L: Autumn 15 I’M LISTENING TO

The autumn colours have started to appear their most beautiful these past few weeks. If you’re looking for some melodies to accompany the seasonal strolls through the carpets of brightly coloured leaves, look no further than down below.

Easy-listening acoustic tones are provided courtesy of 17 year old Khalid Robinson, also known as ‘Kai!’ Saved is bound to give you the feels. Relaxed tunes from COMODO and Thrupence will be more than enough to keep your mood warm as the cold snap takes hold. So grab the coats, scarves, headphones and whatever else you’ll need and head outside while the temperature still allows it.

 

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L: Winter 15 I’m listening to

Don’t let those winter blues get you down. We’ve been relatively lucky with the weather in York so far, there’s been plenty of clear days. Apart from that it’s still far too cold for me to function. Hit up the playlist below for brilliant new tracks from Toro Y Moi and Hayden James to make the new year a little easier on yourself.

There’s also some beautifully chilled tunes from some names you may not be familiar with, including the north London trio ‘Arctic Lake’ with their most recent single ‘Limits’. Another one of my particular favourites is the down-tempo track ‘Sebra’, which is bound to jazz up any frost ridden evening bus ride in the dark.

L: SEPT 14 I’m Listening To

My favourite Aussie band are about to set off on their European tour, Panama have been gaining a notable following around the globe for a while now. Their ‘Always’ EP in 2013 was one of my favourite releases from that year and this new track available for free doesn’t disappoint. I feel they’ve got a really distinctive sound and it’s great to hear some new stuff from them.

New artist ‘Nao’ has been recently introduced to the masses by popular act Disclosure who gave her a shout out on their facebook page. Elements of the track are slightly reminiscent of some of Jai Paul’s earlier works yet ‘So good’ has a jazzier sort of vibe. There’s a lot of hype around Nao and I’m excited to see what she’ll release next.

New material is also out from “Doing drugs on a freeway…underwater” producer xxyyxx. ‘Unknown’ seems to be a calmer, more down-beat addition to his portfolio of tracks whilst still managing to be ridiculously infectious. I particularly adore the notes of piano at 3:30 just before the track rounds off.  It’s crazy he’s still only 18 years old. xxyyxx was also present at this years Laneway Festival 2014

Fourth up is another free track available to download. It’s new material from Peckham’s finest Katy B. ‘Little Red Light’ is a groovy production with a little Reggae influence thrown in to keep the track fresh.

The fifth and final feature for this month is possibly the best remix of ‘Put your records on’ I’ve ever heard. The rework comes together beautifully and oozes a smooth and seductive vibe. The perfect track to see off this year’s summer.

L: 08/14 I’m Listening To

Sampha and SBTRKT are at it again, this has been out for about a month now and is without a doubt my favourite track of the moment. I find it’s much easier to listen to than SBTRKT’s previous material.

The next one’s taken from Chrome Spark’s latest EP release. Chrome Sparks is still quite new to me as I only recently discovered his stuff after hearing ‘Still Sleeping’ a collab with Steffaloo while watching one of the Nokia adverts. 

Found this just one today over on: Musical musings of ho. I really recommend taking a look at Kenny’s site, he’s got a great ear for music.

And finally me and my flatmate Phebe love a bit of La Roux, been listening to the new album and this is one of my favourites from the new release

L: Review: Laneway Festival Singapore

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As I boarded my flight to Singapore nearly 6 months ago from, I really didn’t consider the possibility I’d end up sitting at an indie music festival next to one of the world’s most futuristic looking hotels and a collection of solar powered man made ‘super trees’. A sensational lineup, ultramodern setting and Singapore’s warm breezy weather resulted in a very chilled yet vibrant break from the stresses of city life here.

This is the 4th year St Jerome’s Laneway Festival has returned to Singapore with acts from previous years including big names such as Bat for Lashes, Kings of Convenience, Gotye, Alt-J and many more. Aside from the usual UK, Aussie and American acts, this year took an interesting turn with the addition of some local talents. Vandetta, the Observatory and Gema undoubtedly brought a welcome twist to the lineup.

