Tuesday, 24 January 2012

New Music : The Cast Of Cheers

With a slightly odd and potentially unfavourable name, The Cast Of Cheers make up for it somewhat with their brilliant debut single 'Family', which will be released through School Boy Error / Cooperative Music on February 20th. It's jaunty, mathy, and unquestionably fun, and the video is splendid too. We are very much looking forward to keeping an eye on these guys over the forthcoming months. You can catch them playing alongside Theme Park (who you might recall from making the top 5 of The Blog Sound of 2012) during February and March.

The Cast Of Cheers | Facebook | Twitter

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Future Sounds of 2012

Better late than never, here is this years 'Future Sounds' post, which contains a collection of artists we can't wait to hear new material from this year.

Hysterical Injury // Facebook / Twitter
Ever since we put forward Hysterical Injury for the Emerging Talent Stage for last year's Glastonbury, we've told anyone that will listen just how great they are. At the back end of last year that even included Tom Robinson, who played the band on his BBC 6Music show as we told him he had to (as did Tiffany from Drunken Werewolf). 2012 see's the band release their debut LP 'Dead Wolf Situation', and we can tell you now, its brilliant!

Gabrielle Aplin // Facebook / Twitter
We first discovered Bath's Gabrielle Aplin back in late 2010, and since then we've kept a keen eye on her development. Earlier this month she released her latest EP, 'Home', which is her strongest work to date, and has left us eagerly awaiting a future full length album hopefully later this year.

Daughter // Facebook / Twitter
Having waxed lyrical about Daughter's 2nd EP at the end of last year (The Wild Youth), its fair to say we are more than a little bit interested to hear what Elena has in store for us in 2012. Not to mention checking her out again at one of her gigs, which last year were truly something special.

LightGuides // Facebook / Twitter
Having put out one of our favourite debut EP's of last year (Samba Samba Samba), and belonging to the Alcopop! Records stable, Glasgow's LightGuides are a band we're looking forward to learning more about as we chart their seemingly unstoppable progress during the coming year.

Lucy Rose // Facebook / Twitter
We picked up on her 'Middle Of The Bed' EP at the tail end of last year, and with new single 'Red Face' carrying on where she left off, Lucy Rose is certainly attracting our attention. Recording has begun on her debut album which we can't wait to hear when its drops later this year.

Pale Seas // Facebook
Last year a band called Netherlands put out a low key release of their track 'Sooner Or Later', which made Music Liberation's Top 5 Singles of 2011. Well that band are now called Pale Seas, and that track is set to receive alot more attention. We are hungry for more, much more!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Music Liberation's Writers takeover week : Moker

To round off the Music Liberation's Writers takeover week we have Moker...

"Well this is a little surprising. Looking back at the artists I’ve managed to review in 2011, the one thing that’s abundantly clear is that I’ve heavily favoured music with female vocals and shoegaze, layered guitars. This must be some kind of subconscious shift in my tastes as I’d never have normally ticked such boxes if I had to describe my favourite music. I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s a bit the reverse of when you go through your record collection and wonder why there’s so much awful metal in there. Or is that just me? (ED: Nope!)

Anyway, out of the all the reviews this year, my three favourite would have to be Sea Oleena’s beautiful new EP, the New York duo Acrylics single ‘Molly’s Vertigo’ and EMA’s fantastic debut album ‘Past Life and Martyred Saints’.

If I had to rank these three in order (and I do) it would go as such:

3) Acrylics - Molly's Vertigo : If only because it was a single review rather than a whole body of work. This dreamy 80s tinged pop song was truly fantastic. || Acrylics


2) EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints : Already in many critics’ top ten lists, this wide-ranging and off-kilter debut is a true masterpiece. I wrote that it sounds as if she was on the verge of a breakdown and letting every emotion flow out into the music and I stand by that verbose description; perhaps because it’s a gloriously verbose record in all the right ways. Every listen will bring something new. Also album opener ‘The Grey Ship’ is a worthy contender for Single of 2011. || EMA

1) Sea Oleena - Sleeplessness : There’s no escaping the beauty of Sea Oleena’s music. Both her most recent EP and her self-titled debut are an intoxicating mix of ghostly vocals and layered ambient noise. Intimate, emotive and leftfield, she’s been my favourite find of this year. || Sea Oleena

With regards to next year, there are a few artists on my radar who are worth keeping an eye out for. The first is angular metal band Alright the Captain. Their album was released all the way back in January and despite being a perfect slab of relentless jagged noise, it didn’t get the coverage it deserved.

