les oreilles grandes ouvertes

English?

Here are translations of some of my posts.

Emma Louise (03/08/11)
The Chemists (20/06/11)
Hungry Kids Of Hungary (10/06/11)
Mumford And Sons (30/05/11)
To Kill A King (10/05/11)
Sparkadia (12/04/11)
Alex Clare (05/04/11)
Gush (02/04/11)
The Snake The Cross The Crown (30/03/11)
Passenger (15/03/11)
Loomis and the Lust (05/03/11)
Young The Giant (27/02/11)
Dirt Poor Robins (27/02/11)
Joe Purdy (23/02/11)
Apple Horse (24/01/11)
After Midnight Project (31/10/10)
AWOLNATION (08/09/10)
The Rocket Summer (05/09/10)
Steel Train (27/07/10)
Pause Guitare + Francos (25/07/10)
Shaun Flemming (21/07/10)
Neon Trees (20/07/10)
Aranda (18/07/10)
Status Green (08/07/10)
Civalias (06/26/10)
Holding Mercury (06/26/10)
Melismatics (06/11/10)
Madi Diaz (05/31/10)
Down With Webster (05/29/10)
The Canon Logic (05/24/10)
Empires (05/07/10)

Emma-Louise

« Jungle », « Safari »… female singers seem to like Africa these days. But don’t worry, this is the only similarity between Yelle’s Safari Disco Club and Emma-Louise’s Jungle.
Emma-Louise, 19, is from Cairns (QLD, Australia). With her short hair and original style, she seems to know really well what she wants… and that’s good news!
In 2008, Insomnia was already promising. « Jungle » is pure genius. She seems to have found her own musical style, between minimalism and dynamism. I must say that at first I was surprised by the lack of movement and colour in the music video, but now I think that it also perfectly fits the song. She’s trapped, screaming for help, and this is how we feel. With her casual beauty, Emma-Louise looks radiant. The balance between the candour of a girl and the maturity of a woman is perfect. If you’re not hooked on her amazing voice, you’ll be on her haunting eyes… Here you are, walking on a hanging string, balancing yourself.

The Chemists

Hungry Kids of Hungary

Mumford and Sons

To Kill A King

Sure, i like finding a band by myself better but getting some PR info about a band straight into my inbox is still great! Maybe I would have never heard of this band and his pop like redcurrant: sensitive, delicate, tragic.

In the same tone as those of Noah and the Whale, their soulful songs, haunted by Ralph Pelleymounter’s drawl vocals, take us back to industrial England, a few centuries ago. The name To Kill A King comes from a movie about English Civil War. They’re surprisingly young. Maybe these dark rain clouds which often haze over our neighboor’s sky make people grow up faster?

Their videos are nicely focused on humans, but sometimes pretty hard to understand. Go see by yourself: « Fictional State » music video is here and « Cold Skin » is here.

Sparkadia

Alex Clare

Let’s listen to something really different: Alexander Clare, british, 25. Almost unknown in France. Some say that his music is dubstep, some others say it’s not… After reading some info on wikipedia, I’d say it is dusbtep.

Anyway, putting together these creeping electronic sounds and these amazing soulful vocals is clearly genius. See by yourself with Relax My Beloved.

« Relax My Beloved » is the first Alex Clare song I’ve ever heard, almost 2 months ago. It was on a video. I can’t remember the website where I saw it – and that’s very frustrating, believe me! – but at least I managed to find the original video from Matei-Alexandru Mocanu. A bit disturbing, but great! Watch it here.

As often, I had just written down the name of the singer somewhere, but I hadn’t given it a second listen… until yesterday. And now, I just can’t stop listening to it. I keep on hitting the repeat button. It’s like it’s tearing my guts out, and won’t let me go.

Gush

The Snake The Cross The Crown

Passenger

Loomis and the Lust

Young The Giant

Dirt Poor Robins

Joe Purdy

Apple Horse

Latest find, thanks again to purevolume.com : Apple Horse, a very young band from Boise, ID. It’s folk/rock and it’s natural, bouncy, radiant and perfectly indie. I wasn’t surprised to read that one of their manager was Jonathan Jones, who sings in We Shot The Moon.
Hurry up and download « Filthy Halls » and « Summon God » on their purevolume page!
You can also listen to the whole album (Tuck Me In, Woodsman) on their official site.
I think « Filthy Halls » is the best track off the album, with an impressive introduction which sounds better than those of many famous bands, an addictive chorus and still, amazing vocals.

After Midnight Project

Seeing them muzzled with scotch-tape seems quite strange for someone who knows their music : devastating rock.
Violence is accepted but not trivialized. In fact, while listening to their songs, we can feel its necessity. After Midnight Project don’t play for money, or fame, or even just for fun. They play music because something has to be done, somehting has to be expeled.
Their album is like a huge slap in your face : yes, the power of music does exist. I can feel it deep inside of me when i listen to it. All this violence roaring, all these hidden frustrations, here they are, exploding in the light. No need to go and hit someone, just push play, and listen. Cry if necessary. Let’s build something to break is a kind of stress-reliever. When it ends, you feel relaxed. You can hope again. As if you had forgotten about everything for a while, and now you could get back on life’s long road…
This is also an amazing album, a beautiful jewel case where softer songs are surrounded by loud guitars and screams. Jason Evigan’s vocals give you thrills, in the studio as well as live : i had the chance to take part in a web video chat in august ’09, and they sounded absolutely great!
Jason recently started to write a blog. I must confess i was a little bit disappointed when i read the first posts, too shallow, but there was one which got my attention. He talks about his career, and how difficult it can be for a touring artist to keep on seeing every show as a unique experience. I couldn’t help but cry when i read the last paragraph. It was so honest and moving… You really can see that he’s not a musician who seeks to take advantage of success without even thinking. He does have doubts, and the fact that he shares them makes him look very engaging.
After Midnight Project is from Los Angeles, and is signed to Univercal Motown. They toured the US on the Warped Tour during 2 months last summer. Let’s hope that one day they’ll fly to our good old Europe. They had told me they would come in 2010… I’ll wait for them.

AWOLNATION

Remember this name, under which hides Aaron Bruno.
« It’s not just music, but a crusade designed to fight all that’s fake, commercialized, compromised and debased in popular culture. »
In other words, this is the new electro/hip-hop/rock/soul sound coming from Los Angeles, CA. Who already opened for MGMT at the Lollapalooza aftershow, at the House of Blues in Chicago. And who’s giving away his whole EP « Back From Earth » on purevolume.
It feels so good to hear at last electro sounds which are structured and addictive, and don’t give you a headache (even when remixed by innerpartysystem!). Believe me, that’s amazing.
While listening to the songs, we have a strange feeling. The Temper Trap sent us from earth to space for a while, AWOLNATION goes even further : he takes us back with him to his own planet. As if these aliens would have come to earth to get this tiny little thing which is inimitable, this human thing. And then they would leave. Are you coming?

The Rocket Summer

Steel Train

I disvovered them two years ago in Alternative Press. They were giving away « Better Love » and « Want You Back » (Jackson Five cover)on their purevolume page, so i downloaded the songs… and i loved them.
These productive New Yorkers have already released several EPs and two albums. The latest has been out since early ’10. It’s a diversified and delicate work which is likely to make you dream and smile.
I like : the sound of the drums, the claps of the hands, the feel-good or melancholic melodies.

Pause Guitare + Francos

Okay, i’m an intern this summer, so i don’t have any holiday. But some occasions just don’t have to be missed.
First i’m going to talk about Pause Guitare Festival in Albi. A nice drive on a wonderful summer day, 4 shows under the blue sky next to the Sainte Cécile Cathedral : Revolver and Pony Pony Run Run (2 french bands who write in english), Ghinzu (BE) and Archive (UK).
I had already seen Revolver and PPRR play. Even if the amazing acoustic cover Revolver did in the middle of the crowd last december (« Helplessly Hoping » by Crosby Still Nash and Young), was replaced by a more energic song, i think they were even better in Albi. In Toulouse, the first part of the show was too perfect, too smooth. They were playing, and we were listening. There was a clear change when they began to actually talk to us. In Albi, we were instantly absorbed in their universe.
(…)

Shaun Flemming

Neon Trees

Aranda

Status Green

That’s a good thing some people still use myspace! I was hooked on « juggling knives » in 2008 and « firebomb » in 2009, but actually i had kind of forgotten that new jersey band for a while… until i had my memory refreshed by a comment on my page a few weeks ago!

