-- if you don't like music(k), we don't like you --

Friday, 29 January 2010

A Gorillaz widget for a Friday

It's the future. You can visit Murdoc at home, listen to some teasers, go on Twitter and all sorts of new and exciting things. Is this what Marty McFly envisioned for 2010?

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Opposite of bad

A few months ago we were reading about Chiddy Bang and their (excellent, it turns out) mixtape, The Swelly Express. Names were flying about like Passion Pit and Sufjan Stevens and MGMT in relation to samples that they'd used and we thought to ourselves, "this rap combo sound really rather interesting, we must remember to do something about them on the blog". You know what? We forgot. So, once again it looks like we're blindly following the leaders now that they're signed to a major and getting airplay on Radio 1, etc. We were there at the start and now look at us. We look like chumps.

Either way, this is their new single, entitled 'Opposite of Adults'. It's built around the riff from MGMT's 'Kids' (hence the title) and is, in the parlance of the youth, a gold-plated banger.

OK, so it's not exactly an assault on your brain cells, but it's massive, dumb fun from start to finish. The single also features two tracks not on the mixtape, the brooding 'Chiddy Freestyle' and the funky 'Sooner Or Later'. We suggest you download it when it's released on the 22nd February.

For now though, you can download the mixtape from here and their myspace is here

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Joanna Newsong

Joanna Newsom's last full-length album, Ys, was, it has to be said, one of the best things every committed to, erm, tape. Or whatever it is they use these days. It's been a long wait for the follow-up, but finally it's just about ready.

This is what we know:

-It's called Have One On Me
-It's out on the 23rd February
-It's got less detailed artwork than the last one
-It's sure to be amazing

Click here for a taster of what's to come. The track is called '81' and features a slightly more restrained vocal and some lovely harp playing, and the melody is so darn beautiful we can't wait any longer.

Here's, erm, Joanna's new look...

Monday, 25 January 2010

New Musick Monday

There are some weeks where we have almost too much to report, be it singles or albums flying into the upper reaches of the chart, or established acts slowly losing their entire audience off the back of some 'experimental' whim. Our acts from last week, however, all performed as expected, with These New Puritans and Beach House both missing the top 40 and Eels nestling in snugly just outside the top 20 (which was a minor surprise all things considered). This week is a bit of a bumper edition, with no less than three (THREE!?) albums gracing the nation's favourite feature. Eyes down, look in...


IRM by Charlotte Gainsbourg

We've been thinking a bit about context and its relation to how you consume music by someone who has, on the surface at least, not brought a whole lot to the table. This album was written, produced and performed by Beck, whilst Gainsbourg's last album, 5:55, was written, produced and performed by Air (with Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon). Now, if we were talking about a pop star such as Kylie it would all be "she's a puppet", "these songs are only good because so and so did them", "it's not true art". Then we read in an interview that Gainsbourg felt threatened by the legacy of her late father that she was too scared to write her own music and you know what, we fell for it and we love her even more now. IRM may have Beck's finger prints all over it (no bad thing of course), but it works because some of the songs could only be performed by Gainsbourg and that's when this whole writer/performer thing becomes moot.


Teen Dream by Beach House

There Is Love In You by Four Tet

Let's start with Teen Dream, which has been permanently lodged in our ears since we were lucky enough to hear it a few months ago (when you're important like we are, you too can hear music before everyone else (we stole it)). Though not a huge departure from their last album - Victoria Legrand's vocals still sigh beautifully, the whole thing floats around like wisps of smoke - this time they've remembered to bring the tunes, with each of its ten tracks carrying a deliciously woozy melody. There are moments when everything comes together so perfectly (the bit where 'Silver Soul' melts into 'Norway', for example) that you feel like you want to break down and cry for weeks.

There Is Love In You is the first album under the Four Tet moniker since 2005's Everything Ecstatic. In that time, Kieran Hebden, for it is he, has produced albums with avant-garde drummer Steve Reid as well as an EP with Burial. You'd think this would make There Is Love In You a big mess of impenetrable 'mind' music, where as it's actually his most accessibly record to date. With tracks road tested at his club residency in Dalston it has moments of euphoria reminiscent of early-90s dance ('Love Cry', 'Plastic People'), whilst still displaying his fondness for subtle, intricate moments of beauty ('Angel Echoes', 'This Unfolds').


