Pap Pa Pa - Sound the trumpets (< they’re what that was meant to be), it’s the return of King Winsabet the 3rd, strolling down from my ivory tower to once more sprinkle my soothsaying magic upon The Sound Of Confusion blog!
Sorry about that, I just fancied making a grand entrance. Those of you that have heard The Sound of Confusion/Conclusion in 2011 will probably already have a fair idea why I’m here – Kevin Wright has set me a challenge! No doubt tired of me routinely rubbishing all his hard work, he’s put the boot on the other foot and ordered me to present him each Thursday (or so) with one band or artist that’s he’s never encountered. As tasks go it’s not an easy one – what exactly do you play the man who’s heard everything! For now though my luck appears to be in and I’ve found a couple of sources I can count on for new material, so I’ll be forwarding tunes to him until my secret wells runs dry (around the start of march I’d say!). The songs I submit may not all be to my own or your taste, but I’m hoping to get together an eclectic mix so stick with me and, with a bit of luck, you’ll find one or two you like. If you hate all of it – yes I do mean you James - then don’t worry, it’ll be your turn when I get sacked!
That’s the housekeeping done so let’s go for it. Here’s what ‘The Found Of Confusion’ has been up to in January.
The honour of being the first ever ‘Founder’ went to North East of England residents POLARSETS and they kicked us off in fine style. Put out via their own label ‘8 seconds records’, last spring’s debut release ‘Leave Argentina’ carried the hallmarks of a Two Door Cinema Club cut, all be it one that had been filtered through Crystal Castles mixing desk. Novembers follow up single ‘Morning’ adopted the same percussive acid house blueprint 808 State imported from Ibiza at the end of the 1980’s. A string of significant support slots (Everything Everything, Fenech Soler, Ellie Goulding) suggest 2011 promises much for this trio.
Week 2 saw us, by which I mean myself and you Kev’s faithful listeners, leave Tyneside and head north – waving at my house on the way through– to the welcoming arms of the City of Glasgow. This is somewhere we’re likely to revisit a few times in the coming months but on this occasion we were there to lend our ears to the warm melodies of WASHINGTON IRVING. Consistent with their Celtic roots this sextet (that is six right?) knock out folk infused indie rock, but let’s be clear it’s the good type rather than the Mumford and Sons variety. June’s ‘Little Wanderer, Head Thee Home EP’ was brimming with the kind of promise Stornoway showed during 2009’s uplifting Jools Holland appearance. Let’s hope Washington Irving can deliver where the Oxford lads have subsequently struggled.
Having had enough of the wintery streets of Govan and Maryhill, the decision was taken to get some sun on our backs, so we travelled across the Atlantic to Los Angeles and while we were there took the opportunity to get better acquainted with hip-hop MC and producer BLU (at the special request of our North of England Correspondent!). 2007’s skilfully crafted ‘Below The Heavens’ album, made in collaboration with fellow producer/rapper Exile, blended soul and jazz and bestowed on Blu a reputation as the most respected new voice on the hip-hop underground scene. Since then he’s maintained a relatively low profile preferring to hone his skills through a series of mixtapes. This year’s greatly anticipated solo debut however, working title ‘NoYork’, could see him crowned as the heir apparent to Nas and Mos Def’s brand of thought provoking lyrical street-hop.
The final week of January led us back to where we began for a get together with Newcastle’s LANTERNS ON THE LAKE. More informed observers than me have drawn favourable comparisons with the work of Mazzy Star and Sigur Ros, and it’s difficult to argue with their assessment. Be it the woozy berceuse that is recent single ‘Lungs Quicken’ or the haunting simplicity of ‘I love you sleepyhead’, ‘Lanterns’ coax out fragile melodies that slowly unfold, perfectly underpinning the worldly wise breathless vocals of lead singer Hazel Wilde. Having recently signed to Bella Union (home to Sound Of Confusion favourites Beach House) 2011 should bring about the release of their debut album to augment the assortment of tracks already lighting up the blogosphere.
Found Of Confusion - Summary
06/01/2011 – Polarsets: ‘Morning’
13/01/2011 – Washington Irving: ‘Sisi’
20/01/2011 – Blu: ‘Departing Flights’
27/01/2011 – Lanterns On The Lake: ‘I Love You, Sleepyhead’
For further information on each of the bands click on their name.
This article, complete with different videos, also appears here