- Owner/Music Critic of The Last Mixed Tape
Music critic and blogger based in Dublin, Ireland Stephen White owns and runs TheLastMixedTape an Irish-indie music blog. Recently nominated for Best Music Blog at the Irish Blog Awards 2014 & Best Music Website at the Web Awards 2014.
- music writing, mixtapes, music blogging, music reviews
- rock, indie, music, film / video
Very New Order-like feel to the music. More could be made of the chorus, inclusion of more backing vocals or another melodic element etc, and more conviction in the main vocal itself. Dynamically grooving and the synth sounds fit the genre completely.
Strong rhythms and great movement throughout, the musicianship is outstanding. However, the vocal seems buried in the mix and doesn't stand out from the music in the way it should. Perhaps even a larger array of backing vocals would help give more weight to this element.
A strong foundation to this track, it has a rough alternative-folk charm to it that makes the song feel intimate. The problems really arise in the production, which is very weak. The mix doesn't do the song justice. Perhaps a James Vincent McMorrow or Bon Iver styled approach, where atmosphere is key, could work better and give the track more definition and relevance to the current alt. folk. scene. Also timing issue towards the end would need to be addressed.
Very interesting sounds, and energy to this track. However, the intro hangs to long on reputation and needs to be either shortened or given extra elements to keep the interest. Editing throughout the track could help too. Great atmosphere to the production and use of unusual melody and instrumentation.
Good shuffle and harmonies to the track, peppered with some flowing guitar interplay. The only issue seems to be a lack of heft in the production when the slide guitar and hand clap section arrives, it feels like that should be more dynamic.
Really like the mix of classical sample and synth beats, both work well together. Especially since there's enough grit & rhythm in the rap to meld the two together, allowing the words to pave right through the mix.
Bestrides the experimental and electronic divide very well. The track keeps enough control over the array of ideas and creative expressions that comprise it, to make for an interesting and never overbearing listen. Strong on ideas, and strong on execution.
The minimalist electronic sound and slow gradual build of of 'Anomalies' makes the track feel more cinematic than conventional. Texturally strong, the song makes great use of the space and time created by it's own length, with the sudden glitches making a palpable impact on the song when they enter.
Straight-up rock 'n' roll with a hint of indie-pop. Does what it sets out to do, could do with a little more grit in the overall production/sound, but the upfront fast-paced nature of the track is very appealing.
There's a peppiness to 'I Want To Know' that is held together well by hooky choruses and enough indie-pop edge to never let it fall into overtly safe pop-rock territory. The grit in the song's backdrop is the key to it's success as a track, fitting in with the current garage/indie-pop scene. The video however, was incredibly distracting and awkward. While the social media aspect is an understandable concept, it will date the music rapidly just by pure association. Perhaps a rethink of this stylistic choice is needed.
Funny, wry and off-kilter 'My Girlfriends Laptop' is an all or nothing type track that either you commit fully to it's unique take on electro-pop or not. But with it's pulsing multi-elemental synth sound and simply daft lyrics it's hard not smile at it.
Very strong electronic backdrop and heavy synth lines that give a real weight to the song's stylised production. The track definitely keeps in with the synthpop/electronic movement that's take place at the moment. The only issue with the track is it's length. While there are palpable changes throughout, there's a feeling that the track could be cut down to something that feels more concise.
Strong piece of swirling, gritty alternative-country rock in the vain of Steve Earle and Ryan Adams. Although the production works quite well, I think with a bit more heft sonically and lo-fi grit on the edges the overall sound would benefit. Thus creating more shade and background to the music, while also moving into a more stylistically pointed territory.
A strong hook-laden synth-pop track with a well defined textural and dynamic change from verse to chorus. With the multi elemental electronic production and full-on percussive flourishes the song certainly sticks and moves from section to section. A highly stylized single that meets the promise of earlier tracks from The Dø like 'Slippery Slope'.
A vibrant piece of funk-pop music, Graham Alexander and band seem to through the kitchen sink at 'She's Chameleon' with all the soul, funk and R&B influences of the musicians coming to the fore in way that sounds fun and honest. Although, perhaps a more succinct or shorter running time would have benefitted the track overall and given it the "punchier" soul single feel.
Harmonically and melodically dense the song uses expansive layered vocals to merge the ethereal folk flourishes of Fleet Foxes with the more experimental aspects of the genres seen from bands like The Barr Brothers or even Ireland's Carriages. Deftly produced, Phosphorescent put enough of themselves into the minimalist tone of the music to come up with something engrossing and relevant.
Quick, succinct and pushed forward by fast-paced indie-rock sensibilities 'Your World' carries with it all the gritty energy of early Strokes records. Crunching guitar and tight drumming underscore the listless vocal perfectly giving Los Waves a strong foundation to build their percussive sound around. A perfect piece of straight forward indie-rock that embraces and augments its influences.
A solid take on the alternative-rock/pop genre. The syncopated rhythm of 'Catapult' pushes the track forward at a pace, while the stylised production aesthetic more than suits the band's sound. Most impressive, are layered harmonies and subtle guitar textures that appear and re-appear throughout the song. Also the succinct running time of the track, coupled with the constantly changing landscape of the music create an engaging experience that does out stay it's welcome. However, while the song does have a slight edge to it the introduction or further exploration of the aforementioned textures could result in something that has more atmosphere and sense of place. Something that 'Catapult' lacks. Although the signs are there that Birds Over Arkansas can expand and give more depth to their sound. An entertaining and harmonically rich song that hits all the genre expectations.