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30-08-2011: Album Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

This Tuesday-evening has been about complete boredom so far, so i decided to do some backups, useless browsing and eventually some annoying update and scripting that has been waiting to get finished for some time. Another one of these "far-overdue"-items, yet not annoying at all is a little story i'd like to write on one of my favourite releases of the year: "Helplessness Blues" by the amazing Fleet Foxes. Far overdue, because this was released in May and i have heard it 100s of times and am loving it (hence the 3rd rank on my 2011: best albums-list).

Almost never did write a proper review as this is not really my thing, i prefer writing a few lines on the fine tunes i encounter browsing the web and generally let the music speak for itself. i also feel that in order to write a genuine review on an album, the author must have some authority. which i do not have, neither do most of my fellow bloggers, which is why i usually don't read the (many) reviews they write. i care for the music only, as a review basically is just one person's opinion. and in the case of most bloggers it's also a not-so-professional or even far-from-professional opinion, which makes it basically shit worth.

but enough bashing, as i started to write this with the intent of spreading my love for the album that will probably join me when the Autumn hits our country, and later on when Winter strikes. Fleet Foxes have taken their great 2008-debut album to another level, an album that launched them straight into greatness, thanks to the beautiful harmonies, sweet melodies & fine songwriting. What it is that makes Helplessness Blues even better is a hard question to answer, it has to do with the fact that in every situation (at home, at work, travelling) i will have the option to listen to both albums and always pick the 2011-release.

One might argue that Helplessness Blues is newer, thus more interesting as there is still sounds, structures and lyrics to discover. Which is true, but that's not all. Every music lover sometimes has a moment, an hour, a day, a week, in which you just want to listen to those familair things, the tunes you've heard so much you don't really need to hear the actual music, because you have it all memorized in your mind. I have found myself last week in such a mood and played the fairly new Helplessness Blues. I switched to the debut album when it was done, but actually switched back after 3 songs, that's how much i've heard this album already. And the only reason i heard it this much, is because it's thát good! (am i done yet? nope, sorry!)

Title track Helplessness Blues (i should've copy-paste that title, pfff) is the perfect example. The lyrics are good, the song thrills and vibrates on all levels, yet it sounds perfectly sweet at times, with the guys singing in perfect harmony and the instruments fitting in perfectly. The title track shows also a little FF-weakness though, as it is everything one might expect from this band after their 1st record. Luckily the album does not have 12 similair songs, although it's very clear in each track that we're listening to this band. Mostly i had to get used to The Shrine / An Argument which opens as a 'traditional' FF-track, but end up exploding, which at first truly disgusted me. But as time went by, i got used to it & now it's one of my favourite tracks on the album. Although a recently described point of view definately fits this album: if i think with every track of an album that thís really is the best track on it and i continue to think this with every song on the album, this must be an A-MA-ZINGLY Good Album.

I love this album. For personal reasons, but also for musical reasons.
With all the love spread here, one might wonder why i ranked it 3rd for the 2011: Best Albums-list. This has to do with me discovering nr's 1 & 2 (Deloreans / Mother Mother) just this year. They are completely new to me, and FF is not. Which for me is a reason strong enough to put both of the other acts above Fleet Foxes, as all 3 of them have probably had even amounts of air-time on my laptop/stereo/iphone over the past months.

I'm done. (referring to me attempting to write a proper review, i'm pretty sure i failed miserably by magazine-writers' standards, but oh well..)

29-08-2011: Oliver Tank - Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion

Nice midnight-track to end the day with: dreamy vocals over a subtle beat with mesmerizing synths. Oliver Tank is doing a good job at this track and there's more where this came from on his Soundcloud, check it out if you like it!

29-08-2011: Monday Morning Kick-Off [MM-KO] Tokyo Police Club - Southside

Tokyo Police club decided on a special project: cover 10 songs in 10 days. Day 1 was Moby's Southside. Good song, great cover. The original is pretty much intact, but the guitars really spice it up, great for the Monday Morning Kick-Off: Have a good week!

28-08-2011: EP Jon DeRosa - Anchored EP

Jon DeRosa is releasing a 4-track EP in September and it's 16 minutes of pure beauty. He has a deep, solid voice & is mostly accompanied by guitar and the occasional violin. His serene voice and the expressive lyrics makes this a record i can play over and over again. Which i have done the last 3 dark nights in a row several times. It feels as the perfect Winter morning record, walking through snow while freezing my fingers off, yet keeping the ears and spirit warm with these perfectly crafted songs. Although Winter is a few months ahead of us, this record is well worth hearing right away. The EP is now up for pre-order, so do your best to get a copy of the limited number (500) of copies being printed. Send it over to Holland as soon as you have 'em Jon!

27-08-2011: Album Priestbird - Beachcombers

This fine album by Priestbird has rocketeered right into the top 10 of my 2011: best albums-list. Beause of one simple reason: it's an album with only great songs.

Recently i was talking to my girlfriend about the definition of a great album vs a good album, and we came up with this: if i think with every track of an album that thís really is the best track on it and i continue to think this with every song on the album, this must be an A-MA-ZINGLY Good Album.

Enter "Beachcombers". I had a hard time figuring which song to upload for this little story, because they are all so good. So if you are a little unsure if you want to hear more of this band, blame it on me uploading just not the perfect song. Make sure this will not be a reason for you not to visit their website and download the album for a 'donation-at-will'-price. Beachcombers is a happy making "putting-smiles-on-your-face"-album that is probably best described as Badly Drawn Boy without the noise. Just the sweet, melodical side of BDB without it getting boring, though. The songs are to varied for that. Nine well-crafted songs on a 38min. album that is over way too soon. Lovin' it!

27-08-2011: Oberhofer - Gotta Go

Great song by Oberhofer to kick off the weekend, which for most people is starting right about now. Not yet for me, but with songs like this i'll manage untill it'll be my time to party. The mood is there already, thx to Oberhofer, who are currently working on their debut album & will release this fine track on October 4th.

26-08-2011: Florence + The Machine - What The Water Gave Me

Finally a new track by Florence And The Machine and she performes as expected with adding someting new into the mix. First few times i heard it, i wasn't really feeling it, but it got stuck in my head now & and it's on heavy rotation with the James Blake/Bon Iver-collab. A good Thursday night in 2 songs. Life can be so simple..

25-08-2011: James Blake & Bon Iver - Fall Creek Boys Choir

Surprise-release last night on BBC Radio was a collaboration from two of 2011s biggest music stars James Blake & Bon Iver. I was sceptical, because both albums have me puzzled about their succes. Blake's debut is plain boring and Bon Iver's praised album is still finding it's place in my 2011-overview. Not sure to love it, like it, hate or just don't care at all about it. Both albums do have some great songs, so maybe this collaboration is the perfect fit, like Kanye & Jay-Z were the perfect hiphop-match heading for the title of best hiphop-album of the year (at which, they failed..).

Back to Fall Creek Boys Choir. I hated it the 1st time. The 4m40 seemed to last forever and i was glad the annoying vocals, sleepy beats and barking dogs were gone. But i had to listen a few times to get my head around it and the more i played it, the more i liked it. I ended up playing it 9 times in a row last night, and it was the 2nd/3rd/4th/5th thing i heard this morning (after Jalin Roze's More Flows). The vocoder vocals, slow beats & barking dogs are a strange combination that works very well and the whole song feels as a dark 80s lovesong (my mind even came up with Whitney Houston at some point, how's that for reference?). I'm loving this track and really looking forward to more of them teaming up, although i'm still not convinced that it will be great. Based on the tracks both artists released before their albums came out & how the albums ended up, i'd almost expect an entire album to be a disappointment again. I hope they prove me wrong, though.

24-08-2011: Jalin Roze - More Flows

2011's best new rapper in my book is still Jalin Roze. Despite his April-release "The Brilliance" and life being busy for him, he found some time to share a little something called More Flows. The track is based on Common's track Be, but with fresh lyrics from Mr. Roze. With a track like this it's hard to go wrong and Jalin Roze once again shows his skills. Nice track to keep us up to date ánd you can download it for free here.

24-08-2011: EP Elenne May - Lilies and Blue Veined Hands EP

When an impressive and annoying virus took over my laptop these past days, it was hard to stay relaxed from time to time. There was good things and bad things about having a laptop that does absolutely nothing though. I did some reading, cleaned out the kitchen and spent some time listen to the last thing i was discovering when my friend Pavilion took faith in her own hands. And i had quickly decided that Dutch singer-songwriter Elenne May is the best Dutch record i've heard this year. Her beautiful voice is soothing, the songs perfectly crafted and altough it's only a 5-track EP there are no two songs the same. I can not get enough of these tracks and they helped me through my laptop-crisis and continue to do so as it's only back to 50% of it's useage for now.

I don't really care though, i've found myself (and you) one of the best EPs of the year. My favourite EP of 2011 (Ruby Randall) has met her biggest 'opponent' to date.

22-08-2011: Monday Morning Kick-Off [MM-KO] Man Man - Life Fantastic

Life Fantastic is a nice Monday Morning Kick-Off because it's sweet and melodieus, but also explodes near the ending. It gives you the opportunity to wake up feelin relaxed, but not too relaxed. Because it's a Monday and we all have to get back to the daily routines today. Have a good week!

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