When a band you’ve been a huge fan of for years comes back with new music, it gives you some form of hope or just sheer joy. Hearing the brand new song by The Horrors this morning was what I needed, and going by reactions of others- it’s what they needed to.
From their rowdy debut Strange House to 2021’s single, Lout- The Horrors are a prime example of a band that are unafraid to experiment with sounds and to just always give us something different. Many have cited that Lout has a strong Industrial sound. It is such a great song- it’s brutal, it’s loud and it is different. Compare it to whatever you want if you must, but there’s no denying just how effortlessly brilliant it is. I adore how The Horrors just hit us with something different every single time- that’s what you should want from a band. Lout punches you right in the gut. It’s like a hammer going at your skull over and over, and all you can do is soak up the beatings of the monumental anthem. I’m obsessed. I’m hooked. As always.
If they do a music video to this song, I’d imagine it would be something really off the wall to fit the song. Listening to Lout is giving me the same feeling as I got from when I heard Sea Within A Sea for the first time. That electrifying shock through the body of hearing something so new and so different.
Lout is a prime example of a song that HAS to be played so loud it leaves you begging the band for forgiveness. It’s a masterpiece. Call it as the best song of the year. Done. Nothing else matters now. If they bring a new record out, we can call that as the record of the year too.
The uncool and the lonely trade nauseating stories about how hard it is; how leaving the house is a chore. How standing up rids them of energy, sitting down zones them out. Some kind of feeling takes them over. The find some kind of identity in the songs that cause others to feel as if their ears are bleeding. They feel like something full of shame. Full of shame, drained of devotion. How you seen it happen? A haunting glare is in their eyes. Maybe you’ve been this person. Maybe you’re getting there. There is always one person you fight to not be anything like that. Their traits make you feel ill. The things they’ve said and done are placed inside of you; you’ve let it go but it doesn’t let you go. It is frustrating because you are someone who doesn’t have a tight grip. But this thing…this THING has got a grip on you. You could call it a death grip, but you know it won’t be the end of you. For you know you’ll rise above it.
I mean, it is fairly easy to get sucked into something you despise, and turning your back on it also exhausts you. Self-exclusion is a sign of strength, but others don’t see it that way. But why should you care how others see it? Do what you want, always.
It is draining stopping yourself being like someone you cannot allow yourself to be. Sometimes someone says, “You’ve got their eyes” or “I’ve seen that look before from….” That shit crushes you, but you carry on. The only person who can stop you from doing anything or being anything is yourself I guess. Comments can put your self-belief in the ground. You seem to caress the bad and shun the bad. Why is that? Because the shit people say about us, that ruins us- is easier to believe. You’ll pull yourself above it at some point. Patience gets you further than anything else. As you get older, you learn that more than before.
Eternal youth starts inside. The lines on your face and the heaviness in your eyes are stories. Tell them how you want, but tell it from the heart.
The intro of a song can either leave you in awe and hold all your attention. Or it can make you think “Well fuck this, I’m going to have a bath instead.” It can leave you wanting more or leave you never wanting to hear anything ever again. My attention span is getting worse. As I get older, I find my interests decreasing. All I used to enjoy I probably now dislike. Maybe I’m just really difficult. It’s alright; I annoy myself on a daily basis.
There are some intros to songs that just blow you mine. It’s not really something I gave much thought to until recently where it became intense and a brief obsession. I’d play some songs, but it’d only be the first 30 seconds or so, then I’d listen to something else. It’s impossible for anyone to say what THE greatest intro to a song of all time is. Everyone has an opinion. The ones I’m going to put here may be ones most would think, “The fuck is she thinking.” This is the only place where I have an opinion. I’ve learnt people don’t like it when you say what you think. So I think, and don’t really speak. I don’t say much because I don’t have much to say, and believe anything I say is not really interesting. Why speak if you know this about yourself? I know I sound like a morbid twat, but whatever. We don’t know each other.
The start of something, anything- it doesn’t have to be a song, is usually a wonderful thing. You make it beautiful because you want it to last. It doesn’t last. With a song you can just hit repeat and create different moments every single time. You can throw yourself back in time, or you can make do with your current surroundings. It is all up to you. A song can carry you and control you- but in a pleasurable way. Anything else can sometimes just be a huge burden.
My favourite intro to any song ever has to be Elephant by Warpaint. I remember when I first heard it. I felt as if something incredible had happened. I felt everything turn and change inside of me. I felt a hint of being alive. Everytime I feel as if I’m dragging myself through because I cannot move, I play this song. As soon as Emily’s voice comes in, I feel as if every part of me has been saved. As if it has been saved for a reason. Most of the time, I believe there is no reason. This song however, gives me some kind of faith. A bit of hope. Courage is a different matter. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t sway like Jenny Lee Lindberg when they listen to Warpaint. You cannot help but move your body around in a trance-like way. You feel every note. You feel every single part of the song. My love for Warpaint is unconditional and intense. I just don’t think any other band can rule my soul as much as they do. The Kills have my heart, Warpaint have my soul and The Jesus And Mary Chain have my mind.
An intro to a song can stop you from doing what you were doing. You pause, and you feel yourself fall under the spell of the song. My favourites are the kind that just build and build. The bands I listen to and love are those who create an atmosphere that at times is quite dark, but give you something to cling onto. They conjure up feelings you never thought you could ever have. Sometimes intense, but for the most part it is the most euphoric state you could ever be in.
So, I’ve basically rambled enough. I could EASILY write more words, but obviously the music speaks for itself.
These are my favourite intros ever. I’ll probably think of more, and I’ll probably want to change my mind. Typical!
I took a walk just now. Whilst walking, a Metric song came on and it just made me realise that it is okay to be my age (25) and still be a dreamer. Someone who isn’t always sure of everything around them, but knows what they want. They do all they can to get it, but something gets in the way. That something at times, holds you back. But you still keep going. Sometimes a song is all it takes for you to keep on dreaming. To keep everything in you alive. It is hard, I bloody well know it is. You see, I’ve been a freelancing fool for 6 and a half years now. I’ve had this site since early 2008. I’ve had times where I wanted to just say “Fuck this..fuck it all. I can’t no more.” The constant self-doubt I carry on my back keeps me going. If I ever thought I was good at something, I wouldn’t do it. The self-doubt makes me work harder I guess. If I didn’t write, I’d probably be sectioned. I’d gnaw at my hands and rip my eyes out from frustration. Yet, for some stupid reason, I feel the need to write. I have no idea who reads this. Or even why someone would read the nonsense I write, but I just want to thank you. If I could buy you a cup of tea and hug you- I would. If you’re a friend of mine, that’s pretty cool. But I know none of my friends read this. It’s cool. I’m pretty sure most read this and think, “What the hell is this idiot doing? I can do better than her. She’s useless.” Probably. You probably can. I do it for the love of music. I don’t do it for any other reason. I know I want to make a living from this, but truth be told-I never will. I guess you cannot put a price on something you love. So this is going to be a collection of songs that make me feel alright with being a dreamer, I guess. Thing is, I know what the reality around me is. I’m not happy with it, but only I can change it.
Maybe one day, one of my daft dreams will come true. Maybe one day I’ll get some poetry published. Maybe I’ll write a book. Maybes are okay- but you cannot live off them. Keep the dream alive, and do what you need to do. The following songs just give me hope, in their own unique non-conventional way.
Of all the things I should be doing and shouldn’t be doing, I just do not know where this fits in. Nothing or no one ever really fits in, if you think about it. But, then again if you keep thinking about it you will riddle yourself with a headache and probably a heartache to match. They usually go together, they fit. Certain things do. Certain things just go well together. In your head, you think YOU and that person you cannot stop thinking about just fit. You know the one. Or maybe, it is things like whiskey and coke that just fit so well together. Or maybe it’s THOSE shoes with THAT pair of jeans. Certain things just fit so perfectly. I have no idea where I am going with this, but I know I’m in the midst of a “post-London emotional hangover.” I spent the week in London, and whilst there I saw The Horrors support Florence. I thought I was okay with life afterwards, I really thought I had got over just how perfect it was. Truth be told? I’m not.
So here’s the thing, since very early 2006 I fell instantly in love with a band. A band that dressed how I wish people still dressed. They had big hair and a loud sound. I felt like I had found the band I’d sell my soul to see live. Every tour that they announced from 2006 onwards, something or someone just got in the way. “I can’t afford a ticket.” Or “I don’t like them.” There were other reasons too, but..last Saturday the excuses ended. My wait was over. Most that were at Ally Pally were just dying to see Florence. I’ve seen her 5 times, and as much as I love her..it was ALL about The Horrors for me. All the wine and whiskey I had beforehand couldn’t calm me. It made it worse. However, as soon as they walked on stage I felt as if something took over. I was in some kind of trance. I felt like I was falling into a deep sleep. I sang every single word as if my life depended on it. I swayed like Rhys does with his bass. My eyes shut and I saw my own piece of Heaven in my mind. I opened my eyes and I could see the 5 musicians that just changed everything for me. Everything for that half an hour just seemed so perfect. I didn’t take any notice of the 10,000 people who were in the room. I didn’t care that none of them were singing and swaying like I was. I was in my own little world watching my favourite band. I want to feel like that forever.
So what am I getting at with this? I have no idea. I really don’t. Do I want you to think about how long you’ve waited to see your favourite band live and what it does to you? Has this ever happened to you, and you never recovered from it? I’ve not recovered from this. I never ever will. I don’t think I want to.
When you are face to face with a band that means the world to you, you feel like you are of worth. It is a bloody struggle to feel like you matter. I guess I’m at that point now where I know what and who matters to me. But, I will never know what or who I matter to. That will never happen, I will never know. With music, I’ve always found a home and a purpose. A solid ground, something to just call mine. Music will give you what nothing or no one else ever can. How do I know? Well, I found this out properly last Saturday night. Even if nothing ever goes my way again, I can keep with me that I’ve seen the band that got me through Uni and a bunch of other stuff live. I waited it out, and I didn’t give up hope that I’d see them.
The way they all played just blew me away. They didn’t have to say anything to the crowd. I didn’t want them to, I just wanted to hear the songs that I’ve been waiting years to hear. There was nothing from Strange House, and although it hurts that I’ll never hear it live- what I did witness live just made me so fucking glad to be breathing. Mirror’s Image is a song that I seem to associate with those I am fond with, but not to the point where it ruins the song. Far from it. If anything, it just helps with letting the person go and stops me from beating myself up from not saying anything to them. Forever biting my tongue, I don’t know how I have one anymore. Watching this song live meant the world to me. Oh, and Sea Within A Sea live is the most euphoric thing I have ever and may ever see live. Every part of me just came alive.
This is why I love live music. I was singing, swaying and crying. The tears were of just sheer joy. I know exactly where I would be if I didn’t have this feeling keeping me going. I moved back to England recently to finally sort myself out. I have my good days, I have my bad days. But I learnt something from The Horrors the other night. I learnt that, you just have to wait it out. If you want something, you’ve got to wait for it. Until it is time. 10th March 2012 was my time to see them..and from now on? Well, I have no idea but I’m sought comfort in music. Maybe I’ll find the answers. Maybe I won’t. I don’t know, and because I don’t know- it will keep me going.
I’m not going to review this amazing night in your typical fashion. If you’re going to any of the dates, you will be having the time of your life. If you have been already, you know how amazing it was. Jesus…”amazing” isn’t even the word. There are no words.
Alpines need a mention. They were STUNNING. I’ve always had a thing for duos that make a shitload of noise, and have an amazing stage presence. Also, Romy from The xx was stood in front of us watching them. Pretty damn cool.
I’ll get to the point- seeing The Horrors last night has completed a part of me that really needed it. You see, for the past 6 years I have been a HUGE fan of The Horrors. When I first heard Sheena Is A Parasite, I think it was like having some kind of strange experience that hasn’t happened before. This happened with every single record. Strange House, Primary Colours and more recently, Skying have all played a huge part in my life. As much as I love Florence, most of my excitement was firmly directed towards seeing Tom, Faris, Rhys, Joe and Josh. How a kid feels at Christmas was exactly how I felt last night. This intense and euphoric build-up was happening inside of me. They walked onto the stage and opened with Mirror’s Image. That song means far too much to me, it is on a par with She Is The New Thing- reminding me foolishly of anyone I may like at that specific time. However, thankfully I wasn’t reminded of anyone tonight. I didn’t think of anything but those 5 amazing musicians on stage that were singing the songs that mean so much to me. The stage presence they all have is just astounding. Josh kills the guitar. I do not trust anyone who cannot see how he is one of the best guitarists around. Tom plays the synths in such an eloquent manner- he indeed is a “frail gentleman.” Joe is one underrated drummer. The way he just plays makes me wish I could play the drums. Rhys sways like he is in some magical trance. As I was watching them, I could see myself starting to move like Rhys and singing every word as if they were written for me. Faris has a presence that causes you to be unable to tear your away from him. He grabs the mic stand and pulls at it in a fury that makes you want to do the same to the person in front of you. Does that make any sense? No? It’s okay, just go see them then you will understand. Oh, and Flo joined them on stage for Still Life. I cannot put it into words. I just can’t because when I think about it I get a bit emotional.
So, I should mention FATM now.
When I first saw her live, it was in a tiny room. About 200 people and she danced next to us during the support act. Now she is selling out arenas in a matter of minutes. One thing I’ve learnt from watching her become this amazing superstar is that, if you want something- you work your fucking arse off to get it. You just do not stop. Every single time I have seen her live, it has always felt like some kind of religious experience. When you see her once, you have to keep on seeing her. Once just isn’t enough. I hate writing gig reviews because I have no idea how to do it, all I can do is just sum up how the gig made me feel. The last 4 times I have seen her, it has always been close to something shit happening or me feeling a bit like poop. This time, not the case. Well, aside from having the worst cold ever and a now sexy cough to match- that’s all. Of course certain songs just caused me to have a bit of a cry. That note in No Light, No Light. The keyboard solo in Rabbit Heart. The bit where it really kicks in during What The Water Gave Me. The sheer beauty of Never Let Me Go. All of this and more just makes it feel like you are being cleansed. Your body, mind and soul is being rid of all the bad feelings you have and that horrific feeling of self-doubt just slips away from you as you watch FATM. You feel part of something, you feel as if she is singing the songs to save you. Heartlines keeps you going when nothing or no one else can. It is like a crutch. It is a crutch.
I could write so much more about this, but what good does it do? None at all. I’m just some rambling fool that saw three amazing bands last night and is probably in some kind of weird trance still.
I’ve re-read all I have written about this, and I feel I have so much more I could say. I want to tell you how horrific it is to you find your way to and from Ally Pally. I want to explain to you how at a FATM gig you get people from all walks of life there. There is no certain type of person there. We are all there for one reason, and one reason only- we love the music. However, I did get annoyed at the drunken idiot stood behind me who only knew the words to Shake It Out but still managed to balls it up! I didn’t care that the drinks were over-priced, what do you expect anyway?! When we walked into the venue it looked like a mini festival. A guy was playing drums on a bike, food stalls, a photobooth in the style of a black cab- yes, we used it. Best £5 I’ve ever spent!
It was so much more than just a gig. It was some kind of community thing going on. Truly beautiful. Like I said earlier, when I go see FATM it is always ALWAYS like some kind of religious experience. I feel like I am feeling the best feeling in the world. Some of it is still a blur. I just cannot believe after waiting 6 years, I have finally seen The Horrors live.
I’ve written about Primary Colours and Skying, but never Strange House. Obviously because I started this (whatever it is) just under a year after The Horrors debut LP came out. I remember the day I bought it so clearly. There are a few records I am like this with.
The album came out in March 2007, and I was a few months into my first year of University. I loved The Horrors since the start. That aggressive, post-punk, garage rock feel to their music drew me in instantly. I fell in love with them when I first heard Sheena Is A Parasite. The video also blew me away. I just loved how different everything sounded. I mean, sure you could hear what influenced them0 but they were (and still are) NOTHING like what was around. I’ve always loved the Ramones, The Jesus And Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine from an extremely young age (my uncle’s influence on me) and to hear a band that were my age making music like this; it was just a great comfort. Knowing I wasn’t the only one of my age listening to this stuff. It made me connect with The Horrors even more.
It does make me sad that they no longer play anything off this record anymorem but I do understand why they don’t in a way. However, I would’ve loved to have seen them live when they were getting started. I think Faris covering an audience in black paint is my generation’s version of Iggy and the peanut butter incident. Since 2006 I have been trying (and failing) to see The Horrors live. People bailing out was the main issue, as well as me being broke. HOWEVER, they’re supporting Florence on her UK tour in a few weeks. I just hope their music isn’t lost on the crowd. And yes, I am going. I think I am more excited about seeing The Horrors than Florence- I’ll have seen her 5 times, but it means more to see The Horrors in a way because I’ve waited so long.
Faris’ vocals on Strange House were quite “in your face” and would probably cause a vulnerable person’s ears to bleed. Personally, I loved them. I love his voice. I find it to be highly distinctive; he makes you want to listen and treasure every single word he is singing. Whether it’s the shouting on Sheena or the calming sounds of I Only Think Of You (second record.) He just lures you in.
I’ll always hold this record very dear to me, as it reminds me of my first year of Universirty. I remember skipping a lecture that Monday of the release just to go buy Strange House. Am I proud of doing this? Of course I am. It does annoy me a lot that people are only just now getting themselves familiar with The Horrors. Yes, Still Life is a good song- but you need..you HAVE to go back to the very very start of The Horrors to really appreciate what they do now, and see how they’ve gornw. Many critics and the general public at the time of Strange House, did shun them because of how they dressed and how big their hair was. It wasn’t an image it was just how they were. However, how they dressed really did fit in with the sound and feel of Strange House. I loved the whole look they had going on. If I was male, I probably would’ve copied the look to be honest.
As a debut record, you really cannot find any fault with Strange House. If you can, then you’re not a fan of The Horrors. There is more to them than just wearing black clothes. There is more to them than Still Life. This band are one of the best band’s that the UK has produced in a hell of a long time. What I love about this debut record is, althought it does posses a Garage Rock feel to it- it also has essence of Punk scattered through. You know full well that they did what they wanted with this record (and also with Primary Colours and Skying.) They aren’t a band that should be told what to do, free creative regin is a must for bands like The Horrors. Bands that stay true to their art. There aren’t many bands around now that do this. You can find it easily in the music of The Kills, Warpaint, The XX, Zola Jesus and a few others. I love Strange House because it is a frightening record. Faris’ screaming will scare you bloody shitless- that’s perfect. That is why I fell in love with them when I first heard them.
The record opens with a bloody marvellous cover of Screaming Lord Sutch’s Jack The Ripper. If you’re not familiar with him, get familiar with him. If you love music that is on a different level of weird and will cause mini heart attacks with how insane it is- listen to Screaming Lord Sutch. My personal favourite track off the record is She Is The New Thing. That will always be one of my favourite tracks by the band. I also adore Little Victories. I think that was the song I first played over and over when I got the record. Excellent Choice (either version) is just stunning. The monologue is greeted with Faris yelling in the background. It works, it works so bloody well. I respect that they never play any of these songs live now; but I can’t help but want to witness everyone going mental to Sheena Is A Parasite or Death At The Chapel.
I still find myself watching clips of the band from 2006/2007/2008 playing material from Strange House and just being in awe of every movement from each band member. The way Joe beats the shit out the drums, the way Tom just looks so fucking cool playing the bass oblivious to the chaos on stage and in the crowd. The way Josh throws himself about playing the guitar and making the most incredible sounds. The way Rhys thrashes the organ and moves like a madman. The way Faris screams every single word and stalks the stage like a lucid panther, picking up scattered objects from the crowd and on stage. It is all so fucking wonderful, and it is music like this that makes my heart race and mind explode.
I mean tracks like Gil Sleeping, A Train Roars, Thunderclaps- they are eerie tracks that will posses your mind. The way Gloves deals with an obsession of collecting Gloves. Count In Fives deals with Faris’ habit of counting in fives when he was younger- it is all so fucking magnificent and brutal. You may be quick to judge the songs as screaming bollocks, and for that I wish to lamp you one. Read the lyrics, and you will see just how out of this world The Horrors were then, and still are now.
Most of you may claim Skying as THE ultimate album by The Horrors, and the band probably do too. But, it was Strange House that made me give my heart and mind and ears over to The Horrors. It has fuzzy and psychotic sounds for those who enjoy the weird and dark side of life. It’s the perfect debut record, and when I first heard it I just knew that anything and everything The Horrors would come to do would amaze me and be a huge part of my life. I cannot imagine my life without The Horrors and my record collection without their music. They are a band that you can be proud to be a fan of, and they leave you want more every single time. Just waiting for a new sound that blow your mind and get you falling in love with them all over again.
When I left for Uni in 2006, my auntie and uncle gave me a I AM A HORROR t-shirt and a badge of The Horrors as a leaving present. I still wear them with such pride.
Everyone has a song or two (or if you’re like me, about 50) that when they listen to it, there’s always a specific part in the song that just hits them. It wraps itself around your soul, makes your heart beat double and you just lose your mind. This part of the song is the reason why you’re glad to be alive. This part of the song makes you feel alive and untouchable. You play this song, and nothing can get to you. No negative vibes stick to you. You feel like a Superhero or something. This song makes you feel like you can take on the world. That specific breakdown, that one lyric- it hits you right in the gut. I’ve narrowed mine down to 10 songs that, at the moment make me feel like this. However, as soon as I’ve posted this, I will probably want to change my mind. I’ll try stick to it this time, and I’m not sorry for how much I’ll rant. You don’t have to read this. As you were….
Florence + The Machine- What The Water Gave Me. With this song, I’ve got more than one part that sends me into some kind of frenzy. An outer body experience. You know how religous people go on about having some kind of religious experience? That’s what I get from Florence. Especially with the second record. Ceremonials feels like some kind of ritualistic cleansing of the soul. After you listen to it, you feel pure and free again. It just enlightens you in so many ways. If you’ve ever felt trapped and frustrated-play this record. It will blow all of those taunting feelings away from you. At around 2.14 in this song, that’s when it first hits me in the gut. I cannot put it into words, but the build up from there on just sets my soul on fire and throws me into an outer body experience. The chorus at just 3 minutes when it is pretty much acapella and the music kicks in again at around 3.28, when Rob’s guitar just throttles you and makes you want to shake every limb, and move in ways that look like you are having a fit- THAT is the best part of the song. This overwhelming sense of euphoria Florence creates is SO good. It’s a rare thing to find, so when you find it- hold onto it with all you have. I could quite happily write thousands and thousands of words about this song, but just listen to it and let yourself feel free- and be overcome with a wonderful euphoric feeling. I know most of Florence’s songs make you feel this way, but What The Water Gave Me is on a different level completely.
Patti Smith-Frederick. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really a fan of lovesongs. However, I do believe that this is the greatest ode to love, devotion and admiration I have ever heard. And will ever hear. The way she sings, “Frederick, name of care” at around 26 seconds in, you can just sense how much she loves him. I can safely say that this is my favourite Patti song. Don’t get me wrong, I adore her politically charged songs; but this one is everything a lovesong should be. It just oozes dedication and pure love. It takes time to find a love like this, Patti was one of the lucky ones to experience this feeling. That feeling that makes you feel this way. The feeling that is blanket of care and a beacon of hope. That’s what love should be, yet most of us take it for granted. Or most of us just haven’t felt it yet. You’ll know when you feel it though, because you will feel exactly how Patti feels in this song. It’s a feeling that cannot be rushed, but to feel it like this-well it is utterly sacred. Cherish it my loves, because some may try to take it from you. But don’t worry if you haven’t found it yet. Don’t let society force you to fall for just anyone. You’ll meet your very own Frederick or Patti one day, for sure.
Foals-Spanish Sahara. This was probably one of my favourite songs from 2010. The stunning build up in this song just made you feel like you were stood right in front of Yannis as he poured his heart out into this song. You felt each fragment of fury and every haunting aspect of the horrors that can consume you- when you are least expecting it. You felt comforted by this song, because you felt like you could leave your horrors and nightmares behind and just carry on. I’ve never seen Foals live, but to see this song live, I’d imagine it’d be one of those life changing moments that cause something in your brain to click. It just makes you think, “Fuck it. I can do this.” A song like this is one that most spend their career trying to write. Driving themselves insane just to touch on something even slightly as moving as this. This song, I’ve used many times to just make sense of everything. You know what it’s like. You have a shit day and feel like there is really no point. Music is my only constant. It’s the first thing I go to when it all gets too much, and Spanish Sahara is one of the songs that gives me, strength I suppose. Their song, After Glow also does the same.
