Last night I was out to see Gogol Bordello in Glasgow. They were ably and entertainingly supported by these chaps – Lucky Chops – a renegade brass section and a fantastic drummer giving us the funk with a sousaphone bass. They had the crowd dancing all the way back to the sound desk, and wound rocking originals and covers (Say You’ll Be There! Funkytown! Heart of Glass!) together. Also, their sound mix was top notch.
This is their video for Temple of Boom, which is delightfully 8 bit.
A particularly touching sub-genre of love songs is the love song from a father to his spouse once they’ve had children. The Nature Of Me is one of these – it’s got a quality to it that is at once anthemic and intimate, and Michael’s wife and long term musical collaborator Shimrit features on backing vocals.
You might remember Michael and Shimrit from the Israeli national Eurovision final in 2011, where they delighted us with Tou Dou Dou. If you don’t remember that, you should definitely check it out. In fact, check out all his work, it’s delightful.
Michael has a website.
Michael is on Facebook.
Tonight, some music from beautiful, vital, excellent Barcelona. Cuzo are an experimental prog band with an expansive, groovy approach to including psych and world music into their sound. Noches de Sol (Sunny Nights) combines poundingly heavy drums with sunshine laden guitars and shifts rhythmically away from you every time you think you’ve worked out where it’s going.
Cuzo are on Bandcamp
Cuzo are on
Facebook Myspace, apparently
This song popped up while I was researching retro electropop diva (and Austria’s hottest ever mullet wearer) Ankathie Koi for the ‘Air’ show for Listen Outside On The Radio. I’m already very fond of Johann Sebastian Bass and I am a sucker for any form of homemade mirrorball costume, so this whole package had a huge raw appeal.
White Cars is a pure distillation of the aspirationally naff 80’s aesthetic, with the deliberately clunky video, the awkward extras and the beautiful deployment of a keytar vocoder. How fabulous!
If you like the more danceable end of Goldfrapp, or you were into Steed Lord, or you liked the Human League first time round, please get right into the work of Ankathie Koi. She’s a delight.
Here’s her Bandcamp.
Two sweet and adorable pop songs for your listening pleasure. Enjoy the game!
Germany: Ohrwurm by Liza & Kay
Italy: Odio L’estate by Guila Penna
Continuing our accidental miniseries of slightly downbeat covers of Swedish pop masterpieces, here is Pale Honey with a slouchy, twangy cover of Lay All Your Love On Me.
Pale Honey are an indie-rock two piece from Gothenburg – they’ve got a superbly louche vibe and are splendidly dry and funny on their blog. This is the first single from their upcoming second album, which is due to land in September. More like this please!
Pale Honey are on Facebook
Pale Honey are on Soundcloud
Pale Honey have a website
This is not our first encounter with Fallgrapp. Our Slovakian faves make the sort of dance music you need to listen to on your really good headphones to enjoy all the detailed and beautiful sounds hidden in the mix. On Dym they’ve teamed up with Juraj Benetin for a boy/girl duet (my favourite! thank you!) and his gravelly intonation contrasts beautifully with Nora’s free-flying vocals.
Fallgrapp are on tour and on Facebook
How about some totally chill French hiphop just as the temperatures in the UK start rising? Hippocampe Fou, the crazy seahorse, who describes himself as an underwater troubadour brings us a cloud of verbiage including the phrase “I couldn’t make friends with my 3D printer” and name-checking Prince, Queen, GTA and the Kingdom of Hyrule.
Hippocampe Fou is on Facebook
What do I like more than ambient music? I like proggy analog synth ambient music. What do I like more than proggy analog synth ambient music? Vintage Estonian proggy analog synth ambient music.
I wouldn’t normally go to the same country twice in a week (ED: this is a lie, especially as far as Estonia is concerned) but if Procrastination Queen was spiky, energetic and up to to minute, then Hingus is a smooth classic – dreamlike, spacious, airy, celestial. Pour yourself whatever it is you enjoy, and relax.
Sven Grünberg was a prog rocker in the Soviet era, which was logistically and ideologically difficult, but he’s survived musically to produce a great body of ambient and film music work and to chair the Estonian Institute of Buddhism. Nice one, Sven.
At the time that I wrote my big Eurovision Preview Post, the received wisdom was that including any element of rap, especially native language rap in your Eurovision song was a route to sure non-qualification. Instead, I’m delighted that Joci, Alexandra and Emeses not only comfortably qualified (2nd in the semi!), but finished 8th in the Eurovision Grand Final.
It’s pretty obvious what appealed to me about Origo – the overall sound is cool, but Joci practically vibrates with tension as he pours out the pain of a lifetime of being on the receiving end of anti-Roma prejudice, so the song is in a constant state of edgy energy. Alexandra’s improvised dance tells us the parts of the story that we miss because we don’t understand Hungarian. She loves him, it’s magical, it’s overpowering it’s desperate, it’s agony. Emeses stands over on the satellite stage, playing the insistent violin riff and generally working the crowd into a frenzy. I spoke to Emeses just before the Grand Final – she was so excited to be a part of the performance, and was explaining that she never intended to go so crazy with the crowd around the satellite stage, but that the enthusiasm from the fans at her feet swept her away.
I think the strength of support for Hungary – they received televote points from 33 out of 42 countries and came 8th overall – is additional evidence for my theory that the best performing Eurovision songs no longer necessarily have to sound like ‘Eurovision songs’ and that the public are musically informed and open-minded enough to accept great songs and strong performances in any genre, especially when they tell such a strong story of love and pain.