Sunday, December 30, 2012

[Electro - Pop] Passion Pit - Carried Away (Viceroy Remix)

Not a lot of new music coming out this time of year but having featured this song in my top 10, I did manage to find this Viceroy remix of Passion Pit's "Carried Away" which came out a few weeks ago. Didn't think it was possible to make this song effervescently happier but Viceroy, with his trademark tropical synths and beats has found the answer to the dilemma. Perfect song to play as we hit up the new year.

Passion Pit - Carried Away (Viceroy Remix)

Friday, December 28, 2012

[R & B] Frank Ocean - Wise Man

And we're back to new releases, hope everyone had a good Christmas! Anyways here's a new one from Frank Ocean who recently leaked this track after director Quentin Tarantino was unable to feature the poetic ballad on his brand new film Django Unchained. Quentin explained that it wasn't the quality of the song that was the problem, it was the fact that he didn't have a scene in the movie that would do the song justice.  

Frank Ocean - Wise Man

Thursday, December 27, 2012

[Flashback] Best 20 Songs of 2012: #1 - 5

So we finally reach the top 5 songs of the year and may I just say that all 5 artists are well deserving of their spots. Finishing at #5 is one of, if not the catchiest songs of the year for myself and a lot of fellow Australians. "Cherry Lips" from Loon Lake's Thirty Three EP delivered an incredible foot stomping anthem to bring them right to the foreshore of Australian music talent. No doubt this one will feature in the top 10 of the Hottest 100 on Australia Day.

#5: Loon Lake - Cherry Lips

Probably my most anticipated album of the year, TDCC's Beacon promised so much from their lead single "Sleep Alone" sitting at #4. I'll be honest here and say that Beacon in comparison to Tourist History it definitely was not as good, but then again, they set the bar extremely high to begin with. No matter this was definitely my favorite from the album and was most reminiscent of their older work which I have loved for so long.

#4: Two Door Cinema Club - Sleep Alone

One of the more somber songs on the list but Colorado's The Lumineers' "Ho Hey" was a song that touched my very heart. I'll admit it, I'm a softy for a good ol' love song and this exactly what it is. Coming from their self-titled debut album this year, "Ho Hey" is the kind of song that will either make you cry or sing along with in joy. Funny that it should stand at #3 when this is the same position it finished on Billboard's Hot 100.

#3: The Lumineers - Ho Hey

About 3 months ago I discovered Chvrches after they were making so much noise within the Blogosphere. At #2 "The Mother We Share" was an absolute monster of a track and I literally fell in love with it within the first 10 seconds. Lauren Mayberry (the lead vocalist) has an extraordinary voice and the production was so crisp and clean. So much potential and here's hoping they live up to it in 2013 and beyond.

#2: Chvrches - The Mother We Share

So here we are at #1 and in all honesty, this was a clear winner in my books. The Neighbourhood's "Sweater Weather" was the greatest song to grace my ears in 2012. A mix between indie rock and R&B - esque rhymes made this track so much fun to sing along to. Originally it was released as a single by itself later on forming part of the I'm Sorry EP and the band has been riding the wave of success ever since. HUGE things to come in 2013.

#1: The Neighbourhood - Sweater Weather

Sunday, December 23, 2012

[Flashback] Best 20 Songs of 2012: #6 - 10

Quite the productive year for The xx with the release of their second studio album Coexist. "Angels" was by far the standout track for me and sits comfortably at #10. Didn't think it was possible to pack so much raw emotion into one song. The haunting atmospherics, the ghostly guitar lines and Romy's heartfelt vocals result in the making of absolute masterpiece. Their live studio performance in Tokyo is something to be seen to be believed.

#10: The xx - Angels

Well it wouldn't be a Top 20 without San Cisco and with the release of their self titled debut album this year. Coming in at #9 "Fred Astaire" was one of my favourites off the album and trust me when I say that choosing just one San Cisco song to feature in this list was terribly difficult. Perth based (just like myself) the indie pop quartet finally had they're breakthrough year with Jordi and Scarlett leading the lines with their amazing vocals and general talent.

#9: San Cisco - Fred Astaire

Maybe not a well known group to you all, but this was certainly one of my favorite releases of the year by Tanlines. Mixed Emotions was their debut full length album released earlier this year and "All of Me" was just this funky catchy song that I fell in love with. The Brooklyn duo are the ultimate craftsmen when it comes to producing
electro-pop goodness and in my eyes this song deservedly gets placed as #8 of 2012.