Dum Dum Girls-Coming Down. I remember falling in love with Dum Dum Girls a long time ago. Their first album had this sound that I adore. A surfer pop/lo-fi feel mixed with a Wall Of Sound vibe. A lot of bands I listen to have this sound. I personally thing it is stunning. Mixing a garage rock sound with what Phil Spector created just shows how timeless certain genres immediatley became decades and decades ago. I didn’t think I could love their second record as much as I loved their first. So, I sat down and listened to it. I listened to it with no distractions. I was in awe of everything I was hearing. Dee Dee Penny is evidently one of the best front-women around right now. There’s a part in Coming Down that anyone who’s listened to it, will know EXACTLY which part I am going to mention. The song is quite sad and my lord, it really tugs at your heartstrings. The song lasts 6 and a half minutes, and is 6 and a half minutes of utter beauty and brilliance. However, at 3 and a half minutes- Dee Dee hits this note that just makes you freeze. You shut your eyes and nod in agreement. She’s letting it all out for you. You cannot let it out yourself, she is doing it for you on this song. Everything you feel that’s been building up for so long just comes out in this song. That note she clings onto and lets out- you cling onto it with her. It’s like your safety net. I’m not ashamed to admit that this song is my safety net, my crutch. When I listen to it, every sense is heightend and things do not seem that bad anymore. I’ve cried to this song, and I’ve been wonderfully joyful whilst listening to this song. It’s just everything to me, and honestly- it made 2011 a lot easier to drag myself through.
The Horrors-Sea Within A Sea. I would’ve picked She Is The New Thing, but you really cannot deny that this song is a stroke of genius. A masterpiece- much like the whole album if I’m honest. I know exactly where I was when I first heard Sea Within A Sea. If memory serves me correctly, the video to this was launched on The Horrors website at 8pm one evening in 2009. I remember sitting in front of my computer hitting refresh on their site waiting for this to appear. There was a countdown to something. Most of us knew it would be something to do with new material. 8pm came, and the shadows of The Horrors was there. You knew what was about to happen. The song is just under 8 minutes long, and just reinforces my belief that songs that last over 5 minutes are the best. Easily. The euphoric part comes in just after 3.40. The synths really really kick in, and Faris’ voice captivates you more than it ever has done before. The build up as he sings, “So you may think the path we share, is one of danger and of fear….” is so amazing, it creates this wonderful tension between you and the song. You wonder what will happen next. Will there be another build up? Will it smack you in the face? YES. Yes to all of it. If you’re one of those who are only just getting into The Horrors (you’re late. You’ve really missed out, seriously. Go listen to Strange House. PLEASE) then hopefully you will see just how amazing The Horrors have always been. They’re a band that no one can predict their next sound. That is why I adore them, with all I have. The Horrors have captured every sound I love, and created their own- but changing on very record.
Warpaint-Lissie’s Heart Murmur. Every song by Warpaint makes me feel content and glad to be alive, so picking just one song was enough to cause a slight headache…and having to listen to Exquisite Corpse and The Fool a few times before I picked a song to stick with. Sure I could’ve chosen Stars, Billie Holiday or Warpaint. But, I had to go with Lissie’s Heart Murmur because let’s face it, it’s my favourite Warpaint song. For me, listening to Warpaint is a sacred experience. The intro to this song, the piano sounds like tears falling free from your face. At the end of crying, that feeling you get when you realise it’s all going to be okay- that’s what this song feels like to me. It feels like the aftermath of crying your heart out. I can’t pick out a set euphoric moment in this song, the whole song is just a beautiful experience. It is so perfect, to the very core. I could quite happily play this song, and never listen to anything else. Emily’s voice is so haunting and mesmirising on this song, more than on any other song. So many times I have just laid on my bed and played this song over and over through headphones. It’s one of those songs where you have to listen to, on your own- with no interruptions. I don’t think I’m doing this song any justice, so I’ll just link you to it. Hopefully you’ll understand why I love it so much.
The Cure- A Forest. Like my view on the song above, I can’t possibly pick a moment in this song that makes me feel so happy. I love The Cure, and Seventeen Seconds is my favourite album by the band. I remember hearing it and feeling like I was in some kind of trance. I felt like I was in a permenant dreaming state, I didn’t want to wake from it. I still feel like that when I listen to the album now. They created a sound on that record that has evidently influenced so many, Warpaint being one of them. Personally, Jenny’s bass playing always reminds me of The Cure. That wonderful, floating feeling you get. You feel like you are drifting off into someone so pure and perfect. A Forest is probably my favourite song by The Cure. I love the slight distortion on Robert Smith’s voice in this song, you really have to listen hard to hear what he is saying as the music creeps in and takes over. It is a chilling and eerie song, much like the whole album really. Some say this song and album define The Cure. But let’s be honest not, you can’t ever define a band like The Cure. I feel that, no matter what I say about this song it really won’t show it in the light I want it to. But any genuine fan of The Cure (as in someone who doesn’t just like Friday I’m In Love) can see just how inspirational they ae. Not to mention ahead of their time with all their records. They were the blueprint of this sound. Utter perfection.
