Slow Dancer – Took The Floor Out

This song begins with sexiest set of pipes I’ve heard in a long time. It’s stripped back to the bare minimum before all the groove hits you. Smooth-as bass and quirky guitar licks are added to the beat, creating an awesome slow-jam that makes your sway to the beat without even realising you’re doing it. I have this on repeat.

These sultry vocals are courtesy of ex Oh Mercy guitarist Simon Okley. He has ventured out on his own and this single couldn’t be further away from his previous music venture. I love when this scenario happens.. it allows you to see the complexities of the musician’s taste and capabilities.

 

This song definitely has some RnB influences with the style of groove going on here, and it’s refreshing. I haven’t heard anything like this in a while. Okley’s voice does remind me of man-of-the-moment Chet Faker, with that rich textured-huskiness to it but he still holds his own with this style of music.

This is Slow Dancer’s first single and I am very impressed, can’t wait to see what else he has to offer!

If you live in Melbourne and would like to check him out live, he is playing a show at The Workers Club  on 31st August. All attendees will receive a free download!

In the meantime, you can check out the song via his Soundcloud page.

Sea Legs Are Back!

The boys from Sea Legs are back with a brand new single Christopher Strong. It has a more hard and fast rock feel to it with punchy guitar lines, giving this song a little more of an edge than their last release Take A Little For Yourself.

It reminds me a little of You Am I or early days Eskimo Joe and has already caught the attention of Triple J’s Richard Kingsmill.

These guys can do no wrong in my book… they always manage to hit the nail on the head… awesome indie rock that makes you want to keep hitting repeat…

Do yourself a favour and go and listen to their music at their Triple J Unearthed page… they will also be touring the east coast of Australia throughout November – January 2015 to look out for the dates!

N

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Spaceship Albums.. Part 3

A few months back I began talking about my Spaceship Albums, if you do not understand this term please refer back to the original post, as this is part 3 in an on-going series.

Here are a few more albums from my ever-overflowing list of fantastic albums;

The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement (2008)
theageoftheunderstatement This album is somewhat of a concept album from a supergroup… Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane (The Rascals) combined to create The Last Shadow Puppets. Produced by James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco) the Arctic Monkeys friend and long serving producer, this album has a lot of character to it. It is  a completely different direction from both of their original bands. Incorporating full orchestras and string sections into most of these tracks, they have a distinctive 60’s mod sound which often at times reminds me of a James Bond theme, in fact I think several of these tracks could pass as Bond themes if they were asked! One of the lead singles Standing Next To Me has a clear Beatles influence to it, even down to the film clip… The boys have also been known to perform it live whenever Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane are on the same line-up. It’s an acoustic based track, but it has vocal harmonies that blend in really well with the string component. Another stand out track for me is My Mistakes Were Made For You it has a beautiful blend of strings and guitars that give the song a haunting/delicate feel to it. All the tracks on this album differ from the one before it in terms of instrumentation, with some tracks requiring the entire orchestra i.e The Age of the Understatement which explodes out of the speakers as the opening track. There have been rumours for years and years now of the boys collaborating for a second Puppets album, but for now I’m happy re-listening to this gem over and over again!

 

Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)
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I was late to the party with this album. I didn’t get my ears around it until about 3 years after it was released… I had heard great things about the Montreal based band and I was enjoying their second LP Black Mirror, so I delved into their first record. I was very impressed.
Their unique sound was so refreshing to me… the use of accordion, xylophone and many many other instruments that aren’t often showcased in regular rock bands. The opening track Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels) sucks you in from the very beginning… The most notable hit from this album would have to be Wake Up which is such a big anthemic track that makes me smile every time. Another highlight for me is Haiti an ode to singer Regine’s hometown. It has a lovely mellow, relaxing feel to it which I just love. This album brings back memories of Montreal for me… being in the band’s hometown I couldn’t not indulge myself by listening to their music on the Greyhound bus ride from Quebec City.. images of that beautiful city play through my head while I listen to their music, but this album in particular strikes a chord with my memory… I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.. but I’m not complaining!

 

N

 

 

A Day in the Country… The Cotswolds

So I’ve been in London a whole 48 hours and I’ve already managed to escape the hustle and bustle and visit one of the most picturesque areas of the British countryside…

The town of Burford is situated amongst the Cotswolds and it is SO beautiful. The high street is full of buildings that have been standing since the 16 and 1700’s! Complete with crooked roofs and concaving walls, they have so much charm and character that you don’t see a lot anymore!

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Set amongst the rolling green hills this village is in a world of it’s own. It’s clearly a popular spot for day trips and tourists, with plenty of specialty shops selling souvenirs and local produce (jams, chutneys, cheeses etc). It’s a very peaceful spot with so much rich history… it would be a lovely place for a weekender house (if only I had a spare £2 million!!)

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The scenery from the car

 

One of many houses I would love to own...

One of many houses I would love to own…

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I highly recommend going and taking a look if you are in the area… such a cute village. There is nothing like this back home in Australia, the history that’s still so present in Britain blows me away… I love it… the sense of standing in old church or building and wondering who has been there before you and what did it look like 300 years ago.. I just love it. Looking forward to more historical findings!!

N

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Dame’ Molly Contogeorge

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Molly Contogeorge is a young singer/songwriter from Sydney. She has toured with the likes of Bertie Blackman, Ash Grunwald, RUFUS & The Khanz to name a few. In 2008, at just 17 years old she made her first appearance at SXSW (South By South West music conference in Austin, Texas… a HUGE deal in the music industry) and then backed it up with another appearance in 2009.

Her latest release is an EP entitled Dames it’s her third and shes has produced it herself! Recorded with engineer Chris Vallejo (Passenger) at Linear Recording Studios, it is full of beautiful jazzy tones. This EP is really something quite different to the music I am normally sent, with each song possessing different, distinct qualities.. here’s a rundown;

Bang Bang! has a catchy beat, complete with horn section. It has a really good groove to it that makes you want to get out of your seat and boogie along! It then progresses to this cabaret-esq finale of subtle piano which finishes the track off really nicely.
Bad Boy allows a little more space for Molly’s voice to shine through. It has a bluesy keyboard behind it which again, makes your body move in time with it.
The tones in piano based track Brother just melt over the top of you and it conjures up images of sitting in a little jazz club and forgetting where you are.
Dames reiterates how different Molly’s sound is with horns making up the bulk of the instrumentation on this track.

Here’s Molly telling us a bit about herself… (via 5Why TV)

I think Molly has a bright future ahead of her, she is obviously a very hard worker and is passionate about her work. If you would like to support this awesome independent artist you can purchase Dames from https://mollycontogeorge.bandcamp.com – between now and August 10th all proceeds from EP sales will go directly to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.
Or if you’re in Sydney you can catch her live at these upcoming shows;
11th July @ The Vanguard, Newtown (With Caitlin Park “The Sleeper Tour”)
20th July @ Live ‘n’ Lounging – https://www.facebook.com/LivenLounging?fref=ts
3rd August @ The WONDER 102 Charity Fundraiser (404 Riley St, Surrey Hills)

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N

The Unique Sound of Eleanor Dunlop

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Eleanor Dunlop is a singer from Sydney who possess one of the most unique voices I have heard in a long time. It has haunting, husky qualities that seem to be dripped in velvet. Upon listening to her, pictures of a luxurious woman from the 1930’s appeared in my head. Her voice rolls so easily over your ears that before you realise it she has transported you to another world and left you floating on a cloud.

A classically trained pianist, each song has a distinctive piano presence, which often include rolling melodies. These piano parts give Dunlop a signature to her sound and blend beautifully with her voice.

Her song Disguise was released last October and has had plenty of play across the Triple J networks, as well as currently being used in the ABC TV Series Old School. This song grabbed me instantly with that rolling piano, it just floats easily out of the airwaves and into your ears. Another feature of her music is that it’s unlike anything else currently being played on radio (from what I’ve heard) it has a more classical sound to it and it’s a little bit jazzy.

Since hearing Disguise I have discovered she was previously the lead singer of the band Cameras. They made really interesting music which undoubtedly showcases Eleanor’s unique voice. However, her solo work has the aforementioned classic qualities to it, making the tracks a bit ‘cleaner’ if you will. But I do enjoy both.. this track has a haunting piano track behind it that I love.. check it out!

I think Eleanor Dunlop has a very big future ahead of her… watch this space!

N

 

 

 

The Secret Keeper I Couldn’t Put Down…

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You know when you get your hands on a good book, and you literally can’t put it down because every second you don’t have it in your hands you’re thinking about the story and wondering what’s going to happen next? Well.. that just happened to me..

Kate Morton is fast becoming one of my favourite authors… I’ve always loved reading, especially getting absorbed into a great story that makes you forget where you are.. she is an expert at writing these types of stories. Her latest book The Secret Keeper is in my opinion her best work to date. Set in London during The Blitz in 1941 it seamlessly passes between 1941, 1961 and 2011.. you can read the blurb here

She has an incredible talent for melding a story together across multiple story lines and eras. The way they intertwine and resolve makes you as a reader wonder how on earth she came up with it, it seems so REAL that surely this whole story is based on a true one (it’s not, apart from the historical setting). I am reminded of writers like Di Morresy who is well known for her stories that jump between different periods in time.

I love stories like these, with mystery and intrigue that keep you guessing and turning those pages just a little bit faster with every passing chapter.  I quite often like to imagine the book I am reading as if it’s playing out like a movie or a mini series in my head… this book was no exception, with her detailed descriptions of the settings all I had to do was close my eyes and I was there with the characters.

I believe one of her books The Forgotten Garden is going to be made into a film, but I can so clearly picture The Secret Keeper as a 4 part mini series done by the ABC or the BBC… it would be perfect as the book is split up into 4 parts… I can even picture some of the actors I would cast.. I think this is where readers can get upset and left disappointed when their beloved books are turned into films… given that there is only usually 2 hours of screen time to fit in over 500 pages of writing, essential parts or even your favourite parts of the book are bound to be left behind. It’s understandable for the mediums are so different, one needs to explain more with less words while the other explains everything with words.

I read a lot, and every now and then you stumble across these gems that you can’t read fast enough and seem to end all too soon… this book is definitely one of them. I highly recommend it!

Read something recently you couldn’t put down? Let me know!

N