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Showing posts from January, 2013

Julia Kent - First track from new album

Julia Kent released a beautiful album a couple of years ago, Green and grey on Tin Angel Records, which was the first time I came across her. Now she's switched to Leaf and her new album Character comes out in March.

She's a solo cellist and that's essentially what her music consists of, layers of cello parts laid over each other. The last album featured field recordings as well for added (beautiful) texture, but from an initial listen to the new one, it seems to focus more on melody.

I'll have more on the album once I've listened through properly but for now you can get a track from it for free, Tourbillon. It's got several swinging cello parts intertwined, with a tugging minor key melody on top and it builds brilliantly with a great air of purpose.

Character by Julia Kent

Playlist 251 - Jan 29 2013

We started the show this week with two Jason Falkner connections, first from his 2nd solo album Can you still feel?, then a track from The Grays from a lost classic of an album, Ro Sham Bo, from 1994 (pictured). Prog/power pop of the highest order. One of these days I’ll have to post something proper on that.

Then two albums I’m loving lately, Fade by Yo La Tengo and Amor de Dias'The house at sea, one drone pop and the other a hushed kind of chamber folk. Beautiful stuff in both cases, no matter how you cut it.

Julia Kent likewise, just one woman and a cello, from her upcoming album, Character on the Leaf label, also the compelling kosmische sound of Cork’s Grave Lanterns (they play at The Pavilion in town Thursday night). They sit comfortably beside Ty Segall and K-X-P, who came later in the show. In between, we had Karl Bartos, ex-Kraftwerk legend, and Slow Place Like Home with more great pulsing soundscapes.

And a track from the new Philip Glass Remixed project, featuring the…

Playlist 250 - Jan 22 2013

The new music of 2013 is starting to filter through.

This week we had more from the new Yo La Tengo album, Fade, in the shape of the sublime brass-laden drone of ‘Cornelia & Jane’, sung by Georgia Hubley; a tremendous sea-shanty from The Doomed Bird of Providence, part of their contribution to Collision/Detection v7 (more on that in recent posts); some genuinely affecting shoegaze from Apparat; and an upcoming new single from Cat Power, ‘Manhattan’, which has a great piano with drum machine motif.

We also had a new tune from Best Boy Grip from Derry, a brilliantly bouncy power pop put down - and it features brass.

There was also an Efterklang re-release on Leaf, a beautiful "oldie" from Luna, a surf pop ballad from Cork's Saint Yorda, some very tuneful thrashing from Ty Segall, likewise from Dublin's Lie Ins whose new album comes out in a couple of weeks, and some great wobbly bass from Daphni (Dan Snaith/Caribou).

And from Perth, the new Apricot Rail

The Doomed Bird of Providence - Collision/Detection v7

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One of the things I consistently welcomed in 2012 was the arrival of the latest in the Collision/Detection series on the Front & Follow label. This is an audio project whereby artists submit audio clips into a pot, and then draw from that pot to create new sounds.

We’re on to v7 now and it sees the return of The Doomed Bird of Providence (at least to my world).

Here’s the full blurb on what’s contained.

1. In the terror of the moment
This piece was written to accompany the climatic scene towards the end of the 1927 film adaption of Marcus Clarke's 'For the Term of His Natural Life'. It involves a ship sinking on stormy seas and the two main characters anticipating watery graves.



2. Safety at sea
Written for part of a 20 minute 'safety at sea' documentary involved lightships, lighthouses and model boats often replacing real ones for the more dramatic scenes. It is possibly the most jolly piece of music ever released by the band.



3. Seabound
Written to accom…

Lord Huron - We went wild

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One of the first "new" bands to catch my ear this year is Lord Huron.

You'll probably have come across their single 'Time to run', from an EP of the same name.

Lord Huron - Time To Run from Lord Huron on Vimeo.

I like it, it's good, but there's another song on that EP that got me a bit distracted. It has some glorious South African style guitar work and, of all things, a two-step backbeat. It also has a top layer of beautiful Fleet Foxalike vocal harmonies. The whole effect is a little bit like Paul Simon's Graceland transplanted to the US west coast.

I'll be interested to hear if they can sustain it over a whole album, but for now, they're getting me through January very nicely.

Playlist 249 - Jan 15 2013

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Less music on the show this week, purely because several tracks were longer.

For example, 11 minutes odd for two great rambling pieces of kosmische from Yo La Tengo, one from the new album Fade, sung by James McNew, and one from 2000's And then nothing turned itself inside out sung by Ira and Georgia. Brilliant and great to hear them in what sounds to me like top form.

Also, two Choice Prize nominees in the shape of 2012 show favourites Mumblin' Deaf Ro and windings; beautiful cinematic classical music from Michael Price (new on Erased Tapes, pictured below) and Matthew Bourne (2012); a devilishly catchy Wussy remix; Goat and Os Mutantes rubbing up against each other; and more Lord Huron, sounding a bit like Paul Simon 's Graceland transplanted to the US west coast - in other words, very nice indeed.

As always, more info on these pages. In particular, check the recent Best of 2012 posts for full details on those selections.

Jan 15 2013 show w/ Mumblin' Deaf RO, wi…

Best of 2012 Part 5

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And finally Part 5. Orchestral/Prog/Classical/Choral are the topics under discussion (again, some of these could well find better homes in one of the other links, but who’s counting?).

Best of 2012 Part 5 - all info on this and other 4 parts at theundergroundofhappiness.blogspot.com by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud

The Sea and Cake – On and on
Sam Prekop and friends returned with a characteristically lovely album of progressive pop adorned by hushed vocals last year, and none better than this infectious little number.



The Great Balloon Race – Medicated hope
Another very promising Cork band that I came to know for the first time last year, and who released their debut album in December. This tune takes some of the same influences as Prekop – the jerky, jazzy kind – and twists them into a fantastically catchy, restless, beat-driven thing. You’d never know they were huge King Crimson fans, really.

One of the band’s singers, Marcus Gordon, spoke to me (as did The Altered Hours’ C…

Playlist 248 - Jan 8 2013

The first show of the new year. A couple of new songs, but mostly recapping on a fantastic year of music. I seem to say that every year but 2012 does seem to have been a particularly good year in fairness. If you flick through the recent podcasts/posts, you'll see I've compiled close to 80 of my favourite songs from the year. So quite a lot. (And by the way, the final post in the review of the year is on the way shortly.)

The new songs were Lord Huron - drawing on Paul Simon's Graceland very nicely - and the new single from the great Yo La Tengo. The rest was a Best of 2012 rundown. For more details on all of those, check the recent posts here.

Jan 8 2013 show feat. Lord Huron, Yo La Tengo + more Best of 2012 selections by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud

The Underground of Happiness
uplifting pop music of every creed


www.theundergroundofhappiness.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/theundergroundofhappiness

Playlist 248
Tues Jan 8 2013
11.00am-12.00pm
(repeated on Tu…

Best of 2012 Part 4

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Part 4 of my 2012 round up – Dancefloor/Garage Pop/House is what you may or may not find below.

The Underground of Happiness Best of 2012 Part 4 by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud

September Girls – Green eyed
The best Irish single in a long while, taking a Wall of Sound/Girl Group aesthetic and bringing it to a new level with swirling organ. If they can write ten choruses as good as this one, get ready now for next year’s best album. The fact that they’re called after a Big Star song is obviously a bonus.

I interviewed Jessie from the band a couple of months back, here’s that link.

http://wearenoise.com/index.php/2012/11/september-girls-qa/



Wussy – Maglite
Another band I got to know for the first time and fell in love with last year, but they’ve already achieved some level of cult status in the US over several albums. What do they sound like? I keep coming back to something like this – a dirtier, fuzzier, mostly faster, more blue collar version of Luna (they’ve got, you know, t…

2012 Round up Part 3

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Part 3 of the 2012 round up. You’ll notice some overlap (unless I decide to take them out, aha) between some of these mixes and the show I broadcast in July, my best of the year to that point. Never mind. Plough on. I’m calling this one Folk/Cabaret/Gospel, which is more flagrant misuse of the English language.

The Underground of Happiness Best of 2012 Part 3 by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud

Little Annie & Baby Dee – Angels gone before
Brilliantly louche but still touching tribute to lost friends from the two living legends. My few words about the album from last November.

http://www.theundergroundofhappiness.blogspot.ie/2012/11/little-annie-baby-dee-state-of-grace.html

A thrilling, invigorating record bringing Baby Dee’s brilliantly fluid piano work together with Little Annie’s thoroughly lived-in (the definition of authentic) voice of experience. Touches of Weimar cabaret, via Tom Waits perhaps, opera, folk and jazz. Standout tracks are the pining ‘Angels gone before’, ‘N…

2012 Round up Part 1 (or 2, depending on the way you look at it)

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Some more highlights from a year of music. This year, I decided not to cut things down to size, so there’s a bit more in this round up than usual. So I’ve split them up into four mixes/podcasts. Part 1a was posted the other day, dealing with the first half of the year. The genre headings for the podcasts are a bit arbitrary and loose overall, but some kind of general guide. Or you can listen to tracks separately below. This one I’m calling Ambient/Tropical/RnB, for want of better vaguely misleading tags.

The Underground of Happiness Best of 2012 Part I by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud

Elisa Luu – FlussiGirl / Markus Mehr – Barcelona waltz
Two very interesting European electronic artists, both on the Australian Hidden Shoal label. That’s how I found them and I’ve been playing them on the show now for a couple of years, since their last albums. I love what they do. Here’s some blog from the middle of the year.

http://theundergroundofhappiness.blogspot.ie/2012/07/elisa-luu-markus…