The Kills-Superstition. Attempting to pick one song by favourite duo EVER was a chore. I couldn’t do it. I left it for ages, wrote down some idead. Scribbled them out, wrote new ones. A mini riot occured inside trying to figure out which song I could use. I wanted to use The Last Goodbye, then Pots And Pans. Then I wanted No Wow. Then I wanted Cat Claw. I settled finally with Superstition. When Alison lets out that scream in Superstition, it is just so electrifying. You feel like she is right there, in your face letting out this gnarly growl that actually, sounds so heavenly. I could pick any song by The Kills. With all their b-sides and four records, it was difficult. I could’ve gone with their cover of Pale Blue Eyes; but that song is too precious for me to even touch on. Their version of it gets at your heart, well and truly gets at you. Superstition shows The Kills at their rawest and most brutal. Jamie absolutley slays the guitar here, and Alison’s voice..well, what can one say. They both have a chemistry that sucks you in, and once you’ve been captivated by it-nothing else seems relevant. You’ll base all relationships and friendships on their connection. If you don’t feel how they do about each other towards a person; then it isn’t meant to be. The Kills are rage, passion, angst, fury, frustration and raw. All brutal things done in such a beautiful way. They’re more than just a band to me, they’re life.
Scott McKenzie-San Francisco. For sentimental value, I’ve chosen to put this song here. It’s a pretty short song I guess, and the whole song just makes me close my eyes- thinking I’m wandering around San Francisco, taking everything in. Are the people still gentle there? Do they have flowers in their hair? Let’s hope they do. This song reminds me of my childhood, it just makes me happy. It makes me want to live in San Francisco. Then again, it doesn’t take much for me to want to leave where I currently live! This song makes me think of summer, even if it is like hurricane season outside. I know I could’ve picked other songs instead of this one. But, a song doesn’t have to have a grand build up in order for it to give you a sense of euphoria. That comes from within, what you take from the song is a bonus.
Morrissey-Speedway. My final choice is of course, Morrissey. Is this my favourite Moz song? Oh of course. It just defines my life and how certain people are. You know, the ones who are petty towards you and what you do- but they’re just projecting. It’s best to ignore such fuckbags isn’t it. Oh, and ignore I do. The lyrics are so beautiful. What I’ve always loved about Moz is that he has NEVER had to use grand words in order to make you connect with him. He doesn’t have to polish his words in order for you to relate to him. When he sings the word “Forever” at around 2.48, the song pauses, then a few seconds kater kicks back in. The build up is incredible. You will only appreciate this if Moz is your saviour. Seeing this live last year just completed me. It came at a time when it was much needed. You know the deal. Shit happens, people act like wankers, you don’t know what to do- you then find yourself in a song. This song has always played an important role in my life, but moreso last year. However, that is in the past. This is just Moz at his finest, I adore the line, “In my own strange way, I’ve always been true to you.” I guess we all know of a few who we can attach that lyric to. But, they don’t deserve to have such a song related to them now do they.
Have you ever felt, although you are surrounded by people you know- and these people may or may not care about you, that you just do not belong? Do you have a place you feel happy and secure with calling “home”? Do you ever look at Society and just think you were born in the wrong era? That your emotional attachment to it all is slowly fading. If so, I understand fully how you feel.
I’ve wandered through life not feeling part of anything. I’ve never made it my goal to make a difference in a person’s life- mainly because I know I never have, and I probably never will. I don’t mean it in a self-hating kind of way- far from it. You can feel you don’t belong but still maintain an ounce of self-worth. I feel like that most days. Anyway, I don’t need to go in depth with all of this. These are the songs that have stopped me from feeling like I have to be part of something, that I have to belong. We don’t have to. Create your own world.
I’m getting this out of the way now because it means I can edit this to high heaven and pretend I never missed a record out. I’ll change my mind and probably lose sleep over this. I don’t sleep, so that’s bullshit isn’t it. This year, musically, has been awesome. Aside from music, it’s been fucking awful. But that’s just my personal perspective. I don’t like to moan and bitch about shit I can’t do anything about because it just frustrates me. If I could make people I care for and love alright, I would. But I can’t. That itself has made this year borderline SHIT. Also, if I wake up on my birthday this year and I am not a Superhero, I will be pissed off. I’m aiming to be Psylocke or Wolverine. My obsession has been spiriling out of control for a long time. The older I get, the more convinced I am that I am a Superhero. Fuck it, maybe we all are. Deep down.
I suppose I better get on with this seeing as I have no chance of sleeping. This isn’t going to be in order. I dislike order, I welcome chaos.
Originally I was going to list 10 albums and bang on about them, but I thought better of it. Instead, I’m going to ramble on about as many albums as I can in different parts, because it gives me the ability to rant more.
The Horrors-Skying: If it possible to love an album likea child, then that’s how I feel about this record. What pissed me off the most about this was people who thought that The Horrors sounded like fucking Simple Minds on this record or that the band only started with Primary Colours. Piss off you uneducated shitstain of life (I’ve drank wine, potty mouth ahoy!) The Horrors started in 2005/2006. There was an EP, then Strange House came out. Their debut LP was beyond stunning. It was full of agressive garage rock sounds that just shattered your skull and shook your weary bones. If you dismissed this record and judged them by how they looked- then I hope you feel foolish and stupid. You missed out on something well and truly wonderful. Right, so Skying. Skying is perfect. Everything about this record is mind-blowing and earth-shattering. It’s like looking into the eyes of someone you adore (and they adore you too) and feeling so at peace, that nothing can touch you. The build up in Endless Blue is so good. It is full of euphoric sounds that make you feel you are entering another dimension. A lot judge The Horrors as being a dark, depressing band. Those that do this are obviously missing the point. Skying is pretty upbeat and just so ethereal. It gives you something no other band could. It makes you feel so open and hopeful. It is a truly wonderful album and easily the band’s best. Although I still hold Strange House so dear to my heart. You cannot expect a band to keep making the same record over and over. This is why I love Horrors, they are not afraid to push boundaries and make music that sounds so unreal, you have to slap yourself a few times because you cannot believe what you are hearing. Best British band? Damn right they are.
The Kills-Blood Pressures: I have no idea how I’m going to do this without becoming a mess. This album kept me sane, there’s no doubt about it. The album was released when I was not at my best, maybe I never am. Maybe that’s what keeps me going. Blood Pressures kept that part of me going that didn’t want to keep going. Every track on this record means the world to me. I adore every single song. I’ve loved Alison and Jamie since the very start. I own every record, and every single one has given me the same feeling. The feeling that, you know, it’s totally okay to be a shaking wreck or a bit mean. It’s okay to like the dark side, it is okay to question everything and everyone. It’s okay to be by yourself. The record just made me feel okay. Did it change things for me? In short, yes. I have played this record whilst making journeys that broke my heart. I’ve played this record when I didn’t know what to do with myself; when I had frustration and fury fidgeting in my mind. It’s basically my crutch. It kept me going and gave me some strength to carry on. Every single song is just perfect. Alison’s voice on The Last Goodbye breaks my heart every single time I play it. The line, “How can I rely on my heart, if I break it, with my own two hands.” Is EASILY my favourite lyric of the year. If I was ever asked to use a lyric to describe me, I’d probably us that. The beautiful Baby Says has the same vibe as a song by the Velvet Underground. It’s perfect. The Kills aren’t a band that you can casually stick on in the background. They are a band that make you fucking feel something so raw inside. It makes you feel like that, you just have to get up and do something. I don’t know what. They just give you this energy that makes you fight everything off until the bloody and bitter end. It’s soulful, it’s blusey, it’s punk, it’s raw. It is everything.
Zola Jesus-Conatus: When I played Stridulum II for the very first time last year, I nearly gave myself third degree burns because I was cooking as I was playing it. My attention was all on Nika’s delicate and haunting voice. Conatus basically had the same effect. I played it and I couldn’t focus on anything. I could’ve been looking at something mesmirising, but I would’nt be able to focus. All my thoughts and energy would be on the record. Conatus,to me, is just a wonderful work of fragile art. It shows just how vulnerable the human soul can be. All too many times we are told to be strong and to just deal with it. You know what? Sometimes you can’t be strong, sometimes you just have to let go and lose yourself. Personally, I think that shows greater strength. Nika is only 22 years old, and she is making works of art that someone like Chris Corner or Lou Reed would make. Her music makes you see everything in a different light, that’s why I love her. Her music is dark and intense- two things that I love about music. If it dark and makes me feel creeped out; I will fall in love with it. There’s something so enigmatic and captivating about her music, it is truly divine. She makes you feel things you probably should be afraid to feel, but isn’t that what music should be about?
The Weeknd-House Of Balloons: I have no idea if I am impressed easily or not. I guess with music it is hard to move me. With people? There’s been very few who have amazed me, I could give you names; but I’m not that kind of person. I heard of The Weeknd last 2010. What You Need was the track I remember listening to on YouTube. I’m a huge fan of R&B, but the good stuff. Think artists such as Jodeci, Aaliyah, SWV, Ginuwine- that kind of feel you know? Along comes The Weeknd and I feel like I’ve been taken into a different universe. When Timbaland and Missy produced Aaliyah’s second record, One In A Million they made this sound that was so futeristic and powerful. You were unsure if anything could be like this again. Move on well over a decade, and you still question if a sound can be created like that again; that makes you feel so strange inside. It makes you turn to jelly and you love it. The Weeknd’s music is just mind-blowing. He’s done this all by himself, the last installment in his trilogy is due soon. I’m so excited about it. Thursday is an amazing mixtape, but House Of Balloons just blew me away. What did it for me was his sample of Siouxsie’s Happy House. As someone who has a massive obsession with Siouxise, I was unsure about this. I had nothing to fear at all. House Of Ballons/Glass Table Girls became one of my favourite tracks of the year. The album is just in a different league of its own. The Weeknd is on a different level, no doubt. This is how R&B should be sounding. Fuck it, it’s how music should be sounding. It should be pushing the listener and making you feel things so deep inside of you that you don’t know what to do with yourself.
I know I rarely sleep, but I’m going to try sleep and think of more albums to continue with tomorrow. I’ll probably be pissed off if this disturbs my slumber and I turn my laptop on at 4am with the urge to write. It happens a lot, I just learn to fight it.