An Open Letter To All Music Lovers …

28 05 2011


Memorial Day Weekend is that odd time where people think of vacations but if you’re anything like me, escape is a hard thing to do when that oddity called “work” doesn’t let you get too far away from the homestead.

No bother, I offer you two album releases that can help anyone escape their day-to-day and find a little sonic vacation worth taking.

Consider each of these offering, and forward-thinking soldiers in the world of music, young “veterans” of the industry that, for whatever reason, haven’t found the right audience for global recognition. Sure, CockNBullKid has gotten amazing press from the shows at SXSW, touring with Duran Duran in the UK and finding great radio love across the pond with folks like Huw Stephens but would anyone here in the states truly know this band beyond hearing the name and thinking it sounded like a badly placed expletive in conversation? And, OK, I’ll give it to you, Patrick Wolf has been a darling of the underground music scene, even finding major label push from his ’06 release The Magic Position, but where is he on the US media radar: sadly, not a blip I tell you.

An open request to US music lovers everywhere, take in these two 2011 releases: ADULTHOOD from CockNBullKid and LUPERCALIA from Patrick Wolf and for your consideration, add them to some of your best releases of the year. Why? See below …

Case in point, exhibit A: CockNBullKid. The album ADULTHOOD lilts winningly with interesting Brill Building-meets-Beach Boys-styled layers of melodies and harmonies (the first single release ‘Hold On To Your Misery‘, ‘Happy Birthday’ and the stunning ‘Distractions‘ bring this best to the forefront), wall of sound instrument production that could lull the most anxious busybody (check out the ode to Londontown second single ‘Asthma Attack‘ or ‘Yellow’ –’s ‘Song Of The Day‘ just last Friday to experience this at its finest) and all the while laying everything out to the listener with lyrics that sound all too familiar in an uncomfortably understandable manner (‘Bellyache’: “I never want to be the fool / A Fool in love / But that’s just what your making me / So we need to set some rules.”or the title track’s forlorn introspection: “Is this adulthood / Tell me when it starts / When it gets good.”).

The album is already three tracks deep with barely a chart position to be seen for the album or any of its already released songs. It’s an awkward ghost town of activity to give this album its due so here it is: it takes a nudge on the shoulder, a whisper in the ear, a plea from a unknown writer like myself to say listen to this. You won’t be sorry and make sure you spread the word from there.

Let’s not lose focus on our other fighter in the ring: Patrick Wolf. Wolf is an acquired taste. I can admit it. When the already mentioned THE MAGIC POSITION was released I couldn’t get into it. I tried. Mika and his debut major label release had already blazed a Freddie Mercury glitterati trail that same time that Patrick had already fanned the flames to and, sadly, left him behind holding the evidence but nothing to show for it.

Now fast-forward to late last year and my inbox received a spectacular mix of Wolf’s lead single ‘The City‘ from pop-on-the-edge producer Richard X and I was hooked. I got it. A troubadour with classically trained talents in piano, viola and more but carrying the vocal stylings of eighties-tinged Robert Smith-meets-OMD. He does this with care, not mocking. Attention to detail, not filling the space with knock-offs. The result on his new album LUPERCALIA are winning mixes of all this (‘House’ churns with strumming guitar-crescendo, ‘The Falcons’ plucks through a string and piano arrangement that like its namesake, soars.) and makes you want to go into your crates and find those albums of yesteryear that made you feel this way. Like you were experiencing something new but familiar.

That is a hard thing to come by and both these albums do it in spades and come up aces. So there you have it, an open letter with a pair of prizes at the end you won’t feel lost on.

ADULTHOOD is available on Moshi Moshi Records through Island UK and just dropped May 23. Listen to more about the band, aka Anita Blay, here.

LUPERCALIA finds its way via Hideout Records and you can pre-order a swanky signed version of the release here. Read more about his inspiration here.




One response

30 05 2011

I will definitely check these out. Although I have to say CNBK by far is one of the WORST names ever. EVERRRR lol. i feel like i should blush just saying it. But I’m down for a listen. Thanks D!!

%d bloggers like this: