In this consciously upbeat dedication to ambient pop and acoustic, Jassy Earl takes us through some of her favourite current tunes that will definitely make you want to forget about that crappy Thursday and retreat to the woods…
[ONE] Ben Howard – The Wolves
It may seem an obvious choice but raving earlier over Ben Howard’s debut, I was astonished to be deafened by replies of “who?!” If you haven’t heard of him yet, it begs the question as to whether you’ve been tracking down polar bears in the Hebrides or have indeed lost your hearing after too many night on Sauchiehall Street. His album Every Kingdom is an intimate beach side jam and a layering of folk and mainstream pop; a showcase of raspy voice and magnificent guitar virtuosity. It’s a sound comparable to Jose Gonzalez’ and is definitely about and beyond the hyper-popular appeal of Ed Sheeran. There’s believability and a raw emotional loading. The Wolves itself is haunting and soulful amongst complicated guitar patterns and military drum beats; and empowering antherm that should be the top of your Most Played list.
[TWO] Lucy Rose – Middle of The Bed
After supporting Ben Howard on Tour, Lucy Rose is one to look out for. She finished her A-Levels, lent her vocals toBombay Bicycle’s ‘Flaws’ and has continued to follow in the footsteps of Laura Marling and Emmy the Great, who have spurned a new generation of female singer-songwriters. Beautiful lyrics, acoustic melodies and a subtle husky tone loaded with beautiful harmonies and simple storytelling lyrics makes the track a catchy one. It’s also worth checking out Don’t You Worry – more sombre, but still magnificent.
[THREE] Dead Letter Chorus – Run Wild
Pure, unadulterated fun that will have you running around your room like a 5 year old on smarties. It’s another of those you need to see the video to appreciate its seduction and its ability to produce a delightful nostalgia. Dress up as a wolf, run around the Botanic Gardens with a pile of leaves shouting “da-dee-da” at the top of your lungs and scare those squirrels away. I know I want to.
[FOUR] Gotye ft. Kimbra – Somebody That I Used to Know
It’s a song that will have you undoubtedly hitting away at the replay button over and over again. A collaboration between the Belgian-Australian multi-instrumentalist and the New Zealander Kimbra, it’s true to say the subject matter isn’t the most uplifting but the innocent melodic xylophone and simple acoustic quality of anguish combine to send chills down the spine. Wait until Kimbra starts singing and you’ll definitely appreciate what all the fuss is about. With Gotye’s Sting like voice and Kimbra’s 1960’s soul quality, and a conceptually artistic video to boot, it’s one you won’t get away from easily.
[FIVE] Admiral Fallow – Old Balloons
Somewhere between Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons, with a wee bit of Sons and Daughters chucked in there; its folk charged with a buoyancy and richness amongst the electric pile of instruments; flutes, clarinets, double bass and violins. The harmonious collective of male and female voices, choral bombast and idyllic Scottish imagery (the sea, the sky, the rain), along with Louis Abbott’s imaginative storytelling and dulcet tones are sure to warm the ‘ol cockles on a chilly autumn morning.