Archive for February, 2007

SONDRE LERCHE Phantom Punch

SONDRE LERCHE Phantom PunchIt’s happened! The peer pressure must have been incredibly mounting. It must have been setting in for years. With all of the tags of being a pop artist maybe Sondre Lerche wanted to put a bump in road, a ditch in the alley to swerve the critics. Maybe he just wanted to prove that “hey, I am so much more than a one dimensional song writer.”

He hinted last year that this album, Phantom Punch would be more “primitive” “more rock” and with more influences coming from the likes of Steely Dan and Elvis Costello. Not that that is a bad thing, but with that, I was a little scared. What was going to happen to my beloved pop song writer?
Will this be the demise? Are the subtle string arrangements going to disappear? Swooning lyrics no more?
But when I first heard the lead single “Phantom Punch” with fuzzed out guitars and arena rock air I was completely stoked! I was hoping that the whole album would be like this. Though a COMPLETE departure from anything he’s done before, a song like “Phantom Punch” could be something Franz Ferdinand would be jealous of and a lesson for all of the hipster rock bands out there trying to churn out similiar songs to earn that dollar. The hooks and guitar licks were insanely irristable and even a tad danceable! Wow, was I excited.

Could the production work from Tony Hoffer (Air, Beck, Belle and Sebastian, Supergrass) have tingled the writing diddies and blood cells that exist in Sondre Lerche’s system? Because this bumb in the road is definitely more like a hill that you’d love to run up and then slide down on a board feeling that fresh and cool Norwegian air flush all over your face. And when you finally come down? You want to do it all over again! He richly brought out Sondre Lerche’s past influences making the songs dynamic with all of the off-time rhythms as well as the jazzier timing from past recordings but with that tasteful gritty rock sound Sondre Lerche wanted to channel.

Sounding like Sondre Lerche’s been binging on caffeine pills rather than taking it easy at the coffee shop, the album blows by you so quickly that you’d be more than eager to press >PLAY again over and over. From the sweet opener of “Airport Taxi Reception” to sweet frolicking pop rocksongs such as “Say It All” then jazzyfied rock song “Well Well Well” and incredibly speed rocking songs such as “The Tape” and “Face The Blood” and the balladry of “Tragic Mirror” and “After All” (sounding like a younger Boby Dylan by the way…well, with much sweeter vocals), Sondre Lerche is all over the place. In every possible direction going over the speed limit, Sondre Lerche’s writing is limitless. Gaining confidence with every album, there’s no hesitation in any of these songs.

But one of my favorites on the album “John, Let Me Go” which is actually a reworking of one of his b-sides for the single Two Way Monologue and previously titled “Johnny Johnny Ooh Ooh” just finds him in the right place. A combination of the bitter sweet pop that he’s known for with a sprinkle some of that magic caffeine he was on showcases just how much Sondre Leche has matured from his previous three albums. Not over doing the lyrically poetry or electrified guitar works and musical compositions, simplicity is where it’s at.

And in the end, how does he topple the this sugar-filled cake? “Happy Birthday Girl” Just when you thought that he had gone to the extent that this album can go, “Happy Birthday Girl” rides out into the sunset so much more retrospective than what you think Sondre Lerche would drone on about. Coming off and singing “hoping you’ll never grow old, hoping you’ll never grow old” while guitars shutter back and forth over the noise, one can only assume that Sondre Lerche may at that state in his writing career though how early where he may be “coming of age.”

What’s next for Sondre Lerche? Only time will tell, and boy does he have a lot of time. But regardless of how much can change in so little time, we have nothing to worry about. This whimsical boy wonder will always have that heart of gold to incessantly procure gems without a doubt in his mind. Phantom Punch is a staple in Sondre Lerche’s career.

SONDRE LERCHE

MP3: “Phantom Punch” “Say It All” “Airport Taxi Reception
Website: www.sondrelerche.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/sondrelerche
Purchase: Phantom Punch
Label: Astralwerks
Video: “Phantom Punch” & “Say It All”

THE POSTMARKS self-titled

THE POSTMARKS self-titledLike walking through a breezy and chilly spring day through the park, THE POSTMARKS‘ debut self-titled album is filled with so many songs that would be able to slow down time so that we can truly absorb the beauty that surrounds a quiet and gentle day. Just as leaves float through the air we’d see the world through the lens of a French film maker. The glare of the of the sun sinking over the city as the clear blue sky starts to turn and the silhouette of lovers letting time pass by.

Mainly composed, orchestrated and recorded by Christopher Moll (also formerly of See Venus and Timewellspent) and adding the sensual and innocent vocals of Tim Yehezkely then the “just right” touches on percussion by Johnathan Wilkins was the perfect formula in creating the perfect pop cuisine that’ll sure to lift many hearts during the wading winters. Taking arranging bits from Burt Bacharach and Jack Nitzsche and also adding Brian Wilson’s wall of sound, their influences could have done their debut no wrong. While Tim Yehezkely whispher’s like her predecessor’s before her in Claudine Longet and Astrud Gilberto, she’ll definitely enchant your ear’s with her heavenly voice. So tender, so sweet that whether you have a significant other or not, you’ll want to fall in love over and over.

Now, I’ll be honest. I have had the sweetest in luck by having heard this album through it’s progression as demos turned into unmixed into mixed and then finally mixed and mastered by Andy Chase (of IVY). Their opener “Goodbye” never seemed to lose its charm. Every listen it gave me goosebumps realizing that with every listen it has become that much sweeter. Other songs such as “Looks Like Rain,” “Winter Spring Summer Fall,” “You Drift Away,” and especially the epic “Let Go” are such diamonds in the rough in today’s pop world. In comparison to their brethren like Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Tahiti 80, etc. The Postmarks have found the gentler dreamier side of pop.

Having already begun to write and demo songs for a future album, The Postmarks’ debut would be an album that would satsify endearing ears that’ll be dreaming during the wonderful winter snow.

THE POSTMARKS

MP3s: “Goodbye
extra MP3s
: “Everyday Is Halloween” (Ministry cover) “Winter Wonderland” “My Little Heart
Website
: www.thepostmarks.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thepostmarks
Purchase: The Postmarks
Label: Unfiltered Records
Video: “Goodbye”

THE POSTMARKS self-titled

THE POSTMARKS self-titledLike walking through a breezy and chilly spring day through the park, THE POSTMARKS‘ debut self-titled album is filled with so many songs that would be able to slow down time so that we can truly absorb the beauty that surrounds a quiet and gentle day. Just as leaves float through the air we’d see the world through the lens of a French film maker. The glare of the of the sun sinking over the city as the clear blue sky starts to turn and the silhouette of lovers letting time pass by.

Mainly composed, orchestrated and recorded by Christopher Moll (also formerly of See Venus and Timewellspent) and adding the sensual and innocent vocals of Tim Yehezkely then the “just right” touches on percussion by Johnathan Wilkins was the perfect formula in creating the perfect pop cuisine that’ll sure to lift many hearts during the wading winters. Taking arranging bits from Burt Bacharach and Jack Nitzsche and also adding Brian Wilson’s wall of sound, their influences could have done their debut no wrong. While Tim Yehezkely whispher’s like her predecessor’s before her in Claudine Longet and Astrud Gilberto, she’ll definitely enchant your ear’s with her heavenly voice. So tender, so sweet that whether you have a significant other or not, you’ll want to fall in love over and over.

Now, I’ll be honest. I have had the sweetest in luck by having heard this album through it’s progression as demos turned into unmixed into mixed and then finally mixed and mastered by Andy Chase (of IVY). Their opener “Goodbye” never seemed to lose its charm. Every listen it gave me goosebumps realizing that with every listen it has become that much sweeter. Other songs such as “Looks Like Rain,” “Winter Spring Summer Fall,” “You Drift Away,” and especially the epic “Let Go” are such diamonds in the rough in today’s pop world. In comparison to their brethren like Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Tahiti 80, etc. The Postmarks have found the gentler dreamier side of pop.

