Thursday, 29 January 2009

Hype: Keep My Love Like I Keep My Stash

Now it's time to fill you in on what I was listening to whilst the 2009 Who's Who feature was a work in progress.

First up are tongue-in-cheek Boston (USA) synth-pop trio Giantess.

Whilst they can sound a bit Iglu & Hartly at times, I love their light hearted approach and the track below is far and away their best. It makes me think just how great Ghosthustler could have been if Alan Palamo had never left.

Not only are they produced by Ayad Al-Adhamy of Passion Pit, but they are managed by Derek of GWFAS and Neon Gold, so I'd imagine there's already A&R's from every label imaginable on to them already.

Tuff n' Stuff will be released through Neon Gold in March, along with an EP full of as yet unheard songs.

Now put this on full volume, reach for the nearest hairbrush and get carried away to the mammoth synth action.

Giantess - Tuff n' Stuff (YSI)

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Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Hype: 2009 Who's Who #5

#5 Pageboy

I think that it is about time that I concluded the 2009 Who's Who feature, so without further a do, may I introduce London based five-piece Pageboy.

From the material I've heard so far, it's traditional pop with a transatlantic twist in that front-woman Brooke Gengras is from New York (while Chris, John, Rob and Futz are all London residents). Having been around the proverbial block in a few other bands (including a very successful all female Led Zeppelin covers band), the enigmatic singer has finally planted her flag in London.

It's still extremely early days as the band have played only a handful of gigs and there are only a couple of demo clips on their Myspace page. However, they have the backing of some extremely influential people, and I have no doubt that as the months pass, you'll be hearing more and more about Pageboy.

I'll be interviewing them sometime next month, and hopefully I'll have some tracks for you too. Gengras et al will be performing at Monto Water Rats and Notting Hill Arts Club in the first week of Feb.

Normal blogging will now resume, I hope you enjoyed the feature.

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Thursday, 15 January 2009

Hype: 2009 Who's Who #4

#4 Django Django

I haven't been able to get enough of Django Django since coming across them towards the tail end of last year.

Having recently been snapped up by the management team behind Basement Jaxx, Roisin Murphy, Orphans & Vandals and White Williams, the trio (from London, Derry and Scotland respectively) wear their influences on their sleeves without falling into the all too common pitfall of imitating them. Tastes which include Arthur Russell, Moondog, Sun Ra and Devo. Finally, a band after my own heart.

My favourite track of theirs so far is Default, which can be found on their Myspace. If this track is not destroying dance floors by the end of 2009... I will eat my own face.

Something that struck me right away, and a sure sign of things to come, is that each track flirts with different styles and genre without committing to any specifically. A great example of this would be the contrast between the high level of production on Default and the bare bones acoustics of Fire Water, whilst sharing the same level of craft and attention to detail.

Django Django have several gigs in London in the next few months, including dates at Notting Hill Arts Club, The Flea Pit and The Macbeth. See Myspace for further details.

Django Django - Storm (YSI)

Django Django - ZUMMZUMM (YSI)

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Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Hype: 2009 Who's Who #3

#3 The Aspirins For My Children

I've ranted, I've raved and I've written about him many times before, but 2009 will be the year that things really start to happen for The Aspirins For My Children.

Championed by the likes of thecocknbullkid, Niyi and Kwes, his track Hollow Out is gaining praise from all corners and has been featured on the promotional video for French designer extraordinaire JCDC's Autumn/Winter Collection.

A brilliant remix of Situationists' track Whisky And Water has just been uploaded to his Myspace with more on the way, and a live setup is also currently being pieced together. Finally, we might actually get some press shots...

The Aspirins For My Children - Pinapple

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Sunday, 4 January 2009

Hype: 2009 Who's Who #2

#2 Clare Maguire

So 2008 was the year of mystery. Who is Fake Blood? Who are The Golden Filter? It quickly became the in-thing to build up some sort of hype around the identities of the musicians rather than the quality of the music and I soon grew bored of it.

One such mystery has remained, having held me captive throughout 2008 and one that will (hopefully) be unraveled in the coming year and that is 'What does Clare Maguire look like?'.

Her management have successfully kept the rumour mill running and running, her Myspace page has received as many hits and plays as her contemporaries without her releasing a single track or even a press release.

Labels have been leapfrogging each other in a scramble to sign her and A & R's have been wetting their pants ever since hearing her demos. Universal have since won the battle and it's only a matter of time before the likes of Duffy, Adele, Florence etc are quaking in their boots because this is Leona Lewis/Amy Winehouse territory.

Clare Maguire - Strangest Thing Demo (YSI)

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Saturday, 3 January 2009

Hype: 2009 Who's Who #1

So January 1st has passed and Illegal Tender is now a year old, it's time to turn my attention to 2009.

Here's the first of my tips for the year ahead:

#1 The Velcro Quartet

The brainchild of Glasgow-based Joe Rodger has been on my radar for a long time now and TVQ have been gradually gaining plaudits from all over the place for the past year and a bit, and it's about time that the people of the world bow to his genius.

With a sound as warped and unique as his mind, Joe narrates the scene of a Glaswegian fairytale set in a parallel universe. A place where muggings, murder and general wrongdoings take place in hallowed fairgrounds, haunted soundscapes and twisted nursery rhymes.

I'm a firm believer that talent prevails, it's just a shame that most of the majors haven't twigged on yet. With the industry in the transition that it is, it's people like Joe Rodger and The Velcro Quartet who may prove to be its future champions.

The Velcro Quartet - Dead Dogs' Hill (YSI)

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