BRAND NEW: Los Campesinos! – “Tiptoe Through The True Bits”

Tiptoe Through The True Bits

I’ve been waiting for this all day, and now at 11.20pm, it’s finally here. Los Campesinos! had been hinting at this song’s release on Twitter for a few days now, and the wait was well worth it.

The song’s lyrics seem to allude to the break-up Gareth went through prior to the band jetting off to Spain to record 2011’s Hello Sadness, and mixed with light brass riffs, delicate guitar slides, and a serene dual vocal section – well, it’s as amazing, gut-wrenchingly dark, and poetically beautiful as you’d expect.

It was recorded at the same time Hello Sadness was, but it didn’t quite fit on the album. The band also noted that it’s not a single, but just a free download for everyone. LC! are pretty nice like that.

See the blog post with artwork and lyrics over here, and download the song over here [direct link]. Free music doesn’t get any better than this.

They also have a new, limited edition t-shirt for sale. You might wanna get one.

VIDEO: Los Campesinos! on David Letterman, and 89.3 The Current

Los Campesinos!

I didn’t write about it at the time, but Los Campesinos! had a pretty big moment recently. They made their US TV debut on David Letterman’s show. For those of you who don’t quite realise what that means – it’s huge.

Watch them perform “By Your Hand” below! It’s heart-warming to see a band I’ve followed for so long look so ecstatic at this important point in their career, and despite a slight timing issue and a couple of vocal hiccups, they do the studio version complete justice.


More recently, they also did a session for 89.3 The Current – a radio station based over in Minneapolis, who have done videos featuring some very talented artists, like Doomtree and Phantogram!

Check out the video of “By Your Hand” below, and get on over here to stream the full set and interview!

VIDEO: Los Campesinos! – “Songs About Your Girlfriend”

Los Campesinos! - "Songs About Your Girlfriend"

It may not be my favourite track from Hello Sadness, but it’s undeniable that “Songs About Your Girlfriend” was the perfect choice for the next single. It has a brilliant guitar hook, a shout-along chorus, and is the stereotypical 3.5 minute length for a single.

The video is one of their best as well. It does a great job of creating that seedy nightclub atmosphere, and the band look really quite professional in it. Let’s be honest though – Tom’s mask is a piece of art. That creepy smile adds a small dab of humour to make it all work. Kudos to director David Spearing (and the others who worked on it!) for doing such an excellent job.

And of course, the band decided to release it on Valentine’s Day – the cheek! Check it out below.

FEATURE: Albums Of The Year – 2011

This is more a quick list of albums I’ve enjoyed over this last year than some kind of definitive I-went-through-my-entire-iTunes-library-and-ranked-everything-in-order list. I might have missed a couple of releases – all I know is I really liked all these ones. You might too.

So without further ado, Album of the Year goes to…

Los Campesinos - Hello Sadness

Los Campesinos!Hello Sadness

Hello Sadness sees Los Campesinos! trying to refine their output into a concise body of work. A structured and focused album. Gareth’s imagery is darker than ever, and hidden within the album are melodic hooks and intricacies that take a while to become apparent (the vocal crescendo in “To Tundra” is nothing short of beautiful). Brilliant, and another great release to add to their discography.

Other albums I enjoyed, in rough order of how much I enjoyed them, kind of. Just look.

Johnny Foreigner - Vs Everything

Johnny ForeignerJohnny Foreigner Vs Everything

A very close runner-up for AotY. Messy on the first few listens, it truly opens itself up after a few sit-throughs, and it gets better and better. Loud, fast, interesting, moving. Time will determine its longevity and significance in their discography, but it’s definitely a huge step in the band’s journey – hopefully one of many more to come.

Thrice - Major/Minor

ThriceMajor/Minor

Consistent and strong. Not one song feels under-baked. There are a lot of huge cathartic sing-a-long moments, and I don’t care whether or not you associate that as being a good thing or not with Thrice, but I think lyrically and musically this is an incredibly good album. Stunning. If you only listen to one song from Major/Minor, check out “Words in the Water”.

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Bon IverBon Iver, Bon Iver

Intricate. Delicate. Evocative. This is a great album full of great songs, and they paint a picture unlike many musicians ever could. It’s easy to understand why it got Pitchfork’s Album of the Year.

Radiohead - The King of Limbs

RadioheadThe King of Limbs

Arguably a step back towards their more experimental work, this was a tough album to digest. It’s entirely possible that this album takes even longer to appreciate and understand than a year, and maybe with more time I’ll enjoy it even more. It definitely has its high points, and it’s full of interesting textures – but I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it. It still gets a place here though, ’cause it’s quite good.

Grieves - Together/Apart

GrievesTogether/Apart

With the help of producer, multi-instrumentalist, and beat-maker – Budo – Grieves has released a great album here. Criticised by many (unfairly so, I believe) for his consistently emotive lyrics, Grieves tells stories of girls, drinking, anxiety, and those monsters under your bed, amongst everything else, and while it can feel like a long haul at times, there are a pile of gems on this album. If you needed any more proof that the Rhymesayers crew were some of the best out there, this shouldn’t take long to convince you.

The Weeknd - House of Balloons

The WeekndHouse of Balloons

This particular instalment of The Weeknd’s trilogy of 2011 releases is making my list not because I believe it’s the best of the three, but simply because I haven’t been able to give Thursday or Echoes Of Silence a fair go yet.
That aside, this release is really interesting. I’ve never really been into R&B in a huge way, yet The Weeknd drew me in. And it’s interesting because it paints a picture of a world so foreign that I struggle to find any personal connections. It almost feels voyeuristic to listen to. It’s intriguing at any rate, and was well worth my time. It’s free too.

Foo Fighters - Wasting Light

Foo FightersWasting Light

A great album from a rock band still going strong, after all these years. Consistent, full of energy, and another strong release from a band that really are going to stand the test of time.

These last few albums haven’t had as many listens as those above, but from the amount of time I’ve given them, I like them a lot. Very much worth mentioning here.

Example - Playing in the Shadows

ExamplePlaying in the Shadows

Slow ClubParadise

Phantogram - Nightlife EP

PhantogramNightlife EP

MIXTAPE: On The Tune Mixtape Vol. 4 – Christmas Edition

This is one of my favourite mixtapes I’ve put together for On The Tune.

Merry Christmas everyone – hope you enjoy it.

You should also go over here and check out Los Campesinos!’s post on the excellent “Too Many Flesh Suppers” which closes the mix. Over here.

I should be back early next year with some more regular content, I think.

Tracklist:

1. British India – 90 Ways To Leave Your Lover

2. Elgen and Johnny Utah – Matchbox ft. Phatchance & Steve Hollins

3. Philadelphia Grand Jury – Save Our Town

4. Kele – Everything You Wanted (RAC Remix)

5. The Boat People – Antidote

6. Sleepwalker – Trial By Fire

7. Phatchance – The Catchy Song feat. Smiles Again, 360 & Joyride

8. Montpelier – Last Boat

9. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home (RAC Remix)

10. Alex Walker – Gotta Lose (Feat. Len Xiang and Kobie Powell)

11. Israel Cannan – One Fine Day

12. Sons of Rico – This Madness

13. Bordeauxxx – Heartstrings

14. Johnny Foreigner – Santa Fucking Claus

15. Los Campesinos! – Too Many Flesh Suppers

Download

Size: 94.08 mb

Don’t know how to unzip stuff? Download 7zip here.
Don’t know which download link to click? I don’t know what .msi files are either. Do you use Windows? Try this one.

Thank you to all of the artists, managers, or PR reps that gave me permission to use these tracks!