Zak Abel – Only When We’re Naked

This debut from Zak Abel is long awaited, not only because I’ve been desperate to hear it but also because the release date kept being bloody pushed back. I guess it was something to do with the high demand. Now, I already knew he was incredible live, but I’d only heard his older songs live really, he never really let much on about these new ones and damn were they a secret worth keeping.1200x630bb

I feel like Zak Abel really gives you a bit of everything, he’s got this totally individual indie-pop/garage sound. It really appeals to everyone because it just makes you want to dance. His music gives everything he can, there are some really beautiful songs on this album. I think he’s even better live than recorded because it takes out a level of editing and lets his voice really shine through for how incredible it is.

My favourite of his songs has always been Alchemy, there’s just something so cool about it. However, Awakening is really rivalling it. It’s such a great song and it just builds and builds as you listen to it. In a slight change of vibe Deserve to Be Loved is bloody gorgeous, and almost makes me think of Tom Odell. I love the way his voice and lyrics really take control on this one and it lets you see just how talented he really is. It feels really soulful and oh god, I just love it.

I don’t really know who I can compare him to, what he does is so new and fresh that it wouldn’t be fair to compare him to other people. I think he’s worked hard to carve out his own sound, and it really works to him and is bound to appeal to a really wide varied audience.

I fully can’t wait to hear these songs live soon, I just know they’ll be incredible. All in all, it was completely worth the long wait. He’s definitely going to go far based on this album. I wish him all the luck in the world, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Sundara Karma // Rock City // 30.09.17

22199221_313327765803148_2086796755_oA sold-out Rock City feels like a massive venue but that didn’t stop Sundara Karma from absolutely dominating the stage. After seeing them previously – but only at Barn on The Farm – I knew they were good, but I wasn’t prepared for how insanely good the night would be.

Bloxx were the first support act of the night and they really turned it out. I’ve never seen a crowd respond so incredibly positively to a support act before. They really worked the crowd and got us ready with their indie-rock tunes.

Next, The Magic Gang came out and I bloody love The Magic Gang. They’re so bloody amazing and they just have this absolutely joyous energy when they’re on stage and it’s completely infectious. I’ve been listening to them for a while, but I’ve not yet managed to see them live, which is a massive disappointment now because I know what I’ve been missing. I’m an absolute sucker for an indie-rock sound and these guys deliver exactly what I’m asking for, so I’ll definitely be seeing them again as soon as I get the opportunity, and I’d also recommend everyone does the same.22164048_313327829136475_455906084_o

By the time Sundara Karma came on stage I felt well and truly ready. This night was about so much more than just the music it was a whole visual experience. I knew they would sound flawless live (which they did) but I wasn’t prepared for the fact that every visual detail, every moment had been thought through to perfection, which unfortunately meant I didn’t take many pictures because I was so mesmerised by what was happening on stage. The night had a huge element of theatricality to it, which I guess you’d expect from these guys, but it just worked so well.22199201_313327779136480_81633476_o

I felt grabbed right from the start of Another Word For Beautiful where Oscar’s voice speaks for itself, through one of their older songs Diamond Cutter and finally to ending on the explosive Explore. I couldn’t take my eyes off the stage. You can tell that they absolutely adore what they’re doing and the love they get from their fans by the fact that Oscar kept actually getting in the crowd and wasn’t afraid to have people showing him how much they love him. Every so often, his well thought out, deep exterior would break and let a really cheesy grin out, which just shows how much he loves what he’s doing.

What I really love about Sundara Karma is that they’re not afraid to be different. This is something that’s really close to me, they aren’t afraid to not sound like, and look like everyone else. They have a completely unique look and sound, which

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I think is what has drawn so many people to them. Listening to them isn’t like listening to everyone else, it’s different. I think it gives lots of people a place where they feel like they belong. I feel like over the past few years they’ve really cleared up what they’re doing and they’ve found their place. The way I see it, the only way is up for Sundara Karma.

 

 

 

5 Songs for This Week 04.09.17

Another week of late nights and feeling rough – and therefore incredibly sorry for myself – has left me with plenty of time to listen to music doing pretty much nothing else. However, the arrival of my housemates has meant that I have to be a lot more considerate about when and how loud I am playing it.

Say What You Say – HAUS

I’m pretty surprised I haven’t written about this song because I listen to it literally every day without exception. I’ve got a lot of time for these guys, especially their recent releases have been so impressive and Say What You Say is an amazingly catchy song without being annoying – which I find is something that easily happens with songs that get stuck in your head. I really enjoy their sound and I find them so easy and fun to listen to.

White Noise Boys – Airways

Since hearing the intro to this song purely by chance I’ve been completely obsessed, this is such a crazy good song, and I don’t really have any criticism at all for it. It’s that kind of indie rock that’s just irresistible to me, there’s something about it that I can’t get enough of.

Howl – Outlya

This is such a happy song and it’s so beautiful I don’t think anyone could resist singing long to it (well I know I can’t). For those moments when you’re down and you feel like you need a little pick-me-up this song is absolutely perfect.

Treat Me Like A Lover – Will Joseph Cook

I had forgotten about this song and had a moment of enlightenment last week where I was singing one line over and over again and couldn’t remember what the song was and then it hit me. It was this bad by. Everything Will (I feel like first name basis is probs okay) produces is truly lovely indie pop that just so so good for your soul.

Days are Gone – The Sulks

This gives me serious libertines vibes, I think that’s just because I’ve been watching a lot of Gavin and Stacey recently and it’s just imprinted on my mind. This is such a cool song and I’ve just been forcing anyone I’m with to listen to it.

 

5 Songs for This Week 21.08.17

I had a long overdue catch up with my brother this week, which lead to him giving me song recommendations, which I hate to admit I actually loved. I also started my new job, which has been nice because it’s meant that I haven’t spent all day every day in complete isolation because I was starting to think I might go a bit crazy.

Maid of The Mist – Diet Cig

These guys give me major Tullycraft vibes and I’m not mad about it. Singer, Alex has such a sweet voice and it’s such a pretty song that’s a complete pleasure to listen to. It’s made my walks into town (even when it’s raining) much more enjoyable.

Beeping – Polish Club

This is such a cool song, and listening to it makes me feel like dancing every time without fail. For this reason, I’ve set it as my morning alarm, and I don’t hate it yet which is quite an achievement. They have a more low fi sound that is really appealing and makes for a really interesting listen.

The 411 – Bears in Trees

Ukulele music is absolutely irresistible, isn’t it? There’s fully something about it that can’t help but lift your mood. This song really makes me feel nostalgic in such a good way, even though the lyrics aren’t overly happy for the whole song, but I think the melody tricks you into thinking it’s so happy. They have such a cool sound as a band and I think they’re definitely worth a listen.

Age of Consent (New Order) – Cayetana

The kind of dreamy guitar sound on this song coupled with the vocals has a sort of contrast that really works for me. I found myself singing the chorus of this when I’d only listened to this a few times (luckily, I’m in our house alone, or I think I’d have had some serious complaints) and I actually couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s such a pretty, interesting song too.

Credit Cars and Trains – Sir Simon

This guy has such a talent, their music is awesome and I’m so here for it. The vocals are, to me, faultless and it makes for a lovely song. It’s such a sweet song and it’s such a nice listen, it flows so beautifully and I find it so calming. It’s just wonderful and I think he derives a lot more appreciation for his songs.

Rat Boy – Scum

I actually cannot put into words how long I feel like I’ve been waiting for this album. I’ve been hearing these songs played at festivals since last summer, and to finally hear them as part of a fully realised album is so impressive. When talking about Rat Boy, people often reference Jamie T and Mac Demarco, and whilst I get where these comparisons are coming from Rat Boy is so much more than a rip off of someone else. When listening to Rat Boy those influences are clear, but also so are the kid of punk, anarchic sounds of The Libertines and The Sex Pistols.Rat Boy

This Album is so much more than simply a collection of songs that were put together, it’s a story from beginning to end, and if you listen to it as such it’s really impressive. What I really admire about Rat Boy, is that it started as just Jordan Cardy making these songs and mixes in his room and it’s evolved into a small team of people who have complete creative control of what they do, with no desire to unload any of that work on to someone else. They Work tirelessly to produce everything they make, from songs to merch to set design for their videos.

His songs explore so many issues that are important and frustrating to so many young people today, but also the inclusion of songs like Laidback and I’ll Be Waiting really add a different perspective to the album, bringing a somewhat Kooks-esque sound. I find the lyrics he writes to be so intelligent, and not in a snobby, you really have to think about it way, just in a way that it’s interesting what he’s saying and the way he’s saying it.

This is clearly a promising start to his career and I’m confident that this has the potential to chart very highly, especially if everyone goes out and buys it right now.

