Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Oh Wonder - Heart Hope

Let’s take a look at some of the comments on Oh Wonder’s Soundcloud for Heart Hope, their latest and last song that they have uploaded to the world wide web for their one year project to write, record and release one song every month:

“For fucksake. How is everything you guys make perfect?”

“Prettiest song yet, no question.”

“Best song, to end the best year of my life. Thank you Oh Wonder.”

“Can your music be any more perfect. Damn, you guys are so good!”

“This makes me want to cry, and then make pancakes.”

And that’s just the start of them.

When Ant and Jospehine started this project they surely could have had no idea of how people in different parts of the world, via the power of the internet, would fall for their music and find their homespun tunes so touching and so easy to relate to. But they have. And now this Friday there’s an album. It will be an odd one, because if you’ve been following Oh Wonder, you’ll already know exactly what to expect. 

Next are the gigs. Of course Ant and Josephine have played live many times before, but never together, and never with this huge surge of love from people who have embraced their songs. The shows are going to be incredibly exciting for everyone involved. We’re expecting a few tears to be shed  at their first gig - well, from this blogger anyway - on the  16th September at London’s ICA , which is completely sold out. 

If you haven't ordered the album yet, treat yourself and click here, but before that, if you haven't heard it yet, listen to Heart Hope, a wonderfully positive hug of a song. Sometimes, when the world's a bit shitty, when everything's getting on top of you, when everyone around you seems to be doing things bigger, better and more successful than you, it's important to have someone tell you that they love you. That's what we get from this song. Let it kiss your ears.

Oh Wonder - Heart Hope

Monday, 31 August 2015

Should We Go And See Sufjan Stevens At End Of The Road Festival?

When this year’s End of the Road Festival line-up was announced, our Twitter feed was full of people we follow tweeting with pant wetting OMG excitement about 1 thing: Sufjan Stevens. We follow a fair few people on the 140 character message social network site who probably consider themselves as ‘serious’ music fans and it seemed that for the vast majority of them this was live music reaching an emotional and orgasmic pinnacle; like their version of One Direction announcing a new tour. 

Now let’s be clear – we hate the concept of ‘serious’ music fans. Today the Line of Best Fit website posted this article, talking of how End of the Road consisted of “a brilliantly bizarre clash of musical delights filled with curveball surprise and careful regard for quality and the serious music fan.” Now let’s look at that article. There’s a picture there, which we assume was taken at a past End of the Road. Do those people look serious? Do they look like they are wallowing in depth and careful consideration? 

No; they look like they’re having fun. They’ve got big smiles on their faces. They’re enjoying themselves. Hurrah. ‘Serious music fans’ in not so serious now shocker.

You see, ‘serious’ music fans is a term that is frankly bollocks. What we think the term is trying to convey when used by music journalists is people with a certain sort of taste – a taste like their own, that has developed from having a longer, refined, deeper relationship with music over time, rather than a more casual / easy approach to listening. It’s the sort of taste that festivals like End of the Road Festival cater for, rather than say V Festival with a bill that includes the likes of Olly Murs, Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris. 

But what if we happen to like Ellie Goulding? (We do).  Can we no longer be deemed a ‘serious music fan’ because of our taste? Even if we listen to music in virtually every moment of the day we can, have been to thousands of gigs and over seventy festivals, have purchased thousands of albums and constantly obsess over music in the way that most men obsess over sex. Does that not makes us a 'serious music fan'? What if Sufjan Stevens doesn’t really do anything for us? (He doesn't - his songs are pleasant enough, but they don't move us in any way). Does it mean that we’re cast out of the elite club simply for having a different emotional connection to certain songs? 

If we are, well we’re fine with that. We prefer the term ‘passionate music fans’, or ‘knowledgeable music fans’ or maybe ‘well informed music fans,’ to ‘serious music fan’. If being a serious music fan means that we can only listen to artists deemed to be worthy by the music police, then we’re out. Everyone has different tastes – and that’s cool – but just because someone loves One Direction, Ellie Goulding, Little Mix and Justin Beiber, doesn't necessarily make them any less ‘serious’ about the music they love than someone who adores Sufjan Steven’s records. 

So will we be watching Sufjan at End of the Road? Possibly, yes. We’re interested to see if, as so many fans of his suggest, that his ‘sad ornate world’ will move us in the flesh. We're also interested in seeing how the songs from his new record, which is clearly a very personal and introspective piece, work on a main stage at a festival - a place that lacks those 2 characteristics of the album. And if it doesn’t move or engage with us, well there’s always the DJ in the forest. Maybe we can go and ask him to play some Ellie Goulding?

Sufjan Stevens - No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross

Jean Michel Jarre & Little Boots - If..! (Video)

It was with some sense of nervous trepidation that we pressed play on the new collaboration between Little Boots and Jean Michel Jarre. Little Boots is the artist we've written more about than any other on this blog and with Jarre, albums like Oxygene, Equinox, Zoolook, Magnetic Fields and Rendez-Vous hold a very special place in our heart. Kraftwerk is often held up as being the pioneering band of all the early electronic acts, but the sounds, textures and ideas that Jarre was using as far back as 1976 also still resonate today. Maybe Jarre isn’t talked about in such revered tones as Kraftwerk because he wasn’t considered as ‘cool’ as Kraftwerk? 

Well f*ck ‘cool’, f*ck whatever preconceived ideas you have of Jarre or even Little Boots (it seems some that some Jarre purists are a little upset about this song because for them, it’s too poppy and features vocals), because as far as we’re concerned If..! is a rather excellent piece of pop music. It sounds like Chvrches with an extra shot of extra bubble gum flavour, and frankly that’s no bad thing. Well done everyone involved. 

No idea about the video though.

Jean Michel Jarre - If..!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Kacy Hill - Foreign Fields (Video)

We tweeted about this song a few days ago, but at the time were unable to post the track on the blog because the video was exclusive to Now, here at Breaking More Waves we really don’t care for exclusives / premieres or the like. We’ve explained why before (have a read here, item number 3 – but in summary we have no aspirations for the blog to be ‘big’ ‘popular’ or achieve ‘success’ in the way that others define success - that should be obvious from the way the blog looks), but the music industry, being an industry, and therefore competitive, has brainwashed itself into thinking that it needs exclusives to be ‘winning’ the competition. 

However, thankfully now the exclusivity period is over and we’re able to stream Foreign Fields by Kacy Hill on the blog for your listening pleasure. You might remember Kacy from around a year ago when she released her first song Experience and we wrote a post that managed to cover the subjects of spaghetti bolognaise, butt cheeks and freckles as well as the music. That post (and the subsequent tweet we put out about the post) got us into a little bit of trouble with some of the moral custodians / judgers of the internet, which was rather ironic as the post was (in its own warped way about music) about how people often make judgements without knowing the whole story, and in that particular case the custodians / judgers admitted that they hadn’t  1. Read the whole article to get context and see that it wasn't just about the physical appearance of a woman - and 2. Tried to understand / ask questions to clarify before making their judgement.

But irrespective of if you remember Experience or that post, if you haven’t heard Foreign Fields yet, we command you to do so. Ok, that’s a bit assertive, but really, it’s worth your time, so pretty please press play. 

Foreign Fields is produced by Jack Garratt and you can almost instantly recognise his signature production style. The track starts with a very minimal, piano led downtempo experimental groove, but it doesn’t stand still with that. Instead it creeps forward towards a rhythmic frenzy that lifts the song off to the stars – maybe, just maybe, a place that Kacy is heading for? After all with Rankin directing the video and connections with Kanye West, Kacy has a head start of most fledgling potential pop stars.

Kacy Hill - Foreign Fields