Monday, 7 January 2013

New Music Monday #34

Dark Eyes (Album)
by Half Moon Run (2012)


What is it that makes a good album great? Let’s just give one example: Half Moon Run’s debut LP, Dark Eyes. You’d start with a track like ‘Full Circle’, beginning with a simple guitar and then fill it with rich harmonies. You’d move through to a piece of indie pop perfection like ‘Call Me In The Afternoon’, then you’d take your listener on a special journey of folk and rock, throw in some pieces of electronic sounds and reference a whole bunch of other genres in between. It would help if your band consisted of extremely talented multi-instrumentalists like this Canadian trio of Devon Portielje, Conner Molander and Dylan Phillips, who are clearly incredibly comfortable with each other’s talents and instruments and who complement each other perfectly, but for your album to be truly great, you’d need a little bit of dark and sexy like ‘She Wants To Know’ and something to make your listeners gasp, something haunting like ‘Give Up’. Finally, you’d want to find a beautiful contrast between moody lyrics sung as delicious, sweet harmonies. Perhaps you’d finish with a simple, layered song like ’21 Gun Salute’ and some melancholy lyrics “…all your secrets gone”. Yeah, I think that’s what would make a good album great. How do you tell if it’s a great album? When, as soon as the last track is finished, your listener presses play again, ready for another incredible journey. That’s a perfect indicator of the difference between good and great. Half Moon Run know the difference and that’s exactly what their debut album ‘Dark Eyes’ is. Good? No, great.

Jo Michelmore gives Dark Eyes four Kurt Cobain's out of five...

You've Got Something
by The Jungle Giants
EP: She's A Riot (2012)

 The Jungle Giants looks set to cap off a stellar 2012 by scoring one or two places on the JJJ Hottest 100. 'She's A Riot' is pretty much a lock, but new single 'You've Got Something' could be a bit of a dark horse and sneak in with some fan support. It's definitely a good enough song to make the list and it's been around a month since the video was released, so it's fresh in voters minds. If it makes it, great... if not, it's a beast of a track and a ton of airplay must be coming its way. The guitar line and chorus jam themselves in your memory and don't want to budge. This can only mean good things. Take the time to watch the video too, there's some stellar production work on it.

Matt Bond gives 'You've Got Something' four Michael Hutchence's out of five...  


We No Who U R
by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Album: Push The Sky Away (February, 2013)

I just love how the shadow wandering through the trees represents the lost feeling each of us goes through as we walk the journey of life alone. Nah, I'm totally jerking your chain. The only thing that's 'lost' on me is the art in the imagery Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds offer up with the video for new single 'We No Who U R.' Can't say I didn't give interpreting it a fair go though, right? My initial reaction to the video was, "I've already watched The Blair Witch Project once. Never again." Maybe you'll have a different reaction, an epiphany, a perfect moment of clarity. Maybe you'll be just as bored. Whatever you think of the video, I'm sure we can all agree 'We No Who U R' as a song marks a fine and most welcome return for the iconic Cave and Co. Beautiful performance, terrible video.

Matt Bond gives the We No Who U R video two Veronicas out of five...

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