 

5 Songs for This Week 14.08.17

Yet again I’ve been living my lazy-ass life. I’ve started to run more again, so I’ve been needing something good to listen to whilst running, so that I don’t have to concentrate on how hideously unfit I am.

Courage for Love – Jesper Munk

I really love Jesper Munk. Whilst most of his songs are really chilled out and perfect to just listen to and do nothing else I find that this one makes me really motivated to move around just do something. I think he’s so creative and I know he’s hardworking and I think more people should be listening to him because his voice – and lyrics – are incredible, especially considering that English isn’t his first language. Every song is just gorgeous.

Live for The Moment – The Sherlocks

I’m so bloody excited for this album to be released and this is definitely my favourite song they’ve released by far. These guys just seem to have such a strong energy and love for music and it excited me to see what they’re going to do next. I’m thinking there could be a Catfish style breakthrough.

Two Islands – King No-One

Though they often make reference to very serious topics in their songs, this one feels more personal and filled with emotion. Frontman Zach’s beautiful vocals never fail to make me actually stop and listen and this most recent release is completely breath-taking. It’s made me so excited to see them live again. This is just ultimately a wonderful song.

Found What I’ve Been Looking For – Tom Grennan

Is Tom Grennan capable of making a song that I won’t play on n repeat for several days at a time? It seems not. This is yet again a lovely song that coupled with his vocals makes he’s an unstoppable talent. He’s seriously going to go far, and I have no doubt about it and only hope that the tunes keep coming.

More – Jess Best

It normally takes me a few listens to warm to girls voices, and there are only a few that I am in love with straight away and Jess Best is one of them. She has an incredibly gorgeous voice and I absolutely love her kind of jazz inspired music. She does kind of remind me of Amy Winehouse but also Corinne Baily Rae vocally, and I realise that’s not a combo that jumps out at you, but it just works.

 

5 Songs for This Week 07.08.17

Yet again backwards and forwards on the train in the hopes of getting a job (it’s actually looking quite hopeful at the moment!) so I’ve had the chance to just listen to some new songs with no distractions.

LAIDBACK – RAT BOY

Saying I’m beyond excited for Scum to be released would be really underselling myself. Everything he does has a really creative and individual take on it. Though most of his songs seem to have a kind of irresistible rebellion about them, this is actually quite a sweet song but still with the kind of the individuality that makes it so obviously Rat Boy.

Deadcrush – Alt J

Okay, so as much as I love Alt J, all I hear whenever I listen to them is that video of those two really high guys making an “Alt J” song. Nonetheless, this is a truly signature Alt J sounding tracks, even if the breathing sounds at the beginning do put me slightly on edge. It sounds super cool and has that hypnotic sound that they always manage to capture.

Lover – Model Aeroplanes

You can’t not dance to this song, pretty sure it’s medically impossible not to, even if you’re listening on headphones in public. I pretty much love everything that these guys do, their upbeat indie pop sound is lovely and just makes so a really fun listen all round.

Polish Girl – Neon Indian

This is such a chill song, and for me it’s really summery. It’s one of those songs that makes me wanna lie on a beach all day and then go out all night (I fully realise that lying on a beach all day would turn me into an actual lobster, but that’s not the point). For anyone that’s a fan of MGMT, this is something that you’ll absolutely be obsessing over.

Postcards – Meadowlark

This is just such a beautiful song. It’s a complete pleasure to listen to such a beautiful voice and I don’t really have much else to say about this song other than repeatedly using the word beautiful.

Positivity

After reading over all the things I’ve written on here, I realised that it probably looks like I’m trying to suck up to people and overly positive.

I’m not.

I genuinely love and appreciate everything I write about, and that’s why I decided to start writing about stuff, in the hopes that maybe some people will read it and then listen to it and love it as much as I do and it will make them as happy as it makes me, and that will bring the people I write about a little bit more exposure. I think everyone that I’ve written about is insanely talented and that they deserve so much more recognition than they get right now.

If I personally am not a fan of someone or I don’t like their music, I’d rather just not write about it. I think it’s better to let someone who loves and understands it give their opinion on it and tell other people about it. I just feel like there’s already so much hate and negativity in the world all the time, and I don’t really want to add to that at all. I think people forget sometimes that music is a type of art, and that song that you hate is something that someone has put their hard work and time into, and as pathetic and cheesy as it sounds it’s someone’s heart and soul. What music someone likes is completely subjective, and it doesn’t seem fair just to slate something because I don’t really get it.

