Sunday, 15 June 2008

Pop Levi

The cosmic scouser returns this summer with his brand of saucy glam-pop. The new album is looming & if the single "Never Never Love" is anything to go by it'll be the sickest soundtrack to the summer this side of Mars. Out of sync synth over the repeated refrain "Never never love, love, love/ never never love, love, love/ all the time" it's possibly the most sublimely addictive thing - guaranteed to have you humming it to death.
Me and Hannah caught Pop Levi in Manchester when touring "The Return To Form Black Magick Party" and it remains possibly the most intense live show I've ever been too. It wasn't packed out (but then it wasn't empty either) and the band came on to distortion, strobe lighting and a 5 minuet long intro as the maestro had a long look around Academy 3. With roaring guitar and eye contact galore it was modern-retro-chic (ooh er) at it's best.
Shifting the Ladytron electro puppy fat to reveal the slim-lined, glam rocked, 70s infused goodness of "TRTFBMP" (yeah!) thundering drums, grimy bass lines and fuzzy guitars took hold with songs like "Blue Honey" and "(A Style Called) Crying Chic" contrasting to the upbeat goodness of "Sugar Assault Me Now" and "Pick-Me-Up-Uppercut". If the Kinks had copulated with Bowie would Pop Levi be the result? A question for genetic scientists everywhere I'm sure.
Diversity and cult status as well as a cracking live show was thus achieved.

So with the looming second album and a couple of teasers on the Myspace what is to be expected? Never Never Love certainly has that ear-catching factor and the camp goodness of a dancefloor sweeping tune and whats great about Pop Levi is the strive for new, better music with something different about it. Sure there can be heard the strain of Bolan in some of the vocals or the Doors keyboards or the strum of Bowie in the guitar but this is looking forward, moving forward and dragging the listener relentlessly forward with it. Moog, drums, guitars and intensity in hand hopefully the new album will be even more astounding than "TRTFBMP" (I do like that)...
Dita Dimone is all that is sultry electro-infused with a deluge of scratchy vocals and an onslaught of glamour and dirty beats. Refrains and repeats mean for another addictive offering- they should bottle/crush up/ make up in pill-form whatever it is used to make these songs. I swear it'd sell faster than cocaine! Songs to Check= Wannamamma, Never Never Love, Skip Ghetto, Blue Honey, Oh God (What Can I Do?). Oh sack it- buy the albums and shake with excitment. Dare you.

Jade xx

Friday, 13 June 2008

The Rosie Taylor Project

Like Belle and Seb taking it down a notch The Rosie Taylor Projecthave the balance between pretty noise and evocative lyrics. Slow-paced but not to the point of ennui they don't drag the listener to the end of songs but rather ramble down a country lane with them, pointing out interesting wild-life along the way. Not one for the post-punk lovers then but I bet if Byron were alive he'd listen to these; it's romanticismfor the 21st Century. "Sun on My Right" grapples with acoustic guitars and brass instruments with duel vocals harmonising (very Slow Club). Nostalgic and summery and tender and folk inspired are all ways to describe this band yet looking a bit further and melancholy refrains seep through as trumpets and achingly maudlin vocals wind across each other. It's versatile music, catchy enough for a summers day yet with sad nuances for the heartbroken to be heart warmed.
"A Good Cafe on St. George Street" sketches lovely scenes in front of the listener showing storytelling skills nearly to rival Johnny Flynn; melodic lullabies with glittering riffs which meander over trumpets, electric keyboard, bass, french horns and drums. It would be easy enough to lump them into the 'alt-folk' genre but there is more to them that that- their songs sound like Noah and the Whale's "Mary" or Laura Marlings "Shine" but the use of trumpets and the downplaying of the acoustic guitar at times means they take on a new edge and a more lo-fi sound. Best song "A Few Words of Farewell" is magic and melancholy affair and possibly the slowest of their offerings; it's focus relies more on the lyrics than musical content here but it works well ("A blank space where the fragments lay") and the vocal harmonies take over.

Defiantly goose bump inducing and possibly tear reducing they play on human emotions with not only their lyrics but with their pretty-pop music too. Lovely.

Thursday, 12 June 2008


This years Transgressive tour has come up trumps with a sterling line up of 2008’s brightest sparks, with bands that have yet to reach widespread acclaim however their potential has not gone unmissed. With such a line up of strong live performers its seems these set of gigs will not disappoint from clerical Goth to living room folk there is clearly something for everyone in thus sublimely eclectic combination

So its seems there his been a significant transformation from the twee cardigan and cravat wearing Les Incompetents as its remaining members are clad in religiously gothic garb. Careful to establish a distinct reputation from the start shows that with this change comes a refreshing musical evolution which promises they’re live shows to be a rawkus yet perfected, something stylishly hard to pull of. With this experience comes an odd sense of sophistication yet remaining is the exuberant energy and passion to perform ..

