* What’s It About? – Blazley
Has the pandemic changed your listening habits? I’ve been listening to lots of music from the 1980s or more specifically lots of vaporwave music which takes the shiny synth sound of the near past and transforms it to soundscapes which are still familiar but oddly sinister. The past reimagined. Blazley’s release is a pop-savvy relation of vaporwave. A record played at the wrong speed but oddly right. If The Avalanches had enlisted Ariel Pink circa 2000 they could’ve made this album. They didn’t but Blazley has. Kudos for being different but more so for being a release that chimes with these weird times. Skewed pop that’s on the money…well contactless payment anyway! Recommended.
FFO: Ariel Pink, TVAM
What’s It About? Is available on Bandcamp: https://blazley.bandcamp.com/releases
* Great Expectations – Dirt Royal
What the Dickens? The second album from Dirt Royal is here! Mods of today with a sound based on the near past, The Libertines and the distant past, The Jam. We last heard from them back in 2018, with the single, Glory Days, which is here too. In 2020, there is an atmosphere of reflection and longing for what we had and whether we can return to a normality and Dirt Royal have supplied the Britpop flavoured soundtrack for it. Lyrically and musically they’ve maintained their modish Britpop meets Britrock sound but this serves them well with tales of longing and regret but with ultimately the possibility of redemption. Twelve tracks, no crap. Bonus points awarded for a track titled Lemsip, which feels very apt at the moment. Personal favourite is album closer, Lose Our Way. Dirt Royal have exceeded expectations here by giving us their twist on the past. They are the Mods!
FFO: The Libertines, The Jam
Great Expectations is out via Time For Action Records and merch bundles via Pip and Pine:https://www.timeforaction.de/shop/dirt-royal/great-expectations/
More Dirt Royal
* Live Online – Blood Red Shoes
When 2020 is finally over, what mementoes will you take with you? I’d speculate that many people won’t. However, as live gigs became a thing of the past, online performance became a larger part of how musicians and bands communicated. From ‘phone captured videos to HD broadcast cameras, the type of broadcast was as varied as the type of music. Blood Red Shoes gave a performance from their home base in October and have decided to release the audio as a digital release. An 11 track best of, interpreted via the Goldfrapp meets Black Honey sound as their last album, Get Tragic. Live albums are a difficult sell, often only of value if you were. None of us were here and even if you didn’t see the broadcast, you should listen here.
FFO: Black Honey, Goldfrapp
Live Online is available on Bandcamp:https://bloodredshoes.bandcamp.com/releases