“Like no other you can’t be replaced.” A Thank You Note, Of Sorts.

31 12 2012

With this being my 1000 post, I thought I should try write something of worth. Whether or not it is, well that’s a different subject entirely. It may make sense, it may just wind up being another nonsensical rant, which is usually is. I don’t need telling, I already know. As the end of 2012 approaches (or it may already have depending on your location) you see a lot of people taking to social networking sites declaring how the next year will be THEIR year or they are going to change. It irks me because, you can make whatever change you wish at any point. You announce these things but by the second week of January you hate yourself more than you ever did. Make life easier on yourself, and just carry on as normal. I say this, but I make life hard work for myself at times. It’s a fault, one of many.

I don’t like discussing my weight/how chubby I am because I’m not exactly a fan of myself. I could have easily been like most and said START OF THE YEAR I AM GETTING FIT. Over the past year and a half, I have been working on losing weight. It’s not easy. Fortunately, I really do enjoy going to the gym for a few hours and listening to music. I’d take a book with me but whilst on the treadmill I do look like a panic-stricken bear. When I go there, it doesn’t just get rid of my horrendous fat, but it clears the mind. I currently work at HMV, but it’s only a Christmas job. I love it. I bloody love it. For every grumpy customer, there is one that just makes your day. I’ve held up queues talking to people about bands, I’ve been hugged by customers because I helped them, I’ve had people sing to me then ask “do you have that one?” and the old favourite, “Excuse me..do you work here?” It is a brilliant job and those I’ve worked with are equally as brilliant. It was my third year there, and I think this year was my favourite. It just gives you a sense of pride and self-worth knowing you’ve helped someone. I must add, it is usually the older generation (60+) that are much kinder. Kids today are just rude really. Or maybe it’s the kids over here. I have no idea. Put down your iPads kids, and go take a walk. Use your mind. Come 5th January and I’ll be out of work, and on the Monday I’ll be taking that awful trip to the job centre to sign on. If you’ve never had your soul crushed and your dreams shat on; I suggest you go on the dole. If you want to be treated like dirt and have a wealth of self-hate upon you; go on the dole. My degree is useless, but I have no means of going back to uni. Of course in an ideal world I would have my own record shop, with a healthy selection of books. Later on I’d have my own publishing company. And finally, I’d be able to get a dog. These are hopes and dreams that maybe I’ll one day achieve.

We treat this time of year as a time of reflection. I don’t like thinking about the past, because it can sometimes make you debate what you want your future and present to be. Although, we cannot control the future. I firmly believe if something is going to happen, it will happen. I can relate this to the one I love. Many years ago, maybe something should have happened. Go forward five years and seeing her whilst in London during Pride (oh I know, but this one was alright so…) this year was truly the best thing to have happened. Part of my brain thought, “This could happen..somehow.” Every day since we have been talking, and FINALLY after waiting 5 years, this beautiful and perfect being is my girlfriend. I’m not a happy person naturally, but who is. But I finally know what sincere happiness and what true love is, thanks to her. It was always going to be her- and now it finally is. I’m working on trying to make her buy me a dog. Baby steps, I know. I know. It’s just lovely to be with someone who is full of love and kindness, and wants to change no part of me. Also means I get to spend more time in London too.

This year I have learnt that patience prevails. If you wait, it will happen. With reference to above, I can also link this in to music. Since 2009, I have been a huge fan of Crocodiles. They dragged me through a break-up, showed me a different (and better) world with their music and their lyrics claimed a part of my heart that needed claiming. I missed out on several tours, cue heartbreak and loathing wherever I was living at the time. 4th September they did a free gig at Rough Trade. Oh fate, how I love thee. I was already in London. I think I was staying for a week. I walked past Brandon and Charlie just outside Rough Trade. My stomach flipped. If I was 14 and mental, I may have chased them. Instead, I am a 26-year-old who gets tongue-tied most of the time. Their free gig at Rough Trade was a special moment for me. I paid no attention to anyone in the crowd. I don’t even think 100 hundred people were there. I sang to every song, I swayed and shut my eyes. I opened them, in awe and in shock of being right in front of the band that did more for me than they will ever know. Sadly, I was too much of a wuss to go up to them at the end and talk to them. Next time, I will. I vow to talk to them. About something, or nothing in particular.

