Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Five

The Cribs - Cheat On Me

Here's the first single from Ignore the Ignorant, the upcoming Cribs album with new member, and Smiths legend, Johnny Marr. Between Modest Mouse and the Jarman bros, Marr is keeping very busy in '09. His impact is immediate, as riffs he and Ryan Jarman layer together sound as catchy as anything at the moment. Ryan's vocals sound like he just ingested drain cleaner, dude can belt it out. Last album Men's Needs... was produced by Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand and this one sees Nick Launay at the helm (YYYs, Arcade Fire, Talking Heads)... these guys keep some serious company and this album already sounds as good, if not better than the last.

Friendly Fires - Kiss of Life

Packaged with the deluxe version of their fantastic debut, "Kiss of Life" might be the best track yet. I caught them doing this song on Kimmel, very well may I add, though haven't decided on this official vid and the Elaine dancing:

Drake feat. Nipsey Hussle - Killers

Drizzy is no killer, though apparently he's been to the Amalfi Coast. Whoever Nipsey Hussle is sure likes rhyming "out" and "about." Keep 'em coming Jimmy.

Delphic - This Momentary

I didn't find out about this Manchester band until I'd left Manchester this summer. Their newest slow-burning electro single isn't as good as previously released "Counterpoint," but both are worth many listens. "Let's do something real..."

The Dutchess and the Duke - Hands

Excellent song from this duo's upcoming Sunset/Sunrise LP. Lovelorn, old-time western harmonies interrupted by some great guitar parts.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

i(heart)music Festival Playlist

This past weekend featured a collection of some of the greatest live music I've seen in a while. Unfortunately, I missed the first day which featured Sadie Hell, Still Life Still, Parlovr, and Converters. Word is that Still Life Still and Parlovr killed it in front of a less than sizable crowd.
Friday, featured The Balconies, The Love Machine, Modernboys Moderngirls, and Oh No Forest Fires. As far as energy goes, this was the festival's highlight show; with the largest turnout and two local acts, most were ready for a good time. I assure you that neither of the local acts let down; following Oh No Forest Fires is no easy task, those boys don't let down. Modernboys Moderngirls did there thing and people were pretty receptive. I like what they do, but I can't help but think that it lacks dynamic. The Love Machine played set full of new songs and rarities; it was great to see these guys step out of their comfort zone. It was definitely the best show I've seen them play. Now for The Balconies, the buzz around this crew grows by the second. They continue to hone their craft and bring more life to their songs in the live setting.
The closing night's line up included On Bodies, Giant Hand, Black Hat Brigade, and The Lovely Feathers. I'm always impressed by the boys in Black Hat Brigade, they bring a no frills approach to their music, which translates well live. The headliners, The Lovely Feathers capped off the weekend by playing a flawless set comprised of mostly tracks of Fantasy of the Lot. I truly appreciated the newer tracks with touches of their earlier work. After numerous requests of "Pope John Paul", singer Mark Kupfert stated that the rest of the show would continue by request. These guys have big plans for the coming year, hushed for now, but we'll be sure to let you know once more info is available.
Kudos to i(heart)music's Matthew Pollesel for putting together a flawless weekend showcasing some of Canada's most talented and underexposed acts. Ottawa needs more support for independent music.
Hear are a couple tracks featuring personal highlights of i(heart)music Festival.

P.S. Zaid Khan was nice enough to allow us to post his video of The Balconies performing at i(heart)music Festival. Check it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Balconies Are Stepping Up!

Long has it been since I've been so excited for an album release. Ever since I was introduced to the musical magic of The Balconies by BTA's own bbbykmbrly a year ago, I 've been waiting to get my hands on this.
For those who are new to this trio, The Balconies are comprised of Stephen and Jacquie Neville, and Liam Jaeger, who also happen to be brother/sister/boyfriend, respectively. Each being classically trained results in a truly fresh approach to indie rock; a genre who's development has become stagnant of late. The Balconies prove that the simplest sounding tracks are truly the most difficult to write. I'm glad to say that uOttawa, my Alma mater, has contributed in some way to improving the face of music, literally, this band is hot!
Take it, or leave it, but my prediction is that we will hear much more from The Balconies in the coming months. With tracks like "Lulu" and "Serious Bedtime", The Balconies will keep any party dancing; with bass lines that lead, guitar licks to compliment and irregular beats that keep dancers on their toes. Tracks like "Hollow Bones", "The Slo", and "300 Pages" showcase the bands ability to create paced tracks while keeping the listener engaged with Jacquie's dynamic voice. This album simple, yet complex, dynamic, yet accessible; a real formula for success.
I can truly say that The Balconies' eponymous album has been on repeat for the last month and that they are the most exciting band to come out of Ottawa in a long time.
The Balconies are set to officially release their first full-length September 15th and have planned a release party at Wakefield's Blacksheep Inn for September 12th. For those in Ottawa tomorrow (August 21st), check out The Balconies headlining day 2 of i(heart)music festival at Cafe Dekcuf.