Sunday, 26 January 2014


Ok, But We Need A Safety Word cover art

What a month it's been! With exciting album announcements coming in thick and fast 2014 is already looking spectacular. With so much going on I'd thought it would be apt to write a round up of January which will be going up at some point this week!

Now for an introducing post, and I am really proud that I've caught this band (or artist, I honestly have no clue) so early since their is literally no hype surrounding these guys/this guy (a rare thing nowadays). As well as no hype there is also hardly any information about this band (or artist); all I know is that they are/ he is Australian and have/has a serious thing for fruit (particularly pineapples, see here.)

Ok this he/they business is irritating me so i'll just assume that they're a band from this point forward, ok.

I only discovered these guys recently after reviewing their excellent debut EP in my new position at Earbuddy, you can read my review here (pardon my outrageous trumpet blowing). I had no preconceived ideas about how they would sound and this turned out to be a very good thing indeed, because they are in fact excellent.

If they are a solo artist his closest comparison would be fellow Aussie slacker Courtney Barnett and if they're a band then I assume they (like me) have been listening  to a lot of Parquet Courts, they could be the Aussie version. Their sound is very simple yet effective, laid back stoner rock with a hint of 'indie pop' and folk thrown in for good measure.

I've already touched upon this in my review but I have a feeling these guys could be big. Support the band and download their EP for any price you want here.

Judge for yourself:

Courtney Barnett vibes:

   Parquet Courts vibe:

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Exciting News...

Hi, guys!

As you can see, I Plug To You has had a bit of a revamp (again). I decided I wanted the site to really reflect the content, so I plumped for a fun and vibrant colour scheme as well as a brand new logo and background (created by yours truly). 

This isn't it though, I have recently applied for a position at Earbuddy, which is one of my favourite music sites as a reviewer. I am glad to announce that my application was successful and I will now be a regular contributor, my first review should be up at some point this week.

To be recognised by a well-respected and credible music publication (print or otherwise) was my ambition when I started this blog and I am elated that it has opened these doors for me. I will of course keep posting as often as I can on here and keep sharing the best new music around. Check out my latest post, a review of the excellent new Warpaint record here.

The next step for me is applying to be added to Hype Machine, a brilliant music sharing website which would be incredible exposure for me. I'm not expecting anything but it's worth a go...

Thank you to everyone how had read and supported thus far, especially to all the bands and artists who have responded to their features with such kind words. I hope this site will continue to grow and develop in the future.

Oh and also I've recently (re)joined Facebook so If you'd like to 'friend' me, you can do so here.

I'll end with this tune...

Album Review: Warpaint - Warpaint

It's been 5 years since LA bliss rockers Warpaint graced us with their masterpiece of an EP Exquisite Corpse and 4 since their excellent debut album The Fool. I was apprehensive when they announced they were working on a new album, I wondered how they could possibly match their last effort, it was practically perfect.  However, these concerns were eradicated when they dropped 'Love Is To Die' late last year, it's haunting vocals and flawless production reminded me exactly why this quartet is so special.

In the context of the album, 'Love Is To die' still sticks out, it's key changes still hit as hard and I still cannot resist tapping along to the drum beat. Prior to this track is 'Keep It Healthy', which sounds exactly as it did when they performed it in session with Steve Lemacq on Radio 6 recently, accept the guitar line on which it is based on is a lot more prominent. At this point I wondered what exactly they meant when they said that this album was inspired by Hip-Hop and R'n'B sounds, but as soon as the beat kicked in on track 4 'Hi', it became very clear what their influences were. The distinctly Hip-Hop beat is created by the bands ever immense rhythm section (Stella Mozgawa's stellar drumming and Jenny lee Lindberg's bass) which gels surprisingly well with Theresa Wayman and Emily Kokal's sultry vocals.

The album calms down a bit on 'Biggy' which was released a buzz track earlier this year, and now that I've heard the other tracks on Warpaint this seems like quite a bazaar choice considering the calibre of the other songs of this record. 'Biggy' isn't bad per se, it's just tame and would've worked better if it was a bit faster (funnily enough they revealed this track was originally "6 times faster" in a recent interview with The Guardian). For the most part 'Teese' is also fairly tame but does perk up around the middle with thriving synths and off-kilter glitches before hushing once again into a fade-out.

Things really get weird on standout track  'Disco//Very' which, like Haim's 'My Song 5' is a complete curve ball. There has been a lot of buzz around this track and it has definitely delivered. On this track the band truly live up to their name, the menacing opening lyric "I've got a friend in a melody, that will kill..." mixed with it's stomping bass line, playful vocals (complete with a cheeky growl or two) and a spot of cowbell make it Warpaint's most audacious song yet.Things settle down once again on 'Go In' before 'Feeling Alright' bursts out and oozes seduction, like 'Love Is To Die' it rises, falls and glitches. The throbbing post-dub recalling beat which kicks in mid-song is one the album's many highlights. The girls give synths a rest on 'CC' which favours their earlier instrumentation with a heavy base-laden melody layered with soaring harmonies, the repetition of "you've got me so sick/spinning, dizzy" and the intoxicating instrumentation creates a spinning sensation in my head to the extent where I actually feel a little bit woozy...

