Things We Love This Week: Panda Bear, James Blake, Christine and the Queens

This week, I learned what krumping is. Why, you ask? I’ll get to that. Patience, young music lover.

Panda Bear – Buoys

I’m not entirely sure why, but I can’t stop looking a French bulldog with human teeth. It’s an image that will haunt me for probably about an hour. The latest video from Noah Lennox, otherwise known as the experimental pop musician Panda Bear, is an… interesting watch.

We all love dogs. There’s nothing new there — but dogs hosting game shows? Someone call HBO! You’ve got yourself a hit TV show.  Beatrice the Frenchie is looking for love in the Danny Perez-directed video, which is full of wacky, ‘70s inspired graphics and colours.

Panda Bear plays Electric Brixton next week. Head here for tickets.

James Blake: ‘Assume Form’ Tour

James Blake kicked off the UK leg of his ‘Assume Form’ tour this week, and I was lucky enough to nab some tickets to the second Bristol show. With songs galore from his new album, as well as audience favourites like Retrograde, The Wilhelm Scream, and Limit To Your Love, he took the O2 Academy’s breath awayI had never felt bass vibrations in my nostrils before, but goddammit James you made it happen.

Although the record has a what feels like hundreds of collaborations on it, Blake didn’t bring anyone on tour with him. He did an excellent job with vocal samples instead. The vibe transcended expectations, ranging in mood from intense and brooding on Mile High, to club-like trance toward the end of Voyeur and back down to earth again with Lullaby For My Insomniac, performed solely on loops, to close.

Blake finishes off the tour with two London dates next week. Head here for tickets.

Christine And The Queens – Comme Si Video

As promised, here is your lesson in krumping. A horrible word that sounds like something your stomach might do after eating something out of date, it actually has a more wholesome definition. It’s a form of street dance popular in the US as a way to express emotions in a non-violent, but equally as powerful way.

So why all the krumping talk? Christine and the Queens can explain through the power of motion picture. Héloïse Letissier is an impressive dancer, and in her latest video, Comme Si, she performs a routine inspired by Orphelia, a painting inspired in turn by the Shakespeare play Hamlet.

Check out the superb video here, then, it’s pretty much a given that you’re going to want to purchase tickets to her All Points East show.

That’s all for now, folks! Tune in next week for another episode of Things We Love This Week, where I’ll be discussing more gigs, videos and tracks. #FridayFeeling

 

Read More

This Week’s New Releases: Ariana Grande, AJ Tracey And Queen Zee

This week’s new releases list is almost as diverse as the crowd in the Star Wars cantina scene. Ariana Grande has promptly followed up 2018’s ‘Sweetener’, while West London rapper AJ Tracey has released his self-titled debut LP, as have the force of nature that is Liverpool’s Queen Zee.

Still want more? Fill those boots below.

AJ Tracey – ‘AJ Tracey’ (AJ Tracey)

Ariana Grande – ‘Thank U, Next’ (Republic Records)

Beast In Black – ‘From Hell With Love’ (Nuclear Blast)

Bob Mould – ‘Sunshine Rock’ (Merge)

Cass McCombs – ‘Tip Of The Sphere’ (Anti-)

HEALTH – ‘Vol. 4: Slaves Of Fear’ (Concorde/Lorna Vista)

Jessica Pratt – ‘Quiet Signs’ (City Slang)

Jozeg Van Wissem & Jim Marmusch – ‘An Attempt To Draw Aside The Veil’ (Sacred Bones)

The Lemonheads – ‘Varshons 2’ (Fire Records)

Mercury Rev – ‘Bobboe Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited’ (Bella Union)

Panda Bear – ‘Buoys’ (Domino)

Queen Zee – ‘Queen Zee’ (Sasstone)

Said The Whale – ‘Cascadia’ (Arts & Crafts/Caroline)

Wiz Khalifa and Currenc$y – ‘2009’ (Jet Life Recordings)

Xiu Xiu – ‘Girl With Basket Of Fruit’ (Upset The Rhythm)

YAK – ‘Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness’ (Virgin EMI)

Read More

Things We Love This Week: The Orielles, Ibibio Sound Machine, Nilüfer Yanya

Everybody (yea-ah)… rock your body (yea-ah)… blog is back…ALRIGHT!

*To the tune of the Backstreet Boys, which has been spinning in my head for six hours since they announced a UK tour this morning. You’re welcome.*

The Orielles – Bobbi’s Second World

After the release of highly regarded ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ earlier this year, dream poppers the Orielles’ new one is a funky song about a cat. Influenced by a northern soul vibe and that post-punk revival scene that’s knocking around, it’s fun, groovy and just a little bit psychedelic.

The band said of the track: It centres around the story of a cat named Bobbi who, in order to become a lady, has to experience the extremities of two complex and differing realities – situated in her front and back gardens respectively.”

Bobbie’s Second World comes backed by a cover of Peggy Gou’s It Makes You Forget (Itgehane), a bop that makes some interesting use of panning in the vocal break. Get your ears and dancing shoes ready, it’s Friday.

Ibibio Sound Machine – Basquiat

WHY WOULD YOU NOT WANT THIS IN YOUR LIFE?!

Basquiat is a disco party in its Sunday Best. Loose piano trills open the track, along with simple staccato vocals and some tickling percussion, before that funky bass guitar kicks in and the party starts. Awwww yeeah.

It was written earlier this year for the Barbican’s Video Jam event, inspired by the work of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Nilüfer Yanya – Heavyweight Champion of the Year

More than anything, Yanya’s new song and video combo is here purely as the latest instalment to one of my favourite in-head listicles, People Playing Electric Guitars That Aren’t Plugged In. She is second to the current chart topper: Snail Mail’s Heatwave, which finds Lindsey Jordan playing while ice skating. Come on now.

Panda Bear – Dolphin

Lastly: don’t do drugs, kids.

Read More