Let us uplift the mood in here, shall we? But let’s not go nuts: we don’t want a Ferris Bueller-esque dance party breaking out. I don’t have the space for that! And my neighbours will voice complaints in a most irritated (and irritating) manner.
Here is a song by a fellow by the name of Ryan O’Reilly who plays in a band called, coincidentally, Ryan O’Reilly. But enough of my ribbing: it’s an intensely charming guitar and piano driven pop track, with just the merest, tiniest hint of hip-hop in the form of a solid back beat. A very lovely and spirited ditty indeed, that will surely make you feel just that little bit warmer, particularly in that special region inside you that tends to beat rather incessantly when you see someone pretty (your heart, for all those smutty people out there thinking otherwise!).
Some good, clean, simple rock. It can be quite the pleasurable experience, provided it’s not some dull derivative. Thankfully, Elliot the Bull delivers something with a good dash of flair and vitality, which is most assuredly what you want in these kinds of situations! It is supremely catchy, with a sound a smidgen like Calla. Besides, who on earth could possibly say no to a skeleton with a moustache and sombrero playing a fiddle?
It is a most auspicious day today: my birthday! Sort of! Well, thanks to those crazy ancient Romans, I don’t technically have a birthday this year, but that’s just a minor detail. Anyway, it’s party time and you know what that means: wild, raucous frivolity that stretches on for days! As such, I’m here today to bring you music that doesn’t suit that atmosphere at all. Instead, it’s some more dreamy indie pop from Melbourne-based group The Paper Kites. Regular readers may know that I have a love of tunes that hit just the right spot, and boy, does this song hit that spot. Perhaps I’m getting mature in my old age… cripes, I hope not!
It seems odd that I’ve never investigated Emilíana Torrini’s music, considering her contribution to the Lord of the Rings trilogy with the beautiful Gollum’s Song. Then again, I never profess to be particularly good at this job!
I clearly have a thing for deceptively simple, folkish pop sung by women with beautiful voices. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! And how could there be anything wrong with that, particularly when it’s tender, deeply relaxing, and inherently beautiful? If this track floats your aural boat, you ought to cast your ears over the rest of this album: you shan’t be disappointed.
Sometimes, the world gets you down. Not down in the “I’m down; let’s boogie!” kind of way, but the “gosh dangit to heck, everyone!” variety. Life! She is a cruel mistress. But that’s ok because music shall forever be the warm blanket you can wrap around yourself when it’s chilly.
So, what does my meandering rabble have to do with anything? As per usual, not much, but I do think this tune by Brisbane group Sleepy Tea is one of those aforementioned blankies. It has a Daughter air about it, which, based on what I’ve said about them before, is most certainly not a bad thing!
I’ve decided recently that the thing missing in my life is a “songs for a lovely home” playlist. Yes, I literally have everything else: this is the last piece of the puzzle! Anyway, songs featured in this hypothetical playlist would need to carry some air of pleasantness. They don’t need to be bubbly and happy as such, because I think that would just drive me mental, but they just need to be something I can have on in the background while I’m peeling potatoes or arranging knick knacks or whatever it is people do in homes. But enough of my yabbering!
Brooklyn Doran has provided an utterly delightful piece of folky pop that’s swimming in all kinds of sweetness. It is compulsively hummable and toe-tappable, which is sure to greatly annoy anyone in your general vicinity!
Like the cocky, stuck-up hipster that I am, I bemoaned the inordinate attention that Daft Punk’s admittedly catchy Get Lucky received upon release. Partly because I absolutely must hate anything that’s popular, but mostly because it was a derivative of 60s/70s funk that really didn’t do anything much except mirror the kind of stock-standard definition of the genre.
As such, it’s always a pleasure to go back in time and pull out some truly excellent funk – or rather, let my brother do it for me. Allow me to present Stretch, a group that was initially formed to replace the members of Fleetwood Mac during their crazy period of infighting during the 70s. Once that hoo-ha settled, Stretch was officially formed and this single was released. Despite having less chords than Get Lucky, this song seems to do a whole lot more with them. Funkalicious, baby!
Alrighty, let’s get this show on the road! Allow me to present Canada’s Tamara Williamson and her almost eerie but always beautiful tune, Victoria. It’s inspired by the story of an Argentinian woman called Victoria who discovered at the age of 20 that the parents she had grown up with were not her actual parents, but instead, responsible for her abduction. Not only is this a gorgeous song, but Tamara’s forthcoming album, Sister Mother Daughter Wife revolves around the individual stories of 6 different women. For that, and the fact that proceeds from the sale of this track are going to Amnesty International, I can think of no better way to open 2015.
Holy cow, it’s 2015! When did that happen!? Never mind, never mind, on with the show. It is time to take a look at yesteryear with either/or’s Best of 2014! Like our previous best of compilations, it will be about the stuff posted in 2014, not just music released in 2014 and will proceed in no particular order. And so, tallyho!
LAKE – Do You Recall?
Ironically enough, I didn’t recall this song, so it’s just as well I had the clairvoyance to stick a bunch of songs in a ‘best of’ list. But appropriately enough, it is as beautiful as I can recall!
First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining
Good golly, I do love me some country twang. To which First Aid Kit delivers in spades! These plucky Swedish sisters had quite the year, so here’s hoping they’ll keep on keeping on. Geddit? Cos it’s one of the lyrics! I crack myself up.
Kings of Lowertown – Mississippi Flood
It is time to change tack and present some rockingly good rock. This is such a damn good bit of dirty, dirty blues, sung by a fellow who sounds like he has whiskey over his cereal of wooden logs every morning.
Pisces – Being With You
Delectably sweet and oh so very lovely, PIsces managed to warm the cockles of the burnt out, withered husk that is my little heart last year. And continues to do so!
Angela Moyra – Draw a Picture
Were it possible to contract diabetes from the amount of sweetness contained in this best of post thus far, I would surely (somehow) have all varieties of it by now with this song. I am still completely captivated by that chorus!
The Gloaming – The Necklace of Wrens
Should proof ever be needed that you don’t need a huge production to create a huge impact, perhaps your ears need to be pointed in the direction of this incredibly heartfelt and touching rendition of Michael Hartnett’s poem. Just divine.
Teenagre – Visitor
Dreamy, but perfectly danceable pop – it’s the dream, isn’t it? This is a marvellously catchy tune that’ll no doubt put a bebop in your step, a nod in your head, and a click in your thumbs.
Parachute Musical – Dear Jacksonville
If you ever wished that Ben Folds had songs that had samba-flavoured interludes halfway through, then perhaps you ought to check this out. If, however, you want to listen to some great pop rock, then you probably should listen as well!
Megan Washington – My Heart is a Wheel
Last but certainly not least is my dear friend Megan Washington (I say friend, but the restraining order says otherwise), with this peppy, 80s inspired romp, which is, as always, graced with her utterly gorgeous singing.
It was with great sadness that I learnt today that Joe Cocker had passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. I greatly enjoyed his music and figured the best way that I could honour his memory would be with this little post about his most famous work.
A cover of the Beatles song, Cocker made it entirely his own with this wonderfully soulful, sentimental arrangement that has become as ubiquitous as the original version (if not more so). His raspy but powerful vocals perfectly compliment the backup singers in a way that, on paper, really shouldn’t work.
Once upon a time, there was a film called Sucker Punch. There’s no more to that story, because the film was pretty dang sucky (how on earth do you make a film featuring kick-ass women and robots so dang boring), but there is certainly a good takeaway from it, in the form of this tune.
I am a pretty big fan of the original song, which usually spells doom for any subsequent cover version, but this is quite delightful. It takes an already fairly psychedelic song and gives it a kind of Massive Attack style aura, to which I cannot say no!