When I listened to music growing up I’d put in my cheap Argos earbuds, close my eyes, and imagine I was up on stage with the band singing and performing the tracks my heroes recorded myself. As I’ve got older I’ve realised this was pretty self-indulgent/bordering on the egotistical. Saying that I have a music blog so I’m probably still pretty egotistical. Anyway as this was the way I majoritively listened to music I was often drawn to male artists not because of any gender bias but that I wanted to imagine myself playing these songs.
As this hugely embarrassing form of listening has moved on from life like acne and One Tree Hill I’ve spent most of my recent time over the last 6 months indulging in the frankly ridiculous amount of top-class female artists out there at the moment. Whether its Waxahatchee, Mount Moriah, The Preatures or Speedy Ortiz (LOVE Speedy Ortiz) there is literally a saturation of quality female fronted acts that’s probably drowning the male population when talking in terms of quality.
Near the top of this impressive pile is Australian Megan Washington. Her latest track “Limitless” taken off the unreleased and much anticipated “There There” is a fantastic 80s throwback driving song propelled by a fantastic voice that makes me want to surrender my Y chromosome in jealousy. Built for sweaty nights with a tasteful DJ and the summer festival circuits it’s pretty great. I mean I’m waxing lyrically about it, of course it’s great. The album isn’t scheduled for a relaxed date in her native homeland until September 12th which means it’s unlikely to hit the UK until the back end of the year but it’ll be worth it if you’re looking for the perfect driving song to play exceedingly loudly on the way home from your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend’s house.
Nostalgia is more than just a powerful force in music. It’s the sole reason why we listen to some music. I don’t dust off my guitar and play the opening riffs to Darkness songs because I love them but because it reminds me of being a long haired 13 year old who dreamt of playing guitar solos on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.
However occasionally a band you listened to years ago bring a new track to the game and you remember everything you loved about the band, and that’s what we have with Spoon. Do You is the recent single off Spoon’s latest album “They Want My Soul” released on the 4th of August over here (US have to wait an extra day, suckers.) Spoon have been on my radar for years after they release Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga in 2007 and I’ve always been into their rough around the edges sound. Do You feels like a return to form after 2010’s slightly disappointing Transference. Listen to it below or alternatively watch the always brilliant video which was also recently released. I’m off to find an old guitar and put some nasal vocals to a terrible cover of “The Underdog.” In a bit.
So anyone who knows me, which is likely as if you’re reading this far back means you either really get me or you’re a sympathetic friend, you’ll know that ever since I discovered them in 2008 as a newly cynical 16 year old I’ve loved Frightened Rabbit. The band just spoke to the part of me that thought celibacy is the only sensible romantic option for anyone without a 6 pack. After releasing 4 studio albums (yes four, Sing The Greys exists and I’m still waiting for them to play Snake live) singer Scott Hutchinson has unveiled his latest project Owl John.
Apparently Owl John has been conceived as part draft part side-project ahead of the latest Frabbit album after last years “Pedestrian Verse” and the subsequent mammoth tour. I’ve always been a fan of side-projects from Postal Service to Broken Bells via Hymie’s Basement. They just lend a unique voice to musicians who we get so used to seeing in certain masks. We often forget that the band doesn’t define the person and they often have eclectic tastes moving beyond the albums etc we get treated to.
Owl John retains the aggression and rawness of Frightened Rabbit’s back catalog and reminds me of the 7th track from The Winter of Mixed Drinks Man/Bag of Sand as well as the latest tracks released on “The Woodpile EP”. As usual it’s brilliantly honest and painfully wounding which if I was a songwriter would be genuinely impossible. I have a penchant to exaggerate and hate to admit my faults. The album is out on August the 4th and is available to preorder. If ordered from the website you get some lovely free instant downloads which’ll sweeten the deal. I’ve ordered my copy so get on it. Everyone needs their black day playlist.
Yo, first post. Just a quick hello, I’m not going to explain my music taste here as this won’t be going live for a few weeks anyway and you’ll probably get the picture once you see the archive of material I’ll build up in my quest to the top. The only question I will answer is the name “Beer for the Ear.” I can appreciate not everyone drinks but I think anyone who has the desire to go onto a music blog will understand the metaphor of pouring some intoxicant into your mind when you hear something brand new and superb.
Anyway, onwards and upwards. The song today is “If I’m Unworthy” by the ever superb Blake Mills. He’s just so hard to hate man. My previous experience with Blake hasn’t been what you’d call extensive but hearing the fuzzy tone’s echo through this track and the undervalued lead break make his next album, “Heigh Ho,” well worth pre-ordering. This is just such a chill track to put on after a crap day at work listening to your bosses farts and struggling to find your direction post-college (although not my boss, he’s lovely). Anyway, enjoy.