VIDEO: Moby – “Lie Down In Darkness”

Moby recently released a video for his new single “Lie Down In Darkness”, from his 10th album, Destroyed. The song holds this symphonic atmosphere, and the when Moby and directors Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull (aka Institute For Eyes) all describe the song as “cinematic”, they hit the nail right on the head, because that’s exactly how it feels.

I’ve no doubt some will find this track boring or uninspiring, but the reality is, Moby manages to create these amazingly simple hooks (eg: those four backing vocal notes), and craft a whole song around them. To be able to take something so basic and build upon it, until it’s this mature and interesting song, is a talent in itself. And I think it’s from this base of simplicity that Moby manages to give his songs a personality – something special that separates his music from the rest.

VIDEO: The Living End – “Song For The Lonely”

Aussie rockers The Living End have just released their sixth full length album, The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating, and “Song for the Lonely” is the second single from the release!

Check out this brand new video from the guys. Not sure how I feel about the artistic choice to blur the guys “parts”, would’ve been better to cover them up another way. Overall the video has some cool slow-mo footage, but that seems to be about it. You can weave together any explanation you want about the water and paintball bombardment being a metaphor and how these people are lonely or oppressed or whatever, but it really doesn’t seem all that revolutionary. That said, it’s a cool song, and well, the video is at least interesting.

See what you think.

BRAND NEW: Death Cab For Cutie – “You Are A Tourist (Phatchance Hip Hop Remix)”

You might have heard about Death Cab for Cutie’s new track “You Are A Tourist”. They did a film clip for it which was broadcast live on the internet (the first ever, I believe). It was a pretty impressive effort.

Well, Aussie hip-hop artist Phatchance recently stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to remix it. Throwing some amazing rhymes in-between Ben Gibbard’s lyrics, Chance manages to preserve the tone and themes of the original while putting a new spin on the song. The result? A remix that actually works incredibly well. As much as I love Death Cab, I think I find it a bit more interesting than the original. Sometimes Death Cab seem to have those spaces in songs where they just lose my attention a little bit, but this remix seems to take care of that altogether.

Take a listen below, download it, and share it around. It’s brilliant.


When SoundCloud runs out of downloads (which I’ve heard it will), you can grab the mp3 here.

If you like your music a bit less lossy, you can grab the wav here.

REVIEW: A Family Of Strangers – “New Techniques for Beginners & Champions”

If you’re a regular triple j listener you’ll have no doubt heard of The Butterfly Effect. That said, you may not have heard specifically of Glenn Esmond, or his new side-project A Family Of Strangers. Created as an outlet for musical ideas that didn’t quite fit The Butterfly Effect, AFoS’ first release is entitled New Techniques for Beginners & Champions .

My experience with The Butterfly Effect is limited to their more popular singles and their 2008 album Final Conversation of Kings, with their prog-influenced, heavy style of rock, that’s both accessible and entertaining.

The warped beeping of “Lovely (The House at Number 23)” sounds initially like something further from home, but the reality is that this is an EP full of anthemic, accessible rock. This isn’t a bad thing, but those expecting something a bit heavier won’t quite get there. There are moments of surprise that will throw you, and moving between the rockier tracks and softer piano ballads, AFoS have got musical movement and variation nailed.

There are some great textures explored, and it feels like although there are similarities between AFoS and TBE, they could quite easily branch out on their own to form another entity entirely. One of the biggest pitfalls of the side-project is that it will sound too similar to everything else and never take off. AFoS have got considerable influence coming across, but with continued effort and with time, I believe A Family of Strangers will find their own feet and impress their audience with a completely new charm not seen before.

Verdict: Give it a shot. Although it’ll be more for some than others, but it’s charming and an easy listen.

Get over here and grab a free download of “Don’t Forget (03.03.03)”.

REVIEW: No Love For Lexi – “My Awkward Mouth”

Let me admit it right off the bat. I’m friends with a member of this band. That’s how I found out about them. I really don’t care if you think I’m being biased, I like their sound, deal with it. Anyway.

No Love For Lexi are an alternative rock band hailing from Melbourne, Victoria, and when they cite hugely talented musicians like Paul Dempsey and Michael Stipe as influences, you know at the very least they’ve got great taste behind them.

Fortunately, you don’t need to revert to such loose threads to enjoy this band. Beginning with a recurring, light jazzy guitar lick, before you know it they’ve launched into the anthemic chorus.

Stand by me, and not on your own.”

Musically it is your typical alt. rock style, but it’s quality stuff. When you’re a band this early in your career, I often feel it’s more important to find your feet and solidify yourselves before you move too far out. There’s nothing wrong with these songs, but the bands that ultimately stand tall above the pack are the ones that carve their own niche out. Fortunately I have enough confidence that these guys can do exactly that.

Vocalist Tom King doesn’t have a massive range, but he doesn’t need it. His voice lends itself well to the tone of the music, and it can hold when it needs to.

