Single Review + FREE DOWNLOAD – Los Campesinos! – Little Mouth

Los Campesinos! - "Little Mouth"

The Welsh Indie collective return with a single to release in conjunction and as part of the soundtrack for the film Benny and Jolene. ‘Little Mouth’ was recorded and written before they set to work on last year’s No Blues and as expected; has a light hearted and airy flow and feel to it via more conventional means of instrumentation and only slight, yet effective production statements. The lightly churning guitars and shimming piano’s and tambourines are tied down and controlled by the sharp percussion. The vocal combinations sweep across the instrumentals with ease, calm and warmth and all in all it is nicely worked track which rewards you more for the feel and energy of it rather than it’s workings and method. They are playing the Truck Festival today as well so check them out if you’re there and if you can’t, then get this song as a free download for you to swoon your summer afternoons away.

Los Campesinos! – No Blues Review

The light hearted indie pop rockers from Cardiff are back with their fifth album; No Blues. Despite the busy and crammed schedule since they released their first album in 2008 and the fluctuations to the groups members and numbers; they’ve generally kept up the standard they set five years ago. I looked at ‘Avocado, Baby’ last month and you couldn’t really knock the light tone of the song as it was reflecting a great melody and hook that was highly effective. There are several groups of Los Campesinos’ style and musicality around at the moment so it is easy for them to fall back into the mass of it all or fall back into line. Happy or optimistic music should not give artists the licence to be lazy or slack with their music. It can still be bright and innovative. For sore, it is something that they have to do to some extent when you consider the amount of bands that are similar to them.

‘Avocado, Baby’ starts off with the stompy percussion and takes up the typical layering of sound with the jangling rhythm guitar and then the bass which is swiftly followed by a more energetic shift in the percussion. When the vocals come in, there is a multitude of things going on but above it the synths provide some harmony to it sort of tie it all up. The stripped back interludes with the shouting vocals are a little odd and sort of break down the energetic flow of the song rather than enhance it. They even get the Cardiff Cougar Allstars cheerleading squad to add backing vocals on top of their own and with everything else its difficult to distinguish much from it. However, I don’t think its supposed to be broken up and scrutinised so much. It’s just a happy and energetic record and they’ve got it sorted in that respect. It does seem like a safe bet but it is one of a relatively good standard compared to a lot of Indie Pop acts. ‘What Death Leaves Behind’ flirts with more synth pop elements with the simple synth chords opening the song. The typical 21st century indie drums are layered atop it and they do intertwine well with the percussion. The vocals can and do sit above them easily and allows for the backing vocals to provide the harmony easily and frees up the guitars for some extra melody or for more extra building of sounds and textures throughout the song. Each element on its on is quite simple, but when combined and arranged in such a way; it does result in something that sounds a little more sophisticated than it may initially suggest. Yet the easy to find  hooks and melodies remain the focal point in creating an optimistic sound.

‘Cemetery Gaits’ open in a similar fashion but with the synths chords more broken up and rotating more which allows for the rhythm guitar to fit into it well. The drums come in to initiate a beat and from there the tone of the song is set. There is a wider range of vocals on other here with the standard to the more deeper and ‘on edge’ sound which enhance the effect of the higher toned harmonies and perhaps was done to accommodate them. The chorus has an immediate energy about it and the faded out sections hold the right atmosphere and feel. However it does go back into the normal run of the song with that typical ushering of a burst on the drum kit. It does work in that sense but it just seemed a little too obvious. ‘For Flotsam’ does have an interesting feature of the haunting and faded vocals that blend to make a tuneful wave of sound. The vocals have a backdrop to work against in that sense but again it just seems like a lost opportunity. They could have took it further by using a different element to drive the rhythm of the song in a much slicker fashion than the percussion does. ‘Glue Me’ has the sombre and muted synths to open with that allow the guitars to softly fall upon them and the vocal can form itself from it. The percussion matches the tone of the song much better and for much of the song; the bands refrain from going all out with the instrumentals but in keeping the varied elements considered and subtle pays off when the time comes to drive home a chorus. The progression to that point isn’t too drastic either and the song flows much better for it. Just the steady beat of the percussion and the rhythm guitars joining in with the backing vocals. One of their better songs on the album. A sign of what can be done with them in terms of production and scale and depth. Though they’ve been highlighted as having inconsistent albums, they haven’t done so on this occasion. But you get the feeling that there are some reoccurring elements in certain tunes that are unwelcome to the sound they are trying to create. Nevertheless it is a very solid album. The indie discos will be all over it. However there are only few moments where the album hold relevance beyond that. But ‘Glue Me’ is one of those.

Los Campesinos! – No Blues = 7.5/10

File:Los Campesinos! - No Blues.jpg

Images from thelineofbestfit.com / http://en.wikipedia.org

This Weeks Music Video

This Weeks Music Video. From Paul McCartney with Queenie Eye, Savages with Marshal Dear, Best Coast with I Don’t Know How and Los Campesinos! with Avocado, Baby

Single Review – Los Campesinos! – Avocado, Baby

The happy and light-hearted ‘indie’ pop group that originated from Cardiff are back to release their fifth album No Blues on October 29th. They’ve worked pretty hard since 2008 as it’s been five albums in five years and there has been several changes to what is quite a large group. One single off this album is ‘Avocado, Baby’ which starts off with the stompy percussion and takes up the typical layering of sound with the jangling rhythm guitar and then the bass which is swiftly followed by a more energetic shift in the percussion. When the vocals come in, there is a multitude of things going on but above it the synths provide some harmony to it sort of tie it all up. The stripped back interludes with the shouting vocals are a little odd and sort of break down the energetic flow of the song rather than enhance it. They even get the Cardiff Cougar Allstars cheerleading squad to add backing vocals on top of their own and everything else and its difficult to distinguish much from it. However, I don’t think its supposed to be broken up and scrutinised so much. It’s just a happy and energetic record and they’ve got it sorted in that respect.  

https://soundcloud.com/los-campesinos/avocado-baby

Image from www.thisisfakediy.co.uk