Mumford & Sons – The Cave

Posted by Sophie Stratford | Posted in Acoustic, Other, Rock, Sophie Stratford | Posted on 16-02-2010


Cover of The Cave by Mumford and Sons

Cover image of The Cave by Mumford and Sons.

Mumford & Sons have begun this decade much as they ended the last, with word-of-mouth recommendations and a fearsome live reputation helping them to become one of the most significant British success stories in recent years.  The band has already received enormous radio airplay, even including a place on the Radio 1 A-list.

Single The Cave is a pounding tale with lyrics of hope and defiance, starting with gently picked acoustic chords and this gradually escalates into a huge wall of sound with a myriad of strange and traditional instruments. 2010 is definitely shaping up to be Mumford & Sons year.

Released 1st March 2010.

By Sophie Stratford

Mika – Blame It On The Girls

Posted by Sophie Stratford | Posted in Electro, Sophie Stratford, Writers | Posted on 01-02-2010


Golden pop phenomenon Mika is releasing his brand new single Blame It On The Girls, taken from his acclaimed seconds album The Boy who Knew Too Much. The single is a massively happy slice of timeless, sing along pop bliss incorporating hand claps and floor stopping piano. Already a live hit Blame It On The Girls raised the roof at this year’s iTunes Festival. The single comes with fantastic mixes from mighty Wolfgang, Paul Woolford, Anorak & Starmith and an old-school video spectacular directed by acclaimed director Nez (who has shot promos for Lily Allen and Kid Cudi). This single is just another great track under Mika’s belt.

Released 15th February 2010.

By Sophie Stratford

Owl City – Fireflies

Posted by Sophie Stratford | Posted in Electro, Independent Music Finds, Sophie Stratford | Posted on 17-01-2010


Adam Young is the mastermind behind the music collaboration that is Owl City. Single ‘Fireflies’ has hit the No. 1 spot on the U.S Billboard charts in November 2009 and the U.S iTunes chart. It has also already sold nearly two million copies and is the fastest selling electronic track of all-time. Young has fashioned an elegant and seemingly effortless connection between fashionably arty, retro-nouveau electro pop and the kind of fresh-faced, sweetly melancholic hit factory songwriting.

Owl City pop has a purity of purpose – an innocence that breathes fresh air in to the electro-pop revival. It sounds like a sparkling wintry day in a place full of nature, rather than electronic music’s usual urban nocturnal vibe.  Fireflies makes a world of adventure to combat quietness and the boredom around you.

Released 22nd February 2010.

By Sophie Stratford

Patrick Wolf – Damaris

Posted by Sophie Stratford | Posted in Independent Music Finds, Other, Sophie Stratford | Posted on 03-01-2010


Patrick Wolf concludes a triumphant year with the release of the third single to be taken from his critically acclaimed album, The Bachelor – the powerful and beautiful, Damaris. The single is semi-autobiographical and centred on the loss of love, it was inspired by a tale discovered whilst Patrick went to seek out his English roots after a period of heartbreak and the ending of a relationship that was much documented in the song The Magic Position.

Tracing his father’s roots, in East Sussex, Patrick stumbled across a small wooden cross engraved with the name Damaris among the gravestones of his ancestors. From that moment he began researching who Damaris might be and it came about that the wooden cross told a larger tale then anyone could have imagined. Damaris was a gypsy or heathen, unwelcomed by the Catholic Church at the time. Lewis, the son of a priest, fell in love with Damaris and the two got caught up in whirlwind of forbidden love. The star-crossed lovers were forbidden to marry and Damaris is said to have died of a broken-heart (suicide).

Patrick related to these sentiments at the time and so narrated a song from Lewis’ tragically frustrated perspective. It is important to consider the story behind the song when you are listening as it deepens the meaning. As the track is instrumentally overpowering, the usual fanfare vocals would not be an option and so the track starts with soft, smoky vocals instead. The special, unique aspect of Mr Wolfs music is that is well thought out, personal, and intensely moving.

Released 14th December 2009.

By Sophie Stratford

Plastiscines – Bitch

Posted by Sophie Stratford | Posted in Album, Electro, Independent Music Finds, Sophie Stratford | Posted on 31-12-2009


Plastiscines – four female school friends from Paris, who create chunky riffs, and new wave pop tunes. It’s fair to say that when the rock band started out 4 years ago, they weren’t taken seriously by their Parisian peers. Single ‘Bitch’ is a slice of pure, unadulterated aural pleasure, a protest song against people who said Plastiscines were just rich girls put together. Ironic then that the single should have its world premier on the cult, hair pulling, and boyfriend stealing hit American TV series Gossip Girl.

The foursome name the Strokes and Blondie as their biggest influences and their songs are two-minute bursts of sultry punk-pop, like the Runaways with French accents. But while they give it their best shot, the music isn’t interesting enough for your attention, it’s too imitative. Plastiscines may still be nauseatingly young, but these girls are already every bit the Parisian “riot girl” rockers of the naughties.

Released 25th January 2010.

By Sophie Stratford