The second recommendation would be a band from the North of England called Pengilly’s. An unusual name for an unusual band. Their honest, heartfelt and spacious approach to music is a little like a folk band remixed by James Blake. The future can only be bright for these trendsetters. (ED: The keen eyed amongst you will remember we featured Pengilly's on Music Liberation back in September with the video for 'Toby's Hill'.)

The final recommendation would be the well established and long running Belgium electro band Goose. Some might know of them but I’ve listed them here as they’ve always been at the peripheries of the funky house scene, dominated by French acts such as Daft Punk and Justice. They most recent album, released last year was superb and surely the high profile coverage they deserve should come to them off the back of their fantastic efforts.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Music Liberation's Writers takeover week : Clive Rozario

 Here's Clive Rozario with his thoughts on 2011 and his tips for the forthcoming year.

"Do you know what I told myself on New Year's Day, 2011? I promised that after burning myself out in 2010 attending endless gigs, squandering (the majority of my) funds on an unnecessary eight festivals, clogging up my accommodation with Cd's that were only used once (to upload to my iPod), and destroying my Mac with an addiction to downloading new music, that I would take it a little easier - music-wise - in 2011. Do you know what I told myself on New Year's Day, 2012? I promised myself that since 2011's equally relentless musical year not only burnt me out, but actually gave me tinnitus, I WILL take it a little easier in 2012…

We had some huge records last year: Metronomy, Machine Head, SBTRKT, James Blake, Bon Iver, letlive., Jamie Woon, Radiohead, Mazes, Gil Scott Heron & Jamie XX, City and Colour, Mastodon, etc. However, some of the most enjoyable music I have encountered this year has been from the underground, in the form of independent albums or debut EPs and whatnot.

Here is my TOP 3 from the releases I've covered for Music Liberation in 2011:

1. Quick and The Dead - 'For The Rhythm' - This little, pop punk-tinged emo EP came armed with a surprisingly full production, and some massive, massive vocal hooks. The epic title track rivals anything Taking Back Sunday, Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses etc. have done. (ED: Unfortunately QATD decided at the back end of last year to split up) || Quick And The Dead

2. Vetoes - 'Ritalin/Ritalout' - I'm still none-the-wiser about whether the term 'post-prog' has actually become a fully fledged genre, but the urgency of this progressive mash-up of math-rock and alternative indie has stayed with me all year. 'Sonic Turge' is a tune! || Vetoes

3. Shapes - 'Monotony Chic' - The debut album from this noisy post-hardcore mob may lacked real originality (sounding a fair bit like letlive., who sound more than a fait bit like Glassjaw), but they made up for it with punishing technicality and an impassioned vocal performance. Check out 'Vacancy Ape' - the album highlight. || Shapes

*A special mention must be made for We'll Go Machete's album 'Strong Drunk Hands', which only just missed out on the TOP 3.

Now for the Tips for 2012: new artists I think are going to have a great year.

1. Drive - This Hertfordshire quartet are shrouded in mystery. Having only formed last year, they released a dreamy little demo called 'No Feel' (after only having been together a month!), which was picked up by the blogosphere with all it's heart. I mean, this replication of shoegazing-tinted, noise-rock, alternative bands like My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth was addictive in its authenticity - the word 'nostalgic' didn't even come to mind. Little is known about the band (as they have pretty much no online presence), but i'm sure we'll be hearing more from them in 2012. || Drive

2. Blue Daisy - The London producer's recently released, debut album 'The Sunday Gift' has received critical acclaim, but it's one of those slow-burners - electronica fans are only just starting to really pick up on the moody dubstep-laced triphop, and it's 2012 that is going to see his name truly made. || Blue Daisy

