Tag Archives: Electro Pop

Q: Who are These New Puritans?

A: A decidedly strange indie outfit out of the UK. It is difficult to classify a particular genre for their music, as it incorporates and amalgamates so many diverse and discordant influences. Post Rock, Industrial, Minimal Electro, Shoegaze, Post Punk and Brian Eno/Thom Yorke-esque avant-gardism are just a few influences that come to mind. If nothing else, These New Puritans are an ambitious lot. The recently released Hidden LP involves the band moving far beyond the 3-4 piece standard¬†instruments¬†that characterise traditional rock. Perhaps the most prominent examples of this are the thunderous Japanese Taiko drums and the long forgotten Bassoon (yeah, they actually play a bassoon!). The result is a really interesting and surprisingly addictive album. Be prepared to spend a little time with this one…it isn’t designed or instant gratification, and you won’t hear any of their songs in a car commercial.

Not that there is anything wrong with bands who have songs that appear in car commercials. Phoenix’s massively successful Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix LP included a number of tracks that became ubiquitous in large part due to their use in ads. It can be somewhat annoying, but who can blame them in an era when nobody actually purchases music? Anyhow, I always felt that Love Like a Sunset was a song that had massive potential, but ended prematurely and was thus somewhat unsatisfying. In a blatant attempt to appease me, Phoenix have gone ahead and released Love Like A Sunset (Part III), which is essentially an electro remix of the song. It sounds pretty cool, but once again I feel like they could have used the song’s climax so much more creatively and effectively than they did…sigh. Fun track though!

Of course, all good music doesn’t need to be ground breaking and innovative (and in fact a lot of ‘innovative’ music is just pretentious garbage). I (and I would imagine many other people) sometimes crave the comforting simplicity of a well crafted rock song that evokes emotion and just makes me want to sing along. This is the kind of music you will get from the Scottish indie rock band Frightened Rabbit. 2008’s A Midnight Organ Fight was a fantastically earnest and melancholy album that incorporated elements of Scottish & Irish folk music. Their most recent release,¬†The Winter of Mixed Drinks (March 2010), is a decidedly more upbeat and ambitious record, incorporating a wider use of instruments and texture. I’m impressed with their ability to progress as a band, and this is a good album, but somehow it lacks that emotional punch that made A Midnight Organ Fight such a great album.

Finally, a parting gift of pure electropop sweetness from that loveable sheep shaggin land of New Zealand (thanks SP) by The Naked And Famous. Very Passion Pit/MGMT…and that’s a good thing.

Best Music of 2010 (so far!)

Phew! Time flies! Half the year is over, and we have almost reached the end of another World Cup. A lot of music bloggers/websites release their mid year best music lists at the end of June/early July, and this year is no different. NPR All Songs Considered released its listeners top picks, as did Pretty Much Amazing, Dusted, and undoubtedly countless others. Thus, not to be outdone, here are my top 10 fav albums the first 2 quarters of 2010…..

1) Artist: Wait What Album: The Notorious XX

2) Artist: The National Album: High Violet

3) Artist: Foals Album: Total Life Forever

4) Artist: Hot Chip Album: One Life Stand

5) Artist: Vampire Weekend Album: Contra

6) Artist: Big Boi Album: Sir Lucious Left Foot

7) Artist: The Black Keys Album: Brothers

8) Artist: LCD Soundsystem Album: This is Happening

9) Artist: Gorillaz Album: Plastic Beach

this video is awesome btw. Trust damon and the gang to go all out!

10) Artist: Jonsi Album: Go

Honourable Mentions: Broken Bells (Broken Bells), How I Got Over (The Roots),

What are you favorites?