Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bring on The Brisk

Autumn in the City - Claude Marshall

I am on cloud number nine lately with this weather. I absolutely love feeling the cool air whipping through the quiet streets in the morning, how while walking in a park last weekend we were already kicking leaves away, and when that crisp smell sweeps through the window at night. I know this is a little ridiculous because it's August, but I don't care - I really love autumn. I love fall moves, fall babies, fall weddings, fall clothing and everything else that applies; so if it comes early, I won't complain. (If winter comes early, I will). To me, it's the most wonderful time of the year. So, without further adieu, here are the songs I'm enjoying this week. I wish I could spend more time explaining why, and talking about the artists behind them, but don't worry - all in good time. Once I start bunking with...myself...I'm sure I'll have lots of "me" time to chat more about the jam-packed airwaves:



Waiting For The End – Linkin Park (remix): Not normally a fan of this band at all - I was shocked when I heard a sort of cool song on the radio, and then realized it was theirs. The original is a bit much, but I find this remix a little touching. Strip away all of the corporately-driven crap and keep the bare basics, and it's fine by me.


Why Don’t You Believe Me? – Small Sins: New band from my favourite label, Arts and Crafts! They seem so quirky and fun, just like this video. I will gladly put several pennies down saying this act will not be a one-hit wonder - I have a feeling more catchy favourites will churn out of them.


The Mast – Feist: Old school Feisty - love it. Our sweetheart Canadian crooner throws back to a mellower time with this melancholy tune, showcasing her raw and smooth vocals and reminding us why we love prequels so much. We get to see where the bigger ideas came from, later in the game.

Clean - Louise Burns: This girl has a little bit of Nicole Atkins or The Dum Dum Girls in her, with her powerful pipes and annunciatedwords. Marching alongside her crashing instruments, this newer Canadian artist is certainly someone to keep an eye on.


Whistleblower - The Arkells: Ah yes, my boys. You can always count on The Arkells for a thumping new single that's fit for anyone. With a hard-hitting melody and Max Kerman's awesomely rambunctious vocals, the thrashy instruments on "Whistleblower" have had me hopping around my bedroom circa Molly Ringwald dancing on the library railing in The Breakfast Club. It's made moving fun, I'll say that.


Lighthouse - Interpol: This one's a heartbreaker. The jangly slide of the guitar paired with Paul Banks' classically sombre vocals chanting "What do the waves have to say now?", I'm not denying that it's a pretty hauntingtune - but it would be quite the soundtrack for a stroll through a stormy east coast town.





image via


Monday, August 29, 2011

The Little Stevies


If you haven't already checked out this charming three-piece folk-pop band from Australia called The Little Stevies, please do. Their harmonies are sweet as pie, similar to the artists themselves, and their melodies are catchy enough to have you skipping down sidewalks. I interviewed the band on the weekend for another publication I write for, and I was delighted (after having what feels like several Australian best friends over the course of the past decade) to have an hour-long conversation with the adorable co-captain Beth Stephen after their Ottawa Folk Festival performance. Aside being totally taken aback by the beautiful atmosphere of the festival (it really didn't feel like we were in the city any more, despite being city center) - I was taken even more by surprise by the effortlessly perfect harmonies resonating from the kind trio, which includes Beth's sister Sibylla ("Byll") and their best friend Robin.

One of the perks of my chosen career path is getting to meet wonderful and fascinating people every day, who expose you to ideologies, life stories and styles that you would have never stumbled across if you hadn't been assigned to it. A job where all I do is meet new personalities, shoot the breeze, dig a little deeper and find out why they have chosen to do what they do, really is all I could ask for. And, it leads me to lovely people and sounds like these!

Here's a glimpse at the band's sweet new single off their second album, only recently released in Canada, called "Accidentally". Be sure to check out the rest of the lighthearted album Attention Shoppers as soon as possible, it's perfect for all ages and occasions.



