During the week I was pointed in the rather excellent direction of an exciting new band from Liverpool called Outfit. With only a handful of tracks currently available to listen to, it’s the gorgeous Two Islands which really caught my attention. Released this September through Double Denim Records, the track soothes you like some hazy tropical dream before the synths and vocals kick off and the whole thing builds into something quite sublime. It’s early days for this five-piece but with a sound this fully-realized it’s hard not to imagine we’ll be hearing plenty more from them in the coming months.
This set of drawings entitled Boolean Values are by the Australian artist Jonathan Zawada. They’re taken from an exhibition that was held back in 2008 at the Monster Children Gallery in Sydney. Zawada really has a great sense of tone and his abstract composition are just amazing. The exhibition also featured a collection of his sculptural work, which is just as surreal as these drawings would lead you to believe.
Zawada doesn’t just draw the line at drawing and sculpture – in fact a quick scroll through the exhibitions and commercial sections of his site shows a man of multiple talents who just never seems to stop working. His combination of work in the fields of both design and art lead to a portfolio that is really unique and well worth your time. Currently he’s moving/moved to LA where he is working on a new exhibition. To find out more about his practice I’d highly recommend catching the interview he did with the always wonderful It’s Nice That a few months ago here, then check out more of his work online here.
Last Friday night I headed to see the Tom Tom Club play an amazing gig in Dublin which featured support from the rather excellent Tieranniesaur; a band who I thought I’d share with you today. Later this week these guys will release their debut album and around these parts they’re starting to get some proper attention – and rightly so! The Dublin-based six-piece play bubblegum pop and giddy disco-fueled melodies and their sound is contagiously fun; creating something which is bound to be a hit with fans of the likes of the Tom Tom Club (as was proven last Friday). The leading track from their self-titled debut is the wickedly funky Here Be Monsters which I’ve embedded above. The full album should be out later this week on bandcamp and make sure to also check out the wonderfully crazy video for the track here.
“They had the guts to tape a Canon 7D to a mini helicopter… & it paid off”, said my friend Sue on Twitter the other day and she wasn’t half wrong. This video by the Austin-based BMX Company Mutiny Bikes is pretty sweet. Filmed at Austin’s new skatepark, it’s a great short video and I recommend you check it out. Mykonos by Fleet Foxes has never sounded so good and I’d recommend it for its beautiful shots of raw-concrete as much as I would for it’s sweet slow-motion stunts. Mutiny Bikes have been producing wonderful videos for over three years now and you could easily loose an hour of your day making your way through the archives of their vimeo page – which, as you’ve guessed, is exactly what I recommend you do.
With only a handful of recordings to their name, New York’s Slowdance have recently caught my attention and I can’t stop listening. This Brooklyn-based five piece play tasty little gems of indie-pop all wrapped around beautiful vocals from the the band’s front-woman Quay Quinn-Settel. Their stand-out track for me has to be Spell; a song that could easily soundtrack a New Wave influenced Spaghetti Western (if Coppola can make the French Revolution New Wave, why not the Wild West). More tracks can be found on their site here, and I’m pretty sure a proper album is on it’s way. Enjoy!
I normally wouldn’t post film trailers on The Fox Is Black but when the promo for the latest stop-motion feature from Aardman Animations came along earlier today I couldn’t help but share it here. Personally I love stop-motion and, like many, my passion for it can easily be traced back to watching Nick Park’s excellent Wallace and Gromit shorts as a child during the early 90’s. The Pirates! Band of Misfits will be Aardman’s third feature-length stop-motion animation in twelve years (after the rather brilliant Chicken Run in 2000, and the very enjoyable Curse of the Were-Rabbit in 2005).
Released next Spring, The Pirates! is based on a book by Gideon Defoe and is directed by Peter Lord. It also features the voices of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennent and Salma Hayek. Using a combination of traditional stop-motion animation and CGI, the film looks pretty amazing and from the looks of the trailer the combination of both techniques is seamless. This is reassuring news for anyone who found the CGI in Aardman’s 2006 film Flushed Away to be a little less charming then their plasticine counterparts. Speaking of charm, The Pirates! seems to be full of that classic Aardman humor and features their wonderful way with rapidfire bad jokes and their decidedly British humor. I for one am a fan and hope that stop-motion of this scale keeps getting made. I’ll meet you in the cinema queue next Spring!
Shoreline is the first release from a new Finish group called Aves. It’s a bright and vibrant slice of chillwave which is a lot of fun and beautifully textured. Indeed, the band itself could also be described as beautifully textured as their sound comes from the members of a number of Finish groups such as Pikku Kukka, Koria Kitten Riot and the excellent Pooma.
The project came about as part of an exciting collective called Stereotype Helsinki, who operate in a number of fields including live gigs, a recording studio, a bi-weekly radioshow and a a terric blog. I’ve been excited about this collective for a while and I’m delighted to hear how great their first release is. Hopefully we’ll be hearing more from both Aves and Sterotype Helsinki in the coming months, but for now head over to Aves bandcamp where you can get a copy of Shoreline as part of a ‘name your price’ download.
Happy Independence Day! If I’d planned ahead I could have dug-out the perfect track to mark the 4th of July, but instead the weather got the better of me and so I spent my weekend in the countryside enjoying fresh air, clear skies and an irritatingly-high pollen count! Perhaps it’s the good weather that’s made me want to post this terrific track by Moths called Summer.
Moths is the music of Irish artist Jack Colleran, and this track is a terrific way to enjoy your July. It’s a beautifully minimalist piece of electronica with a tranquil, chilled-out sound and some really nicely textured synths. The video (above), was recently released to accompany the track and it’s made by Brendan Canty of Feel Good Lost. The idea behind the video is fairly simply, with little more then some nice cuts and some simple mirroring, but it works really well with the textures and the rhythm of the track. Although Moths are fairly new to the scene (Jack just finished school a few weeks ago), there’s already a great collection of tracks and remixes over on Soundcloud, and hopefully we’ll be hearing an EP at the end of Summer. I’ll keep you posted!
María Luz Bravo is a self-taught photographer who’s interest in photography came about from her background in studying architecture. While studying, she became greatly interested in the ideas of public spaces and privacy, and her interest in representing these themes led her to create some rather wonderful photographs.
The emptiness of these scenes evoke a haunting nature, and the barren portrayal of a city in decline shows the ephemerality of our urban spaces. These are themes which I’m particularly interested in, and María’s ability to capture these moments with stark exposers and delicate compositions make for some pretty special photographs.
There was a time when packing for holidays was easy. Just grab a few changes of clothes, a couple of roles of film, squeeze them all into a suitcase and throw it in the hold. Now things are a little trickier. The money-pinching tactics of the budget airline has turned us into misers too. We now squeeze everything and anything into our carry-on luggage for the sake of a few extra quid. We stand in line at the check-in queue worrying that the airline attendant might notice the excessive size of our portable wheelie-bags or how our rucksacks look just a little over-weight. We worry too that all our liquids might not be in order. Are they held in the right kind of plastic bags and did I decant my shampoo into a small enough container? Even our bottled water is gulped down in a hurry, knowing for sure the kind of rumpus that would ensue if security found us drinking it.
These are the standard banalities in the world of the luggage packer. They are the jaded complaints of any dinner party that has ever had someone recite their travel travesties, and they’re the regrettable trivialities that I presume we all know too well. But there’s another type of packing which I find even more loathsome – it’s the packing of a music collection. There was a time when all my music could fit in one place, now I like to travel light. I select a few choice albums and aim for them to soundtrack my week away. Yet the choosing of these albums is too important a choice to leave to the gods of randomness and luck and instead I’ve devised some basic steps to make the most of selecting the musical accompaniment to your light-weight trip away.
Last week I took my holidays to Portugal’s beautiful city of Lisbon and in four simple albums I had the perfect travel companion. Below I’ve outlined the steps I took and my reactions to packing the soundtrack to a holiday: