What Music We’re Listenin’ To – March 2017

Music is pretty great. A soundtrack for living. Without it, life would be a lot quieter. But with an excess of new, old, popular and obscure aural delights available to the average internet-connected listener, it sometimes becomes exhausting and downright overwhelming to track down some new quality playlist fodder. So while some might be more than happy listening to ‘Lenny Henry Sux’ by Dave The Rapper on endless repeat for the rest of forever, we at Purple Camera have some alternative suggestions based on what we’ve been plugged into over the past month. The full playlist is on Spotify, and if you enjoyed it be sure to come back next April for a similar set of musical miscellany.


JACOB L WILLIAMS (@jacoblwilliams)

The Great Pretenders, 2015

Taking inspiration from New Wave but adding an extra layer of complexity, ‘Death is A Girl’ is a song that succeeds in many ways. At first it seems just like a catchy pop tune, but multiple listens allow you to notice layers in it’s production that make it amazing. Be it the multiple synth tracks or overlaid vocals there is a lot going on this song allowing it to be more than just the 80’s style hit that it first seems.


The Good Life WEEZER
Pinkerton, 1996

A bouncy rock track that gets its teeth into you, ‘The Good Life’ shows Weezer at their best as it mixes the dark and light sides of the music. On one side it’s a catchy pop song that you can get stuck in your head, but it’s also got a much more abrasive streak to it.


Heart Skipped A Beat THE XX
xx, 2009

With their new album I See You recently released (and not that impressive) a re-listen of the xx’s self-titled debut was called for and ‘Heart Skipped A Beat’ is a song which shows the albums quality at it’s best. Slow, atmospheric and containing two excellent lyrical performance Heart Skipped A Beat is just completely absorbing.


Obsessed With You X-RAY SPEX
Germ Free Adolescence, 1978

A feminist punk anthem, X-Ray Spex created a song which showcases pure anger that still stands strong today. In today’s sketchy political climate more people should turn to punk rock, with this song in particular being relatable as the worlds hatred and anger towards Donald Trump spirals into comical obsession.


The Great Rock N’ Roll Swindle, 1979

During the course of the last few months I’ve listened to about 200 different versions of ‘My Way’ and this is by far my favourite. Sid Vicious forgetting the lines and singing ‘You c**t, I’m not a queer’ being a personal favourite moment.


JORDAN COCHRANE (@youreatwiter)

Single, 2017

Calling back to the days of 90’s female-fronted punk pop, Charly Bliss are a delicious smoothie of the Breeders and the Cranberries. New song ‘Glitter’ has one of the catchiest choruses I’ve heard in a long time, but everything they’ve made (they’re new on the scene) has an infectious, funky sound. I’ll be following their careers closely and so should you.


Crystal Fairy, 2017

Ever wondered what the Melvins would sound like if they traded in King Buzzo for a female, yet no less abrasive voice? Wonder no more, it sounds great! The better of the two super group team-ups from this year, (the other being Big Walnuts Yonder) Crystal Fairy combines members of the Melvins, At the Drive in and La Butcherettes to create a unique sound comprised of familiar elements.


English Tapas, 2017

Sleaford Mods are back! They remind everyone why they are the masters of painting a grotesque picture of modern-day Britain with swear-words and references to Woolworths or whatever. The beautiful chorus covers everything from the Midlands being fucked to our hopeless future to fucking Quavers. They are the undisputed kings of this sound. Pretenders be damned.


This Is The World Of The Theater THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
Whiteout Conditions, 2017

With their new album Whiteout Conditions out soon, now is a perfect time to catch The New Pornographers’ latest single ‘This Is The World Of The Theater’. They are THE Canadian super group (Sorry Broken Social Scene) and they’ve recently gone from strength to strength. This track is layers upon layers of funky indie rock, I love it.


Doused DIIV
Oshin, 2012

DIIV seems to combined all those early 90’s rock styles into one track, so we’ve got a grungy, shoe-gazy metal. Interesting sound, if a little strange. It seems we’ve entered the realm of those edgy Brooklyn bands, anything goes.


ROSS TOPHAM (@rosstopham)

Pretty Little Distance AS IT IS
okay., 2017

Coming off of AS IT IS’s latest album okay., ‘Pretty Little Distance’ is one of my easy favourites and one that stuck in my head for days, somehow both slightly cynical and endlessly optimistic. Patty Walters’ powerful vocals are complimented by some great hooks and pumped full of the best kind of pop punk energy and enthusiasm, making this track basically catchy as fuck.


