What do you get when you mix Euro-electro pop, punk, and the inevitable angst and energy of two teenagers? You get Carbon Airways.
I first heard Carbon Airways when I got an email from their label, Bad Life, about the release of their Razor Edge EP. I was completely enthralled by the French teenage brother and sister combo of Enguérand and Éléonore Fernese. The frenetic energy bleeds through your speakers and permeates your mind. I can imagine that seeing this act live would be a psyche altering event.
This “preview” video below of “Atomic Is In My Mind” showcases exactly what I’m talking about.
A few months ago I came across “Raconte-Moi Une Historie” from M83 and at the time I thought this was a perfect soundtrack for Froglix Radio! Then a few weeks ago I came across this apropos slideshow to accompany the song. Too good to not share.
By the way, if you aren’t familiar with M83, perhaps you should know more about this musical project led by Anthony Gonzalez. Hailing from the coastal town of Antibes France, their better known tracks include “Midnight City” and “We Own The Sky”. And perhaps my favourite is “Reunion”. The opening has a bit of a nostalgic feeling to it… maybe Howard Jones-ish? There’s probably a better match but that’s what came to mind first. Either way, if you like the ethereal side of music then you’ll enjoy the lush synth strings and layered textures offered by M83.
I usually like to compare a band to other, often better known, bands. Doing so for Circle doesn’t seem fair though. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of something like Death Cab For Cutie in a track or two, then others are reminiscent of Swedish bands The Legends or Acid House Kings. Sometimes the taste was something a bit like The Cocteau Twins. But Circle isn’t really any of those other bands. What they are is yet another brilliant alternative band from Australia delivering some of the best alternative/electro pop/indie rock (or whatever you want to call it) music I’ve heard in awhile. Seriously, what’s in the water there?
Although the band has been playing in some form since 2005, The Middle is first studio album from Circle. The wait is worth it though because Radi Safi, Dan Shaw, and Rebecca Shave surely have created a masterpiece here. It’s not often I listen to a brand new album on my morning commute and then find myself throughout the day singing to myself multiple tunes off of it. The album really kicks off, for me, with track two’s “Fashion Me a Drum”. The pulsating beating intro, layered a moment later with synth chords, then finally the slightly airy but understated Radi vocals draw you into the song immediately. The sucking in continues when Rebecca joins in on the chorus, but the coup de grâce is when Rebecca’s solo kicks in. When I find myself singing along “I will follow the beat, I will follow the drum, I will follow the sound… the sound that made me love you”, I really really mean it.
Other tracks along the lines of “Fashion Me A Drum” are “Half Race Girls” and “Brothers”. Both are incredibly accessible, having all the hooks you’d ever want and will have you singing along in no time at all. (I hear my 4 year old son singing the melody of the “ooooh ooooh ooooh”s from “Half Race Girls” all the time.) The tracks “Gorgeous”, “All The People”, and “Hold” are what gave me the glimpses of The Sundays and The Cocteau Twins I mentioned earlier. Ephemeral, melodic, hypnotic…brilliant.
P.S. Tell me this video isn’t the most hipster thing you’ve ever seen…
Much like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, so it was for the remaining members of Joy Division. After the tragic death of vocalist Ian Curtis, bandmates Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris were faced with a very difficult decision…would they keep pressing on or simply quit the music scene altogether. Well the answer came quickly and press on they would. The addition of keyboardist Gillian Gilbert completed the original line up of what would become one of the most critically acclaimed post-punk/new wave bands of all time…New Order.
In early years, their sound was somewhat a continuation of what they had begun with Joy Division but they soon picked up on the dance vibe emanating from New York and began building the most appealing of those elements into their songs. “Blue Monday” is the absolute epitome of their transformational sound. Oh…and by the way…it’s one the best selling 12″ singles of all time.
Somehow…I think these cats were on to something but take a listen and dig it for yourself.
In selecting the Flashback this week, I enlisted the assistance of my esteemed colleague Thurdeen and in my humble (but accurate) opinion he has made an excellent choice. Today your friends at Froglix bring you a track from the pre-industrial/synth-pop stylings of Al Jorgenson and Ministry. The year was 1983 and the song…“Revenge” from their debut album entitledWith Sympathy [Arista Records] . Happy Tuesday everyone!
The Chain Gang of 1974is Kamtin Mohager. His blog (http://thechaingangof1974.tumblr.com/) is filled with some of his favorite songs from artists like Sneaker Pimps, Talk Talk, Oasis and Smashing Pumpkins. Viewing it was revisiting music over the last 25 years and I clicked page after page to see what else I’d find.
Beyond his varied taste, Kamtin creates his own music and that is where additional fun can be found. Heavily influenced by 80s synth pop and named by Spin as one of the 35 artists to watch for at SXSW this year, The Chain Gang Of 1974 will release his debut album in June. Watch the official videos for “We At The Disco” (echoes of Nitzer Ebb and Nine Inch Nails) and “Hold On,” with a tweaked-out borrowing of a line from Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again.” Should be interesting to see what the debut sounds like. Stay tuned.