Monday, 22 April 2013

Playing Catch Up - New Sounds

Oh time, where the heck do you go these days? One day we're still deep in winter, shivering in rented flats and buying plane tickets for far off excursions, and suddenly you wake up in the morning and it's almost May and you're in a new room, commuting to a new office and everything is odd and new, though it only feels like an eyelid has flickered shut for a brief moment.

One thing that might have aided this sudden rush through to the future (besides big location changes in life, settling in and all the rest of it), is the sheer amount of music coming through at such a high standard, which takes a while to fully digest. In the past few months I've done a fair bit of time travelling - I've relived what it feels like to go to a gig when everyone feels young and un-ironically sings their hearts out to every lyric and it all ends in a sweaty pile of slippery floorboards and soaked-through t-shirts (The Cribs at 100 Club). There have been the Next Big Thing shows - packed into Dalston buzz bars, crammed between video cameras and photographers lining the front row as they crane their cameras to get just one. more. defining shot, when all you want to do is get a decent view and have some fun watching a band who might not return to such a small capacity again (Parquet Courts at the Shacklewell Arms). And then there is the future: down at the bottom of a small tucked-away alley, TV screens flickering in time to music, dancers you can only just catch the tips of over a crowd of tall men, lights flashing like urgent sirens, half the audience forced to listen from the street as you get the sense you're missing something spectacular as the music bends through the window outside (Vision Fortune at Protein Gallery).

There were years when it felt like there was a lot of space to fill, sounds yet to discover and audible yawns in record shops. Now, it's coming back, streaming around the globe, ideas being shared and live bands that stop you in your tracks. Patti Smith recently said, "I'm sure that each generation could say that their time was the best and the worst of times, but I think that right now we are at something different... It's a pioneering time because there's no other time in history like right now... it is a time of the people, because technology has really democratised self-expression. Instead of a handful of people making their own records or writing their own songs, everybody can write them... everyone has access". It does feel as though there is a lot to write about, to write for, to put a little part of yourself out there, no matter how scary. In the past year or so games have been upped, and it's not just about drinking beers, uploading photos and hoping for the best anymore.

To summarise this somewhat uncalled for, introspective ramble that verges on a tiring diary update, here are some recent songs that I have been enjoying, and that serve to show that there is a new wave of gripping music that seems to be unfolding constantly... (and hell, it makes the Tube commute a little brighter every morning).

Terror Bird - The Wrong Way

Vision Fortune - XIV

Hookworms - In Our Time

Theo Verney - Moving Forever

Parquet Courts - Stoned and Starving

More to follow soon.