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Brand New Music Download Service for October – Sky Songs

 
By on Tuesday, 27th October 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

Sky Songs (side)We have to face it. The music industry has gone through some ridiculously rapid changes over the last few years – most of which have had lasting, undoubtedly detrimental effect on artists. Physical record sales have tumbled to an all time low. We even witnessed the practical extinction of the CD single back in 2008. The reason for this, as we all know, is the fact that the majority of music lovers are now heading to their shiny PCs and Macs when seeking out their records. Don’t get me wrong – there is absolutely nothing wrong with this new, exciting musical medium. The major problem we are facing right now, however, is the amount of internet users choosing to do this illegally.

Illegal file sharing is affecting artists across the world – old, young, big and small. Record companies are losing money. So are those bands that create the all-important music. Upcoming artists looking to make it, well, they have a tough battle ahead. If we’re not careful, one day, there will be no new music coming our way. We have to ask ourselves, why are we risking inhibiting the next Beatles, Blur or, heck even Blue from getting signed?

Thankfully, there are an ever-increasing number of digital services out there trying to sort this scary situation out – Itunes, We7, Spotify, you name it. The latest musical innovation, however, comes in the form of Sky Songs. This super simple, in-browser service is set on changing the way we listen to and recieve our music, while at the same time, combating devilish file sharing.

So, how does it work? Well, for the cost of £6.49 a month, Sky Songs subscribers can download either an album at said price, or 10 songs of their choice. You can also grab a £7.99 subscription, which similarly allows you to download an album of that price, or 15 hand-picked tunes. Your downloaded tracks can then be stored and kept forever, and are completely compatible with iPods and other MP3 players. Yay!

However, perhaps the greatest thing included in either subscriptions’ price is the ability to stream over four million, ad-free songs online for one month at a time. Listen to the back catalogues of the likes of EMI, Universal and Sony, as well as a selection of awesome independent labels, all at the click of a mouse. The music on Sky Songs is crystal clear, and the site’s streaming player generally provides a fun listening experience.

One thing I’d criticise Sky Songs for is their current lack of packages. The ability to purchase and keep just one album a month is not exactly an exciting prospect to draw us in. I’d really like to see some sort of subscription which allows the user access to unlimited monthly downloads. Admittedly, this would be pricey, but at least it would totally tempt us from hitting the plethora of file sharing sites. However, on the upside, if you decided to purchase an album via Sky Songs over iTunes, you will have yourself the added month of free, ad-less musical streaming – get in!

Most importantly, we must remember that the Sky Songs service is a further step towards the complete dissemination of digital music LEGALLY. It is vital we embrace these organisations in order to prevent the damaging costs of file-sharing. So, while it is only a new service, and has certainly not reached the dizzying heights of perfection just yet, Sky Songs is certainly worth checking out if you’re a paying music lover.

To learn more, hit Sky Songs’ spanking new website.

 

In the Post #32: Marina and the Diamonds – Mowgli’s Road

 
By on Wednesday, 21st October 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

TGTF have been fans of Marina and the Diamonds for quite some time now. I even prefer her, quite frankly, to Florence and Machine, the fellow fiery-voiced female getting all the attention at the moment.

However, Miss. Marina hasn’t been doing too bad for herself of late. Live, she’s been spotted everywhere from Glastonbury to Reading festival, and she’s literally just got off the road from NME’S Radar Tour alongside Golden Silvers, Local Natives and Yes Giantess. On top of all that, next month shall see the Welsh singer release her first single with a major label, Warner Music Groups’ 679 Recordings.

Titled ‘Mowgli’s Road’, Marina’s upcoming offering is a 3 minute shot of kooky pop, filled with mystical ‘cuckoos!’, whistles, and creepy vocals. Zig-zagging synths gyrate in the distance of the verses, as Marina’s velvety rich voice recites fantastically odd lyrics over the top (“Ten silver spoons coming after me/One life with one dream on repeat/I’ll escape if I try hard enough/Till King of Jungle calls my bluff.”). The bridge slash chorus is similarly zany – a primitive soundscape of excitable harmonies and pounding drums. Think tribal-chant come soulful-electro. Yes, quite a combination – and quite a song!

Check out a live rendition of Marina and the Diamonds’ ‘Mowgli’s Road’ at the BBC, below:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfZUxsSOAqw[/youtube]

MP3: Marina & The Diamonds – Mowgli’s Road
MP3: Marina and the Diamonds – I Am Not A Robot

MP3: Marina & The Diamonds – Obsessions

You can pre-order a limited edition deluxe, signed 7″ copy of Mowgli’s Road now over at Pure Groove

 

Album Review: Little Red – Listen to

 
By on Tuesday, 20th October 2009 at 12:30 pm
 

Little Red (side)We first brought original doo-wop punksters, Little Red, to your attention last week. We loved the Melbourne quintet’s retro sounds, and following on from our introduction to the band, Little Red’s people were kind enough to send over their new album for TGTF to check out for you today.

‘Listen to’ is cool 30 minutes of nostalgic, perfectly-crafted bubblegum pop. Vintage harmonies effortlessly bound from the speakers, taking you back to the days of swinging polka dot petticoats. Throbbing bass lines provide an underbelly groove throughout the record. The soulful lead vocals often cross into the territory of Little Richard. The jangly guitar hooks, too, are pure sunshine.

On top of all that, the raw, lo-fi production gives the album a real sense of authenticity. It’s as if you’ve just discovered an awesome 50s L.P at the flee market, except it’s 2009, and these are five modern day punks merely embracing retro doo-wop sounds.

