April 15, 2012

Deerhunter – Memory Boy

Deerhunter - Memory Boy (Reviewed by Trahearne Falvey)
4 out of 5 stars

Deerhunter - Memory Boy

What’s this?

The second single taken from the Atlanta band’s immensely impressive fourth studio album, ‘Memory Boy’ is a simple but excellent two minute jangly pop song and lyrically, an elegant exploration of Bradford Cox’s usual themes: nostalgia and absence.

What’s it sound like?

Cox creates a bare, honest and therefore brutally sad vignette out of snippets of a memory, just tiny details like ‘the smell of loose leaf’ and the forgetting of a TV. It’s so skilfully, subtly done; the song never degenerates into sentimentality and, like all the best writers, Cox paints images and hints at emotions, rather than telling the listener what is going on.

The C86-inspired, triumphant sounding guitar riff means ‘Memory Boy’ is of the more accessible Deerhunter songs, the perfect portal into the band’s back catalogue for newcomers.

What’s the final verdict?

A shoegaze-influenced pop song of real quality and a highlight of the superb Halcyon Digest, Deerhunter deliver yet again.

Words by Trahearne Falvey

For more music reviews head over to Electric Banana!

March 21, 2012

Summer Camp – Losing My Mind

Writing about web page http://www.electric-banana.co.uk/reviews/single-reviews/summer-camp-losing-my-mind/

Summer Camp - Losing My Mind
5 out of 5 stars

Summer Camp - Losing My MIndHaving maintained an aura of anonymity when they first broke onto the indie scene back in 2010, London duo Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey have firmly established themselves as one of the “coolest” bands around. Latest single ‘Losing My Mind’, taken from latest album Welcome To Condaleis a vibrant piece of alt-pop that proves their reputation is more than justified.

From its opening synths this song oozes retro, and the boy/girl split vocals are more than a little reminiscent of classic 80s combos like The Human League or that time Kirsty MacColl teamed up with The Pogues. However, there is a constant, underlying sense of modernity that places this very firmly in the 21stCentury, it’s almost tragic lyrics deceptively hidden amongst a wall of addictive electronics.

While they don’t yet seem to have fully capitalised on the hype that built around their first releases, Summer Camp are without doubt one of the most interesting and downright endearing bands of the moment. ‘Losing My Mind’ is three minutes of battery-powered bliss; catch them now, before everyone else does.

Words by Adrienne Law

For more single reviews head over to Electric Banana!

Waters – Take Me Out to the Coast

Take Me Out To The Coast
4 out of 5 stars

Waters - Take Me Out to the CoastTake Me Out to the Coast, is the latest single taken from ‘Out In the Light’, the debut album from Norwegian-American alt-rockers Waters. Formed in 2010 following the demise of frontman Van Pierszalowski’s former band Port O’Brien, they’ve already mastered the kind of grungy, anthemic rock that should make stadium -fillers like Coldplay shake in their well-heeled, faux-leather boots.

Starting with a relatively simple drum-guitar combo, this song reaches its climax with an emotive gang vocal that echoes the disappointed nostalgia of the lyrics. However, while the opening line of “I was wrong to believe in myself” may not suggest optimism, it’s hard not to find a glimmer of hope in such a stirring, chant-like chorus.

If you like your music rough around the edges, but with a hell of a lot of heart, then Waters might just be the band you’ve been waiting for. Adding a splash of indie sensibility to an otherwise scuzzy, low-fi concoction, these guys have proven with Take Me Out to the Coast that they have the potential to stay afloat for a long while to come.

Words by Adrienne Law

For more single reviews head over to Electric Banana!

The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow

Writing about web page http://www.electric-banana.co.uk/reviews/single-reviews/the-civil-wars-barton-hollow/

Barton Hollow
5 out of 5 stars

Civil Wars - Barton HollowWithout a doubt one of the most exciting bands to emerge during the tail end of 2011, Nashville’s The Civil Wars made quite an impression with their debut album Barton Hollow. Title track and latest single ‘Barton Hollow’ is a perfect blend of simple, almost brutal acoustic guitar and emotive vocal harmonies, coming together to form an insidiously potent piece of americana.

