Song of the Day

Song of the Day: Victoria Sponge- Talk About Nothing (Radio Edit)

Glasgow has been a city that has produced some of my favourite bands and sounds. With the rich history of inspirational music it was only a matter of time before another exciting group  spawned, ladies and gents I give you Victoria Sponge and their latest single.

With the song taking the best bits from the mid 2000s but with their own tinge of vocal play and excitement. As Christopher Irvine (vocals) varies his phrasing and expresses his range well to keep you hooked. Adam Castle on he four string guides the song with the punching line, Ross Mackay adds colour and grit with his guitar playing and Jamie Brown’s drumming crashes along keeping the tempo and upping the anti when the track gets into top gear.

Victoria Sponge are as good as their name with this energetic, high octane single the four men are still showing that the Glasgow scene is still producing  quality music.

Find more of their music/info- Victoria Sponge’s Facebook and Bandcamp.

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Song of the Day

Song of the Day: King Creosote- You Just Want

                                      King Creosote- You Just Want (Official Audio)

A mesmerising release from the Scottish cult legend has only gone and shown yet again why he deserves such praise. Coming in at 7:25 it can be difficult to keep the attention of the listener but that is not an issue here as it blissfully plays along.

The female additional vocals of ‘Ah, ah, ah’s’ really work with the simplistic drums and minimalistic approach really amplifying those few ingredients that King Creosote has mixed together. The little sprinkle of violins, cello, shakers, bells move you to a peaceful wood in Scotland. Where the deer roam, the fireflies circle the moon, the wind softly blows and it is the most serene of places.

To truly create a special song that will be on repeat for a long while.

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The Sleeping- Questions and Answers

The Sleeping with the album Questions and Answers. From back in 2006 the album is a favourite of Eden’s.

Kicking off with the first song Don’t Hold Back which Eden found on Guitar Hero 3 and then went and gave this album a listen straight after ‘playing’ umpteen times. Thankfully the rest of the album followed the trend of ‘Don’t Hold Back’.

A stand out factor from singer Douglas Robinson (recognise that name?) He is now the singer for (Night Verses http://scan.lusu.co.uk/index.php/2015/11/15/check-em-out-night-verses/) A reason why Robinson is up there on the list of Eden’s top vocalists is the emotion he can portray, both through his lyrics and his voice. Ranging from melodic lines to gut wrenching screams. The track ‘Heart Beatz’ a personal one to the group as it is about a friend who passed too soon, this shows the emotion in the lyrics that Robinson expertly crafts.

The three other members at that time; Salvatore Mignano (Bass), Joseph Zizzo (Drums) and Cameron Keym (Guitar) have great chemistry. The music and instrumentation throughout the record is consistently on point. Especially the drums for some reason they stick out and as you all know to be a good band you need a good drummer. Plus Keym plays Hagstrom Guitars creating memorable riffs.

Go add this to the gifts you have already bought as a lil’ surprise (or just get their discography).

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Mashrou’ Leila مشروع ليلى: Smashing the Language Barrier into Oblivion.

                                                     Mashrou’ Leila’s Official Website

Music is not confined by language it breaks through the barriers and connects on a more spiritual level. Mashrou’ Leila have inspired me to write a post on their music that I adore even though I do not understand a word that is being sung so beautifully by Hamed Sinno.

Forming back in 2008 at the American University of Beirut when violinist Haig Papazian and guitarist Andre Cedid put a open invite to any and all to come down and jam, to relive the stresses of University life. It was a success with many people answering the call and eventually steeling on the seven members that would become the first line up.

Their name translates into a few different meanings ‘One Night Project’ or ‘Leila’s Project’. When asked earlier in their career the band joked and said that it was because they were collecting money for a girl named Leila (it is a popular name in their native Lebanon).  But on their Facebook page it clarifies that Mashrou’ Leila means ‘An Overnight Project’ because of the many late night jam sessions that they have. Either way it’s a cool name for a band.

Onto the most important aspect to any band or artist their material. With the band’s career spanning eight years so far they have used that time well releasing one every couple of years. Which seems to be the going rate these days. The releases are: Mashrou’ Leela (2009), El Hal Romancy (EP, 2011), Raasük (2013) and Ibn El Leil (2015). The later will be the focus of this piece though.

Ibn El Leil is the groups latest batch of songs it was my first introduction to them through (yet again) NPR’s Tiny Desk. It is always interesting in hearing a band live and stripped back before the studio recordings because it can in some cases give a completely different impression of the band, so that when you go and listen to the album recordings be surprised by how it sounds. In this instance the studio versions where more poppy, with hints of synths.  But both the live and non-live renditions of Djin, Kalaam (S/He) and Maghawir (Commandos) are all sublime in each case. Especially the rendition of Maghawir (Commandos) was heart wrenching and poignant as the group performed a day after the horrific Orlando Shootings. The song is about a shooting at a gay bar in Lebanon and so it was very fitting. The emotion and power on display form Hamed Sinno, who is himself openly gay, resonates with you, piercing through all barriers and brings a tears to your eyes- Tiny Desk Set.

Once I ad finished listening to their blinding set I instantly went on to the web and found Ibn El Leil to give it a go. Man was I in for an experience. That talent I saw and heard from the NPR set transcribed to the album. With the full sound and musicianship behind them Djin explodes and along with 3 Minutes they are some of the best pop songs you will get your ears on. Far better than a lot of charty stuff that came out in the UK/American charts in 2015. It ends in the serene Marikh which is built around the more traditional Arabic elements (they are layered through the collection of songs)

This band go beyond language for me and many other non-Arabic speaking people with their stunning music. To do that it takes talent but also a love for not only music but people. The willingness that Mashrou’ Leila show in the messages of the songs they craft are truly meaningful as well as challenging. For that I appreciate and admire these gentlemen even more.

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Nina Diaz: Trick Candle

                                         Trick Candle (Official Video)

The first release off the upcoming album The Beat Is Dead in just over a month’s time (October 28th) Trick Candle gives a glimpse into what to expect. It is a brilliant blend of 1980s electronica, fuzzy driving guitar, a bass line that pops and bops along and Diaz’s always impressive vocals really do merge in the most fantastic way. Creating a single that is one of the strongest of the year so far. Upping the excitement (especially for me I am hyped to say the least) for her first solo outing. I’ll keep this candle burning for a long long while.

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Porcupine Tree- Deadwing (American release)

                                                                  Shesmovedon

The American release of Porcupine Tree’s Deadwing is in the spotlight this week. This incredible band have released many timeless modern classics. They have put out 10 studio albums, 10 live albums, 6 EP’s and 7 compilation albums since 1992’s On the Sunday of Life. But it’s my favourite is their 2005 venture. The album is based on a screenplay written by Steven Wilson and Mike Bennion, and is essentially a ghost story.

Where to begin? I guess at the first song (also the title track) Deadwing is a great opener. It also features Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth fame who adds vocal harmonies on Deadwing, Lazarus, and Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. He also plays the second guitar solo on Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. With the added talent as the prior mentioned Åkerfeldt and King Crimson’s Adrian Belew, who plays guitar solos on the title track Deadwing and Halo, the album is brimming with masterful musicians.

Then comes the heavy Shallow, followed by the piano led Lazarus which along with Shallow where the two singles of the album. Lazarus is fantastic the piano that is at the forefront of the song is beautiful. A quieter song but non the less a very memorable song that I love.
Halo follows which is as you can probably guess great as is every single song. It isn’t really fair to single out songs as it is a special album from the very first to last second.

Now, why have I specifically said the American Release? Because there is an extra song, not listed on the back. And that song is one of his favourites of all time. The re-recorded version of Shesmovedon (originally on Lightbulb Sun, 2000). It is hard to explain in writing why this is. And that is the very reason why this song is so amazing. It is one of those songs that just has that affect. Music is so very, very special. So go and listen to the music you love (after you have listened to this album/band and hopefully added them to that list).

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