The Breakdown Episode 75

Posted: September 25, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Featuring tracks from In The Valley Below, Caribou, Wildcat! Wildcat!, Flamingo, Baby Guru, Banks, Mt Warning, Milky Chance, Alt-J and Sohn.

Stream it in podcast format here:

Stream it in playlist format (with the ability to skip tracks) by clicking here

To download the mp3 file, right click and “save link as” here: The Breakdown with Ben Episode 75

Bonjour music lovers. Is this episode a treat or what. Two bands I’ve been waiting on debut albums for over 18 months finally delivered, along with an old favourite that has stepped his game up significantly.

Last April I happened onto a little male / female duo from Los Angeles in the States called In The Valley Below. Their epic track Peaches grabbed me immediately; I can still clearly remember first hearing it, then listening repeatedly to learn the words so I could sing along while driving my empty cab up the Sea To Sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler. Fast forward 18 months and they’ve finally dropped an album, entitled The Belt. Three listens in and it sounds like the goods. Get around it.

About a year before that I found a Los Angeles trio called Wildcat! Wildcat!. Their song Mr. Quiche grabbed me and held me, so much that I gave it number 1 in The Breakdown’s Top 100 songs of 2012. They have finally released their debut, No Moon At All. It holds true to the sound that captured me two and a half years ago. It’s a pretty decent feat for a band in its infancy to maintain the same sound over a period that long without an album. No Moon At All is well worth a listen.

Canadian crazy kid Caribou is just about to release his seventh album, Our Love. I’ve been giving it a preview run and it is super impressive. I’ve been keeping an eye on him for years and found that his previous stuff has always been solid, with moments of brilliance (he is responsible for the ‘chicken steak’ song – more commonly known as Odessa), but somewhat hit and miss in terms of catchy songwriting technique. He has a PhD in mathematics, and in some ways his music did at times reflect a precise, mathematical method of construction. Our Love has a cohesive, complete feel to it, delving into a poppier house feel, while delivering some serious sit-up-and-take-notice tracks as well.

Staying within the electronic genre, I’ve run a couple more tunes from the new ODESZA album, In Return. I introduced this album in the last episode, and am following up with more from it, as it is a really cool release.

Another tune from Aussie up-and-coming electronic artist, cln, is also included. He is a young dude with a super cool, very original sound that I can only see getting better with age and experience. I will be keeping an eye on him for sure.

There is already a new track from British all round smooth guy Sohn, who only released his debut album earlier this year. This was the culmination of a long wait, similar to the two artists that came good this week. Now he’s dropping more bombs on us. The Chase is decidedly mellow, and definitely focuses attention on his soulful, melancholy vocals. Its killer.

It’s at this point that I must address the elephant in the room, Alt-J. Their follow up album to 2012’s jaw dropping effort An Awesome Wave has just been released, being entitled This Is All Yours. I’m only about five or six listens in, but at this point I have to admit to it not living up to its lofty predecessor. There are some cool tracks on it for sure, and Joe Newman’s instantly recognisable, unorthodox and mesmerising vocals are very much a feature. But I find it lacks the pure genius, once-in-a-generation songwriting that An Awesome Wave had in spades from the opening piano riff of Intro to the closing wails of Taro. I feel my fears that germinated when I heard they’d collaborated with Miley Cyrus may have been realised. I will always give them an ear, and I hope they can return to the heights of that stunning debut. In the meantime, have a listen to the coolest track on the new album, Every Other Freckle.

Making up the rest of the awesomeness of this episode are delicious moments from albums and EP’s I’ve been thrashing from Postiljonen, Slow Club, Flamingo, Baby Guru, Banks, Mt Warning and Milky Chance.

You’ll also notice a sneaky Kate Bush cover lurking about in there. This song was cool when I was a kid back in the 80’s. It then became cool again when Placebo dropped a banging cover of it on my teenage ass in the 90’s. Now it’s done it again with Avec Sans rolling it up in super cool contemporary fat electro sounds and really pulling it off.

Lastly, I feel that when a European band sings in their native language, and sounds like they have something to say, it means they just don’t give a f… and I think it sounds cool. Props to Hurula.

Tracklist

1. Wildcat! Wildcat! – Tower // W.O.H.L. (00:00)
2. Flamingo – Needless (02:36)
3. Miami Horror – Wild Motion (Set It Free) (06:23)
4. ODESZA – For Us (feat. Briana Marela) (11:53)
5. In The Valley Below – Stand Up (15:49)
6. Caribou – All I Ever Need (20:32)
7. cln – Sideways (24:23)
8. Alt-J – Every Other Freckle (27:45)
9. Postiljonen – Supreme (31:40)
10. Avec Sans – Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush Cover) (35:10)
11. Beat Connection – Hesitation (39:29)
12. The Rosebuds – Esse Quam Videri (43:53)
13. Hurula – 22 (47:38)
14. The Preatures – Somebody’s Talking (50:37)
15. Lvl Up – Soft Power (54:04)
16. Wampire – Wizard Staff (57:00)
17. Baby Guru – Baby You’re So Weird (1:00:50)
18. Cosmo Sheldrake – Solar (1:03:33)
19. Sohn – The Chase (1:07:35)
20. Banks – Drowning (1:11:54)
21. Mt. Warning – Sinking Sun (1:16:03)
22. Milky Chance – Flashed Junk Mind (1:19:13)
23. M83 – I Need You (1:23:36)
24. ODESZA – Bloom (1:25:48)
25. Pure X – Every Tomorrow (1:29:05)
26. Slow Club – Wanderer Wandering (1:32:26)

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