la patère rose

la patère rose ~ la patere rose (grosse boîte/dare to care records, 2009)

coming from the vibrant quebec scene, la patere rose makes kaleidoscopic music; to give you a hint of what they sound like put stereolab and camera obscura on a drink mixer and you'll have la patere rose.
sometimes serious and melancholic pianos, sometimes upbeat electronic beats, sometimes melancholic pianos and upbeat electronics together! a wide range of atmospheres and moods throughout each song. when you think you're going to listen to a piano concert suddenly turns to be an upbeat song. the vocals have that fuzzy recording, similar to the radio dept.
fresh and extremely original. catchy is a word that also should be mentioned.
great for those experiencing the first summer feelings!
(duet tacet is a highlight and one of the cutest songs e-ver)

01. les deux bonnes soeurs
02. pacemaker
03. decapote
04. duchesse
05. la marelle
06. jessicock
07. chamord-sur-mer
08. backyard souvenir
09. l'éponge
10. j'ai reve
11. duet tacet
12. charmord-sur-mer l'épilogue
13. pepe

teaser made for the release of the album

recording 'jessicock'

recording pacemaker

and finally, the video for pacemaker

buy it


dream bitches ~ coke-and-spiriters (recommended if you like records, 2007)

just heard about them, but had to share because it's straight-in-the-face, lovely, upbeat, uplifting and poppy till you say 'enough'!
a once two girls piece has grown into a quintet and this second album is a combination of what they've been doing on the last five years.
as they describe on their website, coke and spiriters is "packed with snarling pop anthems and hyper-literate acoustic ballads, this concise collection captures the bitches at their most vibrant and volatile".
listening to the bitches you'll probably think about the breeders, tullycraft and most of k records 90's catalogue...
great jangly guitars, wry lyrics and cuddly sensibility, full of new york references!

01. bad luck bill
02. hierarchy island
03. bronxy marie
04. maniaca mechanic
05. mother's day
06. spoke on a wheel
07. me and the major (belle & sebastian cover)
08. sweet anneth
09. video games
10. way to go

buy it

escuela de zebras

joe crepúsculo ~ escuela de zebras (producciones doradas, 2008)

lately, i've been listening a lot spanish pop (discovering things, rediscovering others)... spain has one of the most interesting, fresh and creative scenes.
and for coincidence i've been listening to artists that often work together... i've already posted 'romancero', from la bien querida. today's music comes from joe crepúsculo that appears as guest in the (beautiful) a.d.n. from her album.
the producer of 'romancero' was david rodríguez, that plays guitar in 'después de la muerte' and also has a side project with joe called junco y diamante (david also is the guy behind the awesome la estrella de david).
the artists above are among the most important of today's spanish scene, setting a more experimental approach on pop music.
'escuela de zebras' is one of the best albums of last year, according to various blogs, sites and magazines and is easy to understand why...
it contains creative tunes, mostly with electronics, transitions and synths. sometimes, the choice of sounds stay close to bizarre but it works extremely well to create joe's odd and decadent universe full of karaoke rooms, impossible loves, philosophy and simple subjects.
it is decadent but, also, very original. musically, it seems that is twisted and elements that would be questionable, like the use of screaming backing vocals or rhymes that don't really fit, sound extremely coherent.
joe crepúsculo has a peculiar point of view that sounds childish but in fact works as another angle on naivety ( what else to say about a guy that spends almost five minutes singing about the four elements of the nature... or about old people and what it takes be feel and act like one...).

(ps: couldn't forget to mention that this and his latest album are available to download on his website!)

01. escuela de zebras
02. los cazadores
03. gabriela (with dani descabello)
04. los cuatro elementos
05. canción estival
06. los cazadores parte 2
07. fiesta mayor
08. los viejos (with thelematico rosa)
09. la lucha
10. ya llega la navidad
11. después de la muerte (with david rodríguez)
12. suena brillante
13. la amistad

buy it


gasca ~ telescopio (elefant records, 2001)

gasca is this spanish techno pop band from st feliú de llobregat. actually carlos andreu gasca started working with electronics because wanted to make music. he couldn't sing too loud because his parents were sleeping on the room next door. this facts had deep influence on how his music would turn out to be... melancholic, dreamy, atmospheric.
but don't get me wrong, when i say techno pop i don't mean the usual. with the beats we hear a trombone throughout the songs... the record also contains guitars, drums, strings... but the highlight is the trombone.
the sound from gasca may appear quite similar to family, at first. but that's a first impression: slowly gasca creates an atmosphere towards transcendental subjects. the name of the album is perfect because the songs sound like they were made to be listened at night and looking to/for stars.
the construction of the album is flawless:
'lugar soñado' sets the mistery and melancholic mood that will be there till the end of the last song.
'vacaciones' is a happy-sad song with beautiful whistles... (what i really like is the abillity to create happy melodies contrastating with gloomy lyrics).
'estratosfera' comes back with the melancholic/airy melodies and with orchestrations and guitars that are amazing. (so amazing that in the vinyl released by elefant there's a bonus track only with the instrumental of the song).
'pensando en ningún lugar' is one of my favourites. it has an uplifting beat and gorgeous trombone and beautiful lyrics talking about nowhere.
'pol' is in the middle of the album and it's an instrumental piece that for a long time was my favourite song to walk around the city. again beautiful trombone lines with jangly guitars and amazing synths. (there's some words in french at some moment... i don't understand much of french but i think it's a song about pizza).
after the middle, the album turns towards a more introspective mood and a mix of a wider range of electronic sounds. 'telescopio' is the last track of the album and seems to get the feelings a bit happier, which is great!
this is an overlooked gem from the beginning of the decade ready to be (re)discovered.
(and if someone has any news about gasca, let me know!)

01. lugar soñado
02. vacaciones
03. estratosfera
04. pensando en ningún lugar
05. pol
06. viaje entre los pubs
07. el barco que describes
08. nube gris
09. nunca vas a volver
10. telescopio
11. (bonus)



ciao bella ~ 1 (march records, 1997)

ciao bella is a duo from alameda, california that creates indiepop/rock songs and (taking google results, seems to be adored in japan).
mario hernandez and jamie mccormick started the band in 1992 under the name teeny hi-fi and released one single called 'weekend go'. after that, they spent years recording at their home...
in 1996 an ep was released on the canadian label endearing and a year later their lp '1' was ready to be released on march records.
after appearing in some compilations the band seemed to be over. no material was released after that and they went separate ways: hernandez produced for acts like the aislers set and mcmcormick started to release music under the (well succeded) act from bubblegum to sky.
their songs resemble 60's pop and acts from the indie scene in the 90's such as holiday, bunnygrunt, some jangly stuff from the windmills and experimentations from saturday looks good to me.
attention to the lovely opening track 'in'.

01. in
02. how low?
03. old school digital watch
04. dropped once
05. meet the great life
06. another pill
07. astronauts in love
08. details from the deep end
09. we were always too young
10. sink
11. i've should i?
12. brown make-up
13. party song
14. feeling low

we're all the pirate bay

montt mardié ~ we're all the pirate bay (independent, 2009)

'i don't write songs to make money/ i write them for people to sing along', that's how starts the new track from montt mardié. it's not on his new album, which i talked about a few days ago. it's not a single and you won't find it on itunes or any online store. you can find it on the pirate bay. yes, the torrent site that's under huge pressure from the giants of entertainment industry...
the main subject in montt's lyrics is love (or the trouble that it causes) but now we see him using his peculiar writing style to show his support for the pirate bay and give his point of view on intelectual and creative copyright. we're all the pirate bay is an instantaneous hit. an uplifting, electro-ish tune with mardié's infectuous melodies.
just the fact that he made this song is already awesome, the song could be the worst ever but, of course, it is a true pop gem for the technological times we're living.
here's what he saya on a letter published on the pirate bay:
"an artist has got to make a living just like everybody else, there's no doubt about it. and these are tough times, believe me i know. the thing is though, if i were to go back in time, 10 years or so, and tell the 15-year-old version of myself that over a night, 60 000 people had heard one of my songs, the first question I'd throw back at myself wouldn't be "how much money did i make?".
don't get me wrong, i love money and i want to make a lot of it. bathe in it just like uncle scrooge. but money isn't the main reason why i write songs. first and foremost i want people to hear them.
times are so strange at the moment and a lot of people are angry and upset. still, for each day that goes by i get more and more convinced that we shouldn't try to fight the future, we should embrace it. try to see opportunities instead of catastrophys.

i've written a song. i call it "we're all the pirate bay". it's free and nobody will ever have to pay for it, though if you insist you are welcome to make a donation!

take care, monty"

ps: the pirate bay encourages you to create a video using this song and post it as a reply to montt mardié's version...

01. we're all the pirate bay


international travel scenarios

victory xviii ~ international travel scenarios (holiday records, 2009)

except from the record label website i couldn't find anything about this project/band.
on the label's website you can download the (short but good) list of albums that had been released. as the introduction says:
"they say you need money to make money. well, we don't have any so we're just going to give you all our songs for free. it's like christmas all year around! go ahead, open your pleasants..."
ok, victory xviii now...
here you'll find short pop melodies created by using pieces of other songs and drum machines. the beginning and the end of the album are filled with orchestration pieces that seemed to be taken from a musical.
from the middle to the end the songs are more electronic and the lyrics turn from great to awesome... the highlight of the album is 'i wanna see everything' with synths and a sample of a few notes from what it seems a violin. the lyrics of the song are also really good (and bitter):

"i had fun last time we went away to berlin/ you helped me in libraries it's a good place to forget my life/ cause i've tried it, i've tried, and i've tried/ i want to see everything/ 'come to new york' you always say/ but i've been there before and don't like it/ you know i don't like it/
i wanna fly away to place i've never been to before/ and i'll say: ' i'm sorry i don't speak your language very well yet' / i want to see everything"

'kids got rhythm' is like a hymn with acid drums and kids chanting that 'kids got rhythm/ kids got sound...'
all the songs have a certain nonsense atmosphere that really works. and in the end of the 16 minutes of the record you'll feel almost like you've been taken from a ride in a world full of analogic modernisms... totally worth the ride!

01. last night in france
02. a nice game of basketball
03. you know how much
04. thousand of us lesser lights (in swiss alps)
05. i want to see everything
06. kids got rhythm
07. a bus into the city
08. i know a little place
09. contact information
10. on a plane at night


music to see. 02

simple and yet beautiful video from biker boy's 'heart'

south ambulance's 'die 5times times5'

and plastic d'amour's 'un passé ou deux'


montt mardié ~ skaizerkite (hybris, 2009)

this is the third proper studio album from david pagmar, a swedish boy in his early 20's creating delightful pop tunes about heartbreaking and its ramifications using a very peculiar storytelling similar to pelle carlberg and hello saferide.
this time, the album recovers some textures used in his first album. to me 'clocks/pretender' sounds fresh and breezy and makes me think about small cities, the countryside, open spaces... skaizerkite sounds more urban, a bit like 'drama' and its guitar hooks and catchy-dancy melodies.
there's at least one line in every song that should be mentioned... how not to fall when you hear in the vibrant 'one kiss' "... then she ran across the street/ and though it meant the world to me/ one kiss don't mean a thing..."
or when in 'dungeons and dragons' - one of the best geek love song ever made - he sings
"i still play dungeons and dragons, baby/ i can't stop thinking about star wars, baby /and if you wanna be with me you're gonna have to get use to / i don't say goodbye, i say may the force be with you".
the great thing about montt mardié is that his lyrics have all the potential to be lame and filled with romantic fatalism... but what he does is to turn love and its longings into a right-on-the-face slap with simplicity, honesty and cleverness.
the ballad 'a wedding in june', another perfect colaboration with andreas mattsson, is a song about the reocurring girl that left him and her wedding day.
'the stairs of the house that haunted this town (jenny, jenny, jenny)' is probably the heavist track on the record with guitars and lush orchestrations and an insanely addictive chorus melody and
backing vocals to die for.
wonderfull and uplifting heartbreak songs! (if that's possible...)

01. welcome to stalingrad
02. one kiss
03. click, click
04. elisabeth by the piano
05. bang bang (echo in warsaw)
06. unknown pleasure (feat. anna lovisa)
07. last year in marienbad
08. a wedding in june (feat. andreas mattsson)
09. dancing shoes
10. the stairs of the house that haunted this town (jenny, jenny, jenny)
11. dungeons and dragons
12. i love you annie

here's the video for 'danceshoes'

buy it

songs about sculptures

red cloud carter ~ songs about sculptures ep (independent, 2008)

not much is known about this band (well, a little is known in swedish and near to nothing on the other languages). it seems that catti brandelius (with other musical projects such as miss universum, profesora...), an artist acting in different areas of art got together with the band kids from heaven and recorded this ep... and from the photos on their myspace, i think that their shows are always on the streets with instruments and a megaphone...
this time catti comes dressed in a little pink dress, cowboy hat and pink hair.
after this small visual introduction, let's talk about their sound:
a mix of indiepop with country and also flirtations with black music grooves from the 70's... 'cucko' is a great pop song a la eric halldén. the lyrics are centered in little stories being told... 'reunion' is the obvious choice with it's tale about 'her mother' and a golden sculpture.
catti comes with another persona and making easy-listening country-ish indiepop and telling fun tales.
good stuff!

01. stanny and angela
02. cucko
03. cut the rope
04. tombstone
05. i am blue
06. reunion



la bien querida ~ romancero (elefant records, 2009)

ana fernandez-villaverde is la bien querida. she caught some attention with a demo from 2007 and since then, there was much expectation for this release.
the music is a mixture of sounds/influences that goes from the melodies like la buena vida, family to traditional arabian music and flamenco. her lyrics tends to talk about love and heartbreaking. that makes her be described by some people as the female stephin merritt, from the magnetic fields...
the arrangements are beautiful... rich in sounds to be discovered little by little. david rodrigues (from la estrella de david and junco y diamante) is behind production and does a beautiful job... in fact, i think he's one of the most creative musicians in the spanish scene at the moment... "Ana wanted to domesticate David’s stratospheric arrangements and cubist production toward clean sounds that fit better with the friendly environment of her beautiful songs." (from elefant's site).
the album contains moments of flamenco-influenced songs, others full of orchestration or filled with beats and bleeps.
it's a beautiful album with great moments ( like the one formed by the first three songs and its extremely delicate mix of instrumentations contrastating with the simplicity of the lyrics and ana's voice). we'll probably hear a lot about la bien querida in the future, but the especulation around this release was too much.

01. ya no
02. corpus christi
03. de momento abril
04. a.d.n.
05. 9.6
06. cuando lo intentas
07. el zoo absoluto
08. 7 medidas de seguridad
09. bendita
10. santa fé
11. los estados generales
12. golpe de estado

video for the first single of the album 'de momento abril'

buy it

yours to share

moofish catfish ~ your to share (cosy den recordings, 2009)

the second release of these sweetly quirky girls is called 'yours to share' because it is yours to share, literally. just like their previous mini album album, all the songs are available to download on their
this time they come heavier.
the melodies are richer with great moments with keyboards and backing vocals.
the lyrics continue extremely good: the unpretentious way to create beautiful encounters of melody and lyrics leads you to shivering moments like 'two of a kind' (probably the best track in the album) with the subtle (but lovely) appearance, 'fake and pretend' and 'are you a boy?' with its playful melody and lyrics questioning genres.
a great second album that fulfills all the (high) expectations left by the previous release.
go on and get addicted...

01. ten days in my room
02. yours to share
03. two of a kind
04. oh god! i love you! what's your name?
05. i've got your daniel johnston t-shirt
06. happy on wheels
07. fake and pretend
08. are you a happy?
09. about this girl

buy it

on a sunbeam to your heart

moofish catfish ~ on a sunbeam to your heart (cosy den recordings, 2008)

moofish catfish is this four piece girl band from stockholm. their sound is as original as the subjects of their lyrics...
i decided to talk about them because yesterday i heard their new album and it is so good that i felt like revisiting (and sharing) what they have released so far starting with the first album (more like an ep).
'on a sunbeam to your heart' is a bit different from 'your to share', their - just released - second album. the songs are slow-paced and easy listening with pretty guitars and vocals. the melodies are extremely inventive and upbeat and the lyrics funny, catchy and even anarchic, ranging from everyday situations to interpretations of sexuality.
moofish catfish is twee/bedroom pop without the self pity and visiting the envelopes, my darling you!, rough bunnies and soda fountain rag, all at the same time.
from their myspace:
"moofish catfish is heartache and a black cloud, your best friend and a desperate desire. moofish catfish is just a band. don't be stupid. be amazed."

01. at the club
02. lightbulbs
03.crocodile tears
04. lisa said:
05. half my size
06. mc themesong

buy it

over and over

the legends ~ over and over (labrador, 2009)

johan angergård comes back with another full-lenght and another twist on his musical career. the characteristic poppy-catchy melodies are still there but now they are almost like a bonus that's made of broken amplifiers and mixing of distorted synths ...
johan had been through some hard times."in the spring of 2008 i had a desperate urge to distract me from myself. i needed noise. the first song i wrote for the album was a blast of distortion and feedback about the wonders of tryptizol,” says johan, about track 'seconds away'. 'seconds away' was release as a single, in november, and was described as 'the noisiest pop song to ever come out of sweden'.
the album starts dark and smoothly, brighter feelings appear between the despair and (almost) state of dementia.
the noise is used as a sound therapy, making johan forget about his angst. "it’s like someone drilling a hole in your head. in a pleasant way that is.”
but there's also moments of acoustic guitars and relieve of pain like in 'jump' and lazy beats like in the beautiful and melancholic 'heartbeats' where he sings "...our heart is beating with the rhythm on the dance track/ i'm ready for a heart attack".
noise therapy highly recommended!

01. you won
02. seconds away
03. always the same
04. monday to saturday
05. heartbeats
06. dancefloor
07. turn away
08. recife
09. over and over
10. jump
11. something strange will happen
12. touch
13. over and over (remix by pallers)

buy it

soft construction

delay trees ~ soft construction ep (independent, 2009)

'tender pop songs that'll melt your ears', that's how this helsinki/hämeenlinna quartet describes their sound. does this sounds pretentious? well, it did to me, before i heard their first ep called soft construction.
their sound is melancholic, mellow with cinematic landscapes (and some flirtation with 60's psychedelia).
the band caught the attention of the blogosphere because this ep is seriously good and mature for a first release. the melodies, lyrics and artwork seem to work together into a greater and unified theme (but the band says that this is not intentional). but the fact is that, the songs full of images and its synesthesic feelings along with the artwork and old family photographs tells you a story of past feelings and places being revisited. and this ep seems to be the beginning of a great story in the music scene...
here's an interview taken from the finnish website glue:

how did you meet and start playing? sami, lauri and me have a history together. we had another band before. it was sort of brit pop. that band ended, but we three kept on playing together. we tried different drummers and finally onni came and stayed. he was the perfect fit. in any case, we all knew each other before. we have been friends for a long time.

