This Weeks Music Video with FOALS, Bloc Party, The Kills, AlunaGeorge, Mitski, Eleanor Friedberger and Blossoms

This Weeks Music Video with Grimes, Weezer, Major Lazer and FOALS

 

 

 

 

 

Musicandotherthingz.com Best British Act of 2015

Here is the list of ten nominees for best British Act.

 

3. Chvrches (16%)

The Glaswegian synthpop trio returned from the success of their debut album with a leaner and developed sound in 2015 with Every Open Eye. Their sound was more prominent, powerful and slick, yet the emotive lyrical content remained and this made for some of the best Pop tracks of the year. In 2015 Chvrches demonstrated that they have serious staying power.

 

2. FOALS (20%)

FOALS took on Hard Rock and pure Alternative music with their fourth studio album What Went Down which came out late in August. They widened their appeal and did with Hard Rock what many have failed to do in recent times; make it into a dynamic and significant music. They also provided us with vast soundscapes and some familiar reminders that they’ve still got it in them.

 

  1. Everything  Everything (28%)

Manchester based Everything Everything gave us their best album yet with Get To Heaven back in June. On all fronts the album was bold, uncompromising and aggressive; this was particularly true with their dark lyrical content about the rise of ISIL, their bemusement at British politics and repeated mass shootings. Their view of a World failing itself was encased with varied music on a dramatic and cinematic scale, making the message all the more powerful. The bookmakers making them a shoe-in for a Mercury Prize victory soon after the album’s release demonstrated the wide acclaim and recognition of their third album. Their failure to get a nomination for the Mercury Prize was a glaring and embarrassing omission.

This Week’s Music Video with Foals, The Decemberists, ZHU & AlunaGeorge and Kopecky

FOALS – What Went Down Review

In a certain light Foals are quite similar to fellow British group Everything Everything in that both have produced a string of good quality or decent albums without really setting the world alight or producing material that pushes any personal or general musical boundaries. For Everything Everything it was just a case of channelling their different influences into a slicker and smoother delivery. For Foals it has been about creating something more engaging and dynamic to showcase their qualities as a group. The hiring of James Ford as producer was something of a gamble. The Arctic Monkeys and Mumford producer could give them something more direct or could produce something with little identity or character as has been the case with Mumford in particular. He can only work with what’s he has been given though so it is up to Foals to rise to that task.

The heavy-weight instrumentation of the title track confirms a more direct route with roaring distortion and unrelenting rhythms carried by a heavy bass-line and a primed back beat. Yannis’ vocals adapt to the shift well and still maintain their melodic quality with the added aggression involved. Generally it is a dynamic and interesting take on the heaver sound that everyone has been trying out in recent times. This track builds up to those peak moments of volume in the chorus and in maintaining complimentary harmonies and melodies they give the song a more intelligent feel as oppose to the mindless thrashing of Royal Blood. ‘Mountain at my gates’ is a little less intense then the title track with a flashing rhythm section and a smooth, low lying bass line from which lead guitar elements and Yannis’ vocals can extend from. The jangling rhythm section riffs give the song it’s melodic direction in a steady fashion before the song ends in a peak of sound with hammering bass drums and spiralling lead guitar elements into a mass of noise and rapidity to conclude with. A song that isn’t as sure as itself as the title track, but one that just about keeps your attention.

‘A Knife in The Ocean’ is a much longer effort at over six minutes long and is a more considered and drawn out song with lingering bass lines, echoed percussion and washed out guitars from which Yannis’ vocals soar above. This expansive production is reeled in and out to reveal an isolated vocal and bass section before it hit it’s peak of atmospheric power with the escalating instrumentation increasing in volume and leading the vocals to a more powerful end too. This track may be a slow burner, but it’s build up and washed out power is very prominent despite not being direct. A very solid track indeed. ‘London Thunder’ similarly captures that atmospheric quality with the nudging organs whirring beyond Yannis’ isolated vocal and a crisp, loud riff to heighten the senses as the track’s background noise begins to dictate the track with a bass line and beat being produced in response. The percussion that dictates the drive of ‘Albatross’ is the bass for a track that brilliantly maintains itself on edge as the track builds volume and pace. Tracks like ‘Night Swimmers’ and ‘Lonely Hunter’ do feel a little too familiar and almost seem like discarded tracks folded into the album and with ‘Snake Oil’ they left behind the musical sensibility of the title track and basically turned into Royal Blood. In many places this album has great atmospheric quality and plays off the spaces created beautifully and they were also able to harness a great deal of power into something solid and dynamic. At other times they forgot how to do just that and the album fillers only stood out like a sore thumb next to those more developed tracks and that ultimately sees them stopping short of a great album.

FOALS – What Went Down = 8/10

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Foals – A Knife In The Ocean

Foals release the third track from their August 28th album What Went Down with ‘A Knife in The Ocean’. It’s a much longer effort at over six minutes long and is a more considered and drawn out song with lingering bass lines, echoed percussion and washed out guitars from which Yannis’ vocals soar above. This expansive production is reeled in and out to reveal an isolated vocal and bass section before hit it’s peak of atmospheric power with the escalating instrumentation increasing in volume and leading the vocals to a more powerful end too. This track may be a slow burner, but it’s build up and washed out power is very prominent despite not being direct. A very solid track indeed.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

This Weeks Music Video with Kendrick Lamar, Foals, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and The Weeknd

Single Review – Foals – Mountain At My Gates

The upcoming fourth studio album by Foals What Went Down will be available on August 28th and they’ve just released another track from the album with ‘Mountain At My Gates’. It’s a little less intense then the title track with a flashing rhythm section and a smooth, low lying bass line from which lead guitar elements and Yannis’ vocals can extend from. The jangling rhythm section riffs give the song it’s melodic direction in a steady fashion before the song ends in a peak of sound with hammering bass drums and spiralling lead guitar elements into a mass of noise and rapidity to conclude with. A song that isn’t as sure as itself as the title track, but one that just about keeps your attention.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

This Week’s Music Video with Future Islands, Foals, Hurts, Mac DeMarco & Beirut

Single Review – Foals – What Went Down

“I wanted to tap into my inner madman” is what Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis claimed was the driving force behind their fiery new single ‘What Went Down’ which is also the title track of their upcoming album which we can expect on August 28th. They’ve enrolled James Ford for production of the album who’s previously worked with Arctic Monkeys and Mumford so suggests they might be trying to travel down a more direct, mainstream route. The heavy-weight instrumentation of the title track confirms that might just be their aims with roaring distortion and unrelenting rhythms carried by a heavy bass-line and a primed back beat. Yannis’ vocals adapt to the shift well and still maintain their melodic quality with the added aggression involved. Generally it is a dynamic and interesting take on the heaver sound that everyone is trying out in recent times with this track building up to those peak moments of volume in the chorus and maintaining complimentary harmonies and melodies that give the song a more intelligent feel as oppose to the mindless thrashing of Royal Blood. Caution must be heeded however, if they go on to make an album of similar songs then it will not only devalue this track but their album and will be detrimental if they want to go on to add a great album in a long ling of consistently good albums. Having said that, they’ve applied themselves well here.

Owen Riddle @oriddle1995