Monthly Archives: February 2013

First impressions

A friend of mine just recommended me some music. Solo stuff by the singer from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, who’s name is Alec Ounsworth (had no idea about either his name or solo stuff until just now). I clicked my friend’s link and Spotify started playing a song called What Fun. But this post won’t be about Alec’s music. While listening to the song, and checking his Spotify discography, I queued a few more tracks from his album and that’s when this thought hit me: when it comes to bands/artists I’ve never heard before, my mind has a special system that decides what songs I’ll listen to first. And that system obviously decides what first impressions I will get.

I don’t know if you’re following me here, at all. Maybe it sounds confusing. I’ll try to explain. If I find out about a band, and I’ve decided to check out their music, here’s how I decide what songs to begin with:

1) Choose one of the top three songs from the band’s Last.fm page. Because those songs probably represent the band’s overall sound.

2) Choose either the opening track or the closer. Because I think it’s quite interesting to see what songs a musicians decides to open/close their record with. Both of those tracks have usually been put there for a good reason.

3) Choose the song with the best name. I like reading track listings, and quite a few bands out there have interesting names for their songs. So I basically choose one that I like a lot, and listen to that song.

4) Choose a song that is recommended by a friend. Because if someone else likes it, that’s a pretty good sign it might just be a nice song.

These four options never fail me. Never. I don’t even do it purpose; I do it subconsciously. I could see it clearly just now that my friend recommended me Alec’s music. My first impression of the guy was a mix between three of the four options. Here’s what I did: 1) Listened to the song recommended by my friend. Wanted to hear something more in order to get a grasp of Alec’s music, so I 2) decided to listen to the closing track, and then went on with the opener just because I felt like it. Then I checked the track listing and I 3) decided to listen to the track Idiots in the Rain because I really liked that title. I did all this without even thinking about it. It went automatically.

First impressions are important when it comes to music, and I clearly have a system that helps me with those. How I’ve developed this system, I have no idea. But it feels good. Even better that I do it automatically, because then I don’t have to put a lot of effort in thinking about what tracks to hear first.

Well, I just thought this was kind of interesting, now that I thought about it. If you have your system when it comes to musicians you’ve never listened to before, please tell me. Or maybe people just pick a random track? What do I know.

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CHVRCHES

I love it when I hear this song on the radio. They play it a lot right now. It’s a song that makes me feel good, and the video is pretty nice, too.

CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share

CHVRCHES currently have 35 753 listeners on Last.fm.

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Filed under electropop

Motivating myself!

Tomorrow, I have quite a big exam in literature history (mostly the 19th century). I’ve decided that I’m done studying for it. Obviously, you could always study until the very last minute, but that never really works for me. Tonight, I’ve decided to motivate myself with some punk rock music. That should definitely work! It never fails to cheer me up. And I think that a positive attitude is essential in order to pass the exam.

Here’s a few songs that always light up my day. Maybe they can cheer you up, too!


blink-182 – Carousel


Millencolin – Lozin’ Must


Lagwagon – Status Pools


Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies


Bodyjar – Not the Same

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Filed under folk punk, punk rock, swedish

She may be the reason I survive

Six months ago today, I lost my mum to cancer. Here’s a song from her funeral:

Charles Aznavour – She.

She may be the song that summer sings
May be the chill that autumn brings
May be a hundred different things
Within the measure of a day

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Filed under chanson, oldies

Miriam Bryant

A while ago I was doing the dishes and listening to the radio, and a live performance came on. It was a girl called Miriam Bryant, a name I had never heard of before. She started her set with this song (this video is from a difference performance, though):

… and as I stood there doing the dishes, I found myself really enjoying this music. Her voice is so intense. Some people mention Adele’s voice when talking about and to Miriam Bryant, and I can see why. Miriam’s voice has more of a rock touch to it, though. In my opinion.

About a day later, I heard Miriam’s song Push Play on the radio, and I realized I had heard her many times before. That song is played on the radio quite often right now. However, now that I had first got a chance to appreciate Raised in Rain, it was as if I could listen to Push Play in a new way. I really, really like that song too, now. Push Play has a more electronic, upbeat sound than Raised in Rain. Same goes with Miriam’s biggest hit so far: Finders, Keepers. With that said, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to press play on a Miriam Bryant song expecting to hear the Adele kind of music. That would just be disappointing, because the genres are totally different.

So, what does Miriam sound like? Well, check her out on YouTube or Spotify. She seems to have her roots in soul, but the music you’ll hear is more like electronic pop. Here’s her song Push Play, quite popular in Sweden right now (and maybe in other countries, too?):

Miriam Bryant currently has 4 739 listeners on Last.fm.

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Filed under electronic, electropop, soul, swedish

Free music from Topshelf Records

One of my favorite record labels, Topshelf Records, have made their whole Bandcamp page free until they are out of free downloads (those are Bandcamp’s rules). Most people don’t even understand how great this is. Make sure to grab at least all of Pianos Become The Teeth’s albums. And hey, don’t be cheap! You can afford to pay, like, $1 for an album, right? Topshelf are awesome, and all the musicians have worked hard for this music. Name your own price and start downloading! (I payed for some records, and downloaded some EP:s and splits for free. Nice deal!)

Click here to go to Topshelf Record’s Bandcamp page.

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Sarah Jaffe

Only a few minutes ago I found Sarah Jaffe’s music by accident. I was watching some videos on YouTube, and a video containing the photo above showed up in the right menu (with recommended videos). This happens to me sometimes. I see awesome photographs of a band or an artist, and I just have to check them out. Because I am a sucker for photography. This picture of Sarah caught my attention. Her eyes. The depth of field. The hair blowing in the wind. I just love it.

And the music didn’t disappoint me. On Last.fm it says Sarah Jaffe is a singer-songwriter. The term singer-songwriter disturbs me a lot. What the fuck is a singer-songwriter? How is that a genre? It’s just stupid. Another tag on Last.fm is dream pop, which I think describes Sarah’s music better. Dream pop with both folk and electronic touches. At times very dark. At times lighter. But what’s most important: all the songs I’ve listened to so far are interesting. Listen to this song called Halfway Right; I’m getting Ben Howard vibes here! Just imagine Ben’s voice and more acoustic guitars.

Yes. I’m digging this. Sarah Jaffe. A name I will keep in mind. Some songs sound a little like Florence + The Machine (for example Sucker For Your Marketing). However, Glorified High is one of my favorite songs so far.


Sarah Jaffe on Spotify.

Sarah Jaffe currently has 42 184 listeners on Last.fm.

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Filed under dream pop, electronic, folk

Lift The Decade

Lift The Decade is a band I found through AbsolutePunk in late 2012. Not very long ago, that is. They are currently recording their debut album together with Ace Enders of The Early November. Definitely looking forward to hearing the result!

The first song I heard from Lift The Decade was Out of Reverie. After listening to that, I checked out their songs on Spotify. Sadly enough, those songs are no longer available. Hopefully, these guys will be back on Spotify when the new album is released. There isn’t very much to find on YouTube, either. If you are lucky, the free mp3 in this post from AbsolutePunk is still available. Enjoy that track until the album is out. It should be good.

I haven’t heard heard enough from Lift The Decade to say that I love them, or to get a clear picture of all the spectrums in their music. So far, I’m getting Brand New and Taking Back Sunday vibes. From the songs that were formerly on Spotify, I remember quite a few tracks had screaming in them. Hoping for more of that on the upcoming album.

What I did find on YouTube, though, is an MGMT cover the band has posted:

Sounds good to me. I think this band has something that a lot of people would like to hear more of.

Lift The Decade currently have 14 listeners on Last.fm.

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Filed under alternative rock, free music

TTNG

I was supposed to see TTNG (formerly known as This Town Needs Guns) live in Stockholm tonight. I had planned to, at least. That didn’t happen, because I chose to spend my money on a new cruiser skateboard instead (hey, I’m a student, I need to prioritize!). It’s been a while now since I discovered TTNG. I liked their music immediately. Stuart Smith, who was the singer at the time, has a very original voice. Together with some indie touched math rock music that made awesome tunes. Stuart left the band a while ago, though, replaced by Henry Tremain. TTNG just released a new album called 13.0.0.0.0, which I haven’t listened to a lot, yet. I must say that Henry’s voice hasn’t caught my attention like Stuart’s did.

If you want to check out these guys, you should visit their Bandcamp page. I personally think you should start with listening to their album Animals. Pig is one of my favorite tracks from that album:

TTNG on Spotify.

TTNG currently have 94 109 listeners on Last.fm (pages for TTNG and This Town Needs Guns combined).

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Filed under indie rock, math rock

First post!

So, this is my first post ever in this blog. A brand new blog. Feels pretty good. A fresh start of something great. Well, I hope this will be great, anyway. To start this whole thing, I’ll tell you all a little about how this blog was born.

I’ve already had my own, personal blog for years. Since 2005 or so, I think. But whenever I write about music there, I feel like it’s the wrong place. The people who read that blog are probably not very interested in the music I write about or recommend. They don’t really care if Coheed & Cambria release a new album, or if I find a funny Tom DeLonge video on YouTube. And then there’s all my talk about new bands I find. Those that are new to me, at least. See, ever since I discovered MySpace (in 2003?) I’ve been very interested in searching for and listening to new bands and artists. Because there’s so much talent out there. MySpace, Purevolume, Last.fm, music blogs, music magazines, news sites and so on. I’m regularly browsing for new music everywhere. And whenever I find something I really like, I want to tell the world. I want that musician to reach out, gain as many admirers as possible. That’s what this blog is for.

A lot of things in this blog will be about those less known bands and artists. The ones who really deserve a shout out. But I will also write things about very famous people, of course. Because this blog has no limits. It’s not tied to a certain genre or a specific scene. It’s not just about new music. Not about old music. It’s just music. Just sounds. Because that’s what music is: a bunch of sounds put together. Like a big pile, that turns out to be something awesome. And then you’re all like “Fuck yeah! Sounds!”

Let’s get started.

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