Friday, December 04, 2009

In Excelsis Deo

(source: Calum Macnab)

There Will Be Fireworks - In Excelsis Deo

Well i can't wait for Christmas
Been buckle-knee'd and listless. And you say
That you've been wishing weeks away

We hung the lights out in the street
Twisted round the bows of trees
The choir sung it's holiest refrains

Like gloria
Hosanna in the highest
Heaven knows
This years been black and blue
But we're alright
And this Christmas could be white for me and you

I still can't sleep on Christmas Eve

And we'll never miss a beat
Scarlet faced from whiskey neat. In the cold
Singing dancing in the dark

Oh i hope these words will do
I've had my doubts but not about you. I'm drunk
And hearing voices in car-parks

And this year
Oh, i've got love in me, i swear
I hope you know

Gloria in excelsis deo

If i should fall from grace
If i should leave this dear green place
And if Christmas fades without a trace

But still when you're around
There's magic in this old grey town
You know you should chat among the flames

Keep singing all the songs
Who cares if all the words are wrong
Who cares if it barely ever snows

But still the choir smiles
The carol of the bells goes...

A truly wonderful song. With non-ironic, honest, heart-warming lyrics.

(Self-transcribed lyrics; accurate except for "You know you should chat among the flames". It's definitely "you know you should [something]". If anyone knows, let me know and I'll alter.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I don’t get Twitter. Some people post too much, some people post too little, and who should I really be following? Any good suggestions? If so, drop me a line at the contact email in the sidebar.

I recommend following Mike Skinner. He subtly dropped three new tracks, and very few people mentioned it (NME did, but...) Maybe it’s because one (He’s Behind You, He’s Got Swine Flu) is primarily a joke, like Lesbian Vampire Killers was. But another (Infamy) is a fairly good tune, with a propulsive beat that goes nowhere. However...

The Streets - Where My Heart Has Been

This song is absolutely quality. The sample reminds me of old school disco’s. I mean, like, Rugby Club disco’s, cheesy nights with people throwing up in bushes outside, and not drinking inside because of the no-alcohol policy. When I dyed my hair red, in a rush, and went ‘out’ out with strawberry red ears. Feeling smart and cool and right, and falling in and out of love four times a month. It reminds me of the end of the last decade, it reminds me of David Gray’s ‘This Year’s Love’ coming out, it reminds me of lying in bed worrying about silly things that meant the world to me. A beautiful kind of nostalgia, a hark back to simpler times, featuring some truly great lyrics.

We all happen to hang our hat’s here / I lost sight of that fact in fear / Don’t underestimate me friends / We don’t know who’s ahead ‘til the end / I might spend all day with it / And then pen the night away / And make nil and null and then / So Jill and John and Jen / Can kill and con with Ken / For their fill of fun with friends.

You should also check out Mike Skinner’s mixes... I’m a particular fan of number 11. The Eric Prydz tune (Melo) is brill-chill, as are many others.

Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers (Doorly Remix) [Buy]

Another tune I’m absolutely loving at the minute is this one (I really mean the original, though obviously I can't throw that up here) but then I’m sure everyone’s loving it. It is going to be mass-eeeeeeeeve. Fair play. Mr Rascal and Arman Van Helden have made a song that’s destined for hip-happening house parties, and club nights alike. A heavy bass line is my kind of silence.

Don Diablo & Example - Hooligans (Extended Mix)

And finally, I don’t know much about these people, but it’s got a similar sort of schtick as ‘Bonkers’ only not half as good. But it’s still good. Definitely.

Thom: get these bangers on in your banger and we'll go cross-country. Major buzz, Fosters love..x

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I don’t know really what to say... I’ve been gone a long, long time. Hopefully, I’m back. Because it’s summer. And although my last exam still hovers over my like a storm cloud, it feels like I should be productive in my misery, in my sadness, in my anticipation. So first... would you like £2000 to look after your moat?

But, enough.