Having already begun to write and demo songs for a future album, The Postmarks’ debut would be an album that would satsify endearing ears that’ll be dreaming during the wonderful winter snow.

THE POSTMARKS

MP3s: “Goodbye
extra MP3s
: “Everyday Is Halloween” (Ministry cover) “Winter Wonderland” “My Little Heart
Website
: www.thepostmarks.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thepostmarks
Purchase: The Postmarks
Label: Unfiltered Records
Video: “Goodbye”

SONDRE LERCHE Duper Sessions ALBUM REVIEW

Sondre Lerche - Duper Sessions How many 23 year olds decide to release an album of standards influencd music? How many 23 year olds can actually do justice to the music while clearly wearing his influences on his sleeve? Well, I tell you I can’t really name any other than Norwegian song writing extraordinaire Sondre Lerche. Already having two albums underneath his wings (Faces Down, Two Way Monologues) and a slew of singles, Sondre Lerche seems to showcase a penchant talent in the ability to write songs at a speedy level. It is quite impressive that within the short years he has been an active song writer, he has been able to procure three albums and shortly a fourth.

Now with Duper Sessions, Sondre Lerche tagged his backing band “The Faces Down” into not only recording an introspective album in his jazz influences but rather more to tribute.

Who would’ve thought that upon hearing the keys tap ever so gently alongside the brushes on the snare while the bass lines walk and the chimes of the guitar in “Everyone’s Rooting For You” that we were in the 2000s? One would have to imagine himself back in the 40s where black and white were filled with relaxed air while lounging back to take that slow puff of a cigarette while tapping your feet on the floor watching that band that effortlessly performs. Then as you hear the vocalist pronounce “Don’t be ridiculous sweet darling, it’s so unlike you to be blue. You had ‘em the moment you walked in, everyone’s rooting for you” into that sweet girl’s eyes you knew that the night was going to be at ease filled with charming times.

Who would’ve thought that a 23 year old would be able to pen a song so sincerely melancholy as “Minor Detail?” Having come off a strange quirk in lyricism found in Two Way Monologues, it seems that Sondre Lerche has found his knack in Duper Sessions. Effortlessly is the word to describe his penning in “Minor Detail.” The song flows so smoothly as he quietly croons “It’s the pounding in the heart whenever you are gone without any trace.It’s the breaking of the waves that were about to really carry someplace.”

Who would’ve known that a 23 year old would also play tribute to two classics? and translate them marvelously? Simply turning Cole Porter’s “Night And Day” into a simplistic guitar rhythmed song and Elvis Costello’s “Human Hands” into a marching big band song, as I once again say, so effortlessly, ceases to amaze that Sondre Lerche is only 23. (note: The European version of the album has Chet Baker’s “The More I See You” instead of Elvis Costello’s “Human Hands”) His ability to proclaim who his influences are rather than just state that they are influences says so much about his song writing.

Sondre Lerche is seperated from his peers in the sense that he does not seem to have the need or desire to over complicate his song writing. From his first song “Locust Girl” at age 14 and now into his third album Duper Sessions, the penning of his music has been a natural adventure.

Alongside a slew of new standards such as “Across The Land,” “(I Wanna) Call It Love, “Nightingales” and “I’m Not From Here,” Duper Sessions can be a timeless classic for anyone who appreciates good music. From jazz lounge lovers to simple bossa novas and heavenly pop Duper Sessions delivers.

MP3: “Minor Detail

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OF MONTREAL Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

OF MONTREAL Hissing Fauna Are You The Destroyer?I could have sworn that Of Montreal were suppose to break up years ago. They were suppose to break up after their first album on Polyvinyl Records, after the folding of Kindecore Records. Satanic Panic In The Attic was an odd record coming from Of Montreal. All of the new use of fandango electro sonic beeps and blips was certainly an odd addition to their psych pop. I had an incredibly hard time letting their new direction sink in. Remember that drum machine beat in the beginning of “Disconnect The Dots?” Wow, was that zany. But within a few listens and hearing those amazing vocal harmonies it became the sweet lollipop I’d always want to have melting on my tongue.

But you know…mybe it was coincidental that the change also came along with the demise of the Elephant 6 collective and as well as the related sister label Kindercore Records. But whatever the reason for the change was, it definitely lead into the fantastic The Sundalic Twins. With a mix of their fun psychedelia and new out look on what’s fun like in “Wraith Pinned To The Mist and Other Games” and the dance synth heaven of “The Party’s Crashing Us” there was no way that anyone would’ve looked back and wondered why Of Montreal’s sound has progressed so much further than what they were doing prior.

Now I had a chance to listen to Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? a few weeks ago and never really gave it much time. Why? I am not too sure. I went through the songs quickly just listening to snippets of each. I had in the back of my mind that Kevin Barnes just went off and had written and recorded some odd ball record. But when I sat down and gave the album some time? It really blew my mind! With the opening erratic pace of “Suffer For Fashion” I really couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe how undeniable the hooks and catches were. In the lead single “Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse” he has written something dark while all the while being a candy coated pop psychedelic new wave schmorgishborg where he defines what a lot of this new album may be about. Stating that “Nina Twin is trying to help me” and “I really hope she succeeds” and turns around and ends it with “And it’s just like you to hurt me when I’m feeling good” could be underlying lyrics exemplifying the hardships Kevin Barnes has had within the last year or so having a wife, new child and having traveled to Norway write this album.

But whatever has inspired Kevin Barnes to write this album must have been one hell of a “trip.” Though only a slightly zanier progression from The Sundalic Twins, Hissing Fauna, Are you the Destroyer? has definitely shown some leaps and bounds over its predecessor. The eclecticism never ceases me to amaze from album to album. From the obvious dipping into the world of glam (“Labyrinthian Pomp”) and shiney disco balls (“A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger”) to even epic opuses (“The Past is a Grotesque Animal”) that hit the 11:53 mark! Of Montreal has definitely spread themselves quite all over the place. But let’s not forget about my favorite. Of Montreal has not forgotten to include some really hip moving thumpin’ basslines in “Grolandic Edit.” A little diddy with a nice groove to get you on the dance floor to show some lovin’ to that sweet thang in front of you. I love this song!

The only downside I may see with Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? is that at times it may seem a little long. But is this a distracting to enjoying the album? Absolutely not.

So what lesson did I learn after having listened to Of Montreal’s Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? That I shouldn’t skip and snippet through tracks. It may lead me into missing out on something that just may be a hidden gem, something precious that one day may turn out to me a classic. Already on their 8th album in a decade, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? just may be their defining record. But let’s not hold our breaths! Just as Of Montreal has surprised us in the past and now with Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? we may never know what future journeys Kevin Barnes may take prior to writing the next album.

OF MONTREAL

MP3: “Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse” “Gronlandic Edit
Website: www.ofmontreal.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/ofmontreal
Purchase: Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
Label: Polyvinyl Records
Video: “Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse”


EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO (Pan's Labyrinth)

El Laberinto Del FaunoPossibly only known in the United States for his handy work in Hellboy and Blade 2…yes, I said Blade 2. Yes, the one with Wesley Snipes. Guillermo del Torro’s El Laberinto Del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) was a grand opener to this new season in film.

El Laberinto Del Fauno tells the story of a girl named Ofelia living during a tultimulterous war ridden fascist Spain in the 1940’s who’s got nowhere else to go but into the books that she holds dearly to her. These books? Books on fairy tales and epic stories that were written when forests were still young.

Now without having to give out too much away, let’s say that Guillermo del Torro has crafted a brilliant dreamscape into the world of a little girl’s mind while she’s trying deal with the harsh realities that she have been forced upon her. Yes, this has been tagged as an “adult fairy tale” but how often is it that adults really do want to escape into another realm where faeries mask themselves as giant grasshopper like creatures? Aren’t adults usually too busy with their 9 to 5 and Starbucks coffee and making sure they hit the treadmill to keep up with time running against them? Aren’t we all too busy? Counting every second of the day and not letting one be savored to let our imaginations just fly away?

