From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Florence + The Machine

Sunday Swoon. November 25th

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Two weeks rolled into one (less time to blog now my boss sits next to me as opposed to another country).

1. Villagers released their video for Nothing Arrived earlier in the week, the second from their yet to be released album Awayland (countdown to January 14th ticks by slowly). A day in the life of Terence Bliss. A bleak video for a beautiful song.

Gods Own Junkyard

2. Beak Street is lit up in a far better way than any bog standard Christmas decorations could achieve. Open until January Gods Own Junkyard exhibits and sells pieces from Chris Bracey’s collection spanning three decades. His work is instantly recognisable, even if you don’t know his name. His pieces have been used in Vogue shoots and Martin Creed. Londoner’s may recognise him from The Breakfast Club and MC Motors in Dalston. Also, the heat from all the bulbs make it toasty warm if you need a quick warm up.

 

3. Florence Welch ceases the bohemian ballerina act for a bit of gritty acting with Dark Knight Rises actor Ben Mendelsohn in her video for Lover to Lover. Hazily shot and refreshing to see a different tone to her videos.

4. I have a soft spot for The Killers (along with my Mum and 6 Music’s Shaun Keaveny) and I went along to seem them at the 02 last weekend with the one I am related to. Whatever your opinions may be they are a great band live and no snobbishness when deciding the set list. Five tracks from Hot fuss in total. Don’t pretend that you didn’t love that album.

5. The new Caitlin Rose song, No One To Call, is instantly warming. You can listen to it on The Line of Best Fit site here.

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Music for Melancholy

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Allow me to have a bad day. I am sat nursing one of the many bottles of wine leftover from the M&S dine in for £10 offers that have been collecting in the kitchen reminiscing on the past 12 months.

I got made redundant last August, found a job I was excited about only to discover on my second day that the office was closing down by Christmas. So the panic of finding regular employment started all over again just as soon as it had stopped. After a lot of energy sitting in my uncomfortable interview clobber I found another job by November. I jetted off to Istanbul for an exciting work trip within two weeks of joining them and contracted Tinnitus on the return flight to London.

12 months later I am being made redundant yet again as the office I work for closes. My lovely ENT Doctor who (not Doctor Who, that’s a very different Doctor) has worked so very hard and dealt with all my frustrations patiently and kindly, threw his hands up today and told me he’s exhausted every avenue he can think of to cure it. All of which have failed (regular readers of this blog will know that music is the centre of my universe and therefore my hearing is precious). Add to this the break up of a long-term relationship earlier in the year, which despite the fact I am happier out of that relationship I miss my sidekick and it was a tough thing to go through. Most days I laugh at all this shambolic rotten luck, because of all the wonderful amazing things landing on my doorstep (London 2012 especially inspiring, friends and families support even more so).

The point to all this? None really. I am by nature a glass half full sort. In fact I’m more glass half full, favourite crisps in the cupboard and a bottle of rum under the kitchen sink. I’m not typing this to offer any wisdom other than to say I think it’s OK to have a shit day every now and again, and it’s more than OK to admit it. This post isn’t intended to cause worry. It’s just about that one message, that it’s fine to have a melancholic evening. Drink wine, feel a bit peeved about the hand you’ve been dealt and listen to lyrics. Then wake up in the morning ready to kick the world in its chops and run round the park listening to Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On  A Prayer (I do that).

It’s good to have a soundtrack to wallow in, and beautifully sad music has a magical way of lifting me out of a sulk. Here’s what I’ve been listening to, just in case anyone out there is feeling a bit naff. Music offers a million things to me, that it can be cathartic is just one little element.

You can play this mixtape on Spotify or YouTube.

  1. Bat for Lashes – Laura
  2. Florence + The Machine – Never Let Me Go
  3. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide
  4. The Middle East – Blood
  5. LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great
  6. How To Dress Well – World I Need You, Won’t Be Without You
  7. Perfume Genius – Hood
  8. Anthony & The Johnsons – Hope There’s Someone
  9. Bon Iver – Holocene
  10. Kindness – House

November 7th Mixtape

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So I’ve had rotten flu for the past few days. Instead of being perched on Primrose Hill with cans of lager watching the fireworks on Saturday night I had to be content sitting on my windowsill in Willesden all by myself, blanket wrapped round my shoulders, straining to spot sprays of electric dots brightening my bleak horizon. I had to settle for local youths setting them off in the garage forecourt opposite, one hand poised over the 9 key in case I had to call for help. It’s a strange and extremely frustrating thing to me, a weekend indoors. I am mightily relieved I didn’t start talking to myself, making pasta shape paintings and writing dark, bleak poetry.

