Hello all, once again it’s that time where I do a run-down of some albums that I think are worth checking out, with some brief impassioned reasons as to why (part 2/2).
Demob Happy – Cream Soda
Demob Happy are a band from Brighton riding on the success that a new Grunge revival is having recently in the UK, with bands like Wolf Alice and Royal Blood gathering plenty of success. There’s a lot of promise in this band – they can put on a thunderous live show and they have a knack for writing great melodies. The song ‘Succubus’ gave them a lot of initial buzz last year, with its sleazy QOTSA-esque guitar lick and drowsy vocals, and one of the singles that followed it, ‘Young and Numb’ was fantastic based purely on the fact that they delivered both a pre-chorus and chorus that exploded through the speakers. They showed an energy and willingness to explode in their music.
Demob Happy generally sport the pissed off at the world vibe both within their music and outside like so many bands in the UK tend to. But there’s an air that they’re genuinely pissed off about something on this album without sounding like whiny people attempting to fit into the Rock’n’Roll archetype. They have a twitter account with absolutely no activity on it, and within their music they like to take jabs at modern life, the way that interaction is dying and the way we live inside screens. It doesn’t always come off as thought-provoking or as controversial as they would like it to, but for the most part it’s highly convincing.
City and Colour – If I Should Go Before You
The project from Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green, City and Colour has completed its transition from acoustic balladeer, to a balladeer who likes to make atmospheric electric guitar driven songs. ‘If I Should Go Before You’ follows last year’s project he did with none of than Pink and has him making songs that are ambitious ( with one over nine-minutes long) and build tension with hazy guitar effects and a larger variety of instrumentation. There’s a lot of influence coming from Blues on this album with a lot of the songs sounding sombre – Green does a much better job of creating Blues-ballads than The Black Keys did on their last album, as well as doing a better job than many of the Pop acts who have adopted this style for the charts as well. The true joy of this album comes from the fact that Green is such a compelling songwriter with such a mesmerizing voice, with him often sounding like he’s singing in a great hall with the reverb enhancing his vocals rather than covering them up. This is an album that didn’t catch much attention from the media, because at this point Dallas Green releases great albums and nobody expects much less- yet it still doesn’t make it any less of a joy.
Ludovico Einaudi – Elements
Another person who has consistently put out interesting and engaging music throughout their career is Ludovico Einaudi. On his new album the man whose music appeared on adverts everywhere with piano pieces like ‘Nuvole Bianche’ made use of an electric orchestra to experiment with his sound somewhat. What Einaudi does on this album is take small sound bites, like an electric guitar line, or a piano loop, or even a synth line, and he’ll expand on it letting the sound grow into what will normally become a full force of stunning noise by the end of the piece backed up by a full orchestra. Although this album won’t get the support that many of his piano pieces from his previous work has, (including the fantastic pieces for Shane Meadows’ ‘This Is England’) it’s undoubtedly one of the more experimental works in Eiunaudi’s back catalogue and still packs the immersed emotional responses that much of his older material did.