Saturday, August 27, 2011

G'Morning



Happy Saturday morning! As I sit here baking and cooking for the weekend, my Feist playlist is one of the best parts about my sun-filled kitchen. Enjoy this with a cup of coffee the way I am, and nothing is impossible. Clearly, because I'm baking...

Have a lovely two-day break.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Party On Packers

Although I slightly apologize for my near-constant commentary on the whole moving process - I can't really help it. All of the logistics, the sleepless nights spent remembering tiny but important administrative details, and the neverending organizing has led me to be completely pre-occupied with the ordeal.

So, here are a few friendly images and fun Friday tracks to listen to while I rummage, help with my packing mood and help me remember that the best part about the weekend packing is friends, late night red wine and sounds to help with the whole thing:


Honey Bunny - Girls: Outgoing and energetic retro-sounding tunes, for when the dance party breaks out.
                           

How To Love - Lil Wayne: Aw, Weezy. You big gooey gangster ball of love. Actually really enjoying this song; it has a wonderful message and I, of course, have a wee soft spot for Wayne and his grills.

                        

Dinner - Blood Orange: Like a song that would be playing when a 1980s film protagonist struts into the high school prom's parted crowds, this song is such a seductive and flashy gem. So unbelievably into this band lately - they're so melodic and catchy, yet so unique.

                         

I
Love How You Love Me - Neutral Milk Hotel: An old classic turned into a new one by this quirky indie group, as well as Beth Orton and Camera Obscura too. In case you think Jeff Mangum sounds like a cat having a bad cat dream - it's actually just his style, and it's kind of great.



And, aren't these lovely?






Thursday, August 25, 2011

Born Today: Born To Run


Happy Birthday to arguably one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time! On this day in 1975, Bruce Springsteen released a collection of triumphant songs and social commentary which would forever change music and everything it meant. The album stood for youthful ambivalence, blue collar USA, big loss, little gain, passion, heartbreak, the open road and mostly - a concept that encompassed every bit of Springsteen's determined and exhilirating first albums - getting out. 36 years ago, with songs like "Backstreets", "Thunder Road", "Jungleland" and of course, the glorious title track - everything changed, even if just a little.

Greil Marcus, in his October 9, 1975 Rolling Stone album review of Born To Run entitled "Springsteen’s Thousand and One American Nights", said:

"Springsteen’s answer is Born to Run. It is a magnificent album that pays off on every bet ever placed on him - a ’57 Chevy running on melted down Crystals records that shuts down every claim that has been made. And it should crack his future wide open...

What is new is the majesty Springsteen and his band have brought to this story. Springsteen’s singing, his words and the band’s music have turned the dreams and failures two generations have dropped along the road into an epic - an epic that began when that car went over the cliff in Rebel Without a Cause. One feels that all it ever meant, all it ever had to say, is on this album, brought forth with a determination one would have thought was burnt out years ago. One feels that the music Springsteen has made from this long story has outstripped the story; that it is, in all its fire, a demand for something new.

Oh-o, come on, take my hand,” Springsteen sings, “Riding out to case the promised land.” And there, in a line, is Born to Run. You take what you find, but you never give up your demand for something better because you know, in your heart, you deserve it. That contradiction is what keeps Springsteen’s story, and the promised land’s, alive. Springsteen took what he found and made something better himself. This album is it."


No one could say it better, other than the boss himself in his breathtaking songs. Happy Birthday and congratulations, Bruce. For whatever it's worth, you certainly changed my life.




Rest in Peace Clarence "The Big Man" Clemons, January 11, 1942 – June 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Here Comes My Man

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

Well, it's confirmed. I'm still wildly and madly in love with Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. My favourite alt-country artist, and without a doubt one of my favourite artist in general, Ryan Adams is that musician for me whose discography is something I possess in full. It's extremely rare for me to hear one of his songs and not appreciate and adore it, not listen to it repeatedly, and not tell at least three people they need to get the album.

