Garden City Movement

Garden City Movement are an electronic chillwave trio based in Germany and Israel. Having seen their music video for ‘Move On’ which is beautiful and brave, I was intrigued to find out more. Although their following is fairly small, the fans are dedicated, and this band are set for huge things. So far they have released two EPs; ‘Bengali Cinema’ and ‘Entertainment’. Both are interesting, fresh and intuitive. These chilled, synth driven, electronic tracks are wonderfully immersive and totally addictive. The combination of cultures is very interesting, and something worth exploring more for these guys. Garden City Movement have a great balance of delicate and subtle vocals combined with repetitive beats, which echo that of very popular bands like Clean Bandit and Gorgon City. Pay attention to these guys – big things are coming their way; I can guarantee it.

My favourite track is ‘Move On’, mainly because I can’t stop listening to it. I love the effortlessness of the lyrics and the clear images throughout the track. It’s memorable, sexy and a genuinely good song. Here are a couple of my favourite stills from the video

 

Advertisements

Reading Festival 2014

‘Reading and Leeds’ is one of the biggest festivals in Britain, with over 90,000 festival goers piling into both sites on the August Bank Holiday weekend. This was my first festival, and it was definitely a ‘go big or go home’ situation. Before the festival started I was so anxious about not being able to see my favourite bands and missing some really great performances. Of course I didn’t need to worry at all; everyone is so helpful and I felt completely at ease. Although the site is huge, it feels so intimate. One of the best things I found is that it’s totally up to you how involved you are in the festival, whether you want to be deep in the mosh pit or relaxing in the sun you feel immersed wherever you are. The weekend was amazing and totally overwhelming.

reading2

Favourite Stage

The Festival Republic Stage had a great atmosphere and the sound quality was awesome. Some of my favourite bands played there, like Wolf Alice and Drowners and both had great turn outs. It had a huge mixture of different bands and genres which is great, as well as having well known artists and really small artists which made it quite unique. It felt very intimate and it was a fairly small space which is why I think I really liked it.

reading3

Best New Discovery

On Friday, I felt quite chilled so we sat down by the main stage and took in the music. ‘Blood Red Shoes’ were very good, they had a big crowd and a lot of energy for such an early set. I will definitely check out their album, not only because they were really excellent, but also because their lead vocalist was also the drummer, which I have never seen before!

reading008

Best Experience

During Vampire Weekend I met a lovely boy called Andrew who kindly enough offered to lift me up on his shoulders, which I accepted very gratefully. During ‘Cousins’ I had a great view of the stage and it was probably the coolest thing that has ever happened to me. Their whole set was probably my best experience at the festival. It was a fun, quirky atmosphere and my favourite band in the whole world were performing.

reading004

Best Slot

The Kooks and The Horrors had a joint slot in the Radio 1/NME tent before the 1975, which for me was an amazing way to spend two hours. With electric energy and infectious enthusiasm the Kooks had the tent bursting at the seams, and the loudest crowd singalong all weekend. The Horrors had a less of a crowd but their set was by no means smaller. The spectacular light show and exciting guitar riffs lit up the tent, and they had the best ending to a set in one minute I have ever seen.

reading010

Who I Want to See Again

For me, a gig has a very different atmosphere to a festival. At a festival you might get some people who are just there for the experience, and some people who are invested in music and music culture; it’s a lottery in the crowd. At a gig, everyone is there for one specific artist, nearly everyone has heard their music before, and they appreciate the band completely. Keeping this in mind – I would probably want to Peace again, as I would definitely like to see a longer set, but also Jake Bugg, as I feel like somewhere like Alexandra Palace, where he is playing later this year, would be very atmospheric and intimate.

reading006

Unexpected Favourites

I was not expecting to see any bands that massively exceeded my expectations, or at least not in the way this band did. I saw the Drowners in the Festival Republic tent on Sunday and for me it was the best set that day. I was very close to the front, with only a couple of people in front of me, and the band blew me away. Matt Hitt and Co had an effortless stage presence, causing girls to chuck their bras on stage from left to right. Clearly influenced by The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys and the best of early brit pop, each catchy and irresistible tune was played in true rock and roll style.

reading007

Best Line Up

The best 3 sequential acts for me happened on Saturday night. Imagine Dragons put on a friendly, enjoyable and feel good show which attracted a huge number of fans. Dan Reynolds, their frontman, seemed genuinely grateful and humbled at the number of fans present, and their enjoyment of the music. In turn, I was happy and excited to be a part of their set, especially when Dan ran down through the crowd, which felt very heartfelt, but also surreal, probably for both him and us. Next up; Jake Bugg. Without fail, listening to Jake Bugg’s music always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach, and at Reading Festival, that familiar feeling was so much better. With a gorgeous summer sunset as his backdrop, Bugg delivered a refreshingly simple and very rewarding set. His stage presence was incredible, but he didn’t seem at all obnoxious or grumpy as he is sometimes shown to be. His setlist was evenly split between his two albums, and he encouraged a whole crowd sing-a-long of ‘Broken’, a very beautiful song for such a magical moment. Then came the big on; those Arctic Monkeys. Swaggering onstage with hair gel by the bucket load; Alex, Matt, Nick and Jamie began an epic headlining set. From the very first riff of ‘Do I Wanna Know’ the crowd were in the palm of their hand; screaming and jumping around, arms flailing in the air. Drawing perhaps the largest and most invested crowd of the whole weekend, the Monkeys delivered classics like ‘When the Sun Goes Down’ and ‘Teddy Picker’ along with a multitude of hits from their bestselling album, AM, as well as the odd Oasis reference thrown in there. Without a doubt, the best set, crowd and atmosphere of the whole three days.

reading009

reading005

reading1

 

I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the weekend any other way and I hope to return to Reading for next year and for many years to come.

