Beyoncé - 4
We swear this isn't an ironic listening. We love Beyoncé and 4. OK, we might unironically skip straight to track 5, 'Party', produced by Kanye West and with rap by Andre3000, because we ain't no stay-home-mums that need all those ballads about being broken hearted and finding the right person. But, after that, the album turns into a beautiful compilation of classic r'n'b, soul and a bit of sweat-inducing booty tracks - not too many though - that sound surprisingly courageous considering the actual state of pop music. And for that, we bow down and hail Queen B. P.S. Get the deluxe version, for those extra couple of amazing tracks.
Bassike
The name of this label has been interpreted in many ways; from 'bass-seekey' to 'base-ike', but the correct way describes exactly what this label is about: BASIC. Bassike delivers easily breezily cut staples with an interesting little twist that keeps them from being your run of the mill. For those that live in climates like that of Australia (where Bassike hails from) or Brazil, you'll know how easy it is to make fashion faux pas when the weather gets hot and the prospect of wearing anything but a bathing suit becomes slightly unappealing; Bassike is all and everything you need.
Game of Thrones
Before watching HBO's Game of Thrones, I assumed the series would tend a bit more towards the blood-dripping Danish movie Valhalla Rising rather than fairy-tale stories a lá 'Lord of the Rings'; and for that I didn't really like the series at the beginning. But slowly, I found myself submitting to tales of bad kings, midget juggernauts, savage warriors and... dragons. And that happened probably because there aren't exactly good guys and bad guys here, like there are in Tolkien stories - and that is, of course, a simplification of his work. Another reason I relented to this series is because of the intriguing political backstage element that leads to the ever-happening dance of thrones. Oh, and did I mention the gratuitous nekkid-ness?
The Norfolk // Sydney, Australia
Of the slew of new spots having opened up in Sydney in the last six months, The Norfolk on Cleveland St in Surry Hills has been one fated with success. Owned by some of the same kids that have brought The Flinders back to life (and currently, it's incredibly quick onset of 'The Norms'), you'll undoubtedly find The Norfolk rammed with all kinds, vying for a bite, a beer and a spot in the garden out back. The aim of the game is to cultivate Aussie pub culture at it's best; and it's doing a pretty decent job so far - if only you could get a table!
Super Sad True Love Story
Super Sad True Love Story is the third book from the writer of the best selling Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart. Incidentally, I read him name dropped in Flavorpill's Ultimate Hipster Reading list and in the same sentence as James Franco (they're buds, apaprently) just before I finished his latest offering. Don't let any of that put you off, or take away any of the sad scary brilliance of Super Sad True Love Story; written from the perspective of one 39 year old Lenny Abramov, son of Russian immigrants and in love with the impossibly cute and cruel Eunice Park. A satire that cuts to the bone, Super Sad True Love Story is exactly it's title. And it's good.
Posts in May 2011
Interview // Metronomy
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HIYA // Joe

 

Joseph Mount is touring. Somewhat more specifically, he's on the side of the road somewhere between Cardiff and Wakefield since he's gotten the driver to pull over. Mount is after all, the brains behind future-classic English quartet, Metronomy. And whilst the band is on tour, they're also in the throes of releasing their third album, The English Riviera.

With two previous LPs, some quiet EPs and a slew of excellent remixes for all kinds of names from Architecture in Helsinki to KD Lang, Metronomy isn't that band who shot to fame with one single, or even within an album release - though with this album, things seem to be gathering more and more steam. The last five years have also included the band being rebuilt as a four piece alongside a steady and organic progression of their musical mettle.

 

The release of The English Riviera sees their debut as a quartet; waving goodbye to original keyboardist/bassist Gabriel Stebbing for his own project (which Mount subsequently produced), to welcome Anna Prior (formerly of Lightspeed Champion, on the drums) and Gbenga Adelekan (bass), in addition to Oscar Cash (guitar) and Mount on keyboard/vocals. Besides finding himself writing for four specific instruments, the unleashing of The English Riviera also marks the first time that Mount has actually ever recorded in a studio. Whilst many bands might flounder or lose their way in this situation, Mount has proven the (technically) impossible equation of 1+1=3: where the result of the equation equals more than the sum of it's parts.

 

Undeniably Mount's best work to date, The English Riviera showcases a more musically confident, complex and developed Metronomy. And as often happens when someone is evolving, Mount found Devon's English coast calling to him. So, the album turned out to be an homage to his hometown in a nostalgic re-imagining of the place he grew up.

 

Who even knew that such a place as the English Riviera existed? Truthfully; the English Riviera of Mount's doesn't. Not really. But with this album, the dreamy ideal of one is so well described that it really feels like somewhere you have to go visit: vibrant and wonderfully odd, as seen through those skewed and unmistakably Metronomy coloured glasses.

