Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Daniel’s Album of the Year

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Woods – City Sun Eater in the River of Light

Woods music occupies a strange space that is uncertain, anxious, pulsating, groovy and weird. Over previous recordings things have trodden fairly familiar ground… a sort of lo-fi-retro-indie-americana that sits beneath Jeremy Earl’s distinctly smooth Falsetto voice and occasionally veers off into ragged guitar wigouts and hypnotic rhythmic interludes. It’s a voice that won’t float everyone’s boat but it’s a core ingredient in the woods sound and a constant that gives the band an undeniable uniqueness.

On City Sun Eater, woods embrace new influences… Dub, Latin, African, Funk and Jazz… the end result is a record that is both a step forward for the band and rewarding for the listener. Things get off to a cracking start on album opener Sun City Creeps with its Ethiopian style muted guitar lick and Jazzy African horns, which gradually build to an epically lo-fi, ramshackle guitar solo. Despite the fresh sound somehow Woods have never sounded more comfortably ‘woodsy’. The production of this record is really great and a pleasure for the ears… especially when enjoyed via headphones. Punchy horn sections, tight drums, silky smooth pedal steel, warm radiating organs and 70’s era cop show ‘chikady, chik, chik wah wah’ guitars are all there in abundance, yet it never feels over worked. A great album with plenty of reasons to come back for more. My favourite secret band.

Other notable 2016 albums that grabbed me…
Angel Olsen – My Woman, Kevin Morby – Singing Saw, William Tyler – Modern Country, Big Thief – Masterpiece, Preoccupations – Preoccupations, DD Dumbo – utopia Defeated, Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Stranger Things, Vol 1

Amy’s album of the year

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Whitney – Light Upon the Lake

I’ve always had a soft spot for Whitney. When she sang ‘Could I Have This Kiss Forever’ with Hispanic hunk Enrique, I nearly … Pardon? What was that? Oh bloody hell, how embarrassing, yes, of course, hang on …

James introduced me to the love of Whitney by forcibly sitting me down and making me watch No Woman on You Tube. A lot. After much eye rolling I started to warm to them until I became a full blown fan and now I make everyone listen to them at every given opportunity.

Their gig in Oxford last summer, goes down as one of my all time favourites. Despite the fact it was way too hot and sweaty in the sticky basement of The Bullingdon, I felt genuinely sad when it was over and that’s pretty rare for me (I usually start to glaze over after the third song and wonder what I can eat when I get home). Who doesn’t like a live burst of trumpet, let alone an album where it’s given its due? What an exciting feeling.

Light upon The Lake has been described as a ‘woozy blend of countryfied soul’. I felt their angst and fought against my maternal instinct to climb up on the stage and reassure them that it will all be alright in the end. I hope I’m right, they’re a nice bunch.

There have been a few albums I’ve liked this year, but this is the one I keep coming back to. You will too. Absolutely.

Albums of the year

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Do you like to win things? Do you like music? Are you aged between 0 and 100? Well then. You are in the right place. You can win REAL copies of our albums of the year, simply by sharing the Bigtop Christmas card on any of our social media outlets (that’s twitterfacebook and instagram), with the hashtag #bigtopdesign. .

We will be announcing the albums this week, one by one. Watch this space. :D