Keeping things shiny and merry.
Keeping things shiny and merry.
Karen O | Crush Songs |
Blossoming as a solo artist, Karen O has released an LP of ‘Crush Songs’ under Cult Records and is beginning to sound more sincere and vulnerable than ever.
Throughout the LP, it felt like an intimate acoustic session with the singer. The stripped down guitars, her far-off vocals and the lyrics made the whole album even more poignant. It’s cheesy to say this, but Karen O’s ‘Crush Song’s are heartfelt and definitely strikes a chord with the listener. There’s emotions of longing, despair and at times, some comfort. Basically what it’s like to have a crush.
It feels like the inevitable moment of forming a crush and all the frustrations that come along with it. The second track, ‘Rapt’, is the never-ending pondering of whether your feelings will be reciprocated. Do I really need, another habit like you, I really need, Do you need me too, I believe it’s gonna leave me blue.
It progresses with a similar anguished mood but all is not lost. Halfway through the album, things start to pick up with ‘Day Go By’ where she starts to sound a little more hopeful and rosy. Tracks like ‘King’, ‘Indian Summer’ and ‘Sunset Sun’ maintains the tender moment and it sort of gives it a happy ending, so to say. Until ‘Native Korean Rock’ starts and you finally hear Karen O expressing her honest-to-goodness self. Truly a happy ending I suppose.
Listening to ‘Crush Songs’ feels like you’ve opened a diary full of smitten confessions. Maybe it’s the same story repeated one or two times, but just like a diary, you’re drawn to its sentimental contents and Karen O’s earnest vocals are a bonus.
(For some reason I keep picturing Ellen Page singing these songs in Juno.)
The band known for their stage theatrics and live musical chops is soon releasing their seventh studio album ‘Drones’ and their continuous success has been impressive. Despite that, Muse has disappointed fans slightly with their older work, ‘The 2nd Law’ (I admit, I’m one of those fans). Come on, songs like ‘New Born’ and ‘ Citizen Erased’ were amazing, it can’t be wrong to want more of that.
But I have been duped before, seeing as how their live performances always brings their songs up a notch, especially after being riveted by their set at the Rome Olympic Stadium (the DVD of course). I took a fancy to songs like ‘Follow Me’ and ‘Animals’ afterwards. ‘Mercy’ is no different, I was initially sceptical but after playing it at Radio 1’s Big Weekend, I’m pretty interested in what ‘Drones’ will offer.
(‘Mercy’ sounds a little like ‘Starlight right? It’s not just me?)
I’m a sucker for the fast-paced, guitar-filled and straightforward indie rock tracks. They’re easy to get on board with and it always beats listening to a Top 40 Hit. Hailing from Cape Town South Africa, Sakawa Boys is still a pretty fresh band but their track ‘Lazy Eys’ is a promising tune. There’s a sense of urgency in this track that kicks right in from the get go. Sure it’s rough around the edges, but that’s part the restless charm this track has. Sakawa Boys, I’m gonna look out for you in the future.
It’s a little too late to post this now (actually very late since the festival was in January) but what the hey, I had a phenomenal time and it was a dream come true for me to see everyone I adore up on that stage.
Everything was a go and the venue was packed with festival-goers, 13,000 to be exact. Braving the heavy crowds was no joke and people were moving like cattle from stage to stage, especially the Cloud Stage. But I managed to hang tight and decided to just hang around the Garden Stage and Bay Stage. I mean, with acts like Mac Demarco, Pond and Royal Blood, why would I be anywhere else?
Mac was the highlight of my day, watching him play live, crowdsurf and even seeing his love gap-toothed grin in the media tent was surreal. Dude knew how to show a good time.
When the night drew nearer, the ladies conquered the stages. Little Dragon, BANKS, FKA Twigs were magnetic on stage. You could not peel your eyes away. Each of them were eccentric in their own way and it was eclectic throughout the sets. St. Vincent though, really captured my attention. I love Annie, her down-to-earth personality and insightful song-writing. When I head her play ‘Prince Johnny’, a lump formed in my throat. I was thrilled beyond belief, to be in awe of Annie.
I left the festival in disbelief of the experience I had just revelled in. I was officially hooked on live music.
God only knows how much I love Julian, I try to soak every minute of online footage there is of him. When we were teased about this short film, I went crazy with anticipation. Praise the lord, it’s finally here.
From The Strokes to ‘Phrazes for The Young’ and The Voidz, I have enjoyed every musical step Julian has taken, particularly ‘Tyranny’. It was difficult to digest at first but my bias towards the guy led me to listen to the album several times. And the more I listened, the more attached I got to the songs.
I kind of got the vibe that The Voidz was an outlet where Julian could vent his artistic frustrations and it paid off. Even with this short film that accompanies the 11 minute emotional roller coaster of a track, Julian went all out. The film brings us through every devastation possible to a human being; addiction, abuse, loss, conflict, destruction and war. Human sadness indeed.
Watching the despair each band member went through was plain to say, heartbreaking. Much like the song, the whole film was very moving. It was also kind of an eye-opener to the injustice of life but by the end of it, it’s all over and you’re looking rad with a pair of white sunglasses, a reference to Laurie Anderson’s ‘Big Science’ album cover.
And playing a live version of the song to go along with the film just elevated the whole experience of watching this mini movie.
Beyond ideas of right and wrong, there is a field, I will be meeting you there Julian. Is that too much?
(Apparently a guitar solo can split the sea if it is that mind-blowing.)
Cruising through the night, watching the luminous city lights glow, is a calming experience. Just remember to have this playlist by your side.
“Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll love you tomorrow.” Is that you Annie that I hear? Nah, it’s the laid-back tune of the Parquet Courts. The Brooklyn band is usually recognised fast tempo tracks like a favourite of mine, ‘Stoned and Starving’ but the band decelerates on ‘Instant Disassembly’, taking a turn for the sedated and unhurried. It’s constant throughout the whole 7 minute track, the same chords repeated over and over again. Albeit, there’s a certain something to it that locks you in and before you know it, that 7 minutes has ended and Parquet Courts is now your new favourite band.
Relatively new in the scene, the London four-piece Beach Baby has a few tracks here and there. With ‘No Mind No Money’ under their sleeve, this kind of post-punk, kind of grunge track with a little shoegaze infused in it, is one you’ll be listening to on repeat.