprise
- 9 minutes long yet I can't stop listening to it from start to finish

4. SebastiAn - Walkman 2
- A rehash of SebastiAn's signature tune. Packs a loads of guts.

5. MIA - Paper Planes
- Kala's best and surprisingly so considering the pop hooks come from firing guns and the kerching of cashiers.

6. Late of the Pier - Bathroom Gurgle
- 80s synth pop rehashed with panache.

7. The Wombats - Backfire @ the Disco
- A chorus that will drive even your neighbors insane. So good it should be illegal

8. The Arctic Monkeys - Fluorescent Adolescent
- The pop charts can lay host to a decent track once in a while...

9. The Whip - Divebomb
- Best electro tune of 2007

10. The Cribs - Men's Needs
- Why people listen to indie.

Top 5 Remixes

1. Das Pop - Fool for Love (SebastiAn remix)
- Little known indie band given a new life thanks to trademark SebastiAn

2. The Klaxons - As above as Below (Justice remix)
- A match made in heaven delivers a relic

3. Liars - If fit when I was a Kid (Crystal Castles remix)
- Splashes of Crystal Castles' retro beeps and bleeps sound perfect layered over trademark liars

4. RATM - Killing in the name of (mr Oizo remix)
- What better to mark the return of the best metal band of all time than by bringing one of the their signature tunes into the 21st century

5. Dragonette - I get Around (Midnight Juggernauts remix)
- Camp pop turned dirty electro

3 Most Disappointing Albums

The Twang - Love it when i feel like this
- Well I never thought they were good...

Good Shoes - Think before you speak
- Sounds like an LP of remixes from their only good song, photo on my wall

Black Rebel - Baby 81
- Not a massive flop just nowhere near as good as it should have been.

3 Airwave Whores I love

Chris Brown feat. T Pain - Kiss Kiss
- synth of the vocals makes it sound like bad 90s pop. Always cracks a smile when i hear it though

Soulja Boy - Crank that
- Now whenever someone says the word "you" i think of lil soulja boy

Sean Kingston - Beautiful Girls
- Discovering Sean Kingston is actually really chubby made this song even more funny.

Top 5 Movies of 2007

I have missed plenty of good movies...

1. Rocky Balboa (a personal and inexplicable obsession)
2. No Country for old men
3. Last King of Scotland
4. Hot Fuzz
5. Babel