Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Apologies for the break in posts, been sorting lots of stuff out behind the scenes. Am now including alternative links for MP3's (hosted on yousendit) to include the blog in search results on and Hypem, something overlooked previously. Got some fabulous content lined up, stay on board!

Micachu writes complicated but loveable songs about objects and objections. There's a fabulous depth in her tracks, performed/recorded with her backing group The Shapes, that gives her soon-to-arrive debut album Jigsaw tonnes of different facets over multiple listens. Rather super stuff! She lies in a strange middle ground between novelty and seriousness, her songs somehow skipping and stumbling along in a mesh of jarring chords and strange rhythm. Micachu studies composition in London which shines through in this deceptive complexity hidden in her songs. I've posted a fabulous remix of Metronomy's breakthrough single, Radio Ladio, as well as a stream of Micachu's debut single, Golden Phone.

[MP3] Metronomy - Radio Ladio (Micachu Remix)
[YOUTUBE] Watch Micachu play in a Brooklyn warehouse here.
[BUY] Pre-order Micachu's debut here.
[MYSPACE] Visit Micachu on myspace here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

First off I want to introduce La Roux, she's a female synth-pop star from East London, real name Elly Jackson, and takes her name from the French for “red haired one”, in reference to her distinctive hairstyle. La Roux writes heartbreaking, insecure electronic waterfalls of pop songs. She takes angst and bitterness and channels them into something to play while you put your dancing shoes on, ready to get your own heart broken in a dingy club. “You're the upsetter, stroking my hand; what's my position?, I don't understand; am I your possession?, am I in demand?; oh when you turn to me, I'm in the quicksand”. Alongside another hotly tipped synth-pop female, Little Boots, she's set to take 2009 by storm. After dropping her debut single on the tastemaking Kitsune label she's all set to get things pumped up around Easter with her debut LP on Polydor, fresh from coming 5th in the BBC's 'Sound Of 2009' poll.

Next, a competition... We wrote about Esser a while ago, and Transgressive Records have sent some fabulous rare goodies our way to pass on to you! We're giving away a 12" of Esser's last single, Satisfied (featuring remixes from Toddla T and Mad Professor) as well as a couple of membership cards for Esser's fanclub and a bunch of stickers of the fellow himself with which you can plaster your surrounding area. To win this lovely bundle of goodies, just drop us an email telling us what your favourite OTHER Transgressive release is! You've got a few days to get those emails in and then we'll pick a winner at random.

[MP3] La Roux - Fascination
[YOUTUBE] La Roux - In For The Kill
[MIXTAPE] Esser - Midnight Moonstomp Mixtape
[BUY] Pre-order In For The Kill by La Roux here.
[MYSPACE] Visit La Roux on myspace here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

As Fred & Liam get ready to bring you some fabulous photos and interviews from the NME Tour, here's Chez to fill us in on the latest release from wild boy Eugene McGuinness!

If Eugene McGuinness has passed you by without you taking a second glance, it’s time you started to pay the 22 year old Irish/Londoner some well deserved attention. With two releases under his belt, you have no excuse but to search them out. McGuinness uses his talent with words to his advantage, creating fascinating scenarios, occasionally influenced by the backdrop of past experiences, and then adding a dash of the unbelievable and his witty humour which makes you turn the volume to maximum - to the dismay of your neighbours - just to hear his vocal gymnastics pound out the playful words.

His first efforts come in the form of a short 30 minute EP; ‘The Early Learning’s Of Eugene McGuinness’, sweet and instantly enjoyable, however his second offering, the self-titled debut album, is certainly a step forward. Expanding his entourage by taking a band into the studio, it gives the album a much deeper sound, with an array of extra instruments added. There is a complementary mix of songs presented, from slow and romanticised melodies to fast-paced energetic pop fun all within the space of around 40 minutes. Highlights come in the form of ‘Fonz’, the soon to be single containing, without a doubt, the most memorable lyrics on the album, "We said farewell and we synchronized our watches/ Arranged for the meeting of our crotches", a delightful and highly infectious pop masterpiece; and ‘Those Old Black And White Movies Were True’ an astoundingly beautiful piece of music, with McGuinness’ soft crooning voice rising and falling over the words. So if there is one thing you guys should do this week its give this genre-hopping newcomer a listen.

He will be supporting The Rumble Strips on their forthcoming tour in late March/April, and new single Fonz will be released on 23rd February on Domino Records.