I don't know what it is about this Americana poet that captivates me. It might be his wonderfully relateable lyrics, his subdued (actually stage fright-stricken) demeanor, or his heartfelt instruments - but either way, I always hear an Adams song and understand or connect with one part of it. You could say that I like him, because I feel like I know him. Or he knows me. Or something of the sort.

After a two year hiatus, he just released the first single off his upcoming November album Ashes and Ice, called "Lucky Now", and like I would expect - it's another perfect country rock ballad that would be welcomed with open arms by the likes of Jackson Browne or James Taylor. Decorated with his soft twang and rolling acoustics, this song is destined to soar out of an open window on a Southern highway.

Introspective questions about his youth like: "I don't remember were we wild and young? All that's faded in the memory. I feel like somebody I don't know - am I really who I was?" lead into conclusions about his present when his raspy vocals hum, "The lights will draw you in and the dark will take you down, and the night will break your heart only if you're lucky now...Love can mend your heart, only if you're lucky now." The song stays at ground level, never taking off to a higher and heavier alternative-country place - which is actually one of the nicest things about it. Charming and sweet, Adams narrates these passing thoughts throughout the three-minute song, with homey acoustic guitars and a tinkering countryside piano right there with him.

Although a simple little tune, Ryan Adams and his rural rock songs always hit hard and resound as real classics. When it comes to so many of the greatest artists of our time, it takes more than a catchy hook to really reel us in - it takes thoughtful stories, timeless melodies, and a true character to deliver them both. There's Ryan Adams, and most likely this new album, for you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Machinery


Florence sans Machine

After her hugely successful debut album Lungs, Florence Welch is back with the mighty-sounding first track, "What The Water Gave Me", off her upcoming and unnamed November release. The heavy vocal performance is a powerful combination of her own acrobatic chords (both voice and harp), pounding instruments that pile like Tetris, and haunting gospel support. Once you hear it, you'll understand that it really does take a colossal choir to appropriately support one of the most prominent vocalists in the business.

This track is most likely an indicator of an album that will be one of the hardest hitting musical finales of 2011. Using the same studio conductor that led her down the amazingly atmospheric and romantic path of the song "Cosmic Love", the upcoming album is guaranteed to feature some weighty tunes that will send the industry reeling the way Lungs did with all of its legendary uniqueness.

The first thing I like is that this song has an element of fight in it. What begins with a dark, flickering beat beneath her spiritual howls and harp, grows into a sea of instruments, choral voices and a whole lot of emphasis. It doesn't take long for the sparkling instruments and lady-like vocals to gain momentum, slam into high gear, and sweep us off our feet. Florence's voice takes the passenger seat to the different sounds as they build, until it's time to take off - and she spends the last minute and a half thrashing her powerful vocal riffs against all four walls of the studio.

One other thing about this song? The video is unbelievable. Like some sort of "Making Of..." documentary, the video flips between footage of an infectious and pumped-up recording session with her brood of performers and her on the lawn of an estate, twisting her flower-child body around a microphone while her fiery red locks are thrown into the camera with each thunderous shout. Trust me, it's exactly what you want to see in a classic music video - a wildly passionate performer, some theatrical flare, and footage that captures the inner-workings of a true hit.

I can't wait for the rest. Check it out:

Florence + The Machine - What The Water Gave Me

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nice Songs for New Things

A lot about my life is changing/going to continue to change in the coming weeks and months. And one of the best parts about new things? New songs to go along with them. September reminds me of back to school, moving, changes, re-evaluations and new undertakings. So, as my second time not returning to school but switching humble abodes - some great new tunes to enjoy in the cooling air are absolutely in order.

Here are some of the wonderful songs intriguing me as I pack up my home (room), start thinking "big girl" decorating and say goodbye to a year spent building memories in one place. I'm venturing out on my own this time around, so it's important I have some good and comforting music to get me through the packing process and adjustment to living with...just myself. Enjoy these lovely end-of-summer tunes, I sure am!