'Drive', like it's name suggests, (as cheesy as it sounds) makes me feel as if I'm driving into the sunset on an open road on summers day, especially with the repetition of "Into the storm, into the eye". The song builds into a glorious climax with unified cries from the band. Closing track 'Son' is fragile and stripped back at first; It showcases Wayman's gentle vocals before building on a rolling drum beat and easing into a majestic end. Fitting for such an elegant album.

Although it isn't too much of a departure from their previous album material, Warpaint is a fresh and enriching listen which goes one further than their debut. 


Key Tracks: 'Keep It Healthy', 'Hi,', 'Disco//Very', 'Feeling Alright', 'Son'

Sunday, 12 January 2014

New Sounds - Tracks I'm loving at the Moment

Kyla La Grange - Cut Your Teeth
As an artist, changing your sound is always a risky operation. If done well, it can significantly increase your fan base and allow your music to reach a wider audience, however, if done badly you end up compromising your credibility and alienating your initial fan base. 

Fortunately, this isn't the case for Kyla La Grange. Kyla caught my attention with her gutsy debut album Ashes, which had an earthy folk-rock sound. Her new track, Cut Your Teeth is completely different animal, here Kyla trades soaring choruses and acoustic guitar for soft vocals and throbbing beats. The result is a subtle and addictive track which might well give Kyla the acclaim she deserves (it has already racked up over 100,000 Soundcloud plays in under a week).

Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne - Rather Be
I first fell in love with Clean Bandit's sound back in late 2012 with their debut single proper 'A&E', their beats sounded so crisp and fresh, especially the incorporation of strings. They continued to improve and get more acclaim with every new track, in early 2013 they reached number 17 on the UK singles chart with the wonderfully weird 'Mozart's House', which was playlisted by Radio 1, as was their underrated summer jam 'Dust Clears'. 

But I feel it is 2014 which will truly be their year, latest single 'Rather Be' which features excellent vocals from Jess Glynne (one to watch for 2015) has also received heavy Radio 1 rotation and looks set to scale the charts (it's already sitting pretty in the top 20 based on pre-orders alone). I'm not surprised, it strikes the balance between experimental and radio-friendly dance music. Their is no one else making music like they are and this is why they deserve to dominate 2014. 

Patten - Drift
From one end of the experimental electronica spectrum to the other; Patten is a London-based producer who met critical acclaim with his strangely titled debut album 
GLAQJO XAACSSO, which I wasn't too fond of to be honest. However, his latest track 'Drift' is a lot more up my street. It's a somewhat suffocating listen (in the best possible way) with it's chopped up samples and intensifying beats. It eventually settles towards in the end into a nice synth melody. His new album ESTOILE NAIANT (released 24th February) is the most exciting electronic record since Factory Floor's self-titled debut. 

Lyla Foy - Feather Tongue
Lyla Foy (formerly WALL) will release her debut album Mirrors In The Sky in March and has put out a rather lovely track to support the release in the form of Feather Tongue. As the name suggests, Feather Tongue is delicate and fragile, her ethereal vocals float over a chilled electro-folk production. Judging by this and earlier single 'Easy', her debut album will be very good indeed.

The Casket Girls - Same Side
I discovered Savannah trio The Casket Girls' by accident on Soundcloud a mere two days ago and it was love at first listen. 'Same Side' is a reverb-soaked sun-drenched psych-pop anthem with a hell of a chorus. Their sophomore album True Love Kills The Fairy Tale will be released on February 11th and judging by the tunes they've put out so far it is likely to be one for the summer months.

Angel Olsen - Hi-Five
If I couldn't have already been excited enough for this record, Angel Olsen went and dropped this. 'Hi-Five' is a blues-rock/alt-country track which along with previous album cut 'Forgiven/forgotten' is taken from her forthcoming sophomore record Burn Your Fire For No Witness, which I have already hyped to death. The lyric “Are you lonely too? Are you lonely too?/Hi-five, so am I” makes light of the otherwise horrible feeling of loneliness. So thanks for that, Angel.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Albums I Hope Surface At Some Point This Year

Whilst 2013 was an excellent year for debut albums (see Drenge, Lorde, Speedy Ortiz and technically Sky Ferreira), many of my favourite artists stayed relatively quiet last year. However, 2014 is already shaping up to be an excellent year for already established personal favourites.
Although, new albums by acts such as Warpaint, Bombay Bicycle Club, Metronomy and St Vincent have already been confirmed for this year, there are still a lot of TBCs and rumours floating about. Here is a list of the albums I’m hoping see the light of day at some point in 2014:

Grimes - Untitled fourth album

Canadian experimentalist Grimes was one of 2012’s greatest success stories, she finally met widespread acclaim with her third studio album Visions which is still one of my favourite albums of recent years. She revealed back in April that her new album was ‘two-fifths done’, which almost certainly means a 2014 release. Since she has signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation recently, I will be interesting to see what direction she goes with this new record.

