Vampire Weekend - Step
Vampire Weekend amp up the hype for their highly anticipated third album with a new Youtube lyrics video for the track ‘Step.’ I remember hearing the sampled lyrics ‘everytime I see you in the world you always step to my girl’ from the early 90s Souls of Mischief track Step To My Girl. I’m not sure where the origin of those original lyrics are from but regardless, Vampire Weekend harmonise the lines beautifuly and come in great form with Step.
Modern Vampires of the City is due to be released May 13th, and no doubt fans will be relishing the new record while many critics will be keen to criticise the band, whether it be due to experimentation or lifting influences from other artists.
Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes
Paul Simon - Diamonds on The Souls of Her Shoes (Live in New York, 2011)
You can’t help but let the uplifting vocal and instrumental expressions of this song pick you up and carry you away on a foot tapping frenzy. Written twenty-five years ago, this song still gets people of all ages dancing as was proven at the Paul Simon concert held last week in Melbourne.
Paul Simon has been a powerful force in influencing modern music today. Bands such as Vampire Weekend have drawn inspiration from the groundbreaking 1988 album Graceland, from which Diamonds on The Souls of Her Shoes appears. The album is noted for its African musical influences and genre-defying upbeat vibe.
Vampire Weekend received a lot of backlash by fans of Paul Simon’s solo work for ‘lifting’ similar influences, such as afrobeat and eastern African folk music in the wake of their 2008 breakthrough album. However Paul Simon defended the group.
‘I felt bad. I wanted to go and tell them that I didn’t think they were taking anything. So that’s what I told them. They said, “Do you think we are?” and I said, “No, I think you’re going to the same sources that I went to. You’re drawing from the same well. You’re trying to write interesting songs.” In a way, we were on the same pursuit, but I don’t think you’re lifting from me, and anyway, you’re welcome to it, because everybody’s lifting all the time. That’s the way music grows and is shaped.’
The 71 year old is still an excellent performer and musicians continue benefiting from his illustrious 50+ year musical career.
Vampire Weekend are due to release their third album in May this year.
Pogo - The Planet
It has been a while since I heard from Perth producer Pogo, but I’m always interested in finding out more about his music since there is no DJ who samples quite like him. On his Disney remix series, he would often chop up dialogue into such tiny samples that the vocals were indistinguishable.
He has since gone on to sample everyday life and make music from cities around the world and even from his mother’s gardening (on the track ‘Gardyn’).
This brand new song The Planet sees Pogo continue his offbeat approach to music in using a largely acapella basis with beatboxing and whistling. The track further proves Pogo to be an unconventional artist of many talents who isn’t afraid to go against the grain and create a completely unique sound from the familiar and obscure.
Local Natives - Ceilings
Since the Local Natives’ new album Hummingbird leaked two days ago, things have been pretty quiet on the blog front. I’m going to write about one of my favourite tracks on the LP and hope that Frenchkiss Records don’t hunt me down over this one.
Ceilings is an absolute gift from start to finish. The balanced concoction of guitar and synth combined with dreamy riffs and harmonies makes it approachable, replayable and remedial all in one.
Remember that Hummingbird is officially released on January 26th and I would strongly recommend purchasing that album if you like what you hear. It is well worth the purchase.
I haven’t done this in a while, but I think I’ll share the lyrics of Ceilings with you.
“Haven’t stopped your smoking yet
So I’ll share your cigarette
Just to feel it in my fingers
Walk around ‘til 3 am
Tell me what I know again
To keep myself from second guessing
All my silver dreams bring me to you
Hold the summer in your hands
‘Til the summer turns to sand
We were staring at our ceilings
Thinking of what we’d give to have one more day of sun,
One day of sun
Silver dreams bring me to you [x3]”
Lorde - Bravado
Lorde is a songwriter from New Zealand who has just released her EP in December 2012. The Love Club EP is currently available for free in its entirety from her Soundcloud page.
One listen to Lorde will be enough to assure you that she is ready for the masses. Her EP features some excellent vocals with top notch production. Bravado showcases both of these.
Lorde effortlessly graces the track with multi-layered vocals to create a rich harmonised soundscape, warming the sparse backdrop of beats and synthesizers. Spread the word and help Lorde get some well-deserved attention.
Download - Bravado
The Paper Kites - Bloom
The lush vocals of The Paper Kites are enough to melt away the frosty clutches of Winter and help you indulge in the beautiful Summer weather we’ve been having in Australia, whether you live here or not.
Bloom is probaly the most famous of The Paper Kites’ tracks from their debut EP Woodbine. They have since released a second EP this year and embarked on a national tour.
Keep an ear out for this incredibly talented bunch of Australian artists.
Local Natives - Heavy Feet
One of my favourite bands of the 2010sies has just leaked another track from their sophmore album Hummingbird.
The Local Natives can manage to strike a chord between bliss and heartache as demonstrated on songs like Cubism Dream and Airplanes on their debut Gorilla Manor LP. Heavy Feet carries on in that tradition, with the Californians further proving their pitch perfect harmonies, percussion and sincere songwriting.
Hummingbird would have to be one of my most anticipated releases of 2013, thankfully we won’t have long to wait, as the album is released on Australia Day on iTunes.
Night Beds - Even If We Try
Falsetto vocals, violins and a lush melody makes this Colorado band’s music worthy of a feature.
Admittingly, I haven’t checked out the group in much detail, but according to their feature on Indie Shuffle, we should be able to expect a debut album from Night Beds around February
2012 (whoops, 2013).