#8: Tanlines - All Of Me

It wouldn't be a top 20 without featuring Passion Pit's latest work. Gossamer being the second studio album and a highly anticipated one I might add, delivered the goods yet again. Again, lot's of great things came from this album and I did enjoy the band's more somber moments, but it was "Carried Away"at #7 that was most reminiscent of the good ol' fun electro - pop for which I had fallen in love with in the first place.

#7: Passion Pit - Carried Away

More Aussie talent to talk about! The Jungle Giants released their second EP earlier this year and not only has it taken Australia by storm but I can clearly tell they're making an impression all around the globe. "She's A Riot" the lead single from the She's A Riot EP is a shoe in to make the Triple J top 10 this year and with the band's perfect pop sensibility there's no reason that these guys can't be as successful as some of the big game players of today.

#6: The Jungle Giants - She's A Riot

Saturday, December 22, 2012

[Flashback] Best 20 Songs of 2012: #11 - 15

The Triple J Unearthed winners for 2012 had to make the list right? Well The Rubens have definitely have had quite the year releasing their self titled debut album and having great success with one of my favorite singles "My Gun" coming in at #15. There's no doubt that they are going to feature heavily in this year's Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2012 and look set for great things in 2013 with their sultry style of genre and play.

#15: The Rubens - My Gun

Hope you guys hadn't forgot about these guys because they were definitely one of the hottest acts in Australia this year. Last Dinosaurs' released their debut album In A Million Years back in March this year and it was absolutely brilliant. Although we had heard many of the tracks on the album in the previous year, "Andy" was a standout drawing similarities with TDCC and they're style of play. Big things to come from these guys, I assure you.

#14: Last Dinosaurs - Andy

Mr. Little Jeans is not a Mr, and I don't know how little her jeans are, but I suggest you try getting past Monica Birkenes’ inaccurate performance moniker and getting into her music.  “Runaway” was a sweeping, maximalist, and vaguely (but appealingly) creepy pop jam with a great beat and it comes in at #13. I've always kind of thought Monica was like a prettier and better version of Grimes (apologies to all Grimes fans out there), she just has that much more appeal to me.

#13: Mr. Little Jeans - Runaway

At #12 we have the debut release from the Remix Artists Collective aka RAC. As the name suggests RAC are renown for their indie pop/rock remixes, but this year they took their chances on producing their own single "Hollywood" featuring the vocals of Chris Glover from Penguin Prison. The result was stupendous, taking all the great elements from their remixes and putting it into production they were able to create their own unique pop experience.

#12: RAC - Hollywood feat. Penguin Prison

An old time favourite of mine are the indie rockers from Canada Mother Mother. So at #11 I had to have a track from their fourth studio album The Sticks. "Infinitesimal" is everything I have ever loved about the band; loads of quirkiness, poppy goodness and the always dynamic instrumentation and vocalisation. Could've easily had 2 or 3 tracks from the new album but then again that would've been a pretty boring list haha.

#11: Mother Mother - Infinitesimal

Friday, December 21, 2012

[Flashback] Best 20 Songs of 2012: #16 - 20

So I think now is the right time to be reviewing 2012 and all the glorious music that was released this year. Slowly but surely I'll be releasing my top 20 songs of the year (5 at a time) and trust me when I say choosing 20 songs in one year was bloody difficult. Sneaking in at #20 we have Alabama Shakes with "Hold On" which came from their debut album Boys & Girls. Soulful rock at it's best, Alabama Shakes burst onto the scene with this brilliant track.

#20: Alabama Shakes - Hold On

Out of all the Trails and Ways singles released this year "Nunca" remained my favorite even though it was the first one to be released. The California group spent some time in Brazil before making their mark and it is evident in their genre of dream pop how much influence that has had on their music. With a string of great covers and an expected full length EP to be released next year, I'm expecting great things to come from these guys.

#19: Trails and Ways - Nunca

So coming in at # 18 I have french electro funk producer Breakbot. Breakbot is one of the most undervalued artists in the music industry today. Not many artists can do what Breakbot does and if anyone were to try, well the bar has been set very high by the frenchman. "One Out of Two" was definitely my favorite track from the album By Your Side because of its simplicity and funkiness. It deservedly has a spot here in my top 20 for this year.

#18: Breakbot - One Out Of Two (feat. Irfane)

At #17 we have probably the second best collaboration of the year in my opinion. Feed Me & Crystal Fighters came together to release a monster of a track that is "Love Is All I Got" this year. The vocals from Crystal Castles perfectly complements the signature uplifting wobbles from Feed Me resulting in a great blend of groove and song. I remember seeing the two artists name together and thinking "What kind of concoction is this", but to my surprise it was stunning.