My favourite music moment of this year has to be Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls covering Just Like Honey by The Jesus And Mary Chain, just for me. Just for me. A nobody from nowhere. It started as a sweeping statement from myself on Twitter one evening. I was listening to Psychocandy, and just wrote on Twitter something like “Imagine if Dum Dum Girls covered Just Like Honey.” The next day I woke to a reply from Dee Dee telling me to email her. So I did. She replied telling me she would try to do a cover for me. A few months later, she emailed me the cover and wrote “For your ears only xx.” I do not think anyone in this world can understand what this meant to me, and still does. And yes, I did cry. I’ve been a fan for many years of Dum Dum Girls, and for this to happen just blew my mind. If I see them when they come to the UK, I just need to thank Dee Dee face to face for it. That’s all I can do. Their music has made certain events less shite, you know how it is. Coming Down is my go-to song. Rest Of Our Lives describes my love for the one I love. Season In Hell gives me hope and Catholicked brings me back to life.

This has gone on long. I think I’ve said too much, but I have more to say.

I’ve been freelancing for close to 7 years now, and I started this blog in 2008 as part of an Online Journalism module whilst at Uni. I think I was the only one in that class to keep up their blog. There have been times where I thought there was no point in writing. No point at all. There have been times where if, Writer’s Block was a person I would gladly thump it in the gut. But then I hear a song or find a new band, and my love is restarted and I cannot imagine me not writing. I just HAVE to do it. It keeps me going. I have never been paid to write. Never. No one has offered to do so. I’m not about money. I own nothing of worth. Material things mean nothing to me. My Docs have holes in them and I rip jeans more often than I should. I look like a 70s reject. I look like the lovechild of Joey Ramone and Patti Smith; if they ever had a child. I have had more job rejections than I can count, and each one is a kick in the gut. But a motivation to try harder. Although, I don’t know if I can try harder than I do. I’d love to write a book, but god knows what it would be about. Obviously music. I’ve always wanted to follow a band around and write a book about it (Royal Chant I am looking at you, and Warpaint.) The film, Almost Famous is to blame for that goal.

This year (and last) I’ve had many kind words said to me from bands, PR companies and record labels with regard to what I have written about them and their work. You cannot put a price on that. Of course I believe still, that the only person who reads this is my mum but hey. If you’ve got this far, then I’ll buy you a cup of tea one day. I’m easy to find, but please don’t look as you will be disappointed. This part is a thank you to all the bands that have got in touch with me, all the PR companies and record labels. You’ve made writing even more enjoyable. There are stand-out bands and labels I’d mention, but that wouldn’t be fair. You are all brilliant, so thank you.

I will always ALWAYS welcome new music from any genre, so please get in touch (olivia_cellamare@hotmail.co.uk) I don’t care if no one bar your mum knows you exist or if you’ve supported some household name on a lengthy tour. Music is music. Send it.

Don’t forget who you are, and do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. Or that your goals are stupid ideas. Freedom comes from the heart, goes up into the mind then is unleashed. Don’t make a prisoner out of yourself. It’s all okay. It’s going to be alright.

Big love. xx





Albums Of 2011-Part 3.

29 10 2011

So far, I’ve not wanted to change my mind with the albums I have written down in my notebook. I’ve written them down because I’ll probably forget, or mention the same album 6 times. Old age, what a bitch you are to me!

This year the sub-genre of Chillwave took over. Well, it took over a few websites and blogs. I don’t think the outside world really cared about it to be honest. Unless you were aware of acts such as Teen Daze or Blackbird Blackbird- Chillwave probably went over your head and you didn’t care for it. A lot seem to also have ripped it apart and just dismissed it. I don’t get why or how they can do this. But, I guess some people think it is “cool” to rip an artist to pieces. Thing is, they just sound like a bitter twat and have nothing better to do but to be negative about others. Projecting their own insecurities I suppose. Brief rant out of the way, I’ll start blabbing on about some records. Two of which are probably labelled as Chillwave. Fuck labels. They are musicians, not a food.

Youth Lagoon-Year Of Hibernation: Year Of Hibernation is probably my favourite album title this year. It is also one of the year’s best debut albums. For me, I love music that makes me feel like I am in some kind of trance. Something that makes me feel like I am having an outer body experience. As someone who has never taken drugs (or even wanted t) the high that people talk about from taking acid or whatever- I get from music. Music puts me on some kind of high that nothing or no one could ever make me feel. Certain bands/singers just make my head spin and cause my body to just tremble, in a good way of course. Last year The Fool by Warpaint was THE album that made me constantly feel like I was in a different universe. I don’t know where I was. Every single time I listen to the record, I feel like I am floating on water towards something. Towards what? I honestly have no idea. With this record, Trevor Powers has created something that makes me feel exactly the same as Warpaint’s album does. That’s what I consntatly look for in the music I listen to. Music should make you feel something do deep and intense- good or bad; that’s how it should make you feel. Year Of Hibernation is just a beautifully put together record. Every single track just perfectly glides into the other, you have to listen to it in full with the lights out and our headphones in. It’s the kind of record you need to play by yourself with no interruptions. You don’t want anyone talking over this. I guess you could hold someone whilst listening to it if you feel the need. Do what you want, but give it your complete attention.

Washed Out-Within And Without: Ernest Greene, you beautiful bugger you! Within And Without has been a debut record that I’ve been waiting for over the past year and a bit since I first heard Washed Out. Everything I said above about Youth Lagoon is EXACTLY how I feel about Washed Out. His music just makes you want to sit on a beacj and let the waves gently wrap themselves around you and just causes you to drift off out into a different world. Probably a better one than this, I’m sure it exist. It has to. Eyes Be Closed is one of the most grand and ethereal songs I’ve heard all year, the build up in this track just blows you away. It’s a gentle album, and you immediately know it will be based on the cover artwork. There’s a couple on the front cover and most would just think “OH GOD THEY ARE EVIDENTLY HAVING SEX I AM NOT BUYING THIS RECORD! COVER MY EYES! SAVE MY CHILDREN!” Or something equally dramatic. If you have any ounce of common sense, you will see it is an intimate, gentle and loving front cover- you get this vibe on the record. It is a tender record that just eases your bones and tends to your soul. It is clearly one of the best things you will hear all year, there’s no doubt about it. If you want to call it Chillwave, go right ahead. Personally I’m calling it a euphoric piece of art.

Blood Orange-Coastal Grooves: I’ve been a MASSIVE fan of everything Dev Hynes has done ever since Test Icicles. I was so obsessed with that trio. I loved the unapologetic noise that they created, then they split up. Then Dev created Lightspeed Champion. Falling Off The Lavender Bridge was such a phenomenal record, Dry Lips still remains to be one of the most stunning songs I’ve ever heard. Midnight Surprise is basically 10 minutes of pure bliss- a total masterpiece. Life Is Sweet, Nice To Meet You! was so underrated- just as brilliant as his debut. Anyway, this is about his new project- Blood Orange. Coastal Grooves makes you think you are wandering around New York City in the 1980s. Now, this 80s feel to some music ia getting tiresome isn’t it. There are a few that can well and truly pull it off an make it look so effortless and natural to them. Summer Camp, Friend and Blood Orange are the 3 that do exactly that. Dev Hynes is a genius, there’s no denying that. He has this wonderful talent and I don’t know if he even realises it- I guess that it was makes you love him so much. He’s so unaware of how inspirational and amazing he is. When someone doesn’t realise how amazing they are, it’s an attractive quality to have. Coastal Grooves is a record I won’t ever get tired of, easily one of the stand out records of the year. The production is just brilliant. Dev is one of the best musicians around. Have you seen him live? I’ve seen him when he was performing as Lightspeed Champion, and every single time I saw him I was just in awe of this talented his possesed. He also came onto the stage to the Star Wars theme, then started a jam to it. Coastal Grooves shows just how thrilling his musicianship is, especially on tracks like Are You Sure You’re Really Busy? The riff at the end, my lord. Dev just bloody well KILLS it. It’s a stunning record and one that you need to own.

Cities Aviv-Digital Lows: I love rap, the real kind, The kind that makes you think. The kind that’s raw but in a none brutal way. Cities Aviv is to rap what The Weeknd is to R&B right now. Both have created this sound that no one has ever heard before. They’re taking both genres to a different level. A level it should’ve been at ages ago, but is only just getting there. Hopefully Cities Aviv can keep this up and start a trend, make rappers approach music the way he does. He doesn’t need to degrade women or brag about what he has in order for you to listen to him. Coastin’ is my favourite rap song of the year, It’s so chilled out and relaxing. You listen to it, and all your worries just escape you. Nothing matters when you listen to his music, you just let yourself fall into his world. You take on his troubles and you see the world the way he does. This is one of the best rap records I’ve heard in a long long time. I want a rap record to make me feel the way Big L’s album, The Big Picture made me feel when I first heard it. They are entirely different, but the feeling I get is exactly the same. The words Citites Aviv uses and how he uses them are just so bloody magnificent. You just want to be part of what he is talking about. To me, this is what rap should be about. This is how it should be done. Is it the best rap record of the year? For sure. You’re not going to find anything else as stunning as this. Die Young is may favourite off the album. It sounds like something Afrika Bambaataa would’ve made or something. Electro meets rap in a way that doesn’t sound like over-produced and hyped up nonsense. I don’t care if you’re not a fan of rap, this record is vital. Get it in your collection.





2011- Songs.

15 09 2011

I know I’m doing this too early in the year, but if I do it now- maybe I won’t change my mind. I know I’ll change my mind as soon as I publish this. I’ll hear a song and think, “SHITTING HELL. THAT NEEDS TO GO ON MY LIST!” Hopefully I will gain some self control and not do that. I’m not doing this in any order, however the last song I mention is my song of the year. It’s pretty obvious what song it is. I’ve got a cool story to accompany it too, it’s just given it so much more meaning to me and I love it more than I did before.

Let’s begin :

Dirty Beaches- Lord Knows Best.– When I first heard this, I honestly didn’t think it was something from this year. I just thought it was an old old song being re-released. I was stupidly wrong. Lord Knows Best is taken from Alex’s album Badlands which was released in March this year, it’s such a beautiful album. What I love about this song is how old it feels, the sample on a loop and Alex’s vocals. His voice sounds so desperate, which is what drew me in straight away. I love anything that sounds dark, angry, frustrated and painful. This doesn’t mean I’m some morbid wanker, far from it. I’m just someone who is always drawn to the dark side of things- it just means more to me than hearing something cheerful. However, this is lyrically, not a dark song. It’s about loving one person and nothing/no one else matters. Just this one person. I guess you could call it a love song. Whatever it is, it’s one of the best things I’ve heard this year.

Wye Oak-Civilian.– You know when you hear a song, and you give all your attention to the lyrics? That’s what happened when I first heard Civilian by Wye Oak. The album is just stunning. This song means so much, “I am nothing without pretend. I know my faults, can’t live with them.” It just screams out fragility. The whole song does. It’s almost as if, you can use this song to admit to all your faults- you’re human, and it is how you feel. I adore the build up in the song. Their musicianship is so strong and so inspiring, it’s just so stunning. It’s one of the songs that make me wish I could write something as powerful as this. As far as duos in music go, Wye Oak are one of my favourites.

Widowspeak-Wicked Game.– I know it’s a cover, but it’s so good. I love how haunting they have made it, but at the same time still has the same feel as the original. I usually hate it when a song I love is covered, but this is just stunning from start to finish. The way, “This world is only gonna break your heart” is sung is damn hypnotising. The song makes you feel like you are in some kind of trance. It’s just perfect. If you’ve never listened to them before, start with this cover.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart- Heart In Your Heartbreak.– I know this came out late last year, however the track is taken from their second album which came out in March this year. So, I’m going with that. Their album came out at a time that I wish to never go through again. This song was my crutch for 2 months. I used to listen to it to stop myself from feeling like shit and realising…well, I don’t want to make it too personal. Basically, when you think you can’t get over having your heart broken- you actually can. And when you do, you becoming strong and nothing can touch you no more because you have felt so shit, you’ve experienced rock bottom and you will do anything to never feel that way away. I cannot pick out a lyric that I love, because I just adore it all. This song was around when I didn’t know what to do with myself or what to do with how I was feeling.

Novella-The Things You Do.– When you listen to Novella, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking you were listening to a band from LA. They have that gorgeous lo-fi/sufer pop feel to their music. They formed in Brighton and are now based in London. If you love Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast, you are truly going to fall in love with Novella. I hope next year beings them great success because they really do deserve it. This song causes your head to spin and your body to float. It’s so beautiful.

