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Posts Tagged ‘Wild Beasts’

My favorite albums are always the ones I can never find the words for. Where I can’t really describe anything about it apart from “it’s so awesome, you have to listen to it.” These are the albums that made me feel this way this year, in no particular order.

 

St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

If I had to pick a favorite of the year, I’m sure this would be it. I love the way Annie Clark contrasts Disney-like strings with dark lyrics, not to mention her voice is amazing.

Standout Track: Surgeon

 

Wild Beasts – Smother

The sweet combination of Tom Flemming and Hayden Thorpe’s vocals –  breaths and sighs – over dreamy, layered music is pretty much heaven.

Standout Track: Bed of Nails

 

James Blake – James Blake

Apparently classified as post-dubstep, I really recommend just listening to it instead of trying to categorise it. Blake’s voice is simply amazing and the combination of electronic elements was fascinating to watch when I saw him at Splendour in the Grass earlier this year.

Standout Track: The Wilhelm Scream

 

Battles – Gloss Drop

I was initially a little disappointed with this album, especially after how much I loved Mirrored, but it ended up growing on me. I still think the lead single ‘Ice Cream’ is a bit tacky and it is certainly a bit less showy than Mirrored but I eventually became thankful that they didn’t just try to recreate the same sound.

Standout Track: My Machines (feat. Gary Numan)

 

Destroyer – Kaputt

I’ll be honest, the first I had heard of this album (and Destroyer for that matter) was only a few months ago, this album hit me pretty much immediately though and I’ve listened to it almost every day since.

Standout Track: Chinatown

 

Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Well it’s no surprise this is on my list really, or anyone else’s list. And I think I’ll just leave that at that.

Standout Track: Holocene

 

Yuck – Yuck

Mmmm…fuzzy. The problem with having an album released so early in the year is that by the time the end of the year rolls around, most people have forgotten about it. Some could argue that it means the album doesn’t have staying power, but they’re just so catchy and fun.

Standout Track: Georgia

 

Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

There really isn’t anything about this Mogwai album that makes it stand out from the rest, but the Scottish band have crafted what they do so well by now that it doesn’t really matter.

Standout Track: Mexican Grand Prix

 

The Antlers – Burst Apart

I caught a glimpse of these guys at Laneway at the start of the year and made a mental note to research further after the lead singer’s voice absolutely blew me away. Lucky for me an album came shortly after…

Standout Track: Corsicana

 

Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Similar to the Mogwai album, there isn’t a lot new happening here but it shows Explosions doing the things that they do well.

Standout Track: Last Known Surroundings

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Before I launch into my official Splendour in the Grass run down, I’d like to point out a pretty amazing act I saw on Thursday evening – Mr Percival. Those who have previously been to Splendour or the Woodford Folk Festival have most likely come across him before, but this was my first time seeing him after friends had hyped him up so much. Simply speaking, he’s a vocal artist that builds songs on recorded loops but he’s honestly one of the most talented performers I’ve seen. Engaging and totally entertaining, I really wish I had also caught his vocal workshops each morning.

FRIDAY – 29/07

Bands seen: British Sea Power, Wild Beasts, The Kills, James Blake, Warpaint, Modest Mouse, The Hives, Kanye West

Highlight of the day: The Hives.

I’ve never heard of the Hives putting on a disappointing show. Ever. The Swedish five-piece put on a magnificent show in the Ampitheatre, going through a great deal of their singles and also some new material from their upcoming album. Frontman Howlin’ Pelle was on absolute fire that night, crowd interaction and faux-arrogance at an all time high.

Disappointment of the day: Timetable Clashes!!!

None of the acts I saw were disappointing in the slightest. In fact I would have loved to see more of pretty much all of them. The biggest disappointment for me was missing out on Mogwai to see Kanye West. I’m a much bigger Mogwai fan, but I know there would have been too much wondering and too much regret if I didn’t witness the spectacle that was Kanye West. Fingers crossed for Mogwai coming back at some point soon…

Headliner: Kanye West

The production of Kanye’s show was something else. The fireworks, the man himself rising on a platform above the crowd in a cloud of smoke, the dancers and the choreography. It was all pretty interesting to watch, especially as someone who doesn’t really go to stadium sized shows. The actual performance was good enough. I can’t say I was blown away, but Kanye certainly has some good tunes and does a fantastic job at holding the whole stage to himself. Material from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy were the winners from the set, but seeing ‘Gold Digger’ in a live context was pretty amazing.

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