It’s crazy to think how far First Aid Kit have come over the last few years, from the teenagers we all originally saw in their cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” to one of the most confident and successful folk duos in modern music. In many ways the Olympia Theatre feels like the perfect place for the band to play, big enough to accommodate their massive popularity but small enough to allow them to have some intimate moments with the audience.
Opening up for them was Jo Rose, honestly can’t say I’ve ever heard of him before tonight but his performance was pleasant enough (when it could be heard over the people talking in the crowd). Starting the gig off with a slightly awkward shout-out to Belfast he quickly recovered and got into the swing of things. His style made it a bit hard to judge how great the actual songs were but his love for playing certainly showed; definitely plan to listen to his album at some point to get a better feel for his music.
Coming on promptly at 9pm (feel like they deserve bonus points for this) the band dressed in suitably gold and shining outfits hit the ground running with the fantastic “Stay Gold” from their latest album. An early highlight for the crowd came in “King of the World” obviously lacking Conor Oberst vocals the song still sound great carried by Johanna and Kiara’s fantastic vocals. Honestly the whole concert could be summed up by that, what makes First Aid Kit such a great band are their vocals and harmonies and both sisters were in fine form last night. Their harmonies were beautiful, haunting and hypnotic depending on what the song required, at times it can be easy to get so caught up in the vocals that you fail to notice just how great the songs themselves actually are.
For a band that are just officially releasing their debut EP Lovestarrs already have quite the history behind them. Originally known as The Good Natured they gathered a lot of positive buzz with the fantastic “Your Body is a Machine” in 2009, the equally great Skeleton EP (Which I own on vinyl!) followed in 2011 and another solid single “5-HT” last year seemed to pave the way for what looked to be a very promising debut album. Unfortunately after being dropped by their label and failing to secure the rights to their masters it seemed like the end of the road.
Thankfully earlier this year the band rose from the ashes as the newly christened Lovestarrs with the release of “Get Your Sexy On“. Over the last few months as they slowly released songs on their Soundcloud it became clear that we were in for potentially something special.
When this blog was originally started all those years ago I had such big plans for it, I loved writing about music and wanted to be able to project my highly questionable opinions onto the rest of the world. Unfortunately real life got in the way, with a super stressful Masters and a year of being completely lost in life I kind of lost my enthusiasm for a lot of things, being broke certainly didn’t help either. However after a couple of years of working and having money to actually buy music (vinyl is my new addition) and go to concerts, I feel like I’m ready to again start making sense of the noise that is music.
Oh and Ashley is going to be posting too and we’re going to try our best to deliver regular quality content, so please join us on our journey and enjoy the relaunch of An Ocean of Noise, almost like a phoenix rising from the ashes you could say…that gives me an idea for our first new review!
And because I probably should relate this post to music in some way here’s the current playlist I’m listening to, not hard to guess what I’m currently in the mood for
Lovestarrs – Life is a Bitch
Charli XCX – You (Ha Ha Ha)
IamamIwhoamI – Fountain
Phantogram – Black Out Days
FKA Twigs – Two Weeks
MØ – Pilgrim
Banks – This is What it Feels Like
Purity Ring – Amenamy
Grimes – Genesis
Chvrches – Gun
Last year I made a list of my favorite music videos from the year and, to be honest, I kinda rushed through it. This year, I decided that I would do my level best to follow music videos year-round and compile a list of my favorites, rather than doing it all in one night, based on other people’s lists of favorites. The result of that journey was what you see below. An excellent adventure that began with the return of a legend and ended this very evening with a hilarious bit of music video genius. So here are my top 15 music videos of 2013, along with 2 honorable mentions that kinda don’t actually count, sorta…you’ll see. Continue reading
The Traviud top 25 has been a tradition at An Ocean of Noise for a handful of years now. Typically, my write-ups are obscenely long. This one isn’t much shorter, but if your favorite album wound up with only a handful of sentences (better than placing a bomb or a pair of scissors next to it anyway), rest assured that I liked it a lot anyway. I took great care in listening to and ranking these records so that this list could mean something to the reader. Regardless of their recency, I’ve heard every album on this list at least twice and some upwards of ten times, depending on their appeal and replay value. This list of 25 + 5 was culled from a selection of over 200 albums, so consider these to be in the 85th percentile of all releases this year.
