Sunday, 29 December 2013

My Tips For 2014

I know you are probably tired of the heap of 'Ones To Watch' lists which are knocking about at the moment (I am too to be honest!). I've already read a lot of these lists and one thing is clear: Ella Eyre, Sam Smith and Chloe Howl are 'destined for big things in 2014'. I have no problem with these artists at all, in fact I quite like them, but I feel there are other artists who don't have the large following that these acts do (Sam and Ella in particular, both of which have featured on UK number 1 singles in 2013).

There are other artists I absolutely love (BANKS, FKA Twigs, Say Lou Lou, MØ) who I am expecting big things from this year, but they have also been included in many ones to watch lists and I feel have already have blossoming fan bases.

I instead composed a list of bands and artists who I feel have fallen under the radar somewhat and I believe will (hopefully) release spectacular records in 2014 which will finally get them the recognition they truly deserve:


Rhode Island-born, Stockholm-based singer Mapei has been gaining momentum over the latter part of 2013 as her phenomenal breakout single 'Don't Wait' has been doing the rounds. However, I still feel that because it hasn't scaled the charts as it should have, she is still not as big as she should/could be. I can't wait to hear what soul-pop wonders she has up her sleeve and with her debut album scheduled for a 2014, I shouldn't have to wait too long! 

Marika Hackman 

Marika Hackman is another relative newcomer who has enjoyed increasing success over the course of 2013, with a critically claimed mini-album and EP already under her belt. However, she is making us wait a little longer for her full-length album, she will release another EP prior to her debut album in the spring (fingers crossed). Her standout track 'Bath Is Black' combines folk with a fresh 'medieval pop' sound to create an enchanting listen, combine this with a wonderfully weird music video featuring a gyrating chav couple and you've got yourself perfection:

Angel Olsen

I've already chatted a little about Missouri songstress Angel Olsen in a previous post, her debut album Halfway Home was one of the most captivating albums I have ever heard. Her distinct tone sets her apart from the massive crop of female folk singers who have been servicing over the past few years. I was a little worried when I first heard she was going in a more electric sound with her new album, it could end in disaster (see Jake Bugg's Shangri La), but judging from lead single 'Forgiven/Forgotten' and the snippets of new tracks such as 'Hi-Five', her new album Burn Your Fire For No Witness should be an absolute corker.

More on her new album here:


Blessa's 'Between Times' was one of my favourite singles of the year, the B-side 'Bloom' is also pretty great too. Breezy 'indie pop' production matched with gorgeous female vocals is hardly a groundbreaking combination but because it's done so well, I don't really care. They've confirmed that their debut EP will be released in a new year, so hopefully an album will follow soon.


Scottish duo Honeyblood have received a heap of buzz (no pun intended) from their debut single 'Bud', a wistful sugar-coated fuzz-rock treat which gets better with every listen. The B-side is even better; Kissing On You is a punchy Best Coast-recalling tune which is essentially the musical equivalent of a hi-five. They have recently completed their debut album which will hopefully drop around springtime. Exciting times.

All Dogs

All Dog's 'Buddy' came from nowhere and completely knocked me for six, it's throwback 90's punk-pop sound took me back to the carefree summers I used to enjoy before I became the anti-social hermit that I am today. Again, it's hardly anything new but that's irrelevant because it's SO BLOODY GOOD! Expect big things in 2014 (including a full-length record).

Cousin Marnie

I discovered Cousin Marnie's song 'You've Been Fooling Me Baby' accidentally on YouTube this summer, it was a simple slip of the mouse which lead to me finding an undiscovered gem. Her icy delivery, dark beats and the anthemic hook scream 'One to Watch'. Her EP is also well worth checking out.


Following their support slot for CHVRCHES, NY band Wet have been hotly tipped from their new year, their creatively titled debut EP 'Wet' contains 4 of the best synthpop songs of 2013 (and probably 2014 too). The third track in particular; 'Don't Wanna Be Your Girl' is sparse, slick and extremely powerful (it brought me to tears upon first listen, seriously). If they can achieve this level of excellence in one EP, image in the album. IMAGINE.


Limerick three-piece Sisters are probably my favourite thing to come out of Ireland, well, ever (this includes Laura Whitmore). I am only basing this rather brazen statement on one song but what a song it is. 'Hush Hush' is a blistering piece of lo-fi which provides some much needed sunlight in this miserable winter. The sun drenched melodies and breezy boy/girl vocals might well have stolen the 'best song of the year' crown from Warpaint, the luck of the Irish, ey?


Brighton-based lo-fi queen Rose Keeler-Schäffeler (A.K.A KEEL HER) finally announced her debut album (due February) this month. If any of her new tracks even come close to the sheer brilliance of breakout single 'Riot Grrrl' it will be amazing.


Details of this Cornwall duo are fairly scarce as we enter the new year but everything I do know I approve of greatly. Thus far they have put out 3 phenomenal fuzzy dream pop tunes ('Let's Bang', 'Now I want To', 'Meanwhile') and are releasing their debut EP in the new year at some point. Hopefully we will see (or preferably hear) a full length from them before 2015 but I won't get my hopes up.


Last but by no means least, Novella have been one of my favourite new bands ever since their self-titled EP dropped back in 2012. Now, in 2014 they will finally release their debut album, their recent single 'Follow' is one of my favourite tracks of the year. Stream 'Follow' in all its shoegaze glory below:

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Albums to look forward to next year - January and Feburary

Whilst 2013 has been a great year for album releases, a great majority of the albums I have been most looking forward are still yet to surface...which at least gives me something to look forward to in the bleak year I have ahead of me as my childhood nears its end and I become a 'young adult'. *shivers*

Now, on to more positive matters, already there are a load of exciting albums which are DEFINITELY being released in 2014, many of which in the first quarter (arguable the best of all four).

From exciting debut albums to much anticipated follow-ups, here are the albums which are being released early next year that you should definitely know about...

September Girls - Cursing the sea
Release Date - 6th January 

The first exciting release of 2014 comes courtesy of Dublin five-piece September Girls who after a set of low-key 7" and cassette releases are releasing their debut album of Fortuna Pop! in January. Expect sketchy sonics, rich melodies, big riffs and plenty of hooks.

Warpaint - Warpaint
Release Date - 20th January 

I've already hyped this album to death...but a little more won't hurt, right? Although I don't strictly have a favourite band, Warpaint are definitely up there. Their genius is in their simplicity, instead of audacious production and massive hooks which tire after a while, each and every Warpaint song has new layers that you discover with every listen. So far, every new cut they've put out has been immaculate, much like their debut, and I have every faith that this album will in fact be better.

Bombay Bicycle Club - So Long, See You Tomorrow 
Release Date - 3rd February

Bombay Bicycle Club: So Long, See You Tomorrow

Their last album A Different Kind Of Fix was a mixed bag for me, although it did contain one of my all time favourite songs in the form of lead single Shuffle. There new album is promised to me a far more eclectic affair, with influence from as far away as India and Turkey. The artwork is excellent and two cuts they've put out so far have also been stellar, so far so good.

Katy B - Little Red
Release Date -  10th February

Little Red

Let's face it, Katy B is incredible. She may not be the biggest popstar but everything she has put out has been solid. When your debut album is as good as Katy's On A Mission, there is always a concern that the follow-up will be a major disappointment. Not for Katy B though, every song from her Little Red campaign has been...well... A BANGER;  Aaliyah (BANGER), What Love Is Made Of (BANGER, yet not on the album, grrr), 5 AM (COLOSSAL BANGER), I Like You (BANGER), Crying For No Reason (EMOTIVE BANGER). Point made.

Planningtorock - All Love's Legal
Release Date - 10th February

Now, whilst I wouldn't say that intense anti-homophobic/ feminist electronica is exactly my cup of tea, there is something I really like about Planningtorock. The genderless voice manipulation is sometimes a bit tricky to get your head around but the production of these tracks are excellent, the 90's dance inspired Human Drama in particular is pretty damn great. If you love something different, daring and experimental, this will be right up your street.

Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire For No Witness
Release Date - 14th February

Angel Olsen's stunning debut Halfway Home was one of  2012's most underrated albums and I was worried that Angel's amazing voice would go unnoticed. But luckily, 2014 is set to be her year, she has veered away from delicate folk and has taken up a much heavier sound, which I approve of greatly. Burn Your Fire... has already received double the amount of coverage that her debut ever received and it won't even be released for another two months. Not only this, the video for the excellent lead single has been given the vevo banner and even Sainsbury's are stocking it for Christ's sake! Remember her name ladies and gents.

