Song Of The Week #46

So I was reviewing my stats from last year and apparently my most popular post is still my very first post –  Top Ten Covers. It turns out, covers are still a big subject on the internet and I thought, why not renew the topic again?

Midnight City – Trails And Ways

No Wisdom & Midnight City

This is easily one of my favourite cover works. Seriously, ‘eargasmic’ is the appropriate word.

Trails & Ways are an Oakland-based four-piece that focuses on bassanova dream pop. The group gained widespread (and well-deserved) popularity due to their fantastic covers – having covered ‘Animal’ by Miike Snow, ‘Nunca’ by Ghost Beach and ‘Sure Things’ by Miguel, Trails and Ways practically took the blogosphere by storm, spreading on the indie charts like wildfire and impressing many.

Midnight City is a cover of the M83 song of the same name, and is found on Trails & Way’s ‘Sure Thing’ single.

Enjoy!

 – Jonathan

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Song Of The Week #45

The following tune has just about been dominating my replay button for the past couple of weeks or so.

Milk – The Bronze Medal

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I first came across these guys when they released this beautiful home session track (‘Go Easy’) and since then I’ve kinda been really hooked.

The Bronze Medal are a five-piece alternative band based in Bristol. While still relatively new, they have managed (and not surprisingly so) to be dubbed “Masters of indie slow-build” by such high-placed people as The Times, and have even managed to grab the attention of the BBC.

Now I’ll admit, the song is somewhat depressing, but it’s definitely of the good variety. Sweet, soft and  tranquil melodies ebbing and flowing with the distant drums and gentle guitar harmonies, all of which lace over the poignant vocals of lead singer Robin Southewell – this my friends, is the stuff music is made of.

Enjoy!

 – Jonathan

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Song Of The Week #44

Sweet, sweet nostalgia – I welcome you. Ladies n’ gents, presenting:

Curfews – Snowmine

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Ever since the release of their debut ‘Laminate Pet Animal’ I’ve been pretty much in love with this group. For several reasons, really, but I think it’s their afrobeat soundscape and prominent tribal influences that just keep me coming back for more.

Snowmine (a reference to the snowy minefields that the lead singer and his grandfather used to trek through in the Korean War) is a psychedelic, atmospheric indie-pop quintet hailing from Brooklyn. As each band member had their roots in either the jazz or the classical scene, the band decided fairly early they didn’t want to become a ‘laptop band’ and thus chose to pursue the indie pop path. I for one, am happy they did.

Curfews is on Vol. 2, Episode 10 in the Shaking Through 2011 Series.

Enjoy!

– Jonathan

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Song Of The Week #43

Prepare yourself for musical relaxation.

I Wanted You To Stay On The Other Side – Summer Heart

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This is one of those songs I wouldn’t mind putting on repeat for an afternoon or two. On listening to this, I usually find myself thinking of the beach – the rush of waves, heat of summer days and the general overall chill atmosphere. ‘Bliss’ is, I believe, the appropriate word. This anonymous reviewer pretty much summed up Summer Heart when he said:

“Fall into a whirl of vision and harmony with Swede, David Alexander aka Summer Heart. He provides chill dream pop vibes with mellow vocals that still gives a scintillating increase of your heartbeat.”

What can I say, that’s really all there is to it.

I Wanted You To Stay On The Other Side is the third track to their 2012 album About A Feeling.

Enjoy!

 – Jonathan

Update: For those who didn’t notice, I’ve finally done something I should have done ages ago: embedded the player so we don’t need to deal with those pesky links. Cool.

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Song Of The Week #42

You know, I never really appreciated Twitter until it introduced me to

Constant Surprises – Little Dragon

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That is, more specifically, until one of its users (MuteMath) tweeted this tune and set forth a chain of events that eventually resulted in me sitting behind this keyboard. Admittedly, this type of chill, electronica/soul-ish  music isn’t usually my cup of tea, but something about this one draws me towards it over and over.

Little Dragon are a Swedish downbeat group made up of high-school friends Yukimi Nagano, Erik Bodin, Fredrik Källgren Wallin and Håkan Wirenstrand. Their name is an ode to the fuming tantrums which the lead singer, Nagano, occasionally suffers while in the recording studio.

To date, the group has released three studio albums along with a handful of EPs.

Constant Surprises is the fifth track on their 2007 self-titled debut album.

Listen here.

Enjoy!

– Jonathan

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Song Of The Week #41

I can never stress enough how much I love discovering amazing music through film.

Cells – The Servant

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Cells makes an (instrumental) appearance in the trailer for Sin City – a film that probably needs no further introduction. The song however, does.

Servants were an English alternative band that formed in 1998 and eventually disbanded in late 2007 (as stated on their MySpace page, they were splitting up “to move on to pastures new”). Originally only popular in Europe (mainly in Britain, France and Italy) the group’s popularity skyrocketed after the release of Sin City, with significant U.S interest in their records and even demands for concerts.

The tune carries a peculiar dark, sinister vibe (as is fitting to the Sin City atmosphere) reminiscent of an almost Smashing Pumpkin-esque air.

