Florence & the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
If you’ve ever seen Florence Welch perform live then you can attest to her immense talent. For not only can she belt out a tune as fierce as Aretha Franklin walking on hot coals but she also has the glorious ability to spin around the stage at the height of her echoing sirens cry without ever dropping a note. It really has to be seen to be believed.
If you weren’t quick enough to score tickets to the Splendorous Festivities this week end (like most of us – let’s face it this thing sells out in seconds), then we might suggest you console yourself with the latest album from Florence + the Machine ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’. This foray shows a more subdued & introspective side of Florence than we’ve seen before. At times subtle, interlaced with angsty tension & cascading in to heightened moments of orchestral majesty. We strongly thing that in years to come this album will be regarded one of the classics.
Mark Ronson – Uptown Special
Australia is really being treated over the next week because Mark Ronson (with his band The Business International) will only be performing live shows here in the lucky country in 2015. That’s a wicked indictment for the love people feel for Aussie music fans. The super-producer stormed back onto the scene earlier this year with his mega-hit ‘Uptown Funk’ & his world sweeping 4th album ‘Uptown Special’. The man who brought the world’s attention to Amy Winehouse has teamed up with collaborators such as Bruno Mars, Stevie Wonder & acclaimed author Michael Chabon to show us his vision of Funk in the modern age.
While we’re on the subject of Aussie love… We love, Love, LOVE the collaborations with Aussie musician Kevin Parker (of Tame Impala). For us the track ‘Daffodils’ is the highlight beautifully merging of Funk & Psychedelia. Awesome!
Currents – Tame Impala
Okay, so we’re still on the subject of Aussie love… that is, I mean, loving Aussie music. Tame Impala is a band we love, who really makes us think “damn we have some wicked talent in this country!” This hotly anticipated third instalment ‘Currents’ sees mastermind Kevin Parker drop the guitars & venture in to lush & heady synth laden territory. A fantastical vision that cranks up the saturation and weakens the laws of physics. Stepping away from somewhat fuzzy Beatlesesque rock sounds we heard on 2012’s breakout album ‘Lonerism’, Parker’s introspective lyrics soar over smooth blissed out echoes of Prince. ‘Currents’ is a vision made all the more remarkable knowing that the sound was obsessively hand crafted in Parker’s Freo based home studio. We highly recommend this album for any serious music lover’s collection, we think it is one of the albums of the year.
Blur – The Magic Whip
‘The Magic Whip’ is Blur’s 8th studio album & comes 12 years after their last. This album came about almost by accident, when a festival date in Japan was cancelled the band found themselves with spare time in Hong Kong so decided to get together in the ragged little studio & record some tunes. There is no doubt that Blur have had a massive impact on the musical landscape particularly at the height of the ‘90s Britpop era. Over an existence of 27 years the band have constantly evolved. In fact to hear them now compared with their debut 1991 release “Leisure” highlights the major shift that has occurred in phases over the years. However, they have always maintained that slightly grungy alternative edge throughout. The standout track from the new album for us is ‘Go Out’ which effortlessly merges subdued pop lyrics with one foot still firmly planted in their distorted alt-rock past.
Of Monsters & Men – Beneath the Skin
We’ve never seen these guys live but we imagine they would go off. The Icelandic band’s brand of grand-scale folk-pop lends itself to a big appreciative audience, listening to sophomore album ‘Beneath the Skin’ we can just picture a crowd 30,000 strong all singing along. Of course if you’re not heading to the North Byron Parklands this week end you could always crank up this uplifting monster music & use your imagination. Actually if you really want to live-out the experience authentically we’d recommend playing this at full volume & hopping in the shower fully clothed with the water set on full-pressure cold. It is going to be SO wet & muddy in Byron this week end! So why risk catching a cold… you can still catch this warm-hearted beautifully melodic band in the comfort of your own home. Fill your boots up!