17 April 2011

Top Tunes To Blog About 5

THE SOUND OF ARROWS - "NOVA"


The Sound Of Arrows are the Swedish duo of Oskar Gullstrand and Stefan Storm, who have been making gentle ripples on the blogosphere with their unique take on dreamy Scandinavian laced pop. Back in 2009, the twosome gained a positive response in the UK from their single "Into The Clouds", which reached the I-Tunes top spot in September. Since then they have worked on a Mitsubishi TV commercial and played a variety of gigs around Sweden; all rather low-key stuff, however there is new material on the horizon and it promises to sweep us off our feet.

The first single off their debut album is "Nova", and this has truly got to be one of the best songs produced in the last few years. The most obvious feature about The Sound Of Arrows is the audible similarities to the brilliant and renowned Pet Shop Boys, as well as minor hints of Cut Copy, Of Montreal, Hurts and a rather toned down Delphic. There is a definitive mix of heavenly opulence; velvety and emotive, performed with a nourishing breathy charm. "Nova" silkily flows into a surreal wave of dreamy electro-pop at its contemporary best. The steady and gentile back beat keeps the tempo restrained as the angelic vocals, oozing sublime and perfectly touching lyrics, trickles on into the more euphoric chorus. Descending into a cascade of shimmering starry electro, the chorus is well balanced, being calmly anthemic yet energised and breezy; possessing a graceful finesse.


The wonderfully inspiring chorus echoes work by Enya, Goldfrapp, Miike Snow and The Presets, being irresistible on the ears and giving it a highly marketable quality that stays on the right side of commerciality. "Nova" glides onwards into a succulent array of mysteriously hollow synthesising creating a metallic warmth which engulfs the song. The underlying beat is diligently poised, allowing fluidity to occur between the diving synths and the airy melodic vocals; which uphold a polished and reflective lyrical potency. The Sound Of Arrows duo know how to thread together a smashing song; interweaving harmonial lyrics to watery vocals; forming revitalising and spacey electronica at its most credible. As the chorus tumbles on further, the song increasingly feels more impending and fantastical, with majestic vocals being irrevocably consumed into a spacey vortexed realm caressed by dramatic electro sweeps, glimmering synth peaks and virtualistic bass troughs.

As a whole "Nova" produces a cosmologically inventive musical landscape that is aesthetically pleasing, elegantly steeped in disco camp and aurally emotive thanks to superb songwriting and expert musical composition from beginning to end. The song trails off as it had begun; rhapsodic, tranquil and bathed in electro-dream-pop surrealistic revere. According to Gullstrand and Storm's Myspace, Sweden is "Pop heaven" and it would seem they are most certainly right. These guys deserve a huge pat on the back and every positive plaudit "Nova" receives couldn't be more deserved.

Check out the visually phenomenal music video link below and please show these two some love by going to their Facebook/Myspace/Twitter pages.




WALLPAPER - "STUPIDFACEDD"



Wallpaper is the alias of Bay Area music extraordinaire Eric Frederic who excels at producing unique electro 'hip-pop'. Wallpaper has been working together with some top music players, namely writer Evan Bogart (Rihanna, Leona Lewis, Britney Spears), who has signed Frederic to his own record label. With the likes of Bogart in the full frontal Wallpaper offensive, it is clear this artist has a promising and fruitful career mapped out and will hit us hard.

"Stupidfacedd" is the story about hazy recollections and angsty rebellion in an urban environment aimed at predominantly younger listeners. There are continuous references to drug-taking, sexual promiscuity and overindulgence in alcohol, so those who are a tad prudish may not liken themselves to this brash cracker of a tune. That said, if your ears like such ingredients shoved into the new music mix, then this is the song for you. "Stupidfacedd" showcases the genius of Frederic for producing hybrid contemporary music with a vibrant, almost sordidly refreshing twist packed full of diversity. The song starts off with what can only be best described as an unsettling, even menacing circus tune that conjures up vivid imagery of lecherous clowns and murderous rusty carousels. Then BANG, Frederic bashfully slams down an indoctrinating and aggressive bass that is enticing and exuberant. It's this key element that cements the song through till the very end and such a heavy bass will get any dancefloor hypnotically grindin' away