Have you heard Ellie Goulding yet? Her music is magical. It’s soft, it’s soothing... it’s little bleeps, it’s gentle stop-starts on an empty country road. She’s taking breaths in all the right moments, she’s being paused and played, she’s flying high and low with vocal soars. And she’s collaborating with Frankmusik who’s fantastic. I don’t know if it’s right to share so many songs with you, but.... well, as far as I can tell it’s GOODWEATHERFORAIRSTRIKES (I mean, Neon Gold) who have a handle on her, and they’re the most sharing of people. So, hear it is: Two Covers, Two Originals.

(image source: crazy bobbles)

Ellie Goulding - Black + Gold (Sam Sparro cover)

I hate this Sam Sparro song, when Sam Sparro does it, but it suddenly becomes more listenable, and less headache-inducingly annoying once it gets the female touch. Quite excellent work, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Ellie Goulding - The Wolves (Bon Iver cover)

This Bon Iver cover is impressive. The original itself isn’t exactly interesting until the “what might have been lost”, and whilst this version isn’t as tear-inducingly sad once we reach that point, it’s still lovingly crafted. And it’s beautiful to hear that a few multi-tracked voices can make a song. Sure, there’s guitar-squeaks, there’s minor chords. But this song, is all about the vocals, the harmonies, the soaring, all the high’s and all the lows.

Ellie Goulding - Wish I Stayed
Ellie Goulding - Starry Eyed

Finally, two rather different songs, both lovingly techno-pop. Listen up, and hear the newest sensation. Absolutely brilliant.

I thought this would be a nice way to re-introduce myself. She’s by turns sad, danceable, reminiscent, quirky, soothing, stop-start electro-popping. Just like my little mental museum.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Still Flyin’ - The Hottchord is Struck

Hand-claps. It starts with the jingle-jangle of Simon & Garfunkel, falsetto vocals, some sax (is it sax?). And then it segues suddenly into a cheerleader chant, alphabet spelling, playgrounds and ballparks, ice cream cones. At times it feels like the instruments are tumbling over the drums, just about staying on their feet. But it’s meant to be ramshackle, it’s meant to be bursting with life. It’s an all-inclusive Thompson Holiday package with the family - it’s a little bit cheap, it’s a little bit tacky, and it’s absolutely brilliant. [Buy]

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I’ll blog soon ‘cause Kleerup’s album is amazing, the new My Latest Novel single is very different, and sad and beautiful, The Lowly Knights are apparently like Arcade Fire meets The Polyphonic Spree (they’re not), but what they are is joyful, triumphant, and full of LOVE. Furthermore, old Manchester Orchestra sounds like Jimmy Eat World, Juno by Tokyo Police club is full of beautiful misery, Frankmusik + Ellie Goulding = FANTASTIC, Santogold is like Jamaican pop heaven, The Joy Formidable is cheesy shouty pop angst gold, Marina and the Diamonds = a weirdo, brilliant, Kate Bush for the modern age, and Fosters is my new favourite beer. Chat soon.


Saturday, February 21, 2009


Hi, I’m alive, and I shall blog soon. Just wanted to say, there’s an interesting, amazing, brilliant, exciting gig coming up. It’s all these people:

My Latest Novel (

Zoey Van Goey (

Ben Butler and Mousepad (

Dolby-Anol (

Holy Mountain (

And they’ll all be soundtracking a piece of film in a room in The Arches, and turning it into a 1920’s film theatre. So, I’ll be there, sitting on a nice comfortable seat, and watching My Latest Novel, and buzzing.

My Latest Novel - The Reputation of Ross Francis

Be there or be square, I reckon. I shall blog about songs soon... starting with Emmy the Great, Kyte, Frightened Rabbit, Fast Emperors, Bon Iver and M83. Good times.

UPDATE: I only saw two bands, (My Latest Novel, and Zooey Van Gooey, plus the recap of all five band's videos...), but, it was FAN-tastic. Anyone else there? No? Just me? Well, give us a shout if you were. Let me know what you thought of the soundtracking!

