Brian’s Mixtape #13: Openings and inroads

Brian can be a rather smug owl at times, and one of his favourite tricks is introducing people to fantastic music and then taking the credit for its wonderousness as though he’d written it or something. Here at FFS we’re powerless to stop him. This week he’s put together a selection of tracks from some of his favourite albums old and new.

Despite Brian’s pomposity there’s no denying the songs — and the albums they’re taken from — are fantastic. Just don’t tell him you think so. He does tend to go on.

Guest Blog: The Dufflefolks’ Louis — Recording the recordings

From 4-track to Abbey Road studio 2, recording is a process any band has to go through. From my personal perspective as a Dufflefolk, it is of highs and lows. It confirms all your worst fears about a song through its magnifying glass but also appeals to the inner geek, which resides in most musicians. The process can be long or short depending if attempting the Magnus opus of Ok Computer or the instant energy of The Clash first album. Both I feel to be good.

Album: Micah P. Hinson – All Dressed Up and Smelling of Strangers

The urge to do a covers album for most artists must seem like a pretty strong one. You have the chance to play and record your favourite songs from decades of recorded material. You can broaden your musical horizons without drawing too many questions about your decisions from pesky journalists trying to dissect your inspiration, and you can satisfy your ravenous record label with a brand spanking new CD without the years of mental torment.

Album: Kings of Convenience — Declaration of Dependence

If, like me, you’re a massive fan of anything folky and Norwegian then you too will be pleased to hear that indie faves Kings of Convenience are back with a new album. Declaration of Dependence is the duos third album and there’s been a five year gap since their last material, ‘Riot on an Empty Street’. So was it worth the wait?

Cherbourg split as frontman Andrew Davie goes solo

Cherbourg’s ex-frontman Andrew Davie has told FFS that the band “is no more”. Davie said it became obvious that the four members — himself, Chris Maas, Kev Jones and Phil Fiddle — found that they wanted different things from the band. He said: “I can’t see us as a four playing together again… At the beginning there was a vision and a shared idea but it lost it’s direction.”

Album: Ruby Throat – The Ventriloquist

Ruby Throat is a collaboration between KatieJane Garside (of QueenAdreena) and Chris Whittingham (whom KatieJane spotted busking on the underground, apparently). Over the course of a year and a half they recorded this album which was released in 2007. Why review it now? Because they only released 400 copies in 2007 and now you can get your grubby paws on it, after a general online release.

Single Review – Tigers that Talked – Artificial clouds

Tigers that Talked are brilliant. Their sound has been compared to the likes of Arcade Fire and Ryan Adams but their sound is much more progressive and sincere. They are based in Leeds consisting of singer/guitarist Jamie Williams, violinist Glenna Larsen, bassist Owain Kelly and drummer Chris Verney. The new single Artificial Clouds is the best so far from their debut album The Merchant. That says a lot as 23 Fears and Black Heart, Blue Eyes are both mesmerising slices of music.

Album: Cymbals Eat Guitars — Why There Are Mountains

Cymbals Eat Guitars. Now, this Brooklyn quartet may have a bizarre name, but on much of their LP, the cymbals (and percussion) do eat the guitars! At the very least they match up to them, filling their songs with incredible energy, integral to the many tempo changes which jaggedly divide the tracks. Speaking of energy, Joseph D’Agostino’s vocals burst onto Why There Are Mountains with raw fieriness, but later on in the album we are witness to a more relaxed and honest twang, on ‘Cold Spring’, ‘Share’ and ‘What Dogs See’.

Live: The Young Republic @ Cargo, 2nd November

On the last night of their tour The Young Republic came to London with Coventry-based support band Don’t Move! The two bands hit Cargo on a Monday night, but the atmosphere positively reeked of Friday and the audience was treated to an energetic extravaganza of an evening.

First Aid Kit announce album release and December gig

We’ve sorted your Christmas with Alessi’s wonderful party plans, and now we’ve found a remedy for the January blues. Sisterly Swedish double act First Aid Kit have announced that their debut album, The Big Black and The Blue, will be released on Wichita Records on 25th January 2010.

Peggy Sue announce single and live dates for November

Peggy Sue return from their American odyssey this week and get stuck right in to a week of live dates across England, as well as releasing new single ‘Yo Mama’ on limited edition 7” vinyl on 9th November. They’re likely to sell swiftly, so keep your eyes peeled.