7 Albums Getting Me Through Lockdown

When the going gets tough, we all have something that we fall back on. It might be exercise, reading, eating, or all of the above. For me, music has brought the most comfort . Of course, lockdown playlists are in abundance, not to mention listening parties and Instagram live sessions. James Blake’s live streams have been a particular favourite of mine, and I finally got involved with #TimsTwitterListeningParty – I can’t wait for a run through of The Horrors’ Primary Colours record! It really makes me long for more listening parties in the future.

I have made my own playlist; Quarantunes – ever the creative, I know. I am not sure if the tracks necessarily go together, but I have tried to keep some sort of flow. Starting with upbeat pop hits, leading into some more indie tracks, then all sorts through to some classics from earlier decades. It might not all make sense, but it really just makes me happy. Of course I am still spending a lot of time listening to Vinilo Record Store’s constantly growing ‘music to get you through’ collection, a great mix of songs I love as well as some new finds. At times I have found myself diving into these new finds and discovering whole albums that I now just can’t do without.

Continue reading “7 Albums Getting Me Through Lockdown”

LIVE REVIEW: Jamie xx @ Brixton Academy

Originally posted on Noise Cannon: http://noisecannon.com/2015/10/19/jamie-xx-o2-academy-brixton/

jamiexxx

Jamie Smith has always had a modest air about him, from his work with The xx to his latest solo project as Jamie xx, he’s not one to boast. Neither is he one to talk to the crowd, much less to anyone else. However, he is one to stick it to the crowd, with a careful selection of music that he absorbs himself in to. Smith’s lack of vocal interaction puts all focus on the music, and as he mixes those records, the anticipation lies in where the song is going to go. It is perhaps this that has earned him a sold out show at Brixton Academy as part of his In Colour tour.

Opening with a reworked version of ‘Sleep Sound’, the crowd roar as every beat is pounded with a bass that shakes the floor and makes you feel downright dirty. Smith’s absorption in the music is resounded through the room, his energy bouncing back on the crowd. There’s no surge to the front of the stage, there’s no violence, everyone is quite literally all under one roof, raving. Smith holds a very strong presence, but you don’t need to look to the stage to realise it – it’s felt in every beat, every strobe of light, every ecstatic smile you see on the faces around you.

Every track played is mixed into oblivion, offering surprises left right and center, keeping us on our toes, and even ‘Good Times’ – with its general mixed reception among Jamie xx fans – goes down a treat. To pick a weak point is hard, and to be honest, being overly analytic of the night proves a struggle as Smith’s performance is almost hypnotic at times. It’s easy to think of these kinds of shows as glorified DJ sets, but you’d be sorely mistaken to think this is a lazy man’s game. The sheer thought put into how to mix up each song is unimaginable, and then maintaining the crowd’s interaction without forced humour – this is a movements show, with dancing bodies holding more of a seal of approval than any amount of cheering.

The crowd only slows towards the end, in appreciation as opposed to boredom, as the subdued ‘Loud Places’ softens the blow of a heavy night with confetti filling the room. It’s almost as if everyone feels the need to take a snapshot of the night, just before ‘Girl’ kicks in to close the night, and the movement ensues.

SINGLE REVIEW: Jamie xx – Gosh

Originally posted on Noise Cannon as part of the Noise of the Week feature (30/03/15): http://noisecannon.com/2015/04/05/noise-of-the-week-300315/

One of Jamie xx’s most recent releases, ‘Gosh’ is a much more grimey affair than ‘Loud Places’, which shared its premier slot on Radio 1 last week.

Opening with a consistent thrash of beats and several vocal lines of “oh my gosh”, it might come across robotic and a bit repetitive at first, but you’ll soon be playing it any chance you can. Halfway through, the song plunges into an ethereal state of sound that could fill a room of any size with pure ecstasy. Overall it’s a different vibe to ‘Loud Places’ but maintains a space on your summer playlist nonetheless.

SINGLE REVIEW: Jamie xx – Loud Places (Noise Cannon)

My contribution to the Noise Cannon’s “Noise of the Week/#NOTW” 23/3/15
Originally posted on Noise Cannon: http://noisecannon.com/2015/03/29/noise-of-the-week-230315/

Our top noises this week feature a slightly moody dance number from Jamie Smith of the The xx, otherwise known as Jamie xx. If his latest singles are anything to go by, his upcoming album is going to be a blitz of dance energy with everything from grime to soul thrown in there too. If this isn’t your thing, we have the experimental trials of Turnover as they follow the shoegaze trends, creating another track that may well be the soundtrack to your summer. Alternatively, we have a track from We Are Harlot, and despite featuring Danny Worsnop as their front man, they are definitely nothing like Asking Alexandria – take that as you will. Continue reading “SINGLE REVIEW: Jamie xx – Loud Places (Noise Cannon)”