Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Week One

Feels great to be back on the airwaves. Although I was rockin' by myself in the studio I had a lot of fun. Thanks to the guys who sms-ed me, I will definately be playing 'Little House of Savages' by The Walkmen next week for Hatman, glad you enjoyed it.

Played some new and exciting tunes on the show, including 'Skeleton' which is on the new Bloc Party album released yesterday (Feb 21st), got my dirty hands on a new Beck track called 'Que Onda Guero' off the new album 'Guero' released March 21st and 'Black and White Town' by Doves. I just heard that Doves will be releasing the new album 'Some Cities' this week in a very special package which includes the CD, bonus DVD and an exclusive poster packaged in a linen bound box. Sound's pretty special and I may be reviewing this one in the near future.

Which brings me to the album review: Hope everyone enjoyed listening to snippets from The Dears album 'No Cities Left'. If you want to argue or discuss what I thought about the album then don't be scared to post a comment. Of course if you don't want people reading it then try my email:


You can read the review again at the bottom of this post. Next will probably be one (or two) of the Bright Eyes newies: 'I'm Wide Awake, it's Morning' and 'Digital Ash in a Digital Urn'. Of course the boy released two simultaneously; he's a pretentious indie rock kid! And God love him for it.

The Killers will be appearing on The O.C. tonight, playing a few tunes to the kids who are desperately trying to rekindle old flames. Ah Seth, you can have me any day.... From memory they don't play 'Somebody Told Me' - I thinks it's 'Mr Brightside' and 'Smile Like You Mean It' - refreshing if you ask me. Don't want to over do that brilliant song until it becomes not so brilliant and slightly irritating. That would be a tragedy. SO, The Killers will be blasting down my airwaves next week on the show.

Cover song suggestions are greatly appreciated. I am planning to end each show on a cover song and had some positive feedback of Something For Kate's haunting version of David Bowie's 'Ashes to Ashes'. Turned it upside down; it's stripped back and acoustic, no funked up beats 80s Bowie style.

Playlist for Monday Feb 21st:

The Shins - Kissing the Lipless
Ryan Adams - Afraid, Not Scared
The Devoted Few - Counting Cars
The Walkmen - The Rat
Cut Copy - Going Nowhere
Bloc Party - Skeleton
Doves - Black and White Town
Beck - Que Onda Guero
Death From Above 1979 - Little Girl
Radiohead - Just
The Dears - We Can Have It
Les Savy Fav - Je Taime
Ground Components - Crying Time
Sarah Blasko - Don't U Eva
Moving Units - Between Us and Them
The Rapture - House of Jealous Lovers
Something For Kate - Ashes to Ashes (original by David Bowie)

Album Review: The Dears - No Cities Left

The six darlings hailing from Montreal who call themselves The Dears have unleashed quite an emotionally charged epic, riding the scale from dark and brooding to well-crafted pop. ‘No Cities Left’ is melodramatic, ornate and has masterpiece written all over it, but somehow the songs are never over done. They have you gasping for breath but give you that exhilarating effect that makes you want to ride the roller coaster all over again.

The Dears echo past wailings of Britpop, most notably in singer Murray Lightburn’s doom ridden voice, reflecting The Smith’s enigmatic front man Morrissey. In each song there is the added drama of violins, which make the climatic build up in ‘Expect the Worst / Cos she’s a Tourist’ so intense, or a horn section, or smooth, jazzy elements that sweep ‘Warm and Sunny Days’ and ‘The Second Part’ in a velvety haze.

‘Lost in the Plot’ is the obvious choice for the first single and it is a sublime pop moment. Hooking you in with melancholic keyboards and soaring guitars the song is incessantly catchy. It bursts with intensity thanks to the painful wail of Lightburn’s voice, engulfing it in poignancy, yet somehow leaving you heartened, a case in point for the whole album.

The Dears don’t keep things predictable. The songs vary in pace or come to a complete change in style half way through. ‘Expect the worst / Cos she’s a tourist’ comes to an abrupt stop; the energy and vibrant mood now soaked in ambience and lethargy as it drifts slowly by. The same unpredictable changes can be said for ‘We Can Have It’ and ‘Postcard from Purgatory’, the albums 8 minute ominous masterpiece.

‘No Cities Left’ is no doubt indulgent and extravagant but even with an incredible amount of instruments and layering happening in each song it works so well. It’s haunting, sentimental pop that is completely endearing and not without charm. The notorious UK music mag NME may have claimed that The Dears are probably the best new band in the world right now and for once I think the hype may not be misplaced.


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