No Love For Lexi sound like they’re off to a solid start, and with this kind of material up for free on Unearthed, it can’t be long before they get a bit of airtime on Home & Hosed. They might not be experimental, they might not mess around with synths and tens of FX pedals, they might do things the traditional way, but sometimes it’s nice to have some quality respite from those bands trying to find the next cool thing to put in their music. No Love For Lexi keep it simple, whilst still showing talent in their songwriting and musicianship, and best of all, for their first batch of studio recorded tracks, these sound great. On par with other bands of their genre, and with the ability to take it further in the future, you should check them out. You won’t regret it.

Verdict: Positive.

Check out their MySpace page here.

Grab some free tracks from their triple j Unearthed page here.

FEATURE: Do you ever feel oversaturated with new music?

I do. It’s a terrible feeling. Wait – let my clarify that a bit more.

There is so much I want to listen to and want to appreciate, but it’s like I don’t have the time. And there is a whole heap of music I would love to review and share, but again, it’s an issue of time. I don’t like doing short half-baked reviews without putting any thought into them, or without giving the music a good listen. If I did that, I’d be giving an unfair review.

But while it’s terrible in the sense that I can’t listen to everything that gets good reviews, or seems like something I’d like, it’s great to know that there’s a whole tonne of music out there to explore.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. As I mentioned, I don’t normally like sharing music without giving a fair opinion of it. Anyone can find a link to free legal mp3’s and compilations if they look.

BUT; in this case, I think I’d find myself short for time to review these even if I felt like it. As such, I provide you with the following links to free mp3’s that I’m fairly certain could be quite good. I’ll definitely be checking out a few in the near future.

Best Of Bonnaroo

A bunch of artists have gotten together to release live tracks recorded from Bonnaroo music festivals. The aim is to get people in the US to voice their opinions on a climate change bill. Which is an excellent cause, and I urge any of you who can voice your opinion to do so. There are various options on the site for doing so. However for the rest of us outside of the US, you can download the compilation without taking action at all.

SPIN Presents 2010: A Look Ahead

A free compilation of 10 songs from 10 different bands that Spin think are going to make big waves in 2010.

SXSW 2010 Free MP3s” & “SXSW 2010 Free MP3s — Part Two

No convenient .zip file for these bunches of tracks, sorry. But I’m sure there’s a few artists there that’ll be worth checking out. I’ve only heard of a couple, but hopefully I’ll get time to listen to a few more.

Happy listening. And if you find anything particularly awesome, leave me a comment!

REVIEW: Death Cab for Cutie – "Plans"

Well renowned indie rock group Death Cab for Cutie released their 6th studio album, "Plans", in 2005, to much acclaim.

There is a soft ambiance which inhabits the whole album from start to finish, respectfully adding to the overall tone by taking second place next to the subtle instrumentation, and the lyricism of Benjamin Gibbard, which are both high-lights of the album. Death Cab don’t do over-the-top. They have fluctuations in speed in their songs, yet retain an overall feeling in the music. The album has a style, as do the band. Which is a good thing if it’s pulled off well.

"Your Heart Is an Empty Room" seems to slow the album down a little. Not literally, but it doesn’t really contribute much, I feel, and seems a bit boring. "I Will Follow You into the Dark" is too worn for me. I’ve heard it a lot, and for some reason, as good as it is, it doesn’t really seem to fit in. Though I don’t think anything other than an acoustic guitar would have suited the song at all. "Different Names for the Same Thing" begins badly with the faux crackly sound quality seeming more tacky than a real contribution to the song. It may sound like I’m picking apart songs and ripping the album to shreds, but these are all minor aesthetic inconveniences to tell the truth. They don’t weight the album down and make it terrible in anyway.

"What Sarah Said" features simplistic piano used to great effect, as Gibbard sings about love, as he often does on this album. But the penultimate song is the real high-light of the album for me. "Brothers on a Hotel Bed" is full of off-beat drums, and the beautiful piano lines compliment Gibbard’s astonishing lyrics wonderfully.

"Plans" seems to drop at a few points, and there are qualities about it which I don’t enjoy, but those aside, it is a very good album. Its few faults are offset entirely in the long-run.

Score: 7/10

REVIEW: Death Cab for Cutie – “Live at Kulturbolaget on 2006-02-04”

Lyrically, Death Cab for Cutie are brilliant. They’re poetic, and yet somehow manage to steer clear of the clichéd ruins of over-done love songs. The extended metaphors present drag you into the songs, and seem to be ambiguous enough to relate to a wide audience, whilst being specific enough to tell a story.

Their songs seem to be made of something other bands simply do not possess. A style that’s soothing musically, but also interesting and at times quite up-beat. Melodically the guitars seem to come out of nowhere with hooks and chord progressions that will work their way into your mind, and drum beats like in "The Sound of Settling" that do likewise.

The audio quality of this live recording is top-notch. Especially since Death Cab for Cutie have authorised the distribution of their live recordings on http://www.archive.org, this is definitely worth checking out, for both fans of the band and people who haven’t heard them before.

Score: 7/10

Get it here. In case you’re unsure, scroll down to the section that says "Individual Files", then under the "Whole Items" section, you can download the whole performance. I strongly recommend the VBR Zip – 64kb/s is way too low to expect a good quality performance in my experience.