After what seemed like hours of search, I actually managed to find the Smashing Pumpkin song this reminds me of: The Beginning Is The End Is the Beginning (another song from a great film – Watchmen).

Cells is the opening track to their 2004 eponymous album.

Enjoy!

– Jonathan

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Song Of The Week #40

Wow, it has been a long time. Apologies, apologies – these things happen to me from time to time…

At any rate, today I thought it an excellent time to revive an old favourite of mine:

Don’t Panic – Coldplay

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This is without a shred of doubt my favourite Coldplay song. Certainly there may have been a time I would have considered The Scientist Speed Of Sound Lost! Strawberry Swing Bigger Stronger In My Place Yellow Warning Sign my ultimate front-runner, but I think secretly it’s always been this one lurking in the background.

For those of you who don’t know, Coldplay is a 1996 English alternative rock band consisting of Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Will Champion and Jonny Buckland. Following worldwide fame after the release of their single ‘Yellow’ in 2000, the band went on to make several more albums, with their fourth album, Viva La Vida, eventually garnering them several nominations and wins at the 51st Grammy Awards.

I honestly don’t remember how and when I came across this, but in all likelihood it was my friend (a Coldplay enthusiast if ever there was one) who introduced us.

Don’t Panic is one of Coldplay’s earliest works and appears on their 1999 EP The Blue Room.

Listen here.

Enjoy!

– Jonathan

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Song Of The Week #39

“Why is a raven like a writing desk?… I haven’t the slightest idea.”

Masters In France – Mad Hatter

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Alice In Wonderland is by far one of my favourite books and will probably stay that way for some time to come. Lewis Carroll, being the logician he was, manages to spew out hilarious fallacy after fallacy in a very laughter-provoking 96-page ride. Not kidding, the book had me hysterically giggling like the children the book was originally intended for. Great read.

Anyway, towards more musical matters: Masters In France is a five-piece indie rock band hailing from Caernarfon, Wales. Alas, that is all I can afford to offer – these guys have close to no internet history/biography. I came across them sometime in 2011 when I accidentally stumbled on the music video to this song. The video, if I’m honest, is slightly disturbing and makes little sense, although I guess sense is the last thing you aim for when you have a song called ‘Mad Hatter’.

Whatever the case, Mad Hatter is one helluva eargasmic tune.

 – Jonathan

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Liebster Award

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Ladies and gents, it appears Musicblog95 has been awarded the Liebster Award.

As to the origins of said award, allow me to simply quote my nominator:

It’s an award for wonderful bloggers with under two hundred followers, for those who didn’t know.

The Liebster Award has been around for a while, and if you googled it (or used whatever seach engine of your preference) right now, as of February 13th, you would find hundred of bloggers like me, who has also posted their own thoughts and responses to this award. Liebster is German for sweetest, kindest, dearest, most pleasant, etc.

The award follows a simple 4-rule system:

1. Post 11 things about yourself.

2. Answer 11 questions from your tagger/nominator.

3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post. Please tell them that you’ve nominated them, too.

4. No tag backs! We wouldn’t people to get double nominations. Too much work for them, anyways.

Now a while back, I received a similar award (see here). Not sure if accepting twice is even legal, but oh well. My opinion? This award has quite a different set of rules as the other, so I suppose it must be slightly different and thus very acceptable.

Let’s begin.

11 Things About Myself

1. I am just about dying to learn the guitar.

2. I also would love to take an arts class – painting and sketching.

3. I’m not much of a TV person – I prefer a good book.

4. As a general rule, cats seem to mislike me. Every single cat I’ve come into contact with has tried (and succeeded) to bite and/or scratch me (not even exaggerating).

5. I love creating playlists

6. Stephen King is by far my favourite author.

7. My favourite comedy film is probably Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

8. Another favourite, albeit non-comedic, is Into The Wild.

9. I cannot for the life of me keep my earphones in working order for more than a couple of a months at a time. They always end up breaking on me sooner or later (in the past 2 years alone I’ve had at least 5 different sets).

10. I am a list-freak – a list freak being someone who creates lists for just about anything: shopping lists,to-do lists, bucket lists, lists of books I’ve read, lists of books I haven’t read, list of songs I love, list of songs I have yet to listen to… You get the picture.

11. I am a night-person. My most productive moments are at night, my motivation and inspirations come coupled at sun-down (yes – even now as I write, daylight has long faded).

11 Questions From My Nominator

First off, many many thanks to Shinoyo of Keeping A Thought for nominating! Be sure to check his blog out!

1. What genre of music do you dislike the most, if any?

Generally I tend to be very open to musical genres and don’t judge them too quick – different strokes for different folks and all that. There is, however, one genre that continually seems to fail me: K-Pop. It just doesn’t convince me.

2. What is one skill or talent that you would want the most?

Probably learn the guitar or learn to paint/draw.

3. Who is your role model, if any, and why?

I can’t really think of any..

