Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
Raise Your Head
Review of 6 Day Riot’s On This Island
FacebookI took to watching the British TV show Skins a little while back and in keeping with popular opinion, found the first two seasons to be compellingly done and only mildly ridiculous overall whereas the next generation was rather astoundingly charisma-free and so over the top that even the most outrageous soap opera writers would have gone, “really? You did that?”.
If there was some solace to be taken as I endured the later episodes (once I start watching something it’s very difficult to stop, no matter how bad), it was that the show’s reputation for excellent music direction didn’t waver over the show’s run. A fact which helped remind me that I hadn’t yet written up On This Island, the latest effort from London’s 6 Day Riot, when I heard soundtracking various scenes of English adolescent angst during season four.
Not that there’s anything particularly angsty about On This Island. Like its predecessors Folie a Deux and 6 Day Riot Have A Plan, it’s a frequently jubilant collection of songs that fully exploit the uptempo potential of their ukulele/violin/horn-led folk-klezmer musical recipe book. It’s a sound that’s become more in fashion in recent years, but 6 Day Riot have been at it since their inception and topping it all off with Tamara Schlesinger’s sweet vocals, they’ve crafted their own distinct personality from it. There are moments on the record when they stray from their strengths – some of the slower numbers don’t have the necessary momentum to get them where they need to be – but when on top of their game, as they are on cracking album opener “Take Me” and the sweeping “I Am You, You Are Me”, the results are terrific.
Noah & The Whale are giving away the lead track from their third record Last Night On Earth, due out in March of next year, and a another new song is streaming over at Soundcloud. If these are a good indicator of what the album has to offer, then that nu-folk tag is going to be a thing of the past and that’s fine with me. These tunes are good. They play the Mod Club on March 24.
Seattle’s Moondoggies – who will do nothing to undermine Seattle’s reputation as a factory for plaid-clad harmony-loving beard-folk – will make an appearance at The Horseshoe on February 2 in support of their debut Tidelands, tickets $10. The Standard-Examiner interviews Kevin Murphy from the band.
The short list for the BBC Sound Of 2011 is up and if nothing else, should offer a bluffers guide to the acts you might be getting sick of hearing about next year. NME has done you the service of assembling download links for each act.