Zola Jesus-Vessel.– I am going to struggle putting this into words because the music Nika creates owns a large part of my heart. Her music is so enthralling and haunting. Everything about her music just makes my soul shake and my head swim. I am constantly in awe of her talent. She’s only 21 years old, she’s so bloody gifted. Hopefully I’m seeing her in November. I’m oretty sure it’s going to be like some kind of religious experience. I have every confidence that her album Conatus is going to be one of the best albums of the year. Her voice is so distinctive and powerful. I love the dark feel in her music. I love how her music can make everything better. I took a walk today and just played her music. It was like I was drifting off into another world. A dreamland. I honestly cannot praise Nika’s talents enough. I really don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like her music. She’s a massive credit to the music industry, I just hope they realise that instead of obsessing over pop stars that contribute nothing.

The Horrors- I Can See Through You.– I could pick any song of theirs, but I Can See Through You is my favourite off Skying lyrically. The album is beautiful, but more on that when I write about my favourite albums of 2011. Faris’ vocals on this song are so strong. The band sound as perfect as ever. So captivating and hypnotising. I know a lot of people are getting into The Horrors based on Still Life. What pisses me off is that they dismissed them during the Strange House era. That album will always be one of my favourites. The raw, brutal sound to it is amazing. The garage rock vibe it has is stunning. However, those that are only just getting into The Horrors have missed out on many years- their loss.

The Kills-The Last Goodbye.– It was close to impossible to pick which song by The Kills I wanted to include. I toyed with the idea of putting Satellite in because I love the reggae electro feel it has. Then I wanted Baby Says because I love it like someone would probably love their child. Then it was Nail In My Coffin. I went through the whole album, until I chose The Last Goodbye. Why did I choose The Last Goodbye? Well, it has the best and my favourite lyric from a song I’ve heard this year. This line describes me better than I could. This line owns my heart. This line makes me feel okay with being a sensitive bugger. The line is of course, “How can I rely on my heart if I break it, with my own two hands.” I read an article about the album before it was released, and they spoke about this song and mentioned the lyrics. When I read that line, I was instantly blown away by the honesty and vulnerabilty in the lyrics. Then I listened to the song. I cried. It was like finding the piece of you that you had missing for so long. I have no idea what will happen when I see this live. I’ll probably want to get on stage and hug Alison. When she sings this, you can see she puts all she has into it. It is so heartbreaking and so perfect. You can take what you want from this song, that’s what I love about The Kills- you can create your own meaning to their songs. If I could thank them personally for this song, I bloody well would.

Florence And The Machine-What The Water Gave Me.– I guess anyone else would pick Shake It Out, but I like to be difficult don’t I. I’m choosing What The Water Gave Me because I love the darkness around it. Shake It Out is beautiful, and it feels like Flo is taking you to Church. The lyrics are haunting and gorgeous. Much like What The Water Gave Me. I love how the song builds and builds, when she sings “Let the only sound be the overflow. Pockets full of stones” it sounds and feels so enchanting and euphoric. All her songs are euphoric. Her music makes you feel free and weightless. That’s why I love her. I cannot express it in a way that you will understand, but that’s as close as I can get right now. Pretty sure Ceremonials will be the best album of the year. October 31st cannot come quick enough.

It’s honestly no surprise what I’ve picked as my favourite song of the year is it? I said it in February and pretty much every other day since. You ready?!

SUMMER CAMP-I WANT YOU. – This is the only song that I have heard this year to have such a grip over me. It’s done something to my brain. I have to listen to it every single day. If I don’t, I get the shakes (I don’t really….) Elizabeth and Jeremy have created the best song of the year EASILY. I know I love Flo and The Kills but this is honestly the greatest thing I have heard this year. No other song has had this hold over me. The lyrics, oh jesus, the lyrics. So true! It states exactly being in love is like- cruel, intense, dark and grand. Being love can turn you into a dickhead sometimes can’t it. However, if you listen to I Want You, you can see it isn’t always the case. Some have said it’s the stalker anthem of 2011. I don’t think it is. I think it’s quite simply, intensely liking/loving and wanting someone; and you just want them to feel the same. You believe you can make them feel the same. The synths, the guitar and the drums…oh lord. When it drops and kicks in it is like a glorious kick in the face. I’ve only been in love for real once. It’s more than enough isn’t it? If I was to ever feel that way again, I’d use this song to clarify how I felt. I’d play it and think “Does this person make me feel like this?” And if the answer was yes, it’d be love. If the answer was no, then I’d go back to my books and records to save myself disappointment. If any of you listened to BBC 6Music yesterday morning, on Lauren Laverne’s show. They played Better Off Without You and I Want You. I tweeted them saying it was amazing, and Elizabeth replied with, “I was thinking of you when we played I Want You. Not in a weird way.” HOW AMAZING IS THAT? Seriously, so fucking cool. It made my year, no doubt. I’ve decided, if I ever decided to inflict my presence upon a girl and start a relationship, when we split up- I’m going to play Better Off Without You to drag me through it. Oh, I’ve not heard Summer Camp’s album yet but I can tell you it’s the best album of the year. It’s right up there. Trust me. Now, get your ears around my favourite song of the year. If it doesn’t cause your bones to move, heart to skip several beats, your head to spin and your soul to feel reignited- then I think you have no braincells left. Cheers Summer Camp, for making the best song of the year!

I do feel bad for leaving out some songs that I fell in love with this year, so have a few more :

Blood Orange-Sutphin Boulevard.

Marina And The Diamonds-Fear And Loathing.

The History Of Apple Pie-You’re So Cool.

The Weeknd-House Of Balloons/Glass Table Girls.

Lana Del Rey-Blue Jeans.

Seapony-Where We Go.

Best Coast-How They Want Me To Be.

Wavves & Best Coast-Nodding Off.

Morrissey-Action Is My Middle Name.

Youth Lagoon-Montana.

I got carried away….I’m not sorry though.

 

 

 





2011- Musically, you weren’t that bad.

24 08 2011

I know it’s only August, but I feel I need to write this down now. Was 2011 awful? For music? No. For other things? More than likely. Yes this year was shit due to Gaga putting an album out, Amy Winehouse’s tragic death and ITV still allowing X-Factor to exist. Why it exists, I have no idea. But it is does, for those who don’t know any better.

I’m going to attempt to think of 10 reasons (in NO order because I will want to change my mind if I do that) as to why music this year was not shit. I may rant, I may not be able to think of 10 reasons.

-The Kills : Finally my favourite duo EVER released the flow-up to Midnight Boom. Blood Pressures is probably my favourite album of the year. However, come 7th November and I will say Florence’s album is. The Kills are a band that I will always love. They could (I know they won’t) make the most wankiest record ever, and I would still find something to love about it. Blood Pressures has a bluesy feel to it but still has the same raw vibe No Wow and Keep On Your Mean Side have. The Last Goodbye is the saddest song I’ve heard this year. If a song could break your heart, that would be it. The lyrics to Baby Says are stunning. I just ove how Jamie and Alison’s voices fit together. I think their bond is one of the greatest things ever. Everyone needs a friendship like that. “Send your love on a rampage, give her everything you’ve got. And when you come to hate her, show her more than just a spark” is one of the best lines off the album. However, not just from The Kills but my favourite line from a song that I have heard this year is easily, “How can I rely on my heart if I break it, with my own two hands.” The way Alison’s voice sounds on this is so beautiful but it just tears you up so much. I’m just happy to have another record by The Kills in my collection.

-The Horrors: I still want to slap people who dismiss The Horrors. Just like I want to slap those that think Skying sounds like Simple Minds. I think those that are saying these things are actually deaf. Or just extremely fucking stupid. Skying is the best album put out this year by an English group. I am still in love with the sound they had wth Strange House. But, I love how they have developed with each album. You cannot deny how much of a masterpiece Primary Colours was and still is. They’re just everything a band should be. They don’t justify what they do to anyone. They make music for them. That’s how it should be. They haven’t bought into a gimmick and gotten famous based on that. They are ALL fantastic musicians. Joshua is genius on that guitar. There aren’t enough words for me to describe my love for The Horrors.

-Zola Jesus: Quite simply one of my favourite female musicians ever. Her voice is so haunting. It takes over you and before you know it, you have been thrown into a world that you never thought existed. I love how dark and eerie her music is. I have every faith that her new album, Conatus is going to be nothing short of amazing. I love that her music just blows me away with every listen. I listen to songs such as Trust Me and Run Me Out, and this wave of amazement just takes over me. She has this force within her music that I’ve never heard in anyone before, she’s only 21 years old! I love the build-up in all her songs. It’s like this intense and euphoric takeover. Why didn’t this year suck because of Nika? Well, just listen to Vessel.