4. What’s your reason for starting a blog?

The idea just popped up . Why not start a blog? Combine two of my passions (writing and music) and voila – a blog where I can share all my favourite music.

5. What is your current favorite song?

Well most of the time my current favourite tune will be the one I feature as Song Of The Week, so this week that’d be Mad Hatter – Masters In France.

6. What irritates you the most?

Very few things irritate me actually. One of the few is maybe when kids put on the innocent and cute act to get attention. And people who insist on speaking about disgusting topics during dinner.

7. Do you have any irrational fears? What are they (if you’re willing to say)?

The closest thing to an irrational fear I have is that of slipping. A couple of years ago I broke my arm by slipping, so since then I try to be as sure-footed as possible.

8. Would you be willing to jump off an airplane (with a parachute)? Why or why not?

Definitely! I’d love to experience the thrill of falling, the air rushing at you and the burst of adrenaline. On my bucket list for sure.

9. What was your weirdest dream?

Oh I’ve had countless strange dreams – most involving flying and running away, and being supernatural.

10. If there was a zombie apocalypse (which I highly doubt, I hope), what three items would you want the most to survive and defend yourself against these moving corpses?

I’ve seen my fair share of zombie apocalypse films, and if Hollywood is anywhere close to right (because Hollywood depicts everything so accurately, right?), I’d pick:

1. Some sort of weapon – Shotgun or maybe Chainsaw

2. First Aid Kit

3. A decent mode of transport

11. Did any of these questions irritate you, honestly?

No, not at all. Some took time to think about though.

11 Nominees

This actually took quite a while to write. I know so many bloggers who’d deserve the award – alas, only 11 may be picked. Here we go:

1. 3,2,1 Irony – This blog is headed by someone with many passions and for the most part features some very beautiful original poetry. Check it out!

2. The Sound Of Flying Kiwi – C’mon, with a name like this, you gotta be featured. Jokes aside though, this is an entertaining blog that covers a wide array of subjects. Go and visit it!

3. More Than Melody – The blog of Chantel, a music junkie who has launched a 365 day music challenge, featuring many tunes which she loves and which have changed her life. Definitely worth checking out!

4. Onyxias Mind – A music blog with great layout and great content. Certainly worth the nomination!

5. Musiqati – Here’s something interesting: Musiqati is the arabic word for ‘my music’. I always thought the name was a mix of ‘Music and Ducati’ (haha). Anyway, this blog is filled with interesting songs. Give it a try!

6. Unrelyd – Another example of a superb layout with great musical content. Head on over!

7. Best Sites Of 2013 – Headed by Brian, this page is certainly the spot to go when you feel like discovering pretty cool internet sites.

8. [Un]charted Territory – The blog of Ashley, yet another passionate music-sharer. Great place to find new songs.

9. Taktgefühle – This is a german blog headed by Julia. Unfortunately for this of you who don’t speak german, you are missing out on a very decent blog. For those who do speak it, be sure to check out the music quotes section! Wonderful!

10. Light+Shade – Great blog by Tony Forragio, an “award-winning journalist with 15-plus years of experience across most media platforms, spanning newspapers, magazines, television, online and mobile. But forget about all that, because here he writes mostly about his passions outside work – music, travel and photography.” Explains itself.

11. St7’s Music Blog – A nice site for both old music and new. Be sure to check it out!

12. Rock Britain – Yes, I’m breaking the rules here, because yes, this site is worth it. Honestly I’d always assumed it had tons of followers, but apparently it still falls under the conditions for the award. Rockbritain.com is a beautiful site where you can enjoy several english indie artists, read reviews as well as interviews. Enjoy!

11 Questions For The Nominees

1. Why did you start blogging/what inspired you to blog?

2. One of your favourite books?

3. Your idea of a perfect weekend?

4. Your favourite film?

5. Something you have on your bucket list?

6. What was (is) your least favourite subject in school?

7. …your favourite subject?

8. What was the last song you listened to?

9. The last book you read?

10. Do you play any instruments?

11. What hobbies do you have?

Cheers!

– Jonathan

Song Of The Week #38

Ah, nostalgia – here she comes. Allow me to present a personal favorite of mine:

MuteMath – Blood Pressure

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Mutemath is one of those bands I admire for their unique sound. I have yet to find a group today whose musical prowess can replicate the feel that is Mutemath. My first encounter with this funky group was back when they released this single, Blood Pressure, in 2011. I had just joined a music discussion titled ‘Music Mondays’ in which users posted the tunes that were rocking’ their ears the past week. This came up, and half an hour later I was blasting it on full volume through the mess I call a room.

The band hails from New Orleans and was formed by longtime friends Paul Meany, Darren King, Greg Hill and Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas in 2003. After releasing their first EP the following year, they then went on to release several more albums, with their 2007 single ‘Typical” being eventually nominated for a Grammy.

Blood Pressure is, as an Amazon reviewer puts it, a classic rock song tinged with the blues of the 70’s. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

The song is the third track of their 2011 album Odd Soul.

Enjoy!

 – Jonathan

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