3. Casitas - The quirky indie-party-pop band from Devon have been quiet since releasing their independent, self-titled debut, and winning a plethora of 'battle of the bands' comps. They are apparently in the process of (slowly) making their follow-up, and are dedicating 2012 to radically expanding their fanbase. Check out their track 'Lykke Lii'. || Casitas

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Music Liberation's Writers takeover week : Chris Meredith

Day 2 of the Music Liberation Writers takeover week. Chris Meredith picks his favourite reviews of 2011 and gives us his tips for the year ahead.

"My top 3 reviews are:

The reason I selected The Bullitts and Jay Elec as number 1 was due to how I felt the track was taking hip-hop into a new era that we are still yet to see the fruits of. Jay Electronica is one of the most exciting talents in Hip Hop who has still to drop an album and one definitely to look out for in 2012. The Bullitts creativity and eye for an excellent piece of cinematography to compliment their music is something quite extraordinary. James Samuel, who is the creative force behind The Bullitts is another artist who will be pushing the limits of where music can take you in 2012." || The Bullitts // Jay Electronica

These are the artists I'm looking forward to hearing more from in 2012:

Keaton Henson – Keaton is an extremely fragile and talented individual whose music and art complement each other in such a way it just makes you stop and think (check the video for Charad to confirm this). His voice is as fragile and raw as his appearance and will leave you asking yourself why you ever listened to Ed Sheeran! || Keaton Henson

Cloud Boat – Cload Boat are an electronic duo from R&S Records and ever since I saw them support James Blake in Cardiff early last year a week doesn’t go by where I’m not looking for new material. 'Lions on the Beach' would be their break through single for last year, but I am eagerly anticipating their EP which drops in 2012. || Cloud Boat

Architects – A band that has been tearing the roof off of venues for a long time now, but they seem to have made a way into the ears of the mainstream through gigs and festivals throughout 2011. Whatever genre you want to classify this band under (deathcore/hardcore would be most appropriate), this is a group who I just can’t take my eye off. The band has recently released the single 'Devil’s Island' whilst on tour in the UK, which shows signs of new music for 2012. This band is heart thumping rage at its best and something that they exuberate when performing live. || Architects

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Music Liberation's Writers takeover week : Tom Nash

This week Music Liberation is being taken over exclusively by its' fine collection of Writers, as I, Mr 'Editor', hang up my boots and have a week off before we get back into the usual new music loving swing of things next week.

First up, our newest writer, Tom Nash, kicks things off by choosing his favourite review of 2011.

"Coming to the ML team late in the year, I only covered two releases; Dilated Peoples emcee Evidence’s second solo album Cats & Dogs and Hectic Zeniths’ self-titled debut.

With just two albums to choose from, you’d think it would be simple picking a favourite. It wasn’t.

The thumping boom-bap and laidback West Coast vibes of Cats & Dogs was refreshing in a year when mainstream Hip Hop was dominated by heavy synths and House-inspired floor fillers, whereas Hectic Zeniths provided an LP packed full of dramatic keys and strings that was perfect for shoe-gazing on a cold morning or as the soundtrack to a chill evening.

So which to choose?

While Evidence has turned out a strong album in a year of great releases, my vote goes to the newcomer: Hectic Zeniths. Each track is a beautifully crafted, multi-layered soundscape, which makes the album a wonderfully evocative experience that is just crying out for repeat listens.

With such a strong debut, Hectic Zeniths has set the bar high for future releases, but I for one, will be eagerly anticipating any new music from this exciting new artist.

Evidence - Cats And Dogs (Album Review - 21st November) || Evidence

Hectic Zeniths - Hectic Zeniths (Album Review - 29th November) || Hectic Zeniths

Monday, 2 January 2012

The Blog Sound of 2012 : The Top 5

Here our the top 5 artists of the The Blog Sound of 2012...

1. Friends

2. Theme Park

3. Beth Jeans Houghton

4. French Wives

5. Daughter