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Back in time: The Smiths

  The Smiths is one of the most important bands of the british music history. They influenced plenty of bands, and made with other bands like Joy Division, The Fall, The Stone Roses and the list goes on, the Manchester scene in the 80s They influenced a lot of bands and they still have a big impact in youth today.

Why? Well, when a band is composed of four talented members it is a good start.

  Every band have an image, and Morrissey is that image. His charisma, great style, great sense of humor and intelligence make a whole mysterious character. Add to this, his charming voice and way of singing, and his talent as a songwriter. The lyrics are definitely a part of the Smiths success, you could quote every line of his songs. They are deep, dark with this touch of sarcasm, even if the main topics are about love, death and Morrissey’s life. "Nothing’s changed I still love you, only slightly, only slightly less, than I used to, my love…"  (from Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before)

Johnny Marr is an excellent guitarist. His style is very recognizable, in fact, his guitar is a bit like the signature if the band. Sometimes it seems like there are ten guitars playing at the same time, like in Barbarism begins at home. This song is, to me, the best examples of the members’ skills: the guitar is absolutely amazing, the lyrics are beautiful but still a bit abstract, the bass is present that in the other songs, and there is a short drum solo at the end, every instrument match perfectly with each other.

After the Smiths split up, Johnny Marr and Morrissey have both a solo career started. Marr has collaborated with a lot of bands and artists, just like Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce.

   Moreover, sometimes a band is known for two or three famous songs, but The Smiths released a lot singles, and there is still other songs which are less famous but great too.

The band started with their album “The Smiths” (1984), and ended with Strangeways, Here We Come (1987). They last long enough to make better and better albums. My favourites are Meat is Murder (1985) which includes The Headmaster Ritual, Well I wonder and Rusholme Ruffians. The members are all vegetarian, so it is not hard to understand the clear message of their album. Then, I really like The Queen is Dead (1986), which includes Bigmouth Strikes Again and There is a light that never goes out

Speaking of their albums, what they include is not the only thing interesting about them. There covers are very artistic and have a part in the band’s image. They all represent at least one character who are often actors chosen by Morrissey, they all have only two colours, and they can be seen as one picture only, but when you put them together, it seems that they all make one picture. 

So, if their talent, their image, their songs does not convince you, well I hope this will: The Smiths are a bloody classic!

Bernard + Edith is a Manchester based band. The duo started last year with their EP Strange Dreams, and more recently, they released Poppy. It is quite hard to describe their sound. The fact that they’re from Manchester is probably not an influence in their music. There is this dark atmosphere, both heavy and light, perhaps created by the vocals.
It is very new anyway, but their strangeness reminds me a bit of the 90s… You will perhaps recognize Nick Delap from Egyptian Hip Hop, which is also a very good band! 
I’d like to write about their videos, because they’re made by themselves and they are quite good. Nick and Greta or both into art, and their videos represents a lot their music, I think. They are very experimental, strange, and they’ve got effects that you can find in 90s videos, but used differently.
You can listen to more Bernard + Edith music here.
Mac Demarco is back! He finally released his new album “Salad Days”. Even the title sound delicious and fresh for this (hot) spring! I heard the whole album and I found that it sounds a bit like the previous album, 2 (which was excellent, have a listen to Cooking up Something Good, My Kind of woman, and/or Freaking Out the Neighborhood). 
But it doesn’t really matter because as long as he keeps his “shameless attitude”, his songs will always be special. Especially Salad Days, and Passing out Pieces which I find quite different. 
Another Birmingham band, Superfood! They came up last year with their three tracks Melting, Bubbles and also Superfood. They have already shown us how special was their sound. But they are back today with TV, which is very DIY, for its lyrics, and for their kind of noisy guitars too. And here the link of the video.
Superfood, not only because of their name, but mostly because of their fresh songs, bring us some good energy and is definitely one of the most promising bands of the moment! I think it is now safe to say: What the hell is happening in Birmingham?

►Top bands

Best Artists/Bands:

►King Krule

►Mac Demarco

►Alt-J

►Jagwar Ma

►Tame Impala

►Swim Deep

►Peace

Best Albums:

*Oshin, DIIV

*Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, Mount Kimbie

*Six feet beneath the moon, King Krule

*Some Say I So I Say Light, Ghostpoet

*Good Don’t Sleep, Egyptian Hip Hop

*Where the heaven are we, Swim Deep

*Howlin, Jagwar Ma

*Monomania, Deerhunter

To Watch:

- Only Real

- Wolf Alice

- Blaenavon

- Superfood

- Childhood

(Merry New Year!)

