Monday, 26 August 2013

New Music Monday #66

Tie That Binds (EP) 
by The Hello Morning (September 2013)

When I saw The Hello Morning at BIGSOUND Live last year, I remember really liking them. I remember thinking at the time that I wanted to hear more and I wanted to see more. Like, not literally more of The Hello Morning, there's already six of them, but more of what they could do. Their self titled debut album released last year was one I grew to love, so when I got my hands on a copy of their latest EP Tie That Binds, I must admit, I was pretty darn happy. I couldn't wait to see what it was and where it took me. I wasn't prepared for how much I was going to love it and the beautiful places it took me to.

One of my favourite places to listen to music is in my car, so it seemed like the perfect place to hear The Tie That Binds first. I started the engine, put on the CD and was immediately overcome with a feeling of happy and a smile. At the very first notes of the first track; 'Tie That Binds' was a sound that had me hooked. The swinging beat, the twangy guitar, the intense vocals; this was a sound I was comfortable with and my car was the perfect place to hear it. It immediately had me nodding and clamouring to turn the volume up, this was a song made to be heard and made to be played loudly. It took me straight to happiness, I knew from this first track I was going to love wherever I ended up next. I was so very tempted to hit repeat, but then it started, track two...

"How did I ever run so long by myself?" is the question posed at the start of 'Stay Awake' and the deep, solid drumbeats at the start were enough keep me listening and see where else these fabulous musicians were going. They took me to long drives and open roads and they took me a place completely by myself, where I got a little lost in the melody and a little lost in my own thoughts. I love music that does that, I love songs that ebb and flow and allow me to be lost until the end. I was jolted back to truth and the reality of driving with the opening line of track three; "age doesn't make you smarter, just gives you more time to regret..." but it was a line that made me wonder where the six band members; Steven, Matthew, Dave, Joe, David and Matt were headed to next. I'm going to admit when I saw them play late last year I was bewildered by the amount of band members, I was sure they could maybe lose one or two and still be awesome, but 'The Closer' proved that every single member is important, the sound of each of them so strong and so rich, so many instruments layered upon each other makes for an incredibly energetic yet solid song. The sudden ending of track three had me wondering where they could possibly end an already awesome EP. The end was a place I wasn't ready for but fell in love with completely.

I had no idea the impact 'Jackson' was going to have. A cover of Johnny Cash and June Carter's incredible tale of a couple longing for more from their relationship, this is the song that got me, right how music should. I literally stopped my car in the dark and listened to this three times in a row and I've done the same countless times since. From the tingles on the back of my neck to the goosebumps on my fingertips, The Hello Morning's version of this beautifully heartbreaking tale is breathtaking. With guest vocalist Ali Barter starting the converstaion, the restrained instruments are a departure from the rest of the EP and it's the incredible vocal play of the smooth, delicate voice of Ali's against the slightly husky and heartfelt vocal of Steve Clifford that really make an imapct. If you get to the three minute mark and haven't felt your heart beat a little slower and your eyes get a little watery then listen again. And again. And again...until you get it. This is what beautiful, honest music sounds like. I don't know where Jackson is, but if it's where The Hello Morning are going to be hanging out, then I'm going to Jackson and I ain't ever comin' back.

Jo Michelmore gives 'The Tie That Binds' five Michael Hutchence heads out of five...

I'll Wait
by Bebe Black
EP: Deathwish (out now)

Who is Bebe Black? This new Brit talent is something of a mystery right now, but the track ‘I’ll Wait’ promises big things are coming her way. “Didn’t take the test that I was supposed to, didn’t turn up when I know that I was meant to.” A moody, atmospheric intro builds and builds towards the chorus, with Black showing off some gorgeous vocal skills. There’s something incredibly appealing about ‘I’ll Wait’ and I think that very soon we’re going to be finding out a whole lot more about this Bebe Black.

Matt Bond gives 'I'll Wait' three Kylie heads out of five...

by Nine Inch Nails
Album: Hesitation Marks (September 3, 2013)

What is going on here? While I feel like a little part of the angry teenage me has been lost forever, I feel like the party pop teenage me is really happy and jumping about quite excitedly. This is certainly not what I expected from Trent and friends as the latest NIN release, but, well, while it's not amazingly great, it's also not bad either. I can't believe I'm about to compare the Nine Inch Nails to some of pop's princesses, but like the Gaga/Katy Perry releases of last week, this is another case of not worrying about what an artist has done before and just listening to the track as a track, on it's own. On their own; Gaga and Katy's tracks are perfectly reasonable pop music. On it's own, 'Everything' is a very listenable, almost danceable track. I could tap away to this in the car, I could sing along to this on the radio. It might even be a nice introduction to NIN for those who don't know much about the history of Trent and his projects, but if you know someone who doesn't know NIN and likes this, then just don't play them anything Mr Reznor has done between, let's say...1989 and 2012 until they're prepared for what they're going to hear.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Everything' three Karen O heads out of five...


Rock N Roll
by Avril Lavigne
Album: Avril Lavigne (27th August 2013)

HOW OLD ARE YOU?! Seriously. Does Mrs. Kroeger ever age? Av-Lav is back with another new single showing that she does what she wants, 'coz she don't, but she does or something and you know what... I secretly like the catchy little chorus that is kinda more satisfying than anything offered up on Katy Perry and Gaga's new tracks. It's the type of chorus I'd unashamedly sing along to really loud like when driving until another car was within sight. As for the video, I can't deny it made me smile. A Billy Zane cameo here, a Winnie Cooper there... it's just silly fun. The Wonder Years gag isn't new, but it worked and Avril's overacting was slightly endearing. Gotta love that slow Canadian drawl too. Who would have thought I'd be putting 'Avril Lavigne and 'endearing' together in a review in 2013? A nod to Slash came out of nowhere, but you get over that when the Bear Shark shows up. Screw it, I'm putting up a middle finger with Avril Lavigne. Haters be damned, this ain't so bad...

Matt Bond gives 'Rock N Roll' three Britney heads out of five...

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