'Marlene' by Lightspeed Champion

The string-drenched 'Marlene' is the first single from Lightspeed Champion's second album, Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You. As with most things Mr Champion does, we were unsure at first. Seriously, his last album was a major disappointment to us for the first five months and then we couldn't stop listening to it and by that point no-one else cared because they'd all moved on. However, 'Marlene' reveals itself to be properly amazing, complete with skipping strings, a chugging riff and a brilliantly gonzo guitar solo that seems to erupt from nowhere. Altogether now, "stop being cool". It also has a very funny video, which can be seen here.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

JLS naked in oil!!!!

Here at Musick towers we value our credibility. Not for us the easy, readers-chasing articles about who's dating who, who's saying something about someone and who may or may not be a hermaphrodite. No, we like to make you aware of exciting new bands, great songs and just get you thinking about music. It's all we care about.

Sometimes though, when we check how well the blog is doing, we are drawn to the fact that the most read article on this blog is one we did about pectoral-cleavage sporting TV talent show stars, JLS. Basically, we'd seen one of them driving around London in his flash car and did a thing about it. We felt a bit dirty, like we'd compromised our integrity and thought no more about it. Well, let's be honest here, integrity can take a running jump when it comes to bumping up numbers, so here goes...

This is JLS's amazing new video for the mind-expandingly excellent, 'One Shot'.

Fingers crossed it does the trick.

Grizzly Chips

If you're a fan of Hot Chip and Grizzly Bear then this next song is probably going to make you ejaculate. If you're a fan of Hot Chip and not Grizzly Bear then you might think it's a lovely version of a very good song, but not as good as the original. If you're a fan of Grizzly Bear and not Hot...*shoots himself*


Perfect for a Sunday afternoon stuck at work.

You can download it from here for free.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Ellie: The results are in...

Thanks to the 17 people that voted in our exclusive Ellie Goulding poll.

The results have been counted and verified and we can exclusively reveal that...

1 person thinks she's "Alright"
8 people think Ellie is "A young talent with good songs who needs time to evolve"
8 people think she's "Smellie Goulding"

Shame on those last 8, you really need to have a long hard look at yourselves in the mirror.

The results will be sent onto her label, Polydor, who will then let her know the outcome. At this rate, all they can really say is that she's talented, she's got good songs, but maybe work on the cleanliness issue in her own time. Hey, it's what Musick readers want and we trust you implicitly.

Look out for more exciting poll-based features in the next few days.

In the meantime, here's Ellie performing at the Brits launch thingy:

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

All Stylo and no substance

Gorillaz are back! 'Stylo' is the first single to be taken from their forthcoming new album, Plastic Beach. The track features rapper Mos Def and soul legend Bobby Womack, whose cracked croon comes out of nowhere about two minutes in. It's got a brilliant ascending keyboard effect that makes us go all funny and it's a definite grower, but as someone said elsewhere, it's all a bit Neon Neon.

EDIT: This song is amazing and we apologise if we made it seem otherwise.


There's a fella who makes woozy, dream-like dance music and his name is Lindstrøm. His last album was called Where You Go I Go Too and it consisted of just three songs but somehow lasted for 40 minutes. So far, so 'epic'. Unsurprisingly it's taken a woman to reign him in a bit and his new collaboration with Christabelle (they go by the name Lindstrøm & Christabelle, unsurprisingly) entitled Real Life Is No Cool, is shaping up to be something mildly spectacular (can something be mildly spectacular? Possibly not).

Anyway, there are a few samples of the album (which is out in February) on youtube, but this is probably the best one we've heard so far. It's called 'Lovesick' and it's a lovely example of what can happen when you mix some piano fluttering and a dollop of phat bass. Christabelle, whoever she may be, sure has a lovely voice doesn't she?

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Oh my Marling

There's a new Laura Marling single! With a video! And she's got brown hair!

Click here to listen to it and watch the images.

It's a nice shift away from her debut album without losing everything that made us love her so hard the first time. There's a definite Eastern influence and we like the way she uses the different textures of her voice these days. Well done Laura Marling.