[MP3] Eugene McGuinness - Monsters Under The Bed
[YOUTUBE] Watch the video to Fonz here.
[MYSPACE] Visit Eugene on myspace here.
[BUY] Pre-order Fonz here.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

We never quite got caught up in the buzz surrounding The Rakes back in the heady days of 2004/2005, or indulged too heavily in their debut Capture/Release. However, the superb World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect has been slowly lodging itself into our heads over the past few months, alongside the rest of their fantastic sophomore album, Ten New Messages. Which brings us round to today and our discovery of the intriguing concept of Twestival, a kind of twitter-based music collective. I think... Anyway, the important part is that they're got a superb list of artists contributing tracks to download or stream over at Twestival.FM, one of which is this super new jam from The Rakes! You might have read about Twestival over at where they point out one of the most important parts of the project, it's commitment to secure donations to Charity: Water as a way of thanks for all the free music. The charity is "a non-profit [organisation] bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations", something we can't find much fault with. So enjoy the track we've grabbed for you, then head over to the Twestival site and spoil yourself. Go on, it's Sunday... Plus, you're no-one if you're not on Twitter.

[MP3] The Rakes - The Light From Your Mac
[TWESTIVAL] Go to for more info.
[DOWNLOAD] Get more exclusive tracks here.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Bloc Party @ Wolverhampton Civic, 1/2/09. Photo by James Arnold.

Attention! Unbelievers. Fashion victims. Opportunists. Bloc Party are set to play the Engine Shed, Lincoln on October 12th. I was lucky enough to see them this weekend just gone live in Wolverhampton, a stunning reminder of why they're still as important as they were all the way back in 2004/2005. The material from Silent Alarm sitting perfectly alongside the gradual progression past A Weekend In The City to Intimacy. Their Engine Shed show is part of a month long tour coined Bloctober, a name we're still not quite sure on. Still, plenty of opportunities to see band in smaller venues again!

We've got a couple of tracks for you here, both favourites of ours. The first is an early leaked demo of Hunting For Witches from A Weekend In The City. Still featuring the trademark guitar and drum parts, but with some intriguingly different lyrics and a couple of other variations. The second is an early Bloc Party song that was re-recorded in the Silent Alarm sessions with Paul Epworth but ended up being relegated to b-side status. The previous version is available on the band's self titled debut EP, but this recording is far superior. A lost Bloc Party gem if ever there was one! I've also linked to a superb session the band recently did for KCRW's classic 'Morning Becomes Eclectic' show, showcasing a selection of tracks from Intimacy. Video and audio available.

[MP3] Bloc Party - Hunting For Witches (Demo)
[MP3] Bloc Party - The Marshals Are Dead (Paul Epworth Version)
[STREAM] Listen to Bloc Party on KCRW (29/1/09) here.
[PHOTOS] More photos from Wolverhampton Civic here.
[BUY] Buy Bloc Party material here.
[TICKETS] Buy tickets to Bloc Party @ Engine Shed, Lincoln here.
[WEB] Visit Bloc Party online here.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

See, the tricky one here is there's not really much to say about Pete Doherty himself. Tabloid villain, one of the driving forces behind the English music scene's reaction to The Strokes, addict, songwriter. He's a man so buried beneath stories of artistry and debauchery that it's seemingly impossible to comment on the real man himself. Our Iron Lung was invited to a premier of "24 Hours With Pete Doherty", an MTV documentary on the man himself, but yet another in a long line of various delves into Pete's life. We declined, but we hear it's pretty super.

Now then, Pete Doherty is set to play the Engine Shed on Tuesday 17th of March in support of his forthcoming solo album, "Grace/Wasteland". A rather swell title if ever there was one. We've been lucky enough to get hold of some songs from Pete's new album, courtesy of the folks over at Clash Magazine. Two gorgeous numbers in Lady Don't Fall Backwards and Broken Love Story, very similar to the softer parts of each Babyshambles album, further detached from his work with The Libertines. The real gem however is Last Of The English Roses, a superb clanging-drum driven rabble rouser of a tune. The Gorillaz-reminiscent intro dropping into strummed guitar and some wrenchingly impassioned lyrics. If the rest of the album manages to strike a balance between the flavour of these three tracks, we're in for a treat indeed. Pete's best output since The Libertines split? Almost certainly.

[MP3] Pete Doherty - Last Of The English Roses
[MP3] Pete Doherty - Lady Don't Fall Backwards
[MP3] Pete Doherty - Broken Love Story
[TICKETS] Buy tickets for Pete Doherty @ Engine Shed here.