Woop, I return! I’m hoping this won’t be the one and only post I’ll do on this blog after my “countdown” ended, but we’ll see…
I have been dabbling with creating another blog, and maybe trying to amalgamate (great word) the two, but that’s too complicated for me at the moment, so while I have a mess around with that every now and again, I thought I’d do a petit (who am I kidding?!) post on here.
I want to talk about a couple of bands, and basically a whole genre of music, that I have been liking lately – electric/electronica/indie-electric/indietronic/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. The fact that I have developed a liking for these sorts of bands is a bit surprising to me; I definitely think of myself as a folk-pop-rock-indie gal and don’t venture into many other areas, other than the odd artist here and there. I suppose some clues were there – I liked MGMT, Empire of the Sun, the poppy-electric style of Ellie Goulding, and a lot of what you’d call modern ‘indie’ leans towards electric/alternative these days. But my enthusiasm for the genre has developed and increased lately.
The main culprit for this love is M83, whom I’m going to wang on about for a bit (you are warned). Not too long ago I bought their/his album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming because of Midnight City (RIDICULOUSLY overused, but I still don’t quite completely hate it… yet) and also the second single Reunion. Like a lot of great purchases, it was a bit of a whim. I had read a little about M83 – learning that they were originally a French duo but are now pretty much one guy – Anthony Gonzalez, and have had about five albums already. I like it when there is so much more to a band than some people would know. I bet the majority of people think they are some new indie-electronic band with a one-hit-wonder in Midnight City (I know I did to begin with), but oh no, there’s a whole back story. I’m sure there are thousands of people that already knew all about M83, but ANYWAY, back on track – other than the singles and the little I’d looked up, I didn’t really know what else to expect from this album, and at first I felt a bit overwhelmed – it’s a double CD with over 20 tracks. I always prefer a long album to a short one, but this was quite mammoth. I needn’t have worried, though; all 22 tracks are some degree of beautiful.
The first track that really grabbed me is called Raconte-Moi Une Histoire. It’s very bizarre, but for some reason brilliant. Although, very sadly, it’s already lost its original, new, brilliant shine, and I’m now a bit too familiar with it. But, it’s alright, after, say, a year of not listening to it, I might be able to get back some of the original brilliance (this is the warped relationship I have with music, unfortunately). The bizarre element comes from the reading of a ‘story’ by a little girl that plays over the music. It’s a psychedelic account of encountering a frog, and the sickly-sweet tones of the (American-accented) girl are rather irritating, but it’s the music behind it that is genius. I am always one to appreciate melody and music rather than the lyrics. For me, music is about the sound, not really the words and meaning – how ironic considering my whole ‘words and music’ theme for this blog! FAIL! But anyway, the build-up (I’m sure there’s a better, technical music word for it – crescendo?!) is a whole load of awesome. I will have to post the video at the end of this post.
Apparently, M83 fall within what you call the ‘shoegazing‘ genre. Being a bit of a rookie when it comes to the music industry (although I like to pretend I’m not), I hadn’t heard of this genre before. Seemingly it’s a big deal; artists that like to ‘shoegaze’ include Kurt Vile, Smashing Pumpkins, Mazzy Star, The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Chapel Club and The Verve, and they’re only the ones I’ve heard of. Now we have ‘nu gaze‘ too, which includes Beach House, Crystal Castles, The Joy Formidable, Wavves, Yuck, The Horrors and Neon Indian. I’m not sure I’m definitely a nu gaze fan, but I am leaning towards it. I think my genre-du-jour is more ‘Indietronica’…
I’ve recently bought albums by Fixers, Alt-J and Passion Pit, all a bit electro-y, and the latter of which are included on Wikipedia’s Indietronica list along with some other artists I like (or think I like) – Ellie Goulding, Empire of the Sun, Friendly Fires, Grimes, Grouplove, Metronomy, MGMT, Miami Horror, The Naked and Famous, Neon Indian, Patrick Wolf, Purity Ring (LOVE Fineshrines and think I’m going to buy their album Shrines), Washed Out and The xx. They also list M83 here, too. It’s probably not very interesting to say I have started to like this sort of music recently, because I think this is just where the ‘trend’ in (indie) music is – most new, up and coming acts, like Grimes and Jessie Ware, are in this vein. But hey-ho, I like the way it’s going and I’m embracing it.
Thanks for reading, see you in two months again!?
Raconte-Moi Une Histoire by M83. Love the perfect rhyming of that title. Voila: