Apart from the music we review, here at plasticmag, we pride ourselves on listening to an expansive range of music (both past and present). As passionate as we are, here are some recommendations from the plasticmag staff on some of the best music around!
“All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem
If there is one musician/song-writer/producer who can build and build and build a piece of music into something that’s truly emotionally powerful, satisfying and can evoke imagery it’s James Murphy – lead song-writer and singer for LCD Soundsystem. There are several songs in LCD Soundsystem’s back catalogue that are like this. “Losing My Edge”, “Dance Yrself Clean” and “Someone Great” all exhibit this trait, but “All My Friends” tops the lot.
Beginning with a simple piano part, Murphy adds drums, bass, guitars, synths, vocals to the mixture to form something that truly affects the heart. What is really the fulcrum of “All My Friends” however, is the lyrical content. They tell of the pains of growing into middle-age, wanting to stay out late (“we set controls for the heart of the sun”), but at the same time getting yourself to a point where you are set for life before you find yourself regretting leaving your friends behind (“you spent the first five years trying to get with the plan / and the next five years trying to be with your friends again”). What really caps this off, however is a singular sentiment Murphy utters. This line is “I wouldn’t trade one stupid decision for another five years of life” and it’s a great motto to live your life by.
If you haven’t heard this song, please do. It’s one fantastic piece of writing.
Laurence – Contributing Writer
“You Come to Kill Me?!” by Happyness
I remember my first ever gig – it was The Orwells at The Dingwalls in London. It was a cool performance that had me sunken into the world of gig-going just like a hot bath. Anyways, that night the Americans were supported by British band Happyness. A fairly modest sized band from south London with a tight knit following. It was kinda like that scene in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, you know, when the nuke goes off in the playground and everyone dies. Purely because this trio blew my face off, totally in a good way though.
After the show we climbed out of the dingy club with our hearts racing and our eardrums pounding, my pals and I sat by the canal in the heart of a dying Camden, cracked open some cold ones and enthused over this new band that we’d discovered. It was like we found the Holy Grail. It was like Christmas but with less Monopoly. Pretty much straight after that I fell helplessly in love with Happyness and sought out their debut album, Weird Little Birthday, on vinyl. On this great album there is a hypnotically addictive bonus track entitled “You Come To Kill Me?!“. The song starts with impressive whammying and proceeds into a chilled iteration of whiny lyrics detailing some hopeful misadventure or another, or at least I think that’s what frontman Benji Compston is singing about. It’s hard to know what the song is about but it’s so majestic that I’m sure, just like me, you won’t mind the ambivalence too much.
Rob – News Editor
“Overcome” by D/R/U/G/S
D/R/U/G/S has been on my personal radar for some time now, having first heard of him at my time at a music marketing firm, his name always being the first to come up when the subject of remixes was raised. The Manchester-based producer (real name Callum Wright) has made a name for himself in the underground ‘social house’ scene with his original work and some stellar remixes. The last year has seen the release of his impressive experimental Echo Rave EP. However, it’s his effortless meander into the mainstream music eye that has got me obsessed.
His 2014 collaboration with Fé (Leo Duncan) is the perfect example of this. The song is taken from the forthcoming début D/R/U/G/S LP and is one of the first endeavours from the producer to feature vocals. The tropical disco track, filtered through a house lens, combines the best elements of up-beat catchy songwriting and laid back shuffling beats. The heavenly instrumentation of gentle timbres combined with Duncan’s soft and delicate vocal performance creates the perfect vibe for a chilled summer listen guaranteed to put a smile on your face. “Overcome” marks a stark shift in sonic aesthetic for D/R/U/G/S and if the song is anything to go by, we can expect more playful up-beat tunes on his new album set for release later this year.
Laura – Reviews Editor
“Johnny Delusional” by F.F.S.
When Los Angeles cult band Sparks and Glasgow’s own indie rockers Franz Ferdinand came together to form super group F.F.S., I couldn’t help but think that it was an incredibly bizarre collaboration. Despite my apprehension, I instantly fell in love with them. Worrying that their discordant sound wouldn’t translate well on stage, I saw F.F.S headline the legendary John Peel tent on the last night of Glastonbury last month and they were utterly phenomenal. They absolutely stole the entire weekend for me and left me addicted to their catchy opening track, “Johnny Delusional“, in particular.
Though the track does contain elements of previous work from both Sparks and Franz Ferdinand, its quirkiness seems to place Sparks in the spotlight. “Johnny Delusional” sums up what F.F.S. are about perfectly in just one track, highlighting not only how well the voices of Franz Ferdinand front man Alex Kapranos and Sparks singer Russell Mael compliment each other, but also how the instruments that we’ve come to associate with both bands come together (it’s so pleasing to see the prominence of Ron Mael‘s keyboard in particular). It’s also a fantastic song lyrically; “some might find me borderline attractive from afar” and “Tell me, are resistance and stupidity the same?” are some of my favourite lyrics in what appears to be a tale of a person pining over somebody they unfortunately cannot have.