when you started this project, did you have a clear idea of what type of music you would play? at the beginning, we had several acoustic folk songs, similar to love and that type of sixties folk music. forever changes was a very big thing for me at the time. when we started to rehearse as a group, we moved to something more electric. but still we liked to keep it mellow. nowadays it seems that every pop band plays so loud. we don’t need that. we don’t use so much distortion, for instance. we just do what we like. that’s why there’s not much distortion or heavy stuff. we just don’t like it.

what are your main influences? there are many because everyone in the band seems to have his own favourite. onni might be more into the indie scene, for example. however, pink floyd might be a band we all like. myself, for a long time i only listened to sixties stuff. i also like david bowie a lot, but the other guys not so much.

how was the recording of soft construction ep? it was a long process. we rehearse a lot and did some demos, first. then we found some people to help us with the recording. it was through friends and family. we heard from friends of a friend and names were dropped, so we got in contact with jarno alho, teemu vilmunen, from ultramariini, and julius mauranen. they helped us recording and mixing. little by little, everything fell into pieces, but it would be nice if we could find a record label or someone with cash to do some promotion.

was there a big difference between playing live and recording in the studio? we were about to have someone to act as a producer, but in the end we thought that the songs were ready. the complete idea of the songs was in our heads. it was our intention to keep the recording fairly simple, so it would not sound like a total different world from our live act. if we ever have the opportunity of recording again, we will probably try to follow the same pattern, just playing live in the studio. it gives a better vibe.

have you been in contact with record companies? we are sending the cd to any record company we can find, although we don’t have that much believe in record companies. there are only a few in Finland that could do well with a band like us. it would not be very useful for us to sign with a big company like sony, for example. a company like that would like to produce our songs more and make them smooth and easy listening. maybe winning the lottery is a better way for us to succeed.

why did you choose old photos to be the artwork? sami is a graphic designer and he mentioned the idea of using that type of photos. my family has some good old vintage photos so we ended up using those. it does not have any hidden messages or anything. they just look nice. since our music is soft and cinematic, it fits well with these images. they look like movie stills. what is sure is that we won’t be a picture band.

finally, what about the band’s name, delay trees? we went through the worse band names ever, but here’s not a big story behind the name. when I thought about it i just went to and check if there would any other band with that name. we did not want to have a name that have been used many times. it needed it to be unique. delay trees does not make much sense, but to me it brings a david lynch type of image. blurry moving trees or something. it felt good. but actually, if you google it, it is a programming term. we didn’t know about that.

01. desert island song
02. about brothers
03. moving
04. coral wind
05. tarantula/ holding on
06. replay
07. ressurrection of sonic blue

buy it


klaus & kinski ~ versiones (independent, 2008)

here i am, back with the blog... and for some time i've been thinking about what would be the best way to come back. last night i had the answer: i found an (apparently) unnoficial album by klaus & kinski that is filled with recordings made before the release of the great 'tú hoguera está ardiendo'. since the first post of the blog was their debut album, i think it is great to come back again with them.
the band started a few years ago recording covers of songs they like so it's great to hear what they were up to before the full lenght album.
here you'll find 8 songs, all covers... i mean, all amazing covers. so amazing that, for a few minutes, songs from abba, the beatles, kikí d'akí and omd seem to be original songs by klaus & kinski. simply great and beautiful...
(don't forget to check the highlight of the ep 'ritmo de la noche', a cover from a dance argentine duo from the early 90's called the sacados).

01. el futuro (kikí d'akí cover)
02. here comes the sun (the beatles cover)
03. ¿lo sabe tu madre? (abba cover)
04. ritmo de la noche (the sacados cover)
05. shell for the mourning (oliver north boy choir cover)
06. souvenir (omd cover)
07. i feel alive (with alondra bentley)