…we are we are we are festive
We are supposed to be all festive at the moment, are we not? Well don’t party too hard or you may need to enter into some kind of rehabilitation facility in the new year to atone for ones sins. Oh who am I kidding? Go nuts but make sure you look as pretty as this whilst you are at it.
Model-Miss Anna Rennie
Clothes-Stylist’s and Model’s own
…the end is nigh, nay it’s today
We are getting mighty close to the end of the naughties, and I’m a little relieved. I mean, it has been great, but for the decade that bought us Big Brother, Idol, more George Bush than we wanted, too much war, a few really big fires, storms, earthquakes and tsunamis, I will shed no tears. It has been a frivolous decade where things have become too expensive, and human life not valued nearly enough. The 90s had activism and the internet and a touch of hope, but none of that is exciting anymore. We managed to become terrified of money in the Global Financial Crisis, but we are still not scared enough of what our planet will become if we don’t change our ways. So I say goodbye to 2009 thankful that old George Dubya is long gone, that people can still carry on after their world is swept away by disaster, and feeling pretty worried that just being a human on this planet makes us all complicit in our own destruction. Makes you a bit sad hey?
…no more sighs thankyou very much
Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More, Universal Records
available at all good music retailers or on iTunes for $16.99
I happen to love the banjo very much; strum me a few chords on one of those silly little instruments and I will do anything for you. Well almost anything. If you ask me to fall in love with Mumford & Sons debut album Sigh No More, then I will most definitely do what you ask. After all, you are not asking much because this record is tres’ lovable and oozing with banjo strumming.
Now look, just so you know up front, there is no way I can be a partial judge here. These boys are British, Londoners born and bred, they make lovely indie folk music and all four of the band’s members are very very cute. As I have already said, I have a weakness for the banjo, but among my many other weaknesses, cute British boys and indie folk music are pretty high on the list. I also go weak in the knees for Brazilian men doing anything at all, but anyway I digress.
So, indie folk music hey? Basically there are a bazillion different artists out there from all reaches of the globe who are making delicious indie folk tunes. Most well known would be those such as Sufjan Stevens, Devendra Banheart and the group Bon Iver. There is a little known (well here at least) Canadian group called Port O’Brien that are pretty rocken.
What I look for in a really great indie folk album is a mix of slow and melancholy and tracks that have such rushing crescendos that they grab you by the heart and pull you forward into musical bliss. Well the track I Gave You All pretty much ticks both boxes. Marcus Mumford has an amazing vocal strength that holds raw gritty emotion; you believe him when he sings of his heart being ripped away. These guys are making the kind of music that you don’t hear, you feel. The standout song for me has to be Little Lion Man which you should just listen to because it is that amazing. It is a four minute song that I wish went for twenty drawn out minutes. The chorus calls out to us “…it was not your fault but mine, it was your heart on the line, I really fucked it up this time, didn’t I my dear? Didn’t I?” begging forgiveness and laying it all out for us to see. The banjo goes wild, behind a quick guitar riff and a wall of vocals; I get the shivers this song is so good. This track would be great live, as I don’t see how an audience could resist being worked up into a frenzy.
These boys are clever; with good lyrics backed up by guitar, organ and banjo they have produced an album that I will be listening to for a long while to come. It has substance and has obviously not been rushed out. It is well produced, with just the right amount of everything to get a good balance in each track. Even if you think you may not like this album, I urge you to have a listen and you may just be surprised. But hey, like said, I am no impartial judge.
Mumford & Sons will be playing two shows at Oxford Art Factory on Feb 2nd and 3rd which are sold out but if you can get your little hands on tickets lucky you. They are also playing the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney if you are going.
All text by Samantha Murdoch except where stated
All images by Samantha Murdoch except Sigh No More cover, courtesy of Universal Records
Merry Christmas, have a great new year everyone. Next post will be from the coastal region of northern New South Wales. x