I read an article a while ago, on the BBC website, about whether or not guitar music was dead. They quoted loads of sales figures etc for rock albums and documented the rise of R&B/Hip Hop pop etc. They then discussed new bands like Mount Kimbie who were utilise guitars but in a non-traditional way…i.e. sampling them, chopping them up (not literally) or putting them through so many affects that you couldn’t really tell if it was a guitar or not (they are a top band by the way).
For me the question is, is it still relevant and can it stay fresh/important. With it being easier now to create music and get it out into the world (just like you can say that it is easier to get your opinions about music out into the world via blogs like this) quality sometimes gets lost in the volume. The Talking Heads track I posted on Friday, although over 30 years old, was a nice little reminder that guitar led music can still sound innovative and fresh. That sort of jolt happened again this morning when the Akron/Family track came on.
I came to their work a little late – the fist thing I picked up was the tremendous ‘Set Em Wild, Set Em Free’ from 2009. The track I am posting up is from the album that followed – Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT which is another beauty that was released in 2011. If you have never heard them before, well, their sound and style is hard to pin down. Like White Denim who I have posted about before there is a psych rock element to what they do, but rather than being anchored to a garage styled rock these guys seem to have American County/Folk rock at their core, bringing in flashes of world music where required. But the thing about them is the absolute freshness to what they do – as you listen through their work you forget the components and get sucked into their soundscapes and songs. They are masters at managing the dynamics and melodies of a track, taking it out there but always holding it together. The track I have gone for ‘Another Sky’ is a perfect example of this. When it came on this morning it was like a slap in the face (in a good way)…it is loud and if you like that sort of thing then brilliant, but if not, give it a chance, you will be well rewarded. They are a really interesting band – the way they swap instruments, the myths they create around themselves and their work, the experimental elements of what they do – they do all of it oh so well. I certainly recommend you check their stuff out. Tremendous stuff
Picture from last fm.
Playlist Tuesday 15th May 2012
For the first time in a while I was on the train into Leeds this morning. Having struggled to get out of bed I ended up getting a later train. Once sat down the ritual commenced – the Independent news app and shuffle. It was a beautiful morning and the music fit nicely. I did find it hard to pick a track today as so many little beauties seemed to come on. Started out with Darlings post punk stylings on ‘We’re Not Going’ and then past tracks by artists and albums I have posted before (need to change my music a bit more regularly). The hip hop class of Dilated People ‘Work The Angles’ was almost the track of choice, but then each track that followed had me going..’oooh no, I’ll go for this. Tracks by Ero Johannes, Braids, First Person Shootr, Destroyer, The American Analogue Set and even the Grateful Dead almost made it. As I approached work the legends that are Guided By Voices came on – it was a track off their comeback album ‘The Unsinkable Fats Domino’ – A great track, with a great name, by a great band. A great way to go out.
Playlist: Darlings – We’re Not Going, Octavcat – Beetroot Beat, Anni Rossi – Candyland, Youth Lagoon – Ghost To Me, Dilated People – Work The Angles, Ero Johannes – Lipton Service Boy, Braids – Little Hand, First Person Shootr – You New Web, Akron/Family – Another Sky, Destroyer – Chinatown, Delorean – Stay Close, The Grateful Dead – Friend Of The Devil, The American Analogue Set – The Kindness Of Strangers, Guided By Voices – The Unsinkable Fats Domino.