In reverse order, here's Jordan's top albums of 2013.
Jordan Dowling presents his top ten album favourites from the past year.
Nils Frahm 'Spaces' - 'Spaces' is a presentation of Nils' spellbinding live show and it is as good a presentation of his genius as you could hope for; a breath-taking journey launched from the most tender of foundations. Tapped pianos lead to reverb-washed synth chords and occasional dance motifs in an utterly organic manner.
Continue reading: Jordan Dowling's Top 10 Albums Of 2013
Three years ago in an interview with this very site, Indietracks' head honcho wearily talked about scaling down the cult festival after the pressures of maintaining it, even with a trusted team of volunteers, were becoming too great. The two editions that followed certainly consolidated the key elements of what made the festival unique without losing any of its charm, but somewhere along the line a change of heart must have occurred, as the seventh annual of the world's best celebration of indiepop, real ale and steam trains promises to be its biggest, and best, yet.
The three-day festival is headlined in 2013 by bis, The Pastels & Camera Obscura, and between them they give a concise overview of the festivals overall oeuvre; slightly obscured pop hooks, lyrics that alternate between 'witty' and 'weepy', a high weighting of bands from north of the border (all three artists are Glasgow based), tweeness that at times starts to become overbearing and occasional slithers of folk, punk and disco. The latter are returnees to the Midland Railway Centre after headlining 2009's edition and do so in the middle of a tour supporting the release of their fifth full-length Desire Lines, out June 3rd on 4AD, whilst bis and The Pastels, this year releasing their first album (ignoring collaborations) in over fifteen years, make rare live appearances.
Like every year preceding it, however, the real treats of 2013's line-up lay on its undercard. The Ballet make a short trip over to the UK for the festival and should prove to be a highlight with irresistibly catchy hooks which has led to comparisons with the earlier work of last year's headline act The Hidden Cameras, whilst The Lovely Eggs and Martha promise to inject a little pop-punk into the proceedings. At the other end of the spectrum (well, the festival's spectrum), Fever Dream offer something much darker, taking Interpol's call-and-response bass/guitar intricacies into the realm of hazy shoegaze and Flowers submerge beautiful melodies in a sea of feedback and fuzz in a way not too dissimilar from festival favourites The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.
Continue reading: Indietracks 2013 - Preview
Haiku Salut are a band who create music well outside of 'the box' and it's clear they share a love for most percussion instruments; Xylophones and keyboards which are probabaly older than the majority of their fans. If you find yourself yearning for something different or something more, this trio's diverse, unique sound is something that you need in your life. This is the type of album that other musicians would want to listen to in order to move away from their own genre and gain new inspiration. This trio's debut 'Tricolore' has such an uplifting positive feel to it that even if the weather is crap outside and you are feeling down, the music from this will bring sun light into your soul.
This purely instrumental album doesn't suffer from lack of vocals as the music says everything it needs to. In parts, Haiku Salut lean towards classical styles but it doesn't take long to find yourself immersed into something that wouldn't sound out of place on a retro computer game; 'Sounds Like There's A Pacman Crunching Away At Your Heart' not only proves this but says exactly how it sounds! Madness!
Next we fly into 'Leaf Stricken' and straight away it's easy to imagine one of the more commercial DJs sampling this to create a track that would give most advert music supervisors a wet dream. 'Watanabe' showcases simple yet incredibly effective piano playing, which might leave your own fingers feeling a little tired without playing a single note, but wow.
Continue reading: Haiku Salut - Tricolore Album Review
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