Saturday, 29 November 2008

Florence and the Machine

A truly amazing performer. I've liked Florence for quite a while now and her unique blend of folksy guitar and gut-wrenching powerful lungs combine to make an artist NME have even allowed set foot on tour with them.

Whether this is testimony to her or not the fact remains that a lot will be heard from Flo and her Machine next year. If Laura Marling got saucy or MIA simmered down a bit there would be a touch of Florence in that, I bet!There is a rawness which hopefully won't get lost in production and the glam-folk which is evoked in songs such as "Kiss With a Fist" and "Girl With 1 Eye" is like Bowie crossed with Kid Harpoon.
Seeing her live is a revelation as a whirlwind of energy and excitement exudes from every pore of her set- jumping, shouting, singing, running from one side of the stage to the other in 2 seconds flat. It all adds up to a something fun to watch. But then I'm A Celebrity.. Get Me Out of Here is fun to watch, it's throwing into that mix her impressive vocal range and knack for perfect melodies that makes it superb.
Having worked with Lightspeed Champion extensively in 2008 it could have been plausible for her to jump on that bandwagon and keep the profile higher- as it turns there is an element of going it alone now and it's gone from covering Green Day to writing her own sterling material.
A charismatic character which surely will be getting due attention soon. It's music to punch the air too, to swirl around the room too, to belt out the lyrics too and all in a non-cheesy, football hooligan sense.
"Kiss With A Fist" remains a fresh, lively song even after being rinsed by TV ads and DJ sets alike and it's heart swelling soul for the foreseeable future. It's anticipation which builds as her debut album can't come soon enough.
Jade XX

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Officer Owl

Perfect cure for a moody disposition. Calm beats float around a lull of guitar and harmonious vocals. Officer Owl have a tinge of acoustic genius about them but more than that there is a simplicity which is instantly appealing. Not relying on the raucous effects of feedback or unruly synth which some bands tend to rely on here the softer nuances overtake and carry all the songs on a soft cloud of melody.
There is a tinge of melancholy about "Untitled Number Two" which takes the refrain of "Never going to leave you alone" and carries it with the duel vocals blending together effortlessly.
Effortless music is always the best. As the various notes hit the air with a confidence unhampered by arrogance or distortion. "Untitled Number Seven" allows the guitar to take on a harder(ish) lead and vocals which sound a little bit like Ian Brown if he sang sweetly and didn't have a penchant for knocking people out. Lyrics like "Someone said the witch was dead but she's floating on the water" instantly stand out with the simple brilliance of imagery as the repetition of the verse becomes like a softly hummed chant, never lifting into an angry anthem but meandering in and out of the music with a persistence.
Unfortunately the extent of what I've heard from Officer Owl stems from Myspace which in turn only offers two songs. But beautiful songs they are with a sound which bodes well for future songs.
Jade X
Untitled Number Two- Officer Owl