-The Weeknd: Of all the artists I found at stupid o’clock in the morning due to not being able to sleep, The Weeknd is hands down, the best thing I have discovered this year on the internet. I love his voice so much. So soulful. I love that he’s sampled Aaliyah’s voice on one of his songs and he’s also sampled Siouxise & The Banshees too. His Mixtapes are utterly mind-blowing. Trust me, you need this guy in your life. Head over to his wesite and get his Mixtapes. You’ll here amazing songs such as THIS TRACK!

-Cults: Okay, so I heard about this duo last year but their debut album came out this year so it’s allowed. What I love about this duo is their 1960s feel they have to their music. Never Saw The Point means so much to me, “I never saw the point in trying, ’cause I would only let you down. And I just couldn’t take you down there with me, I couldn’t stand to see you drown.” It’s just such a gorgeous and fragile song, I suppose that is why I adore it so much. Since its release lat year, Best Coast’s debut album has been played every day- I’m clearly going to do the same with Cults. I love that it doesn’t sound like anything around now. A fantastic debut album.

-Seapony: Seapony make me want to leave everything and everyone behind and just go live on a beach. I can’t swim, so I guess it’d be boring after a day or so. However, there is nothing more peaceful than looking out to a strectch of water listening to your favourite music. I’d love to do that to Seapony. I love the summer vibe they feel. Is it chillwave? I don’t know, I reckon they fit under the dream-pop genre. They remind me of The Drums mixed with Beach House and a hint of The Raveonettes. I just adore the whole sound and the gentle vocals. Especially on ongs such as Dreaming and Late Summer.

-Blood Orange: This year Dev Hynes released the first album of his current project, Blood Orange. I love everything he does. Whether it’s for others (Solange Knowles), as Lightspeed Champion or Blood Orange. Coastal Grooves is a MUST-HAVE in your collection. It’s such a strong album. It feels like New York City must have felt in the 1980s. It has a brilliant feel to it. It’s music you can just relax to and walk round the park  in the sun to. There is no denying the genius that Dev is. He kills the guitar, he’s got such a distinctive voice. I just love love love him. Anything he does is just perfect.

-Summer Camp: Another duo that have won my heart over this year. I love everything about their music, however it is one song in particular that since first hearing it in February this year I have played every day. Not a day has gone by where I haven’t played it since. The synths kick in during this song and it is is SO good. Elizabeth’s voice is stunning. The lyrics to I Want You are so dark, and slightly brutal. But hey, all comes with liking someone, right? I don’t know. I like to think I don’t know. “You’re so smart, you break my heart” if someone said that to me, I’d be so flattered. It’s probably my favourite song of this year. If I was a DJ I’d play this all the time, and if no one danced to it- I’d bar them from the club.

-Morrissey: I could write an essay on this man until my hands were numb from typing. I’ve probably done it before to be honest. This year on Janice Long’s show, she played three new songs by my god, Morrissey. Every single song was perfect. For me, I fell more in love with Action Is My Middle Name. The lyrics are typical Morrissey- witty and oh so bloody charming. People Are The Same Everywhere- well, the title speaks for itself really. So true. What I love about Moz is that he has always done what is real and honest to him, he’s never answered to anyone. It’s something I admire and love about him. It’s why I love him. We should ALWAYS do things for us, that makes us happy- because the day you let others rule you, you are no longer a person. I saw him twice this year- and yes as soon as he walked on stage, I bawled. I’ve seen him 4 times so far, and each time I have gone with my mum. She loves him as much as I do. I could never ever go to a Moz gig with anyone but my mum, it’d be wrong. I told her this, and she agrees. Hopefully he wil release his new album soon. “Biting my initials into your neck. You are my possession, you don’t realise yet. Am I moving too fast for you? Am I begining to confuse you?” Only Morrissey could say such a thing. Hero. Absolute hero.

-Florence & The Machine: I really couldn’t make this list without mentioning Florence could I. After hearing What The Water Gave Me (studio version) I cannot ait for 7th November. I just know that her second album will blow my mind. My last article on Florence just sums up my love for her, so I won’t bore you with another essay. Her album is out in time for my birthday (HI MUM!!!!) and I am hoping there’s a tour. The sound has a more soulful and gospel feel to it which I love so much. I’m beyond happy that the album is out this year, some said that it would be out the start of 2012, I guess it’s too good to make us wait. Besides, she’s worked with Paul Epworth on it- you just know it is going to be THE album of the year.

As I feel like I have missed so much out, here are some tracks by artists that have made 2011 less shittier than it was:

Yuck.

Washed Out.

Anna Calvi.

CocknBullKid.

Marina And The Diamonds.

Love Inks.

Sleigh Bells.

Youth Lagoon.

Warpaint (Video Of The Year.)

Widowspeak.

I’ll stop now because I could carry on with about 50 more artists.





Dev Hynes- Musical Genius.

13 08 2011

In 2005 I was in love with a band called Test Icicles.

As with most bands I love, they split up. I hated life for a bit. I hated life until I heard Dev Hynes’ solo material under the name Lightspeed Champion. I heard Galaxy Of The Lost and I was just blown away. Lines such as “I feel better now I’ve seen you but deep inside my bones feel like timber” and “Hate to think what would happen if I, started to drink like you. Maybe I, would loosen up.” I just loved the sheer vulnerability in the song. Falling Off The Lavender Bridge is such a phenomenal debut album. The fragility and frustration in the songs just stole my heart. Songs such as No Surprise, Let The Bitches Die and Dry Lips- especially Dry Lips mean so much to me. “Tell her, I give up. He’s won, I have lost all my humanity.” That specific line still holds as much meaning to me now as it did when I first heard it.

Next came the artist’s dreaded second album. Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You. I feel did not get the recognition and respect that Dev deserved. Musically he is a bloody genius. He slays the guitar. I’ve seen him live twice, and each time I was just left stood in awe. I remember walking right into him in Birmingham. I was just walking through the street and I walked right into him. As I wasn’t paying attention, it didn’t register it was Dev until I looked back and saw the hat he was wearing.

Last week Dev released a new album under the name Blood Orange. Is it better than Lightspeed Champion? Well, you cannot compare the two. It’s like comparing a shoe to water- you just can’t do it. I adore both projects. The album, Coastal Grooves just feels to me like 80s New York. No idea if that’s the vibe Dev was going with, but he is now based in New York. He left Dalston a few years ago, and went to New York. Smart move I say, going by the sounds of Blood Orange.

There is no doubt in my mind that Dev is a musical genius. It’s just utter genius his work. Every single song he has created is a masterpiece. He’s gone from singing songs in his flat in Dalston with Florence Welch (before she was signed) covering Green Day songs to producing tracks for Solange Knowles and hanging out with Jay-Z. Dev is well and truly living the dream ladies and gentlemen. He’s also worked with one of my favourite rappers, Theophilus London.

What I love about Dev is that, I feel he is unaware of what he means to so many. He is unaware that his music, as it evokes so much vulnerability and emotions- it becomes a crutch for some. It’s an inspiration. It makes you want to pick up a pen and paper, and just write down how you feel without feeling like a massive wuss. I love that his words are to the point, take Stay The Fuck Away From Me, “I’ve realised once more, that everyone’s a whore.” Deny it all you want, but we’ve all felt this way about someone. “I don’t mean to be blunt, but why don’t you fuck off.” Straight to the point, no need for metaphors and similes here- Dev just gets right to it.

I’ve always loved his covers too. Xanadu, Flesh Failures, Souvenirs, Heart In A Cage, Buddy Holly, Back To Black- they’re all just so bloody good.

I love that with Coastal Grooves, Dev doesn’t want to hear about any reviews of his work. To me, I feel this is pretty cool. Mainly because artists do not need to be told that what they have created is good or bad. I know I review albums and the like, but not once have I ever thought my opinion is worth listening to. Far from it. Why does Dev need to be aware of what’s been written about him? I listen to his work and think, he’d be a pretty cool person to sit down and watch basketball with. His down to earth lyrics make him easy to relate to. It makes it easy for you to allow yourself feel the way he does with his lyrics.

He’s just so wonderfully talented. I love that he doesn’t do just one kind of genre. There are so many influences in his music floating around. Whether it’s for himself or others- you can sense them all.

I do question why he isn’t as big as he deserves to be, but all that matters is that he is still putting out music. He is putting out music that is worth caring about and getting excited over.

I hope he brings Blood Orange to the UK. I don’t care if he comes back to the UK and just sings the phonebook, it’d still be brilliant. I just love his music and his voice. Every so often you find an artist that you just immediately connect with and you want to hear everything and anything they have done. My love for his music started in 2005. 6 years on, I doubt it will ever go away.

If you cannot hear the genius in his music, then you’re missing the point.