The album is called I Speak Because I Can and is out on 22 March.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Brit sandwich

Tonight was a pretty big night for us as we got to go to THE party of 2010 so far. Tickets were being sold outside for literally hundreds of pounds and extra security had been hired to stop liggers from storming the place. Once inside, the VIP crowd was packed full of talent, the wine was flowing and the conversations were full of amazing anecdotes. Yep, Musick was at the 2010 Butchers Dog Best Meat award nominations evening and as you can imagine things got pretty messy. Weirdly, at the same time, the Brit nominations list was announced and here it is (we've highlighted who we think should win):

British Male Solo Artist
Calvin Harris
Dizzee Rascal
Paolo Nutini
Robbie Williams

British Female Solo Artist
Bat For Lashes
Florence And The Machine
Leona Lewis
Lily Allen
Pixie Lott

British Breakthrough Act
Florence And The Machine
Friendly Fires
La Roux
Pixie Lott

British Group
Friendly Fires

British Album
Dizzee Rascal – 'Tongue 'N' Cheek'
Florence And The Machine – 'Lungs'
Kasabian – 'West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum'
Lily Allen – 'It's Not Me, It's You'
Paolo Nutini – 'Sunny Side Up'

British Single
Alesha Dixon – 'Breathe Slow'
Alexandra Burke featuring Flo Rida – 'Bad Boys'
Cheryl Cole – 'Fight For This Love'
Joe McElderry – 'The Climb'
JLS – 'Beat Again'
La Roux – 'In For The Kill'
Lily Allen – 'The Fear'
Pixie Lott – 'Mama Do'
Taio Cruz – 'Break Your Heart'
Tinchy Stryder featuring N-Dubz – 'Number 1'

International Male Solo Artist
Bruce Springsteen
Michael Bublé
Seasick Steve

International Female Solo Artist
Lady Gaga
Norah Jones

International Breakthrough Act
Animal Collective
Daniel Merriweather
Empire of the Sun
Lady Gaga
Taylor Swift

International Album
Animal Collective – 'Merriweather Post Pavilion'
Black Eyed Peas – 'The E.N.D.'
Empire of the Sun – 'Walking On A Dream'
Jay-Z – 'The Blueprint 3'
Lady Gaga – 'The Fame'

New Musick Monday

Well, what a start to 2010. Last week we took absolutely no risks whatsoever with our album selections and we were rewarded with two top 10 albums. Delphic entered at no. 8 with their debut - fresh from finishing third in both the BBC Sound of Poll, the Brits selection for Critics Choice and Auntie June's Top Ten bands who sound a bit like New Order - whilst Vampire Weekend crashed in at number 3 with Contra. The latter has since gone from 'very good' to 'officially amazing' over the past seven days so anyone who hasn't brought it bloomin' well should. Charlotte Gainsbourg's single with Beck did diddly squat, but that's OK, we forgive you.


Hidden by These New Puritans

Thanks to the fact that HMV no longer seems to stock CDs, we were thwarted in our attempts to listen to this second album from these pasty faced young whipper snappers. From the reviews we've read - and we understand that's not the same as hearing the music, but it's the best we've got - it's a massive creative leap from their whiny debut and it will need to be seeing as they came across as repellent little twerps in nearly every interview we read last time round. The clips available online suggest the band have taken a shining to Liars, Massive Attack and Bjork and somehow found a way to weld them together. This is clearly a good thing. The first single, 'We Want War', is pretty darn good and can be heard here.


End Times by Eels

Poor old Mr Eel. First his Dad dies of a heart attack, then his sister commits suicide and finally his mum dies of Cancer. How do we know all this? Not only has he written a brilliant book about it all, but Mr Eel also has a penchant for documenting his life via his music, usually in heart-breakingly detailed fashion. So it is with his new album, End Times, which deals with the ashes of a dead relationship. 'A Line In The Dirt' is a fragile, piano lament, whilst 'Gone Man' is a sweary hoedown, E's vocals delivered in that trademark deadpan manner that somehow makes the whole thing even sadder.


'Norway' by Beach House

Oh, you're going to be hearing a lot more of Beach House because they're soon to be released new album is, and you heard it here first, one of the best albums of 2010. Yep, already. This single actually came out as a free download a few months ago but it's now available to buy. That's right, you can choose to pay 79p for a song that has actually been available for free since November. And they say the music industry don't know how to deal with the popularity of digital music. Anyways, the song is amazing, the band are amazing and the forthcoming album, entitled Teen Dream, is very much amazing. Enjoy.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Ellie Goulding: Is she really the future?

There's been much chitter chatter about Ellie Goulding of late. She was crowned the Sound of 2010 by the BBC and will collect the Critic's Choice award at the Brits next month.