Their exploration of a deep and sultry style is an intensity which has been sorely missed since the likes of Joy Division. In tracks such as ‘Motherhood’ it’s this unusually sinister musical spin that excites and intrigues completely with a pounding bass always on hand to reinforce they’re discovery of powerful new ground.

‘Pop Pop Pop’, or so he describes himself. Esser is very much the new enigma on the music scene with his odd style collaborating perfectly with his bizarrely original embrace of all things peculiar which makes his sound so refreshingly worthwhile and much needed! He never fears to explore what others may avoid with a beautiful simplicity with the use of stupidly catchy chorus’s, stripped down drum machines and a heavily addictive accent dripping with attitude and confidence which by the sound of these demos is by far justified.
‘Headlock’ sands out as his finest song to date, musically it uses only the bare essentials but its within the words where the talent lies as there is a raw sincerity that’s so unfounded today in songs that aim to please the buyers and leave no long lasting satisfaction.

Jeremy Warmsley
Jeremy is certainly a man in the know, with a list of indie/folk friends that would make anyone jealous with the likes of Johnny Flynn, Mystery Jets, Laura Marling and frYars. Cleverly however, he has used his contacts to showcase some of Britain’s finest talents, including his good self through ‘This is our TV show’ in which his charmingly corwded lvving rooms in crammed to the brim with a lively crowd watching adoringly at such an atmospheric experience! Not only that, but this is also a clever lad adorning a degree from Cambridge only making his talents more envious. It’s within the ‘Boat Song’ that Warmsley’s voice flickers with a beauty that seems to blend seamlessly with each collaboration he ventures within. There are so many new folk bands cramming our ears at the moment but it has to be said that there is a spark of difference in this man, an easae within him that conjures a smile on any listener.

So So Modern
It has to be said I had not been exposed to the music of So So modern before seeing them within this line-up but on hearing they’re music it quickly becomes apparent what they have to add with the lads from Wellington claiming there influences (rather sensibly) being amongst cosmology, theology and urban foolery these. A frenzied compilation of all that is great, with acidic electro cleanly with crisp vocals that instantly makes your body jerk, a ready made dance floor band ready and armed to charm their way into our hearts

Attacking us ladled with an army of instruments, instead of overwhelming is strangely enticing and moreishly addictive, the musical equivalent to the Pringle one might say. Ordered chaos is necessary oxymoron that can only describe this sound with harmonies that sprinkle over this harsh jagged and wondrous noise.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Totally Addicted...

...Unfortunately not to bass but to the sultry sounds of Françoise Hardy. She sang in a variety of languages, came fifth in the Eurovision Song Contest and epitomised European chic. Oh and sang with Iggy Pop and is referenced by Bob Dylan. Phew.
With all the sounds you'd associate with the 1960s; twangy guitars, harmonies, that tweak of 50s rock'n'roll but with the soaring, multi-lingual voice of Hardy over the top. Lovely! The type of music I use to close my eyes too, imagine I'm sipping cocktails in a Parisian bar while the sun shines and, oh yes, I have managed to travel back in time.
As well as singing she also appeared in "Whats New Pussycat?", "Masculin-Féminin" and "Chateau en Suède" and currently resides in Paris. I don't think I've ever been more jealous of a women in all my life- scratch Agyness Deyn or Kate Moss - this women met Jagger for crying out loud!
Jade xx

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Bright Sparks

Oh thank the lord, its safe to say the dreaded exams have finally ended and no longer will we have to face sitting at a desk feeling despair (well apart from my inevitable re sits any how!). This has resulted in a great sense of relief with the lure of twee picnics accompanied with a refreshing beverage nearing ever closer, regardless of how the English weather behaves as I am fully prepared to sit in the rain safe in the knowledge that is it summer. I don’t care what anyone says, no matter how masculine you look a pint of cider is possibly the most sublime of drinks! (No white lightening shite, Strongbow all the way). Anyhow with this regeneration and brief reencounter with the sun, it seems the most fitting time to re discover musical classics. I present Sparks. One of music’s oddest; Hitler tash wearing, eternally youthful, charismatic sibling duo’s to hit our airwaves. And I know that may seem a narrow gap in the market however they tick these boxes and so much more.

So rather admirably the band have embarked on an extravaganza of musical delight by playing an album a night form their extensive back catalogue performing over 256 songs! The effort and passion they sow towards music still today is both amazing and deeply underrated. Recently there has been a flourish of disappointment with bands returning second album yet in their 21st masterpiece Spark are unfazed by any pressure, showing that longevity is quite possibly the most significant trait for a band to carry. What makes this band so unique is there refreshing wit with titles such as “lighten up Morrissey” what more could you possible want in a band? And they carry their talent still, with a credibility that is lacking from such OAP’s as Paul ‘I suddenly love the mandolin’ McCartney. They’re infinite song “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For the Both of Us” is somehow imbedded in everyone’s brains however is an unfair reflection of the better works with a timeless electro-pop style filled with the attitudes and obsession of a yesteryear England which amplifies their extraordinary quirkiness.

