Tracks Of The Week

This week’s selection of tracks includes electro-pop and an emotional piano ballad (no prizes for guessing that one). As I tend to gravitate towards 80s inspired sounds, this week is no different with modern day reworkings of both new wave and electro-pop.

First up is, of course, the stunning return of Adele with ‘Hello’. I know that I, and millions others, were hugely excited to hear her first single from forthcoming album 25, but also pretty sure that nothing could live up to 21. However, listening to this single for the first time made me realise that Adele is unlike any other artist around and she certainly has so much more to offer. It is a beautifully intimate but rousing song and I loved it from the first listen.

Moving away from the emotional and stepping into infectiously catchy  electro-pop territory is St. Lucia with ‘Dancing On Glass’. Trust me, when you’ve heard this once, you just can’t turn it off. It is a great song to blast out when driving (I know because I spent my weekend doing it) and with those 80s sounding vocals, it’s just irresistible.

Next up is the first solo single from jennylee (known for being the bassist for Warpaint). ‘Never’ features Warpaint style breathy vocals but jennylee delves much more into punky new wave territory, with her own gorgeous dreamy spin on it. It has serious The Cure vibes and almost sounds like it belongs in the soundtrack to a more grungey version of Pretty In Pink. It has really impressed me and got me very excited for her album right on!, released in December.

Continuing on the trend of 1980s vibes, the penultimate track I have chosen this week is the newest single from Swedish duo Niki & The Dove. ‘Play It On My Radio’ is a truly beautiful, nostalgic track. I already know that this song and I are going to go the distance. It is the perfect late night 80s song and I just love it.

And, in case you missed it….

To finish up is a track from Manchester band Postcards From Jeff. This single was released a little while ago but I thought I’d include it mostly because it’s a great song, but also because their album was released a few days ago. ‘Modern Language’ is an entrancing song that has a cinematic quality to it. Personally, I think it sounds like the perfect song to be featured in an indie movie about love, misunderstandings and staying optimistic in a slightly befuddling world.

As always, I hope you have enjoyed my favourite tracks this week!

OL

‘Live Music Magic’ – Bob Dylan Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Wednesday evening was one of the best live music moments of my life. Sat in Choir West at the Royal Albert Hall, directly looking down at the band, I watched as Bob Dylan took to the stage for the first of five nights at the iconic venue. Whether you love or hate Dylan, he is undoubtedly a legend. Not only musically, but culturally, socially and arguably even politically.  Although he has undergone his fair share of criticism, such as back in the 1960s for going electric, Dylan is now at the stage when he can deservedly do what he wants.

I had heard mixed responses to Dylan’s recent live shows through the grapevine so really did not know what to expect. I certainly was not expecting to be hugely impressed by his vocal talents because of his age (although according to his critics he could never sing in the first place). However, not only was I very pleasantly surprised by his voice, but the whole performance was just live music magic.

My view from Choir West of Bob Dylan on stage at the Royal Albert Hall
My view from Choir West of Bob Dylan on stage at the Royal Albert Hall

As Dylan and his incredible band effortlessly blended between his more recent songs and the odd classic, the softly lit stage provided a beautiful intimate atmosphere, the whole set up evoking a mix of a vintage Parisian film and a bar in late-night Chicago. He may have not performed ‘Hurricane’ or ‘Like A Rolling Stone’, some of the typical crowd pleasers, but they were not missed. Singing his covers of Sinatra from his most recent album ‘Shadows In The Night’, the audience were absolutely entranced. Dylan may not ‘interact’ with the audience by chatting between songs, but he really doesn’t need to when he is able to say so much in that gritty but also enchanting voice of his. Besides, with a band that good, the music really does speak for itself.

Too often brilliant artists from the 1960s and 1970s tour to satisfy their fans or, quite simply, for monetary gain. And while it is great to see your favourite bands performing their classics, there is something infinitely more special about seeing perhaps the greatest singer-songwriter ever showcasing the music and style that reflects his present stage of life. Yes, he performed ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, but not simply to keep the crowd happy as his live version was beautifully close to being unrecognisable. And when he sang ‘Tangled Up in Blue’ I, rather embarrassingly, was almost reduced to tears because it struck me in a way that the original recording has never quite managed. Evidently, Dylan does not tour for the sake of it and that is why the night felt so special and iconic. It was a musical painting of where Dylan is at now, acknowledging the journey he has been on, but very much staying in the present. As the crowd erupted into one of many standing ovations as he ended his last song, I knew I had experienced something very special.

OL

Tracks Of The Week

It has been a while since I posted about my favourite new music as, although I am always listening to new music, I just don’t always have the chance to collate my thoughts. However, I felt it was probably time to get back into the music blogging game and post about some fantastic music that I am loving and hope you love too!

After a recent change in line up, with the departing of two of its founding members, Bloc Party are back with a hugely catchy, and distinctively more pop sounding single. ‘The Love Within’ is funky and a happy burst back into the limelight, building anticipation for a new album due to be released early next year.

Moving into a slight change of tempo, indie folk band Daughter have announced that their second album ‘Not To Disappear’ will be released in January. With their hugely enchanting 2013 debut ‘If You Leave’, the trio showcased their beautiful, atmospheric sound. Their new single ‘Doing The Right Thing’ is equally gorgeous.

Next up is a brand new single from Brighton synth-pop band Fickle Friends (if you scroll down, you may notice that I absolutely love these guys) and it is yet another hugely catchy tune. Released a few hours ago, I knew within the first beat of hearing ‘Say No More’ that I had to include this song in my tracks of the week. It just makes you want to get up and dance!

And, finally, just in case you missed it…

My last selection for my tracks of the week comes from Spanish garage-rock band Hinds and was actually released last month but I just had to include it! When I first heard Hinds’ music a few months ago I was struck by its fun roughness and was intrigued to hear more. Last month they announced their debut album ‘Leave Me Alone’ will come out in January and also released the album’s first single ‘Garden’. A hugely infectious track, these girls have a beautifully raw sound that I can’t wait to hear more of.

I hope you enjoyed the tracks!

OL