Monday, 22 April 2013

Track of the Day: Frank Turner - The Way I Tend To Be

Today is a very exciting day for me, it's album release day for my favourite artist, Frank Turner. Whether not you like this specific artist, I'm sure you can echo the excitment in the sentiment of favourite artist release day.

The album entitled Tape Deck Heart is the 31-year old, Bahrain-born singer-songwriter's fifth record to date, and has been summarised by the man himself as 'somewhat of a breakup album'. Based upon what we've heard so far from this record, we can expect the same honest and direct lyrical style, but perhaps a greater level of maturity and self-reflection with this being his first record in nearly two years. Lead single 'Recovery' has been receiving widespread airplay in the UK, and is a song detailing Turner's reflection upon his increasing dependence on his vices and his struggle to maintain a grounded lifestyle.

My choice for TOTD for today is 'The Way I Tend To Be'. This deeply honest song details the breakdown of a relationship, and his partner's infidelity. As well as this, it's also the title for the mini-documentary on Turner's career to date which aired earlier this month; watch it here.

'You stood apart in my calloused heart, and you taught me and here's what I learnt: that love is about the changes you make and not just three small words.'

Monday, 15 April 2013

Track of the Day: The Belle Game - River

Today's Track of the Day is courtest of Vancouver five-piece, The Belle Game. The orchestral, chamber pop sounds of their previous EP's have subsidded on this track, in favor of a darker, grungier, indie vibe; reminiscent of Yeah Yeah Yeahs or PJ Harvey.

Having toured with The Zolas and Hey Ocean late last year, the band increased their already fast-growing fan base with a well received slot at everyone's favourite musical supernova, South By Southwest. Having signed to Boompa Records (Woodpigeon, The Salteens) in 2012, the band planned to release their debut record late that year, however, this was delayed to allow time for a partnership with indie powerhouse Bella Union, who would be jointly releasing the album internationally.

The Belle Game's debut album 'Ritual Tradition Habit' will be out tomorrow (April 16th). Listen to the fantastic lead single 'River' below.

'There's a place that I've found,
Full of sins that you've drowned,
I've been your river,
I've been your river since we were kids
There's a rhyme and a case,
For the things you've misplaced
I've been a giver,
I've been a giver since we were kids
Take a little more,
Take a little more, take a little more from me
Do you feel me at your side?
I've been filled with all you've denied,
Even a sliver of your cry,
Could make a river against my pride,
Take a little more,
Take a little more, take a little more from me'

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Review | Annie Dressner - East Twenties

There is a conversational ease to Annie Dressner's new EP East Twenties which makes for truly compelling listening.

The young singer-songwriter moved to the UK from New York last year, and it seems that she's carried more than her share of baggage over with her. On her 2011 debut EP, Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names, she opted for a downtrodden, personal tone, and she continues these themes on East Twenties, featuring a deeply personal collection of stories of love and loss. However, in the years which have passed between these efforts she has evidently matured, covering these same issues with increased context and composure.

'Heartbreaker' kicks off the record, re-calling the nostalgia-rich tale of her relationship with an ex. The events are described in incredible detail - from experimenting with alcohol, family dinners, and the breakdown of their relationship ('you took my love and tore me down') - making the characters feel rounded, and giving it a really rich, lived-in feel. On 'I Can't Forget' she takes a reflective look at the loss of a loved-one, hopelessly questioning its occurrence and hypothesizing the effect that this has had on her life. Accompanying her signature singer-picking guitar are the gorgeous sweeping strokes of a cello, adding to this stunning track.

'Flame' is arguably the EP's highlight. The verse's melodic hook sweeps around a playful guitar part, before rising into the song's chorus. Lyrically it's a coming of age story in about losing your innocence and testing the boundaries of what has been set out before you ('I saw all the things I thought were bad, and now I know'). Unfortunately the EP ends on its weakest track, 'Lost In a Car'. On this song the guitar part has a pedestrian tone, and the unambitious tone of the vocal in the verse makes for a rather damp squib of a climax.

In spite of the slight slump on its final track, it remains a very strong and accomplished sophomore EP from Annie Dressner. Her greatest talent is in her beautifully descriptive story-telling and her evocative use of language, and on this record she lays those strengths out in abundance.

If you like what you here below you can buy East Twenties (out April 8th) here

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Track of the Day: Misty Miller - Anything For You

There is something exciting about Misty Miller. In an age where the popular theme of current music is to be 'stripped back', and where lo-fi indie and acoustic music litters both commercial and indie music alike, it's really refreshing to hear a young songstress come along with something as in-your-face, raw and gutsy as 'Anything For You'. 

From the plaudits she's been gaining it's clear that I'm not alone in this view; Zane Lowe made her track 'Girlfriend' his 'Next Hype' record, Steve Lamacq named Misty his 'New Favourite Band' on 6Music, and her cover of The Turtles 'So Happy Together' was chosen by Burberry to open their London Fashion Week.

The fuzzy garage rock gem 'Anything For You' is set for release on Misty Miller's sophomore EP Next To You, due out May 12th on Sony offshoot Relentless. Listen below: