Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Where is The Strokes' next album?

We all know the hiatus of The Strokes is killing us softly. But fear not, our beloved Julian Casablancas teams up with Sparklehorse and Dangermouse to create a soulful, dynamic jam entitled 'Little Girl', off the joint project 'Dark Night of The Soul'. It’s a rock track, with a hint of dark avant-garde. The electric guitar riff, played by Julian, could well be straight off a Strokes effort. Coupled with his endearingly moody vocal and sparks of morse code, this phenomenal track could well be rotating on my playlist for quite some time.

And that's not all, Casablancas too lent his vocal to SNL member cast and writer trio, The Lonely Island for 'Boombox', a hillarious track from 'Incredibad' about er, the story of a boombox’s power to bring love to any society. Not the type of songs I usually listen to nor does Julian usually sings in one, the vocal is still amazing nevertheless.

Following his warm vocal on 'My Drive Thru' last year, these glimpses of The Strokes frontman in action certainly satisfy our craving, well at least for now.

Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse - Little Girl (feat Julian Casablancas)

The Lonely Island - Boombox (feat Julian Casablancas)

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Friday, June 19, 2009

My Old, Familiar Friend, Brendan Benson

The boys from The Raconteurs are not idle even if we fans do not hear any new materials from them. Jack Lawrence and Jack White are busy working on their side project The Dead Weather with Alison Mosshart from The Kills and Dean Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age, while their fellow mate Brendan Benson returns to his solo career which have seen three critical plaudits albums under his name. Benson's long-waited fourth album titled My Old, Familiar Friend will be released on 8th August. It won't be a surprise more people will be keyed into Benson's new solo release this time around after his name attracted more media attention alongside Jack White in The Raconteurs.

Judging from the album title, we would certainly expect no groundbreaking but the familiar solid sound from an old friend that we grew to like from the start of his career. First listen to a track 'Feel Like Taking You Home' from the upcoming album, it could have easily passed for a Raconteurs' track. The pulsing keyboards and lovely harmonies are welcoming, but I miss the warm pop charm that make his previous efforts so great. Hopefully it is captured in My Old, Familiar Friend, I will definitely check it out when it drops.

Brendan Benson -
Feel Like Taking You Home

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Miike Snow

Despite Miike Snow's poppy past of writing and producing for the likes of Britney Spears and Kelis, I took no hesitation to listen to this Swedish indie-dance trio's self-titled debut after hearing the brilliant first single 'Animal' that could very well be playing on my playlists all summer long. With its happy pop sound and very catchy chorus, it could be easily mistaken as a song by the equally amazing but better known Passion Pit.

Miike Snow is made up of
Andrew Wyatt, an in-house producer for Downtown Records, and Bloodshy & Avant's Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg. The debut was released on May 12th, I have not done a very good job for only hearing about the band about a week ago. Another powerful sad pop track 'Burial' follows up nicely after 'Animal' opens the album. Then it winds into the love ballad 'Silvia' with scattering synths and soaring vocals before 'Song For No One' touches us with uplifting electro sound and contrasting emotional lyrics.

This is an album that should be listened to as a whole as it goes down and it comes back up with a combination of melancholy ballads and upbeat dance tracks, but all in the veins of Miike Snow's unique brand of pop music. 'Cult Logic' vows us with complex drum rhythms and sprightly synthesizers while the poppy 'Plastic Jungle' could very well be a radio's top 40 material if the pitched-down vocals are replaced with those of a current pop diva. 'In Search Of ' is a dark-hearted track with its swirling synths over the banging drumline that can be a dancefloor killer.

With each track sounding so distinct and charming in its own flavor, I didn't get lost in the winding road. I find something new with every listen, no track sounds like it did the time before as my mood and the time change. Miike Snow's indie electro debut certainly outweight Manners in my opinion. Give it a couple of months for the hype to build, everyone will be jumping on the bandwagon.

Miike Snow - Animal
Miike Snow - Silvia
Miike Snow - Song For No One

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