Sounding like the White Stripes channelling Bonnie and Clyde through a steel string guitar, this ridiculously talented duo (John Paul White and Joy Williams) exude the kind of bluesy confidence that sucks you in from the opening line. The sense of rhythm is overwhelming, despite the absence of percussion, and the sheer power of the guitar verges on the unnatural.

Of course, the star of the song has to be the vocals, and these two have quite the pair of lungs on them. The harmonies are perfectly judged, and the lyrics hint towards a dark tale of betrayal and sin that only increases the song’s allure. Truly a fantastic single.

Words by Adrienne Law

For more single reviews head over to Electric Banana!

January 16, 2012

Leisure – The Invisible Hand

Writing about web page http://www.electric-banana.co.uk/reviews/single-reviews/leisure-the-invisible-hand/

Leisure - The Invisible Hand
4 out of 5 stars

Leisure - The Invisible HandWhen a band hails from Cambridge, Massachusetts, home of Harvard University, you’d expect their music to have a touch of class and more than a dash of intelligence. It’s no surprise then that with ‘The Invisible Hand’, American trio Leisure have crafted a subtly layered, and hugely enjoyable slice of indie that more than passes with distinction.”

Taking the ambient guitar work of Foals, the yearning vocals of Robert Smith, and a distorted chorus that The Shins would be proud of, Leisure craft a song that nonetheless firmly establishes their own, unique sound. From the opening notes to the final fade out, this song screams the kind of easy charm that lesser bands could barely hope to imitate.

They may sing about being invisible, but if they keep producing material as good as this, their days of anonymity may be fairly short lived.

For more single reviews head over to Electric Banana!

The Wanted – Warzone

Writing about web page http://www.electric-banana.co.uk/reviews/single-reviews/the-wanted-warzone/

The Wanted - Warzone

In the immortal words of Mariah Carey, “All I want for Christmas is an awkward dubstep ballad”. Wait, you mean those aren’t the words? In that case it looks like the only people we have to blame for inflicting “Warzone” on our poor, defenceless ears are The Wanted themselves. Good one guys, way to make the post-Christmas come-down a million times more depressing.

This single is beyond pointless; too bass-heavy to be a ballad, and too slow to be a floor-filler, it would just about make a passable accompaniment to some kind of cinematic, slow-motion action sequence, and frankly my afternoon jog doesn’t quite live up to those expectations. Hell, it could have been a critical satire on the commercialism of the season, blaring out as desperate shoppers nationwide spend the next few days picking over the remains of decimated, desecrated Winter Sale rails.

Instead, it’s a yawn-inducing anti-climax that makes us feel all sad inside. At least we can take comfort in the fact that, all being well, by next Christmas no one will remember who these lot are anyway.


For more single reviews head over to www.electric-banana.co.uk!


She and Him – Christmas Day

Writing about web page http://www.electric-banana.co.uk/reviews/single-reviews/she-and-him-christmas-day/

She and Him - Christmas Day

Christmas singles are like the ponchos of the musical world; it doesn’t matter how cool you are, people just can’t seem to pull them off. She & Him (aka hipster pin-up Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) clearly felt they were up to the challenge, and put a whole album’s worth together for A Very She & Him Christmas. New single ‘Christmas Day’ is a joyous little throwback to a time when Christmas singles used to be, well, pretty damn good.

Their trademark 60s sound is particularly appropriate here, evoking those classic Christmas records by the likes of Brenda Lee or Love Unlimited. Its California surf sound with a rock’n’roll swing creates an ambient but infectious little tune, and Zooey Deschanel’s almost child-like vocals add the touch of innocence needed to make the twee Christmas sentiment convincing.

Those of you familiar with their back catalogue ‘Christmas Day’ will not disappoint; Sweet as a candy cane and marginally better for your teeth, I can guarantee this is one Crimbo cracker that won’t turn out to be a turkey.


For more reviews head over to www.electric-banana.co.uk!

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