SOHN – Tremors
Tremors is the much anticipated debut album by English singer-producer SOHN. As a producer SOHN is known for being able to shroud songs in emotion casting a shadowy atmosphere and deep sensations through layers of strong sound. As a singer he is gentle and melancholy yet passionate; when he has combined his talents in previous EPs the results have been shudderingly heartfelt.
Those who have heard SOHN’s previous releases will know what to expect and will be expecting grate things. The artist has the ability to bring the world to a momentary standstill, pinning you in that moment and sending a chill down your spine. Prior to this album people have drawn justified parallels between himself and James Blake, use of ambient sounds and empty space, the sound of the dust settling in the calm aftermath of dubstep.
Tremors does not contain any surprises, it is what it is; a sad, emotional, sometimes depressing album perfect for those who want to sink into their emotions. Bloodflows is a standout song that emphasizes this submission to feeling, it is a shame it follows one of the weakest songs Artifice. It would have been nice for the first two tracks that draw you in nicely to flow into the beautiful soundscape in Bloodflows but Artifice fails to carry that emotion.
The album does occasionally feel cold and bleak, there are certain songs such as Ransom Notes and fool that pass you by without having that much impact. Bloodflows, Lessons and The Wheel are all songs from previous EPs, other songs such as Red lines and Warnings did not make it on the album and those that have taken their place do not stand up to their standard. The 11 track debut does however end strong, there is a flow and an a accumulation of expression in the last four tracks that dip into more bass infused beats that add a different dimension to SOHN’s gentle voice.
Bloodflows and Red lines would have got many people excited about this debut album, something new and passionate but it may be received as slightly disappointing, at times the feel of this album is a little too bleak to enjoy. However that sensation is what many fans of SOHN will be looking for, music to feel sad within.
What is Flying Lotus, a question that sounds strange when you have no context or knowledge of what or who Flying Lotus is. The question remains quizzical even when you are familiar with the Flying Lotus to which I refer. If Flying Lotus is a who, then that name is connected to LA born DJ Steven Ellison. A multi-talented Musician and producer known as FlyLo to his fans. However if Flying Lotus is a what, then it is the art FlyLo creates, something that can only be described as … A Flying Lotus.
If you were to ask fans of Flying Lotus “What is Flying Lotus” they would only smile. Language does not really describe it. That is why the question is so strange even when given context. The only description a fan could give you is by giving you a seat, telling you to sit back and letting the Flying Lotus escape.
Being this a review I suppose I should attempt to use the words in which we use to communicate to try and describe FlyLo’s latest release: Until the Quiet Comes.
Many people would say Flying Lotus is music, I guess I can go along with that. Flying Lotus has a beat, it sometimes has lyrics and it exists entirely of sound. By that definition, Flying Lotus is a piece of music. Although even that can be up for contention.
So seeing as what I am to describe can be called music then the next stage in depicting Until the Quiet Comes would be to describe it as a piece of music. But I do not see that to be possible, the word “music” has too many barriers connected to it.
Too many people would read the word “music” and add expectations, stereotypes if you will. So a better format to encompass Flying Lotus in for analysis would be as the vibrations simply known as sound.
So, what sound is Until the Quiet Comes?
This is all.
Big Beat ’59 is the toe tapping new album by Black Pistol Fire. Pushing together the kind of Amazing riffs you hear from the Black Keys with the fun dirty electric guitar sound of Sea Sick Steve, everyone who manages not to break out into some air guitar will not help but head nod and toe tap along.
This is the Canadian Rock duo’s second album in as many years. With the sound they create it is not surprising the duo, Kevin Mckneown and Eric Owen, settled in Austin, Texas in 2009. They are the kind of band who could smash into the mainstream at any time so be prepared.
This is an album for real music lovers, every song has a riff that would not sound out place coming from the guitars of some of the greatest guitarists of the past 40 years. The sound they create is the kind of rustic unmistakably American sound that recent great bands have come across the pond with.
Its one of those albums that has so many reasons for you to listen to it from start to finish, one being its the kind of album were any of the songs could be a single, every song lives up to the high standard the song before sets. Another reason is that it has a bit of everything. There are sounds created that you can relate to bands from Wolf Mother to The Kings of Leon and amazingly it all fits. Kevin McKeowns singing style meshes perfectly with his guitar riffs and Eric Owens aggressive drumming.
Black Pistol Fire draw obvious similarities with the Black Keys, not only because of the fact they are a duo but also their similar music style however that cannot be a bad thing, just look at how much worldwide success the black keys have had. To do what the Black keys do takes talent and by jove do these lads have talent.
Land of the Giants are a band I have previously written about after seeing them Live in the Kings Head pub, Falmouth. I gave them a raving review as they created such an energetic, fun and warm atmosphere. The band have trumpets, trombones , guitar solos and fun lyrics that combine to make a lively sound.
I have always thought that trumpets and guitar solos make a good, full sound live but converting that sound to disk is hard. I think the Land of the Giants have fallen into this problem, the brass instruments sound too subdued and you can pick out the repetitive nature of their tunes. As for the solos, they have been dropped completely but many modern day bands leave guitar solos for the live stage these days.
However the EP still manages to capture the emotion and energy of their live performances; the sound is still up-beat and makes you jig about to the music. Lead singer, Andrew Wonderwick Quick’s vocals are impressive and give a gravelly edge to the free-flowing music.
” I didn’t come in a fancy car, it was a Ford Fiesta” – Lyrics from track one “Best days”
All in all, for a first EP the band have done a good job. With some fine tuning and a slightly more complex brass section, Land of the Giants are well on their way to a good album. After I saw this band live I had high expectations of their EP but unfortunately it does not live up to the standards they set in their live performance. That it is not to say this EP is bad, it shows the band could definitely be on their way to bigger things.
Enter Shikari are a band who have become huge by creating a genera of music between alternative metal and drum and bass. Some people say its electronicore but by adding Rou’s poetic, political lyrics, strings and some synth they defiantly can be called unique.
This unique sound has gained them a vast, loyal audience who have eagerly awaited there third studio album. So has it lived up to there high standards?
Many people would have worried the band may have tried to become softer or more mellow but them worries can be cast aside. Its still fast, loud and hard hitting. I think it’s safe to say the guitars have faded and been smothered by a more electric sound but the rock element has not been lost.
However i think the album is not as good as Take to the
skies and Common dreads. Songs such as Jugganouts and
Sorry your not a winner raise above the songs on Flash food. It is going to get hard for the band to keep up the hype as their sound is copied and becomes less … them.
“how much money is being printed and exchanged, is a good measure of how healthy our society is but I do think I can speak for everyone when I say, we’re sick of this sh*t.” – Lyrics from track 7 “Gandhi Mate, Gandhi”
Yet in saying that, the lyrics still reach out to people, the music can still create a mosh, a dance and the hype. The amount of sound means that you can get lost in your headphones and overall i think if your a fan, you will like A Flash Flood Of Colour
First Aid Kit are a Swedish folk duo. The Lions Roar is the sisters third album if you count there 2008 EP drunken trees.
The Lions Roar is an amazing album that cuts right to the soul. The duo are amazing vocalists and their previous albums have been lead by lead singer Klara’s voice, in this new album the vocals softly combine with the music, making beautiful harmonics.
This is an album in which you can sit down and listen to over and over again, you soon know what to expect from each song and none of the tracks disappoint.
“It always takes me by surprise how dark it gets this time of the year. And how apparent it all becomes that you’re not close, not even near”
This album is not daring or revolutionary, it is a simple folk album but as simple harmonic folk albums go this is near perfect. Buy this album, relax, close your eyes and listen.