The Jezabels,  a four piece band from Sydney unknown to me before, were one of the earlier acts which set the tone for the day ahead. Hayley Mary’s distinct rich vocals demanded attention from throughout the meadow and became a crowd favourite almost instantly. XXYYXX’s explosive set did not disappoint, preventing the daylight hindering the atmosphere by the cloud tent.  Unfortunately UK act Mount Kimbie’s performance later in the day felt lacking in consistency and proved a little too experimental for me at times.

Due to an unfortunate injury Gabrial Winterfield of Jagwar Ma was unable to perform at the event, yet Jono Ma fulfilled the task of keeping the crowd entertained with his impressive DJ skills. As the night fell Haim’s stage presence was simply electrifying, especially during their rendition of their hit single ‘The Wire’. Having read so many positive reviews of Jamie xx live, I was worried I may had raised my expectations too high, thankfully my expectations were not only met but in fact exceeded. Jamie xx proved to be a true master of sound, opening with Motown inspired beats with the rest of the set continuing to be varied and infectious.

As the evening came to a close, the Mercury prize 2013 winner James Blake was the final act left to perform. Blake’s haunting vocals pierced through the crowd, readily complemented by a stirring selection of electric rhythms making for a memorable performance . Any doubts I had that songs such as ‘I Never Learnt To Share’ would not translate well onto stage were completely eradicated with all songs sounding as good, if not better on stage.

Although many continue to slate live music as being far from the quality of the recorded sounds we listen to everyday, the acts at laneway festival are another example of how the stage can bring another definition to their music. After being disheartened by various nights out in Singapore with questionable club music and uninspiring live events, the  Laneway festival has restored my faith that good music can be appreciated anywhere, even to audiences as far as those in Southeast Asia.

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L: What I’m Listening To

With a lot of work to complete, I need a lot of music to help me get through it. What I’ll try to do from now on as some writing practice is to talk to you guys about what music I happen to stumble into. Some music will be old I’ve just found and some will be new top 40 hits or tracks off new albums. Be prepared for a proper mix of everything, if you like any particular track hit the comments and let me know what you think.

First up is one of my favourite tracks from the Disclosure album ‘Settle’. The vocals provided by Hannah Reid (London Grammar) being robust whilst simultaneously being received as very mellowing. The consistent jazzy beat in the background amplifies Reid’s dreamily chanted verses. It’s just a nice song to play during your way back from school or work to help you detach from that crowded mindset. My favourite part is from 2:50 onwards where the song evolves into a brief enchantment for the soul.

The second track is an older track released in 2012. Unfortunately I’ve only recently discovered Australian musician Flume’s brilliance. ‘Holdin On’ is a wacky combination of R&B influenced vocals spliced with electric synths resulting in a pretty fresh sound. This charted pretty well in Australia and New Zealand, not sure why the single’s success wasn’t as large in my part of the globe. There’s definitely room for some Flume….. (Please ignore the last sentence if it makes you cringe)

The last song for today’s post is collaboration round 2 for British acts Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande. This one’s a real banger, especially when you’re working to meet deadline. There’s a real survival element, taking a slightly darker tone compared to the pair’s previous track ‘Wonder’. Emeli Sande euphorically  belting out chorus does not disappoint. My favourite lyric being ‘Devil can’t catch me tonight’ which every time manages to leave a smug little grin on my face.

L: VV Brown Secret Gig

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These are some photos from a while back when I went with my sister to see VV brown perform her new stuff live. The new music is a massive change in direction and although I enjoyed listening to it live and think it will translate well to recording I’m not sure if it will appeal to the masses. Having said that, VV’s new music may go down like a storm in the alternative market. The new music video for her upcoming single ‘Sampson‘ was recently released. The new musical direction is clearly present in the music video also. VV doesn’t even make an appearance. It’s a great example of British entrepreneurial spirit especially in the musical industry. Keep your ears peeled for more, I had a great night the gig was set in a little room underneath a bridge near Old Street station and the vodka cranberry’s were in unlimited supply, there was a good vibe and a great DJ set before she came on.    SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSC

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