Category Archives: Features

Five A Day: Stray Kites.

Stray Kites

Stray Kites‘ Junior Roseboro takes us on a journey through his five favourite albums:

House of Freaks Cakewalk

House of Freaks - Cakewalk

A fantastic record by a fantastic band. House of Freaks was a duo from Virginia. I like them because their music was really simple and catchy. The vocals were confident, but emotional and the way Bryan Harvey played guitar showed a lot of unique basslines, chords, and melodies that all fit together to make a great songs. This album also houses some interesting percussion and rhythms which inspire me to come and experiment with beats for something different in my songs.

Destroyer  – Kaputt

Destroyer - Kaputt

Like many, my first introduction to Dan Bejar’s music was informal. He was introduced to me through the indie supergroup The New Pornographers’ album Mass Romantic. Since then I’d always make sure to keep an eye on him. When Kaputt was released I downloaded it from mediafire… sad but true. It stayed in my ipod, just consuming space, until the song ‘Blue Eyes’ played on shuffle in the car. After that God blessed moment my love for Destroyer skyrocketed. Eventually bought it on vinyl too. Three cheers for ambient disco; three cheers for cryptic poetry over hypnotizing sax; and three cheers for revamped 80’s jazz fusion.

Heathers  – Here, Not There

Heathers - Here, Not There

This band is a duo as well. I really like the album because it’s full of high energy guitar, interesting lyrics, and great melodies and rhythms. Another Plan-It-X Records gem. They can really wail and their lyrics are catchy, but not corny. Cryptic? The band’s almost got a hint of poppyness to their sound; however, they’re solid in their folkpunk approach to it.

Dance Gavin Dance – Dance Gavin Dance

Dance Gavin Dance - Dance Gavin Dance

2008 was a quite a terrific year for music. Los Campesinos and Heathers came hard with their debuts, The Dodos with Visiter, Zach Hill’s Astrological Straits, and Parenthetical Girls with Entanglements. Dance Gavin Dance was no exception. They had just undergone a major lineup change losing their guitarist, Sean O’Sullivan, and vocalist, Jonny Craig. Even though he’s kind of over-rated in that genre of music it was kind of a big deal. Looking back it’s hard to say if this was their best record, but it definitely has the most passion, virtuoso, and wit.

The Dodos – Visiter

The Dodos - Visiter

I’m not writing on duos on purpose… they’re just truly talented. Much too often people will say things to us like “Oh, you sound like Noah and The Whale meets The Dodos meets Mumford and Sons.” They mean it as a complement and I do understand why they say it, but to be completely honest, we don’t particularly like Mumford and Sons or Noah and The Whale. On the other hand, The Dodos mean a great deal to me, specifically because it was lent to me by my very best friend. Full of jaw dropping beats, yelps, and fingerpicking. It’s really an A+ album and I’m forever grateful was recommended.

From Joe Abbitt.

Sucking Lemons.


Five A Day: Braids.

Braids talk us through their five favourite albums of all time:

Miles Davis – Miles Smiles

I think on that record Ron Carter and Tony Williams really capture the essence of jazz music and what its suppose to be, like a primal interaction between musicians, and they do it in such a solid way that gives everyone in the rest of the group a lot of freedom to improvise freely and play exactly what they want. I think it’s a really open record and there’s so much fire and passion on it which so many records lack nowadays. I think a big part of that is the introduction to computers and the removal of actual human nature; and it’s a live record, in the studio, like one take per track. It’s just really really fiery.

Animal Collective – Feels

I love that record, I’m sure you can tell. When I discovered it for the first time it was kind of a right of passage that music could be that way, it’s kind of actualising a lot of the things I’ve heard in my head for years and emotions that I’d never really felt before that I always thought I could feel. It’s saying you can go ahead and do that, play music like that and have one hundred parts layered on top of one another and yet still have the vocal point; it’s very orchestral in that way. I mean if you listen to classical music there’s tonnes of instruments all at once yet you can always pick out the melody and animal collective are beautiful like that, they always create a lush environment yet the focus isn’t always there.

Buena Vista Social Club – Buena Vista Social Club

That record means a lot to me, growing up; It’s the soundtrack to my Sunday brunch that I had with my parents all the time, and just gives a really homey feeling. I think when rye coooda produced it he really captured the essence of Cuba and my dad knows a lot of Cubans that say ever since then Cuban music has been deteriorating, it’s becoming more north American and there isn’t really a good Afro-Cuban music scene anymore and that was one of the last to capture of the essence of Cuban music.

Talking heads – Remain In Light.

Another super textured record, with tonnes and tonne s of parts that once again my dad showed me, and again it was putting into play a lot of things I’ve been hearing in my head. I love the sort of loose yet super tight grooves that Tina Weymouth and the drummer from Talking Heads create. It’s a similar thing to Miles Smiles, they create these really deep pockets and these really chugging groves that there’s so much authority that everyone else can do what the hell they want on top. And I love David Byrnn’s vocals on that record.