DIIV released their album Oshin in 2012. This brilliant album is certainly unexpected for its cold wave sound. The setback voice, the fast rythmic and the ocean of guitars creates a cold and light atmosphere at the same time. Doused and How Long Have You Known are maybe the best songs of the album. They are different but coherent. 
Yeah! It’s Christmas! And Peace didn’t forget it. They made a “marvelous” gift for their fans. A special Christmas song that you might have already watched. This song is called “It’s been a year and it doesn’t surprise me” a cover of Wham. Here it is. And to round things up, this little DIY interview from Harry Koisser (the lead-singer) Delicious!
The Garden is for certain one of the most striking band of the moment. The twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears from California merged in 2011 and now made 12 tracks. Their one minute long songs, their grungy guitar combined with an omnipotent drum melted with their haunting languid voice make the right recipe to get all the attention needed. Or perhaps was it their woman’s clothing ? Whatsoever, they undoubtedly make a lot of noise around them. Music is like their playground where they display the whole variety of their inspirations. And various it is, for I can’t assimilate them to one sound or even one specific genre. Some would say it’s a neo-punk band as you can hear it in What we are, yet I was not so sure when I listened to Girl a song wherein the sole presence of the synthe takes you back to the 80s electro sound.
All in all, I think it is safe to say that those twin brothers arise our curiosity by being unexpected.
We’re coming back to Swim Deep, the “californian” four-piece band from Birmingham. Well, seems they have more fans everyday! But first, I want to talk about the demo Isla Vista, that they made in their start. Different in every ways: Austin’s distant voice, the guitar’s riff, a piercing sound in the back. Actually it almost sounds like Joy Division (especially the intro), or another Manc band of the early 80s. Anyway, it’s a very good demo, as good as their best songs.
Speaking of their best songs, have a listen to Orange County. They qualify their music as “escapism”, this song is a good example. 
Finally a band in which the lead-singer is a woman. This North London four-piece,Wolf Alice, is composed of Ellie Rowswell (vocals/guitar), Joel Almey (drums/vocals), Theo Ellis (bass). They didn’t release any album yet but they already have attracted reliable music reviews such as NME who ranked them among the young British bands of 2013 to watch ( here is the link). The band describes their music as being rocky pop, but their style varies from tracks to tracks. Bros and She display the many influences they have: from grunge bands of the 90s to something more pop. However the autobiographicals lyrics of Ellie Rowsell make their own signature as you can hear in Fluffy.
Peace is not a a hippie band coming right from the 60s, as you might think. Indeed not, the guys from “B-Town” released their first album In Love this year. It’s quite hard to describe their style for the moment. There are a lot of differences between their singles Lovesick or Follow Baby and Bloodshake, which is the most striking song of the album. More rocky for the first two tracks, and a little tropical sound (quite similar to Troumaca or Petite Noir) very “fruity” and rythmic for the last one. 
Egyptian Hip Hop released its first album last year. About time! After the success of their EPs “Some Reptiles Grew Wings" and their single Wild Human Child in 2010, they finally released “Good Don’t Sleep”. This album is quite surprising, it sounds really different from their first songs. Their music still have a good energy, but with a sort of melancholy and an amazing bass, especially in SYH. Well, we can say that Manchester still got it…
Behind their dark look close to the Ramones, The Horrors are more than a pale copy of the Cramps. We are now very far from their first album maybe too much inspired by their post-punk/new wave influences as Joy Division, Bauhaus ect. Their second album Primary Colours was already a good example of their evolution, asserting their style without forgetting their influences. Skying is certainly the one which ensures the talent and the longevity of the English band. The modern and psychedelic Still Life has an irreproachable rythmic. They released Higher, full of remixes of their previous album.
Childhood released their single “Blue Velvet" in 2012. The dreamy, shoegazing, pop song is accentuated by the wavy guitar, that I’ve heard somewhere else before… In the video, you can see the young band enjoying their party with other young people, like Only Real, who made a discrete appearance! 
Here is Totally Enormous Extinct Dinausors (or simply TEED). He started in 2008, but his singles Garden (2011) and Household Goods (2012) have a great success. He also remixes plenty of songs like F for you from Disclosure this year. His electro sound is very clean and makes you dance in his “totally enormous extinct dinosaurs” world.