Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Cover: 'My Backwards Walk'

I can't be arsed to write any more Daily Shuffles right now because I have too many real things to write at the moment. In the meantime, here's a rough-and-ready cover of Frightened Rabbit's My Backwards Walk:

Friday, 23 November 2012

An Original Song: 'Sea'

I should start writing The Daily Shuffle again so that nobody can read it, but in the meantime here's a song I've just made.
   

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Daily Shuffle #10: Avril Lavigne

Huh?
My World
by Avril Lavigne, from the Canadian pop-rock goddess' 2002 album Let Go.

Why?
Who didn't have a crush on Avril Lavigne?

And?
Built around an almost sickeningly upbeat guitar chord sequence, My World is a sanguine confession (I never spend much less than an hour / washing my hair in the shower) of all the things that make Avril, Avril. If this song was a drink it would be a mug of warm Canadian snow drizzled in maple syrup.

Who cares?
Whilst I have perhaps somewhat deluded images of Lavigne as a cool-kid skater-girl punk rocker with flowers in her hair, this song is poppy to the extreme and will probably appeal to anyone into early noughties pop (rock?).

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Daily Shuffle #9: Jimmy Eat World

Huh?
Nothingwrong
by Jimmy Eat World, from their 2004 album Futures.

Why?
Named after a drawing created in an act of revenge by one of rhythm guitarist Tom Linton's siblings, Jimmy Eat World are another American 'punk', 'emo' band I remember being bandied about at parties and such as I was growing up.

And?
Nothingwrong
is a rebellious anthem against somebody or something, founded on a bed of overdriven power-chord rhythms and dispersed with punchy riffs and guitar melodies, above which frontman Jim Adkin sings about the absence of anything wrong in a catchy pop-hook filled style that harks to the likes of a heavier All-American Rejects.

Who cares?
For fans of late 90's to early 2000's  American 'punk' rock, see also: All-American Rejects, Blink-182, Something Corporate, Yellowcard, etc.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Daily Shuffle #8: Billy Talent

Huh?
Fallen Leaves
by Billy Talent from their 2006 album Billy Talent II.

Why?
It's one of those songs everybody's heard at some point, I think I was quite into the band for a bit, and seem to remember seeing them briefly at Reading Festival... in 2009..? Maybe.

And?
Fallen Leaves' definitive spiky opening riff makes way for Ben Kowalewicz's (the band's frontman, not, regrettably, named Billy Talent as I had always erroneously presumed) equally bristly angst-ridden vocals, before a burly power chord rhythm kicks-in sustaining the song through the verses and chorus until the song climaxes in a brief but punchy guitar solo. If the song is indeed dealing with 'fallen leaves', they would, I imagine, be leaves of a most unpleasant and vexing variety, as they appear to have angered the band to the point of feeling obligated to compose a musical testament to their foliage-fuelled rage.

So what?
For fans 'Punk' Pop Rock of the likes of Green Day and Sum 41.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Daily Shuffle #7: Corinne Bailey Rae

Huh?
A cover of Bob Marley's Is This Love? by Corinne Bailey Rae

Why?
I've never heard this song before.

And?
Bailey Rae's dulcet vocals compliment this soulful classic perfectly, and coupled with the piano, give the rendition a smooth and polished feel.

Who cares?
For fans of soul, Bob Marley, and Corinne Bailey Rae.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Daily Shuffle #6: Withered Hand

Huh?
(It's A) Wonderful Lie by Withered Hands taken from their 2012 EP Inbetweens.

Why?
Bluntly put: because it was there (on the internet).

And?
(It's A) Wonderful Lie is a lament about something or other in which main-man Dan Wilson croons in melancholy tones above a swaying guitar backing, just a pinch of piano and some suitably dejected violins.

Who cares?
For fans of early Bright Eyes.

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Daily Shuffle #5: Björn Kleinhenz

Huh?
The Year Of The Adder by Björn Kleinhenz taken from his 2010 album Head Held High In Fearsome Pride.

Why?
I discovered Björn Kleinhenz through Spotify and despite barely being able to correctly pronounce his name, felt inclined to check out more of his stuff.

And?
The Year Of The Adder
is an entirely instrumental affair, focussing on Kleinhenz's guitar playing which showcases a variety of fingerpicking, strummed chords and single-string melodies. The result is a brief but pleasingly contrapuntal amalgamation of guitar melodies demonstrating Kleinhenz's love of the instrument.

Who cares?
For fans of Swedish folky singer-songwriter sorta stuff. Black Water is a good song (with vocals and all) to check out. If you particularly enjoyed the guitar in this song, you might enjoy the superb six-stringed stylings of Leo Kottke

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Daily Shuffle #4: The Maccabees

Huh?
Grew Up At Midnight by The Maccabees from their newest and truly beautiful effort Given To The Wild.

Why?
I actually bought this album and have treasured it to the extent that I've so far avoided taking the CD out of its original packaging and been forced to download it, in order to actually listen to it. Which is just ridiculous.

And?
Shimmering guitars tiptoe amongst Orlando Weeke's crooning falsetto as he paints a picture of a tranquil midnight scene of musical serenity, before the song is borne along by warm bass and hearty drums to a glorious crescendo.

Who cares?
You probably should. The whole album is exquisite. If I had to draw a few comparisons (which I do) I'd say Given To The Wild hints at the likes of Wild Beasts, Dry The River and Bombay Bicycle Club.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Daily Shuffle #3: Owl City

Huh?
Meteor Shower by Owl City. From Owl City's (A.K.A Adam Young) second album Ocean Eyes.

Why?
I'm not really sure... I guess I'd describe Owl City as a bit of a guilty pleasure, only I'm not totally convinced as to how much pleasure I actually derive from listening to them...

And?
Pleasantly over-produced. If you really crank it up and get an earful of the plethora of various quaint samples going on, it's suspiciously nice. If I had to liken this song to a dish, I'd say it was like an over-manufactured sponge cake topped with synth sauce and sprinkled with beeps. As always, Young's just singing about some girl or something.

Who cares?
For fans of self-obsessed auto-tuned hipster bedroom pop. Best listened to whilst duck-facing. If you're looking for similar but far superior synth-pop stylings with less autotune, have a gander at Passion Pit.

Friday, 9 November 2012

The Daily Shuffle #2: The Steals

Huh?
Stay in Silence by The Steals.

Why?
I received their (debut?) album Static Kingdom as a free surprise gift (not sure if it was intentional) when I bought another CD from Amazon.

And?
Stay in Silence is a haunting folk tapestry of sombre, ritualistic drum beats, shimmering guitars and melancholic female vocals which climbs towards a crescendo of glistening chimes, earthy guitars and crashing cymbals, before trailing away into a stream of reverberating string melodies.

Who cares?
For fans of the music of moody folk urchins. The vocal style and tribal drum beats particularly remind me of the likes of Bayou.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Daily Shuffle #1: a rummage around in my iTunes library

I thought it would be a novel idea to write a daily blog post based on a random song in my music library, discussing why I have it (or shouldn't), why it's good (or isn't) and why you should get it (or why you probably shouldn't get it). The rules are simple, I have to use the first song that comes up when I press the shuffle button; this could be anything (not literally anything) from Abba to Bach, The Beatles to The Zoo Duet (I'm not even really sure who they are, but they're in there). So, without any further ados, I present you... *clicks shuffle with great trepidation*


Huh?
Avalanche by S. Carey. A drummer and a singer in Bon Iver, Sean Carey released his debut Album All We Grow in 2010, recorded under the watchful eye of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon at Carey's home and Vernon's studio. Avalanche actually comes from his latest EP offering Hoyas, released earlier this year. 

Why?

Needless to say, I discovered the musical stylings of S. Carey through the beloved Bon Iver. 

And?
Avalanche is a placid ethereal wash of piano, synth and vocal harmonies, with just a hint of Woods-esque auto-tuned vocals. 4/5

Who cares?
You'll probably like this if you're a Bon Iver fan. I'd also recommend listening to his very tranquil and rather minimalist, almost Reich-esque in places, In The Dirt,