Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Photo by Elisha Smith-Leverock.

I'll cut straight to the chase, Esser is the best thing to happen to pop music this side of the summer. Period. Formed from the ashes of the much-beloved Ladyfuzz, Ben Esser makes the kind of songs that should be soundtracking debauched 6th form parties the country over. Not that we'd like to comment much on the teen pregnancy rate if that happened. It's groovy stuff you see, fantastic electronic jams infused with this mixture of fucked-up calypso and stressed-out samples. With his debut single dropping on taste-making label Merok, he's now signed to home of previous outfit Ladyfuzz, Transgressive Records. We've got a slew of mp3's at the bottom of this post, hit them up.

Which brings us round to the second point of this post, MODA. Esser's latest single, Satisfied, has been remixed by the superb Toddla T who's already messed up beats for Little Boots, who some of you might have seen with Simian Mobile Disco @ Engine Shed back in September. I caught her DJ'ing at Offset Festival this summer and was suitably blown away. Seeing how on the ball MODA seem to consistently be, I wasn't that suprised when I realised that Toddla T is dropping over to Lincoln this Friday (21/11/08) for MODA @ Cell (flier). If you haven't been owned by MODA yet, there is no better time than now. In my opinion the smaller MODA parties at Cell always topped the larger bashes at Engine Shed, and with such an of-the-moment DJ dropping the beats, what's your excuse? As before, we've got that Toddla T remix of Satisfied, as well as a mix of Meddle by Little Boots. Get messy.

[MP3] Esser - I Love You, thanks to Bang On PR!
[MP3] Esser - Satisfied (Toddla T & Ross Orton remix)
[MP3] Esser - Satisfied (Bonus Remix). Know who sings on this? Drop us a line.
[MP3] Little Boots - Meddle (Toddla T remix)
[BUY] Buy Esser's debut release as a t-shirt here and new single Satisfied here.
[MYSPACE] Catch Esser on myspace here and MODA over here.
[FACEBOOK] Join Esser on facebook here and MODA here.
[WEB] Visit MODA online here and Esser here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Those of you smart enough to notice some small changes on our facebook group might already know that we've recently piled on a heap of new writers and photographers. First out of the blocks is the criminally astute Cheryl Burns, our ear to the ground in Leicester, with an introduction to what may well become your new love, Gossamer Albatross! Of course if you want to write for Our Iron Lung or take gorgeous pictures for the site, just drop us an email.

If, like me, you’re getting fed up with the same old indie streaming through your radio, Gossamer Albatross are certainly a breath of fresh air. Named after the infamous human powered, channel-crossing, aircraft (I presume), the band is hugely influenced by Final Fantasy and sound similar to an upbeat Horse Feathers. These four teenagers hailing from Hereford – three of which are classically trained – perform some of the most refreshing and original sounds around.

Regardless of their age (the oldest member being only 19) they show extreme promise with their exquisitely composed melodies. Lyrically, lead singer/ song writer Lewis Gordon crafts stories and images of emotions and experiences far beyond his tender age. The mixture of folk-pop and his unique distinctive voice are like a match made in heaven. The best proof of this comes from their self-titled 5 track EP - which contains gems like ‘Whispered Thoughts’, the most instrumentally adventurous of the tracks, and ‘Raging Bulls’, showing off Gordon’s exceptional vocal flair. It's all brought to you by the lovely Monosound Recordings. With their next single ‘The Ground Will Take Us Down’ being produced by Jeremy Warmsley, Gossamer Albatross seem to be one to watch...

[MP3] Gossamer Albatross - Raging Bulls
[MYSPACE] Visit Gossamer Albatross on myspace.
[LABEL] Find out more about Monosound Recordings at their myspace.

Photo by Adam Rhoades, taken live @ Coffee Aroma. And now, I'll pass you over to Joe Mac!

As someone who plays the guitar and gigs around a fair bit, I am very used to people who come up to me before or after my set with tales of awesome guitarists; men who can play one-hundred-notes-per-minute, or make their guitar sound like a 10 piece band, or have the ability to cook their dinner whilst bashing out a solo. Although I nod enthusiastically, I won’t pretend that I don’t find these tales of mythical, mega-fingered beings incredibly tedious, and a little insulting. Imagine if you’d just scored a match-winning hat-trick in the FA Cup Final (I know, it’s a rubbish comparison), but you leave the pitch only to be regaled with tales of other people who scored 4 goals in the same situation.

However, for the 18 year old Elliott Morris, who hails from Lincoln, I have to make an exception. I won’t insult your intelligence by waxing lyrical about his superhuman abilities on the guitar because that would be annoying. I’m simply going to tell you that he’s rather good. Rather Jaw-droppingly good. Without veering off into the realms of hyper-bole, when Elliott plays, heads turn and people start pinching themselves. As grumpy as I sounded in my lengthy introduction, I believe in credit where it’s due, and the young Mr Morris definitely deserves it.

The most obvious comparison in his style of playing is Newton Faulkner. Yes, using three fancy pick-ups, he can create a big-sounding drum beat by tapping the body of the guitar, whilst simultaneously playing the strings with much precision and grooviness. That’s his style in a nutshell but, having shared quite few gigs with Elliott, I can happily say there’s much more to him; he is not a one-trick pony. The Faulkner comparisons end abruptly, as Lincoln’s own tappy-troubadour arguably possesses better clothes, hair (ginger hippy, anyone?) and, most importantly, songs. When you’ve got over watching the blizzard of hands, it’s impossible to miss the fantastic hit-potential of clever, emotive songs like `Half a Guy` and `Alone in the Dark`. I always chuckle with the line, “I get my order in the wrong words.” He never resorts to just showing off that unique playing style, unless it fits into the song.

Also, the great thing about Elliott is that he’s genuinely friendly. The ability to make a whole crowd swoon might go to many a lesser performer’s head, but Elliot is yet to be tainted by success, groupies or hard drugs. Here’s humbly tipping my guitarist’s cap in recommending that you check Elliott Morris out as quickly as possible. Then, in years to come, when I’m a wrinkly veteran of Kind open mic nights, you can start to tell me one of those stories about legendary guitarists, and I can say “I know, I told you, you fool".

[MP3] Elliott Morris - All I Am
[MYSPACE] Visit Elliott Morris on myspace.
[BUY] Buy Elliott's most recent EP now from his myspace.