 

metronomy

 

Interview after the jump! >>

Flesh Freeze in Bronze by Gwilym Gold
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HIYA // Gwilym

 

Gwilym Gold, formerly of Golden Silvers has teamed up with producer Lexxx (Wild Beasts, Björk) and scientist Mick Grierson to birth a way to be able to play a song (with an app) so that it never sounds the same twice. It's called 'Bronze'.

 

Before we get into that techno-wiz business, let's hear the song first. It's Gwilym's debut solo single, and it's called 'Flesh Freeze'. The only way I've been able to hear it so far is because some kindly person uploaded a live version onto youtube (note: I'm not sure if it happens all the time, but according to Fred Butler, Gwilym also sometimes has Invisible 3's Dave on guitar layering duties when playing live). It's pretty gorgeous:

 

Flesh Freeze (live)

 

Now, being an occasional luddite, I had to turn to Wired for help in explaining exactly what this format is (that, and the fact that I don't actually know how to run the app on my 'intuitive' Mac):

 

"In practical terms, Bronze consists of a volume control, Play/Pause button and the track’s artwork...“Flesh Freeze” is roughly 3 minutes and 30 seconds long...Each play of the track is unique: For example, the lyrics may not be performed in the same order, the drumbeat may be missing or enhanced, the song may begin or end at a different point.

 

Gold notes that the chances of hearing the same version of the track versus the chances of winning the lottery “don’t even compare.” There is no way to capture a previous version — the song exists “in a similar way to a live performance.”

 

If you're less of a technological loser than I, go get the app HERE

 

In the meantime here's some kind of preview of 'Bronze'. Me, I'd be happy listening to that lovely 'Flesh Freeze' as a good ol', same-every-time mp3.

 

Bronze Preview by Gwilym Gold

Gabriella Marina Gonzalez // AW 2011


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The gorgeous Gabriella Marina Gonzalez recently dropped her lookbook for Autumn Winter 2011 entitled 'Sinister Sights in Synthetic Moonlight'. It's a pretty big name to dub the latest in her collections of Clothing For The Emotionally Dispossessed. Whilst not evolving from her previous collection (in fact, it could be an extension of The Cyclop's Apprentice), GMG is nothing if not consistent with her beautiful leatherwork, absolutely massive platform wedges (more simple than she's done before) and spiderwebby knit dress, fit for some woodland fairy warrior type up who was to no good. Check some details below and the full gallery below that:

 

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Is Tropical's The Greeks

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For some reason, I've been blindly passing over Is Tropical's latest release until now. Entitled 'The Greeks', this single dropped mid-April and is taken off of their debut album Native to (due out June the 13th on Kitsuné), which was produced by the band, Jimmy Robertson and part-mixed by Lifelike.

 

I guess I just lost interest for a hot minute there after my vague kind of disappointment with 'South Pacific'. Single 'The Greeks' is much more interesting with it's tension filled, Eastern sounding guitar plucking before it heads into even more angular territory. With droning synths and clanging, discordant instrumentation and a driving beat, this is more like it.

 

Flash Content
- [mp3]

 

They released the video for the single just last week, directed by MEGAFORCE with animation from 7 at Machine Molleand; it's some kind of mash up between the Sandlot Kids and Major Lazer, and every water gun toting brat's imagintation come to life. Hilariously inappropriate (drogues, anyone?) and brutally graphic (if only in cartoon terms), this is pretty awesome. And those little bastards obviously had way too much fun filming it:

 

 

The Greeks by Is Tropical

 

 

Now for the remix, by Moonlight Matters. I kept thinking that I was going to be annoyed by the each breakdown in this, but Moonlight Matters surprised me every time with the unexpected. Driven and built upon by the bassline, Moonlight Matterns turn 'The Greeks' partly into something perfect for an air guitar showcase and partly the kind of affair that I half expected Abba's Agnetha and Frida to chime in with 'Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight'. Good work.

 

Flash Content
- [mp3]

Fanny And Jessy // Tee Shop!
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HIYA // Jessy and Fanny (in Time Out, London)

 

One of my favourite young design duos from London, Fanny and Jessy (formerly known as FAJ) have opened up their Tee Shop for one and all! Responsible for the infamous 'I Hope You Die Soon' tees in collaboration with the ever talented Danny Sangra, the trio's powers combined have come up with a number of other slogan tees that are recognisably FAJ-flavoured (though none (in my opinion) as iconic as 'I Hope You Die Soon)!

 

Shot by Rory DCS, the lookbook perfectly conveys the mood for the tshirts, which also perfectly conveys Fanny and Jessy's London louche style in casual, simple and effortless terms. Regular tees are £35 and customised is £45, choose from cropped, sleeveless or raw neck - so here you go, SUCK IT, YOU FUCKS, now y'all can go get one or all of these.