St Vincent - St Vincent
Release Date - 24th February

St. Vincent - St. Vincent

Annie Clark's third studio album as St Vincent Strange Mercy was only released in 2011 and is already a classic in my opinion. Now, she's back with self-titled forth  record which is already set to be huge (have you SEEN the artwork?). Not only has she had a funky image re-vamp but she has also signed with a major label imprint for this release. And if the immense lead single is anything to go by, this will be a wacky, divisive masterpiece.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

The BBC Sound Of...2013 Nominees - Where are they now?

Last week, the longlist of the prestigious BBC Sound Of... poll was announced. It contains some personal favourites of mine including BANKS, Chance The Rapper, FKA Twigs, Say Lou Lou and Kelela as well as a few other buzz bands and critical darlings.
Like every year, out of these twelve acts, some will crack the mainstream (Adele, Ellie Goulding, Lady Gaga), some will remain successful, critically acclaimed ‘indie stars’ (James Blake, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Warpaint ) an some will burn out faster than a Tesco-brand sparkler on Guy Fawkes night (Stooshe, Azealia Banks, Daisy Dares You).
Now, nearly a year after the 2013 shortlist was announced, it’s time to look back on the class of 2013:
Since winning the poll in January, HAIM have had a pretty massive year; four singles playlisted
by Radio 1, multiple spots at Glastonbury and a number one album. It’s fair to say they haven’t done too badly...
Since coming second in the poll AlunaGeorge remained hotly tipped throughout the year; Aluna Francis features of Disclosures smash-hit White Noise and had a top 20 single over their own, the very catchy Attracting Flies. However, following the underwhelming performance of their disappointing debut album Body Music, the future for this duo looks slightly uncertain.
Angel Haze
When it comes to the excellent rapper Angel Haze, I feel the timing wasn't right; she’s had a relatively quiet year with the exception of the release of her single Echelon (It’s My Way) and a quest feature of Rudimental’s number 1 album Home on the standout track Hell Could Freeze. But with a lot of buzz still surrounding her debut album Dirty Gold, which drops next year, 2014 could be her time to shine. 
Laura Mvula
Choral popstar Laura Mvula didn’t explode like previous nominees, instead, she released an excellent debut album to critical acclaim, achieved one of the catchiest single of the year in the form of Green Garden and even got a Mercury nomination. With Mvula, I feel the best is yet to come.
After a year of non-stop blogger buzz, CHVRCHES finally released their internationally successful debut album The Bones Of What You Believe. The all-killer album cemented them as one of the UK’s best new bands and can be found on pretty much every best of list.
The rest:
Despite featuring in one of the year’s biggest singles, Duke Dumont’s Need U (100%), after the monumental flop that was her terrible EDM mess of a single Heartless, we may never see a debut album from her...
Following terrible mismanagement and lack of Radio play, Arlissa’s excellent Sticks and Stones barely broke the top 50 this year. Her latest single Into The Light didn’t exactly fare any better but she has assured us that her debut album Battles is coming this year.
King Krule
The young Londoner's debut album Six Feet Beneath The Moon was easily one of the year’s best;
his erratic style, emotive vocals and honest songwriting well and truly justify the hype.
Little Green Cars
They were once tipped to be the next Mumford and Sons (this was a complement believe it or not!) but now, after their dull debut album failed to get pulses raising they have been added to the heap of Sound Of’s great misjudgements.
Palma Violets
NME favourites Palma Violets have continued to build their fanbase over the past year with a sting of electrifying live performances including Glastonbury and supporting QOTSA at iTunes festival. 180 was a start but I reckon their follow-up is gonna be a big one.
Their debut album was excellent but have since gone a bit quite, but hopefully if their future work lives up to expectations they will get people talking once more.
The art-punk pioneers released one of this years most epic albums and following their much-deserved mercury nominations are continuing to grow and grow. They are definitely up there with the best Sound Of... nominees of all time, good call BBC!
The Weeknd
Despite not exactly cracking the mainstream in the way of his fellow slick male R’n’B counter parts Drake, Frank Ocean and Miguel, The Weeknd has enjoyed moderate success and is set to last.
Tom Odell
He had a lot to live up to once her was awarded the prestigious Critic’s Choice Award at the Brits, although he didn’t live up to the success of Adele and Emeli Sande, I wouldn’t go  as far as to call him a flop. His debut album is one of this years best selling despite a mixed critical reception, I personally believe that if he reigns it in a bit his future work could be quite good.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Top 30 albums of 2013

2013 has been a vintage year for albums; from comebacks to debut albums, artists have been branching out and taking more risks than ever, with mostly successful results. 

Now I love a good list, so I decided to delve into my music collection and compose a list of my top albums which have been released over the past year. 

Before I get to the meaty bit, here are my special mentions (records which for one reason or another couldn't be on the main list):

Jessica Pratt - Jessica Pratt
The debut album by San Fran singer/songwriter Jessica Pratt was easily one of the best albums I heard this year, however it didn't make the list because it was released last year. However, the fuzz and 60's-tinged charm of this record make it soon like it was recorded a lot earlier.
Best Track: Hollywood

Marika Hackman - That Iron Taste
Marika Hackman's medieval folk debut was technically an EP and so didn't make the main list but would've definitely been in the top 5 if it had. There's already a space at the top of my 2014 list reserved for her full-length! 
Best Track: Bath Is Black

1. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
The concept of 'the difficult second album' clearly bypassed Katie Crutchfield (Waxahatchee), who's sophomore album Cerulean Salt (along with Disclosure's Settle) sound tracked my summer. It effortlessly blends sun-soaked riffs (Coast To Coast) and emotional wind-downs (Swan Dive) to create a future classic. Her debut album was my favourite of last year and with the possibility new album at some point in 2014, could she score a hat trick? Only time will tell... 
Best Track: Dixie Cups and Jars

2. Nadine Shah - Love Your Dum And Mad
One of this year's most underrated albums, Nadine Shah's intensely beautiful debut has made a massive impression on me. Her magnetic vocals, brooding instrumentation and dark lyrics (inspired by death and deceit) have changed the way I think about music and the way it makes me feel. She is what I call 'a singer/songwriter with bite'.
Best Track: Runaway 

3. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City
After two much-loved preppy-rock albums, Vampire Weekend progressed to a more mature sound for their third album. Despite this, the songs are as fun, crazy and catchy as they have ever been.
Best Track: Step

4. Drenge - Drenge
When I first heard Castleton duo Drenge, my initial reaction was 'How can two people make so much noise?' and the answer is: with ease. Crunchy riffs and raw vocals, this is a debut which certainly packs a punch.
Best Track: Dog Meat

5. Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
The moment I first heard the Canadian duo's seventh studio album back in January, I knew it was gonna be one of the best of the year and boy, how right was I? This is what a pop album should be: no nip-slips, no twerking, no grinding. Just track after track of shimmering synthpop perfection. All bangers, no bangerz. 
Best Track: Goodbye, Goodbye

6. Savages - Silence Yourself
I love an all-female band, me. Art punk, not so much. London band Savages' debut album is in a league of it's own; It is pulse raising, intense and frankly terrifying but no less addictive than than your run-of-the-mill pop record. Approach with caution.
Best Track: Husbands

7. Joanna Gruesome - Weird Sister
The excellently named Cardiff rockers Joanna Gruesome came from nowhere and absolutely knocked me for six. Fast paced, insane, chaotic and ridiculously catchy, this is an absolute treat of a record.
Best Track: Sugarcrush 

8.Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle 
Releasing your fourth studio album at age 23 is an achievement in itself, but releasing one this incredible is something else entirely. Laura manages to maintain the same level of magic over the album's colossal 16 tracks. From nostalgic folk ballad Once to the organ-heavy Where Can I Go?, this is an absolute gem which cements Laura as our generation's greatest British songbird.
Best Track: Devil's Resting Place

9. CHVRCHES - The Bones Of What You Believe
Bringing credible synthpop back into the mainstream, CHVRCHES lived up to the hype with their debut album. Delivering lyrics as sinister "I will be a gun, and it's you I'll come for" in a way which still puts a smile on the listeners face demonstrates Lauren Mulberry's skill, whist the production maintains their fundamental 80's influences whilst remaining forward thinking and current. 
Although I am extremely annoyed at the fact that in an album full of potential hits, they chose to re-release a lackluster re-recording of their once epic single Lies, that doesn't make this record any less brilliant. 
Best Track: Night Sky

10. Torres - Torres
As far as debut albums go, they don't get any rawer than Mackenzie Scott's (Torres's) self released self-titled album. After going widely unnoticed when it was originally released back in January, I was afraid that this record wouldn't be cherished in the way it deserved to be. Fortunately, due to it's recent re-release, a lot more lucky people have discovered this album. 
Best Track: Mother Earth, Father God

11. Deap Vally - Sistrionix
The LA rock'n'roll duo's debut album is full of  witty, fun and empowering blues-rock anthems which exhume sass and energy. The epic closer Six Feet Under shows that the best is still yet to come with this band.
Best Track: Walk Of Shame

12. Sky Ferreira - Night Time, My Time
Sky Ferreira finally released her debut album this year after 5 years of build up and didn't disappoint in the slightest. From the hook-laden opener Boys to the haunting title track, this is more than a pop album, it is a statement.
Best Track: 24 Hours

13. Lorde - Pure Heroine
Kiwi teen Lorde pretty much took over the airwaves this year with her monumental hit Royals, but managed to justify her success with an extremely classy debut. Instead of 10 samey radio hits, she plumps for an eclectic mix of dark electropop anthems with substance. Looks like her reign at the top of the pop game will continue.
Best Track: Team

14. Foals - Holy Fire
I wasn't particularly fussed about Foals' first two albums or the band in general, that was until I heard the single Inhaler off their third album, which is still one of my favourite tracks of the year. Ranging from sparse to chaotic, every track on this album is a triumph. 
Best Track: Inhaler

15. Courtney Barnett - Sea Of Split Peas
Aussie singer/songwriter stylishly flies the flag for us hermits with her witty double EP. From wanking to gardening, the is no ground that isn't covered here, she also milks the hell out of that awesome accent on hers.
Best Track: History Eraser

16. VV Brown - Samson & Delilah
The Most unlikely success story of the year, VV Brown was once pop's 'next big thing' but after her debut album was below-parr and her second album was shelved I was startling to loose hope. But like a phoenix from the ashes. she rose up to create one of the year's most innovative albums.
Best Track: Ghosts

17. HAIM - Days Are Gone
After a shedload of hype, HAIM finally released their superb debut album in September. The title track shows HAIM at their poppiest whilst the touching closer shows them at their most vulnerable. This album would've been higher had I not have heard the majority of it's track list pre-release. 
Best Track: Days Are Gone

18. Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer, Different Park
Usually, I despise country music, but Kacey Musgraves' major-label debut changed everything. Instead of whining about farming and dull tales about romance, Kacey explores the darker aspects of American culture with game-changing results.
Best Track: Silver Lining

19. Disclosure - Settle
It wouldn't be a year-end list without Disclosure, would it? These boys partially owned 2013 and firmly placed them at the forefront of UK dance music.
Best Track: When A Fire Starts To Burn

20. London Grammar - If You Wait
Following their epic EP earlier this year, London Grammar came out with a debut album as moving as it is compelling, although more trip-hop breakdowns like the one at the end of standout tack Metal & Dust wouldn't have gone a miss. 
Best Track: Metal & Dust

21. Cate Le Bon - Mug Museum
Despite moving to LA, Cate Le Bon's third album is packed full of wacky Welsh charm. Are You With Me Now's anthem sing-along chorus is one of my favourite musical moments of the year .
Best Track: Are You With Me Now

22. Queens Of The Stone Age - Like Clockwork...
Rock'n'roll veterans Queens Of The Stone Age return to form after 6 long years. Full of grit and attitude, Josh Homme is still the coolest front man of them all, however, this album doesn't come close to the greatness of Songs For The Deaf.
Best Track: I Sat By The Ocean

23. Jagwar Ma - Howlin'
Psychedelia and pop has always been a tricky combination, but Aussie duo Jagwar Ma completely pulled it off with their debut album.
Best Track: The Throw

24. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap
Not really being a rap fan, I'm not going down the whole 'Yeezus is the greatest album ever and if you disagree you're not a true music fan' road. Instead, I'm plumping for the epic mix tape from relative newcomer Chance The Rapper as my favourite rap album of the year. Full of charisma he manages to make light of his tough upbringing in gang-dominated Chicago. 
Best Track: Favorite Song

25. The Julie Ruin - Run Fast
Fast paced, bratty and extremely fun, Kathleen Hanna's latest project The Julie Ruins' debut is everything a good punk-rock album should be.
Best Track: Ha Ha Ha

26. Potty Mouth - Hell Bent
For me, the secret to a perfect punk record is nonchalance, Potty Mouth convey this perfectly on their debut album Hell Bent. Front woman Abby Weems' 'I don't give a flying fuck' attitude makes recalls Riot Grrrl era bands whilst the songs themselves are very much 'now'.
Best Track: The Spins

27. Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana
Being an outsider is never fun, but front woman Sadie Dupuis' wit and angst gives power back to the underdog extremely relatable record conceptually also manages to lift the spirits of the listener regardless of their experiences. 
Best Track: Hitch

28. Valerie June - Pushin' Up Against A Stone
One of my favourite finds this year, Valerie June's major label debut is full of Tennessee charm (The Hour , )Black Keys-inspired blues rock stompers (Can't Be Told) as well as female empowering anthems (Workin' Woman's Blues).
Best Track: Pushin' Up Against A Stone

29. Daughter - If You Leave
Who knew misery could sound so nice? Daughter's tales of heartbreak and anguish wouldn't traditionally make for an enjoyable listen, but it works here. 
Best Track: Human 

30. Arctic Monkeys - AM
One of this years' most overrated albums in my opinion, AM is far from the excellence of their debut, but does have some pretty good songs. This is by no means a bad album, it just doesn't warrant the title of 'album of the decade' *cough* NME *cough*.
Best Track: R U Mine

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Best Things I heard This Month - November

With Christmas approaching, you’d think that the good music would stop emerging for a while and things would go a bit quite until the new year...not quite. 2013 has been a exceptional year for music and November has kept this momentum going, here are some of the best things I heard this month:
Katy B - Crying For No Reason
Following the epic 5am, Katy B is continuing her thus far flawless Little Red album campaign with new single Crying For No Reason. The start sees Katy at her most vulnerable, just her voice, piano and a few light synths before turning into a full-on banger when the instrumentals truly kick in. The result is one of Katy’s strongest songs to date, which bodes well for her new album.
Rebecca Ferguson - Freedom
Being a past X factor contestant, releasing a second album is an achievement in itself, but making on this good is something else entirely. Following-up her near-perfect debut Heaven was never going to be easy, but Rebecca manages to create yet another solid album without compromising her credibility in the process.
Metronomy - I’m Aquarius
After cryptic teasers and snippets, Metronomy recently unveiled the lead single from their up-and-coming fourth studio album Love Letters. Compared to their previous singles, I’m Aquarius is a lot more sparse and airy, it builds over 4 minutes and pulls you in slowly as it does so. The main attraction here are the ‘shoop-doop-doop-ahhs’, which float over Mount’s vocals and straight into your brain. So far so good.
Rainer - Hope / Satin / Glass / Dreams EP
Rainer’s Girls is one of the most addictive songs of the year, and this EP doesn't disappoint; four perfectly formed electro-pop jams which grow with every listen. 
Rosie Lowe - Right Thing EP
The debut EP from Devon-born singer/songwriter Rosie Lowe is truly something special, her sound sits comfortably between Jessie Ware and Jessy Lanza whilst also being individual and fresh. With Dave Okumu on production, this was always going to be excellent; the songs are haunting yet warm and inviting. She is definitely one to watch in 2014.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sky Ferreira songs: The Good, The Bad and The Downright Excellent

Having listened to her album solidly for the last couple of weeks (as well as her previous songs), I thought now would be a fitting time to analyse Sky Ferreira’s extensive body of work so far. Here is my summerisation of her career so far, in my opinion of course:
Starting with her earliest singles:

The Good - ‘One’
This is a controversial one, a few of Sky’s ‘true fans’ would be outraged at the mention of this song in any positive light whatsoever (she has openly talked about this faze in her career being an absolute nightmare). But that doesn’t make this song any less great. It isn't as edgy as her more recent work, but electropop really doesn’t get any slicker than this. The video is also brilliant, classy and well-shot (with lots of wind). The most risqué it gets is her lip locking with a light bulb, but well forgive her as she was probably totally against it. Although she does appear to be forced into a ‘cute, innocent little girl’ box at times, it is still far classier than most pop videos you see these days. This would’ve fit in well in a Robyn album. B+

The Meh - 17
This song isn’t that bad, it’s just a little underwhelming, Sky is better than this. It’s just really lack-lustre and boring. The vocals are badly mastered, it’s messy and the chorus doesn’t go anywhere. The demo on the other hand is far better and proves that she can (and will) do better. This is by no means the worst it gets. C
The bloody Awful - Obsession
At this point I thought it was game over. This was rock bottom. She has on multiple occasions stated that she did not want to do this song and she definitely didn’t want it to be a single, she was practically tricked into doing it. The song itself is bad but the video is abysmal. She is clearly uncomfortable and doesn't want to be there, it’s as if her management is holding a gun to her head at times, threatening to put the trigger if he doesn't smile.
The bottom line is that this video is creepy, it’s like watching child exploitation right in front of your eyes. She looks dead behind the eyes, a soulless mannequin. And the whole Michael Madsen thing is weird as hell. This should never have happened. F.
Fortunately, this wasn’t the end of her career. Unfortunately, the ‘As If!’ EP happened. A lot of people liked it but I for one thought it was a bit crap. I’d rather move on to her more recent (an far greater) tracks so here is a run-through of the tracks on this EP:

Sex rules - Cheap, Cheap, Cheap. D-
Traces - The chorus is pretty good but not a patch on her better stuff. C+
Haters Anonymous - Sounds a bit like a Lady Gaga B-side, but this isn’t Sky. C-
99 Tears - Could’ve been good but it ended up being a bit of a mess. D+
108 - The best on the EP, if you merged a few of Lana’s unreleased tracks it would probably sound something like this. But it isn’t enough to save this EP. B-

Ah, here’s where things get a lot better, when most people ruled her out she came back fighting in a massive way:

Sad Dream - Good
Who would’ve thought she could do folk so well? While Sad Dream was a bit of a shock, it was a good one. Here, Sky gives one of her most emotionally charged vocal performances of her career thus far, with satisfying results. B+

Lost In My Bedroom - Awesome
This was one of my highlights of her career so far, the throbbing synths are hypnotising and her vocals are quite buried yet still captivating. It’s also extremely catchy. A

Red Lips - Erm...Grungy
To this day I still don’t know whether I like this song or not, on one hand I feel it’s more style over substance but on the other hand I really like the hook. But one thing I’m sure of is that her Courtney Love-esque ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude is pretty damn cool. B-

Ghost - Nice but indulgent
With the exception of (Queen) Kacey Musgraves, I hate country music. Although this is more Alt-country, it’s still a bit bland. Perhaps if it was shorter or if it progressed a bit more it would’ve worked. Her vocal delivery is still very good none-the-less. C+

Everything Is Embarrassing - Excellent (obviously) 
FINALLY!!! The moment Sky fully came into her own and graduated from industry puppet to bonafide  pop-saviour. The production, the vocals, the chorus - it’s all just so right. This song well and truly saved her career and demonstrates the power of good pop. A+

She’s come a long way in her career, and we are now (finally) up to her debut album. This (like all of her releases) is a mixed bag, for the sake of time, here are the songs which stand out to me from Night Time, My Time:

Boys - Good
In many ways, Boys is the perfect opener; it’s smart, gritty, fun and full of energy. The chorus is brilliant and reminds you why you have stuck with her for so long. The only glitch is the line “Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye”, which makes me physically want to gouge my eyes out because of it’s corniness. Apart from that, this song is stellar. A

Omanko - Erm...
Another controversial one, it is the song on the album which has divided me the most; on one hand I applaud Sky’s risk taking, on the other hand I absolutely fucking hate it. The production is OK, the lyrics grate and the vocals are more breath than tone and at 4 minutes and 38 seconds, it overstays it’s welcome massively (it may have worked as a 1- 2 minute interlude of some kind). When the rest of the album is so good, this song seems really unnecessary. D+

I Will - Yes Yes Yes
Another stonker from Sky here, a Kaiser Chiefs recalling guitar intro and twinkling electronic flourishes make this song one of the album’s best. The highlight is her kick-ass attitude, the song is so brilliantly in-your-face that you can’t help but love it. She also sings the hell out of those hooks. A+

24 Hours - Immense
Finally, my favourite song of hers thus far. This song is like the musical equivalent of an 80’s Christmas special (mainly due to the bells). It’s blazing synth melody, explosive chorus and killer hooks bridge the gap between current and nostalgic perfectly. It even manages to pull of a fade-out which is nothing short of masterful. A+

And there you have it, my analysis of the mighty Sky Ferreira’s musical catalogue so far. Although I may seem a bit critical, I genuinely care about her more than most other artist, hence why I want her to fulfill her true potential. In my opinion, Night Time, My Time is just the start.

Sunday, 17 November 2013


3 years since the release of their excellent third album The English Riviera, British four-piece Metronomy return with I'm Aquarius, the tantalizing lead single of their forthcoming fourth album Love Letters (due next year). 

