I’m Scared of Vinyl

Jay Reatard

Posted in News by Catriona on January 14, 2010

Oh my god, Jay Reatard died yesterday, here’s the article that broke the news. They havn’t figured out what it was yet, judging from the article it sounds suspiciously like swine flu.

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Choice Music Prize shortlist

Posted in News by Catriona on January 13, 2010

I can’t quite believe the Choice Music Prize shortlist has rolled around yet again… the feeling of my life slipping through my fingers is beginning to scare me a little. Anyway, the list is as follows:

And So I Watch You From Afar And So I Watch You From Afar
Bell X1 Blue Lights On The Runway
Codes Trees Dream in Algebra
Adrian Crowley Season of the Sparks
Dark Room Notes We Love You Dark Matter
The Duckworth Lewis Method The Duckworth Lewis Method
Julie Feeney Pages
Valerie Francis Slow Dynamo
Laura Izibor Let The Truth Be Told
The Swell Season Strict Joy (ie Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova)

As usual, the real talking point is who’s been left off the list as opposed to who’s actually on it. Just to chuck in my ha’penny’s worth, I’m wishing that Hunter-Gatherer had got on the list and also wondering why Patrick Kelleher and Super Extra Bonus Party weren’t on it…

Vampire Weekend – Contra

Posted in Albums by Catriona on January 12, 2010

I’ve read a couple of pretty disappointed reviews of Vampire Weekend’s second album on the internet recently, and yes, the album will probably not prove to be as universally popular as their debut was, but I still like it. I’m more inclined to agree with Mike Powell, who wrote a far more positive review for Pitchfork, and gives a particularly good description of the album saying “Vampire Weekend sound like they’ve fallen in love with what they started and are hugging it tight without shame or apology”.

Once you get past the fact that there’s not going to be another “Oxford Comma” or “A-Punk”, you begin to appreciate just how genuine Contra really is as an album. They’ve really developed their sound and in particular their influence by world music, especially with the diversity of their percussion instruments. It’s so interesting to finally hear the full album – when “Horchata” was released about a month or so ago, I kept wondering if it would be representative of the entire album, or whether it would have the same anomalous factor that “Mansard Roof” had on Vampire Weekend’s debut. It turns out it very much belongs to the former category. Contra truly was contrary to what I was expecting, but it’s an album that grows on closer acquaintance and has a summery quality that’s particularly welcome at this time of year.

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Love Is All

Posted in Albums by Catriona on January 11, 2010

“Kungen”, the first track from Love Is All’s latest album has just been released. The Swedish five-piece are due to release their third album, Two Thousand and Ten Injuries, at some point this year. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the band – they always produce such up-beat pop that’s ever so slightly off-kilter and their sound is also very similar to Robots in Disguise, another band which I had a short-lived obsession for. Their album titles are also fantastic – the name of their second album A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night captivated me instantly and I spent a good two weeks playing “Wishing Well” practically on repeat, to the intense irritation of all around me. I tired of it eventually, but now “Kungen” has come along, with it’s catchy keyboards, echoing vocal harmonies and unexpected saxaphone, I’ve become temporarily obsessed with Love is All, all over again.

The Ambience Affair

Posted in Albums by Catriona on January 5, 2010

The Ambience Affair are back with a new EP, “Patterns” which you can order from Road Records. For now, here’s a little sample of what you can expect on the EP, the track “Devil in the Detail” – it’s brilliant!

The Ambience Affair – “Devil in the Detail” mp3