L.A. Salami has written an upbeat anthem that perfectly describes the incredibly depressing financial situation though culturally very rich times much of my generation live in. If you're not a lyrics person this song could sound rather throwaway, but I maintain that L.A. Salami is a talented poet with Bob Dylan tendencies (yep, he plays harmonica and writes about depressing shit, in a good way). I would love to know how he got such fabulous dance performances out of his fellow dancers in this video. They look like 9 year olds high on Haribo - truly the finest kind of dancing there is.
I wasn't sure whether to post this video initially since I was heavily involved in its production and commission (disclaimer), but I love the video, song and artist or I wouldn't have been involved in the first place. Skip it if you don't believe me (but have I ever lied to you?? Huh?).
"Breathe" is one of my (many) favourite songs from Rowdy Superstar's debut album "Battery", produced by experimental behemoth Matthew Herbert with artistic input and backing vocals from PMOI favourite for life Eska. In terms of production this is Matthew's most conspicuously pop album since Roisin Murphy's incredible solo debut "Ruby Blue", it sounds totally different but retains the same breadth of influences and sounds that give it a richness and feeling of intense quality.
What I love most about Rowdy's music is his relentless positivity - there's only so much I can listen to miserable men whinging on about taking drugs and ruining everything. Fun times. "Battery" is great walking music, full of whistles, megaphones, marching drums, bass, hand claps, and the vocal equivalent of power punches. Very much falling in to the "vocalist" camp alongside MIA and Santigold (none of them are exactly mellifluous, but at least they're original), it's musical marmite of the highest order, and I wouldn't recommend this album if you're a cynical beard stroker. If you are someone who appreciates pop music that doesn't sound like it was made by Primark, has regular solo bedroom dance offs and a tolerance for music that's not about misery, drugs and sex (or miserable sex on drugs, or sexy miserable drugs etc), this might be the album for you.
Perhaps seeing the film Beasts of The Southern Wild last week has left me particularly sensitive to talented young ladies who appear to walk bravely alone through their own worlds, but I've watched this video at least five times now and each time it leaves me grinning. Another collaboration between the brilliantly original visual artist Rainbowmonkey and equally talented producer Débruit, this short film brings out the magic in one of my favourite songs "Cuivrée", taken from his debut album 'From the Horizon'.
1. Sonnymoon's self titled debut album has easily been my most listened to this year, for various reasons; primarily the length of time it's taking to get my head around its layers, but also because its ambiguities lend themselves to so many different moods. Especially the kind of moods you can't define or pinpoint, you just know they need a soundtrack.
2. If you haven't yet listened to "Kali" either in the dark or with your eyes closed, you haven't heard it yet.
3. I'm aware I am pointing out the obvious here, but Anna Wise is as stunning as her voice.
Obviously it's far too early for a Christmas movie. In my book it's far too early for a Christmas anything until mid-December and even then I really only mean overeating. I'll make an exception for two things however - lego, and *mince pies, which I'll happily eat on a rainy day in July.
Sufjan apparently couldn't even wait for it to get cold to share this random and bizarre Christmas video - probably because it's made of lego, and what could be more exciting than a video made of lego?? Unless he actually is Santa's helper and this is a behind the scenes video. Which I would believe of Sufjan - have you seen his website?
*For the non-English people who may read this, we don't actually eat pies made of mince as a dessert at Christmas.
I may be over-thinking here, but the new Alt-J video for "Tessellate" leaves me full of questions. It's based upon Raphael's fresco "The School of Athens" which depicts the likes of Plato, Aristotle and their philosophical friends having a big think-off in the clouds.
I find the video very beautiful and love the music, but I worry that we are possibly looking at a portrait depicting how far modern day thinking has fallen, with images of black urban youth culture at its most shallow and caricatured (the dice games, currency, rims and grills of America portrayed by European actors) providing the example. The enlightened finger pointing at the cultural by-product of our wider societal ills always strikes me as a lazy and convenient prism through which to look, and it doesn't seem very 'Alt'.
Perhaps we're just looking at a straight forward flip-it-on-it's head modern day version of a famous painting. Perhaps we're looking at a new under water world where sharks force humans to do sit ups and wear pvc jeggings. Either way, what does it mean that the characters are throwing up Alt-J gang signs and sporting triangle tattoos? Is this the ultimate display of loyalty to the Mac Book and its command keys? Is the Alt-J album supposed to be what gang members and video girls bump in their cars? Is Alt-J a secretive new symbol for alternative modern day philosophical enlightenment?
Débruit and Rainbow Monkey strike again! Finding an artistic collaborator who is equally as creative and original in their chosen medium as you are in yours (without huge sums of money being involved) must be incredibly exciting. It certainly is for the rest of us at least.
I must admit I was secretly hoping Débruit's new album "From The Horizon" would be stuffed full of the kind of obvious instant party classics he has made previously, "Nigerian What?" and "I'm Goin' Wit' You ft. Om'Mas Keith and Jamie Woon" being personal favourites. His choice of often quite random African samples reminded me of Timbaland's (incredible) Indian music sample phase, which I didn't get enough of before it was over. Luckily Débruit spent three years making something far more interesting than my rather limited initial hopes. The album is a genuinely fascinating journey through a futuristic exotic electronic landscape, filled with pothole-jerking bass and mosquito synths. It reminds me of the hustle of my Nigerian home town Warri, where we might not always have electricity but we still have iPhones...
Feists' latest video features the equally hilarious and thought provoking Back To The Future project of Argentinean photographer Irina Werning, in yet another moment of brilliance from the woman who can do no wrong. (Metals was hands down my favourite album last year, I'm still listening to it constantly).