This Week’s Music Video with Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, Belle & Sebastian, Angel Olsen, Blonde Redhead, The Decemberists, Deerhoof and She & Him

Single Review – Mark Ronson – Daffodils (feat. Kevin Parker)

As Mark Ronson continues to release material from his upcoming album Uptown Special with the it’s second single ‘Daffodils’ which sees the pop producer combine his efforts with Kevin Parker: Neo Psychedelic producer and the driving force of Tame Impala as a follow up to his lead single ‘Uptown Funk’ which also featured Bruno Mars on the track. It would seem then, that much like his 2010 studio album under the title of Mark Ronson and the Business Intl.; that Ronson has set about forming another impressive and varied list of collaborators for his current project and the two names already produced are pretty different in themselves. The track opens with a washed out, analogue synth sweep which rolls off into a slick and slightly pashed out funk-like groove of a riff with crisp percussion and Parker’s spaced out, high pitched vocal just expanding the song’s space even more. The explorative sounds are reeled in a little with bass line interludes and flashing bass beat. It’s quite a novel record in producing what is effectively a neo-psychedelic-funk hybrid, but one that works with all purposefulness and style.

Sunday Suggestion – Paul McCartney – Appreciate

If you look upon McCartney’s 2013 album; full of nostalgic forays into the past decades of his career, then you’ll see that the man of innovation and risk taking is still there. Appreciate is a hidden gem within the New album. It’s stylish and refined neo-psychedelia curled around a hip hop beat and it has more freshness about it than many of the young artists releasing music over the last few years. That is either a sign of McCartney’s prowess or a sign of the lack of it amongst the new musicians of today. It shifts forward and refrains back in terms of focus and volume and is a fluctuating song in that sense. He’s also moulded a song with an expansive feel that goes far beyond the instrumentals with a rough washed out method. A credit to the legendary man.

Singles Review – Paperwhite – ‘Gold’ & ‘Galaxay’

Paperwhite are a New York based duo, and have just released their first EP ‘Magic’. They’re up for playing a gig in Camden tomorrow evening, and the tickets are very affordable, so if you’re in the area, I’d recommend a trip to The Stillery, Camden. Now on to the reasons why!

The first track I’m going to focus on is ‘Gold’. The second the tune began, I was instantly reminded of many of Fleetwood Mac’s hit songs, what with the heavy use of synth and the metallophone emanating from the background of the track. I was also reminded of Christmas songs, which may just give an indication of the Christmassy mood I am in at present. And, yet again, the vocals reminded me of that of Maximo Park’s more recent tracks and albums. This suggests that this band may have a solid future, what with the famous associations I can hear within this track.

‘Galaxy’, the second track on this EP, is, I believe, a magnificent song. The beginning is marked by a complete whirring of the senses, a feeling of disorientation, only to be remedied by the soothing, plodding sounds of the track about ten seconds in. I was instantly reminded of ‘Fireflies’ by Owl City because of its overwhelming simplicity and beauty as a track. Then the vocals came in, and I thought I was listening to a completely different band in comparison to ‘Gold’. I felt like the vocals were more clear-cut, and not so lost amongst the other things going on in the track, which I felt may have been a bit of a weakness in ‘Gold’. I also feel that there is a unique depth to this song, possibly because of its accessible sound, and its more harmonious message, allowing the listener to really get the essence of the song. If Paperwhite continue composing songs like ‘Galaxy’, I truly believe they will go a great distance in their career.

Written by Louisa Pennell


Single Review – Osca – Trumpet

Osca have released their debut EP Blood this week and along with that they released the lead single ‘Trumpet’. The track is an open, minimalistic and spacious affair. With long periods of sole, echoed vocals, subtle and muted drum beats, whirring effects and gentle acoustic riffs. These elements ever so subtly build up in sound in a gradual rise before fading into synths washes and vocal sweeps that extend and enhance the atmospheric quality of the song. The song never sacrifices style or refinement for the need to grab a cheap musical thrill and the song is all the better for it, while style fluctuating and progressing within itself.

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