Azeda Booth – In Flesh Tones.

This record screams friendship to me, and it was made by my friends in my home town too. The only thing left there for us is our friends, there’s not much of an art scene there which is why we moved away. Calgary is just a place of friends to us, and I loved how they produced it all themselves.

From Richard Mutimer

Sucking Lemons.

Five a Day: Young Rebel Set.

Young Rebel Set talk us through their Five favourite albums of all time…

Arcade FireFuneral
From the opening chiming piano riff of ‘Neighbourhood 1 (Tunnels)’ to the swirling lone string lines of ‘In The Backseat’ that close the album, you could say Arcade Fire have produced the finest collection of songs to ever come out of Canada. You could argue that the lyrical content is a little sombre and morose at times but I’d say that it seems more heartfelt and personal that they’ve written about issues that are close to them. And to be fair, some of the melodies are so grand and uplifting that, depressing lyrics or not, you can’t help but feel uplifted and impassioned to the core when listening to it in its entirety. A great piece of work.
Stephen FretwellMagpie
I think what sets Fretwell apart from other solo acoustic artists is the fact he doesn’t mess about with unneeded instrumentation that just over-complicate tracks. Magpie is simple yet effective in it’s songwriting and production. Anything that’s not needed isn’t on there, it’s not convoluted or bogged down with unnecessary self-indulgent musicianship. The album has a very laid-back spontaneity to it; as though Fretwell ushered a few friends into the studio and went about recording a bunch of love songs in effortless fashion that even now would be hard to match, especially in this current climate of uninteresting singer-songwriters. To me, Magpie is flawless in its rawness.
Paul SimonGraceland
Even after about my hundredth listen to Graceland, I’m still no further forward in decoding the lyrics so I can’t really comment on the incomprehensible content. However, the music and melodies instantly caught my attention on my first listen. When I originally heard those accordion chords press out on ‘The Boy In The Bubble’  I was instantly hooked even though the first song I heard was ‘You Can Call Me Al’ which still after all these years is exciting every time you listen to it. I know this album is shrouded in controversy behind the scenes with lawsuits about plagiarism and accusations of exploitation but from an outsider’s point of view, and to just listen to it, it’s simply fun and brilliant and on its release was musically rather different. An extraordinary album.
Bruce Springsteen The River
Although The River hasn’t got as many anthems as say Born In The USA, it’s got everything you need to know about The Boss and his blue-collar take on life through a double album of the highest quality. His song-writing on this album is second-to-none and the themes and emotions that he conveys through songs like ‘The River’ and ‘Point Blank’ are still as relevant today as they were some 30 odd years ago when they were spawned out of sessions after Darkness On The Edge Of Town – another great album that stands up very close to The River.
Fleetwood MacRumours
There’s not much to say about this album that hasn’t already been said. It is simply, in my opinion, the best album ever made. The lyrics. The songs. The melodies. AND the blend of the harmonies, all unmatched in their perfection. Every song on Rumours could be a single. You can only say that about a handful of albums ever made. I’m not sure what it was that made them write the perfect album. Whether it was caused by, or in spite of, the emotional despair at the band’s intertwining relationships; the break-ups between partnerships; the million dollar drug addictions; the fact that all 5 band members could spill their souls through words and music and lay their hearts bare. But whatever it was, worked and to an absolutely magnificent standard. Rumours will forever be held in the highest musical regard, and rightly so. A compelling masterpiece, to say the least.

From Oli

Sucking Lemons.

Five A Day: Benjamin Francis Leftwich.

Massive new talent Benjamin Francis Leftwich talks us through his five favourite albums of all time.

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Out of all the electronic labels of the moment, from the trend setting Young Turks, to the avante garde Tri Angle, and the club rocking Sound Pellegrino, there is one which time and time again comes out trumps – the intricate sounds of the Cologne based KOMPAKT.

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Five a Day: Guerre.

Rising Australian producer Guerre talks to us about his five favourite LPs, check it:

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Five a Day: The Darlingtons.

Broody rockers The Darlingtons talk us through their five favourite albums.

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Festivals: Rockness Preview.

Rockness, or as it has been christened by it’s organisers ‘the most beautiful festival in the world’ returns for a sixth year on the banks on Loch Ness on the 10th, 11th and 12th of June. While I’ve not been to every festival in the world to compare it to, I can safely say that very few can compare to Rockness in terms of pure jaw dropping, scenic beauty. However a gorgeous Loch means very little if the festival does not have the music to go with it. Fortunately Rockness has again delivered an eclectic and exciting line up, full of international renowned dj’s and bands.

Here is Sucking Lemons’ guide to the must see acts of the weekend. Continue reading

Five a Day: Milk Kan.

London boys Milk Kan have decided their five favourite albums for us, here’s who they chose and why.

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Five a Day: Weekend.

Noisey shoegazers Weekend took some time to talk us through their five favourite records, here are the results: Continue reading