Monday, 30 May 2011

O'Death - Outside, out June 6th

Outside is the third album from O'Death and, for fans and followers, brings to an end what must have been a difficult wait. Since mid-2009, the group have been working their way back towards recording after drummer David Rogers-Berry was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

His shoulder replacement surgery seems to have had no lasting negative effect on his drumming, thankfully, while the experience for all of the O'Death cohort may go some way to explaining the renewed introspection and philosophical approach to their music since returning to the recording studio.

As Rogers-Berry says, "I think we were interested in making something more personal, and trying to write songs that are melodically engaging and not just the crazed ravings of mad men."


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

O'Death - Bugs, out May 30th

Outside, the third album from New York quintet O'Death, isn't out till June 6th - but we've got a sneak preview of it below, in the form of Bugs. This is being released as a single on May 30th, so you've got a chance to get your hands on a little piece of the album for yourself, if you really can't wait.

What should we know about O'Death? Well, their vocalist is Greg Jamie, who also plays guitar. Gabe Darling takes banjo and ukelele, which goes some way to explaining the slight country style of some of their songs. The group is rounded out by drummer David Rogers-Berry, bassist Jesse Newman and violinist Robert Pycior.

They've had two LPs released already, but Outside - on City Slang records - is the true return from a one-year hiatus which ended with the group's appearance at Newport Folk Festival.

If you don't think Mumford & Sons are just a fad, and you're willing to accept that not everyone who sounds a bit similar is copying them, O'Death should prove pleasing to your ear. See what you think of Bugs, and keep a watchful eye out for our review of the album in the next couple of weeks.


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Friendly Fires - Pala

Ever since Live Those Days Tonight was released as a web sampler for Pala back at the end of March, I've been looking forward to Friendly Fires' sophomore release with baited breath. So I was delighted to see it drop through my letterbox yesterday morning, and genuinely excited to slip the disc into my stereo shortly afterwards.

Everything about this album seems designed to make it the soundtrack to the summer 2011, just as the band's self-titled debut was for many early adopters in 2008. From the colourful cover art (parrots are very 2011), to the increasingly funky and dancable direction of the music within, Pala is going to be hard to knock off my iPod until the sun goes away again in autumn.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Eurovision Song Contest 2011

It's a big day - no, not the FA Cup final, sillyhead - it's EUROVISION FINAL DAY!! So if your heart's in Dusseldorf today, and not down Wembley Way, this is the place to be. We'll be helping you to make sense of the madness from the first fanfare to the last hurrah, as well as seeing whether Jedward can return Ireland to winning form, or whether France will prove that the hot favourites can actually go on to take the crown.

Click the iTunes button below to take a look at the track listing on the official soundtrack album, but don't be fooled when it says the UK entry - Blue's 'I Can' - is album-only. It's not, and you can get it here.


Friday, 13 May 2011

Barbara Panther - Barbara Panther

If you saw our post on Friday about Barbara Panther's single Moonlight People, you might think you have an idea of what her music sounds like. I thought I did, too. Lilting vocals, catchy chorus, electronic-ish backing music. That sounds like the blueprint for an album to me.

Like me, then, you'll probably be surprised when you actually hear the debut album, Barbara Panther. Not least because it opens with rumbling bass and somebody beatboxing the Pac-Man music. I'm gonna say that again, because I don't often get the chance: beatboxing the Pac-Man music.

Seriously, even if you hated the single last week, you should check out the iTunes previews of the album tracks. It's pretty conceptual stuff, brave for a debut album, and actually pretty well done.


Monday, 9 May 2011

Ganglians - Jungle

The upcoming Ganglians album Still Living might not be out until August 29th, but its PR machine is well underway. The first glimpses of what to expect are already coming out - in this case in the form of the track Jungle, previewed and available to download now from SoundCloud.

So, what do you think? In the first 20 seconds it seems to skip through the briefest moment of Whippin' Piccadilly and hints of That Thing You Do! (that's not my exclamation mark, it's part of the title). The following three minutes wouldn't sound out of place on a Tarantino soundtrack, if you ask me. Millions will disagree, I realise.

Anyway, the album's still a long way off, so there's plenty of time to make up your mind on this one - just be sure to grab the free download of Jungle before it expires!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Barbara Panther - Moonlight People

Kickstart your weekend with this sneak preview at Moonlight People from Barbara Panther. It's out on Monday and is track two on Panther's debut album - also called Barbara Panther - which is out on May 16th.

It's a good-looking video and a catchy song, if a little... well, weird. It's nice to see something like this get a single release, as it's not really mass-market. I was listening to the B-sides of Bic Runga's Sway this week and I have to say, Moonlight People would not sound a million miles out of place among them.

None of that is really criticism, however - there are far worse songs released every week of the year. Moonlight People will be a welcome peek into the upcoming album for some and isn't likely to have anyone desperate to switch off the radio, when it gets its airplay.