I've always been a music fan, but in that respect I've always been late to the party too... Remember the Kings Of Leon? I'm just getting into them. And Crowded House? Yeah, I'm appreciating them now more that I did when I was 11.
But this week I've used Spotify to broaden my musical horizons a little more and get up to date on the bands that "the kids" are all talking about lately. Firstly, the incredible Marina And The Diamonds (pictured). Wonderful, whimsy, aggressive pop love from the Welsh/Greek babe which plays like Kate Bush on ecstasy. Or like Nena, before she went all odd. If you haven't already, have a listen to her asap.
Then there's Mumford & Sons (pictured below) who have helped me get over some pretty rough times lately with their blend of London Folk and tale-telling lyrical magic. Brave, live-style vocal harmony and faster-than-they-should-be up-tempo ballads make this little gem a stayer in my record collection. Winter Winds, in particular, makes me wish it was new year's eve and I had a bottle of whisky and small gathering of best friends to share it with. Lush. I'm listening again right now.
And then I found something very special... The Where The Wild Things Are soundtrack by Karen O And The Kids spews youngling mischief and that "time for bed, more play tomorrow" feeling with such power that I cannot listen to the whole thing through without crying my eyes out. Sailing Home is without doubt the most effective track ever for "taking you back to the thoughtless wonder of childhood" despite not doing much at all... Absolutely beautiful. And short. The entire album reaches into my chest, pulls out my blackened heart and paints it rainbow colours... with finger-paints. Near the sandpit.
And if you use Spotify's much-overlooked "Related Artists" function you might just stumble upon Amish-looking, Casio-possessed Brooklyn Indy-pop outfit Au Revoir Simone. They make the sort of music you can come home from work to. Light, frothy, uplifting, wordy-pop the likes of which I haven't really come across before.
They seem to conjure up an image of flashing lights around a small stall in the corner of a Tesco car park. They remind me that music doesn't have to be in your face to knock you down. If you're cooking a meal one night put them on and jig about; I guarantee your food will taste approximately 77% more fun and almost 10% more American. In order to love them though, you'll need to get past the "Dawson's Creek" lyrical guff on some of their tracks... it's not that bad once you get to know it.
BUT! The one thing that has grabbed me by the bollocks and forced me to listen lately is Mark Ronson's new offering "Bang Bang Bang". For the video alone this one gets prize place in my browser this weekend. Check it out here and see what you think! I'd love to know what you've been listening to. Teach me about what music is to you via my Twitter page.