A sporadically-updated music collection blog. Send questions to twitter or email me.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Kid Canaveral - Who Would Want To Be Loved?

Going to gigs alone is a fairly regular occurrence for me, and I'm okay with that. Having a phone with the internet makes it a far less lonely experience than it could be, and I worry far less about getting excessively emotional when there's no-one I know nearby who might find it weird. That being said, when Kid Canaveral announced a Valentine's Day gig with Randolph's Leap I realised that would be a step too far. Of all the gigs to be a (non-deliberately) creepy-looking lonely guy at, that would be the most uncomfortable. That they then announced that ticket-holders would get a free 7" made me extra-sad to be missing it. Fortunately, a few of the records ended up on the Lost Map webstore, so I snagged one to soften the blow.

No artwork, but it's only shaped like a heart! Amazing. My first non-record shaped record and it's a bloomin' heart! I'm delighted by this.

Two songs here, then. The A-side is, appropriately enough given the shape, a song called Who Would Want To Be Loved? and comes from the latest Kid Canaveral album (coming to a blog near you when I decide to stop listening to emo constantly). It's a nice piece of breezy, Scottish, mildly twee guitar-pop that I fully expect to come into its own when Summer finally rolls around. The B-side is what I was mainly interested in, though. It's a cover of I Can't Dance To This Music Any More by fellow Scottish twee-poppers Randolph's Leap (another band soon to arrive here once my emo kick is over), and is pretty interesting. While the original is Adam Ross at his introverted melancholy best, the cover has a much fuller sound and at times sounds almost triumphant. Does it improve the song? I don't think so, but I will always commend them for being willing to take a risk. Also, did I mention it's shaped like a heart? A heart!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Snowing - I Could Do Whatever I Wanted If I Wanted

The flood of emo records continues. This time I decided to get a bunch of records from Count Your Lucky Stars, a lovely label from the US who managed to get records sent to me within a week of my order being placed. Best. Three records in total, here's the first.

An absolutely sublime cover. It's like a flannel-y reproduction of the Lion King, which I'm sure we'd all agree would be a better film. I would definitely like to stroke that cat.

Double-sided insert? Check. Another cat photo? Check. Incredible lyrics? Big check. The layout of the lyrics sheet is so nice as well, the spacing is very pleasant. Good addition.

Yeah more orange vinyl! I feel as though there have been quite a lot of orange on this blog recently. This colour is described as "tangerine" by the label and is from what I assume is the eighth pressing. Eight pressings! That's impressive. No idea what the rest of the pressing info is, but let's take a closer look at the record:

It's like a pulpy tangerine! Amazing. Slightly terrifying labels though, especially this close.

In the past few weeks, I've listened to this album probably once or twice every day. It's emo for sure and there's a bit of twinkle here, but Snowing are a more aggressive, cathartic band than a lot of what I've been posting recently. The lyrics, as I mentioned briefly earlier, are absolutely sublime. A lot of them are quite personal (in particular, Memo Yeah That's Fine Man) and yet it still manages to be surprisingly relatable. More than that, the album features one of my favourite song lines of all time - the Arrested Development referencing "Tobias F√ľnke, why am I not underwater?" that has absolutely no relevance to anything else on the album and no need to exist but is utterly perfect. The album itself is pretty close to perfect - there are a couple of tracks that I skip, but the rest are glorious. The majority of songs sit on the precipice of chaos, threatening to completely fall apart at any moment but just about keeping it together. It makes for good walking music, though having to stop myself from screaming in the faces of strangers is always tough. My favourite song? That'd probably be the slightly yelpy joy of It's Just A Party. As was the case with Joie De Vivre, this album is a mere $3.50 from the Count Your Lucky Stars bandcamp. You know you should.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - Josh Is Dead

Following on from my Formlessness post, here's the second of the trio of records I got from Topshelf's Euro store. Unsurprisingly, it's more TWIABP.

I'm not sure if this man even is Josh, but I'd like to hope he's not dead. Pretty jealous of his ampersand shirt, too. Maybe I can have it if he is dead after all.

It's a single sheet sleeve with two folds. Left side of the fold lists the A-side tracks, right side lists the B-side tracks. This pleases me disproportionately.

I am a big fan of TWIABP's commitment to non-black vinyl. This is a delicious red, a touch darker than it looks in this photo. There is even a little hint of white in it, slightly obscured by the reflection in this photo (my bad) but visible a little in the bottom right corner. This I believe is from the second pressing, described helpfully as "dark red" and limited to 250. It's pretty nice, whatever it is.

This was the TWIABP release I had most difficulty getting into. It's less space-y than their usual fare, with slightly lower recording quality and it's less immediately engaging than their other releases as a result. Given time though, it grows on you. There are but three tracks on this record - Blank #9 is an instrumental interlude that has to be split over two sides due to space constraints (this seems to be a common thread in TWIABP releases) - and, really, the highlight here is "To Miss Catherine (A Birthday Gift. Sorry I can't do better, but still...)". A bit of a mouthful to say, but it's an absolute beauty of a track. It starts off a little claustrophobic, but gets a little more reassuringly twinkly as it goes on, featuring some glorious shouted backing vocals and ending with a great instrumental section. Be Neon With Me is similar in tone, though is definitely less twinkly. They're both very good songs, is what I'm trying to say. The EP only a dollar on bandcamp, where there's even a sneaky mediafire link if you're feeling too stingy for that. Be sure to give it some time to grow, though.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - Whenever, If Ever cassette

I hate cassettes.
I hate cassettes.
I hate cassettes.
.....I bought another cassette. Not just a cassette, but a cassette of an album I already own on vinyl. Why? Well, let's have a look shall we.

The cassette itself has a nice thick card outer sleeve. IT LOOKS LIKE SPACE and I like that.

Take off that sleeve, and there's a lovely minimalist cover which, when you take it out, unfolds...

...and wow! This is why I bought it. The artwork is absolutely top-notch, and really fits the album. That it uses only two colours adds to the aesthetic, and I'll be on the look-out for more of this guy's work (his website is here, if you're also interested).

Here is the cassette itself. It looks like a cassette, albeit slightly less ugly than most. This release was limited to 150, for those pressing nerds among you, and is now sold out.

Obviously, the fact that I already own this album on vinyl means I have gone over why I love it so much in rather a lot of detail once already. Since I made that post, my opinion has not changed - indeed, my prediction that it would be my favourite 2013 release turned out to be absolutely correct. It's brilliant in every way. I need to stop buying cassettes though...