The inebriated bassline, steady clapping and cleverly random bleeping in the background grasps at the listeners personal experiences with such social situations and throttles Frederic's message "You KNOW what I am talking about in this song because you have done it yourself in some way, shape or form", deep into the brain. The deep tonal mumblings of Wallpaper are cumbersome; a little amateurish even. Yet they work industriously well in combination with the composition of the song, furthering its overall appeal. The lyrics feel a tad infrequent and grubby, but once again, they have an interesting facet to them. Lines like "Face down in a blood stained carpet" and "White boy wasted" possess a real grotesque but oddly honest account of proceedings; a welcome transition to the usually hollow and vacuous tripe that other hip-hop artists churn out repeatedly. All in all this is a stomping tune, full of bass-fuelled thuds, theatrical melancholy and flippant lyrical wizardry to create a perfect track for reminiscing over past experiences or to carry out said experiences to, whether at a grotty houseparty or in a uber-cool club.


Check out the video below and show Wallpaper some love by visiting his Facebook/Myspace/Twitter pages. Go get wasted people.



KERLI - "ARMY OF LOVE" (SULTAN AND NED SHEPARD REMIX)



Anonymously known in her native Estonia by just her first name, Kerli is an established artist in much of Baltic Europe and in the United States thanks to the significance of being signed to the Island Def Jam Music Group to which her first album received moderate success back in 2008. Since then this snowy princess has kept a relatively low profile, discreetly having songs used in the US show "So you think you can dance?" and a guest track on the Alice In Wonderland film. Since then, Kerli has been re-crafting her musical style and metamorphosing into what is ultimately a sparkling and alternative music artist. If Bjork, Little Boots, I Blame Coco and September collided together, Kerli would be the fantastic car-crash result. Her newest song showcases this change of direction perfectly and she has the weight and credibility behind her to create a loyal gaga-esque following as a result.


The original "Army Of Love", released in December last year, is a wavy mixture of wallowing synths, wispy vocals and stereotypically European spaciness. The Sultan and Ned Shepard remix builds on this, and strengthens the foundations with guile and trepidation. What makes this song is the haunting and melodic vocals of Kerli herself; they are positively mythical and absorbing, almost bewildering; conjuring up evocative images of beautiful sirens luring sailors to their peril in treacherous seas. Lyrically the song isn't groundbreaking, sophisticated or that elegant; instead Kerli opts for inclusive, unifying words that embraces the title of the song itself, epitomising the meaning and purpose beautifully. Coupled with the animated chirping of steady synths, the low din of a stuttering bassline stuck under a more excitable European dancefloor ensemble and the blizzardy ghostliness of Baltic musical influences, this track has been perfectly remixed to compliment the niche sound of Kerli. As the song powers on through, there is a great sense of energy and dynamism as the feverish synths, imposing Baltic flair and untarnished vocals build into a crescendo of glistening aural excellence and harnesses the appeal of "Army Of Love" as a great dance track.


Kerli has a weighty stage presence and stands for a lot of values in her native Estonia. Deeply spiritual and believing in "integrity, love and unity"; these personal traits delicately envelop her music to which she labels her musical direction as "Bubble-Goth"; an amalgamation of glittery commercial pop and darker, more morose gothic music. The end product of this in "Army Of Love" is a mysteriously frozen jewel of European electro-dance-pop that entirely melts away to connect to it's listener with superb intimacy. Sultan and Ned Shepard have done this tune some justice, and Kerli has done herself no harm in melting our iced up ears and getting us dancing to this gem.


Check out the video below and pay a little visit to Kerli's Facebook/Myspace/Twitter pages.

14 April 2011

Top Tunes To Blog About 4

POLYGON PALACE - "WE HAVE A VISUAL"


Right, so this tune has been around for a while, but it needs to be spoken about. Polygon Palace are among an esteemed wave of Australian electro-indie-pop masters infiltrating the blogosphere with compelling songs of their own, as well as excellent remixes by others. To compare them to others is a difficult task as they share tiny portions of an array of other acts out there; The Whip, Little Comets, Hockey, The Wombats, The Teenagers, you get the idea. Polygon Palace are made up of London-born Adam Fern and New Zealander Gabriel Crossan who met in Melbourne and began making promising music for the world to digest and adore.


