Saturday, 29 May 2010

Allo Darlin' -Allo Darlin' - Publlished here -

The debut album from Allo Darlin’ gives off a delightful and somewhat innocent sound to summer 2010.

The first track from this album holds an upbeat rhythm comparable to songs by The Drums and therefore a summery sound is created; the irony is that the song actually appears to be about winter. Elizabeth and Paul’s voices work well together and in Paul’s case fashions an 80s sound.

The lyrics from Elizabeth possess a great deal of truth and with it bring a feeling of innocence. Certainly in ‘The Polaroid Song’, where she is simply telling us about old times, taking Polaroid photos and dancing on her own. When combined, this gives an image of young love in older days. The music does nothing to hinder the overall summery feel and with the inclusion of a sprightly played flute jumping in this is a very chirp song.

‘Kiss Your Lips’ once again is a song which resolves around truth and innocence. Especially with lines like, “I kissed you lips and they were kinda salty” and reminiscing about being on a ferris wheel and singing Weezer songs. This is once again a very summery song and with the rhythm and guitar it does bring a thought to the mind about Noah and the Whale.

Alongside having the summer songs Allo’ Darlin create a fantastic love song with ‘Heartbeat Chilli’. With the honesty of the lyrics and by singing about something as simple as making dinner, they have managed to make it relatable to love. The final line of this song just sums it all up wonderfully – “I adore you; give your heart to me” – a real strong sense of innocent love.

‘If Loneliness Was an Art’ begins with a bouncy bass line creating a slightly different sound from the previous songs. The song gradually picks up the summer feeling with a few “La’s” towards the end, keeping spirits up.

The final song, ‘What Will Be Will Be’ is a cute rendition of ‘Que Sera’. Elizabeth’s voice fits this song perfectly and with Paul’s company creates a modern twist to this timeless classic.

Overall, a fantastic collection of innocent summery songs complimented by the voices of Elizabeth and Paul.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review by Craig Thomas

Monday, 24 May 2010

The Twilight Sad - The Wrong Car EP - Published on

The Twilight Sad return with another powerful and vocally striking couple of songs with some edgy remixes to go with.

Fans of The Twilight Sad will be familiar with the authoritative voice of vocalist James Alexander Graham and he once again does not disappoint as the vocals immediately stand out upon first listen to ‘The Wrong Car’. The song gradually builds into slow yet explosive drumming which when combined with the vocals hits you hard. This seems to indicate the Scottish roots and influence in the band.

‘Throw Yourself into the Water Again’: with the title of this song opening many questions as to what the song could be about, the words follow the same pattern - especially with lyrics like “dancing over your grave”. Once again the power of the drums and vocals combined is a big stand out element of the song and mixed with the guitar gives an overwhelming muscular feel.

‘The Room’ is a song that has been beautifully remixed by Mogwai with more of a synth sound created. The electro drum pads don’t give off the same power with the vocals, however with the synths, James’ voice is allowed to be the main listening point. The remix has a great flow to it and the dragging synths just add to the overall melancholic feel of the song.

The final song included on the EP is a remix of ‘Reflections of the Television’ done by Errors. The original version of this song is very atmospheric and the remix it does slightly lose that. However, Errors have created a livelier song with some energetic synth and electronic sounds. Due to the power of James’ voice nothing is lost with the vocals and it’s quite surprising how well his voice sounds over the Errors electronics. This song is the stand out from the new EP, simply down to its originality and creativity.

It is very easy to categorise The Twilight Sad with the likes of Frightened Rabbit or Biffy Clyro due to their Scottish routes and powerful Scottish accents. However, The Twilight Sad have added a darker twist to their highland music.

Rating: 4/5

(Errors Remix 5 out of 5)

Review by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Stilje Nes - Crystals - Posted on

A very peaceful and tranquil sounding new single from Stilje Nes, the singer-songwriter from Norway.

It seems there are many talented artists coming from Scandinavia lately and Stilje Nes joins that group. Her music is recorded in loops as she performs by using several different instruments. The combination of Stilje’s enchanting voice and her exquisite mix of instruments, including a looped viola, combine superbly to create a captivating and almost fairytale soundtrack.

Stilje has a voice comparable to the likes of Feist; however it holds a much more delicate feel, more comparable to the likes of Lisa Hannigan’s music.

Stilje also includes a twinkly musical backdrop and the soft gentle flow of the song as it flutters by you is complimented with each chorus as they merely add to the songs rhythm, instead of rocking it. Just as the song seems to be building into an upsurge of intensity it gradually ceases each instrument in time, halting as the song lapses out.

A pleasant new single from Stilje Nes, offering something to lose yourself in. Let the imagination take you where the music does.

Rating: 4/5

Review by Craig Thomas

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Drums Sefl Titled debut album review - Published at

There has been a lot of hype surrounding The Drums since we first heard their debut single ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ as well as them receiving the Philip Hall Radar award from NME.

On initial listen to their debut album, it is very hard to find a flaw and being released in the summer the music seems perfect, as if wrote for the season. On further listens however, it all seems just too repetitive. The guitar offers a lively jangly rhythm but it seems to be followed throughout the whole album.

Despite the repetitive rhythm some songs do still stand out. ‘Let’s Go Surfing’, despite being around for a while now, is definitely an example of one of these songs and one that most people are familiar with because of bands’ debut EP. From the whistling to the jangly guitar riffs, it still offers that summer vibe and is something everyone can sing along to on the summer dance floors.

‘Best Friend’ is another song from the original EP which still jumps out, offering some lively electronic sounds to get bodies moving. The song loses the repetitive guitar for some bouncy, jumpy electro beats.

The vocals from Jonathon Pierce really shine through in ‘The Future’ – the last song on the album. The power of his voice really stands out in this song and mixes in good health with the twinkly music. The vocals in this track could well be associated with some of the ballad style songs of the 80s.

A song that draws you in after more than one listen is ‘Forever and Ever Amen’, instead of just relying on catchy, bright sounds, this one seems to go further - even offering some 80s style synth. This song goes deeper than the music with its lyrics, which are strikingly about love - something that may not be associated with The Drums and their style of music but this song is a real stand out from the album.

The debut album from The Drums does become a bit repetitive with the continuous guitar riffs repeated throughout in most songs. On the whole though, this album is perfect for summer lovers as it offers the whole package - a great soundtrack for those who enjoy light, fun and happy songs.

Rating: 3/5

Review by Craig Thomas