Posts Tagged ‘Music to my ears’

Music to my Ears #5

Music to my ears #5 myfoxycorner

The end of another week, one where much happened and I learnt lots. And all I want is a weekend where I do nothing but crochet with either tea or wine at arm’s reach, alas my time for doing nothing at all is pretty limited this weekend.

Funnily enough, I have been trying to get this post written all week and every time I listen to Florence and the Machine I think about how she is someone I would pay many many dollars to be able to see live. And then literally about half an hour before finishing this post (which was actually on Friday before I decided to procrastinate posting for 2 days) I found out she’s coming and pulled out my wallet rather enthusiastically (spilling coffee on myself in the process) before realizing the tickets don’t go up for a few days. I would link you to them but I don’t want you to steal my seat…sorry.

Music to my ears #5 myfoxycornerAnyway, on to three of the albums that I have been listening to a lot in the last couple of months (along with a rather random collection of hip hop). They all happen to be released this year, which means I am being surprisingly up to date (relative to my other music tastes which are almost always at least 10 years behind everyone else’s).
Florence and the machine

Florence and the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015)

This album is theatrical, hystrionic and melodramatic, and yet somehow Florence makes it work. These songs are the ones you want to belt out to when driving around by yourself (ignore the weird looks from other drivers, you’re too good to bother with them). This album is 100% Florence, with her big vocals, story telling lyrics and powerful melodies, taken to a big, beautiful level. Maybe a reflection of my preferences, but some of my favourite moments on the album are the ones where it’s stripped down to her wavering voice and low-key backing music. Having said that, she shines brightest when she is shouting out the most beautiful, wailing lyrics against a theatre of drums and instruments, and she’s the only artist I know who can do this and be amazing. I love this album, and prefer it over Ceremonials (although Lungs will always hold the special place in my heart).

Songs: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful; Queen of Peace; Delilah;  St Jude

ALabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes – Shakes, Sound & Colour

Not my usual musical choice, but this irresistable combination of soulful jazz vocals and rock and roll guitar riffs are something I find super enjoyable. This is a fun album, with spunk and character. The leads incredible voice is something special, shouting out barely audible lyrics one moment against an electronic psychedelic combination of instruments, and then intimately whispering the next. Raw and edgy, this album keeps me on my toes in a good way, and I appreciate any album that gets me out of my usual realm of quiet, unassuming acoustic tracks.

Songs: Dunes, Future People, Gimme all your love

sufjan 2

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

This is definitely the album I have listened to the most over the last couple of months. After discovering Sufjan Stevens I spent a while perusing his large collection of music, before deciding that his most recent was the one I connected with most. FIrst off, a warning; it’s not a fun listen (like either of the other two), and the more you get to know it the more that the music becomes some kind of morose sound track to a beautifully fragile life. The album is all about Sufjan coming to terms with the passing away of his mother, and their relationship. It’s painful, but so so beautiful. Each song feels stripped down to the basics, and it leaves Sufjan’s haunting voice to do a lot of the work. He’s incredible, like an angelic love child of Kings of Convenience, Bon Iver, and Ben Howard. Listen with a glass of red wine and plenty of tissues. Sorry.

Songs: Should Have Known Better, Fourth of July, John My Beloved, No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross

Enjoy the last few precious hours of the weekend! I’m going to spend it watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids (which somehow was skipped during my childhood) and eating Jaffas. Cause if you can’t be self-indulgent on a Sunday, when can you be?

Music to my Ears #2

So my music tastes range from standard middle of the road to down right random, but my favourite word to describe my musical orientation (as well as myself in general) is eclectic. Its a nice word, weird to say but pretty to look at and tricky to attempt to spell. And I like to think I identify with it, although I’m sure most of the time I come across as the most average/boring person.

I love music and I enjoy talking about it with others, so Music to my Ears is making a comeback, so get ready.


Banks: Goddess

Banks is a bit of  a wonderful mystery to me, but the more I listen to her album the more it wins me over. First listen through I wasn’t sold, but I was intrigued by her captivating vocals and trance like beats. Now that I am more familiar with her style I can’t get enough. If you haven’t listened to her yet (go do it), imagine something along the lines of Aaliyah/The XX/Lorde kind of style. I’m probably describing it all wrong but that’s the best I can do. This makes the perfect lazy weekend album to have on in the background while you waste the day pretending to do housework.

Listen to: Brain (my favourite track of the album), You Should Know Where I’m Coming From, and the popular Fuck ‘Em Only We Know

Ben Howard: I Forget Where We Were

I am not sure how I managed to avoid getting in to Ben Howard’s music before the past month or so. His soft acoustics and soulful lyrics are right up my alley (okay so I have a lot of alleys, but his music is right up one of them). This album is his more recent one, released this year, and I love the quiet intensity of his moodier tracks. Its a great album, easy to listen to and a bit of a crowd pleaser. Now just please stand aside while I weep into pillow with regret for missing his August concert. At the time I barely recognised his name. Ah, regret, you old friend.

Listen to: Small Things, I Forget Where We Were, End of the Affair

Alt J: This is all yours

I saved my favourite for last and anyone who is unlucky enough to spend much time with me will know that this album has been almost exclusively played over and over until i had to force myself to ration it out (once a day maximum, no more than 4 times a week). Alt-J are one of the very few performers I would travel large distances to go and see, which is a pretty big deal considering I am normally too lazy to go to concerts in the city where I live.

This is their second album (I raved about their first album over here) and for me its the best music they have produced, but I can also see some people preferring their more mainstream (if you could ever classify alt-J as mainstream) first album. This is all yours is a unique series of tracks, that in my opinion are best played as a set. I won’t try and review them any more than to say that the album is very different. Its a bit weird, a little creepy at times (see the lyrics of Every Other Freckle, one of my favourite tracks) but incredibly interesting and evocative to listen to. I find their album creates a experience that I get absolutely drawn into, with soft melodies, haunting vocals and the odd punch of upbeat rock. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I think Alt-J are doing something very different and if I had to listen to one album for all of 2014 it would have been this.

Listen to: Nara, Hunger of the Pine (keep an eye out for a weirdly perfect Miley Cyrus ??), Warm Foothills (this makes my heart feel all warm and happy) and The Gospel of John Hurt. Just listen to the album, several times in a row. You won’t regret it (You might but I didn’t).

What has been playing for you recently?