Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Jennie Sawdon - Nothing

Perennial Popsiculture favourite and ever-lovely singer-songwriter Jennie Sawdon sent this over to us in late December, so it's great that we've finally had chance to bring it to you all.

'Nothing' is from Jennie's album, Fighting the Fairytale, and tells the story of those simple times spent with the person you love, doing nothing at all, together.

Like all of Jennie's songs, it's a well-told glimpse into one of those experiences we all have at some point in our lives, but which often go untold amid a million generic love songs - and you can watch the stunningly shot video below.

The video for 'Nothing' is the work of cinematographer Jeff Wood (find out more about him here) and continues the commitment to artistry of the highest order that is obvious to anyone who's handled the inlay booklet from Fighting the Fairytale, or even one of Jennie's flyers that make the rounds at her live performances.

You can read our review of Fighting the Fairytale here, find out more about Jennie Sawdon here, or simply click the iTunes button below to go straight to the album download page.
Fighting The Fairytale - Jennifer Sawdon

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Casiokids - Golden Years

Casiokids' Golden Years is taken from the new album Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen and had its official release date on January 23rd - however, we've got a slightly different version for you to have a listen to below.

While preparing for a sold-out show in Tokyo recently, Casiokids faced disaster when their Korg - a 25-year-old and rather rare synth - seemingly gave up the ghost.

Their signature sound was in extreme jeopardy until, with literally minutes to go before they took to the stage, the percussionist's father managed to bring some life back to the old Korg.

In the video below, you can hear a backstage recording of the resurrected Korg playing its essential role in Golden Years flawlessly, less than half an hour before the Tokyo show began.

You've probably already seen our album review for Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen, so I'll keep it brief here - but it's fair to say that Korg is a pretty important band member in its own right!
Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen - Casiokids

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Casiokids - Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen

If Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen is a bit of a WTF? title for you, then it's worth remembering that Casiokids are from Norway. In fact, you'd better bear that in mind while you're listening to the album, too, as you're probably not going to understand most of the lyrics.

Luckily, Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen is a musical powerhouse, a feast for the ears that transcends such earthbound concerns as whether you can tell what they're singing or not. Decidedly electronic compositions with typically Norwegian vocals, this album is one for you to crank up the treble (and maybe the bass too) and float away on a magic carpet woven of songs that sound like a-ha on drugs.
Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen - Casiokids

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy

The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy is Nada Surf's first album release for four years, and their sixth overall. With a band line-up unchanged some 15 years into their career, it's the latest instalment in a great musical legend that is still in the making. Matthew Caws takes vocals and guitar; Daniel Lorca is on bass; Ira Elliot adds the drums; and this album also sees appearances from guitarist Doug Gillard and multi-skilled instrumentalist Martin Wenk.

If those names are unfamiliar to you, it's not too late - there's plenty enough youth in this album to keep newcomers to the Nada Surf story interested, at least until you can track down copies of the older albums. As Caws explains below, The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy is a deliberate attempt to capture the energy of playing a song for the first time, rather than the typical toned-down, pristine performance that usually makes it on to a studio album release.

The overall impact of this approach is pleasing and has few, if any, negative effects. I've picked out my personal highlights below, but you can preview every track on the album using the iTunes widget, and get your own download copy of the contemplative When I Was Young to keep, too.
The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy (Deluxe Edition) - Nada Surf

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Dear Reader - Idealistic Animals

We get this week off to a start with a slightly overdue look at Idealistic Animals, new from Dear Reader and officially released last week.

It's a fairly complex record, touching on Dear Reader protagonist Cheri MacNeil's loss of religion during recent years, but the cynicism is far from overwhelming. Instead, there's a broad spectrum of emotion here.

Your exact emotional response to Idealistic Animals probably depends on your own state of mind when you start listening - I get the feeling it's the kind of music you can mould and shape to meet your needs. Despite that, this is an album with plenty of personality, and it suggests MacNeil's going to be just fine without religion on her side.

Idealistic Animals - Dear Reader

Monday, 9 January 2012

Laura Gibson - La Grande

If you enjoyed our preview of Laura Gibson's La Grande back in November - when the single of the same name was doing the rounds - then January 9th marks the official release date of the complete album.

Expect haunting vocals and atmospheric echoes, layered over instrumentals of typically American clarity. Gibson's Oregon origins provide the inspiration for this work, including its title - La Grande, pronounced 'luh grand' in the local dialect, is described by Gibson as a place "people usually pass through on their way to somewhere else", but its own unique energy sparked the writing process for this album, which pays homage to the town, found east of Wallowa Valley.

La Grande - Laura Gibson