Balthazar are throwing a ball from the Kortrijk area of Belgium
Balthazar – Fifteen Floors
Balthazar – Throwing A Ball
Kind of a busy weekend for me so I don’t have much time to keep up with my Song of the Day. I’m so sorry to disappoint my immense amount devoted viewers (Could you pick up the sarcasm?) so to make up for missing yesterday, and possibly tomorrow, I’m throwing two amazing indie gems at you today.
For most people I feel the name Balthazar gives the wrong impression as to what this Belgian Rock/Pop outfit is all about. Try to wipe clean your demonic pre-misconceptions and understand that Balthazar make music that is more on the heavenly end of the spectrum. Their 2010 debut album Applause was like a gift from the Gods themselves and never ceases to sweep me off my feet with each listen, and is undoubtedly the best album of 2010 that you have never heard. So what makes this album so special? Just listen to Fifteen Floors and tell me with a straight face it is not in fact something special. (And if you did I’d simply call you a liar) The trumpet, the bass, the mother-fucking Disney endings… it’s all there! And that’s only track numero uno out of a wonderfully crafted set of eleven songs. Now I could’ve added any other track from the album to this post but I had to choose my personal favorite from Applause, Throwing A Ball. It’s like a fairy tale dance hall hit minus the glamour and princess bull sh*t. The bass guitar in the song just takes over and the gritty viloin accompaniment just drives it all the way home. Throw in the catchy lyrics and it’s very hard for me to find reasons not to love this song. If Fifteen Floors or Throwing A Ball even remotely sparked your intrest I highly recommend sending a few euros Balthazar’s way and pick up a copy of Applause.
Gorillaz recorded The Fall from all corners of the globe
Somehow the Gorillaz managed to sneak a full album release under my nose. Apparently the band was busy behind the scenes of their Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour last year recording their latest album The Fall in between tour dates. The most interesting thing about the album is that all the recording was done through Gorillaz founder (and Blur frontman) Damon Albarn’s iPad and various apps that he downloaded. For an album recorded on a 9×7 inch device I have to give the band major props. While the album doesn’t stand out as anything special when you look at the Gorillaz amazing track record, it is still a beautiful work of musical art that refuses to be ordinary and mundane. Revolving Doors is one of the best tracks you’ll find on The Fall and seems to have a more traditional Gorillaz sound (If such a thing even exists). The album saw a free release to Gorillaz fan club members back in December but just recently got a physical release in April of this year. The Fall is a must have for all of those who claim to be true Gorillaz fans.
The Crystal Fighters aim to please with their beautiful synth driven electronic music. This could not be made anymore clear with their single At Home. “We make fast dance music with Basque instruments, synthesizers and our voices.” The results of this combination truly are wonderful. I guess magical things are bound to happen when you cross English electro music with Spanish indie dance styles. Crystal Fighters released their debut album Star of Love back in October of last year but are still pushing out great singles like At Home in 2011. While I like what’ve heard so far from Crystal Fighters, I’m still going to have say my favorite Spanish electro band is Delorean, because nothing beats Deli.
There is undoubtably something magical about The Naked and Famous. Their music has the capability of taking you to a wonderful place that is free of the world’s woes and seems to transcend so many genre barriers. If you haven’t done so already I suggest you go listen to their amazingly beautiful song Young Blood right now. But today is about the awesome electro-clash track Punching In A Dream. Whimsical synth-beats are abound in The Naked and Famous’s third single from their debut album Passive Me, Aggressive You. After so much success with the release of their debut in their home country of New Zealand these kiwis decided that its only right to take on the world and officially released Passive Me, Aggressive You worldwide on March 14th through Polydor Records. If your as big of a fan of simple and good electro-pop as I am then you need to get your hands on this record ASAP- you will not regret it.
Girls’ Night is a sugary sweet duet that will make even the coldest hearts thaw out. The layering of girl to boy vocals works so damn well and gives the song a sort of whimsical lovers appeal for me. This is a beautiful indie pop gem that more then deserves some attention. In fact, the whole band First Rate People deserve some well needed recognition. Girls’ Night isn’t the only wonderful thing you can look to from this folk-pop outfit. First Rate People’s EP It’s Never Not Happening offer an expansion on this talented young bands sound. From the groovy as hell track Orion, to the funkadelic influenced Charlie Kaufman, this band has more to give then the average indie artist and covers a wide array of the indie music spectrum. First Rate People is definitely a band I will be revisiting constantly as await news of an upcoming debut album.