[Review] Years & Years – Communion (TBR)

Years and Years

Right, here’s how it is going to go. I am going to review an album that hasn’t come out yet.

Yes, you read that right folks. I am going to do something hardly anyone has ever done, except for most music critics and kids who have a lot of time of their hands.

About Years & Years

Right simply put, they are a British Electronica band and consist of 3 people. They used to have more, but now they don’t. Their music style is pretty smooth, misxing R&B, HipHop and smooth eDM.

About Communion

I know absolutely nothing about this other than it should be really bloody good.

Here’s why:

Take Shelter: Great dance track with a pretty decent video. Love the sound and they’re able to effectively bring in lyrics into what is essentially a dance track. They don’t overpower each other, which is a nice change from the norm.

King: currently one of their biggest hits and you can see why. A bunch of gyrating adrogynous white people. What’s not to like? Also it is a good song.

The Score

Lyrics: 7/10

For an eDM or dance band their lyrics are top notch. However I try to keep it genre neutral so overall they get a 7. Doesn’t mean they’re bad, just that they can’t compete with people like Childish Gambino or Kings of Leon.

Music: 8/10

Highly underrated band when it comes to their sound. Some reviewers call them the rebirth of British eDM now that Disclosure got all commercial, but most gloss over the fact they are slightly reinventing the sound of British dance.

Vocals: 8/10

Great singer. Looks like a dandy, probably is one, but who cares. The guy’s got a great voice and coupled with a decent songwriting skill, he’s a winner.

Overall: 8/10

Conclusion

When it comes out, I suggest buying it. I really do.

How to get it, well here’s some of their official links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YearsAndYears

Website: http://yearsandyearsofficial.com/

You can also find them on streaming music services like Deezer. I am currently in China and all music streaming services not from China are blocked. So…

Peace.

[Review] after the quake – Haruki Murakami

After the Quake cover courtesy of Goodreads

Everytime I read a Haruki Murakami book, I tend to think on why I made certain life decisions and then I call my mum. He’s got that effect on me for some reason.

So I decided to call my mum first before I open this book. Still called her again after I finished it two days later. Damn you Murakami.

Synopsis (edited from Wikipedia)

‘after the quake’ is a collection of 6 short stories, written between 1999 and 2000. First published in Japan in 2000, it was released in English as after the quake in 2002 (translator Jay Rubin notes that Murakami “insisted” the title “should be all lower-case”).

The stories focus on the aftermath of the ’95 Kobe earthquake from different people’s perspectives. It is a crafted emotional piece that incites true emotion rather than bewildered wonderment. (my own interpretation, not Wikipedia’s)

In detail

The six stories are as follows:

  • UFO in Kushiro
  • Landscape with Flatiron
  • All God’s Children Can Dance
  • Thailand
  • Super-Frog Saves Tokyo
  • Honey Pie

Murakami uses his characters to build the story rather than a narrative or lengthy back story. His forays into the supernatural are not random, but not as structured as other writers.

Take for instance the Super-Frog story. I spent most of the time wondering where he was going with this. Then I spent the rest wondering how this could even make sense taking into account psychosis and imagination. At the end I understood what he was trying to do – build a fantasy around an ordinary man and give him the power to save a city even if it is just within his mind.

Other stories are more emotional like Thailand, where conversation dominates. We’re never taken too deep into each character, but left to savour the moments of their lives. Therefore we never really know them, but still feel like we were part of something significant even if it is just for a moment.

If I had one complaint about the book, it was that it was too short. I understand this was a compilation, but I felt that each story could have become something greater, grander even, so that we could fall in love with each character the way we do with his other books.

So I recommend this to anyone who loves his writing and more importantly to those who understand that there is untold depth to characters, which we can never truly reach. Murakami never tries to reach it, but to give you an opportunity to glimpse, because he knows that it is enough to get us hooked on for more.

Rating: 8.5/10

You can purchase it on Amazon – both hardcopy or ebook. Good book stores should have it as well.

Peace.

[Review] Childish Gambino – Because of the Internet

Because of the internet album cover

The reason I took ages to review this album is because he didn’t put it on streaming services such as Deezer, which I use exclusively.

 

About Childish Gambino

If you don’t know who Childish Gambino (a.k.a Donald Glover) then I assume you don’t follow funny TV shows and hate music in general. He’s a comedian/actor/writer/musician. In short he’s super awesome.

To find out more

Because of the Internet

As far as album names goes this is probably close to my favourite for 2014. Simple, relevant and funny.

The who album itself is a reflection of someone who wants to do things unconventionally. Before everyone gets upset, I know there are others like him – Lupe Fiasco, etc, but I like Childish Gambino more.

His skill at taking the spoken word, giving it a catchy beat and then adding a contagious hook is like crack to my twisted mind. I’ve identified with his music since he released his tracks for free on his website.