I’ve read negative reviews where someone has just gone in on an album/artist and it’s just made me really sad. The one that really sticks out in my mind was the NME review that gave Tom Odell’s Long Way Down a 0/10 and just absolutely slated it, now don’t get me wrong, he’s completely entitled to his opinion (which I heavily disagree with BTW) and I know people rely on outlets like this for people’s honesty, but I don’t understand how someone can seriously rate a piece of art 0/10. I know there is a difference between a constructive review and a negative one, and constructive reviews can probably be great for artists to read to understand what people think would take them to the next level, but just being horrible about what someone’s worked hard to do is just mean.

So, that’s why I probably sound like a massive suck up all the time, but I’m not. I’m just saying my opinion.

Declan McKenna – What Do You Think About the Car?

With a title originating from a childhood family video, the debut album from 18-year-old Declan McKenna certainly doesn’t disappoint. The fact he’s younger than me (admittedly not much) makes me yet again feel achingly inadequate – I mean, I make a mean carrot cake but I certainly cannot claim the level of creativity and talent that this guy has. He’s managed to make an album that’s packed full of songs that aren’t only catchy and fun, but also have intelligent memorable lyrics.

declan McKennaFocusing on the lyrics shows that he’s not afraid to comment on and criticise many of the issues faced by people today. The way he portrays this shows a level of confidence and maturity that make it hard to believe he’s so young (I know I couldn’t talk about these issues in this way, with this level of certainty). They kind of sound like protest songs but they don’t have the same heavy feeling that can sometimes come along with this genre. He comments on corruption in Fifa as an organisation, and in Paracetamol he comments on the alienation that trans kids suffer from in our society following the suicide of Leelah Alcorn and the way it was treated by the media.

Apart from the songs released ahead of the album (Bethlehem being the first one I heard that really drew my attention to him) Make Me Your Queen really stands out to me as a beautiful song about unrequited love. That’s something that struck me as different from a lot of albums at the moment, is that it isn’t packed full of love songs – it’s not that I have anything against love songs but it’s just yet another thing that made it stand out as an incredibly individual album.

People seem to want to tie him down constantly with comparisons and say that what he’s doing isn’t that new or exciting, but I completely disagree. It’s clear to see the similarities and inspiration he’s drawn in his theatricality and sound from people like Bowie, but I think his music fits in all the way across the pop and indie spectrum.

Overall I think it’s clear to see that this is an intelligent, creative debut from a guy that obviously has an impressive career ahead of him.

5 Songs for This Week 31.07.17

I went back to uni this week and the long (made longer by the fact that I refused to buy anything but an off-peak ticket because I’m a cheap student) journey meant I had ages to do nothing but listen to music. I’ve found some songs that I’ve really enjoyed and they’ve been a bit more upbeat – which I’ve been loving in the warmer weather.

Too Good – Marsicans

As the title suggests this song is too good to be ignored. These northern lads hit the nail on the head time after time with their upbeat-indie-pop, and Too Good follows this trend. They’re also supporting Clean Cut Kid on their October Tour, and after seeing both these bands at Barn on The Farm, I’m buzzed for this tour. It’s definitely worth adding this absolute bop to your playlist.

Evelyn – Clean Cut Kid

Marsicans lead nicely onto Clean Cut Kid. This is by far my favourite song on their album, which his full of some amazing tracks. This is a beautiful song that lead singer Mike wrote for wife – and bandmate – Evelyn (obvs). It has gorgeous, thoughtful lyrics and it’s catchy as hell.

Barcelona Girl – Corella

This is one of those songs I found after browsing through related artists for hours on spotify and boy, do I love it. This is an indie summer anthem if ever I’ve heard one. It’s sweet but kind of tropical vibes have me going crazy and I can’t get enough of it, pretty sure I’ve listened to it 10 times a day since first hearing it.

Craving – Zach Said

This is  such a tune, but possibly a bit different to what I normally listen to. He has such an individual sound that’s so different from anything I’ve heard in a long time, I’d possibly describe it as a mix between Jack Garratt and Mac Demarco. It’s so interesting to listen to and I can’t wait to hear what else he has to offer.

Even If It’s a Lie – Matt Maltese

This is one of his older songs but DAAMN I love this. I went through a phase a while ago where I listened to this all the time, and I’ve just remembered how much I bloody love this and how talented of a songwriter he is. It’s an insanely beautiful piano backed ballad and honestly it’s an amazing shower song, well it’s an amazing song in its own right but particularly in the shower.