Category Archives: Been Listening

Been Listening #13

It’s been a long while since I ran one of these posts but since I don’t have any amazing new bands to talk about, I thought I would share with you some of the records I have had on repeat recently.

Purity Ring- Shrines

This is a pretty incredible record. It reminds me of Grimes in places but it’s darker, and not as pop orientated. Purity Ring do electronic music perfectly.

Sharon Van Etten- Because I was In Love

I love Sharon and I have recently been listening to her first album ‘Because I was in Love’. It has a different feel to her newer records, it’s more acoustic, and the songs are soaked in sadness. Those complicated melodies are still present though, and of course Sharon’s heart melting voice.

Lower Dens- Nootropics

A band who I have only just got into, but I am much enjoying listening to this album, which is the work of Jana Hunter and band, who come from Baltimore (just like Beach House).

Tame Impala- Lonerism

Despite probably being the worst band I have ever seen live (Glastonbury 2011- Park Stage, just before Blur- did anyone else witness the torture?), I decided to give them a chance and listen to this record after all the hype. I am very glad I did. Dream-grunge meets Sgt. Peppers.

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Been Listening #12

I haven’t done a Been Listening post since March, simply because it hasn’t been appropriate to. But now it is, so here is what I’ve been listening to recently.

Beach House- Bloom

I love this record. Really love it. It is a huge grower, so if you haven’t got into it yet, give it time. It isn’t as bright and summery as Teen Dream, but it’s darker, woozier and sounds more mature. The song above is the first song from the record I really fell in love with.

Jessie Ware- 100%

I couldn’t make up my mind about Jessie Ware when she burst onto the scene, I’m still not that into ‘Running’ but this song is great. Her album is due soon and I think it could be interesting. I like her take on pop music.

Berry- Les Passagers

While I was in Holland I went to a record shop in Amsterdam called ‘Concerto’. It was almost definitely the best record shop I have ever been in and they even had Hannah Cohen’s ‘Child Bride’ as a recommended album which made me very happy. This album was another one of their recommended albums which I listened to briefly on the big headphones they have hanging on the wall. It’s very 60’s sounding, very Serge Gainsberg, but maybe that’s just the French thing.

Rae Morris- For You

I recently received a Rae Morris EP in the post. It is made up of three tracks with lush arrangements and an all together crisper sound than her earlier demos. The highlight of the EP is the title track ‘For You’ which is just gorgeous. I can’t find the exact version I want to show you but this is close. You can buy the physical EP here.

Roo Panes- Indigo Home

Roo Panes is becoming quite a regular on this blog. He has just released the song ‘Indigo Home’ as a single on iTunes and I think it is quite simply the best thing he has ever done. The string arrangements, provided by the Langley Sisters are incredible. Go and buy it on iTunes and listen to the acoustic version above.

Erasmo Carlos- Masculino, Feminino

Today I have been listening to a mixtape made by Hannah Cohen of Brazilian music from the 60s and 70s. I have gotten really into it and this is my favourite track at the moment. Listen to the whole thing here.

I hope that pleases you this Sunday eve!

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Been Listening #11

My listening at the moment is pretty solidly based around Hannah Cohen and The Civil Wars. When will this end? Who knows! But here is some other things that have reached my ears recently which I thought i’d share with you guys.

Vacationer- Good as New

A lot of hype around these guys at the moment (SXSW hype band 2012?). This song is great, love the strings and the dreamy, dubby video. Check out their other stuff too, I like everything I’ve heard so far. Check out this super great interactive website- vacationermusic.com.

Sansa

This lady has a great voice, very dreamy. She’s from Finland and you can tell it’s Scandinavian- there is that Austra, Lykke Li, Amanda Mair thing going on. It’s great when the electronic beat kicks in- Ellie Goulding ish. My friend Robin at Breaking More Waves just did a post about the original of this song, Boys Boys Boys by Sabrina, definite coincidence as you will see when you look at why he wrote about it.

Emma Madden- After/Qualia (free download)

This is a demo song from a 16 year old songstress from Berkshire. She just put this song on her Soundcloud page and it’s absolutely divine. Her voice is fresh and the unusual offbeat guitar parts and melodies have a really unique sound. Gorgeous.

I Am Harlequin- Wild One

This is very nice. Her voice is pretty Florence- it’s got soul. The song is a sweepingly gorgeous piano ballad. Her other songs are a little more upbeat- check it out here.

Clean Bandit- Birch 

I posted a video from this band in the last Been Listening post I did. The slightly manic cross genre UK Shanty. This song, Birch, is taken from their EP which you can listen to on Soundcloud. It’s more chilled and makes more sense (not that I am saying UK Shanty is bad because it doesn’t make sense- that’s why it’s good!).

Bonobo

I will leave you with some Bonobo, for good chilled out Spring nights.

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Been Listening #10

The Civil Wars- Barton Hollow

I have completely fallen in love with the debut record from The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow. It’s a dark and beautiful collection of song. Rough Trade best described it as ‘Theirs are songs that remind us hearts are there to be broken; that every neck has its noose; that one man’s poison is another’s wine; that loneliness remembers what happiness forgets; that, c’est la vie, such is life; that, c’est la mort, such is death’.

And Londoners, they are playing a free in store at Rough Trade East on Thursday (8th March).

Alice Jemima- All the Boyfriends

Another gorgeous little song from Alice Jemima who is fast turning into one of my favourite unsigned artists around at the moment.

Bart Constant- Do Better (Animals Make Me Angry)

I found this track through Simon Raymonde’s radio show. Pretty stunning I think.

The Wooden Sky- Malibu Rum (free download)

A lovely little song, very catchy and his voice is beautiful. If anyone is in the US, the band are doing quite an extensive tour over the next few months. You can see all the dates here.

Clean Bandit- UK Shanty

This track mixes just about every genre around at the moment. So experimental but it works really well. Cool video too.

Tea Leigh

Someone dropped me a link to this lady, so pretty, so sweet. A lovely listen. This song is called ‘I will make you tea’. She is from Boston and you can listen to all her tracks here.

Elliot Smith

Going through a big Elliot Smith phase at the moment. I find some of his stuff quite difficult to listen to, his voice is so heartbreaking, especially in demo tracks. This song has this really great line in it which goes ‘I’m never gonna know you now, but I’m gonna love you anyhow’.

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Been Listening #9

Anais Mitchell- Young Man in America

An absolutely stunning new album from Anais Mitchell was released last Monday, entitled ‘Young Man in America. The highlight is the sublime ‘Coming Down’ but this song is also beautiful. Highly recommend buying the whole album, lovely packaging too.

BOY- Drive Darling session

Really liking everything this band do. Her voice is so strong yet pretty. Check the New Treat I wrote about them for more info.

Adventure Galley- Weekend Lovers

Kurt Vile fronts Arcade Fire? Pretty damn good whatever it sounds like, and most definitely ones to watch.

Field of Wolves- Don’t Explain

Something really refreshing about this, I’m a fan. Will be interesting to see what she does next.

Jethro Fox- Before

This song massively exploded on Hype Machine a while ago. Jethro Fox has now released a video for the song which was filmed in a little church and features accompaniment from Dan Croll…

Dan Croll- Home

Absolutely beautiful song! Dan Croll is a young chap from Liverpool and I think he could have a bright future ahead of him.

Sorcha Richardson- Midnight Whistle

Absolutely gorgeous song from this young lady who hails from Dublin but is living in NYC. You can find her on Facebook here.

Town Hall- Always on Time (Ja Rule & Ashanti cover)

Another ace cover from the lovely Town Hall band. You can also watch the very nicely made video here.

Smith Westerns- Dye it Blonde

Super enjoying this album at the moment. Lots of brilliant melodies and summer vibes. This is probably my favourite song at the moment.

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Been Listening #8

Bella Union’s Winter Mixtape

So we got some snow this weekend! This mixtape provides a perfect accompaniment to that snow, all wintery gorgeousness.. It starts in a beautiful place with Hannah Cohen’s ‘The Crying Game’ and continues with chilled folk, electronica, trippy stuff and even some classical music. Plus it’s free to download! Click on the picture to access the download.

Ajimal- Footnote to Love

A while back, I featured Ajimal as a New Treat. You can see that post here. He has just released a new single which is called ‘Footnote to Love [Part 1]. It’s a little different but I really like the direction he is going in, his voice is great and he has so much potential as a songwriter. It’s great to see new artists get better and better.

Kathleen Edwards- Change the Sheets

I saw Kathleen Edwards support Bon Iver at Hammersmith Apollo in October. Her set was nice, I really liked her voice, but there was something missing about it, and it certainly didn’t have the mesmerising quality of the act to follow her. She has just released an album which has been produced by Bon Iver, but doesn’t actually sound a lot like the music of Bon Iver. Which I think is a good thing. This song, ‘Change the Sheets’ reminds me of Alanis Morissette. It’s quite addictive, sign of some great pop song writing.

SEASFIRE- Falling

SEASFIRE played Communion last night. This song stood out a mile for me compared to their other tracks. People are describing them as the UK’s answer to the Weeknd, I sort of get that vibe, I think they have potential.

Nightlands- Suzerain (A Letter to the Judge)

Someone posted this on my Facebook wall and I fell in love a little. Unfortunately, the rest of their songs aren’t as good as this one. But still, listen. Like a hippie version of The War on Drugs.

Father John Misty- Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, who has just left Fleet Foxes to start his own solo career. This is the first song released to the world and it’s a strong start. It’s got glimmers of Fleet Foxes but is overall pretty different, more of a San Fran 70’s rock vibe.

Kishi Bashi- Bright Lights

I think this song is SO great. It’s got lots of weird Eastern influences but also sounds like a Macca track. Kishi Bashi ran a pledge campaign and managed to make over $20,000 to make his debut album, which is going to be released in April.

Julia Holter- In the Same Room

Some gorgeous ethereal chamber pop from LA based Julia Holter who pitchfork have been harping on about. She is releasing her second album on March 8th, and it’s apparently a big step up from her first record.

Linda Perhacs- Parrallograms

This record is one of those forgotten albums that was recorded and released in the 1970’s, no one took any notice, and then someone rediscovered it in 2003 and rereleased. It’s a really interesting record, pretty in places and psychedelic and weird in others.

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Been Listening #7

The Maccabees- Given to the Wild

On Tuesday I went to Koko’s MTV New for 2012 gig. I went to see Lana Del Rey, but she cancelled so I was left with Charlie XCX and The Maccabees, two bands I previously felt quite sceptical about. I always thought The Maccabees were your typical indie pop outfit, and I think their first album was precisely that. But they have evolved over time and their new stuff is brilliant. They have fantastic stage presence, something I don’t say much of indie music. Check out the song ‘We Grew Up at Midnight’ which they played last and is my favourite.

Alice Jemima- Today

Ahh the gorgeous sounds of Alice Jemima. This new song is undoubtedly one of her finest. Such lovely melodies.

Mazzy Star- Fade into You

This song is really quite old, and really quite famous, but I’ve only just discovered it. I really like their sound a lot.

Hospitality- Half an Apple

Hospitality just released their debut self-titled album. It’s pretty Best Coast ish, but not as happy jolly girly sounding. I’m not that into it but I absolutely love this song. It sounds like so many great things from the 1970’s.

Sea of Bees- Broke

I love love love love Sea of Bees. I think she has such a great voice, and is such a good songwriter. Live, they are charming and graceful. Really underrated band. Their second album ‘Orangefarben’ is set for an April UK release on Heavenly Recordings. But lucky for us, we can hear one of the tracks from it now! It doesn’t disappoint, and shows a growth in sound from the first record.

Karen Dalton- Reason to Believe 

I went into Rough Trade earlier this week to buy the First Aid Kit album and came out with two other albums as well (standard). One of those albums was called Karen Dalton- 1966, a collection of lost recordings by Karen Dalton. Karens voice is one of my favourites, their are glimmers of Billie Holiday in it but it’s incredibly unique as well. This album was on one of those headphone things and I put the headphones on and pressed play and was mesmerised by the beauty of this song. It’s the line ‘Knowing that you lied straight faced while I cried’. So I purchased this album. This reason, along with many others, is why record shops need to survive. Otherwise I may never have come across the sweet sounds of this song. It’s been covered by a lot of other people from The Carpenters to Rod Stewart, but it’s only this version which gets me like the lyrics should.

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