 

My Favourite Soundtracks

Soundtracks are essential for any great movie, and they can range from epic symphonies in ‘Lord of the Rings’, to a collection of indie songs written specifically for the movie, like ‘Submarine’, one of my absolute favourites. This list is not the best soundtracks of all time or anything like that, it’s just a summary of soundtracks which I love to listen to, and that I would highly recommend to anyone and everyone. It helps that the movies and television shows are excellent as well.

5. My Mad Fat Diary

b0004b01-85f7-477d-a742-4e15254e6781_625x352

‘You can spend the rest of your life being afraid of people rejecting you. You have to start by not rejecting yourself. You don’t deserve it’

Set in the 90’s, ‘My Mad Fat Diary’ follows the true story of Rae Earl, a girl with a lot of problems and a huge heart. Rae is utterly obsessed with music, especially Oasis, so naturally the show follows along with her taste, and it is superb. The soundtrack bursts with Brit-pop and awesome 90’s classics. I think this show and the music really connected with me because the songs didn’t just accompany the drama of each episode, instead they were very much part of Rae’s story and have a lot of bearing within the plot. You can listen to a compilation playlist from Season 1 here.

4. Girls 

Girls_HBO_Poster

‘It’s hard to tell someone so young that things don’t always end up the way you thought they’d be.’

‘Girls’ is without a doubt one of my favourite TV shows ever. It’s funny, heart warming and moving. It depicts a misfit group of girls living in New York who have far from perfect lives, which is actually quite comforting. The soundtrack (in particular that of Season 2) includes some of my favourite artists, including Jenny Lewis, Jake Bugg and Vampire Weekend. The tracks are light-hearted, innocent and ultimately quite sweet. Most are indie pop songs that will lift your mood instantly and warm the cockles of your heart. Buy it here.

3. Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog_millionaire_ver2

‘Money and women. The reasons for make most mistakes in life. Looks like you’ve mixed up both.’

To be honest, what are you doing with your life if you haven’t seen this film. It is such a classic, plus I love Danny Boyle and he pulls this off so well. The songs in this film are so upbeat and fun. I’ve loved ‘Paper Planes’ for so long (I even have a dance routine to go along with it) and ‘Jai Ho’ is probably one of the best songs to play at a party ever. As a whole soundtrack though, the tracks fit perfectly with the film and are very important elements in the story and cinematic experience. Without music the film wouldn’t have nearly the same amount of charm, especially the ending scene. Buy the soundtrack here.

2. (500) Days of Summer

tumblr_mppx1dRROU1ras7ljo4_r1_500

‘Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn’t mean she’s your soul mate.’ 

This one of the most misunderstood romance films of our time. ‘(500) Days of Summer’ follows Tom, who believes in love at first sight and that he will eventually find the one, and Summer who is completely the opposite and doesn’t believe in true love. Tom and Summer connect over the Smiths in an elevator, and they fall in love (kind of). Tom is more in love with the idea of the perfect girl than Summer herself. The music is so wonderful in this film. The soundtrack is unique and bubbly, and a couple of the songs are covered by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel themselves. It includes a classic from Hall and Oates which was part of a fantastically over the top musical number, a lot of the Smiths and even a french song. Buy it here.

1. Submarine

su

‘Jordana hates any place that could be termed romantic. With this in mind, I took her to one of my favourite industrial estates, for some quality one-on-one time.’

‘Submarine’, directed by Richard Ayoade, is an indie film about young love and the pressures of being a teenager. The film itself is obviously great, but the soundtrack, composed and performed by Alex Turner, is breathtakingly beautiful. ‘Stuck on a Puzzle’ is such a quotable song, every word drips with love and romance and ‘Glass in the Park’, much like the other tracks, has a fairly simple melody and composition, but totally enchanting lyrics. All of the songs are sung straight from the heart so naturally they are very mushy and adorable, very different from the Alex Turner we know now! A mellow, almost melancholy mood and sickly sweet romance fills the soundtrack and the film.

Bastille – Bad_News

 

It’s just over a year since Bastille released their debut album ‘Bad Blood’ which brought them huge success having sold over 2 million copies in the UK alone. The band have been touring constantly since the release of their first LP, and have also been writing new material alongside this, according to front man Dan Smith. Their new album is set to be released soon, and will have a variety of sounds, such as rock, electronic influences, and songs more similar to ‘Bad Blood’. When the full album will actually be launched is down to pure speculation, but it is unlikely to be in the near future as the band are still playing festivals and have many more arenas to fill before then.