That’s not really easy to say what kind of music they make, but their melodies are just irresistible! A bit of Beatles, OK go, Strokes, a bit of rock and roll, a bit of swing… it’s precise, effective, lively, with a feel good vibe. Exactly what i love!

For once i’m going to stop writing and let you go and listen to their album cheap sunglasses on purevolume.

No More Kings

Okay, maybe it’s not the perfect band to listen to right now because it’s so hot and you don’t want to sweat even more. To be honest, that’s pretty hard for your fingers – and then your feet – to resist to the funky rythm imposed by Pete Mitchell, Neil Robins and their friends… and you’ll be dancing before you know it! But it doesn’t really matter : sweating is natural after all, isn’t it?

Anyway, it’s high time i wrote a post about this band who has been part of my favourites since early 2008 and whose singer, by the way, is incredibly modest and nice. He also makes the artwork.

First thing i love about them is their infectious good mood. We can hear that they’re having a blast. The lyrics are funny, full of cultural references – though i don’t understand all of them. Leaving Lilliput gives a voice to Giant Gulliver, prisoner of the Tiny People. On God Breathed, Adam and Eve end up fighting about an ice-cream… Everything shows a hard work on imagination and expression.

I usually pay a lot of attention to vocals, and wasn’t disappointed by Pete’s voice : warm and round, it fits the shape of the instruments’ sound, as a violin would get stuck in its frothy case.

Another quality is the clear and soft sound of the acoustic guitar. So much better when you don’t use a pick!

Finally, they’re all very talented musicians. Even my brother admits it, and he’s a musician and always very fussy. There’s an incredible subtlety when they play the guitar, drums, keys, saxophone…

These Californians released 2 albums at Astonish Records « No More Kings » and « And The Flying Boombox ». The first – more « pop » – contains some acoustic treasures like This or Girl In The Sea. On the second, which tends to be more funk/electro, you’ll find danceable bombs like Dance Alone, Something To Hide, Critical Hit and King Of Rock.

Are you convinced?

Civalias

This young pianist with a special vocal texture enraptures us with funny lyrics and aerial melodies. Here is an anecdote : he co-wrote the first single of the french singer Nolwenn Leroy , which was then translated to french (Faut-il, Faut-il pas). Don’t really like this artist but check out the song for the melody and the lyrics here. To watch the pretty music video of Surprise, Surprise, go to purevolume.

Holding Mercury

Melismatics

Madi Diaz

Down With Webster

The Canon Logic

Empires

If you read the previous posts, you could think that Los Angeles is the only city with great rock bands, but that’s not true at all. More to the East, near a Great Lake, you can find another talent pool : Chicago. First step of my demonstration.

I downloaded their self-released first album Howl by chance while surfing on the web. Instant crush. I’m feeling it inside, something’s happening. In these moments you realize how magical music can be. When there’s a real transmission of a feeling, from artists to listeners. That’s impossible to describe or to explain. But both your whole body and your soul are shattered. And that’s what happened when i listened to their music for the first time, and what still happens. I’m hooked on the voice who seems to crack, on the powerful guitars, on the poetic lyrics. On the sweetness that comes and set in when only keys and drums remain.

On Howl, there are 15 amazing songs which are often rocking, sometimes soft, always very strong emotionally. To such an extent that when you’re listening to them, uncannily precise pictures form in your mind. The album was a great success, and isn’t available as a physical CD anymore, but you can download it for free on their site.

I like : vocals on Hayley – resonant with emotion, the feel good vibe on Believe, the energy on Late Night Rendez-Vous.

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