I AM ALIVE// I DID (not) FORGET

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It’s obvious that I haven’t been posting on here since… November. I am aware. Yes. And it’s probably obvious by now that I have absolutely no excuse. But I will start again… soon. I’m thinking by June (after exams have been and gone) you will be getting regular musical wonderings (aka posts) once again. I apologize for the undue and unexplained absence.

Though, I have still been ~~musically involved~~ during our absence:

Update concert/gig wise:

  • I have seen Swim Deep, Wild Cub, Wolf Alice, The 1975, Sundara Karma, Banks (absolutely incredible) and Eclair Fifi  I think that’s it…
  • I did not go to Bombay Bicycle Club‘s album launch as I was too ill after being at an anti-human trafficking lecture in Westminster all night the night before. I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT
  • I did not go to see Bastille and Dan Croll because we had exams and so decided #priorities I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT
  • I should be seeing Daughter at their Summer Series at Somerset House 
  • I may possibly go to Reading Festival for a day as everyone I know will be there… I did want to go to Latitude, but nobody else was planning on going #shame #sadness #unfulfilleddreams 

Anyways, I shall see you in the (hopefully) not too distant future 

Taylor 

 

 

Darlia

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In order to bring myself back to some sort of reality after my recent (forever ingrained within the internet…), overstimulated, excitable babble over Rivka, I am injecting some sort of rock and roll edge to steady me in the form of Darlia.

Darlia – a derivation of the flower Dahlia – capture quintessential youthful British Rock, recognisable without a need for googling their geographical info. Their sound shouts of latent youthful days, appropriate considering they only released their debut EP “Knock Knock” a month ago. The three tracks encased within this impressive debut have a remarkably professional edge to them, whist retaining every fraction of punky-rock and roll they are able to muster… which is a lot.

https://soundcloud.com/darliasounds

RIVKA ~ “Drift”

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RIVKA leaves me speechless, which is slightly insufferable with my purpose of being here being to describe in word-form what you could easily just listen to yourself in sound-form, which I now recommend you do for “Drift”. It combines almost everything I have every pinpointed as loving in a song, and presents it in a muted fashion so as not to become unbearable or agitated, but weightless, ethereal… finding a perfect balance and holding the listener there in some celestial fantasia. 

RIVKA’s “Drift”  is a track which has unquestionably secured itself within my “all time favorites”, for the way it grabs you in, sends you away, twists and twirls around you then tosses you into the clouds and cushions you down to the ground again, all the while whispering melancholic wonders into your ears, leaving you in a state of eternal ethereal contemplation and illusion. *

https://soundcloud.com/wearerivka/drift

*NOTE: The overwrought adjectives and imagery result because of my inability to put into words what this track puts into sound, so don’t listen to me, listen to it. Ignore my overstimulated, mindless babble. 

Folly & The Hunter ~ “Watch for Deer at Dawn”

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This post is being formed in lieu of struggling through a history essay which is fogging my mind and fraying it round the edges, making my thought process somewhat clouded and incoherent; which evidences what a focused and driven student I truly am…

Folly & the Hunter are another band heralding from Montreal, which already validates them, their music and their whole creation without any further explanation. Though, their music wavers slightly more so away from the underground~synthy~experimental type of music that I tend to associate with Montreal on that Rapture, being in itself more folky and obtainable to the wider listener – without sacrificing any of its musical integrity. The lyrics tell a tale of wonder with the musical score taking you up and floating you down in a surreally swift motion, with also an equal sense of underlying heartache; like a beautiful breakdown. I’m not one for deeming occasions where one should listen to a particular track… but if I was to, it would definitely be if you were to find yourself watching for deer at dawn… which for me, living in a deer park, seems highly pertinent. 

https://soundcloud.com/outside-music/folly-the-hunter-watch-for

The lies under the surface

white lies

talking about: WHITE LIES

There is an obviously frank juxtaposition the way  White Lies are being described with dark, harrowing adjectives, but the latter end of the name being “Lies” suggests there is much more than surface value, but indeed something secret, slightly possessive and deeper to the music and the carefully, meticulously formed sounds.

Compelling, shifty, meandering with a dark, dense treacle like quality – hitting off and enrapturing qualities from wide-stretched genres panning from metal to boy band-pop; White Lies are displaying their musical prowess and quality in their latest album “Big TV” – which they described as a compilation not of something new, but of something refined in which they have sought to purify their sound.

The vocals hang implicitly on a wire of musical certainly and retain a steady and strong balance, not breaking in the affectionate indie-type fashion of which, as a collective, we’re become all the too immune to, but displaying instead that their uniqueness and mastery does not need to be defined by some alt-style vocalist with an uncertain yet charming edge.

The music as a whole creeps up on itself, pulling and edging the listener along with it. Shadowy but utterly cool, the mystery seeps in more and more as the track pushes itself along a second at a time; the seconds upon seconds unravelling the blissful confidence and stride of the song, as each element, each component is given time to be valued.

Contemplation fills you as you ponder the twinkling, magical value that the song hangs above you, slightly beyond your comprehension but near enough to inspire awe and fascination; you are compelled to find out more, open up your realms of knowledge in further discovery, bury deeper not just inside the record but inside yourself as the emotions trapped, released and realised within the music arouse an awakening within yourself as the roots and causing’s of the songs are mirrored and reflected back into you the listener, forcing involvement, binding you in commitment to the music.

The music is altered from the usual DIY, experimental type I so often write in awe about, but instead has such a refined yet obviously edgy and with a definite confidence – that is careful in not over spilling into cockiness – aspect to it; the band and the album are a gem that affixes itself between not being outlaws, yet not selling out – instead perfecting strong, personable and damn catchy, in the most beautifully annoying compelling way, music.

“Everyone’s father dies”

Majical-Cloudz

I’m concerned by the fact that I do not think Majical Cloudz  have had a single solely-focused utterance on this hereby blog-type platform.

Of course they’re from Montreal.

Of course I first heard of them via. Grimes.

And of course they have an upcoming concert that I am highly keen (yet not so highly likely) to attend.

I don’t believe that I could not be a bigger stereotype/ cliche of myself in this given moment.

The rise of April saw the video for “Childhood’s End” released (directed by Emily Kai Bock, who also formed “Oblivion” amongst other visual spectaculars.) Childhood’s End leaves one uneasily and unsteadily swaying around, surrounding oneself and filling ones head with the eerie, dark, impatient, deafeningly sad music. It is undoubtedly a highly visually evocative song, which is balanced and played upon by the subtle black and white nature of the video.

The tragic sadness that the song so overtly expresses is keep at bay by the ardent, eager beats which open it up, setting a bar which Majical Cloudz maintain and slightly (but not overly) heighten throughout.

The song itself does not seem to hit any particular peaks and troughs in terms of musical mapping, but in overt honesty, I don’t feel it needs it; it hits and ventures along at a pace fitting and in keeping with the overall tone and theme of the music… playing with it and through it, instead of against it.

Childhood’s End is deep and resonant, a combination sad, tying upset and fulfilling richness, excavating emotion from even the stone-y-est of souls and the most dried up of eyes. It is a soothing, imaginative, explorative concoction that becomes hypnotic after even the first listen… it draws you in and breathes you out again, filled yet somewhat unsatisfied because of the sombre and unsettling nature of the song.

Additional notes: THIS was, I believe, the first Majical Cloudz song I heard, which is a good basis to track their overall evolution and growth.

Their website: http://majicalcloudz.com/

Their soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/majical-cloudz

Their album Impersonator is out now: http://www.matadorrecords.com/buy/majicalcloudz/impersonator/?gclid=CKLT6rW6-7gCFSXLtAodmR4AkQ

 

When darkness + lightness meet, and more lightness seeps in.

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ELITE GYMNASTICS, not my go-to Olympic event (well, in part…) but the musical venturings of Canadian-ite James Brooks, which is now defunct. Sorry to disappoint.

But, alas, in lieu of our loss, we now have Default Genders – after Dead Girlfriends didn’t work out so well for names-sake – so all is no longer amiss.

Default Genders has lately been getting a lot of intense musical scrutiny, mostly and most unfortunately slightly negative, about the track “on fraternity” and the intentions and/ or motives behind the song. Taking it personally from a female perspective when listening, I can see how the interpretation can lean towards a female take on sexual assault {(and it does make sense as Brooks is a self-proclaimed Feminist, and DG as a name itself translates what a pretty decent anti-stereotypical/ conformist and worldly guy he seems to be)} aka, a male rewrite – but from again a female perspective…- of Grimes’ “Oblivion”, which has that also as its lyrical motive, but alas (again), it is not, what it really is, is:

“no, this is silly, the song is literally called “on fraternity”, it’s about being frustrated with being a man and being expected to participate in/being unable to fully extricate myself from the power systems that create the “certain physical discomforts” of being a woman in public

 

it’s not a rewrite of “oblivion”, it’s a song about what it feels like to listen to that song knowing what it’s about and that it was written by someone close to me, about not wanting to be complicit in the power systems and codes of silence that enable the sexual assault and dehumanization of oppressed minorities including women, it is not a female perspective on sexual assault, it is a male perspective on it, it’s mine”

{Via: http://deadgirlfriends.tumblr.com/post/56979326152/since-its-release-brooks-has-noted-that-there-are}

I feel that it is these sorts of things, that can make an artist really grow on you, even in just a moral sense, which Brooks// Default Genders has.

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Both the released tracks of DG have a definite pop-like ring to them, but then something appears to have happened during the creative process which really seems to slam that aspect in the face almost, giving it an anti-pop essence, whilst curiously retaining its original pop roots.

I have listened to (and still do…) a lot of music, and the style of DG is something I have not heard a lot of. The presentation of it is more cheerful – with sombre bells attached to it, weighing it down slightly. Melodically, it touches base with more “hardcore” genres such as punk, yet also retains the presence and aura of otherworldly music: lightness and humility – it is wholly over-whelmingly interesting and absorbing both solely musically, and solely lyrically also. Solely lyrically the tracks that are out are intelligent, relevant and hard-hitting. THANK GOD.

james brooks default genders

Having no form of management/publicist/label representation I can only put down the art direction of the two videos “on fraternity” and “stop pretending” down to Brooks, and for that my adoration has surpassed another level.

It may not be entirely clear, but my head and interests lie almost exclusively within the arts, and I have recently (yet not so recently) been attracted to film based arts and projected film… so if you have watched the videos, you may know where this is going. On a purely aesthetic level, these videos are two of my favourites, why? I am unable to frankly summarise without sounding utterly insane in my attraction to them, with the simplicity, but depth also, they translate across seamlessly, so I will just embed them below, and hit the “loop” button.

Artists like Default Genders are representing both within themselves personally, and as musicians, what I truly appreciate and think more musicians should be doing. Yet I feel almost ashamed of myself for dragging the personal “human” aspect of an artist into their creation – as I know in a sense that they should be kept separate, objectively; but when your work is your life, the two become closely entwined and indistinguishable almost, that it is harder to separate the two without discrediting what you are actually meant to be listening/ watching/ witnessing.

“Fine, cool whatever. Thanks for clearing that up.”

Brooks is creating music with personal meaning, but not just solely to him, but also in representation of others – the “oppressed minorities”, and I think making music as great as this, but also involving something you stand for and are passionate about within your original musical passions, is what makes aspects of DG’s music surpass others. It has genuine meaning, and genuine thought has been involved in its creation. And for that, I commend him (as I could not think of a lamer/ more aged phrase.)