Friday, January 30, 2009


Chairlift - Bruises

A flickering neon sign in a dilapidated fairground town. Close to the waves, lapping against the beach. Bare feet touching soft sand. A gust of Atlantic air flittering through the dunes and rustling the grass. Beautiful sadness encapsulated in song. [Buy]

P.S. Yea, this is the song that was in the Apple ad. They have good taste: First Feist, then this!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Johnny Foreigner - Eyes Wide Terrified

How have I not talked about this band before? Amazing. If you check out my profile you’ll see I listen to them far too much. The perfect blend of humour and intelligence to the lyrics, a beautifully youthful blend of fast-slow, nice harmonies and chaotic guitar playing. You can’t really ask for much more. And this, this is just beautiful:

talk about confidence
I’d give it a month if i’m lucky
and i’m not that lucky
and these t-shirts don’t fold themselves
but he falls asleep on her shoulder every shift they spend together
which is most nights

I’d also recommend Champagne Girls I Have Known (fast, funny, smart), and DJ’s Get Doubts (slow, sad, smart) just to grasp the scope of this bands potential. I’m not saying they’re perfect, but what they do, they do well, and hopefully they’ll broaden their horizons for album number two (but not in a Bloc Party-make the third album more inaccessible than Kid A-kinda way [/tongue in cheek]). Incidentally, Bloc Party remixed Salt, Pepper and Spinderella. [Buy]

P.S. I am shattered and starving.

Tour Diary for DiS:

March, April, May, June, July

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Throw Me The Statue - About To Walk (Daytrotter Session)
Throw Me The Statue - Groundswell

All the best melodies on this album feel stolen - like he got out his old vinyl collection of Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, maybe even Genesis and then a week later recorded the melodies as he remembered them. So in a way it's all his own - it's how he recalls it. But in a way it's not even nearly his own - he's singing someone else’s songs. And it's this familiarity that makes it instantly likable.

Lyrically he’s kind of like Jacob Borshard, but less romantically self-involved. Throw Me The Statue is more like the court-jester than the miserable kid with a passion for sarcasm. Music concerned less with being serious, and more to do with the joyful things in life - like lollipops & toffee-apples. But it's not sugar coated, it's just naturally sweet. It's a small (more-or-less one-man) band imitation of a big band - handclaps, finger-clicks, harmonies - everything multi-tracked.

It's the kind of music you make when you sit in your bedroom with a laptop, some memories, and old instruments that used to belong to the school band. During the breaks, you probably play your GameBoy. And it shows. It's fun, and it's sincere. Just because it's dressed up in smiles doesn't mean it's any less moving. [Buy]

Words: June 24th, 2007

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Seabear - I Sing, I Swim

I don't want to play this song on repeat endlessly in an attempt to discover a hidden melody, a message, a sentiment, a feeling, a truth. I don't want to ruin this song for the sake of precise prose. This song is more about feeling anyway, and although feelings within or about songs can be described in words; it’s hard to pinpoint their exact nature. They were meant to be heard, or felt; not read about.

There’s a sadness in the song. It’s not frivolous, or throwaway, despite the way the music plays out. It’s rooted in the past, but it defines the present. (“I miss you / Even when you’re around.”) It is a weight that can't be lifted, a feeling that's always there - even when it's not being felt. Like the sun, or the moon, or the stars. Just because they can’t be seen, doesn’t mean they aren’t there, constantly.

It’s like the feeling of being alone, able to watch as the leaves fall from the trees, as the ocean nestles into the rocks, as the young pretty girl carries the old ladies bags across the street. The beautiful scenes play out in front of you, and instead of joy, you’re filled with sadness that you’re not a part of them. Like a smile without enthusiasm. This song sounds like tears you’re keen to shrug off. It’s not nothing, but it’s easier to pretend, isn’t it?

I’m not particularly prone to written hyperbole, so take this sincerely: this song is full of life, and it’s almost perfect. It’s daydreamy, sad, beautiful, miserable, wistful, and truthful. It’s a passing notion – a way to make something right, that’s quickly forgotten. It’s a romantic idea that never blossoms into a romantic gesture. It’s a confession, a love-letter, a postcard where the words aren’t quite right, no matter how hard you try. (The words of this song though, are pretty much perfect - enviably so.) [Buy]

Words: July 29th, 2007