Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Track of the Day: Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love - Burrows

Photo courtesy of Annie-Marie Arpin

Having made music together for over a decade in various forms, Kelly and Ellis Dyson's (aka Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love) have decided to call time on  their musical endeavors.

The band's size swelled to a six-piece on 2009’s 'Feels, Feathers, Bog & Bees', however, for their final Swan song they have stripped things back to basics, with just the duo remaining; though their new fuzzy, lo-fi style acts as a third character in the mix; adding a hazy nostalgia to their lush melodies.

'Burrows' is the lead single from Last the band's fourth and final album which will be out on February 16th. It's available to download for free on their Bandcamp, and they will say their final goodbye live at The Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston (with support from superb Audio Antihero label-mates Superman Revenge Squad) - get your ticket here.

Friday, 2 January 2015

The Evening's Empire's Top Track's of 2014: 10 - 1

There were some truly brilliant tracks in the previous part (if you missed it you can catch up here), but we're now we're down to the top ten. So much talent lies within the songs below.

10. Sykes - Gold Dust

I've been following this London-based three-piece since I first heard 'Gold Dust' on the 6 Music Podcast at the back end of summer - instantly being attracted to their hugely infectious synth-pop stylings. This track stands tall as the band's most triumphant moment; littered with soaring hooks, glittering guitars licks and Julia's stylish, yet emotive, vocal work.

9. We Came From Wolves - Paradise Place

My tastes have mellowed significantly over the past few years, partly due to personal preferences, but partly due to the prevalence of music built around computers and synths over that of guitars. It is bands like We Came From Wolves, and songs like 'Paradise Place', that remind me why I fell in love with that music in the first place. Angular guitars, offbeat rhythms and playful vocal interplay all make this a truly exceptional track from the Scottish four piece.

8. Sivu - Love Lives In This House

To anyone who frequents this blog often it will be of no surprise to see James Page aka Sivu amoungst my favorite tracks of the year; his debut single 'Better Man Than He' topped the chart last year, and I even interviewed him in the lead up to the release his debut album Something on High back in September. The album is stunning piece of work, and 'Love Lives in this House' is one of it's finest moments. Page's delicate falsetto hangs ominously above brooding guitars and crunching percussion, to create a dark and atmospheric masterpiece.

7. Lewis & Leigh - What Is There To Do

Brilliantly channeling the sound of contemporaries such as Ryan Adams and Caitlin Rose, Al Lewis and Alva Leigh come together to bring us lush Americana on 'What Is There To Do'. Hailing from Wales and Mississippi respectively, their Night Drives EP was a remarkable collection on songs, showcasing a sound which is often overlooked in the UK. A bright 2015 lays ahead for this talented duo.

6. Paul Thomas Saunders - Starless State Of The Moonless Barrow

If there is any justice in the world Paul Thomas Saunders will be huge. The kind of huge reserved for indie royalty like Arcade Fire and The National. His record Beautiful Desolation was one of the finest debut albums in recent memory; an astral themed record, rich with vast soundscapes complemented by the young artist's lush melodies. 'Starless State Of The Moonless Barrow' is one of the record's many highlights; an intelligent pop gem.

5. Dancing Years - Places We've Roamed

Dancing Years are a band I'm expecting to explode in 2015. Without an album to their name this Leeds five-piece has gained an impressive following; round off the year with a headline show at Oslo last month illustrating what a formidable live force they are. The band manage to consistently craft tracks which demonstrate impressive maturity and subtlety, with refined guitar and percussive work and articulate lyrics. 'Places We've Roamed' is the band at their best; melancholic, yet passionate.

4. Fickle Friends - Swim

Released last New Year's day, 'Swim' caught the entire blogosphere half asleep and fully hungover. However, such is the track's infectious energy and instant likability that it was causing waves within hours. This is what Fickle Friends have done all year - they write tracks which demand attention - and it seems to have worked, as they were the 6th Most-Blogged Artist of 2014 according to BBC 6 Music. One listen to the below will show you exactly why.

3. Ryan Adams - My Wrecking Ball

What superlatives can I give this man which I haven't already..... simply put, he is the greatest songwriter of our generation. His self-titled 14th album which was released earlier this year was a brilliant change of pace; channeling 80's synths and rockier tones into his already formidable musical arsenal. However, it was an archetypal Ryan Adams track that really blew me away. 'My Wrecking Ball' is everything that makes this man brilliant - understated songwriting, emotive lyrics and a truly stunning voice.

2. Max Jury - All I Want

Max Jury is without doubt one of my favorite musical discoveries this year. Hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, there's an utterly timeless quality to his songwriting; spinning wistful naratives of blue-collar America. All I Want is a stunning track; romantic, full of wry humour, gorgeous sepia piano and George Harrison-esque solos. There's an intangible quality to everything the 21 year-old songwriter puts his hand too, and I can see in Jury the early signs of a true American great.

1. Small Wonder - Until I Open My Wings

When I saw Goldflakepaint waxing lyrical about an obscure Brooklyn artist called Small Wonder, I though I'd give it a quick listen to see what the fuss was about - I certainly did not expect to find my favorite track and EP of the year behind this mysterious moniker - however, like so many times this year they had discovered a diamond in the rough. Henry Crawford aka Small Wonder created something so human, so flawed and oh so beautiful with his Wendy EP. This is illustrated so perfectly on 'Until I Open My Wings' - my favorite track of the year because it is one which has stuck with me throughout it; continuously affecting me with every play.

"I am the moss
that grows on stones
and I am the rocks
that pave your roads
and when you inhale

I fill your lungs
and when you exhale
don't let me out into the world."