Monday, 17 September 2012

Lady Hawke's Anxiety :Recorded on The North shore and in England-- And Yes its giving me anxiety ...Not!!!

An album that delivers a groovy, upbeat, feel-good vibe in which the mix of instruments and modern sounds in the songs work well with Pip Brown’s smooth, strong voice.

Her songs tend to start off with a contagious beat and calming vocals, and then build up into catchy choruses you would sing along to when pottering round your house or cruising in the car. Though your body starts with a toe tap, before you know it you are giving a good old Kiwi head bang (though it's more of a side to side than the classic rock up down motion). That being said, Anxiety doesn't feel repetitive. The separate elements in each song make for a full and successful album, and the lyrics portray messages about life, relationships, questions asked, and stories told.

 In the album's titular song, Ladyhawke sings, 'Take me on a ride, show me how to hide the voice in my head', and is a personal favourite. 'Quick and the Dead' has a kind of army march beginning that is repeated in the second verse, and quickly gets stuck in your head. Songs like 'Blue Ryes' and 'We'll Find You' allow the listener to imagine how much of a good performer Ladyhawke would be live – and we'll get to see for ourselves when she comes to Perfect Storm in July. 

As a young singer/songwriter myself, I find Ladyhawke very inspiring – and I look forward to her developing and growing. Even the album cover is interesting, featuring a drawing of Ladyhawke with miniature Ladyhawkes entangled in her hair, alongside bugs, feathers and other bits. Perhaps it reflects ideas and symbolic pictures for the meanings she holds in her head, or entangled in her hair? I think it reflects her simplistic yet multi dimensional album, which I very much recommend is worth getting your hands on. Support New Zealand artists.

Written by Laura Hunter

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Clap Clap Riots' "Counting Spins" = Rock with Attitude

An album review of Clap Clap Riot's
Counting Spins 

Clap Clap Riots debut album Counting Spins has been finished to an extremely high standard that demands respect. Any rock musician or rock fan knows that budgets are tight and sales are down so when a flawlessly produced album drops its serious stuff. I also vividly remember catching the members talking about how they financed the album by the dearest mother getting a bank loan which I had real respect for. To me this album reeks of well spent money that is undeniably world-class. The actions of the young men to carve out such a strong album with a lot on the line is impressive. Pressure who needs it. 

From the "Kasabian-esque" guitar tone and thundering bass drum of opening track "Holiday" a dynamic rock sound erupts from my speakers. For a second it causes me to abruptly think about Clap Clap Riot as a band objectively. I personally believe it's important to note their original approach is direction that is not strictly commercial or alternative but somewhere in-between which is better. I'm not saying that all NZ bands aren't original but unique pieces of art in NZ music in most cases aren't always truly realized. I personal believe that being located so far away from any real music hot-spots globally NZ bands do have a tendency to follow instead of lead .However, the wickedly phased guitars and gated claps of "Moss-haired girl" are a testament to a band that flourishes under the imaginative pressures in the studio. Once in full swing "Moss haired girl" really comes alive chugging along like a testosterone fueled Ozzfest at it's peak. The solid groove and playful lyrics I strongly believe would do well on radio (perhaps not an obvious pick but a strong one nevertheless).

The evocative lyrics of Counting Spins also adds a great deal of weight to the L.P making for a great aesthetic experience. My favorite track based on lyrics is 'Forget You'. Clearly a therapeutic break up song the simple chorus "I won't forget you baby" really hits home. This song really has a strong feeling of emotion within it. By listening to the song I actually feel a feeling of genuine love in the singers voice and that maybe overly romantic but I definitely think that he's working out some heavy emotional issues because "he's so cold- so cold". 

As a rock music fan I know that there is always a struggle to keep up with pop musics boundary pushing production level standards. Maria and the diamonds latest album and Katy Perry's music are a testament to the level of U.S/U.K's music production prowess. Fortunately Counting Spins is easily equal. It's first single 'So You Say' has achieved fantastic results of heavy rotation on all the major radio stations in NZ and has stormed the itunes rock charts for multiple weeks. I highly recommend this album!.