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Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014 In Music

Hello. As it’s New Year’s Day, I thought I should probably update the ol’ blog and talk about the best music of 2014 for me.

You might have heard my solo podcasts where I played my favourite tracks of the year, ultimately coming from my favourite albums of the year also. If not, then check out my Mixcloud account and search for both of them in and amongst all the ‘Sam & Joe’ madness! –¬†http://www.mixcloud.com/joebuckingham399/

In recent weeks, I’ve been researching a lot of review-type stuff on various websites. You know, when they always do a list of their favourite tracks and albums. I’ve looked at NME, Pitchfork Media, Drowned In Sound and Rolling Stone respectively, and pretty much all of these publishers are very fond of the likes of St. Vincent, Future Islands, Merchandise (whoever the fuck they are) and Mac DeMarco, not to mention a few others.

I like these artists as well but I don’t believe they’re doing too much originally. I think when people think of original music in 2014, people are going to turn round and say, ‘what aboout Royal Blood?’

Now, I know there will be people screaming at their computer screens and I can understand why. No-one’s been able to escape ‘Little Monster’ and and the rest of them all year. But come on, they are pretty fucking great. And why do you think massive musicians like Dave Grohl state that their the ‘saviours of rock’. He didn’t just say that for a laugh, he believes in it, and quite frankly, so do I.

Away from them though, I look to Ben Howard and Hozier for songwriting ability. ‘I Forget Where We Were’ as an album is utterly magnificent and could draw the toughest East London labourers to tears. As for Hozier, ‘Take Me To Church’ is astounding. One of the best songs of the year by a country mile. Lyrically riveting and perfection vocally, all I need to say really.

For beats, Oliver Helden didn’t do too bad, as did Skrillex with the release of his long-awaited debut.

To be honest, it’s ever so difficult to comprehend all of 2014’s music into one blog post but check out new stuff from Slipknot after their 6-year break which involved tragedy and departure, Sam Smith who is undoubtedly Britain’s biggest new talent and Beck who brought out ‘Morning Phase’, which is a beautiful, beautiful soundscape and a very enriching listen, especially when he speaks of loneliness and heartbreak. His album probably sums up the feeling that 2014 has given a lot of people, dread. The ebola virus has spread across the shores and everyone’s worried about it. Attacks in the Ukraine, Gaza and Pakistan have been more than traumatic and food prices just don’t seem to be going down despite a steadily improving economy.

However, we have to look to the future, and 2015 in music looks promising. My last blog post talked about a lack of bands that the new year brings but you never know what’s round the corner. I look to Slaves who could be the Sex Pistols of our generation. I look to Shamir who brings irreverent music from the Hollywood lifestyle of Vegas and new albums from Enter Shikari and Laura Marling will definitely be worth a listen. Headline slots at festivals include Metallica at Reading and Leeds, and as Glastonbury saw this year, they never fail to play an awesome show. The Prodigy are at the Isle of Wight, while simultaneously releasing new music also. New track ‘Nasty Nasty’ is due for a January release and I am brimming with excitement for that.

So, to round off, half of the decade has gone and there’s been some really ground-breaking music that has been released since 2010. Here’s to 2015 in music, may it be an exciting and prosperous year!

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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Let’s Bring The Band Back Together!

What’s happened to all the bands man? In the past few days I’ve been listening to some of the highest ranked albums of NME’s top 50 of 2014 list, ones I haven’t heard, including the likes of FKA Twigs, Caribou and Aphex Twin. All have one thing in common? Yep, they’re all bloody solo artists or DJs!

Don’t get me wrong, I love solo artists and DJs, and these albums are great and I can see why NME have raved about them and have henceforth put them high up on their ‘top albums’ list. However, looking at the BBC Sound of 2015 also, I don’t know where any bands are actually coming from.

The list includes new talents such as James Bay, Rae Morris, Shamir (from Las Vegas) and my new favourite duo (not band, duo), Slaves. I don’t count duos as a band, purely because there isn’t enough members for them to qualify as a band in my opinion, this is purely a qualitative theory. The only actual ‘bands’ on there from what I can see are Wolf Alice, Sunset Sons and Years & Years (who, actually, are great, but just play drum machines, bass, keyboard, sing and press a few buttons). I mean, is that what defines a band in this day and age?

Maybe it does, maybe I’m getting too old for my age. I actually like Years & Years but I don’t know if I’d call them a band. I’d certainly say that they draw a crowd in. I know this as I saw them support Clean Bandit in Bristol and I thought they were mega. Oh great, now I’m sounding like a fucking hypocrite.

What I’m trying to point out is that there needs to be some chemistry. You can’t have music without chemistry. If you make a living out of making music on your own just like Aphex Twin has, then great! There’s no way I’m gonna knock anyone for that. In fact, I would whole-heartedly encourage their creativity every step of the way!

There just seems to be a lack of actual BANDS around at the moment. If we don’t produce some more bands then the Brit Award for ‘Best Band’ will disappear. And let’s be honest, it’s been pretty much the same three winners or nominees for the last five years. Fucking Kasabian, fucking Muse and the fucking Arctic Monkeys. (By the way, I love all these bands. Christ, I’m contradictory).

In a few years time I’d love to see more of a balance between solo artists/DJs and bands. Shall we aim for the Sound of 2017 to be 50/50 then? Yes? Great.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2014 in Uncategorized