Photograph by Tom Beard

Photograph by Tom Beard

Upon hearing ‘Dominos,’ with its catchy hooks and electric vibe, I immediately thought here comes the next MGMT, an electro-rock duo that’s going to blow up with the kids and become so oversaturated in the music world that I’m going to end up hating them. Hot off winning the NME’s Philip Hall Radar Award for best new act earlier this year, I could see the hype machine moving full steam. After listening to their debut LP A Brief History of Love, I can see that I’ve picked the wrong band as a comparison. Perhaps it’s just the British accents, but to my ears I hear A Northern Soul-era Verve, and an Echo & the Bunnymen with electronic tendencies. This is good.

Single ‘Dominos’ actually shares little in common with the rest of the album, upfront and direct while the rest of the album is spacey. In the band’s words, this album is about the different facets of love, in which case ‘Dominos’ would have to be regarding the cocksure gaddabout strutting about town just before the inevitable fall. Likewise, other songs offer different scenarios and perspectives. ‘Love in Vain’ offers the tale of the other man begging his lover to stay. ‘Velvet’ finds a man moving on from a past relationship still haunting him. While several singles from earlier this year make a reappearance, the strength of songs like ‘Too Young to Love’ makes this easy to overlook.

There’s an honest, authentic feeling to the album. The vocals are emotional without sounding whiny, which in the hands of a lesser band could have been a misfire. The dreamy soundscape created by the juxtaposition of heartfelt vocals placed against droning guitars hits all the right spots. It remains to be seen if their momentum will continue, but the Big Pink have created a solid debut album, well worth the praise lavished upon it.

The Big Pink – Too Young to Love
The Big Pink – Velvet
The Big Pink – A Brief History of Love


— , September 3, 2009    1 Comment

The Big Pink

Seasons heavily affect the kind of music I listen to. For a few summers now I’ve turned to synth-driven electro, rock and pop to guide me through a variety of romps, walkabouts, dance parties, swims and trips. Synths feel like bright happy colours. I don’t really care about their rampant over-usage of anything and everything from indie to hip hop these days. They still make me giddy and amplify my summer experiences more than either Bang or Olufsen could. In this vein I’ve put together a playlist of lovely synth-esque music which I hope will be a nice companion to your Summer adventures.

Download | The ‘Summer in Synths’ Mixtape

01 | Gold Panda – Quitters Raga

One of the most interesting songs of the year so far, Gold Panda sample the distinct sounds of a sitar and fuse choral raga chants with gimmicky DJ chops and skips over top of a steady hand clap rhythm. It’s world music gone nutty, and while it may not be the best song to play at a party, it’s a nice headphone banger.

02 | The Big Pink – Dominos

“These girls fall like dominos,” Robbie Furze repeats on the British duo The Big Pink’s fourth single – wishful thinking, at least for this guy. The song’s got anthemic qualities and is sure to help the band blow before disappearing into Much Music’s “One Hit Wonders” territory. Good luck Big Pink, and thank you for this song that Blink 182 and MGMT are somehow both going to wish they’d made first.

Continue Reading ‘Summer in Synths’ Mixtape »

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— , August 12, 2009    11 Comments