Calamity -The Decemberists

This Too Shall Pass - Rogue Wave

Take A Bow - Greg Laswell


Coldest Days - Rural  Albert Advantage



It's only a matter of time!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Unforgettable

A quiet classic for one of the quietest nights of the week. Timeless and of course unforgettable, Nat King Cole and his fairytale lyrics sound like heaven. It's one of my favourite songs, and on a rainy Sunday night, it sounds even more perfect. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Few Notches



In case you absolutely loved Adele's most recent chart-topping album 21, but didn't necessarily feel like sobbing alone in your bedroom every time you clicked "play" on the beautiful grand finale "Someone Like You" - I may have found the solution. Now, all dubstep and house-hesitant listeners, don't fear. These are fairly subdued remixes of the original tune, but are instead just two heightened twists that act as enough to pull you up from the dumps when you decide to indulge in the sweet piano melody and empowering message. Now, if you need a good blubber or quiet moment - by all means, listen to the original. It's amazing.

But, in those times when you want a hop in your step or to hold your chin high - here are two takes that bring it up to the next level. Enjoy!

Adele - Someone Like You (Messed Dubstep remix)

Adele - Someone Like You (Thin Red Man Remix)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Unpolished and Perfect



What I'm sharing is actually nothing overly newsworthy. I say that because I suppose the material isn't exactly new, but to me and the fact that I was fairly late on the discovery process - it feels like it is. I've been an avid Stars fan for as long as I can remember; I'm actually surprised I don't talk about my deep love for the Montreal-bred band more often, considering I probably am more familiar with their discography than that of any other Canadian band. It's been a long and very fulfilling relationship, and they always manage to warm my heart.

So naturally, I always make a note of picking up what they put out. And by nature, I'm also a massive fan of re-issued or re-packaged classics. But for some reason (maybe because it's not exactly new material), this one slipped through my fingertips. Stars' unbelievable 2007 release, In Our Bedroom After The War, was worn down to nearly nothing after the hundreds of hours of airtime I gave it in the place they wanted it played, my bedroom. Like the other releases (their album Set Yourself On Fire is an absolute must in everyone's collection), this album is personal, thoughtful and passionate. Three things that I was elated to hear re-emerge in their "unpolished" state on The Bedroom Demos - a release that features the raw, bare bones demos recorded prior to the release of the actual album. They're honest and open versions of the beautiful tracks; and perfectly vulnerable in their unfinished, test-run sort of state. Here is a glimpse into the demos, I hope you enjoy these cutting room floor beauties the way I have this week:



My Favourite Book - Stars (The Bedroom Demos)

Barricade - Stars (The Bedroom Demos)


Take Me To The Riot - Stars (The Bedroom Demos)

Canal Songs

One of the best parts of living in Ottawa is the spectacular Rideau Canal - the massive waterway that stretches across the city, curving in and out of neighbourhoods as this magnificent city middle treat. Often a hub for runners, bikers, lover and friends - it's also a wonderful place to be quiet and alone. If I feel like I haven't gotten any exercise in a day or feel particularly cooped up, I stroll down the street towards the canal and just tour the lengths of the beautiful water. There are little places to sit and people watch of course, but I find it fascinating to just walk - I'm always amazed how far away I end up, while still being in the middle of everything.

The other day I went for a long walk in the evening and when this popped on my iPod  - I had to smile. Here's, obviously, the perfect song for a canal jaunt:

Canal Song - Iain Archer



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ruby Tuesday



Here are EXACTLY the songs on my mind this week. Some throwbacks, some new, some completely random and some exactly what we all need. Last night I went out with my 3 best friends (the other chapter of the group are spread out in Ontario and Quebec) who are in Ottawa, to say farewell to one who is leaving for the year. Needless to say, we got sappy, we drank wine, we ate Italian and we listened to fabulous tunes that made us happy and sad and everything in between.

There (really is) is nothing like a night with the girls. Here's to friends, songs, wine tears and everything else:

Addicted To Love - Eagles of Death Metal

Inside of Love - Nada Surf

Half Light I - Arcade Fire

Monday, August 15, 2011

By My Side



This is definitely one of my favourite songs, even if I forget it intermittently and then re-discover it again once every two years. Whether it's the simple and soothing original love lullaby or the sassy Neptunes remix, something about Sade just puts me in an empowered mood. I was definitely feeling the remix all weekend which was spent doing a fair amount of work - and therefore also spent walking all over the city when I needed a break or escape from the confines of my paper-covered dining table.

I don't know what got into me this weekend; I'm always quite active and make a point of going to the gym or doing something outside, but this weekend I felt like the female Forrest Gump. Once I got walking, I would just walk and walk and walk. Which is a good thing, I suppose? So, for the early morning coffee run or late afternoon prison break, I was a big fan of the original. But, when the sun faded and the sky was blue, I was vibing in my own little walkin' world to the flashy remix. Happy Monday, enjoy a cup of Sade!

By Your Side (original) - Sade

                                        By Your Side - Sade (Neptunes Remix)







Friday, August 12, 2011

Mama Knows Best

        

Happy Friday morning everybody! It's a beautiful day here in the nation's capital; the air is crisp, yellowy sun rays are painting the downtown streets, and the sky is a breathaking bright blue. Life is good.

In case you, like me, had one of those weeks where every day was b-a-n-a-n-a-s, these two songs (one of which was obviously influenced by the other) should bring you a little bit back down to earth.

Two classics, two wonderful messages, and two days of lovely weekend relaxing ahead. TGIF - amen!

Mama Said - The Shirelles PS, even THIS song is dubstepped...

Days Like This - Van Morrison

When you don't need to worry/ There'll be days like this
When no one's in a hurry/ There'll be days like this
When you don't get betrayed/ By that old Judas kiss/
Oh, my momma told me/ There'll be days like this.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Stroll Through The City

Put together by a friend of a friend (and my new friend), here is a wonderful iPod glance into our journey through Toronto and into the Bon Iver-adoring crowd at Sound Academy. Isn't it amazing what technology can do? This fabulous, grainy little video was filmed only by this fascinating mobile device. Set to the band's song "For Emma, Forever Ago", Katie skillfully crafted the perfect glimpse into our magical stroll through the towering skyscrapers, down to the docks, and of course - our pot of gold musical equivalent at the end of the big city rainbow.


Well done, Katie! Here's our night with Bon Iver, in all his (and I suppose our) glory.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bon Iver, Bon Iver

When Justin Vernon, the humble front man behind Bon Iver, finally strolled onstage alongside his brood of instrumentally genius pals, it was the first time (in a long while) that I felt a sort of surreality overtake me at a live concert. I found myself twisting my neck to see around waving hands and bobbing heads, straining on my toes as they held my elevated weight, and almost too fascinated to wildly clap like the other ecstatic concert-goers. I wanted to see who he was; who I literally consider to be the perfect embodiment of the man, the myth, the legend.

On Monday night, I attended the live performance, nine-piece band equivalent of a private jam session in Bon Iver’s living room. Mastermind Vernon was there, playing alongside eight of his dedicate friends; he was singing unadorned with all of his heart; he was experimenting with new sounds; and he was warmer and more welcoming than anyone who’s ever hosted me.

Or at least that’s what it felt like.

I actually was packed into a muggy, narrow concert hall in Toronto with hundreds of hip young bodies elated to see everyone’s favourite modest musician take the Sound Academy stage. Appropriately located at the docks, this Toronto venue – although trendy like the rest of the bright metropolis – was about as rustic feeling as it would get for the indie-rock musician who famously holed up in a Wisconsin cottage to write most of his most haunting masterpieces. The air was thick and heated, and once opening act The Rosebuds left the stage, it became even denser with anticipation to see this magical mystery artist who first captured the attention of North American soul-searchers in 2008.


And then there they were. Arranged and calm beneath an aura of northern light-like effects, in front of their microphones, slamming into the first song, “Perth.” Although easygoing by nature; this nine-piece orchestral mixed bag heaved hard into the first track and didn’t retreat. Vernon, who we all had envisioned to be the quiet genius behind some of the most breathtaking albums of the last two decades, didn’t hold back. Crashing outros and noisy experiments took over the beautiful performances of “Creature Fear”, “Calgary” and “Towers”, tossing the expectation of a Kleenex-heavy standstill concert immediately out the window. Perhaps the most interesting transformation was the uppity rock tempo that beat out from underneath the hot red stage lighting on “Blood Bank” – a normally gentle melancholy recollection that was cranked into high gear, and therefore cranked up to a new level of meaning in its quickened state. Never before have I so actively echoed Vernon’s sentiment than when I felt the buzzing guitar in my chest as he strummed vigorously, motionless in front of the tall microphone shouting, “I’m in love with your honour, I’m in love with your cheeks.”

At first listen, it seemed as if he was going to tick through the entire new album in uninterrupted succession – a realization that had a good half of the audience giddy to hear the hot-off-the-press items, and the other half puzzled and nail-biting for more of the scene-altering debut album For Emma, Forever Ago.

But he continued forward, graciously thanking everyone in attendance at almost every pause, and announcing some of the (hardly) oldies to come – sending the nostalgic attendees into a frenzy. Vernon left his preciously hushed classics untouched; hosting the entire audience on his own as he solo-strummed quiet falsetto beauties like “Flume”, “Re: Stacks” and “Skinny Love” to a swaying and emotional crowd. High acrobatic vocals were graceful and effortless for the handsome songwriter – as if the entire show was a one-take recording which the history books would remember. It was pure and howling when his profound words needed emphasis, and a brave, deep croon when the booming band called for it.

The nearly 20 song set has Vernon established further as the quintessential contemporary artist. I feel idiotic calling him anything along the lines of “indie” or “indie-rock” – it feels too general and disconnected. The show, and his music, is anything but that. Although intricately poetic and digging out of a place we all wish we could dig from, when he ventured into the woods to create his landmark confessional work of art, he connected us to it. We understood everything he meant when creating it, somehow. And since he’s continued forth with new albums, sounds and performances – a show like this proves he’s found us again, and will inevitably continue to connect us more to who is really behind the man, the myth and the legend.


Calgary - Bon Iver - Toronto, August 8, 2011

Skinny Love - Bon Iver - Toronto, August 8, 2011





*I do not claim the rights to any of the above videos

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rain Gear


It's a rainy day in my hometown; the limestone city is under a haze of drizzle and thick heat. Equal parts unpleasant and equal parts kind of pretty, today's weather is the perfect excuse to have a quiet afternoon inside, curled up with a book and hot coffee in the corner nook of my couch.

I think I'm going to pop on some old jazz or mellow acoustic tunes, maybe scoop out a big and colourful bowl of ice cream and stay in one place. What do you do when it's grey out?

Here are a few rainy songs to fit the rainy mood:


Rain City - Turin Brakes
"It rains so slowly, in the city where I'm from."



Rainy Night House - Joni Mitchell



Stormy Weather - Billie Holiday










Source: 1, 2

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Getaway Songs

Do you ever put a lot of time into iPod playlists or mixes for a particular vacation? I think you do, only because everyone realizes that life is wonderful in its silent moments, but equally as captivating when it has a sound to go with it. Well, as you can tell – I sort of, kind of, maybe love it and live it. Some people hear a word or see a picture and they see an aura, others smell things or are reminded of something from their past. These are all legitimate ways to use your senses when your brain is registering an image. I hear a song usually. Actually almost always I hear a song that would click. I see a bustling downtown strip and think of a neon-bright electro track, I see a lonely balcony and I think of a quiet acoustic, I see a beach and think of an upbeat indie-rock song. If a fictional movie deserves an appropriate soundtrack, so does your (very real) life.


While I’m on the topic, I’ll mention my obsession with looking at photos of wild or extravagant travel destinations. I’m fascinated with these glossy photos that you can readily Google or find in travel magazines; these pictures that depict a quiet and untouched place of serenity, glamour and unfamiliarity. Whether it’s a high-rise New York hotel in the stars or a lofty balcony hideaway on the Mediterranean – there is certainly a playlist for every destination on earth. So, I thought, what better way to talk playlists than to combine them with some midday eye-candy?

So, for starters, here is the Andaz West Hollywood Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Simple, quiet but somehow extravagant. Perhaps not always quiet, with the buzzing Californian streets at its doorstep, but peaceful in its modernity. This hotel used to be the Hyatt or the "Riot Hyatt" as it was known to the drunken rock-star celebrities who used to tear the walls down with drugs and alcohol-fueled 1970s debauchery. So, yes - in comparison to its "riot"-nicknamed predecessor, it's a wee bit more subdued. What a better destination to couple with tunes than one that used to be temporary home to traveling rock goons who performed the shows, and especially ran the Hyatt's show.

So, here are the songs the new and improved Andaz getaway would deserve:


I Go To Sleep - Sia


Into The Sea - The Album Leaf


Destiny - Zero 7


Walnut Tree - Keane



Hljomalind - Sigur Ros



Source 1(&2,3,4,5), 6

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Awakening



It's one of those breathtaking songs. "Coming Down", the newest track from fuzzy grunge-girl rockers Dum Dum Girls is actually quite the opposite from what we're used to hearing out of them. No muffled vocals, no buzzing and angry guitars - only the heavy honesty in lead singer Dee Dee's voice, some piercing solos and a melody that sounds like they ripped their own version of "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star.

Listener discretion: this one sticks with you. I put it on a few weeks ago for the purpose of easy listening, but with each new listen, the stinging messaging put forward by the Dum Dum's became more obvious. Maybe it's the really heartbreaking lyrical meaning, which resembles one we've probably all felt in bad relationships or during our most jaded of times. Maybe it's the transcending clang of the early-90s guitars, swirling in the air above you and tugging on your heartstrings in a darker way than "Fade Into You" did. Maybe it's at 3:30 when Dee Dee howls like Chrissie Hynde into her microphone, sending chills down your spine as she releases the words "There I go."

Or maybe it's tiny truths like this, that rock your world to utter, and most likely rock the world of the person on the receiving end. "You abuse the ones who love you/ You abuse the ones who won't/ If you ever had a real heart/ I don't think you'd know where to start." Crushing and dark, but from the first strum of the melancholy ballad - they suprisingly slide in like poetry.



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Message

One of my favourite Coldplay songs is "A Message", which starts with one of my favourite lines: "My song is love." As wonderful as that song's message is, this one might have an equally special one. I stumbled upon it again, and really think it might be one of the prettier concepts I've ever heard. The slow, soothing ease of the beautiful lyrical beginning, then the uplifting build-up and the choral boom of the ending. It's just one of those very meaningful grand finales that caps off a wonderful album. Hopefully you can find some meaning in it also.


Death and All His Friends - Coldplay

All winter, we got carried,
Oh way over on the rooftops, let's get married.
All summer we just hurried,
So come over, just be patient, and don't worry.
So come over, just be patient, and don't worry.

So come over, just be patient, and don't worry.

And don't worry.

No I don't wanna battle from beginning to end;
I don't wanna cycle, recycle revenge;
I don't wanna follow death and all his friends.

No I don't wanna battle from beginning to end;
I don't wanna cycle, recycle revenge;
I don't wanna follow death and all of his friends.