I will be honest with you; I am a huge fanboy of King Krule. He really is one of my favorite artists around: every time something new is released by Krule, I get excited like never before. To me, he is the absolute king of pronunciation; the way he mumbles and sings his mysterious lyrics are reason enough for me to become excited. The reviews about his latest Edgar The Beatmaker project were variable; though to me it was just a perfect snack while waiting for his debut album. The comments on Mount Kimbie’s new tracks were also diverse. Their new sound got called bare and detached. Until the track featuring King Krule appeared; their recognizable warm sound is back on You Took Your Time.
King Krule gets a lot of vocal space on the simple but dynamic production. It gives Krule the possibility to get elaborate and smart, and it’s gallant that Mount Kimbie give King Krule this glory. But the production is more than just an addition to Krule’s vocals. Mount Kimbie really bring the track to a fantastic ending. And of course King Krule is the icing on the cake. It makes me wonder what his upcoming feature with Frank Ocean will sound like.
London Grammar are often hailed as ‘the new xx’. I can imagine why people compare London Grammar with The xx, but there are as many differences as similarities. It’s probably the production that reminds people of The xx in a certain way; the guitar- and bass play show similarity, especially in Wasting My Young Years. One of the main differences though is the kind of classical sound London Grammar breathes. Actually,it is this classical and velvet sound that distinguish London Grammar from all the other upcoming artists.
Hannah Reid – the band’s singer – has a delicate but vulnerable singing voice; she sounds like she is a really schooled singer, and her higher tones touches the sound of opera. This singing is both a blessing and a curse; I can imagine that people really can’t stand this kind of singing in pop music. To me this singing is precisely the thing music desires; it needs distinctiveness and dare. Now their video for Wasting My Young Years appeared, and its stunning. It perfectly fits the music’s atmosphere; vulnerable, intangible and heavily loaded. It looks like a modern, 21st century tableau vivant without gravity.
Hooray, the Daft Punk album has leaked. Now it won’t take too long before everybody stops talking about it and we just go on as normal and write about new music, instead of getting hyped for weeks for an album that now can only disappoint. One of the new musics (no, music has no plural, I know) I was talking about is this one: Warm Water by BANKS, a song that has me feeling like warm water does during spring’s cold days. As said a thousand times before on this blog, to me, talented singers need futuristic producers and not some inhouse guy at the bigger labels. Luckily BANKS and the team behind the LA-based singer understood that the most interesting songs would come when she’d work with interesting and talented producers like Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
As said the result of this collaboration is something brilliant, like a match made in heaven: TEED’s soothing and warm production topped by BANKS’s lush vocals that literally feel like being whispered in your ear. A combination that I hope will result in more material than just this one track, though I believe that both have the potential to stand out on their own too.
If you read our latest article on Vampire Weekend, about the first two singles of this album Step and Diane Young, you might already know how excited I was for ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’. Vampire Weekend’s first album is among my favourite indie albums of all time, then they released their second album ‘Contra’, an album that didn’t quite do it for me, and now they’re back with their third album and I must say, it gets me almost as happy as their first album. Though the youthful playfulness of their first album has been exchanged for a more well-thought mature sound, ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’ really shows the band’s artistry.
While the African rhythms and Peter Gabriel influences have moved to the background, even more than they did for the second album, the style is as you can expect, or at least I hoped for: ingenious, refreshing and warm. With songs like Step and Everlasting Arms, two of my favourites, being the band’s most emotionally heavy songs, the band has really shown versatility, even writing their most beautiful ever. For the more energetic listener, there’s also enough to be heard on the album, like the fun rocky Diane Young and new single Ya Hey.
There was a time that I predicted that Portugal. The Man was one of the few North-American indie bands - alongside Local Natives, Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend - that would reach immense popularity. They had a melodic and similar sound; the lead singer had an authentic and recognizable voice and their music felt refreshing and energetic. But when push came to shove Portugal. The Man never reached the popularity that the other bands have achieved. Despite their album ‘The Satanic Satanist’, Portugal. The Man never made an album which seemed to fulfill their potential. Now the legendary producer Danger Mouse will be behind the decks for their upcoming album, which might be the change they needed.
Luckily for Portugal. The Man, almost everything Danger Mouse touches turns into gold. Not only established artists benefited from his production; also less famous artist gained popularity due to Danger Mouse’s production. The band’s new track called ‘Purple Yellow Red and Blue’ sounds like Danger Mouse indeed gives the band the helping hand it seemed to be needing. The sound is more steady and a little bit slower, it’s heavier in a certain way, while the production also gives John Gourley (the band’s singer) some more space. Let’s hope Danger Mouse also get’s the most out of Portugal. The Man’s upcoming album.