Monday, June 22, 2009

Perfection As A Hipster

Stuart Murdoch from Belle & Sebastian is a pretty busy fellow. Between releasing some of the best twee-pop of the last decade, he's also working on a musical project known as God Help The Girl. While it is eventually hoped to emerge as a fully blown musical screenplay, so far it is represented by stand-alone album God Help The Girl. Performed by a collective of the same name and fronted by various girls found through a "talent search" style process by Murdoch, the album takes a couple of reworked B&S originals and places them alongside fresh material. Drawing it's influences from "sixties’ girl groups, eighties’ indie and, most of all, classic pop records" it as an album that takes the sound of earlier Belle & Sebastian material and twists it, injecting it with new life and soul through it's distinct narrative. Judging by Stuart Murdoch's fantastic choice of art direction on the album and singles, we can only hope that his screenplay vision eventually comes to fruition. For now you can listen to the LP on Spotify or purchase from next Monday.

Elsewhere on the internet today is a lovely new song from Noah & The Whale's forthcoming sophomore LP, as well as the delicious new jam from Air France over at our friends Neon Gold.

[MP3] God Help The Girl - Funny Little Frog
[SPOTIFY] Listen to the full album here on Spotify.
[WEBSITE] Check out GHTG's site for some fantastic video interviews.
[READ] The album is reviewed by Marc Hogan over at Pitchfork.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just Keep Talking

It's becoming rather well known that we've got a habit of falling completely in love with labels over here at Our Iron Lung. First it was Transgressive, now it's Neon Gold. Their solid gold hit parade has been relentless; from Passion Pit through Marina & The Diamonds to Yes Giantess, it's an unrelenting pedigree.

Next out of the stable is this incredible debut from Wolf Gang. We were lucky enough to grab a listen to this a few months ago and were suitably blown away. Their performance alongside Yes Giantess at Great Escape was a incendiary highlight, as was their show at Dot To Dot in Nottingham. This doesn't grab you by the balls from the first note in as much as Neon Gold's other stuff, it's a slow builder of a song. But my god, by the time it explodes in the chorus it's a fully blown singalong gem. We were blasting this out on the way down to Dot To Dot back at the end of May, windows down and shades on, reveling in its luxurious aural folds. Golden.

Via the Neon Gold Beat Company.

[MP3] Wolf Gang - Pieces Of You - (Alt Link)
[MYSPACE] Check out Wolf Gang on myspace.
[PRE-ORDER] Grab their debut exclusively from Puregroove.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You Can Dance, So Just Show Them

We Have Band dropped some brilliant tunes at the Post War Years show we went to last week at The Lexington. They're following up their superb debut single Oh! released late last year on Kitsune with the equally infectious You Came Out. The video for the new single has been created by Wieden + Kennedy who are responsible for all those classic Honda ads, as well as the less-than-effective Nokia Comes With Music campaign. It's clear that once you let them play around though they come up with some insane stuff. Watch it. Fall in love. Paint your face.

[MYSPACE] Visit We Have Band on myspace.
[PRE-ORDER] Grab the single from Puregroove.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I'm Not Calling You A Liar

The hype has hit the roof and Florence Welch has emerged as the perfect female antibody to La Roux or Little Boots 80's electro-pop revival. We grabbed a quick first listen to her debut album Lungs earlier and thought you might like to know what Florence has in store come July 6th.

SIDE A: Dog Days Are Over starts off as a frighteningly simple guitar line with Florence's vocals defining themselves early on before booming drums come crashing down into the mix. Endorphin inducing stuff. Following smoothly in, our love for current single Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) is well documented. In an album context it fits perfectly, an early showcase of Florence's potential for storming radio-friendly tunes. "I'm not calling you a liar, just don't lie to me, I'm not calling you a thief just don't steal from me" sings Florence in typical velveteen tones at the opening of Lung's first non-single track I'm Not Calling You A Liar. Flanked by simple piano and harp, it's a slower burning track than the previous two, but not quite carried enough by Welch's voice to justify its place on the album. Howl follows with dry drums underneath a bridge desperately panted past Florence's lips. Again, her voice reaching heights that, while impressive, somehow feel predictable. Back into familiar territory Kiss With A Fist brings memories of summer 2008 rushing back, it's newly produced iteration wallowing gloriously in frantic guitar and simpler percussion. Girl With One Eye showcases previously unheard facets of Florence's voice due to it's sparse nature, deliciously primitive.

SIDE B: One of the more interesting beats on the album suitably introduces previously unheard track Drumming, a fantastically off kilter number, brimming with energy. Another non-single track but not the worst for it, Between Two Lungs follows the now familiar template of leaving space between the instrumentation for Florence's voice to soar, carrying suitably ethereal and dreamy vocal lines high in the mix. Cosmic Love is more akin to her current single than the rest of the album, borrowing even more heavily from Bat For Lashes than the rest of the album; cascading drums building up to an orgasmic ending framed by sounds of fireworks and gentle harp scales. From the highpoint of Cosmic Love, My Boy Builds Coffins starts with a driving bassline intertwined effortlessly with some afro-pop guitar parts, sorely lacking in strong chorus though. Hurricane Drunk is somehow instantly forgettable, a worrying lapse in an otherwise constant level of songwriting throughout the album. Building slowly over plucked violins, Blinding has a refreshingly less defined structure compared to other tracks on the album and is perhaps the most "experimental" track on the album.

With a sharp intake of breath it is over; 12 tracks of partially delicate, partially storming pop. While not quite living up to the promise shown in her first few singles, Florence Welch has crafted an album of undeniably bright sunshine pop laced through with enduring charm.

[PREVIOUSLY] Read our interview with Florence here.
[MYSPACE] Visit Florence & The Machine on myspace.
[PRE-ORDER] Pre-order Lungs from Amazon.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Sky Has Yet To Fall Down

Post War Years play surprisingly digestible math rock which we've been fans of since about 2005, seriously. They played an album launch at Lexington in London on Tuesday night, and we went along to take it in. Sporting some incredibly floppy hair, they move around the stage with overwhelming energy, smiles all round. Compared to the production values on their debut album, they come across surprisingly well live. Clear synths slicing through angular guitar and strong drums, layered with impassioned vocals and distinctive basslines. Add to their great live show the fact that Lexington is such a fantastic venue to spend the evening in, and you're on to a winning combination.

[MP3] Post War Years - Whole World On It's Head - (Alt Link)
[INTERVIEW] Read my interview with the band at Platform.
[SPOTIFY] Stream their debut album on Spotify.
[MYSPACE] Visit Post War Years on myspace.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Next Thing We're Touching

Photo by Lucy Bridger.

James Jacob otherwise known as Jakwob, is a Lincoln/Leicester based musician and producer. As well as dropping some incredible original material, he's been garnering heaps of attention for his work on stunning remixes for the likes of Frankmusik, Thomas Jules, and Lilly Allen. We've got a taste of his (arguably) finest output to date to download in the form of his freshly unveiled take on Ellie Goulding's future smash pop hit Starry Eyed. Jakwob takes Ellie's ethereal vocals and tumbles them together with some heavy bass and glitches, coming together in an incredible synergy of heaven and deep resonant hell. Boom!

[EXCLUSIVE MP3] Ellie Goulding - Starry Eyed (Jakwob Remix)
[BUY] Grab Jakwob's remix of Get Close To Me by Thomas Jules at iTunes.
[MYSPACE] Hear more from Jakwob on his myspace.
[BLOG] Check out Jakwob's blog here.
[TWITTER] Follow Jakwob on twitter