As ever, all this hype and press attention is causing a slightly skewed idea of who Ellie is as an artist and what she's trying to do, etc. The fact that she's appearing in nearly every music magazine, broadsheet and blog is good from the point of view that it spreads the word and makes sure she gets playlisted by Radio 1 for example, but it also causes what we're scientifically calling 'hype fatigue'. The time between hype and backlash is so minimal now that it seems to be happening almost instantly. As if to prove a point, two Musick readers have banded about words such as "over-produced", "whiny" and "fake". This last bit is quite pertinent in that Ellie used to just play folksy, guitar type songs and now she makes folksy, guitar type songs but with mildly electronic backing, which may mean she's evolved, but it may also mean she's jumping on some kind of bandwagon.

The point is, we don't really know yet. Her album will tell us more, but seeing as by the time that comes out she would have already won a Brit and be absolutely EVERYWHERE, the hype fatigue may have claimed a section of her audience.

So, let's do a test. In the top right hand corner of this blog is a poll. We would like you to vote on what you think of Ellie Goulding. The results will be sent on to her label who will then mould and shape her accordingly.

To help you out, this is her new single, 'Starry Eyed' (it's very good, we said, impartially):

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Not Missing In Action

A new M.I.A track has appeared online and given the fact that her last two albums were epoch-defining, globe-straddling masterpieces we're pretty excited. Not, it turns out, excited enough to brave listening to it whilst at work, so here's hoping this song is good otherwise we'll look very silly indeed. Here it is:

We sent one of our reporters out to have a listen and this is what he came back with: "I like it, she's not rapping though, she's singing. It's very good". So, there you have it.

EDIT: Apparently the new album is to be called Mission.Impossible.Area (thanks to Duncan Hammond for the update)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


If we were writing this blog for Nuts or Zoo, this next sentence would probably make you, the hypothetical reader, go "phwoar", or some such; Next up are two teenage sisters from Sweden. Klara and Johanna Soderberg, aka First Aid Kit, aren't ever going to appear in either of those publications, however, because, well, they just wouldn't. Instead, they create fragile folk songs centred around lush harmonies and delicately plucked acoustic guitar. Lyrically, it's surprisingly depressing given the fact both of them have yet to see twenty, but hey, perhaps Sweden's just not that fun.

This is them (modelling the new knit wear range at C&A it seems):

This is a new track entitled 'Winter Is All Over You', taken from their new album, The Big Black and The Blue, which is out on the 25 January:

But this is perhaps their most famous moment, a stunning cover of Fleet Foxes' 'Tiger Mountain Peasant Song' recorded in a forest. It's had over 1 million views, which is probably more than a video featuring two Swedish teenage sisters on a certain other website would get:


For whom the Bells toll

That period between Christmas and New Year is, essentially, meaningless. Hours pass by in a haze of food, drink and old Disney films and no-one can remember what day it is. During this period Musick heard a couple of songs by Broken Bells, aka producer Danger Mouse and that guy from The Shins. As with all Danger Mouse endeavours - be it producing for the likes of Gorillaz, The Rapture and Beck, or co-fronting Gnarls Barkley - the results have a vintage feel, as if some lost record from the early '70s had been found and remixed.

'The High Road' is the first single to be officially released from their debut album, which is out in March:

We've always been fans of knotty organ intros and this one is the best!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

New Musick Monday

As 2010 begins it's slow descent, it's heart-warming that some things never change. With that in mind, we've decided to keep on going with our only regular feature, the hugely successful, New Musick Monday. For those of you who are new to Musick, we basically scour the internet (i.e. go on nme.com and check their weekly new releases page) and bring you all the details about three exciting bits of music. These are usually in the form of two albums and a single, but we have been know to mess with the formula, usually with pretty exciting results. So, who is on our first rundown of 2010?


Contra by Vampire Weekend

It's strange that these four young men from New York can cause such rage in certain sections of the music press. Is it because they're intelligent? Or that they show off that intelligence? Is it their love of African music and the way they interpret it? Is it because they have a tendency to comes across as smug? Would we rather all our bands were stupid and arrogant? So many questions, and yet, in reality, they're a band that have made one very promising album of catchy, guitar-based pop and are now about to follow it up with another one that expands slightly on their sound without scaring the horses. They're perhaps not worth all this fretting, and yet at the same time are really very good and jolly well deserve the success that will come their way with Contra. This is a brilliantly tight run through of new single 'Cousins' on Letterman.


Acolyte by Delphic

It is a lovely cover isn't it? This is the debut album by Delphic, who are three criminally serious young men from somewhere in the UK. They finished third on the BBC Sound of 2010 poll and have been tipped for big things by just about every publication under the sun. So, what do they sound like? Well, they're a little bit Bloc-Party-meets-Klaxons-meets-Cut-Copy-meets-Hot-Chip and the album is produced by Ewan Pearson who has twiddled knobs for people like The Rapture, M83 and Gwen Stefani. As with most debuts it's a little patchy, but tracks like 'Doubt' prove they know their way around a dance/rock hybrid.


