Something We Heard Before

Image for div sizing

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Kapow! Onwards to 2015!

Tagged under:

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.

You will be missed, Mr. Cocker.

Tagged under: ,

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!

Tagged under: ,

This song popped into my head this morning for some reason, and I felt that given the mood of Sydney (where I’m based) this week, it seems ideal.

This is quite the lovely little song from Australian group Axiom. Though that name is perhaps not particularly well known in Australia, it was the progenitor of Little River Band being as how Glenn Shorrock and Brian Cad were both members of it. So kick on back and ride out the week with just a little more joy.

Tagged under: , ,

Did you stop after reading one of my posts and think “This is brilliant, but I sure wish he wasn’t so gosh-danged silly with his writing! And also, I wish the writing was about video games and movies and stuff”. Then, my friend, you are overflowing with luck today! Perhaps you ought to buy yourself a lottery ticket, or gamble away your life savings?

Yes, it’s true: I have other websites. I am an internet whore, apparently. A redesigned version of Invert-x has just gone live with a post about the film this here track was written for! Isn’t that exciting? Anyway, that post is all serious and full of crazy words like ‘magnum opus’, whereas this post is all about how this track sounds kind of heroic and also sad and also metallic-y as well (because it’s a film about robots). Enjoy!

Tagged under:

I do love ethereal electronica: it kind of skirts the area between downtempo and electronic by creating a hazy blend of the two. Much like how this post is a hazy blend of coherent, grammatically correct english and the wild ramblings of an alcoholic. Fortunately, this tune isn’t as rubbish as that combination.

There are songs that don’t ask to be listened to as such, but instead take you somewhere. A warm, comfortable and safe place within yourself, person with the person you love – a universal theme, but awfully intimate at the same time. It is a nice place to be! It reminds me of DAVIDS Dead Walkie, which gives off a similar kind of aura.

Tagged under: ,

Sometimes, I bemoan our tagging system. Mostly because I’m no good at categorising music, but sometimes because I want to tag music with “intimate” or “haunting”, which would ensure that the amount of tags on the website would eclipse the amount of posts in a matter of minutes.

Here is Oh Wonder, a London-based songwriting duo who are cranking out a song a month for a year. Their output so far would certainly fit the hypothetical tags that I mentioned earlier, though I would also add “beautifully sad”, “upliftingly melancholic” and “wrap yourself up in something warm and wile away a day to it”. Quite lovely.

Tagged under:

Anyone who knows me would’ve known that this piece would close out our week of John Williams music. The quintessential theme to the quintessential film, The Raiders March is a glorious and aurally stupendous composition that perfectly captures the dynamism and vitality of the 1930s adventure serials that Spielberg was emulating.

The theme is every bit as iconic as Indiana’s fedora and whip, and bustling with their aura of allure and grandeur. It paints the portrait of a rugged hero much in the same way that the Superman theme does, only without the camp – spirited, determined, and with a fierceness that in no way diminishes its warmth. To say that this theme (and soundtrack) is perfectly matched to its subject is a truly colossal understatement, as I’ve still yet to come across a composition and film as beautifully paired together as this.

Tagged under:

I am, perhaps, a sentimental fool for thinking that Hook is one of Spielberg’s criminally underrated films. Telling the story of a grown-up Peter Pan returning to Neverland to rescue his children, it is a hearty and wonderfully whimsical romp filled with a fantastic cast, sets, and of course, music. It sees Williams at his most familial and spirited – a child-like sense of adventure and joy. This piece represents the final confrontation between Pan, the Lost Boys and the pirates, switching between the various themes for the pirates as well as Pan’s motif.

Everything about the film and its soundtrack harks to a time where so-called family films were not as formulaic as the majority of them are today. Williams did not compose a soundtrack with this kind of vigour until Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and even that didn’t compare to his output for Hook. Listening to this soundtrack and re-watching the film is an experience that can only be looked at with fondness: an opportunity to reawaken the joys of childhood, and a reverence for a time (and even actors) lost.

Tagged under:

Jurassic Park is one of the earliest films I can recall watching in my youth. As child, every aspect of this film was magical and enchanting, as trite as that sounds – to see what looked to be real dinosaurs in the way they were portrayed in the film was exhilaratingly terrifying, further cementing my (and most children’s) deep fascination with these almost incomprehensible creatures that once roamed our earth.

John Williams managed to squeeze two very memorable motifs into the film, both of which are contained within this piece. The first is a gentle and beautifully majestic introduction to the concept of the titular park. It gives its inhabitants a sense of wonderment, grounding their almost alien-like presence in the modern world with a naturalness and comforting warmth. In this regard, the dinosaurs are rendered beyond the speculative realm of imagination and given status as real and present – they belong to this world.

The second motif swells from the previous movement at the 4:29 mark to give strength and pride to the park and its creatures. It empowers and uplifts, granting a sweeping legitimacy to the seemingly impossible idea of a wildlife park inhabited by extinct creatures. It’s a motif that, appropriately enough, isn’t recalled often in the film (given how the story plays out), but it’s quite possibly the most iconic composition the film offers.

Tagged under: