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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Summer-Camp-Young

A recent discussion of good music videos led to me recalling my love for Summer Camp‘s ‘Round the Moon’ video (below) – and, in turn, has led to the happy rediscovery of their debut EP, ‘Young’.  There is something kind of exquisite about their incredibly dreamy brand of dazed pop; full of a warming, perfect sense of nostalgia for an era that isn’t even mine – though, in fairness, it’s not their’s either.  Music as hazy and fuzzy as the polaroid cameras it references, there is something about it that’s really immersive and easy to get lost in.  I love the Brat Pack allusions, the samples from ‘Say Anything’ and ‘Heathers’ and the stories of American house parties of the kind that seem to exist solely in ’80s and ’90s high school movies.

This EP was the beginning of the new wave of boy/girl duos making darling, romantic pop, but ‘Young’ stands out – not least as my favourite example of Summer Camp’s oeuvre.

It’s more than the strange evoking of another time, I think; it’s the reminder that the stories that Summer Camp are telling on their EP – the stories of being young – are sort of timeless.  Whether you grew up in the ’80s or you’re going through that weird phase between being a teenager and entering adulthood now, I think there are always going to be the parties with questionable anecdotes; epiphanies about your life and your choices; ill-advised crushes and nights you stay up dancing and talking about nothing at all.  And for that, I think ‘Young’ is an EP that encapsulates pretty perfectly what it set out to do.  Beautiful.

You can buy the ‘Young’ EP here.

georgeezra

As soon as you hear Bristol-based George Ezra sing, you’ll be left in little doubt that this guy has got soul in buckets.  There’s a danger that the acoustic guitar and the fact he’s a “singer-songwriter” will suggest to you that he’s middle of the road, but this music is nothing of the sort.  That croaky, raspy, transcendent voice makes him sound, well – I don’t know how old he is – but certainly it makes him sound old beyond his years.

It’s powerful, yearning music that’s not particularly poppy or catchy – instead it rambles and ebbs and flows and in short, well, it’s kind of stunning.

Very interested to hear more from him soon; some really sublime, romantic listening.

An-Awesome-Wave-Alt-J

Happy New Year, one and all.  Cannot believe it is already 2013, and in my desperation to cling onto the past here are ten albums I was into last year.  They are the albums I voted for in the UK Blogger Albums of 2012 poll run by the great Sweeping the Nation, the results of which you can find here.  However, if I like music I like it, and thus I found ranking these quite difficult.  Also, there are a lot of albums that come highly recommended that I have yet to check out, so there are some gaping holes in my list.  But sure, here are some albums I’d recommend from last year:

10. Angel Olsen – ‘Half Way Home’ - Because it was beautiful, romantic folksy bluesy music that more people need to check out and her voice is otherworldly and magic.

9. Frank Ocean – ‘Channel Orange’ – Because it was absolutely his year and, though It took some listening and growing for me to get the hype, this was some desperately-needed intelligent R&B and it was special.

8. Purity Ring – ‘Shrines’ – Because it was gaunt, shuffling electro with a futuristic vibe that was often dark and dissonant and always very good.

7. Tame Impala – ‘Lonerism’ – Because it was excellent, beautiful, whirring, hazy psychedelia unlike anything else released last year.

6. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – ‘Trouble’ - Because dance music needed more producers capable of making shimmering mazes of sound like this, and it was great in that capacity.

5. Grimes – ‘Genesis’ – Because it was bizarre and spacey but really cool and fun and dreamy.

4. Lucy Rose – ‘Like I Used To’ – Because she sings from the heart, and it was simple and honest.

3. Jessie Ware – ‘Devotion’ – Because, as already alluded to, it was the year it was okay to like R&B again (thank God) and she has amazingly smooth vocals over wonderful garage-type beats.

2.  Alt-J – ‘An Awesome Wave’ - Because it was different and weird, intricately put-together, and strangely catchy and generally exquisite.

1. Beach House – ‘Bloom’ – Because it showcased, as always, that this band makes impossibly pretty music and they do it perfectly.

Here is a Spotify playlist I made with a song from each album.  Plus ‘Call Me Maybe’, because frankly it was the track of the year:

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