Tracks Of The Week

This week’s selection is a blend of established bands and upcoming talent who equally have created some wonderful music. Enjoy!

Firstly, upcoming band The Bluebook Project have a very distinctively British sound, which I was really drawn to. Their track ‘Hurricane Blues’ is energetic and full of spirit, reminding me of an early Jake Bugg. Have a listen for yourself and see what you think!

Next up, after their truly amazing single ‘What Went Down’, Foals have got me even more excited for their August album release date with new track ‘Mountain At My Gates’. Although it wasn’t an instant winner for me during the first listening, this song has really grown on me and gets better with each listen. Plus, it has an awesome interactive video.

Talking of exciting album releases, Metric are releasing their sixth album ‘Pagans in Vegas’ in September. The latest single from the album, ‘Too Bad, So Sad’ is seriously awesome. It sounds like an 80s video game (that’s a compliment) and is so fresh and cool. I absolutely love it!

I thought I’d finish off this week with a band that I’ve just discovered and fallen in love with. Owl & Mouse are a five-piece band from London who describe their music as “bittersweet, open-hearted indiepop songs with a folk tinge.” They released their debut album ‘Departures’ on 24th July and this song ‘Octopi’ is beautiful. I think they sound like a more folky Camera Obscura and I am so glad I stumbled across them!

OL

New Calvin Harris – Initial Thoughts

When I saw Calvin Harris had a new single out I have to be honest I wasn’t particularly excited. I have frequently voiced my distaste for what I have often seen as Harris’ formulaic sound, especially his recent work with the likes of Rihanna, Ellie Goulding and John Newman. Personally I think these sorts of singles lacked true originality or any factor that made them sound different to the rest of the generic chart. While I was a fan of his earlier work such as ‘Acceptable in the 80s’, the Motion era was just a bit dull and predictable.

However, my initial pessimism was put aside when I saw that Disciples feature on this new track and that it has a different sound for Harris. And, I have to say, I have been pleasantly surprised. It certainly is a new sound for Harris and compared to the hugely unremarkable ‘Blame’, ‘Outside’ etc this new single ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ is pretty slick and catchy. It doesn’t rely on an anticipated drop or Avicii style build, and that is why it’s actually pretty good. Yes I said it, I like a Calvin Harris track.

You can listen here:

OL

Tracks Of The Week

This week’s tracks feature some perfect songs for the summer as well as a new track from legendary musician Glen Hansard.

To start us off is a fierce contender for my ‘song of the summer’ from Swedish singer-songwriter Erik Hassle. Hassle attended the same musical secondary school as Robyn and has been around for a few years but with this track ‘No Words’ he really deserves to get more attention. It’s an instantly catchy, great pop song.

Moving on to a more mellow sound is the latest from London duo Oh Wonder. They have been releasing a song every month online for a year with the 12 tracks culminating in their debut album, released in September. It’s a wonderfully refreshing approach and has allowed the band to build up a steady following. Their latest release ‘Landslide’ is yet another pretty, electro track from them.

Stepping up the pace now is the next track from electronic group Formation. In addition to the electronic sound this track ‘Hangin’ contains clear elements of punk, making it sound really fresh and oh so cool. I’m absolutely loving listening to this and am looking forward to exploring these guys more!

Taking a step away from pop and electronic, I was really happy to see a few weeks ago that Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard is going to be releasing his second solo album in September. Hansard sings with such raw emotion and writes such beautiful music and his new single ‘Winning Streak’ doesn’t disappoint.

The last track of this week is from American indie pop band Bleachers, whose debut album ‘Strange Desire’ has just been released in the UK, despite being released a year ago in the US. To tie in with the UK release I thought I’d feature ‘Rollercoaster‘ (indie summer perfection) which I absolutely adore. The music video is also awesome and has one of my favourite cars in it, making it extra amazing.

That’s what I’ve been listening to this week and I hope to post more updates on this blog in the upcoming months. Keep on the lookout for more new music!

OL

‘The Beat’ Radio Shows

thebeatFrom mid April to the end of June ‘The Beat’ was also a radio show on the University of Warwick’s radio station RaW 1251AM in connection with this blog. In keeping with the blog, on the show I played a mixture of music from various decades and genres, as well as my favourite new releases. Each show also had a theme, with examples including a chill-out special and a road trip special. If you would like to listen back to any of the shows they are all available on my mixcloud account. Below I have set out a brief overview of each show to give you an idea of the theme or overarching style of each show to help you decide which ones you may like to listen back to.

Volume 1. An introduction to the mantra of the show: ‘The Beat is a show all about good music, regardless of genre, label or decade.’ Featuring Warpaint, Dusty Springfield, Jamie xx and The Verve.

Volume 2. A blend of electronic and funk inspired tracks from Hot Chip to Hot Chocolate.

Volume 3. My ultimate chill-out playlist featuring music from multiple decades and genres such as Norah Jones, Peggy Lee and Miles Davis.

Volume 4. A feel-good special with tracks from Fickle Friends, Peter Gabriel and Free.

Volume 5. A rock special with some of my favourite artists including ZZ Top, Foo Fighters and Arcade Fire.

Volume 6. Another mix of feel-good tunes from the genres of soul, disco, rock and synth-pop including Marlena Shaw and Bruce Springsteen.

Volume 7. A road trip special designed for driving across America, with Willie Nelson, The War On Drugs and The Marshall Tucker Band.

Volume 8. A 2 hour special for my last ever show on RaW 1251AM so the theme is the soundtrack to my university years. Featuring everything from Haim to The Sugarhill Gang.

You can listen to all of these on my mixcloud (https://www.mixcloud.com/olynch/) where you will also find the track lists to each show. Enjoy!

OL