moofish catfish interview

moofish catfish interview

today we'll have an interview with the lovely agnes, from moofish catfish. this all girl band from sweden already appeared here on the blog with 2008 debut release 'on a sunbeam to your heart' and 'yours to share', released this year. both highly recommended with the last one already on my list of the best of music this year.
here's what she says to say...

01. how it all began? and how 'moofish catfish' became the band's name?
ehm, you could say that it all began with me (agnes) sitting on my bed with my guitar writing stupid little popsongs some years ago. it was only me then, but i wanted to play many different instruments at the same time, but as its impossible i had to find some more bandmembers! so i did. first i found emilia, and then wågis and then wågis found kristina and then moofish catfish was born. this was in 2006.
the bandname was my idea so i guess i have to be the one explaining it. sadly though, i can't really. it came to me in some kind of fantasy and it doesn't really mean anything. i had a better explanation once but i forgot it. nowadays, it's just a name.

02. do you guys get to live of music or you have 'real jobs'?
we do have to have 'real jobs' as well to be able to pay the rent and other important things, it's very hard these days to make a living out of music, especially if your an indieband with a relatively narrow fanbase. i mean we cover our expenses but we do certainly not get rich doing this.

03. both of your albums are available to download for free. talk about that and your views on music distribution.
i think that its already to late to try to stop people from getting music for free. its out there wether you want it or not. i think, if your a band in our size you earn more if you let people have the music for free and then, if they want, they can buy the album for a quite small amount of money to support us if they really like us. i think, if you restrict your own distribution to much at this stage you risk not reaching people. for us its a way of getting people to listen to the music, and also it's an attempt to distribute music in a democratic way.

04. 'on a sunbeam to your heart' is slightly different from 'yours to share'. the first seems to be calmer while 'yours to share' has powerfull guitars and really danceable melodies. is this something you had in mind or it's an unconscious "variation"?
yes, you are right about that. they are quite different and it's both conscious and unconscius at the same time. for me it was a natural evolvement in my way of writing songs, you can't keep doing the same thing over and over again, it would be boring. i didn't sit down and plan that the second album should sound different in the way that it does. it was more of a natrual change for us. and the songs i'm writing on now will sound different from the ones on "yours to share" as well, so it's a neverending change i guess. and thats partly the fun of it.

05. are you working on something new? what can we expect?
yes we are! we are working like maniacs on new material. at the moment i can't say really when it will be released and in what form because we are discussing this a bit back and forth, but i can tell you that we have big plans and that its going to be awesome! so keep your ears and eyes open.

06. what about your inspirations... movies? cartoons? historycal figures?...
well, that's a tricky question because i get inspired by almost everything that i see and hear, but thats a boring answer. so far, most of my songs are based on things that has actually happened or people that do exist. but i always exadurate a lot to make the song better. but i also get ideas from listening to other peoples music. it could be a line in a text that get me thinking of something that i want to write a song about or maybe the arrangement of the song or a cool riff on the guitar. i just pic pieces from both myself and things around me, and when it comes to arrangement of the songs everyone in the band is working with it, and it finally ends up being songs.

07. name three songs you'd like to cover.
hmm, we don't really do covers. if a song is great you wouldn't want to ruin it. if it's bad you don't wanna play it. if i had to, i'd choose a song by ulf lundell. he's this old swedish guy singing about women and liquer.

08. if you could give a place and hour to hear your songs, what would they be?
probably in your headphones at 5 am in the morning, when your walking home through an empty town. you have just had the worst or the most fantastic night ever, you are crazy in love or recently dumped. desperate to die or to just fly away. kind of.

09. finally, recommend something you've been listening lately...
i usually listen to more old music than new music so it wont be the most up to date musicrecommendation. lately i've listened a lot to sonic youth and the modern lovers wich i truly recommend everyone to do. and also, i always listen to envelopes if i want to be in a good mood.



the señors of marseille

the señors of marseille ~ davey (holiday records, 2009)

three boys from brooklyn making an upbeat sound that fits perfectly to those days when you're feeling not very special... awesome piano, uplifting percussion and amazing vocal melodies.
i got to know them via holiday records (of course!) where they released the song i'm posting today. 'davey' also can be heard on their ep.
i'm also posting another song from their ep called 'the coolest girl in new york' that follows the same path of the uplifting-lo-fi-acoustic-pop. oh, and it has such a lovely video!
feel free to jump and do-a-dance while listening to this guys...

01. davey

here's the coolest girl in new york. their ep can be bought here.


hej då karolin / åh, karolin

the honeydrips ~ hej då karolin (sincerely yours, 2007)

here's why i really like about this swedish artist: i got to know him making songs with hard guitars and lo-fi recordings... then, he came with his first debut and it was a surprise to here all the bits and blips... and after that, subtle and calm melodies created perhaps, for a muse or something like that.
it has been 2 years since his last release, what's next?

of course 'here comes the future' is a great album but particularly i prefer his previous stuff... his shoegazy and heavy guitars period... but anyway, today i'm talking about a christmas single released in december of 2007 as a free download on the site of the (amazing) label sincerely yours.
it came out after the electronic album mentioned before and has such a nice - and different - feeling... it's a ballad with a (haunting) choir, (beautiful) orchestrations and sang in swedish. very melodic and heartfelt.

this post also has another song called åh, karolin - probably recorded at the same time, since both talk about a certain 'karolin'. the mood is quite similar but this has a noir feeling... you can even picture a smokey bar lost in the 50's. the trumpet (it's a trumpet, right?) is delightful...
(not sure when and where this song was released. i found it on the honeydrips' website).

01. hej då karolin

and here's åh, karolin with a live performance video.

read the comments, eric has a great thing to say about 'åh, karolin'.

on my own, i feel the season's changing

on my own, i feel the season's changing (mixtape #4)

01. jj - my love
02. dead man's bones - my body's a zombie for you
03. palpitation - next stop tennessee
04. the autumn teen sound - telegraph
05. don lennon - where is the new adventure?
06. everyday sensations - helen love
07. my sad captains - great expectations
08. 800 cherries - through
09. la habitación roja - polideportivo
10. the pines - marie claire
11. fantasy lights - you're my september
12. den baron - simplicity kills sometimes
13.julian nation - all the capital cities' names
14. fun. - at least i'm not as sad (as i used to be)
15. future conditional - we don't just disappear
16. the pains of being pure at heart - 103
17. washed out - new theory
18. the señors of marseille - davey
19. razorcuts - i heard you the first time
20. joe crepúsculo - todo lo bello es grátis

innocence and despair

the langley schools music project ~ innocence and despair ( bar/none records, 2001)

imagine that you're a young kid in school. it's 1976 in a small town in canada and you have a music teacher called hans fenger that could be (was) a hippie. and that instead of those silly children songs he exposes you to classic rock songs... well, that happened and in my opinion the kids that were there are damn lucky.
the recordings were made in 1976-77 and only 200 copies were made to be given to the students. 23 years later an independent radio dj found the album on a flea market and was very intrigued when saw the tracklisting.
songs from david bowie, the beach boys, the beatles, barry manilow, the carpenters and others are beautifully sang by 60 children inside a school gymnasium. but the mood of the album is not at all childish... there's this feeling that sometimes makes you think that is an album put up together by some sort of cult formed by youngsters with a fine taste in music.
the version of bowie's 'space oddity' is mind blowing... bowie himself, when asked if he had heard the version, said that 'the backing arrangement is astounding. coupled with the earnest if lugubrious vocal performance you have a piece of art that i couldn't have conceived...'
even manilow's cheesy 'mandy' sounds fantastic in the kids version.
the washington post had one of the prettiest descriptions for the album:
"an album that seems to capture nothing less than the sound of falling in love with music". simply beautiful.
here's what hans fenger, the teacher, said about that time:

"I knew virtually nothing about conventional music education, and didn't know how to teach singing. Above all, I knew nothing of what children's music was supposed to be. But the kids had a grasp of what they liked: emotion, drama, and making music as a group. Whether the results were good, bad, in tune or out was no big deal -- they had élan. This was not the way music was traditionally taught. But then I never liked conventional 'children's music,' which is condescending and ignores the reality of children's lives, which can be dark and scary. These children hated 'cute.' They cherished songs that evoked loneliness and sadness."

have to say that when i heard the album and found out how it was created i had tears in my eyes...
this may not be the best rock album ever recorded but it sure has the best story behind it.
awesome! full of energy! and wonderful!
(be prepared to cry and smile at the same time)

01.venus and mars / rock show (wings)
02. good vibrations (the beach boys)
03. god only knows (the beach boys)
04. space oddity (david bowie)
05. the long and winding road (the beatles)
06. band on the run (wings)
07. i'm into something good (herman's hermits)
08. in my room (the beach boys)
09. saturday night (bay city rollers)
10. i get around (the beach boys)
11. mandy (barry manilow)
12. help me, rhonda (the beach boys)
13. desperado (eagles)
14. you're so good to me (the beach boys)
15. sweet caroline (neil diamond)
16. to know him is to love him (teddy bears)
17. rhiannon (fleetwood mac)
18. wildfire (michael martin murphy)
19. calling occupant of interplanetary craft (the recognized anthem of world contact day) (the carpenters)

with the release of the album in 2001 and its success (he made into a lot of lists as one of the best albums released that year), vh1 produced a short documentary about the album with interviews with the teacher, the kids (today in their 35-40s)... really worth to see it just to get to know who was this guy that put together such an incredible project with no expectations or ambitions.