We missed a month. Soz. Enjoy April.Read More
We had the BRITs this month. We even livetweeted it. Not that it is reflected at all in this month's new music review, exactly. (Well. Having said that, Jack Garratt's got a pity inclusion. And the deserter from that big pop act has just been releasing more fire than a pyromaniac who can spit lighter fluid.) ...but I digress.
Tom Bradley looks at the music of February - from A(nimal Collective) to Z(AYN).Read More
The final offering from New York duo, School of Seven Bells is here and as always, it's beautiful. Treat this band as like loving someone from start to finish and even after they've left.
Alejandra Deheza's voice has the effortless power to paint your mind with her vision and you'll feel her force through album opener and single "Ablaze".
Whilst making the album, the other half of the band, Benjamin Curtis was diagnosed with lymphoma. Unfortunately, Benjamin passed away.
The majority of the album was recorded before Curtis' death but there is harrowing irony via Deheza's haunting lyrics matched to Curtis' music on "Open Your Eyes."
I don't feel there's a more personal song on this album than the song that directly deals with the incident, "Confusion" gives us a fiery atmosphere of emotion.
The whole album is extremely powerful but my personal favourite on SVIIB is "Signals" which is a song not to be taken lightly.
There is a note from Alejandra on their site:
'Friends, Benjamin and I wrote this record during a tour break in the summer of 2012. I can easily say that it was one of the most creative and inspired summers of our lives. What followed was the most tragic, soul shaking tidal wave that life could deliver, but even that wouldn't stop the vision for this record from being realized. This is a love letter from start to finish. It's the story of us starting from that first day we met in 2004, and that's the story of School of Seven Bells. So much love to all of you. Thank you for being a constant light in our lives. This record is for you.'
It could be deemed hard to get psyched up about a new album knowing the tragic events surrounding the creation of the album but it's emotionally charged and that's why we listen to music.
As much as the album is made for the fans, it's also for her, for him, for everyone connected to them.
SV11B is out 26/02/16 through Vagrant.
Short review: "Work" by Rihanna is rubbish. In other news: I don't understand modern music’s appeal.
I understand where this song is appropriate and it is of course not aimed at a 29 year old guitar loving white male who has played more pub gigs than he has been to clubs. I’m clearly not Rihanna’s target audience. But that’s not to say I couldn’t like Rihanna given a more favourable context.
Last year, I heard one of the oddest combinations of music I have ever encountered in "FourFiveSeconds". What I was left with was a modern pop classic which would sit comfortably amidst a playlist of motown and acoustic rock classics during a drinking session at a friend’s house. Its stripped back yet anthemic feel made it a special sound to hear on the radio for the fourfivemonths it maintained radio play. Don’t misconstrue that my like of this track is down to an obligatory respect due to the appearance of a Beatle. Had I not seen the video I would not have known that Paul McCartney was even involved. He doesn't sing after all.
Regardless of this, the ever so tasty filling in this superstar sandwich is one Rihanna. She has never convinced me that she is a standout singer and - in my view - comparatively falls short to her pop/R&B peers (see: Beyoncé) in singing prowess and presence. But in "FourFiveSeconds" she sounds exasperated, raw and soulful. Her cut on this track astounds me and on reflection this could have marked a new direction for her. Considering she’s already done straight pop, dance, club and hip-hop styles, maybe a modern soul album wasn’t out of the question. Evidently she chose not to, releasing the aforementioned atrocity.
Those crisp and raw vocals I mentioned are replaced with gibberish. I can hear her leaning on her Caribbean dialect, which is something she’s done very little of since "Pon De Replay" in 2005. Not a bad thing. But her pronunciation is just awful. It barely sounds like she is saying work, dirt, learn etc. Instead the listener is subjected to “der der der der der der” and “wah wah wah wah wah wah”. “Wah wah” makes me smile.
(Growing up, my only relatives who had any form of satellite or cable television were my grandparents. So the only place I could watch music channels, as teenagers of the nineties and noughties so often did, was when I visited them. This subjected Grandad to the various angsty post-grunge, nu-metal and alternative sounds occupying Kerrang! and MTV2.)
Anyway, he would often remark, 'what is this wah wah you're listening to?' ..no doubt a phrase he also used for my mum’s taste of music in the seventies. It is a family saying that bad music, often modern music, is recognised as 'wah wah' and in turn the phrase is used by someone who is out of touch with the music of the time.
Well. Now it's me. I’m bordering 30 and am finding more and more that I am losing touch with popular music. I’m not connected to "Work" or most other Rihanna songs in any way. However, I should be able to review this song with proper academic critique. My musical education forces me to overanalyse everything I hear, which combined with my own personal biases, make me understand why I like what I like and give me more specific and technical words to say when I don’t like something. Maybe dealing with the loss of a loved one is giving me something more important to grapple with than my relationship with modern music. But regardless, plain and simple, "Work" is a load of wah wah. And I think my Grandad would have agreed.
The Month That Was is a recurring feature taking place on FOULDER as a review of music released throughout that month - alongside a few tracks that may have been missed just before that. Check out head honcho Tom Bradley's Spotify playlist selection over here - and keep your ear to the ground every four weeks or so for 50 brand new tracks.Read More
'I pull my heart out, I wave it in the air'
Chino Moreno and his lyrics are as great as ever.
The music is as great as ever.
Deftones are back and are as great as ever.
Hell, they’ve even included Jerry Cantrell with their comeback single "Prayers/Triangles" from upcoming album Gore.
It sounds like the music will be a continuation of Koi No Yakan but the vocals suggest Chino is taking it back to Saturday Night Wrist.
After many years together and continuous albums, I hope this is the one that cements them as icons.
Deftones are above everyone around them. No band does what this band do.
You can view the video and hear the song here:
Gore will be released 04.08.16 through Reprise Records
Overwhelming bass. Wailing guitars. A trap beat that strikes the heart, the mind, the soul.
Tom Bradley looks into the future of PBR'n'B, in Johnny Rain.Read More
First was 2005's Silent Alarm, a masterstroke in indie if ever there was one. Then came 2007's A Weekend In The City; musically understated and punctuated with biting political statements and fragments of loves lost. One year later came Intimacy...
Tom Bradley puts Bloc Party's fifth album through its paces.Read More
Here's a thing. Is it the music? Is it the words? It it the singer? Is it the song? Is it the moment? What sticks? Why? Discuss.
Anna Bradley writes an ode to The Boss - the man that changed it all.Read More
By all likeliness, Outkast and D'Angelo could have legitimately had the love child that is Anderson Paak.
Tom Bradley reviews .Paak's second full-length - but likely his breakout - album.Read More