Also on a non musical related note yet continuing my reminisce down classic lane I briefly mention my sheer fascination with the great Malcolm McDowell, possibly one of Britons greatest actors with an eternal twinkle in his eye. As summer has sprung I have embarked on watching his trilogy including ‘If…’ and ‘o lucky man’ which land high in my expectation due to his outstanding and superbly chilling portrayal of Alex in A Clockwork Orange, brought to visual life by Stanley Kubrick. His level of ability at that age made me eternally envious yet left me in a complete trance by his captivating presence on camera with his presentation of such bizarre language being flawless and extraordinary. It took me many years to pluck up the courage to watch the film and I am devastated I wasted so much time in prolonging such a vivid experience!

Hannah xx

Friday, 6 June 2008


I really love it when someone says "Hey listen to this band" and they turn out to be seriously good. Like the type of band you wished you'd tipped people off about and heard first (worst luck Forrest beat me too it- but never mind).
I mean I never knew what the word "blood curdling" meant until the shrieks emitted from KASMs occur ed. Taking a member from Test Icicles (and taking it in a direction as far from Dev Hynes' new stuff as possible) and a member of RAT:ATT:AGG, two defunct but brilliant bands, and grabbing two girls they've got the feedback meets pulsing beats via sonar vocals thing down. And it works!

KASMs have style but as well as that catchy macabre songs like "Taxidermy" which takes brooding guitars and a lead singer emitting shrieks and yelps like Siouxie has mated with Debbie Harry. It's a bit punk, its a bit moody. The likes of Ipso Facto and Violets have been joined by KASMs; strong female vocals floating (or rather writhing and stomping) over the favoured discordant guitars, wicked bass and thumping drums. "Toil and Trouble" doesn't really focus on lyrics, quite the bit of repetition going on, but it does have strong beats and a spiky, staccato guitar riff and "Siren Sister" takes the vocals down low and with elongated vowels speeding over electro-punk ending with an abrupt "Amen".

The songs are good, no doubt about it, but there has been a surge of this female fronted, synth laden, messy-punk hybrid for a while. What sets them apart is the energy. If so much comes through via computer speakers imagine them live. It's probably a snarling, writhing, loud, feedback-driven success. It's probably one for the faux-fashionista's who clung so hard to the Horrors to sink their teeth into; the type of music messy haired individuals with amazing shoes and a penchant for brooding will like- but finally getting it right with the music. Lead singer Callaghan has finally provided us with a rock icon for our generation; the Poly Styrene we needed before Adele or someone became the voice of the disenfranchised youth.

"Mackerel Sky" sounds like someone has grabbed early 60s-psych or the Beatles "Benefit of Mr.Kite" and roughed it up a bit. Mugged it's cash but left its purse. Industrial size noises pipe up and down as the odd-pop lyrics wind over the top (with eerie yet by now expected shrieks).

Absolutely brilliant yet discordant music providing pulsing, writhing, odd and fantastic noise.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

The Kabeedies

The Kabeedies are a tumbled up hybrid of Be Your Own Pets energy, Cheeky Cheeky and the Nosebleeds elusive lyrics and Shrags yelps. Singing about how lips taste like petis filous (calling to mind that annnooooying advert with that girl who likes to beat up little boys), asking that all important question "Who's your favourite / Kung-Fu artist" and the teaching the world about the 'Coaster Game'. It's indie-pop with talent!

"Mythical Beasts" has rock'n'roll guitars, fingers slipping along keys and inspired lyrics "I'm just a mythical beast / Drawn on the back of the Birdcage toilets" it sounds like Goodshoes but taking themselves less seriously. They have a distinctive sound, something rare in a band so 'young' or at so new. "Lovers Ought To" is art rock at its finest as Katie takes lead vocals yelping over those delightfully sketchy drums and Maccabees-esque guitars ("About Your Dress" rather than "Toothpaste Kisses"). "Palindromes" tackles that tricky subject of ADHD (a popular topic- didn't Blood Red Shoes toy with that idea too?); this is probably the weakest song out of all of theirs but there are some nice screams midway through to focus attention back. And a great image of "Both my parents are palindromes".

Strong vocals- the whole boy/girl thing going on- singing staccato over ringing guitars and scratchy drums and throwing it in the air to make concise-pop (none of their songs extend over 3 mins). But less is more, catchy hooks and singalong choruses pop out amidst accapella, indie-stomping beats and references to Roxy Music. Surely they could take over dancefloors and airwaves alike- their music is as catchy as influenza and as addictive as cocaine, but in both cases not as life threatening (unless you have a dicky heart and a penchant for jumping about erratically when dancing)! Yay!
Check out
their myspace for The Kabeedies favourite condiment of the week & to purchase their new single!
Coaster Game - The Kabeedies
Petis Filous - The Kabeedies
Sideburns- The Kabeedies