What I’m currently listening to
FEBRUARY PLAYLIST 2017
ARTIST: Fil Bo Riva
ALBUM: If You’re Alright, It’s Alright EP
This discovery was a very random one that I happened to stumble across on Youtube’s Mahogany Sessions and thank goodness I did. Fil Bo Riva has been on repeat throughout this month with his EP If You’re Alright, It’s Alright made up of 5 very good tracks indeed. His sound is described as ‘floating between folk and soul’ and I would even add the word alternative in there too. His gravel-voice is what makes his sound so unique combining that with the songs themselves which are wonderfully melodic and overflowing in energy and dynamic. His voice fluctuates between a howling and a roaring to a soft and gentle tone bringing the intensity and energy that makes his sound so original. There’s a grittiness to his music too that can sometimes be lacking in similar genres and that’s not just his gruff voice which contrasts so well with his thoughtful guitar arrangements, there’s actually a lot of substance behind his atmospheric sound.
Franzis was the first track that completely hooked me. To me it’s the stand out track on the EP perhaps because of its playful vibe. The opening ‘La hu hu la hu’ harmonies sits beside a percussive noise that sounds to me like the clicking of his tongue, hinting at the bouncy vibe of the track which comes into full bloom in the catchy chorus of ‘Love me now love you moooore’. If that’s not fun enough there’s an equally fun video to accompany the track of two people dancing as if no one is watching and you can’t help but think they must have had a lot of fun filming it!
As soon as you’ve listened to Franzis, make sure you give Like Eye Did a listen too as it’s also an exciting and whimsical track!
ARTIST: Fleet Foxes
ALBUM: Sun Giant EP
Fleet Foxes first official release back in 2008 was Sun Giant EP. It wasn’t until they released their first album a year later that I discovered this beautifully pastoral sounding band. Uncovering their self-titled album, I explored further and that was when I found Mykonos from their Sun Giant EP. And I’ve never looked back since.
Years later I still find myself reaching out for their rustic sound. They incorporate a lot of my favourite things within their music as it’s full to the brim with reverb and harmonies, creating an atmosphere that makes me feel as though I am sat in a log cabin in the woods on a mountain top. It’s no wonder they are described as rural, it’s easy to conjure images of scenic splendour when you hear their songs. Even lead singer and songwriter, Robin Pecknold’s unique tone of voice blends perfectly with the bands vintage folk sound and Pecknold’s nature-influenced lyrics. The arrangements are crafted flawlessly, with fine attention to detail as the songs swoop and soar allowing the songs to flourish. Mykonos stands out to me with it’s unconscious catchy melodies and harmonies especially with the opening ‘ooh’s’ that are impossible to eradicate once you’ve heard it. The track only gets better as it builds throughout before dropping to only a cappella harmonies until the drums re-enter again it, climbing to an epic finale that begins with ‘Brother, you don’t need to turn me away’.
After their second album ‘Helplessness Blues’ in 2011, Fleet Foxes seemed to just disappear off the radar, but now fans (like myself!) can eagerly anticipate a new release in June which they have been hinting and teasing us with. I can’t wait to hear what they have been working on!
ARTIST: Angus and Julia Stone
SONG(s): Heart Beats Slow
Death Defying Act
ALBUM: Angus and Julia Stone
Now, I’m struggling to pick just one song to write about for Angus and Julia Stone as I think I nearly love them all, so I’m going to mention a handful. A brother-sister duo from Sydney, they started back in 2006, incorporating folk, acoustic and more recently indie-pop. They began with their first release, Heart Full Of Wine combined with Chocolates & Cigarettes, which includes my favourite track Private Lawns and also Mango Tree. This was later followed by the album A Book Like This, which I’ll admit I have barely listened to after completely missing the release as a 12 year old and instead was taken over by their next album Down The Way as a 14 year old. I was completely in love with this album, having it on repeat consistently, especially tracks Hold On, Yellow Brick Road and Draw Your Swords.
Their most recent album is arguably the most indie-pop of the lot. With many catchy hooks and repeated melodies, it’s hard not find yourself humming along. Not only is it the vocals that ooze memorable melodies but even the instrumentation is captivating. The repetition of their songs never seems to get boring, only craving for more to get lost in their floaty and dreamy world. What helps make their sound more distinctive, for me personally, is their two voices. Julia’s voice is almost child-like, leaning towards Joanna Newsome. Thankfully her characteristic delivery refrains from ever becoming irritating but actually more intriguing and giving each song an edge to it, while Angus has a more reserved, deeper voice. It almost sounds on certain occasions that their voices seem slightly out of key, which only adds to the songs, especially Heart Beats Slow where brother and sister swap lines. The only downside to their music for me is the lyrics which always seem very simple. None the less, their unique voices alongside their indie-pop accompaniment are going to keep me mesmerised for a very long time.
What have you been listening to this past month?