shelleyhanveywriter

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From Bombay to Louisiana, via Manchester; my top music picks of the week

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In honour of my favourite season: that of the summer holiday,  I have compiled a selection of hot and hazy tracks worthy of inclusion in any First Class music lounge…so sit back,  put on your fuzzy felt eye mask and allow yourself to be whisked away from Bombay to Louisiana, via Manchester.

Bombay Bicycle Club, Shuffle

A Different Kind of Fix‘ is the upcoming third album from London-based alternative folk-rock band Bombay Bicycle Club. ‘Shuffle is the first track to be released from the album, which follows on August 29th, 2011. Following the acoustic and accolade-laden offering of second album, ‘Flaws‘, the four-piece have returned to their electric-stringed roots, whilst never straying too far from their trademark blissful electronic- folk leanings. The soaring and atmospheric synth sounds of ‘Shuffle‘ are the perfect soundtrack to a lazy day on a sundrenched beach, or indeed a lazy afternoon indoors after getting drenched down your local high street…this is the ‘great British summer’ after all.

Michelle Branch, Loud Music

My love for Michelle Branch all started in Season 6, Episode 8 of one of my favourite TV series, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘. Branch makes an appearance at the end of the highly emotive episode, to perform her track ‘Goodbye to You‘ as Giles leaves for England, Tara leaves Willow and Buffy leaves her senses, embarking on a doomed affair with resident badboy vamp Spike. I loved the track and Branch’s raspy and powerful country-tinged vocals, so I set about researching the artist and have never looked back. After two top selling albums, ‘The Spirit Room‘ and ‘Hotel Paper‘, Branch moved in a more defined country direction to form a duo with friend and fellow musician, Jessica Harp; The Wreckers. But now, fresh from putting down roots both family and home, she is back with the perfect summertime roadtrip track ‘Loud Music.’

The track documents the history of a relationship, starting with the first meeting and going through all of the highs and occasional lows, all the while using artists such as Hendrix and Zeppelin as flags or pinpoints throughout the narrative. Branch has always managed to successfully translate her great love of music through her own lyrics and regularly cites her influences through this medium. So if a destination only reachable via a trip down a few dusty highways is more your idea of a perfect holiday, then be sure to wind the windows down and blast out this perfect slice of American pop-rock.

The Travelling Band, Sundial

I recently reviewed Friends of Mine Festival for eFestivals.co.uk and had the pleasure of catching a performance by The Travelling Band whilst I was there. Cited as the best folk band to emerge from Manchester, the five-piece performed their upcoming single ‘Sundial‘ which was definitely a hit with the somewhat windswept and watery crowd. The orchestral splendour of this track cannot be underestimated and is truly addictive; I think this band will be filling headline slots on the folk circuit very soon. It’s nice to see some local folkies flying the flag for the genre up North.

Patrick Wolf, House

Patrick Wolf intrigues me; he is an intriguing character, one that you could listen to and watch for hours almost as if in a daze. His vocals intrigue me; the depth of his tone commands that you listen and his lyrics command that you hear. He cites poets and speaks romantic declarations and all of this set against an epic and enticing melody. I’ve said enough, I implore you listen and you start with ‘House.’

Friendly Fires, Hawaiian Air

Pala‘ is the recently released second album from alternative dance trio, Friendly Fires. ‘Hawaiian Air‘ is the second track to be released from the album. This band just keep going from strength to strength and have just this week released more dates on their biggest headlining tour of the UK, coming in the autumn. With its holiday flight-inspired music video, ‘Hawaiian Air‘ is all set to be the scorching hit of the summer radio waves. The rest of the album is just as good I might add, so I’d definitely recommend that it feature on your holiday pool-side playlist.

Britney Spears, I Wanna Go

Ah, Britney. Where do I start…well, I’m a huge fan and have loved every track that the Louisiana popstrel has ever released so I’m just putting it out there – if you’re looking for an unbiased review of the artist, scroll up and scroll out! ‘I Wanna Go‘ is genuinely one of my favourites off Spears’ new album ‘Femme Fatale‘, my other pop pick being the Will.I.Am penned track ‘Big Fat Bass.’ The video to accompany this track has just been released on Spears’ official website and on YouTube/Vevo and is a lot of fun. I think Spears has reached the point – perhaps understandably – were she just wants to enjoy herself in her career and this translates in her work; the videos aren’t meant to be groundbreaking, they’re meant to highlight the light-hearted, cheeky and self-depracating character of the performer and that they do. The new album is a dancer’s dream, filled with huge basslines, biting beats and catchy choruses. I’ve just secured myself tickets to see Spears in Manchester on her upcoming UK Tour…needless to say, I am just a little excited!

That’s all for now, happy holidays! 🙂

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