Feeling Electric, 2015

Parade of Lights bring this hypnotic blend of electric rock and synthpop in ‘Golden’, an almost trance-like track that can easily serve as anyone’s summer anthem. The group take many of the usual aspects that make pop radio so familiar these days, but put it together in a way that still manages to be satisfying and almost something fresh that makes you want to get off your ass and go do something fun with some friends.


Can You Count Suckers ME VS HERO
Days That Shape Our Lives, 2010

‘Can You Count Suckers’ is one of those tracks that basically makes your body move of its own accord, often in at least a mild form of headbanging. It’s extremely hard not to get carried away as Me Vs Hero create this relentless sense of excitement within their hardcore-inspired pop punk, charging forwards hook after hook until there’s nothing left to give.


Blisters, 2012

Folk-pop at its most pleasing, Barnes brings a lightness and uplifting atmosphere to this wonderfully soothing track. A careful blend of soft guitar, smooth vocals and the occasional and careful hint of piano keys are brought together to create this delicate but ultimately delightful track.


Playing in Traffic BROADSIDE
Old Bones, 2015

Much more cynical and enthusiastically bitter than similar entries on this list, ‘Playing in Traffic’ is all kinds of awesome. Encouraged by some thrilling guitar and drum-work, vocalist Ollie Baxter shows off an impressive range and Broadside smash their way through the senses, while aggressively tearing down the teen-angst concept of following a crowd.


ASHLEY ROBAK (@ashpurplecamera)

Green Light LORDE
Single, 2017

Four years since the all-consuming Grammy-winning gigahit ‘Royals’, New Zealand’s alt-pop princess is back with the first real taste of her highly-anticipated sophomore effort and the first new music since ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’. New elements of 90s Rave piano, heartbreak and an enlivened chorus join her usual slacker hip-hop-phrased verses to create yet another chart-ready anthem. Lorde, it’s great to have you back.


I Don’t Think You Like Me TIRED LION
Figurine, 2016

Australian pop-grunge kids with a fondness for crunchy guitars and self-doubt. On the second-guessing ‘I Don’t Think You Like Me’ Tired Lion unleash “ah-ooo”s and Nirvana-isms like nobody’s business, and produce something that would fit right in on the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World soundtrack. That’s most definitely a compliment – this shit kills.


Single, 2017

White Reaper first showed on my radar with 2015 scuzzy synthy Jesus And Mary Chain-style banger ‘Make Me Wanna Die’, a track that never really left my playlist circulation but didn’t lead me to delve deeper. As a second shot of White Reaper, ‘Judy French’ seriously impresses by doubling-down on the hyper-revved guitars and throwing Van Halen and 80s Power Pop into the beautifully distorted mix.


Mississippi JAMIE LENMAN
Single, 2017

Remember Reuben? Of course you don’t. Quite simply, they were the best band Britain produced in the last twenty years and they broke up in 2008. Reuben mastermind Jamie Lenman hasn’t been completely silent since then, having released his debut solo (double) album in 2013. This hulking muthafucker is from album two – the sound of Queens Of The Stone Age dry-humping Nine Inch Nails with added Delta-Blues flavour. “M-I/Double S-I/Double S-I/P-P-I” – who knew spelling could sound so vital?


Tummy Ache DIET CIG
Swear I’m Good At This, 2017

New York-based two piece Diet Cig have been quietly wowing people since their debut EP in 2015. Taking their minimalist approach to music and ethos from punk but with a certain twee-ness to their songs, the band have gained comparisons to The Front Bottoms and Hop Along. ‘Tummy Ache’ addresses that “un-punk rock softness” head on; the coda of “It’s hard to be a punk while wearing a skirt” hammers home the directed frustration at the not being taken seriously.

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Ashley Robak

Ashley Robak should really try harder. He has a BSc in Film Production, several articles on Taste on Cinema (http://www.tasteofcinema.com/author/ashleyr/) and occasionally contributes to On Record Magazine. When not writing about film, he attempts to make his own with Purple Camera Media (http://vimeo.com/purplecamera).

Latest posts by Ashley Robak (see all)

Ashley Robak

Ashley Robak should really try harder. He has a BSc in Film Production, several articles on Taste on Cinema (http://www.tasteofcinema.com/author/ashleyr/) and occasionally contributes to On Record Magazine. When not writing about film, he attempts to make his own with Purple Camera Media (http://vimeo.com/purplecamera).

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