‘Coca Cola’ acts as the album’s fantastical opener. Fuzzy riffs, hand claps and excitable “AWOOS!” make it a doo wop delight. Track two, ‘It’s Alright’ is similarly swinging thanks to it’s screeching blues vocals.

‘Fool’ is a cute attempt at a modern-day ‘This Boy’ by The Beatles. ‘So Long’ and ‘Autumn Leaves’ are, too, such fantastically cliché retro ballads, they makes me feel as if I’m at a school prom, with Danny Zuko as my date.

The upbeat ‘Jackie Cooper’, is a hilarious little ditty with splendid splatterings of brass. ‘Speedo’, meanwhile, is a evidence of Little Red’s modern day edge. A dry, bass-led number, the track is still comfortingly tainted by those classic Beach Boy harmonies. ‘She’s Not The Only One’ is too, a little more rough n ready, with the guitar riffs undoubtedly taking a note or two from Barrett Strong’s ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’.

To conclude, ‘Listen to’ is a fun little record. It’s nothing revolutionary, of course. Most of the tracks are minor rip-offs of the big records of the 50s and 60s, but so what? I love how Little Red have took the influence of these nostalgic numbers and reinvented it for a whole new audience in the noughties.

‘Listen to’ is released upon the U.K November 16th. Pre-order over at Amazon, now

 

Bands to Watch #140: Ingrid Michaelson

 
By on Thursday, 15th October 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Ingrid Michaelson (side)New York singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson first started gaining a name for herself back in 2007, when the stripped back and super sweet ‘The Way I Am’ was featured on American medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Her delicate voice, kooky instrumentals and sweet sweet lyrics (“If you are chilly, here take my sweater. Your head is aching, I’ll make it better.”) captured the heart of the nation, and before Ingrid knew it, her music were scattered generously across big name US TV, featuring on everything from Scrubs to One Tree Hill.

Michaelson’s musical roots first began at the age of just four, when the budding pop star decided to take up piano lessons. Throughout high school, the Staten Island singer enlisted the help of a vocal coach, before finally heading off to uni to study theatre. Ingrid ultimately gave up her directorial career, however, and decided to pursue her true passion of music instead.

The first word which springs to mind when listening to Miss. Ingrid is “cute”. She has the softest, most endearing voice, which is backed up by gentle acoustics, dainty strings, and patty-pat percussion. Her music is folk-pop in it’s simplest, most serene form, and truly plants a smile upon the face – think the adorableness of Mascott, mixed with the richness of Feist. Like the sound of that? Well why not check out the official video to ‘Maybe’, below –

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKU3UuJhIxU[/youtube]

And be sure to watch out for an exclusive interview with Ingrid coming to There Goes The Fear soon!

 

Bands to Watch #138: Little Red

 
By on Monday, 12th October 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Little Red (side)Little Red are a Melbourne quintet who describe their sound as “original doo-wop punk”. I was stupidly excited by this fantastical musical concoction of a description. I was even more pumped when I got round to hearing their music.

It’s a rare occasion that a new band comes along and interests me as intensely as Lil’ Red. The band certainly do ‘doo-wop’ their way through nostalgically bouncy hits, casually adding an extra punky jangle of guitars, which, quite frankly, is a formula equal to audio sunny delight. Their super vintage harmonies and poppy 50s hooks really make you want to don a neck scarf and twist ‘n’ shout the night away – it’s Grease soundtracked by Stratocasters.

The element of indie riffs and thumping basses radiates Strokes-come-Vampire Weekend, while the excitable vocal screeches wouldn’t be out of place coming from Little Richard (Check out ‘It’s Alright’ in particular). No matter how cliché and overused the statement is, Little Red manage to take that bopping, old rock n roll sound, and turn it fresh and fun. They are like a lo-fi Beach Boys, dropped into the noughties and dressed in skinny jeans. If you haven’t already guessed, I really love these guys. Perhaps you might too.

Check out their new video for Waiting below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEXQA3kyc30[/youtube]

Alternatively, check out the official video to ‘Coca Cola’, below. Be sure to watch out for the band pulling shapes The Shadows’ would be proud of :

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OyCEDTeRmI[/youtube]

 

In the Post #31: The Chapman Family – Virgins

 
By on Wednesday, 7th October 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

I first introduced The Chapman Family way back in November of last year. I loved their energetic post-punk, tainted by a distinctive graveyard gloom which had Joy Division stamped all over it, It’s great to see that, one year on, the Teeside quartet are doing super well for themselves, with next week bringing about the release of second single, ‘Virgins’.

The Chapman Family continue to wreak audio darkness with their latest musical slice. Wavey guitars, thrashing drums and throbbing bass lines make up the melody to the monstrous ‘Virgins’. The sullen vocals are a little White Lies, while the poppy chorus hooks are uber Maximo Park. However, The Chapman Family add their own distinctively dark layer, which makes for excitingly intimidating listening. Indeed, ‘Virgins’ has an undoubted air of infectious passion. Frontman, Kingsley Chapman rigidly sings “Please don’t let us hold you back!”, over the thundering, gyrating bass, before a combustion of guitars and tom-tom thrashes bring about the musical climax at the end of the track. You must check out the official video to ‘Virgins’, below, to hear more of this super sinister stuff.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=causPkKlumg[/youtube]

Check out The Chapman Family’s MySpace page.

‘Virgins’ is released October 19th. Pre-order it over at Rough Trade now.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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