As 2012 comes to an end, and as many who come here know, I am a very big fan of modern music in all its varieties. I think this year has been a particularly good one for music and performers in general. Over the past number of years, music of the ‘rock’ variety has really moved away from being simple, electric guitar, 3 minute, pop based (think anything along the lines of Blur, Oasis or early Primal Scream) and seems to have split in two going either in a more electric, dance orientated direction (The Rapture for instance) or more folksy as I see it (Mumford and Sons, Tallest Man on Earth and Arcade Fire) with a few ‘stadium rock’ bands emerging (Coldplay and Kings of Leon), is that 3 types then? It’s hard to keep count I suppose.
Having lived in Dublin for most of the year, it is noticeable how much music is an integral part of the city, even though it is not nearly that big to be honest. It is the very fabric of the city and was only really brought home to me when I had a friend over from London one weekend and I showed him around the sites and sounds, he said he had never heard so much music, so much busking, so many performers in pubs or seen so many fliers for gigs and concerts in a city that size.
One of those bands that really became my de facto soundtrack for 2012 and Dublin in general was ‘Chromatics‘ with their 4th studio album ‘Kill for Love’ which is released by the ‘Viva Italians‘ label. They most definitely fall under the group of bands that have decided to put an electric taste to their songs and it sounds all the better for it. The band have been touring extensively during the year, yet everytime I try and see them I seemingly miss them and my friends tell me how special a performance it was. C’est la vie I suppose, yet with the critical success of this album, surely they will tour some more in 2013? Here’s hoping of course!
Now, you may know the band from the HTC advert where a fashion shoot is shot whilst sky diving or from the opening sequence of the film ‘Drive‘ with Ryan Gosling as the lead where the track ‘Tick of the Clock‘ from their 3rd album ‘Night Drive’, a piece which is minimalist in its arrangement yet very effective and perhaps slightly haunting also, it is one of the best arrangements I have heard in years.
Chromatics are from Portland, Oregon and comprise Ruth Radelet, Johnny Jewel and Nat Walker with Radelet as lead vocals which she delivers in this amazingly soft spoken, even underwhelming manner which is such a change from the norm it confirms the old saying that less is more.
Stand out tracks from the album, for me, include of course the title song ‘Kill for Love’, ‘Candy’, ‘The River’ and ‘These Streets Will Never Look the Same’ which is actually my favorite.
I hope you have all enjoyed this album as much as I have, otherwise, go out and get it or check them out on youtube or elsewhere, you will not be disappointed!!
So, what have you been listening to then? Any recommendations from 2012 that you would like to share? Drop it in the box below…