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The Mighty Rio Grande – This Will Destroy You

25 Jul

My Current Favourite Film

 

Moneyball is a top film – I cannot recommend it highly enough. I’m a sucker for an uplifting sports film, and Moneyball ticks all the boxes. Loser baseball team, check. Lack of funds, check. Beating the system, check. Heartbreaking loss at the end, check! But another aspect of the film that is strong is definitely the soundtrack, and of all the accompanying score, This Will Destroy You’s input fits the film most appropriately.

Mid Jam Sesh

There are no words to this song, but there definitely shouldn’t be. It’s perfect the way it is. This song swells, rises, and drops majestically. The heavy beat of the drum resonates, every note seems to have a reason for being there. By being 11 minutes long, this no longer conforms to the now generation’s idea of a 1 minute song being plenty, but the range of this song is phenomenal. That first drum snare at the start is enough to hook you. If I could ever write the soundtrack to my life, this would be played over all the epic moments (to think, there are embarrassingly few epic moments in my life so far, I will try and jazz up my life ASAP). It’s summer – take 15 minutes out of your day, crank this up, and just enjoy.

 

Tongue Tied (Live) – Grouplove

10 Jul

Love.

We have a serious love of Grouplove at the blog and it’s not surprising that they crop up so regularly in summer months. Their album is tailor made for scorching summer days with your mates, cruising across America or chilling on a beach. They speak to teendom (slumber parties, getting high) and the allure of summer (check out their video for ‘Spun’). Here’s a live session of my favourite of their songs, Tongue Tied. It’s perfect and amazing to see just how much fun they’re having:

(More) Sounds That Are Helping Me To Stay Alive: A(nother) Downbeat Electronic Playlist to Wash Your Stress (Even Further) Away

14 Jun

I have been under the radar, but you’ll have to excuse me while I finish off what ranks among the worst weeks of my life. I thought I’d lift my head out of a book just long enough to give you the second part of my playlist full of relaxing tunes that manage to counterbalance my hair-pulling stress (to some extent). I really enjoyed writing the last playlist post because it was actually refreshingly easy to compile a list of songs that I love, and that I’ve been listening to recently. The hardest part was finding a picture to go with the post, and it was a similar challenge this time. So, like any struggling image hunter would, I’ve gone with a feline DJ. Time to sit back, relax, and here we go…

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The Top 40. In 14 Minutes. On Piano.

4 May

He’s young. I’m young. He’s just more talented.

How were your Fridays? Mine was dreadful. But two surprise essays, one singing competition and a Latin test later, and I’m alive. Anyway, Alfie Magliano is a 14 year old kid who’s about to make you feel way under accomplished. He’s a crazy good piano player (the best type of piano player) and he’s played out samples of the Top 40 on his instrument (percussion . . . not anything else). Fun game: Close your eyes and see how many songs you can remember. Or not, just listen after the jump:

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To Build A Home – The Cinematic Orchestra

15 Aug

Urgh, Monday morning. Sorry people, the weekend’s over. I wish I could tell you that we had a track for you today that would get you up and running again, and ready to face the world and the challenges it holds. I apologize, but today it’s time for soft reflection. The Cinematic Orchestra is a British jazz and electronic group, and while the band members come and go, the quality of the music remains unquestionably high. Take a listen to To Build A Home:

This track is gorgeous. It slowly builds and builds before climaxing with beautiful melodies and instrumentals. Not one to party to by any means, but definitely still worth having in your music library. Incidentally, this song has appeared in a handful of TV Shows and movies, so there’s a good chance you’ll recognize it. Check this performance out:

Ants – edIT

22 May

Something a little bit different for you on this fine Sunday. In 2004, edIT released an album called Crying Over Pros For No Reason. It had ten tracks on it, and blew a hell of a lot of minds because of its awesome contrast between a laid-back backing, and an awesome shifty beat. One of the standout tracks on the album is Ants, take a listen and see what you make of it:

Although Edward Ma (edIT’s human name) has released a variety of material since this album, in my opinion, this is the best. Maybe it wasn’t your cup of tea, and if it wasn’t I’m sorry, but I have something to make up for that. Even if you didn’t enjoy the actual song, you’re downright crazy if you don’t enjoy this great video of these random French twins dancing to the song. If you liked both, well then you’re just lucky:

Trembling Hands – Explosions In The Sky

18 Apr

An instrumental track for today, haven’t had one of those in a while. Trembling Hands is the first single that was released off of Explosions In The Sky’s most recent project entitled Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. Guess what? The album is actually out TODAY. So head on over to the website to take a listen to it, but here’s Trembling Hands:

This song gets me excited for the album. It has the classic Explosions In The Sky guitar riffs, and the chords that are just in another world. It also marks the first time I’ve ever heard the band use any trace of vocals on their tracks, although I’m told they’ve done it before. I’m really interested to see where this goes, and how it works on the new album because it worked out incredibly well for bands like Hammock. Anyways, definitely go check out the album, and here’s an awesome fan video of a live performance:

Brain Storm (For Erin) – Mark McGuire

10 Dec

Here’s a thoughtful one. Mark McGuire has totally amazed me recently. I stumbled across his track Postcard which is the kind of guitar

The track starts off beautifully, almost sounding like it’s raining. Then it gets a little more solid, introducing a great riff that repeats itself a few times. All of a sudden a whole new heavier layer comes in, and it sounds absolutely stunning. This is by far my favourite part of the song, and one of those moments where the music just gets you. Then McGuire adds another awesome melody, before the song swells one last time before fading to nothing.

Like I said, this is just one of those songs that strikes a chord with me. If you know me or are a regular reader, you might know that I love a good instrumental song, and this one here most definitely qualifies. Mark McGuire has also recently released a cassette called Misunderstandings. Each side of the cassette has a fifteen minute piece on it, and having heard both, I can honestly tell you that they’re incredible. I’ll be very impressed if you get your hands on one though, because they seem to be uber-rare. Have a great Friday!

Clubbed to Death – Rob Dougan

31 Oct

As well as a love of music, my other passion in life comes from film, making them and watching. One of the most revolutionary films of the decade love it or hate it, before it went of the rails, was The Matrix. and from that comes one of the most musically remembered scenes of all time, the girl in the red dress as its affectionately known to its fans. the song is the work of mind of Rob Dougan, Clubbed to Death is the song which in just a few opening bars turns your world upside down.

The song opens with Edward Elgar and Gustav Holst before twisting the world round into a carefully constructed web of electronic with frequent returns from both of the classical composers. It’s the way the tune is managed into a skilful and precise nature while delivering a mix of electronic symphonies that blends around you and incarcerates you in this tangle of utter brilliance.

It’s a song like no other and just like the film deserves landmark recognition for being simply magnificent and influential along every track of electronic music since. Here’s another of his tracks, Furious Angels enjoy…

Look out for more posts with our shenanigans in film-making coming very soon.

Artists you might like: Steve Jablonsky, Craig Armstrong and Clint Mansell.

Gregor Samsa Is Dead, Long Live Gregor Samsa – Asfandyar Khan

9 Oct

Snow Makes Things Perfect Cover Art

From Islamabad, Pakistan comes a soothing and thought-provoking EP by artist Asfandyar Khan. Snow Makes Things Perfect is his first piece of work, and on the EP are six different songs, each possessing a quality that separates them in both more and less obvious ways from the other tracks on the EP. This is my first taste of really any kind of music from Pakistan, and its sweet. Throughout this EP, there is the classic element that is contained within almost all instrumental music: swelling. These songs gradually grow and then flourish before your ears, making for beautiful music. In one or two places however, you’ll be surprised at what happens, and this is totally refreshing.

This song, Gregor Samsa Is Dead, Long Live Gregor Samsa is my favorite on the EP. If you listen, in the background you can pick up the soft noise of what sounds like a train or factory, or it could be just city noises. The juxtaposition of this and the soft acoustic riff that plays beautifully yet softly makes for an intriguing opening to the song and reels you in for the duration. In terms of the title of the song, Gregor Samsa is a fictional character in The Metamorphosis, a novel by Franz Kafka, and unfortunately that’s the extent of my knowledge on the subject. We’ll definitely be looking to see what Asfandyar Khan comes up with in future, and if you want to get his music visit his website.

Here’s a video with some beautiful footage, and another song of his called Hello Morocco: