17 February 2008

British Sea Power

British Sea Power (MySpace) is an indie rock band from Brighton (UK), which has been around for eight years or so. When their second album was released in 2005, the BBC described their sound as
They touch on The Cure's epicness, Joy Division's desolation, the Pixies' scrawling fire and Talking Heads' twisted pop, all without ever truly revealing their influences.
I only discovered them this year, by trying to keep in touch with the British music scene through reviews in the UK media. There is so much good music from Britain at the moment, which rarely rates a mention in Australia.

Their latest album Do You Like Rock Music? was rated five stars out of five by The Observer and tipped to be one of the hottest albums for 2008. NME's review was amazingly 'lyrical'. The BBC just about gushed. And rightly so.

CD cover for debut album The Decline of British Sea Power (2003)

CD cover for Open Season (2005)

CD cover for Do You Like Rock Music? (2008)

clip for 'Waving Flags' from Do You Like Rock Music?

clip for 'No Lucifer' from Do You Like Rock Music?

clip for 'Please Stand Up' from Open Season

clip for 'It Ended On an Oily Stage' from Open Season

clip for 'Remember Me' from The Decline of British Sea Power

16 February 2008

Hard-Fi - new video clip

clip for 'I Shall Overcome' from Once Upon a Time in the West

11 February 2008

Film School

Film School (MySpace) is another indie rock band (from San Francisco) that I listen to, which has a great guitar sound. They released their debut album Brilliant Career in 2001, which is now a rarity. Their self-titled second album Film School was released in 2006 when I discovered them. Hideout followed last year. Both are excellent albums, though seeing them live would be even better.

CD cover for Film School

CD cover for Hideout

clip for '11:11' from Film School

clip for 'Like You Know' from Film School

mini documentary about the band

They should really try to put more clips on to YouTube.

09 February 2008

The Kooks

The Kooks (MySpace) is an indie rock band from Brighton, UK with a unique and refreshing sound, particularly the vocals of lead singer Luke Pritchard. Their debut album Inside In/Inside Out in early 2006 was very successful in the UK. They deserve greater success in the US and Australia. I really like their sound.

I am really looking forward to their follow up album Konk to be released on 14 April 2008.

CD cover for Inside In/Inside Out

CD cover for Konk

clip for 'Naive'

clip for 'Ooh La'

clip for 'Sofa Song'

(live) clip for 'Eddie's Gun'

More from The Kooks' YouTube thekooksofficial

03 February 2008


Another hot tip for 2008 is Foals (MySpace). They are a new band from Oxford, UK. In an interview with the BBC, Foals spoke about their sound, which BBC has also described as 'punk-funk'
"We play guitar in a different way from pretty much any other mainstream indie band," declares Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis.

"We have a piano which is used in a different way to how most other bands would use it."

Guitar effects pedals are employed to "mimic the sound of the solar system", he continues, attempting to explain what sets this five-piece apart from the average rock band.

"We're just different."
They have a fresh sound, though the song Cassius reminds me of Franz Ferdinand. They also wouldn't have sounded out of place in the 1980s with their brand of punk. From a review in The Indepedent
That Foals aesthetic is one of discovery and invention, driven by a need to create something relevant within today's cultural landscape. In an industry obsessed with rehashing past styles, Foals looked to unexploited resources of musical inspiration to incorporate into their sound.
The band's debut album, Antidotes, is an explosion of colour and one of the most astonishingly original records of the past decade. It is a patchwork of influences, from Afrobeat and math rock to German techno and Steve Reich's minimalist loops, all woven together with a pop sensibility and a desire to defy the restraining influence of the mainstream.

CD cover for upcoming album Antidotes (from 24 March)

clip for 'Mathletics'

clip for 'Hummer'

clip for 'Cassius'

More from Foals' YouTube wearefoals channel

02 February 2008

Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend (MySpace) does not sing about ghoulish things such as drinking blood. Actually, I've been listening to their debut album and still haven't worked out their lyrics.

Vampire Weekend is a New York band whose debut album (released this week) has been critically acclaimed. From The Guardian
Their debut album offers a meticulous hybrid of US indie rock, African pop, reggae and Irish folk, performed by four recent Ivy League graduates, who helpfully dress as recent Ivy League graduates and pose in front of blackboards and so on. That, presumably, is for the benefit of anyone unable to work out their origins from their habits of calling songs things such as Campus or writing lyrics about baroque architecture, forms of punctuation so obscure that even Lynne Truss doesn't understand them, and life among the moneyed twentysomethings of Hyannisport and Provincetown. It sounds like the winning answer to a tie-breaker beginning "the most annoying band in the world is ..."
And a great review in Rolling Stone magazine which explains a bit more about the African influence
As for the African thing, Vampire Weekend cite the blog Bennloxo.com as a source of current Afro-pop; one assumes that they're also well-acquainted with Graceland. They're smart enough to know there's a political dimension to Columbia kids borrowing from Afro-pop, and their appropriations seem fairly unspecific. Those appropriations are also tucked neatly into VW's sound: "Bryn" rides the kind of triplet-based polyrhythms both India and Africa could claim, but the tune is a love-struck thing Arcade Fire might turn out. Then there's "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," the most Afro of the pop tunes here, with a conga groove and register-jumping bass lines. Koenig mentions Benetton. He sings, "This feels so unnatural/Peter Gabriel, too." VW may grow out of this kind of self-consciousness, but the song is warm and well-executed — just like most of their debut.
They are also one of the BBC's top picks for 2008.

CD cover for self-titled debut album

clip for 'Mansard Roof'

(live) clip for 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa'

clip for 'A-Punk'

(live) clip for 'Oxford Comma'

(live) clip for 'A-Punk'