#17: Feed Me & Crystal Fighters - Love Is All I Got

Now to wrap things up with # 16 and the in my personal opinion the best mash up of artists this year. "Warrior" was an absolutely amazing collaboration between Mark Foster (Foster the People), Kimbra and A-Trak. I've always been a fan of the Converse collab series and they really out did themselves by bringing these three particular artists together on the one track.  A-Trak brings the beat, Kimbra kills the verses and Mark smashes the chorus.

#16: Mark Foster, Kimbra & A-Trak - Warrior

Thursday, December 20, 2012

[Folk - Pop] Walk Off The Earth - Reckoning Song (One Day)

So I think it's pretty safe to say that the world will NOT end tomorrow, but in the case that it does let's all listen to Walk Off The Earth's cover of Asaf Avidan's "Reckoning Song (One Day)". The Canadian indie outfit went viral after covering Gotye's "STIUTK" on youtube and now have become superstars in their own right. This cover is complete with a soaring vocal harmony and jivey folk vibe bound to have you singing along.

Walk Off The Earth - Reckoning Song (One Day)

[Electronic] Contrakids - We Go, You Go

Brand new single from Sydney's electronic duo Contrakids. Kicking off their career late last year, Contrakids have become renown for their languid and hypnotic sound of simple keys and subtly autotuned vocals. "We Go, You Go" is a mellow electro pop tune mixing both electro pop and R&B genres together. I must admit, I'm not a big fan of the autotuned vocals, but in all fairness they do work perfectly with the song's synth-y nature.

Contrakids - We Go, You Go

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

[Acoustic] Henry Green - Shipwreck

So this is pretty special. Introducing to you, hopefully for not the last time, a new singer songwriter by the name of Henry Green. Henry Green quivers and conveys all of this heavy-handed emotion beautifully and with such simplicity on his recently released debut single, "Shipwreck". Armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar, and a few ghostly echoes in the background he is still able to move mountains - "I don't want to swim away from what we had".

Henry Green - Shipwreck

[Indie - Pop] Streets Of Laredo - Girlfriend

Hooray for high energy indie pop! Streets of Laredo were originally a NZ four piece outfit but are now based in Brooklyn and deliver super fun hipster music. Rolling drums and rustling guitars makes "Girlfriend" an absolute treat to listen to. I mean nothing has been reinvented here, it's just good honest fun with instruments and it just works so very well together. The video clip is worth a mention here, it features the band in a stop motion video, pretty clever stuff.

Streets Of Laredo - Girlfriend

[Nu - Disco] Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream (Pioneerball Remix)

The infamous "Walking On A Dream", a song for the ages - but can it be remixed? Well the answer is YES! Pioneerball is a Russian (yes I said Russian) electronic producer hailing from Moscow and he has done a quite amazing job with this interpretation. I mean the song was always quite groovy, but the added guitar disco lines and the funk flavouring has really done the trick in this case. Lots to look forward to from this promising young Russian.

Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream (Pioneerball Remix)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

[Indie - Pop] Young Buffalo - Upstairs

Oxford, Mississippi duo Young Buffalo recently released a self titles EP on Votiv records. The pop-savvy indie rockers who combine afro-beat and indie elements has been playing and recording sporadically since emerging from the University of Mississippi's music scene in 2009. "Upstairs" is the standout track on the EP and gets the lungs nice and warm with plenty of melodic and catchy hooks running all over the place.

Young Buffalo - Upstairs

[Electronic] The xx - Last Christmas (Wham! Cover)

Well i'll be damned, The xx covering Wham! Don't be too quick to judge as this is actually a stunning rendition of the Christmas original with Romy and Oliver showcasing their haunting vocals in this cover. Granted this George Michael - written tune is a somber one, The xx take on the carol like we sorted expected them to - dark, smoky, low key and as much about the pauses and silences as the pain tinged lyrics. 1 week till Christmas!

The xx - Last Christmas (Wham! Cover)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

[Indie - Rock] Foals - My Number

I would've posted this earlier but the only audio footage I had of it was from a live performance. Anyways, here's the latest single from the much anticipated Foals album Holy Fire and I'm liking this one much more than "Inhaler". It speaks to me and in my opinion is a little more Foalish (yep I made this word up). Still I'm digging the evolution of these guys but it's still nice to hear something familiar with the precise deliverance.

Foals - My Number

[Chill] Broke For Free - Budding

Tom Cascino, the man behind San Francisco's electronic act Broke For Free, just recently dropped his latest EP Gold Can Stay, and it is an absolute masterpiece. The EP is based around the many guitar harmonies and layers that were sent to to Tom by Mark Edwards. "Budding" is a laid back electronic instrumental which works perfectly for any lazy morning with all the elements working so perfectly together in this dreamy number.

Broke For Free - Budding

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

[Indie - Dance] Peking Duk - The Way You Are

As far as song's for the summer go, Peking Duk's "The Way You Are" is right up there as a must have on anyone's playlist. It's an incredibly simple song but at the same time, terribly addictive and catchy as all hell. I never knew how well suited jangly guitars would be in a dance number but here I am absolutely loving this release from the Canberra duo. Peking Duk not only tastes good, but it sounds even better. Get your copy now!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

[Christmas] Indie Christmas Playlist

Welcome to the 2012 Indie Christmas Playlist! With Christmas only a couple of weeks away, here's a few songs (mostly covers of famous xmas songs) to get you in the mood for the holidays! Quite the array of talent here if you ask me with most of these bands having featured on The Vinyl Wall before. Not much else to say but have a safe and merry Christmas!

fun. - Sleigh Ride (Johnny Mathis Cover)

The Shins - Wonderful Christmastime (Paul McCartney Cover)

Millions - All I Want For Christmas Is You (Mariah Carey Cover)

Alice Jemima - Driving Home For Christmas (Chris Rea Cover)

Monday, December 10, 2012

[Indie - Rock] Set Sail - Charleston

It's an oldie, but definitely a goodie, Set Sail make the perfect music to play in a H&M or Urban Outfitters store. "Charleston" is from the Hey! EP released back in May and is a ripper of a song. It's an extremely short single, but it really doesn't need to be any longer, perfect for a quick dance. Punchy rhythm, surf-rock guitars and a chorus that will rock your socks off, you'll definitely fall in love with this number, no doubt.

Set Sail - Charleston

Saturday, December 8, 2012

[Electro - Pop] Urban Cone - Kings & Queens

Yet another electro - pop act from Sweden Stockholm that has great potential. I present to you Urban Cone, a 5 piece band specialising in some unique and quirky electronic influenced pop anthems. "Kings & Queens" is a single from their debut album Our Youth which was released last October and is oh so very infectious. The song hardly gives you time to settle as it explodes into a ring of uplifting synths. Great things to come from the Swedes in the near future.

Urban Cone - Kings & Queens

Thursday, December 6, 2012

[Indie - Pop] Carousel - Stay Awake

Carousel and they're incredible pop sensibility are back with a brand new track to go along with their second EP. Made up of Kevin Friedman and Jackson Philips from Brooklyn NY Carousel have been making huge waves in the past few months with their beautiful and poppy approach to music. "Stay Awake" is no different and offers us another brilliant slice of humble pop pie. Nothing better than some Carousel to help you get to sleep.

Carousel - Stay Awake

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

[Indie - Rock] Hungry Kids of Hungary - Twin Cities

So single #2 from the new album You're A Shadow to be released in March next year. All I can say is; stop whetting our appetite! "Twin Cities" follows more of a surf rock/pop vibe, perfect for an afternoon in the sun. The production this time round seems a lot more cleaner and crisp in my opinion and has a very similar vibe to many of the song released on Escapades back in 2010. Triple J Hottest 100 voting starts soon, don't forget to vote for "Sharp Shooter"!

Hungry Kids of Hungary - Twin Cities

[Electro - Pop] Delphic - Baiya

So opinions are divided on this new Delphic track. On one hand people love the new pop vibe, others however miss the old atmospheric elements. "Baiya" clicked with me instantly, it's a much cheerier track than usual, fully loaded with slick hooks, swooning vocal harmonies and a breakbeat vibe. This is probably why I enjoyed it so much. New album Collections is due out on the 28th of January and we are very much looking forward to it.

Delphic - Baiya

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

[Indie - Rock] Hey Ocean! - Big Blue Wave

It's a bit of a cheesy song but Hey Ocean! do cheesy oh so very well. The Canadian rockers released this one a while back on their third album IS earlier this year but hasn't received the recognition it deserves. Like I said before it's one of those typically corny/cheesy love songs but at the very same time it is quite catchy. Fun fact, the lead singer Ashleigh Ball is the voice of My Little Pony's Rainbow Dash and one of the Care Bears I think.

Hey Ocean! - Big Blue Wave

Monday, December 3, 2012

[Electronic] Goldroom - Sweetness Alive (feat. S L L)

Goldroom (aka Josh Legg from Nightwaves) has a brand new track out which kind of slipped under the radar for me. Featuring the luscious vocals of SLL (Formerly Saint Lou Lou), Goldroom presents us with another original track after a stint of remixes - and this one was well worth the wait. "Sweetness Alive" is an amalgamation of dreamy synths, emotive vocals, and tropical disco grooves perfect for any occasion.

Goldroom - Sweetness Alive (feat. S L L)

[Hip - Hop] Big Boi - She Hates Me (feat. Kid Cudi)

With Big Boi's imminent release of his second album Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors he has shared yet another track. Now this track "She Hates Me" is a collaboration worth writing about. It features the one and only Kid Cudi who has been quite the busy rapper of late. No doubt anytime Cudi features in a song, it instantaneously becomes a whole lot smoother and bearable. Well we've almost heard half of the album and its sounding decent.

Big Boi - She Hates Me (feat. Kid Cudi)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

[Indie - Rock] Steelwells - Hands Up

5 piece California rockers Steelwells have gifted us a free download of their 4 track Cool Kids EP this week and it's definitely worth a listen. Can't speak much about their older work but if it's any consolation I am thoroughly enjoying their new stuff! It's a bright, guitar based EP full of colourful melodies and "Hands Up" is a perfect way to start anyone's journey into the Steelwells music. I get the impression that they're a really nice bunch of guys.

Steelwells - Hands Up

Thursday, November 29, 2012

[Hip - Hop] Chill Bump - The Eponym

Did someone order some fresh French hip - hop? Now I normally don't post a lot of this genre, but when I do - it's awesome! Chill Bump are a rap duo straight out of France and "The Eponym" is their latest release from their soon to be released EP The Loop. I think what I like the most about these guys is that their whole feel is so DIY. It's not pre manufactured or recycled material they're using. Really enjoying the samples they use in this one.

Chill Bump - The Eponym

[Indie - Rock] Hollow & Akimbo - Singularity

Firstly, the track artwork really freaks me out, the girl (I think it's a girl) looks like a frog. Artwork aside Hollow & Akimbo (H&A) has a pretty good track on his hands here. The man behind the act is Absofacto's Jonathan Visger, with H&A being his new side project. It's a good little summer beat to jam to, mid afternoon, laying by the pool having a few brewskis. Loving Jonathan's vocals in this one too, they really make the song resonate well with me.

Hollow & Akimbo - Singularity

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

[Synth - Rock] The New Division - Pride

It's original alright, I haven't heard something quite like The New Division for a very long time - they're quite the mix of genres, I honestly can't narrow it down to one. The L.A. four piece has just released their latest EP Night Escape, a canvas for dreamy pop. "Pride" stays true to their brooding chill wave style and their sound feels so comfortably connected to the past but with a momentum that fastens them to the future.

The New Division - Pride

Sunday, November 25, 2012

[Indie - Pop] Wild Cub - Thunder Clatter

Well their debut album Youth was released back in August but this seems like as good a time to mention Nashville's Wild Cub on The Vinyl Wall. "Thunder Clatter" is definitely one for the ages, it has everything a good song should: melodically flowing lyrics, a pulsating beat and clean strummed guitar lines. It all moves like clockwork, everything so perfectly in sync and matched accordingly.

Wild Cub - Thunder Clatter

[Indie - Pop] The Happy Hippo Family - R U Injured?

I'm not entirely sure, but I believe these guys are from either Sweden or Germany. Either way it seems like they make some pretty catchy indie pop suitable for any occasion. "R U Injured?" is the 3rd single that has been released in as many months and it is packed full of energy. It is probably a bit poppier than usual, but hey I enjoy my fair share of European pop, and I know that you guys do as well. Anyways, I guarantee you'll enjoy it!

The Happy Hippo Family - R U Injured?

Friday, November 23, 2012

[Indie - Pop] San Cisco - Beach

San Cisco! Finally the release of one of my most anticipated albums of the year and it does not disappoint one bit. "Beach" is one of the longer tracks on the LP but I savoured every single second of it. It's a simple song with one helluva catchy chrous in this downright mellow and dreamy production. Jordi and Scarlett compliment each other brilliantly over the dreamy blissed out back drop which just whisks you away into euphoria.

San Cisco - Beach

Thursday, November 22, 2012

[Alternative] The Neighbourhood - Let It Go

The Neighbourhood! It makes me so very happy to see these guys making more music together at last. Keeping to their R&B- esque indie pop genre, "Let It Go" features some hard hitting flowful chorus lines and those surf rocking guitars. It's still an entertaining variation on the theme that The Neighbourhood have built their success on, but still - if it ain't broke, don't fix it! This won't be released till January next year but have a listen.

The Neighbourhood - Let It Go