Monday, 21 May 2012

Josh Rouse Online Stageit Concert - Review

I watched Josh Rouse's online Stageit concert last night.  I had never watched a show through Stageit prior to this, but it was a fun experience.  The sound quality was great - really clear with very little distortion, and there was a live chat window, where fans could communicate with each other, as well as request songs for Josh to play.

Josh opened the set with two new tracks - A Lot Like Magic and Simple Pleasure.
I liked these songs, both had catchy, upbeat melodies, which I found myself tapping my foot and swaying along to.  For the remainder of the show, Josh played a variety of tracks from previous albums, in addition to taking requests.  I noticed that lots of people were requesting songs from Nashville, with some people even suggesting he should do a show where he plays Nashville in it's entirety (not only is Nashville my favourite, I like the idea of dedicating a show to a an entire album in general, especially for an artist like Josh, who has such a large back catalogue).  Highlights of the set for me, were I Will Live On Islands, Streetlights and Oh, Look What The Sun Did!

Between songs, Josh talked about working on his new album, in which he mentioned that Brad Jones (1972, Nashville, Subtitulo, El Turista) would be returning to produce the album with him.  He went on to say that the album would be a cheerful, pop record.  After the show had finished, Josh revealed on the live chat window that the new album would be titled The Happiness Waltz.

The concert was originally scheduled to run for 20 minutes, but Josh went on to play an encore for a further 20 minutes, so all in all, it was a decent length show.
During the concert, Josh also implied that that he would play future Stageit concerts, which is great news.  I am excited to see what songs (and possible new material) the next show brings!

A Lot Like Magic
Simple Pleasure
Diggin' In The Sand
Quiet Town
I Will Live On Islands
Comeback (Light Therapy)
Oh, Look What The Sun Did!
Flight Attendant

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Track of the Day: More Than This - Roxy Music

More Than This was the first single to be released from Roxy Music's final studio album, Avalon, in 1982.  Not only is it one of my favourite Roxy tracks, I also think it's the song which best represents the band's transition into the smooth and more polished sound which was so present in their later work.  Bryan Ferry's vocals blend effortlessly through verse and chorus, with lines which contribute to the atmospheric feel of the track - "Like a dream in the night / Who can say where we're going...Why the sea on the tide / Has no way of turning".  Just as impressive is the instrumental outro, which, led by lush synths and layers of guitar, more than makes up for the absence of vocals in the final few minutes of the song.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Track of the Day: Photoshop Handsome - Everything Everything

Photoshop Handsome was the third single released from Everything Everything's addictive 2010 debut, Man Alive.  Falsetto vocals deliver random lyrics which are, at times incoherent and for the most part, don't make a whole lot of sense.
However, this really doesn't matter as the music is so amazingly energetic and fast paced, there isn't much time to ponder over lyric meanings.  This, along with enthusiastic instrumentation, creates a track that is unique, adventurous and overall, a joy to listen to.

"I will gain an extra life..."

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Josh Rouse Online Concert - Sunday May 20

Today, I was excited to hear that Josh Rouse is teaming up with Stageit, to play an online concert on Sunday May 20.  The show is taking place in Valencia, and according to Rouse's website, he will be playing at least one new song, as well as older material.  He will also be taking live requests, which is very cool.
The concert is the first in a possible series, called Late Night Conversations.

I think this is such a great idea.  I'm looking forward to hearing new material as well as songs from previous albums.  It will be interesting to see which tracks get played as a result of the live requests too!

Tickets are available here, and are being sold on a 'pay what you can' basis.

Track of the Day: To Kingdom Come - Passion Pit

Hearing the new Passion Pit single yesterday, got me in the mood for listening to their debut Manners on the way into work this morning.  To Kingdom Come is my favourite track on the album.  I love this song.  I could have it playing on a loop, countless times and I wouldn't tire of it.  It's blissfully melodic, with sweeping synths throughout.

Monday, 7 May 2012

New Passion Pit Single - Take A Walk

Passion Pit's new single Take A Walk, the first release from their upcoming album Gossamer, is now streaming on the band's website.  I've had a few listens so far, and feel the track is a definite grower.  The song is upbeat and anthem-like, with marching choruses.  The band's signature synth hooks, which featured so heavily on their 2009 debut, Manners, are also present here.

Gossamer is released on July 23.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Enjoying the Smooth Sounds of Josh Rouse

Josh Rouse is a singer-songwriter who I feel is truly underrated.  I first discovered Rouse's music in 2006, when a friend sent me three albums of his - 1972, Nashville and Subtitulo.  Admittedly, it took me some time to appreciate how good his music is, but after gradually downloading his back catalogue (he has just released his ninth studio album), I realised how much I had grown to love his work.  His songs have a timeless, classic feel, with beautifully crafted lyrics.  I now consider Rouse to be one of my favourite, and most played musicians in my music collection.

What I admire most about Rouse, and what I feel sets him apart from the average singer-songwriter, is the way in which he experiments so freely with different genres in his music.  Each of his studio albums touch upon varying themes and concepts, meaning that no two of his albums could ever be accused of sounding the same.  This creates an interesting and exciting listening experience for fans.  

Rouse's exploration of different genres, has seen his music evolve through each new release.  His first two albums Dressed Up Like Nebraska and Home are more downbeat than later releases, with darker, but beautifully haunting lyrics.  Rouse made a departure from his alt-country roots on his fourth release, 1972, a concept album full of soulful, melodic pop songs.  In 2006, he moved to Spain, and his sixth album Subtitulo reflects this, with light, catchy tunes.  I feel this album is a suitable transition into Rouse's most recent offerings -  2010's El Turista and 2011's Josh Rouse and The Long Vacations, where the Spanish influence is more present than ever.

In addition to his studio albums, Rouse has also released a series of EPs on his Bedroom Classics label.  Furthermore, his website offers a Bedroom Classics Archive, where these EPs, along with other rarities compilations and also live recordings, can be purchased.

Below, are tracks which I think best show the diversity of Rouse's music.

                                      From Dressed Up Like Nebraska

                                                        From 1972

                                                     From Nashville
                                                    From El Turista