I'm Aquarius is quite a shift from Metronomy's previous singles; it is nowhere near as instant as The Look or as funky as The Bay. However I'm Aquarius is definitely a grower, with every listen it pulls you further in until you're totally hooked. 

It's real strength is in the track's simplicity; the production is sparse yet enough to create a dreamy atmosphere, their are no vocal gymnastics from frontman Joseph Mount and the synths build over the course of the song's four minutes. 

The highlight of the song for me is the backing vocals. The shoop-doop-doop-ahhs are as prominent as Mount's vocals and float beautifully throughout the track . They are the part of the song which sticks in your head and take the song to the next level of brilliance.

With the album not due for another four months, I'm sure I'm Aquarius will keep us going until then. Stream it below:

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Hey guys, I'm a little behind posting wise but I will now resume posting twice a week.(Wednesday and Sunday). This is one I wrote recently for Pyramid and I am particularly proud of it...


Over the past few month electronica has become increasingly prominent in my playlist; I never really cared for it before but now I find it essential. Its rich soundscapes and alluring vocals always get me in a great mood regardless of how crap my day has been. On further inspection, I realised that a huge chunk of the electronica I was listening to was from Canadian artists and bands. It turns out they are pretty damn good at it, see below for some of my picks:


Canadian producer, singer/songwriter and pioneer of all things kooky and excellent Claire Boucher (A.K.A Grimes) got her well-deserved big break after the release of the critically acclaimed third album Visions back in January 2012. She creates weird and wonderful experimental electronica which is hard to define yet no less catchy than your run-of-the-mill radio hit. She is set to release a new album next year at some point so it doesn't look like her momentum is gonna slow down any time soon. 

Tegan and Sara

Canadian twins Tegan and Sara Quin has been in the game for well over 15 years but have never really broke out of the limbo of mediocre ‘indie bands’, that was until they released the absolute stonker of an album which was Heartthrob earlier this year. Easily one of the best albums of 2013, Heartthrob comprises of ten solid synthpop bangers. 

Crystal Castles

Toronto-based duo Crystal Castles are definitely an acquired taste but if you’re looking for some intense experimental/industrial electronica/synthpop/new rave/chiptune music than look no further.

Jessy Lanza

Canadian songstress Jessy Lanza’s Pull My Hair Back is one of my favourite songs from this year; the sleek R’n’B production, smooth breathy vocals and the nonchalance of the lyrics recall a more wistful Jessie Ware.


Like Crystal Castles, Austra’s lead singer Katie Stelmanis’ vocals are also an acquired taste; some find her voice whiny whilst others find it beautiful. Personally I agree with the latter but one thing we can all agree on is than Beat and Pulse is an absolute tune! 

Purity Ring

Grimes’s label buddies Purity Ring released their epic debut album Shrines last year and have since graced many a TV advert with their unique brand of dream pop with a distinct hip-hop twist.


A more recent discovery for me, DIANA are a Toronto-based four-piece who create sensual and calming electronica. On their recent debut album, tracks such as Perpetual Surrender and Born Again show that they are a band to watch with their with their rich swirling production and lush vocals from Carmen Elle. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


About 3 years ago, I downloaded a song for free on the iTunes 'single of the week' section (because I liked the artwork), I didn't think about it much at the time and forgot about it for a while. I didn't actually listen to it until I shuffled my playlist on a journey to Brighton and instantly fell in love with it; it's dreamy melody and ethereal vocals took me to another place entirely and sounded like nothing I had never heard before. I was so drawn in I listened to it consistently for over an hour without even realizing; I was entranced by its beauty. As soon as I stepped out of the car I began my search for the album and eventually found it 3 record shops later.

I listened to their album The Fool for 4 hours straight once I got home and have still not got tired of it. It is a special record. With only 9 tracks it is long enough to not leave you underwhelmed but also leaves you wanting more...

...And now after three years since their critically acclaimed debut album dropped, Warpaint are back with the self-titled follow-up. And they have regained my full attention by dropping the sensational lead single Love is to Die. Love Is To die is like 3 excellent songs in one; the verses (in typical Warpaint) are subdued and dreamy and the bridge creates a sense of impending brilliance. The chorus may seem somewhat anticlimactic considering the build up but it becomes increasingly spectacular with every listen; the vocals seem more powerful, the echos sound more intense and the lyric "Love is to die, love is to not die, love is to dance" seems more poignant.

This is how you do a comeback single. Girls, you now have my full attention.

Warpaint is released on 20th January 2014 on Rough Trade Records.