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A Modern Music Blog Based in the UK

The Hype Machine

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Someone who plays around with Cocteau Twins lyrics can only ever be something a bit special. Pix aka Hannah Rogers certainly is that- this woozy track A Way To Say Goodbye is her cool debut.

With off-kilter piano, twisty electronics and dreamy vocals there is a definite feeling of Alice falling down the rabbit hole and it’s of little surprise to hear that Pix cites a vast range of artists from Jonie Mitchell to Aphex Twin as her influences.

Emma

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It might be hard for many outsiders to understand why the Scottish referendum debate is running so close on the eve of the vote - all the famous politicians support a ‘no’ vote, the prosperity arguments seem to favour the same outcome and a ‘no’ vote seems like the safe bet.

What outsiders fail to grasp however, is the identity of many proud Scottish people. There is not a feeling of anti-anything but a desire to stand on their own two feet, as a nation. We must remember - as all Scottish children are taught as they grow up - that Scotland was a country taken by force and how this makes it’s residents feel. It is a feeling encapsulated in Scottish art many times over, as this clip from Trainspotting reveals.

When in 1965, a Scottish folk duo named The Corries wrote the song ‘Flower Of Scotland’, they could not have foreseen the reverence it would gain. It summed up for many, the mood of the Scottish national identity and went on to organically become the Scottish national anthem - an incredible feat really, when you think about it.

Digging into the lyrical content, the subject is clear - a song about England fighting against Scotland in days gone by, with an optimistic focus looking to the future within the key verse…

'Those days are passed now, And in the past they must remain, But we can still rise now, And be the nation again, That stood against him, Proud Edward's army…'.

With a national anthem like that, sung proudly at all national events, how can anything other than patriotic thoughts of independence, creep into any Scots head.

It seems very clear to me now, what the members of Belle & Sebastian meant when answering questions about Scottish independence at End Of The Road Festival 2013. When asked for their thoughts, they agreed that it was a case of either voting with your head, or voting with your heart. They are right, I think.

A vote with your head seems sensible, safe, cautious and is what the media and politicians are recommending you do.

A vote with your heart for pride, responsibility, a sense of identity and is what art has yearned for, for centuries in Scotland.

Ian

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I’ve not heard of Jen Ghetto before nor her side project S for that matter either. This new track Brunch would leave even the most hard-hearted craving for more of her emotion charged USA indie-rock.

Taken from her forthcoming new album Cool Choices, it’s the second track to have hit after first single ‘Vampires.’ A classic break-up song, Brunch is so good that we can even forgive Jen for having a name that’s so ridiculously difficult to Google. Just in case you can’t be arsed to track her down yourself, you can find her Facebook page here.

Emma

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Gloriously sorrowful, Palace perfectly epitomised heartbreak with their bluesy release, Veins.

Their latest offering Bitter is equally indulgent should you be feeling in a blue mood. Somehow hitting the perfect melancholy pitch, their sound avoids sounding whingeing or cheesy so it’s little wonder that they’re already picking up plenty of praise.

They’re playing a couple of shows; an EP launch and another at St Pancras church on the 19th of October. But just so you really have something to feel appropriately glum about, both shows are now sold out. *sigh*

Emma

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You can be forgiven for thinking that the members of Ibeyi look similar. They are indeed twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz. Their new track River is a stunning tribute to Oshun, the river Goddess.

Tribal beats and moody backing vocals create the perfect backdrop to their gospel-like vocals. It’s little wonder it all works so well considering they’re daughters to percussion royalty, Buena Vista Social Club member Anga Díaz.

The duo are signed to XL and are in good company as the label has recently released LP1 by the gorgeous FKA Twigs to much fanfare. With sounds this good Ibeyi should easily follow suit.

Emma