I’d say the albums here are really good, but I can’t vouch for my own taste, so it’s possible that this list sucks as much as any other list. It probably does, to someone. But if I took that person into account, then I’m sure someone else would hate it instead. That’s just the way it is; hater men marry hater women and have hater kids.
25. Charli XCX – True Romance
Arguably the most flawed album on this list, but no less deserving of a spot, True Romance is also among the most unique and consistently enjoyable pop records of the year. Charli XCX’s sound is labeled “darkwave” by some (I’m not sure where the Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil influences are, personally), one can very clearly hear the Kate Bush in her voice and new romantic in her sound. It’s a bold, polished and surprisingly personal product that establishes her as one of the most exciting new prospects of 2013. It must be said that the album is dragged down by a handful of poor tracks, but the highs here are absolutely fantastic and make this record worth hearing for anyone with even a passing interest in the current state of pop music.
Hey, not bad, I only left the blog to shrivel up and die for four months this time! I’m proud.
Well, of course, it’s that time of year again. Time for me to share my thoughts to the world on what music was like this year.
I had thought that this was going to be another slack-off year for me, as far as number of albums I heard was concerned, but when I look back, it was actually a great year. I fell in love with a new kind of music, my friends and I have so-dubbed it “TumblrCore” after some horrible reviews written by Pitchfork, saw more concerts than I ever have in a single year before and, most importantly, was reunited with some of our favorite acts who decided that 2013 was just too good a year not to come out of the woodwork’s once more.
To start off a year of positives, then, of course, means that the first list I’ll be sharing with you is: The 5 Worst Album Covers of 2013!!! Continue reading
To preface all of this, I did not sleep the night before Lolla this year. Not by choice, but by a series of unfortunate events that led to my inability to fall asleep until ten minutes before my alarm went off Sunday morning. The day had begun brilliantly.
Being the ultra-goth that I am, I decided to try highlighting my hair before I left. I have no idea what possessed me to do that, but it was an interesting clash with the all-black ensemble I decided to wear. There’s nothing like 70 degree weather in August to encourage one to play their part. I, of course, rocked the Threadless “Friday I’m in Love” Tee:
Anyways, enough about me. On to more about…well…me, and my impressions of Lolla:
So, I just got back from Jessie Ware’s Lollapalooza aftershow. What a treat. What an artist. Adorably drunk, sharing stories with her fans about her brother (an aspiring doctor who is unlucky in love, though there were a few other doctors in the crowd trying to give her their digits for him), leading sing-alongs, forgetting lyrics and apologizing mid-line. It was a wonderful performance.
On the other side of town, Death Grips fans weren’t so lucky.
^This guy is great, btw. Major poster on the Lollapalooza message board, sad for him.
^Having trouble embedding that pic, but it’s good for a laugh, so I suggest clicking on the link.
A potentially dark turn is the background they used:
You can find more unrelenting anger via a quick Twitter Search
I’m probably going to keep updating this with Tweets I enjoy, so there’s a good reason to keep coming back ;).
Can’t wait to see if they show up to Lolla tomorrow!
Well, here we are, album number 6. It’s hard to believe they’re this far into their career now. But, of course, I’m one of those people who hope they’ll be around for at least 60 more. Especially if they’re of the same quality as the last three. Does Trouble Will Find Me stack up? Let’s find out!
We now interrupt your regularly scheduled music reviews in order to bring you something…a little different…A movie review.
Over the next few days, I will be reviewing three of the films I saw at the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival. As mentioned in this blog post, I had the opportunity to attended the CIMM Fest this year, in lieu of Record Store Day. It was the first film festival I have ever attended and it was an absolutely wonderful experience. I can’t wait until this October, because I will definitely be going to the Chicago International Film Festival.
The first of the three reviews will be for the Big Star documentary: Nothing Can Hurt Me. The other two will cover Last Shop Standing and My Father and the Man in Black.
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is an incredibly misguided work of love, an ode to a band that has had more than their fair share of hard knocks. If you are not familiar with the story of Big Star, in short, they were the band that never was. Ask anyone who was there at the time, or who love them now and they’ll tell you: Big Star should have been in the pantheon of rock history’s greatest. The legend, as it is, with The Velvet Underground was that only 1,000 people bought The Velvet Underground & Nico, but all 1,000 of them joined a band. If that’s the case, than of the 10 copies of #1 Record that actually made distribution, all ten of those listeners not only started bands, but then the bands that heard them started bands and a net of great influence was born.