Joanna Newsom - Fourth Studio album

Now for a more ambiguous but no less exciting prospect; Joanna Newsom’s forth studio album. For those who don’t know, Joanna Newsom is an American singer/songwriter who is well-known for her incredibly long albums, primitive vocal style and hard-core harp skills. Whilst her 2004 debut album The Milk-Eyed Mender is still my favourite album of hers, she seems to be progressing greatly with each new record. Due to her absence from social media, it’s hard to tell exactly what's going on with this record but judging by the new tracks she recently played at Pitchfork Paris, it should be took long. This as yet untitled track sound particularly promising:

Frank Ocean - Follow up to Channel Orange

Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange was one of the greatest R’n’B albums of the 21st century; his voice, the production, the lyrics and the thought that went into this record made set Frank apart from his competition (Drake, The Weeknd). He is due to put out new material around summertime.

Lykke Li - Untitled Third Studio Album

Whilst it took me a while to connect with her debut album, Lykke Li’s sophomore album Wounded Rhymes is an absolute gem; it’s a pop album that doesn't tire no matter how many times you listen to it. Because of the immense shift between her last two albums, I genuinely don’t know what to expect, which is exciting.

Jessie Ware - Untitled Sophomore Album

Her debut album was perfect, in fact, she is perfect. Nothing more needs to be said here.

Lana Del Rey - Ultra-Violence

Ol’ Lizzy Grant sure knows how to hype up an album, doesn’t she? In a recent interview she did regarding the much anticipated follow up to her major label debut Born To Die, she said "I don't want to say, 'Yeah, definitely - the next one's better than this one,' because I don't really hear a next one” she continued "My muse is very fickle. She only comes to me sometimes, which is annoying”. Um...if I wasn’t already nervous about this record, I defiantly am now. I would very much like this record to be more gritty that Born To Die, much like her extremely underrated album Lana Del Ray a.k.a Lizzy Grant. Fickle muses aside, any album called ‘Ultra-Violence’ can’t be bad, surely.

Florence And The Machine - Third Studio Album

Flame-haired goddess Florence Welch (frontwoman of Florence and The Machine) has gone from indie-favourite to international star in a matter of years. Whilst I much prefer her ‘stomping around in meadows’ Lungs era, rumors of studio sessions with up-and-coming producer MNEK and Naughty Boy has dashed my hopes of a return to the gritty indie rock style she had in her debut. Still, anyone with a voice as excellent as hers will surely put out a corker of an album this year.

La Roux - New Album??!!

Although they have appeared to have fallen off the face of the earth, will 2014 see the once hotly-tipped duo return. I bloody hope so, In For the Kill was a tune.

The Black Keys - Follow up to El Camino

Although I’m not too crazy about their earlier albums, their last two records, Brothers
and El Camino are pretty damn great. If their new work is even close to the brilliance of Lonely Boy or Gold On The Ceiling, I will be pleased.

Solange - Follow up to the True EP

One of the many things that perplex me about the music  industry is how industry puppet BeyoncĂ© is one of the most successful ‘artists’ in the world whilst her sister Solange, who is far superior musically is still relatively unknown in the mainstream. Her 2012 single ‘Losing You’ pretty much shits on anything in her big sister’s discography (albeit, fair enough, Crazy in Love).
Her True EP was a masterful R’n’B record which gives me high hopes for the full-length.

Marina And The Diamonds -  Untitled Third Studio Album

Whist I’m not really a fan of her synth-heavy sophomore album Electra Heart, it had some great songs, plus the concept was good (at first anyway). Her debut felt more sincere, more Marina, I just hope that she will consider a less electronic approach to her new material, her kookiness is what used to set her apart from the massive crowd of female popstars. Her image may be a bit confused at the moment but her songwriting is still razor-sharp. This album is make or break for her but I have faith.

Sharon Van Etten - Untitled Fourth Studio Album

Following up her last album, the critically acclaimed Tramp won’t be easy, but bearing in mind the immense artistic progression over the course of her discography thus far, this will be an instant classic.

Fleet Foxes - Untitled Third Studio Album

Folk isn’t usually my genre of choice, I don’t dislike it per se but banjo botherers Mumford and Sons have put me off slightly. However, Fleet Foxes’ endearing imagery, lyrics, tight harmonies and innovative sonic ideas certainly set them apart from Mumford . Despite split rumors, they have ensured fans that they’ll have a new album out this year.

Robyn - Follow up to the Body Talk series

My childhood playlist basically consisted of Oasis, Bjork, Led Zeplin, Blur and bizarrely, Robyn. Despite her not being  as commercially successful as her various female counterparts, as far as I’m concerned she is the world’s best pop star. Her Grammy nominated self-titled international breakthrough proved that she is in a league of her own. Robyn doesn't follow trends, she sets them and I have no doubt that her latest collection will reshape the currently dull pop landscape.

Honorable Mentions:
Flying Lotus
Perfume Genius
My Brightest Diamond
Zola Jesus