Album Review: Warpaint – Heads Up // musically impeccable but fails to leave a lasting impact

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Although their last album came out two years ago, Warpaint’s third album Heads Up feels more like a comeback than just another album. Maybe that’s due to Jenny Lee’s solo advances or the low profile, the band has kept for the last two years, stressing that if they were to make a new album, they would want to be in it 100%, with heart and soul.

And it worked out. Heads up is the lovechild of the atmospheric, almost ambient vibes of their self-titled album and a completely new way forward.

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Life Update in Progress – Quitting Uni and Moving Back Home

When I walked home on my last day of uni in May, I was thinking about the summer. I felt excited.  Excited to finally spend a longer time with E, my boyfriend, who I, up to that point, had only seen or week or two at a time, excited to see all of my friends, who would be home for the summer and excited to spend time with my family.

But I was apprehensive. I felt like I was gaining so much from being here, at uni, in England, being independent, all by myself so close to such an inspiring city. I felt like I wanted to keep experiencing everything all at once, as much as possible as often as possible. If that sounds a bit questionable to you, it’s because it is.

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Let’s start again, shall we … The Almost Generic Music Blog 2.0

Hello everyone,

it’s been a hot second since I’ve put my fingers to a keyboard to write something.
It was the summer, it was downtime and usually, it’s those times, when you’re not completely wrapped up in your life and the busyness of it, when changes come about.

I’ve done a lot of thinking and obviously not a lot of that had to do with this blog. But my life has been scrambled up and turned upside down in the past few weeks and I’ve had some realisations, but more about that later.

So for now –

Welcome to the Almost Generic Music Blog 2.0

When I started this blog, I called it the almost generic music blog because I wanted to do something fun, something interesting. I had the word ‘lifestyle’ in my header and I had big plans. But my whole blog ended up being painfully disjointed, kind of boring and most definitely very generic.

Music is very important to me and I love writing about it, but it’s not the only thing going on in my life. Not at all.

So welcome to this new space where there’s more of what you’re used to but also some new things. And hopefully (fingers crossed) some quality content.

So be a darling and show your support by signing up for emails, whenever I post something. And don’t tell me they’re clogging up your inbox because you’ve never bothered to unsubscribe from all those Topshop and Waitrose emails, have you.

Welcome back to me and my motivation,
and a lovely hello to all of you,

Lena x

 

Track of the Week 01/08/16

Yes, holy shit it’s August. Yes, I know this year has gone by crazy fast. No, I’m no less terrified of the future and growing old than anyone else. But you know what, let’s just listen to some music, shall we?

Hampshire wunderkinder Blaenavon have been on the scene since 2013. With their more than convincingly weird twitter account and a reputation for some of the best live shows you can see in dingy pubs as well as bigger venues they now have an album coming up. And for the people who are just as excited about that as me, they’ve brought out another single I’ll have on repeat for at least two weeks.

A bit of The Smiths, a bit of the Cure, a lot of bittersweet happiness and melancholy on summer evenings and a “let’s pray for death” chant to match it all. It’s Let’s Pray.

 

Record Store Find: The White Stripes – Icky Thump

When thinking about the White Stripes, Jack White’s most important problem child, plenty of things come to mind. Red and white, candy cane swirls, “are they actually brother and sister?” and Seven Nation Army.

And while I could rave about my forever favourite White Stripes album White Blood Cells for hours and hours (I mean, Hotel Yorba, come on!!), I think Icky Thump deserves to be talked about. Why? Well…
It’s interesting; after Jack White found the odd wardrobe and midwestern sound of his then newest baby The Raconteurs, the already a bit problem-shaken White Stripes took a backseat. And nobody then knew Icky Thump would be the last studio album the two of them would create.

Icky Thump starts out with the title track, which is creepy and weird as fuck, but it sounds like The White Stripes. You’ve got a little bit of De Stijl in there and mostly White Blood Cells. It’s garage rock, it’s dirty and cool. Familiar. But if they had decided to stick with that I would be writing about White Blood Cells now, and we all know that would’ve been a lot less exciting.

The madness (and I’m not using that word in a derogatory sense) of it all starts in the middle. Conquest, a Patti Page cover from the 50s, leads into St. Andrew (The Battle is in the Air) with Megs distraught monologue, leads into a breath of relief when Little Cream Soda at least somewhat sounds what we know and love and doesn’t confuse us but then we get right back into the whirlwind when they tell us a story about them being scrap collectors and you start questioning if there has ever been any rhyme or reason to any of this.

Icky Thump is the collective effort of everything the White Stripes have done in their musical career – it’s a little bit of country, a lot of garage rock, some sort of blues, lots of nods to Zeppelin and Dylan and it’s got the poetic weirdness that I’m pretty sure only Jack White can come up with. So listen to it. You don’t even have to like it.

Just listen to it.

 

Album Review: Jamie Isaac – Couch Baby // Jazzy Summer Nights

Jamie Isaac, the London-based artist who’s been gathering quite a bit of hype, is one of the good ones. He started making music a few years ago, but he learned to play the piano in his early years, inspired by his grandma and the jazz music that was always playing at his parents’ house.

And these influences are clear as crystal and beautifully integrated into the tracks of his debut record. Couch Baby is one of those albums you listen to on warm summer evenings. It’s just getting dark and you’re sitting outside, the sound of the music trickling through the half-open door. Isaac works in that luscious, deep, dark bass drum with rippling trip-hop beats, uses guitar and synth reverb alongside the quiet centerpiece of his work – jazzy piano and rhythms.

All of this catches that one certain, kind of European, neo-jazz, soulful, cool, lounge sound that’s been the biggest trend of the trendless for a few years, simmering just out of sight of the commercial side of things. Isaac creates a wonderful atmosphere that just swallows you up.

And while the songs are beautifully detailed, the distinct lack of changes in the bpm department is not everyone’s cup of tea. But overall, Jamie Isaac is definitely one of those we have to watch, because he might just be the next big thing.