You HAVE to listen to this – Wolf Alice ‘Giant Peach’

Wolf Alice are a grungy alternative rock band from London whose track ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ I featured in my countdown of my favourite singles of 2014. Since hearing that track last year I’ve been exploring them a little more and am now completely hooked. Their 2013 single ‘Bros’ is rocky pop at its finest and deserves a place in everyone’s musical heart. So it’s no wonder that I’m now getting very excited because the band’s debut album My Love Is Cool is going to be released on 22nd June (something to keep me motivated throughout the horrors of final year exams)! They have also just released a single from that album called ‘Giant Peach’. You know when you get that excited feeling in your tummy before you play a song for the first time and then you feel really happy because it’s as good as you’d hoped? Well that explains my reaction to this track. Have a listen here:

And if you liked ‘Giant Peach’ then also listen to 2013’s ‘Bros’:

Hope you’re all as addicted to Wolf Alice now as I am!

OL

Tracks Of The Week

As I listen to so much music as Head of Music for my university’s student radio station, weekly updating the station’s playlist, I thought it would make sense to incorporate this into my blog by sharing with you songs that I’m enjoying this week.

First up is The War On Drugs with ‘An Ocean In Between The Waves’ which I have literally become obsessed with. Its from their acclaimed album ‘Lost In The Dream’ and the single is released in early March. It is hard to explain why I love it so much, perhaps because it brings out a range of emotions, sounding very hopeful but also quite melancholy.

(Note: This link is to the full album version of the track, not the radio edit so you can enjoy it in all its goodness.)

Another track that has become addictive is ‘King’ (released 1st March), the latest from Sound of 2015 winners Years & Years. I was a little dubious when I heard that they had won the 2015 poll because I’d only really listened to ‘Take Shelter’, which I did like, but its been with this hugely catchy track that I’ve realised that these guys really are something to be excited out. Also check out their lesser-known back catalogue with songs such as ‘Real’.

Next up is Courtney Barnett, who I think is just brilliant. When I first heard her track ‘Avant Gardener’ I was immediately taken by her talking style and honest lyrics. Her newest single ‘Pedestrian At Best’ (released 16th March) I think is just fantastic. I realise its not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea but I find her so refreshing. Anyway, see what you think!

Finally, to round off my pick of some new tracks for this week is Jack Garratt with ‘Chemical’. I picked Jack as one of my exciting new acts for this year and he certainly has not disappointed with this track. Its slick and has such polished transitions in and out of its different genre styles.

(Jack Garratt’s new EP ‘Synesthesiac’ is released 13/4/15)

So those are a selection of some of my favourite new tracks, hope you have enjoyed listening!

OL

Florence Is Back!

For the past day or so the internet has been telling me how Florence + The Machine are back with a brand new single ‘What Kind Of Man’ and after not having the chance to listen I have just watched the video. All I can say is that I am super excited for 1st June when the album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is released! Having been a fan of Florence for so long, ever since hearing and falling in love with ‘Dog Days Are Over’ in late 2008, I am so glad that I have not been disappointed with this new track. The video is also stunning, to be honest I have no idea what is going on but that doesn’t matter because it feels powerful and intense and just perfect. Have a listen to ‘What Kind Of Man’ and watch the video below. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

OL

Rae Morris – Interview and Live Review

On Thursday night I got the chance to interview and see the wonderful Rae Morris live. If you scroll down on this blog or have read some of my previous posts, you will notice very quickly that I have been excited about Rae’s music for a while now, so this was a really exciting opportunity for me!

First of all, I’d like to emphasise how lovely Rae is, she is extremely sincere and warm and was a pleasure to interview. Its always exciting to meet artists who are on the cusp of stardom and having just released her debut album, ‘Unguarded’ and being long-listed for the BBC Sound of 2015, Rae certainly fits this category.

rae live

On this ‘Unguarded’ tour Rae is being supported by Fryars, who she collaborated with for the single ‘Cold’ and his set was a fitting start to the night, full of smooth beats and effortless vocals. His single ‘Cool Like Me’ is definitely well worth a listen. But, of course, this was really Rae’s night. Opening with ‘Skin’, her pure voice immediately hits you and kept me entranced throughout. The atmosphere really kicked in with the album’s title track ‘Unguarded’ and you could hear a pin drop when she performed a stunning and emotional rendition of ‘Don’t Go’. Her band were also fantastic and they created a really uniform sound, sounding perfectly attuned to each other, which was very impressive considering this is her first album tour. The main thing that stood out to me on the night, however, was the variety of sounds and influences you could hear in the selection of tracks. At times I was reminded of Kate Bush or Tom Odell, but then she would surprise you with an electronic enthused ‘Up Again’, a collaboration with Clean Bandit. Rae appeared genuinely grateful and modest, frequently thanking us for attending. In the audience you could sense she already has a strong fan base and I think this is only going to grow and grow. Her mix of talent, sincerity and concern for what she does means that she deserves all the recognition she is getting at the moment.

You can listen to my interview with Rae Morris here: https://audioboom.com/boos/2876226-olivia-interviews-rae-morris#t=2m58s

-OL

Kasabian – Live Review (featured in The Boar)

I went to see my favourite band Kasabian for the third time in November and it was an incredible night. At the time I wrote a live review for the University of Warwick’s student newspaper, The Boar, which I’m glad to say has finally been published! It may be nearly 3 months after the gig but nevertheless I’m happy to share it with you now. Here’s the text:

‘Live Review: Kasabian’, The Boar, Volume 37: Issue 7 (http://theboar.org/2015/02/03/live-review-kasabian/#.VNi2cbCsVss)

Having seen Kasabian live twice before, I already knew that this would be a great gig. However, even I, as huge a fan as I am, was not prepared for how amazing this gig would be.

Bursting onto the scene a decade ago with their eponymous debut album, Kasabian have since released four solid albums, each with their own quirks, from the widely acclaimed West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum to their latest electronic influenced offering 48:13. Despite criticism for simply being laddish, loud and uber-confident, it cannot be denied that Kasabian have established a fantastic live reputation. Frontman Tom Meighan’s cocky sounding assertion that their songs are ‘dirty, sexy, melodic, powerful’, I also find difficult to disagree with.

Once support act The Maccabees had left the stage, the 30 minute countdown started in true 48:13 fashion. No doubt due to their incredible set at Glastonbury in June, the excitement was tangible for this entire half hour. Kasabian bring in a varied crowd, from the football hooligans chanting and chucking beer, to a group of teenagers, no more than 14 years old, with their parents. Then, Serge and Tom appeared at opposite sides of the stage, with an acoustic rendition of what soon explodes into ‘bumblebee’. With ‘bumble’ appearing on the hot pink screen, the night kicked off with an insane start: everyone immediately jumping and singing in unison. This is how you start a show.

The expected crowd pleasers were electric – ‘Shoot the Runner’, ‘Underdog’ and ‘Where Did All The Love Go?’ all causing the crowd to keep the momentum set by the explosive ‘bumblebee’. However, the real gems were in the unexpected, such as ‘Cutt Off ’ from the band’s debut album. More importantly, it was the non-singles of 48:13 that stole the show.

Tom took a back seat with Serge’s funk-enthused ‘clouds’, as well as the double bill of two of my favourites off the latest album, ‘bow’ and ‘s.p.s’,  dedicated to Pizzorno’s father for his birthday. When ‘s.p.s.’ opened, the guy in front of me was the most excited I’d seen anyone all night. Personally, my excitement peaked with ‘treat’, which was every bit as good live as I’d hoped it would be, especially with the inclusion of a prism light display. The reworking of Cameo’s ‘Word Up’ into Velociraptor!’s ‘Rewired’ was also effortlessly done.

Mosh pit fever took over with stomping hits ‘Empire’, ‘Club Foot’ and ‘Fire’, which Tom admitted he didn’t think he was ready for, the crowd erupting at this point.

Serge was on fine form tonight, foxtail and all, dancing around the stage and the crowd frequently chanting “Sergio”. Tom’s stage presence was much more muted and controlled, in comparison to the feistier Tom we saw in the West Ryder days. Even when the band left the stage, Serge remained alone for a few minutes, sitting on the edge of the stage as the crowd continued to chant ‘L.S.F.’ When he walked off he was visibly emotional, thanking the fans for their support over the years. It was a rare and touching moment of vulnerability.

The lyric “Feels like I’m lost in a moment,” from 2009’s ‘Underdog’, summed up the night for me. It was electric, a riot, a workout and musical bliss. I loved it.

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Thanks for reading, I’ll be posting another live review very soon!

OL