"We Have A Visual" is very good tune indeed. The sound is very raw; almost so raw it's still bleeding. There is no suave grace here. This song is bold, forbearing and extrovert. The strapping start is succinct, diving straight into heavy bass and clattering cymbals. The disjointed and punchy bass in the background provides a great foundation with which to plonk on some twinkling synths that float zealously between the robotic crunching of guitar strings and intrepidly brash vocals; sweeping between croaky indie squarks to eloquent electro joviality. The eclectic mix pours out red hot indie-electro that flares the senses, stimulating you to tap that lazy foot of yours and pull some garish dancefloor shapes. The energetic prickly vibe from "We Have A Visual" is just the impetus needed to dust off the BBQ, chill the beers, and party in the summer warmth.


Check out below the link to the video for "We Have A Visual", and show this duo some love by going to their Facebook/Myspace/Twitter pages.





GYPSY AND THE CAT - "THE PIPER'S SONG" (AEROPLANE REMIX)


Another band to plop out of Melbourne, Australia, is the formidable and quirky named Gypsy And The Cat, who now reside in London. Gypsy And The Cat have been around for a while now, and have had a small collection of songs scurrying around Hypemachine and Last.fm, gaining popularity over the last 6-12 months. They have worked with David Fridmann (MGMT) and Rich Costey (Muse) to produce a stunning album together which is a whimsical dream in itself. However, "The Piper's Song" has been around since December 2010 but this blog must give the Aeroplane Remix a mention because it is such a brilliant dose of euphoric and memorable electro-indie-folk-pop.


"The Piper's Song" starts off with clinical drumming, bass precision and characterful jingling cutting vociferously through the sprinkly sweet autotuned vocals. The drunken warpy bass has that typical amorous French vibe as it slivers boisterously between beats and lyrics. Aeroplane's handiwork stabs at this song with excitable synths that are intermittent and cheerful. They gel perfectly together to combine 70's retro disco chic with mellowed 80's electro and contemporary resolute bass. The end product is a cleverly mixed piece of folky-electro at its melodic and euphoric best. There is a distant similarity in the chatty dolphin-esque synthed chorus to the noughties dance classic "I Can't Wait" by Ladies First, but elsewhere from that, this song echoes hints of MGMT, Empire Of The Sun, Metronomy and a toned down Two Door Cinema Club. After a chilly winter, this fuzzy melange of a tune is the perfect antidote to shake off the cold, step into the sunlight and experience the effects of musical induced ecstasy at its remarkable best.


Check out the song from the Youtube link below and as is always the case by now, show Gypsy And The Cat some love by visiting their Facebook/Myspace/Twitter pages.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Aycp5DGqUA



MANNEQUIN - "MANNEQUIN"




ManneQuin is the act created by music and entertainment maestro Dan Priddy who hails from the humble town of Bedford (UK). To many, ManneQuin is almost an enigma protected by an encryption, housed by a top secret code. There is so very little information or detail about these guys that it is almost impossible to draw comparisons or form a full review properly, but you heard it here first (more or less), ManneQuin are definitely Pop geniuses at work and people should sit up and take note. The single "ManneQuin" is Priddy's first stab at the music chart armour and it could well deliver a successful fatal blow. With production assistance from J.R. Rotem (Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna), there is a lot of weight behind ManneQuin to ascend the perilous path to musical credibility and stardom by producing top quality, cookie electro-pop.


The single of the same name starts off as a rather theatrical and slightly pompous thoroughfare, reminiscent to a snippet played in Beauty And The Beast if you use your imaginations and relate to that reference. However, this opening is different in a positive way; a subversion of perceived conventions in so many words, and it's pleasant on the ears to hear orchestral prowess at the start of a pop song rather than the sometimes heavy openings we are so accustomed to hearing nowadays. Further into "ManneQuin" and Priddy's feverishly octane, flamboyant vocals step onto centre stage.


Whilst sounding positively squeaky and crisp, the vocals coexist agreeably with the fabulous bass, juicy and fearless synthing and nonstop enthusiastic beats. The overall composition of the song is delightfully scatty and outrageous. It is like a stereotypical Eurovision song pumped full of steroids and throws caution to the wind in how pop music should sound to the majority. As the song powers on through, the accumulation of zany vocals, overjoyous synths and vigorous musicality creates what is ultimately a great track to unleash on your audio senses. So embrace it with both ears.


Check out ManneQuin's Facebook/Myspace/Twitter pages and show the guys some well deserved support. The single (as of this post being published) is free on the awesome Arjanwrites webpage so click on the link below to have a listen.


http://www.arjanwrites.com/arjanwrites/2011/02/ready-to-pop-mannequin-mannequin.html