This album reaffirms my almost childlike reverence for him in both music and film. His songs like “3005” and “Sober” had me silently contemplating my life and how I’ve lived it.

The other song that kinda makes me a bit too mellow by being too good is “Worst Guys” with a rather underrated rapper – Chance the Rapper. The lyrics make me think back a bit too far into my rather unpleasant life.

Anyhow here’s how I rate the album.

The Score

Lyrics: 8.5/10

Probably the best part of the album. His ability to connect with a random person through his lyrics has gained him a legion of die-hard fans (ie me).

“Between us, I think there’s something special, and if I lose my mental, Just hold my hand, even if you don’t understand, hold up” – 3005

This really gets me every time.

Music: 7.5/10

He’s a good producer and musician, but if there’s one part where he maybe loses out to the other rappers out there it is this. Decent hooks and some dope beats, but often lacks something to really stick in your mind.

A standout might be ‘Sober’, which is an amazingly tight tune.

Vocals: 8/10

Good singer, better rapper and great lyricist. It’s hard to judge vocals off rap music because they are here to blow you away with their voices. Their talent lies in the writing and being able to strong together great rhymes. Overall, he’s a good singer too.

Overall: 8/10

Conclusion

A definite must-buy if you already don’t have it. Since it’s not streaming you’ve got to go out to your music stores or pay for the digital copy.

Come on back to streaming Donald. You can do it!

Peace.

Laneway Singapore 2015

Laneway 2014

Back again

Did anyone go for the hipster festival Laneway earlier this year? Bet you did, because it was flipping crowded. This year they’re back again with some seems like an even more hipsterish line-up.

So why would anyone self-respecting person go for this? Because they’ve got some really good bands coming down to counteract the super hipster-ness of the festival. That’s why.

Who’s coming?

  • Angus & Julia Stone
  • Banks
  • Chet Faker
  • Courtney Barnett
  • Eagulls
  • Enterprise
  • Fka Twigs
  • Future Islands
  • .Gif
  • Hanging Up The Moon
  • Jungle
  • Little Dragon
  • Lykke Li
  • Mac Demarco
  • Pastel Lite
  • Pond
  • Royal Blood
  • Rustie
  • St. Vincent

Why am i going to go?

I love me some St Vincent, Chet Faker and a few others and really like festivals for some reason. Despite the dirt, stupid people and sweat.

The detailsSaturday 24 January – SINGAPORE – THE MEADOW, GARDENS BY THE BAY

Buy tickets here: eventclique.com and sistic.com.sg

Peace.

My Life, music and why I stopped for a while

Wethefest
We The Fest stage

My Life

I’ve been busy being an adult for a bit. I still went to concerts and festivals though. Music and books are still an integral part of my life, but keeping a journal about these experiences took a backseat for some reason.

I say some reason, because there isn’t a specific main reason for it all. I’ve been working late hours, trying to keep my relationship alive and failing at many things all at once. So I decided I had to focus on staying afloat until I got everything back on track.

Music still goes on

Djakarta Warehouse rocked
Djakarta Warehouse rocked

I’ve been really lucky to catch small concerts and occasional massive festivals. After I ruined my health in Jakarta in August, I was back again in December for Djakarta Warehouse Project. This pretty much sums its up – Adventure Club rocked so much and Steve Aoki is pretty bad.

The rest of the trip is hazy. Alcohol was a common theme along with a bad movie and no sleep. However the memories I do have meant it was a good trip.

Instagram Gina
Me with Asians and white people

Anything else

Yeah, I want to keep doing this. I still read a lot and still listen to heaps of music. In fact I’ve found more awesome bands, but I still don’t have the time to commit to it.

So this might be my last for a little while and in the meantime have a great New Year and say goodbye to 2014.

Peace.

 

We The Fest 2014 – What you should know

We The Fest Header

 

So We The Fest is coming up real soon. I thought I’d share some interesting facts, things to know and other stuff. You’re welcome.

So here’s a shortened playlist for the festival. I think there are some really good bands and acts coming down. So give it a listen.

Here’s a map of the venue for those who bought tickets. You really need to have this on your phone.

We The fest

 

So again, if you’re interested you should check this out.

Website & Facebook

Peace.

 

WE THE FEST – GOLDROOM

Goldroom

So I’ve been listening to the We The Fest playlist a lot. A standout for me has got to be Goldroom.

His breakout song was “Fifteen” featuring the super awesome Aussie Chela (Google her), which launched his career globally. I have a feeling his music will really set the vibe for the upcoming We The Fest.

Here’s an awesome remix of “Fifteen” to get excited.

Goldroom feat. Chela – Fifteen (Oxford Remix)

So I’m excited needless to say. If you get a chance, give it a listen.

 Goldroom – Embrace

So hope you guys make it for We The Fest.

Peace.

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