shelleyhanveywriter

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Posts Tagged ‘Empire of the Sun

Even Reg, his giant spectacles and BFG-sized creative wisdom couldn’t hold them back; Empire of the Sun release new track ‘Alive’

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Empire of the Sun have released new track ‘Alive’, taken from their upcoming second album ‘Ice on the Dune’ (scheduled for release on June 17th, 2013).

The Australian synthpop duo’s multi award-winning debut album ‘Walking on a Dream’ (2008), featuring the now classic ‘We Are the People’, was surely the soundtrack to most people’s summer of 2009. It’s been a long wait and I personally blame Elton John for that…curse Reg, his giant spectacles and BFG-sized creative wisdom. Alas I cannot; I love his ivory tickling far too much and in any event he has finally released his apprentices to continue the great work they started five years ago.

‘Alive’ is my favourite new release of 2013 so far.

I think that pretty much covers it.

 

Pre-order ‘Ice on the Dune’ via iTunes and receive ‘Alive’ for free at http://smarturl.it/IceOnTheDuneiTunes?IQid=fb.

www.empireofthesun.com / @EmpireOfTheSun

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

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Written by shelleyhanveywriter

April 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm

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Pnau’s new album ‘Soft Universe’ is sure to set electro hearts and minds on fire @pnau

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Pnau (pronounced “pah-now”, to rhyme with meow) is an Australian synthpop duo, consisting of musicians Nick Littlemore and Peter Mayes.  The duo have enjoyed considerable success in their native country: with award-winning debut album ‘Sambanova’, critically-acclaimed – and top of Elton John’s personal record collection – 2008 release ‘Pnau’ and one of my favourite electropop outfits; breakthrough side-project Empire of the Sun. Indeed, such is Elton’s love for the duo; after hearing ‘Pnau’, he swiftly arranged for them to become his new musical apprentices. A couple of years later and the euphoric delight that is fourth album, ‘Soft Universe’, has finally come to fruition.

I have selected my top 5 of the 10 tracks on offer, kicking off with ‘Epic Fail.

 

This is probably my favourite track from the album and the most in keeping with Empire of the Sun ‘s sound; sure to set electro hearts and minds on fire when the record is released in the UK in early 2012.

Next up, ‘Everybody.’

 

This track was the perfect choice to kick off ‘Soft Universe’; Littlemore is also a Cirque du Soleil musical director, a fact not all that surprising when you hear the rousing synth guitar riffs and souring melodies on this track.

And so, on to ‘The Truth.’

 

Widely regarded to be one of, if not the strongest track on the record, ‘The Truth’ was released in early 2011 as the first single in Australia. I’d describe the track as ‘Solar System rock’; it wouldn’t sound out of place as the backdrop to one of these very quirky, very dumbed down Science documentary series. I use ‘dumbed down’ in an entirely first-person narrative context – it may look pretty and it may be fronted by a quasi-cool man with an indie haircut…but I still don’t get it.

Next up, ‘Something Special.’

 

This track is just pure electronic bliss; if you like Hurts, you’ll love this. If the album does well in early 2012, we might be treated to some UK festival appearances; if so, this would be a great feel-good show opener.

And finally, ‘Waiting For You.’ This is a serene love song, complete with intoxicating vocals and a melody that can’t help but get in to your head and play on repeat.

 

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

www.pnaupnau.com / www.twitter.com/pnau / www.myspace.com/pnau

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

December 13, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Lumos Maxima!; Foster the People’s blindingly brilliant debut album, ‘Torches’

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Foster the People are an indie electronic trio, formed in Los Angeles in 2009. Taking their title from the surname of lead singer, Mark Foster, the band released their debut album ‘Torches’ early in 2011. The 10-track record is currently climbing the UK album charts, riding the success waves of debut single ‘Pumped Up Kicks.’ You will most likely recognise the track from a recent UK mobile phone advertisement, but it has also been featured on several Sci-Fi and cult TV channels.

The band is made up of Foster (vocals, keyboards, piano, synthesizers, guitar), Mark Pontius (drums and percussion) and Cubbie Fink (bass and backing vocals); don’t Americans just have the coolest names…no Brit could ever pull off Cubbie.

Likened to MGMT, Phoenix and Empire of the Sun; Foster the People seamlessly mesh the genres of indie electronic, dream-pop and neo-psychedelia to present a veritable patchwork prodigy and I like it, I like it a lot.

I have picked my favourite 4 tracks from the album and included samples below. These are: ‘Helena Beat’, ‘Pumped Up Kicks’, ‘Waste’ and ‘Houdini.’ A perfect taster of the incandescence which awaits listeners on ‘Torches.’

‘Torches’ includes: Helena Beat / Pumped Up Kicks / Call It What You Want / Don’t Stop (Color On the Walls) / Waste / I Would Do Anything for You / Houdini / Life On the Nickel / Miss You / Warrant

www.fosterthepeople.com

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

August 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Symphonic guilty pleasures; Wolf Gang release debut album ‘Suego Faults’

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Wolf Gang is the work of symphonic rock and progressive artist, Max McElligott. After touring with the likes of Florence And The Machine, Miike Snow and Metric, Wolf Gang has this week (July 25th, 2011)  released his debut album ‘Suego Faults‘ on Atlantic Records. To celebrate the release of the record, he has also re-released his critically acclaimed debut single ‘The King And All Of His Men.’

The album features the following 10 tracks: Lions In Cages/Something Unusual/Stay And Defend/Suego Faults/The King And All Of His Men/Back To Back/Midnight Dancers/Dancing With The Devil/Where Are You Now/Planets.

Wolf Gang’s sound is euphoric, far-off psychedelic wonderment, much in the same vein as MGMT and Empire of the Sun, however his vocal range and musical craftsmanship allow him to dip in to rock ballad and piano pop territory; his sound is effortlessly classic yet exuberantly modern in equal measure. I have included a couple of my other favourite tracks from the album below: ‘Lions In Cages‘ and ‘Dancing With The Devil.’

If you start your musical career supporting the likes of Florence and Miike Snow, you can’t go far wrong in my eyes. I look forward to hearing great things from Wolf Gang.

www.wolf-gang.co.uk / www.twitter.com @wolfgang

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

July 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Glastonbury coverage on the BBC

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Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival

 I wasn’t one of the 177,500 festival folk that descended upon Pilton, Somerset last weekend, to witness the 40th Anniversary of the Glastonbury Festival, having opted to attend V, Cambridge Folk Festival and Creamfields. I did, however, very excitedly set the Sky Plus in order to record the BBC’s coverage of the four-day event. 

I have to say though, I found myself quite underwhelmed by said coverage and wondering where the clips of perhaps slightly less commercial acts had ended up…if indeed they were ever recorded. 

I fully understand that musical tastes are subjective to the viewer and that the BBC would have had a flood of complaints had they not featured the headliners and some of the bigger chart-residing artists, but being a contemporary arts festival; I just felt that the range of artists featured should have reflected that. 

I was looking forward to seeing a good range of artists, including new and fresh  offerings such as Everything Everything, Frightened Rabbit, Two Door Cinema Club, Devendra Banhart, Miike Snow, Lauren Pritchard as well as a few of my favourites; The Courteeners, Empire of the Sun and Laura Marling

Empire of the Sun

Everything Everything

Miike Snow

I also thought considering Florence and the Machine drew one of the biggest crowds of the festival, perhaps a couple of songs could have been featured from this artist; obviously reflecting their popularity at the festival and beyond. To be fair, extended highlights of Florence’s set are available on the BBC’s Glastonbury website, which can be found here: 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/glastonbury/2010/artists/florenceandthemachine/ 

Again, a personal viewpoint only, but did we really need to see 7+ songs from Muse and likewise, Gorillaz? Would it not have been fairer to spread the coverage out a bit and give viewers more of a diverse taste of what was on offer…just a thought. 

It did look brilliant though and they were so lucky with the weather; I’m already crossing my fingers that V and Cambridge are blessed with the same! Although a couple of clouds would be nice, don’t want to be struck down with a bout of sunstroke, causing me to miss Macca join Fray (Liam, of The Courteeners) on stage for an impromptu sesh of Beatles classics…you never know!

Fantasy adventures and dream-pop

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Today I got to thinking about my favourite Fantasy Adventure films growing up; the catalyst for these musings was my listening to Bat for Lashes brilliant second album ‘Two Suns’ (2009). I love her brand of dream-pop and electronica; you find yourself getting swept away with the eerie melodies and soaring stanzas and before you know it you’ve arrived at the foothills of Fantasia, ready to climb to its heights to name the Childlike Empress…which is the first of my chosen three feature films for fantasy fans; ‘The Never Ending Story’ (1985).

"Turn around, look at what you see....eeee, eeee, eeee, eeee!"

I remember many a happy day was spent watching this tale of hope, imagination and personal triumph; all I was interested in however, was whether I would get a ride on Falcore if I nipped to the school library, hid myself away under a stray sheet and kept reading long past the bell had tolled. I don’t care to mention the issue of Atreyu and his untimely demise; I think that was the first time, aged six, I really knew pain…

But back to the lady of the hour for a moment; Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes) is as impressive a performer as she is lyricist, using her visual arts background to create a world of her own with whimsical characters, who would not be out of place in such fantasy adventures. I particularly like ‘The Big Sleep’, taken from her second album (You Tube link above). I was hooked from the outset with this track and had to play it a few times over as it feels too short in its wonderment.

My second film of choice is ‘Return to Oz’ (1985). Anyone who has read any of my previous live music reviews will know that I am a huge fan of the original film too, but this one is just as good but for quite different reasons. How terrifying were The Wheelers? I don’t think I slept for months after watching them chase Dorothy through the spooky ruins of the Emerald City…combine this with Atreyu and you might think that there had been a global plot to institutionally stupefy children through the medium of cinema!

Who could forget the Gump soaring over the Deadly Desert...and how did they all fit on?

I am also a big fan of Empire of the Sun for much the same musical reasons as Bat for Lashes. I find their sound and visual creativity very intriguing, particularly on debut album track ‘We are the People’ (2008). Let’s hope they get together and start recording again soon.

And so to my third and final choice of my favourite Fantasy Adventure films as a child; ‘The Blue Bird’ (1976). Now this was released before I was born, but it was a staple Sunday afternoon classic in my house. I don’t think I could remember exactly what the plot was or what the significance of some of the characters were, but it didn’t matter; it had me gripped to the television with the bright trippy colours and awful accents, it was the stuff of fairy tales and fancy.

Patsy Kensit and Elizabeth Taylor, what a combo!

Well, I hope I’ve rekindled a few memories here, but remember…don’t have nightmares!

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

May 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm

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