I did make hot buttered rum and didn’t know such a thing existed until my solo bonfire night. I also got to listen to a ton of music. There’s not enough hours in the day… scrap that, there’s not enough years to listen to everything I want in my ear drums. The Pavement back catalogue alone took up most of Saturday.

On a side note I’ve been compiling a Motape in support of Movember. Once I started thinking of mustachioed musicians I couldn’t stop and as a result I am posting a tashtastic song a day on a dedicated page so please do check that out and donate if you can!

If you’re a Spotify user click here to play the mixtape and if you’re a YouTube purist click here to play the videos.

1. Black Mountain – The Hair Song (was convinced I could add this to the Movember mixtape but alas my memory failed me. They’re just hairy in general. Which suits this track perfectly).

2. My Life Story – Sparkle (I’ve been taking a trip down Britpop lane this weekend, all will become clear in a post later this week. Always adored this track for its Marc Almond sense of pomp &  theatrical occasion. I dug out the 7″, all glitter and see through vinyl).

3. Hooray For Earth – True Loves (Single is out today. Remember when buying singles used to be exciting? Usually in Woolworth’s with some pick ‘n mix if you had enough cash? I wish iTunes gave out sweets. I digress. This is my Autumn song, trudging over leaves, skulking on tube platforms, pausing on London Bridge to watch the moon. I’m in my own world when I listen to it).

4.  Infadels – Love Like Semtex (Lolita & I were reminded of this band when we went to see Duologue last week. This track would have made every going out playlist I compiled in 2006).

5.   Duologue – Push It (I reviewed this band for Flush The Fashion last Thursday and highly recommend you check them out. Their site has a couple of free downloads so head over there and let me know what you think of them. My opinions are summed up in the review).

6. Florence + The Machine – No Light, No Light  (She can do no wrong. Number 1 album, angelic yet eerie performances on Jools Holland, face angles you could sharpen a HB pencil on. This is a stand out track on Ceremonials for me).

7. Camera Obscura – French Navy (John Osborne said it’s a rule in music that all girls like Belle & Sebastian. I also think that applies to Camera Obscura).

8. Family Of The Year – St. Croix  (I just love love this track. The same way my big sisters probably adored Prefab Sprout. Yes, it sounds a tad cheesy but I am willing to put good Euro’s that you’ll be joining in with the “Whoah a whoah oh” backing vocals and dreaming of making love potions and dancing in slow motion. Listen!).

9. Pavement – Stop Breathin’ (I honestly did listen to the entire back catalogue when I had sleepless nights this weekend. I’ve not listened to them for what felt like years. Vast work, underrated band).

10. R.E.M – We All Go Back To Where We Belong (Has it sunk in yet? Has it? No more. No more. I have no words for this*insert sad face*)

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Written by Anon PA

November 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm

October 17th Mixtape

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This weeks mixtape is making me feel like I have multiple personalities, swinging from Indie to Pop to Reggae. I had the pleasure of speaking to Steve Lamacq a week ago today on his 6 Music show on an item called Good Day/Bad Day. He summed up my two choices (Yeah Yeah Yeahs Date With The night and R.E.M’s Nightswimming) as “wild abandon or melancholy meditation”. Dear friend Ms Mangetout, owner of the worlds coolest slow cooker, said that summed me up perfectly. Strange how your music tastes sub-consciously reflect elements of your personality.

I spent this weekend at our family home in Devon. My parents moved into the house when I came along (I’m the youngest in the photo below) and 33 years later its still a true haven for me. I took long walks along cliffs, beaches and through fields. I stuffed myself with so many vegetables at Riverford Farm that I am still full up two days later. I picked Sloes with my Mum in preparation to make barrels of gin whilst getting caught in brambles and stung on the bum by nettles. But what struck me the most this weekend is how my parents still teach and introduce me to new things, namely Therese Raquin, Bert Weedon and Knitting on this occasion. Their seemingly never-ending knowledge on almost every subject you can think of is something I’m very grateful for. That and the fact that they swear so I don’t have to mind my language!

If you’re a Spotify user click here to play the mixtape and if you’re a YouTube purist click here to play the videos.

1. Shout Out Louds – The Comeback (When I first heard this band I thought they hailed from New York, they have that sound reminiscent of cool NY art students lurking around lofts. I still can’t get over they’re from Stockholm. This was always my favourite track of theirs).

2. Garbage – I’m Only Happy When It Rains (Shirley Manson is on my list of girls who look  untouchable hot as red heads, she’d have been at the top until Karen Gillan came in to my life. Whenever I’m wandering down Britpop lane Garbage will be one of the first bands that get played).

3. This Many Boyfriends – Young Lovers Go Pop (Every now and again a song comes along that you know you’re going to love simply from the title alone. This is THAT track).

4. The Smiths – Girlfriend In A Coma (My sister & boyfriend have been together a huge amount of time, they have cited their reason for tying the knot based on the following. If one of them ever falls into a coma they want the other to have the right to turn the machine off. They are both Morrissey fans. It’s a very Morrissey reason. This song is for my sister).

5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Over & Over Again (This track reminds me of living in Kentish Town, my beloved little corner of London, calling in sick after midweek gigs, bacon sandwiches at Mario’s Cafe, parties at The Pineapple. Like Talking Heads have chilled the fuck out).

6. Desmond Dekker – You Can Get It If You Really Want (Stupidly bright and sunny in Devon this weekend, I sat watching people swim down Breakwater beach, resisting the urge to hide their clothes. I listened to old hip hop and reggae tracks as I sat there, this sums up what I’m trying to tell myself constantly).

7. Devo – Whip It (From reggae to some classic 80’s. When watching the video for this last week I claimed that they wouldn’t be able to make videos like this anymore, in hindsight how ridiculous is it that I think that way when pop videos are so overtly sexual now?).

8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Hysteric (I have to restrain myself from putting a YYY track on my mixtape posts every week. Possibly my most consistently listened to band over the past few years. Karen O once described herself as always knowing she was “a volcano, waiting to erupt”. This track is a love song, the surprise of someone suddenly completing you, its stunning).

9. Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out (I have played this over three times a day the past week, everything about it screams & shouts to me at the moment for reasons too personal and EMO to bore you all with. From a purely musical perspective it’s so well produced. Lungs was brilliant but I suspect too many producers spoiled the broth so to speak. Collaborating solely with Paul Epworth on Ceremonials will no doubt have created something magical and more complete).

10. Lana Del Rey – Video Games (I’d heard this on the radio a dozen times but it was her performance on Jools Holland that connected me to it. Now I understand the hype, funny how sometimes I have to see a live performance to “get it”. Massive girl crush).

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Thanks to Dear Photograph for the inspiration behind taking the photo

September 13th Mixtape & Thames Festival

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I spent my entire weekend trotting up and down the Thames for the end of summer festival. All the while plotting this weeks mixtape in the back of my head. The things I wanted to type, the songs I wanted to hear. I had tons to say but then the Hare Krishna’s wiped all my ideas so this is not the post I had intended.

As we sat outside the BFI with double rum & ginger, feet aching after walking around for hours a group of Hare Krishna’s approached with drums and chants at full pelt. It’s not a surprising sight in London. Anyone walking from Tottenham Court Road to Oxford Circus would have tuned into the sound of tambourines and bells gradually approaching. This particular group surprised me by joining forces with a group of drumming buskers and it then mutated to a conga line with bystanders joining in. Sounds confusing but it was a joy to watch and summed up why London is so brilliant. Clad in white robes and sandaled feet they swished past me sweeping up people dressed in jeans and jumpers, their musicians blending with the buskers. Hare Krishna Vs. Buskers mash-up if you like.

The Thames Festival is exactly what I needed this weekend. I know a lot of people can’t stand the idea of organised fun or Boris Johnson so I understand it’s not for everyone. However, with my recent and ongoing rotten luck in the job market reconnecting with London felt important, vital and inspiring. With the boy Lolita, armed with pennies for drink and my camera, we spent the whole weekend between London Bridge and Westminster. A few snaps can be found on Flickr.

We got to toast the Thames on Southwark Bridge with hundreds of others, tables lit up with pumpkin lanterns and strings of coloured lights. We stood on the shoreline when the tide was low under the neon message “We Wanted To Be The Sky” (based on a Cat Power lyric) clutching potent ciders with our toes in the sand. We watched Mercury Prize nominated Ghostpoet play to a crowd happy to stand in the rain to hear the true voice of London today. We watched a carnival procession of the beautiful, insane and strange. All for free.

Click on mixtape to listen to the tracks below via Spotify and raise a toast to the Thames sometime this week (although I wouldn’t recommend drinking from it). 

  1. Summer Camp – Better Off Without You
  2. The Breeders – Cannonball
  3. The Drums – Money
  4. Ghostpoet – Us Against Whatever Ever
  5. Hot Chip – Boy From School
  6. Florence + The Machine – What The Water Gave Me
  7. The Kinks – Victoria
  8. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Tigers
  9. The Only Ones – Another Girl Another Planet
  10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Turn Into
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Written by Anon PA

September 13, 2011 at 11:26 am