However, on Thursday of this week at 12.20am (ironically the day of A-Level results) ‘Bad_News’ was first played on Radio 1. I stayed up for this late night broadcast with my friend as although I am a huge fan, I was also intrigued as to what this new track, so soon after their debut, could have to offer. I was not disappointed. Undoubtedly, ‘Bad_News’ is somewhat of a departure from singles like ‘Pompeii’ and ‘Laura Palmer’, in terms of the depth, and more electronic sound. But there is a similar vocal range and a familiar melody here, mainly due to the steady marching beat which is recognizable from their previous tracks. ‘Bad_News’ is fresh and upbeat, while in keeping with the current 90’s electro pop trend. They have also joined Ed Sheeran and One Republic in using mainly falsetto backing vocals, which is no bad thing I hasten to add. The repetitive lyrics and steady beat are complimentary, just like in their mash up ‘Of The Night’.

Whether this single precedes an upcoming album, EP, or is just to quench the thirst of their multitude of fans, Bad_News is satisfying, fun and a single worth investing in.

 

Girl Power Rock Is Back

Listen Here

Tracklist:

  1. Killer Bangs – Honeyblood
  2. Bad Girls – M.I.A.
  3. Boyfriend – Best Coast
  4. Primadonna – Marina and the Diamonds
  5. My Song 5 – Haim
  6. Not a Love Song – Uh Huh Her
  7. Please Be My Third Eye – La Sera
  8. She – Wolf Alice
  9. Always Boys – Big Deal
  10. Bedroom Eyes – Dum Dum Girls
  11. Genesis – Grimes
  12. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) – 2 CELLOS feat Sky Ferriera
  13. Ultraviolence – Lana Del Rey

Have Alt-J Become Too Commercial?

Yesterday, Alt-J released their second music video for their upcoming album. ‘Left Hand Free’ already had controversy surrounding it after claims that the band wrote the song in 15 minutes after their record label told them they needed to write a more catchy song which could be played on the radio. Alt-J have of course denied this claim, but it was not hard to convince people of the rumour, when the song was so different and mainstream to anything Alt-J have ever done before. Therefore, when the video was released, it seemed that it might help some of the fans understand the reasoning behind the single.

 

However, many fans have been saying that Alt-J have lost their creativity and innovation after this video was released. The music video depicts a typical summer day in southern USA, with young people having fun and presenting the perfect summer. It undoubtedly looks like a vapid advertisement for beer or a holiday and disappointed a lot of people. It also undeniable however, that it fits exactly with the song and sparks the same discussions. This video clearly reflects how the song is typical and fairly meaningless, mirroring popular culture. Alt-J haven’t lost their creativity, they are making a comment about the music business and also just having a bit of fun. Interestingly, Alt-J placed a ‘1’ after the title of this video. It may have just been a mistake, but it could also mean this video is the first of many.

This band were clever to not lose their fan base by first releasing ‘Hunger of the Pine’ which was still a new direction, but it stuck to their old methods and sound. The video for ‘Hunger of the Pine’ is again an accurate reflection of the song.

 

It is simple, and puts across a clear image to it’s audience. The complexity of the song and video is obvious, but it is presented in an intelligent and enjoyable way. ‘Hunger of the Pine’ proves that Alt-J still deeply care about their music, purpose and the meaning behind these tracks. Of course Alt-J haven’t become too commercial. They are doing things how the want, the way they want and yes, they may lose fans, but they will also gain new ones as well.

AM to PM Tunes

Music is a great way to kick start your day, and also very helpful for winding down in the evening. I don’t mean using your favourite song as an alarm clock or anything, because in my case I begin to loathe whatever sound wakes me up in the morning. I’m talking about the pumped up, inspiring, loud music that makes you excited for the day and the calm, reflective songs that gently push you into a relaxed and peaceful state of mind. A good playlist is probably the only thing that really helps me at the opposite ends of the day.

These are a selection of the songs I like to listen to, you can check out both my evening and morning playlists on YouTube.

1. The Horrors

DSC_0359 (2)

AM: Falling Star

DSC_0384 (2)

PM: Still Life

2. Arctic Monkeys

DSC_0368 (2)

AM: Dancing Shoes

No 1 Party Anthem 

PM: No.1 Party Anthem

3. Bombay Bicycle Club

Luna - Bombay Bicycle Club

AM: Luna

Leaving Blues

PM: Leaving Blues

4. Foster The People

Don't Stop (Colour On The Walls)

AM: Don’t Stop (Colour on the Walls)

Fire Escape - Foster The People

PM: Fire Escape

5. The Smiths

The Smiths

AM: You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby

Asleep - The Smiths

PM: Asleep

I love all of these artists, and these are some of my absolute favourite songs from them. Fire Escape by Foster The People is really underrated, and definitely a hidden gem in Supermodel. I think it is so peaceful and emotional; Mark Foster creates such a beautiful atmosphere with the vocals. Luna is one of the best songs from ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ in my opinion. It’s quite simple. but the lyrics are so memorable and the guitar parts are unique and enchanting. Which is your favourite song? Do you have any suggestions for others?