'Heaven Can Wait' by Charlotte Gainsbourg

The song with the amazing video gets it's UK release and what a lovely little ditty it is. Produced by Beck, and featuring the diminutive fellow on backing vocals, it's all gently rattling percussion and warm organ sounds. Gainsbourg's sweetly fragile vocals work well with Beck's only mildly more robust croon and it's enough to make you forget the dual horrors of Beck's love of Scientology and Gainsbourg's recent horror show in Antichrist.

Lil bit of a problem

Cough syrup-addicted rapper Lil Wayne is surely one of the most bonkers rappers around. Who else would decide to follow one of rap's best albums, Tha Carter III, with an album of rock-orientated tracks that sound like the kind of things Limp Bizkit would have shunned for being too bland? Rebirth, the album that has already become somewhat of a poisoned chalice, was originally due out in April 2009 and will now (possibly) see the light of day in July of this year. The only saving grace for Lil is that he'll be in prison when the whole debacle finally comes to an end.

This is a new track, 'On Fire', and it is, quite literally, the worst single of 2010 so far.

Guitar aside, how do we know Lil loves rock? He's wearing Converse of course.

Passing the Blame

Imagine if Sting was your Dad...just imagine, for one second, that Sting was your Dad. Not only is Sting your Dad, but Trudie Styler is your Mum and practically all anyone cares about now is that your Dad and Mum allegedly engage in hours and hours of tantric sex, possibly whilst you cry in the room next door.

This isn't imaginary for Coco Sumner (the spawn of one of those long evenings of coitus), who has decided to become a musician and goes by the moniker, I Blame Coco. Weirdly, and perhaps this is a reaction to her Dad being Sting or perhaps it's because she's not very good, but her name was nowhere on the Big in 2010 lists. This is her first single proper and it features the always incredibly amazingly fantastic, Robyn.

Either way you cut it, "I want to annoy / And I'm going to enjoy it", is a pretty good opening salvo.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Hurts locker

As a little add to the last post, there's a new band (or duo, if you like) that are doing the rounds called Hurts (or HURTS, we're not sure where they stand on the whole capital letters conspiracy). Basically, for us, the jury's still out. Only one song has emerged, they haven't played live, they dress like the kind of people you see in certain areas of London (although they're from Manchester, so let's expand that to "certain areas of Britain") that make you think, "God, what an idiot", but secretly you're thinking, "how fucking cool are they". BUT, the one song that has emerged, entitled 'Wonderful Life', is really quite something in a stately, emotionless, '80s-were-amazing kind of way.

These are them:

This is the song:

Aren't they charismatic?

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Out on a limb: Our hopes for 2010


Apologies for the time between posts, we spent the New Year in a drug-induced coma having stumbled upon a warehouse party in East London. Basically, all you need to know is the Police came, the guy will be out of hospital soon and yes, your inner most fears being played out on the inside of your eyelids like a movie for 48 hours is more terrifying than death itself. Ah, fun times.

So, let's kick this new decade off with another list shall we? This time, let Musick guide you through the next twelve months by picking out five new acts to keep an eye on. Haven't the BBC done something like this you say? And nearly every other respectable publication this side of the NME? Well, yes, but there ain't no party like Musick party, right? Right.

Les Corps Mince de Francoise

Three Finnish beauties with a difficult French moniker, make childish, hyperactive dance-pop to make you smile.

Listen to: 'Something Golden'

Francis and the Lights

Slick, Prince-inspired funk from idiosyncratic white soul boy. The dancing in the video below is not recommended to those with weak knees.

Listen to: 'The Top'

The Drums

Obvious really, but no less valid. Their debut EP, Summertime, is one of the best things released in recent memory. Sun-kissed melodies + infinite sadness = The Drums.

Listen to: 'I Felt Stupid'

Theophilus London

We've written about him before, but having seen him live recently we're even more excited about his debut. Fusing vintage hip-hop with icy electro, expect Theophilus London to appear in a lot of magazines and sell very little, but still be amazing.

Listen to: 'Humdrum Town'

Marina & The Diamonds

Born in Greece, raised in Wales and as feisty as pop stars are allowed to be these days, Marina makes opulent pop songs overflowing with piano, jaunty melodies and a clever, knowing centre.

Listen to: 'Hollywood'