What We’ve Been Listening To: A Bumper Edition Yo!

January Blues (They're happy on the inside)

January Blues (They’re happy on the inside)

M: It’s been a long time since we’ve been here to keep all of y’all entertained. I mean, we know how exceptional the Dancing with Myself piece was but we figured three months later, it may be time for something new Henry?

H:Hello! Yes, sorry. Blame it on the finals.

M: Insightful analysis as usual Henry. I went to a Boiler Room guys (do not try and find the link, you will literally never respect me at all again. I always thought I could dance and when people told me I could, I used to take it as a given. It’s tough to watch my bizarre moves and to find out that I’ve been being mocked for years).

H: I have not seen this video, but will spend the rest of my day looking for it. I find I spend most Januarys trying to forget the entirety of the previous year, and especially 2014 which was like the MAGIC! Rude of my life so far. But 2015 has been pretty great so far, and I feel music’s played a big part of that.

Get Behind This – Flor

M: There are literally so many songs I want to share with all of you. Confession: House music has come to play a much larger role in my life than I ever wanted it to over the past three years. Blame my house-mates (who are yet to move me on to Grime so that’s a cause for minor celebration?) but recently I’ve been discovering some music that sits a little bit closer to home. It wouldn’t be fair not to share Flor first, a band I have plugged to every person I have seen or spoken to over the past fortnight. Like literally everyone; ask them. I even gently nudged one of these victims into messaging Flor just to tell them how freakin’ awesome they were (who super sweetly replied!). They’ve got three songs out right now, all incredibly strong, but Get Behind This is my favourite thing of 2015. Fun fun fun; it is literally the best way to start, middle (?) and end your day! Turn it on, turn the lights down, and have a bloody good dance. Henry,thoughts here?

H: It’s the song I listen to when I get ready to go running, which is actually a pretty big compliment. It’s so uplifting! I need that positivity in my life. It would actually be on my running playlist but I’m too lazy to download it. Currently it starts with a cardio remix of Blank Space and it only really gets better from there. This was totally one of those moments where Michael texted me saying ‘listen to this’ and then I couldn’t stop.

Au Bord de la Mer – Drive Like I Do (The 1975)

M: The amount we have written about Matt Healy and his band over the past five years is genuinely astonishing. I find writing about him and his music so much more difficult than I used to. Before the rescore of Drive, there was Drive Like I Do. Before The 1975 and their legions of Twitter followers (Taylor Swift just one of them) rose to massive fame last year, there was a band with no online presence who had 16 year old me obsessed. I don’t want to wax lyrical about the pitfalls fame brings to talented artists (if I do, it will almost certainly be when we next consider writing about Bastille) because some of The 1975’s new stuff still holds up pretty well (see M.O.N.E.Y.) but before The 1975, Matt had created something special. Drive Like I Do’s original version of Chocolate still remains one of my all time favourite songs even if I won’t be getting its lyrics tattooed on my torso any more and Robbers used to have so much more passion before it was stripped down and 1975-ed. This site once shared all of the old Drive Like I Do tracks before a dispute with their management meant it all came down (feel free to write and we’ll send the files out) but yesterday I discovered one I hadn’t heard yet. And then emotions came. This is a quintessential Drive Like I Do song and it brought back so many memories. It’s raw, impassioned and so fucking not The 1975. I love it, you will love it.

H: I cannot begin to deal with Matt Healy and Taylor Swift. Or this photo.

M: I literally can’t even believe that I let Matty have a picture with me..

Is There Somewhere – Halsey

M: It’s hard to find fresh stripped-back pop since Lana Del Rey literally came in and defined a genre.  I’m not LDR’s biggest fan but what she has accomplished is pretty damn amazing. Blue haired Halsey is far from a Lana knock off though. Super interesting production, some clever lyrics and a stunning atmosphere set apart Is There Somewhere from so much other stuff that is out right now. Henry this feels so up your street to me?

H: I’ve been on a Halsey vibe for quite a while and then obviously felt super smug when she turned up everywhere on ‘artists to watch’ lists. Nail on head with the production and atmosphere comment; that’s what drawing me back to her over and over again. Halsey’s big break was Hurricane by the way, which is quite a lot better than Is These Somewhere. It’s very Lorde by way of Instagram (beach-grime-pop). Your LDR comparison actually makes a lot of sense. Halsey and LDR rely on similar cadences when they sing and their songs aren’t so much coherent wholes as neat phrases stuck together. You can’t really remember Blue Jeans but you remember ‘you fit me better than my favorite sweater’. Likewise, I don’t really know what Hurricane’s about but I sure as hell enjoy when Halsey sings: ‘I went down to a place in Brooklyn where you tripped on LSD / And I found myself reminded to keep you far away from me’.

Hold It Down (Cause & Affect Remix) – Sonny Fedora

M: I feel that it would be kind of disingenuous of me to pretend that I’ve not been listening to heaps of dance and house music over the past month. I really wish I hadn’t, but I have. This Sonny Fedora jam is straight out the night-out Shazam collection (yep, I’m one of those people) but is so infectious.

H: Shazam is such a third wheel on nights out, man. But this is pretty legit. I have to say I’ve been so surprised at what”s huge in clubs these days (did you know My Head is A Jungle is a mainstay of Oxford clubbing?!) but I can jump on down to this pretty easily.

Hollywood – Tobias Jesso Jr. 

H: I have this 10 day period every month where I just get intensely into indie-folk-rock-pop. Basically if there’s a sad dude with a piano or guitar, I’m there. There’s no real explanation, except it’s probably the first genre of music I loved (during my Seth Cohen years) and also I’m a pretty chill guy, bro. Anyway this month I had Family of the Year’s album on replay (their single Hero soundtracks Boyhood) but also a handful of Tobias Jesso Jr.’s tracks. I say handful because that’s all there are so far. He’s getting a lot of promotional support right now so start telling people you like him now to secure your cred. Another bonus of listening to him: His tracks are heartfelt, not insincere, unpredictable, not twee and he just seems like a super lovely guy.

M: I’ll give Christian Wilson some credit here because he got me absolutely hooked on Tobias last term. Henry’s analysis is genuinely spot on though because these are songs that seem to have genuine heart behind them, something so rare in today’s music (see Sam Smith stealing a Tom Petty song). P.S. the British guy with a piano that Henry is referring to in those first two sentences is Tom Odell; he loves him a lot.

H: Tom Odell is my homeboy.

Wait for Life – Emile Haynie ft. Lana Del Rey

H: Emile Haynie is a fab producer who’s worked with Kanye (on Runaway), Bruno Mars and LDR. He’s also great to follow on Instagram. Anyway, he’s about to release his first full-length album which will feature: Lykke Li, Devonte Hynes (Blood Orange), Charlotte Gainbourg, Nate Ruess and a ton of other people. Can you imagine anything more up my street, Michael? The first offering was this LDR track. It’s moody, languid and stinks of summer. It also confirms Lana as Queen of the American Nightmare.

M: Seriously, where has Nate Ruess been? Regardless, I’m happy that he’s back in the limelight. I saw this track from Henry and thought this wasn’t going to be for me. How wrong I was. I kind of feel like this is everything Henry loves and everything that I could love. I am a relatively narrow minded music guy but recognise that there are definitely tracks I could get lost in that I haven’t been exposed to yet. This is one of them. What a tune.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA About Henry Wong

Sometimes, I write about music. Pretty cool. You can follow me on Twitter @henellenthorpe, find on Instagram @hennnners or even go old school and e-mail me at henry@canyouhearthis.co.uk

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