Well, with Del Torro’s El Laberinto Del Fauno we are given a film that simply states that when we are going through the most excruciating moments in our lives…our fantasies may be the only places that we can escape to. In this case, Ofelia goes through a fantastic journey while trying to escape the realities of what she is going through. Del Torro painted an amazing film that literally captures the beautiful essence of what fantasty can really be. From the darkness of the clouds to the black and blue of night and from the creatures that dwelled at night to the people that shared the same reality of Ofelia, Del Torro in every possible way captured all of their beings and masterfully let them share the same time and space.

Though Del Torro may only be known in the states for his marvelous direction on Hellboy (and soon to be Hellboy 2) and the lackluster Blade 2 (yes, the one with Wesley Snipes as the vampire who hunts vampires), I hope that El Laberinto Del Fauno will open up movie goers and American film viewers into a realm that Del Torro has really been able to craft so beautifully. He has easily marked his films such as The Devil’s Backbone and Cronos and of course El Laberinto Del Fauno with his distinct touch as well as the ability to give his characters so much soul.

Do not miss out on see El Laberinto Del Fauno in the theatres!

Find movie times.

Trailer:

EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO (Pan’s Labyrinth)

El Laberinto Del FaunoPossibly only known in the United States for his handy work in Hellboy and Blade 2…yes, I said Blade 2. Yes, the one with Wesley Snipes. Guillermo del Torro’s El Laberinto Del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) was a grand opener to this new season in film.

El Laberinto Del Fauno tells the story of a girl named Ofelia living during a tultimulterous war ridden fascist Spain in the 1940’s who’s got nowhere else to go but into the books that she holds dearly to her. These books? Books on fairy tales and epic stories that were written when forests were still young.

Now without having to give out too much away, let’s say that Guillermo del Torro has crafted a brilliant dreamscape into the world of a little girl’s mind while she’s trying deal with the harsh realities that she have been forced upon her. Yes, this has been tagged as an “adult fairy tale” but how often is it that adults really do want to escape into another realm where faeries mask themselves as giant grasshopper like creatures? Aren’t adults usually too busy with their 9 to 5 and Starbucks coffee and making sure they hit the treadmill to keep up with time running against them? Aren’t we all too busy? Counting every second of the day and not letting one be savored to let our imaginations just fly away?

Well, with Del Torro’s El Laberinto Del Fauno we are given a film that simply states that when we are going through the most excruciating moments in our lives…our fantasies may be the only places that we can escape to. In this case, Ofelia goes through a fantastic journey while trying to escape the realities of what she is going through. Del Torro painted an amazing film that literally captures the beautiful essence of what fantasty can really be. From the darkness of the clouds to the black and blue of night and from the creatures that dwelled at night to the people that shared the same reality of Ofelia, Del Torro in every possible way captured all of their beings and masterfully let them share the same time and space.

Though Del Torro may only be known in the states for his marvelous direction on Hellboy (and soon to be Hellboy 2) and the lackluster Blade 2 (yes, the one with Wesley Snipes as the vampire who hunts vampires), I hope that El Laberinto Del Fauno will open up movie goers and American film viewers into a realm that Del Torro has really been able to craft so beautifully. He has easily marked his films such as The Devil’s Backbone and Cronos and of course El Laberinto Del Fauno with his distinct touch as well as the ability to give his characters so much soul.

Do not miss out on see El Laberinto Del Fauno in the theatres!

Find movie times.

Trailer:


About

Twentyseven Views is primarily a music blog (although sometimes I will do the random post on a film or something culture or art related). All posts are genuine and honest opinions by the writer.

The writer is based in New York and has run a small indie record label, was a former publicist and has done freelance publicity. The writer has penchant taste in music that lean towards pop. Whether that be indie pop, dance music or hip-hop.

MP3s are used to help promote the artists and musicians. Please buy their art!

If you have any questions regarding any posts please feel free to contact the writer.

Contact

Please feel free to contact me at twentysevenviews(at)gmail.com.

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