Every now and again, I come across a record that has the power to make me perform a complete 180. That is, on the initial listen I’ll absolutely hate it, but over time come to love it more than my (as yet non-existent) children.
‘Something‘ by Chairlift is one of these records.
A while back, on first listening to PJ Harvey‘s ‘Let England Shake‘, I publicly decreed my dissatisfaction… then later had to humbly repent. I decided to learn from past mistakes and keep my gut reaction to ‘Something’ under my hat. And boy, did it pay off!
It seems there’s value in the old adage; “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Mainly because it allows you to skip the apologies when you later have lots of nice things to say!
Like most folk, Chairlift initially came to my attention by way of an Apple iPod commercial featuring their song ‘Bruises’ from their debut album ‘Does You Inspire You‘.
Between then and now, Chairlift have abandoned their icy indie in favour of punchy pop. Along the way they’ve lost a member but gained something much more valuable, a sense of fun.
That’s not to say ‘Does You Inspire You’ is a bad record. On the contrary, it’s an album I return to again and again. But, where ‘Something’ surpasses its predecessor is in it’s willingness to give front woman Caroline Polachek’s vocals free reign.
Although her vocals have always been front and centre, Polachek really shines on ‘Something’. One rarely hears such accomplished technical vocal ability sans auto tune. Don’t believe me? Listen to Chairlift live…
I’ll admit there are a few tracks on ‘Something’ that I’m not fussed on. However, there is always at least one moment or melody that is worth waiting for on every song, and band mate Patrick Wimberley’s production is flawless throughout.
What has also helped this record win me round are the band’s fantastic alternative promotional videos (see above regarding newly found sense of fun!). The Japanese version of ‘I Belong In Your Arms’ and karaoke style video are justification enough for the new fans Chairlift are no doubt winning.
And here’s another version of ‘Met Before’ with Mystery NYC girl group vocalists accompanied by fucked up bass guitar. Listen to those choral harmonies!
I’d strongly suggest anyone who initially passed on ‘Something’ go back for a second listen. I, for one, am really glad I did. And the record is all the more enjoyable without having to eat my own words!
Posted in Reading / Listening / Watching
Tagged aaron, actic, alternate, alternative, aran, arctic, arms, arran, arron, artic, before, belong, bruises, caroline, chairlift, does, in, indie, inspire, met, patrick, polachek, pop, something, video, videos, wimberley, you, your
Surprise! Here’s a free single called ‘Covers’ from my upcoming LP.
The LP itself will be called ‘Like Lovers’ and will feature plenty more dark and light little vignettes on love and relationships.
As promised, ‘Like Lovers’ will be mostly clarsach (small harp) based, but there are a few surprises and variations on the theme along the way.
Oh! And I made a video for ‘Covers’. It’s amazing what you can achieve in 30 minutes with a torch in a dark room!
If you like the song, the video, or both, do me a flavour and share it with your pals on Facebook… or something. If you hate it, give your enemies a buzz
I know this is a bit out of the blue. If it was an official type release I’d have buzzed the crap out of this free single for about 3 months leading up to its release. However, one of the nice things of being an independent musician is that I can do whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I feel like it
Accordingly, the full LP, ‘Like Lovers’, will be available at some point in the next few months. Who gives a rat’s tits about release dates? It’s ready when it’s ready!
Posted in Arran Arctic News
Tagged aaron, actic, album, aran, arctic, arran, arron, artic, clarsach, covers, dark, eerie, electronic, folk, folktronica, free, harp, like, lovers, lp, music, new, pop, single, upcoming
Welcome to the third edition of the Arran Arctic Podcast.
Apologies for the lack of website action over the last month. Podcast #3 delves into the cause of this, staying creative despite all the other bull squash going on in your life, personal and creative alike.
As well as some more fantastic, local Edinburgh music, I speak to Milo McLaughlin, creator of www.clearmindedcreative.com and the Ditch The Day Job Diaries. Milo has compiled a great list of creative resources at his website and has plenty more to say on how to stay creative in the podcast below.
Listen below (or you can subscribe to the podcast feed in iTunes)…
This podcast featured music from…
Smith Stevens - www.soundcloud.com/smithstevens
Lisa Rigby - www.lisarigby.bandcamp.com
Note: Express consent was received from each band before they were included
This podcast also mentioned…
The Clear Minded Creative
A Fight You Can’t Win
The Minister’s Cat
To download this podcast and listen at your leisure, right-click the file below…
Arran Arctic Podcast #3
Posted in Arran Arctic Podcast
Tagged aaron, acoustic, aran, arctic, arran, arron, artic, can't, cat, clear, creative, dark, day, diaries, diary, ditch, edinburgh, edition, electronic, electronica, fight, folk, independent, ireland, irish, job, kilmarnock, lisa, mclaughlin, milo, minded, ministers, northern, park, podcast, pop, rigby, scotland, scottish, singer, sky, smith, song, songwriter, star, stevens, unsigned, win, you