Thursday, 3 September 2015

Frances - Let It Out

One of the problems of being a music junkie on the internet, but also having a very busy life outside of music, is that here at Breaking More Waves we simply don’t possess enough time to write about everything that we love (ok, we could sleep less, but trust us we survive on very little sleep anyway). The result is a blog that sometimes very much falls into type and doesn’t necessarily show the broader range of taste that we have. This week for example we’ve been listening to lots of Aphex Twin, Nils Frahm, Frazey Ford, Chemical Brothers and Hooton Tennis Club but you won’t find much mention of any of them on this blog (until perhaps some of them in our album's of the year posts in December)

Today we absolutely fall into the safety net. Frances has already been featured before on Breaking More Waves and new song Let It Out is exactly the sort of thing you’d probably expect to find here. It's a divinely pretty piano ballad that sounds a bit like Rae Morris and a bit like Oh Wonder, two blog regulars. With its oh-oh-oh lighters in the air chants and tears in my eyes emotion it also hints at some sort of Coldplay-esque stadium aspirations, that is if the stadium was actually a rather pleasant cafĂ©, church or seated velvet lined  club, which to be honest is where you're more likely to find us than the soul-sucking hollow emptiness of an arena / enormodome. Let It Out is taken from the new EP from Frances which is due on Communion Records on October 16th.

Frances - Let It Out

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Oh Wonder - Heart Hope

Let’s take a look at some of the comments on Oh Wonder’s Soundcloud for Heart Hope, their latest and last song that they have uploaded to the world wide web for their one year project to write, record and release one song every month:

“For fucksake. How is everything you guys make perfect?”

“Prettiest song yet, no question.”

“Best song, to end the best year of my life. Thank you Oh Wonder.”

“Can your music be any more perfect. Damn, you guys are so good!”

“This makes me want to cry, and then make pancakes.”

And that’s just the start of them.

When Ant and Jospehine started this project they surely could have had no idea of how people in different parts of the world, via the power of the internet, would fall for their music and find their homespun tunes so touching and so easy to relate to. But they have. And now this Friday there’s an album. It will be an odd one, because if you’ve been following Oh Wonder, you’ll already know exactly what to expect. 

Next are the gigs. Of course Ant and Josephine have played live many times before, but never together, and never with this huge surge of love from people who have embraced their songs. The shows are going to be incredibly exciting for everyone involved. We’re expecting a few tears to be shed  at their first gig - well, from this blogger anyway - on the  16th September at London’s ICA , which is completely sold out. 

If you haven't ordered the album yet, treat yourself and click here, but before that, if you haven't heard it yet, listen to Heart Hope, a wonderfully positive hug of a song. Sometimes, when the world's a bit shitty, when everything's getting on top of you, when everyone around you seems to be doing things bigger, better and more successful than you, it's important to have someone tell you that they love you. That's what we get from this song. Let it kiss your ears.

Oh Wonder - Heart Hope

Monday, 31 August 2015

Should We Go And See Sufjan Stevens At End Of The Road Festival?

When this year’s End of the Road Festival line-up was announced, our Twitter feed was full of people we follow tweeting with pant wetting OMG excitement about 1 thing: Sufjan Stevens. We follow a fair few people on the 140 character message social network site who probably consider themselves as ‘serious’ music fans and it seemed that for the vast majority of them this was live music reaching an emotional and orgasmic pinnacle; like their version of One Direction announcing a new tour. 

Now let’s be clear – we hate the concept of ‘serious’ music fans. Today the Line of Best Fit website posted this article, talking of how End of the Road consisted of “a brilliantly bizarre clash of musical delights filled with curveball surprise and careful regard for quality and the serious music fan.” Now let’s look at that article. There’s a picture there, which we assume was taken at a past End of the Road. Do those people look serious? Do they look like they are wallowing in depth and careful consideration? 

No; they look like they’re having fun. They’ve got big smiles on their faces. They’re enjoying themselves. Hurrah. ‘Serious music fans’ in not so serious now shocker.

You see, ‘serious’ music fans is a term that is frankly bollocks. What we think the term is trying to convey when used by music journalists is people with a certain sort of taste – a taste like their own, that has developed from having a longer, refined, deeper relationship with music over time, rather than a more casual / easy approach to listening. It’s the sort of taste that festivals like End of the Road Festival cater for, rather than say V Festival with a bill that includes the likes of Olly Murs, Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris. 

But what if we happen to like Ellie Goulding? (We do).  Can we no longer be deemed a ‘serious music fan’ because of our taste? Even if we listen to music in virtually every moment of the day we can, have been to thousands of gigs and over seventy festivals, have purchased thousands of albums and constantly obsess over music in the way that most men obsess over sex. Does that not makes us a 'serious music fan'? What if Sufjan Stevens doesn’t really do anything for us? (He doesn't - his songs are pleasant enough, but they don't move us in any way). Does it mean that we’re cast out of the elite club simply for having a different emotional connection to certain songs? 

If we are, well we’re fine with that. We prefer the term ‘passionate music fans’, or ‘knowledgeable music fans’ or maybe ‘well informed music fans,’ to ‘serious music fan’. If being a serious music fan means that we can only listen to artists deemed to be worthy by the music police, then we’re out. Everyone has different tastes – and that’s cool – but just because someone loves One Direction, Ellie Goulding, Little Mix and Justin Beiber, doesn't necessarily make them any less ‘serious’ about the music they love than someone who adores Sufjan Steven’s records. 

So will we be watching Sufjan at End of the Road? Possibly, yes. We’re interested to see if, as so many fans of his suggest, that his ‘sad ornate world’ will move us in the flesh. We're also interested in seeing how the songs from his new record, which is clearly a very personal and introspective piece, work on a main stage at a festival - a place that lacks those 2 characteristics of the album. And if it doesn’t move or engage with us, well there’s always the DJ in the forest. Maybe we can go and ask him to play some Ellie Goulding?

Sufjan Stevens - No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross

Jean Michel Jarre & Little Boots - If..! (Video)

It was with some sense of nervous trepidation that we pressed play on the new collaboration between Little Boots and Jean Michel Jarre. Little Boots is the artist we've written more about than any other on this blog and with Jarre, albums like Oxygene, Equinox, Zoolook, Magnetic Fields and Rendez-Vous hold a very special place in our heart. Kraftwerk is often held up as being the pioneering band of all the early electronic acts, but the sounds, textures and ideas that Jarre was using as far back as 1976 also still resonate today. Maybe Jarre isn’t talked about in such revered tones as Kraftwerk because he wasn’t considered as ‘cool’ as Kraftwerk? 

Well f*ck ‘cool’, f*ck whatever preconceived ideas you have of Jarre or even Little Boots (it seems some that some Jarre purists are a little upset about this song because for them, it’s too poppy and features vocals), because as far as we’re concerned If..! is a rather excellent piece of pop music. It sounds like Chvrches with an extra shot of extra bubble gum flavour, and frankly that’s no bad thing. Well done everyone involved. 

No idea about the video though.

Jean Michel Jarre - If..!