Music Reviews

A Month in Music – January

I may be a couple of days late for this ‘January Favourites’ review, but the tracks beginning the New Year, bringing their gigantic sounds, definitely deserve recognition for their musical greatness. The tracks heard by many this month are certainly the ‘pick me up’ we were all desperately in need of after the holiday season; especially with artists such as Biffy Clyro, Everything Everything and Ellie Goulding all delivering newly released albums. Alongside upcoming newbies such as Tom Odell, Frightened Rabbit, Peace and Laura Mvula diving into the world of musical success head first. Oh and not forgetting the heavily anticipated comebacks from artists such as Foals, Miles Kane and Paramore. Where do I even begin?

I’ve decided that I shall take a tight hold of the endless list in my head, considered to be ‘The Favourites of 2013 So Far’, and break it down into 5 manageable chunks, otherwise known as a Top 5.

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Number 5 / Miles Kane – Give Up

It’s fair to say that this track isn’t to be messed with. It’s taken from the ‘Inhaler’ singer’s eagerly awaited upcoming 4 track EP, set to grace iTunes February 24th. Fuelled with heavy power chords overshadowing his earlier poppy guitar riffs from Colour of the Trap; paired with his scouse accent that seems to creep its way into his John Lennon sounding vocals. It certainly ticks all of the boxes for a great listen, not forgetting its powerful melodic guitar bridges crescendo-ing into Kane’s strong ‘Give Up’ vocals, but oh Miles, the lyrics aren’t genius. Especially with rhymes such as ‘control’ and ‘soul’ and ‘tall’ and ‘all’, I expected better.

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Number 4 / Paramore – Now

They’re back! It only took them 3 years… but they’ve returned with a more punk than pop-rock sound. Gone are the days of emo Paramore; say hello to the new ‘dance-punk’ Paramore, introducing us to creative dub echoes we’ve certainly never heard from these guys before. ‘Now’, the lead single from their self-titled 4th album due out later this year, is filled to the brim with jagged guitar riffs and demanding lyrics ‘If there’s a future, we want it now’ and I expected nothing less from the trio. Hats off to them, their sound has matured, but their priorities are clearly the same.

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Number 3 / Laura Mvula – Green Garden

Green Garden is the latest hit from ‘new on the scene’ Laura’s upcoming debut album, Sing to the Moon, set to release in March this year. The talent that is Laura Mvula was dubbed one to watch after appearing in the top 5 for the BBC’s Sound of 2013. Great things were expected from her and great things she continues to deliver. Disappointment mustn’t be a word featured in her dictionary. Green Garden brings creative arrangements, including unique hints of xylophone and drum beats similar to those of Adele’s ‘Cold Shoulder’ but cheerier; all acting as interesting melodies for her emotional, hint-of-Winehouse voice. Not forgetting the electronic elements in the vocals, strangely reminding me of those used by ELO in the 70’s.

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Number 2 /  Everything Everything – Kemosabe

High expectations were made after the success of lead single Cough Cough, instantly making its way into the Top 40 with its distinctive sound setting the benchmark high for anything that followed. However, Kemosabe certainly hasn’t disappointed, with its solid drums, fluttery guitar and repetitive gunshot-fast lyrics featuring Higgs’ high ranging vocals. Kemosabe demonstrates experimental indie-pop music at its best. The track was released digitally on January 14th and is featured on their second album Arc, which everyone should get right now. Well, after you finish reading my number 1.

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Number 1 / Biffy Clyro – Black Chandelier

Choosing this as my #1 of 2013 so far certainly wasn’t difficult. In fact it was probably the easiest decision I’ve made, ever. The Scottish trio are back and have released their first ever double album Opposites; they certainly mean business. Black Chandelier is one of the more understated tracks featured on the album with hints of their early rock days seeping through.  Frontman, Simon Neil’s lyric’s seem emotional and almost personal as he narrates parts of his life; ‘You left my heart like an abandoned car’. However, the Biffy we know and love is still there, with their heavy chorus’ complete with strong drums and power chords. You could be an owner of the double disc album Opposites right now. What are you waiting for?

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