 

Check the full range HERE and the lookbook in the gallery below the pics:

 

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Coulda Woulda Shoulda

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Sister Act 2 is a classic film. It's like, the ORIGINAL, UNTOUCHABLE Glee steez. There's 'Joyful Joyful', there's Whoopi, there's hardships to overcome and lessons learned. There's of course the amazing Lauryn Hill, heavy ass Timberlands paired with baggy ass jeans and cropped sweaters...and you even got Jennifer Love Hewitt to boot (though thankfully in a weeny role). Aaand none other than Sheryl Lee 'In The Evening' Ralph playing Lauryn Hill's mum who spits out (for my little self at the time) one of the most memorable lines the entire film. It's during the bit when she's getting all up in Rita's face about singing in choir and how singing will NOT put food on the table and all that, and Rita's like, but maaaa, I'm talented! Then Mrs. Watson shuts her down with two hands:

 

"Baby. I know how you feel. Really. I do. But there are a lot of talented people right down there on the streets, singin' their shoulda-coulda-woulda's."

 

And that right there, burned into my impressionable young mind the phrase 'SHOULDA-COULDA-WOULDA". With a neck isolation and a finger snap.

 

So despite getting the order of the words wrong in my mind, Lyrics Born got the deliciously funk and disco-souled throw back of his new single 'Coulda Woulda Shoulda' exactly right. Even though I'm already sucker for Sam Sparro, there's no denying that his vocal was beyond perfect for this one. And the video is cute too. Check it:

 

 

HIYA // Emma Mulholland

 

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Say hiya to the mermaid queen, Emma Mulholland! Freshly graduated from Sydney's TAFE (from which a big chunk of Australian design talent emerge from aaand - here's a tidbit for you - where I dropped out from after 3 months due to extenuating circumstances), Mulholland showed her collection at Fashion Week last month to much fanfare. A favourite from the new generation collections, Mulholland's aesthetic follows in the footsteps of Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett's legendary label, Romance Was Born (with whom she has interned with) in the fact that it's bright, outlandish and not a little bit brilliantly mad. Besides her own work, Mulholland juggles work with doing special custom work with cult streetwear label Ksubi.

 

Before I slam you with the lookbook for her SS 11/12 collection, check this cool teaser film she made featuring her model muse and Australian fashion favourite, Rachel Rutt. The soundtrack is written by the talented Nicky of Van She fame, who turned out a track that I think is absolutely killer - a crying shame that it only lasts 1 minute and 51 seconds.

 

Queen Aurelia

 

 

Her work is very distinct from the usual fare shown at Australian Fashion Week, an incredibly refreshing collection from someone who obviously enjoys tripping out the fantastic in their designs. Balinese friendship bracelets, Aztec prints and references to the unique and rich cultures of the Samburu tribe of Africa as well as the people of Papua New Guinea inform her collection. Though none of that will really describe the very serious fun of her aesthetic, which simultaneously manages to be quite mature and very wearable in it's shapes. Here are some of my favourite looks/pieces, but definitely check out the full gallery below those, because Emma Mulholla-back-girl is one to watch!


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Check the rest of the very cool lookbook in the gallery >>

 

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HIYA // The History of Apple Pie
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HIYA // The History Of Apple Pie

 

You know how when you repeat a word over and over again, it totally loses all meaning? This is a kind of tenuous link to my next point; which is remembering when No Doubt were hitting stride with 'Don't Speak' and thinking that it was such an odd name for a band since I was thinking of it in such literal terms. I of course lost that feeling and meaning when 'Don't Speak' became a classic and No Doubt shot into popular culture and rock star status.

 

Consisting of Stephanie Min (vox), Jerome Watson (guitar), James Thomas (drums), Kelly Lee Owens (bass and backing vox) and Aslam Ghauri (guitar), the name of London based band The History Of Apple Pie gives me a similar feeling to what No Doubt used to. It probably won't make much sense, but the link lies in that I get hungry when I read 'The History of Apple Pie' (because like the early No Doubt days, my brain takes the name literally), and also in the fact that their debut song lends more credibility to their chosen moniker.  

 

The name of their debut single is 'You're So Cool', which is to be released in a month's time. Yet another name of curious taste for sure, but as I said, the track itself is what wins me over. It immediately makes me feel like it might be one of the more deadpan numbers from the soundtrack for Ten Things I Hate About You or some such wonderful teen dreams. Which was bang on in synch to what songwriter Stephanie says of her lyrics.

 

"...I prefer writing about hypothetical, sugar-coated situations, a soundtrack to situations we wish we were in but weren’t really at all; American sounds bursting through grey England. It's more exciting that way."

 

From the sounds of this first track, The History Of Apple Pie are ever so lightly treading in the footsteps of the most excellent Yuck; with influences such as Pavement, Thurston Moore and Elliott Smith being evident. They're playing a few dates around London soon, so we'll see if they've got the charisma to carry it off or not. In the meantime, check the debut single 'You're So Cool' below:

 

  You're So Cool by The History Of Apple Pie

 

2nd June - The Sect @ Catch 22 - London

28th June - White Heat @ Madame Jojos - London

20th July - Indietracks Festival - Derbyshire

6th August - Field Day Festival - London

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