Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Indietracks Compilation 2011

I tend to mention Indietracks quite a lot on this blog, but that's because it's a truly terrific thing; a festival that does it's own thing, promotes lesser known bands, supports the midland railway charity and puts smiles on peoples faces. Whats not to love?

If I wrote a book blog I'd spend most of it yelling about the 'Great Gatsby' or if I wrote a film blog it'd be full of my enjoyment of the works of Brian De Palma.

Anyway to get back to to that opening paragraph it's the line about supporting the Midland railway that's pertinent to this blog post as you'll find out shortly; you see every year Indietracks puts off a compilation of the band's that are going to be playing; a taster, a veritable smorgasbord of indiepop if you will. This year is no different in that respect. The album is download only, and it's a pay what you want affair with all proceeds going to the Midland Railway charity; which means of course that you can just give what you can afford, whilst helping the site which puts on the festival in the process. It's brilliant.

The compilation itself, as you might expect, is excellent. It's clearly been put together with a lot of love, it's sequenced really well. Like the best mixtape, the one that got worn out from being played so much. The kind of thing that's so good you expect to hear it from every bedroom window and every passing car, and can't believe that other people aren't aware of it. There's so much good stuff here (40 tracks worth), lots of it new to me, that it would be a futile excercise to try and write about every track but from the perfect indiepop of The Procters through the jangle of The Whatevers and giddy joy of Papa Topo it's all ace.

It's being released by Make Do And Mend Records and you can find, listen and download it from Bandcamp

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Cults - Cults

You may have heard of Cults, they're Ep which was on Bandcamp generated a fair bit of buzz; especially the song 'Go Outside' which was praised pretty damn highly. If you have heard the band then, you probably know what to expect from their debut album. If you haven't heard them (or heard of them) then think 60's inspired indie pop with ever so slight sinister undertones and you're pretty much there.

It's a half hour long triumph of an album, full of hooks and joy, and whilst it feels all joyous and happy and lovestruck, the reverb applied makes things feel just a little uneasy (coupled with spoken excerts from cult leader). Then there's the bitterness as well, 'Never Heal Myself' is a case in point with it's lyric "I can never heal myself, so fuck you'.

It's an album of the frustations then, but it never allows that to get in the way of it's Spectoresque musical tendancies or it's melodic joys. Sure there are moments when the album misses a little, and it could have done with a closer with a bit more oomph as 'Rave On' as great as it is, doesn't quite hit the mark. Still there are more than enough excellent songs here - 'Bumper', 'Abducted', 'Never Heal Myself', 'Go Outside' - to make this an album definitely worth getting or making sure you hear at any rate.

Cults have made a great summertime pop album here, taking it's cue from 50's/60's pop and surf and bringing it bang up to date and pointing towards an excellent future.

Here's the video for abducted :-

and here's the album on Spotify