This beautiful song sounds like the Beach Boys in a huge indoor stadium. It soars. From last year’s album “Merriweather Post Pavilion”. (via OTW 24 Jan 2009)

The Goldenhorse lead singer’s solo album sounds exactly as you would expect: like Goldenhorse in some parts, different in some parts, and altogether great. It’s a pop album with varied songs and arrangements, solid performances and production that manages to stay interestng throughout repeated listenings.

Some songs do sound like Goldenhorse. Kirsten knows it too — a line in Silent Window mentions a “golden horse”. Geoff Goldenhorse worked on some of the tracks, so similarities are inevitable. The obvious difference is that Kirsten is the only vocalist on this album. A few songs are simple voice and guitar melodies and make for fragile, beautiful listening.

Ghosts, the opening track, has a fast toe-tapping beat, with some interesting distortion and nagging melodies. Kirsten’s voice sounds like Ruth Carr from the NZ electronic band Minuit. That same snarling edge, especially in the chorus. The cute “da da da”s are pure Morrell though.

Friday Boy has the slightly off-kilter style of verse familiar to Goldenhorse fans. The end of the verse builds up with an “oh, oh…” and just when you’re expecting the big key change for the chorus, the next verse just comes in. In fact the anticipated soaraway chorus never appears. This confounds my expectations, and not in a bad way.

Cherry Coloured Dreams has a sweet melody and a somewhat funky beat in the chorus. This is the sort of thing that I could listen to all day long. And in fact I have been listening to it all day long.

If you like Goldenhorse then you’re sure to like Ultraviolet. And if you don’t like Goldenhorse then there’s something wrong with you.

Awesome shrill Japanese fuzz-pop. Is that even a word? This track reminds of Dweeb, another obscure band who were already derivative enough. The vocals sound a lot like the Pancakes, with that same high-pitched nasal tone and carefully rounded English vowels, though I actually can’t understand any of it. Except for the “No Way!”

Source: Japanator Radio 132

Sounds like Bjork at the beginning with that growly kitten voice and discordant electronic instrumentation, but builds into a bright sing-song melody in the chorus. Brooding and atmospheric, yet still fun.

I didn’t even know that Nine Inch Nails were defunct, and here’s the first song from Trent Reznor’s next project. It sounds like one of the quieter NIN songs, only with a honeyed female vocal (from Mrs Reznor) instead of Trent’s anguished voice. The result sounds like a bit of a throwback to the ’90s, when everyone was trying to sound like Portishead. How To Destroy Angels will need to come up with something a bit more compelling if they’re to measure up to NIN. But maybe they don’t want to…

Their first EP will be out sometime soon, so I can’t wait to hear some more dimensions of their sound. Assuming there are some.

This actually sounds slightly different to all Perfume’s other songs. The beat is nice and chunky and, for a change, not straight 4/4. Instead it’s on the hip-hop tip, as the kids used to say when I was one of them. The girls’ voices are sounding more and more robotic though; the autotune is taking over. Eventually Perfume will turn into a better-looking version of Kraftwerk.

Source: Japanator Radio 127

This wonderfully-titled album is full of dark-tinged folk pop; the music is interesting and acoustic, while the voice and lyrics lend a definite edge. Ms Carafice was incarcerated in a mental hospital for a time, which explains songs like Asylum Escape Song and Lorazopam [sic]. They sound a bit more upbeat than you might think — all acoustic guitars, piano and drums and a few other things. Even Song For A Cruel German Psychiatrist Woman (“Where is the God in you, Hitler woman?”) has a rollicking folky feel to it.

Ms Carafice is an expat Kiwi, living in the USA. I saw an interview on TV with her a few months ago, which revealed that she has a nice mid-Pacific accent — but her singing voice gives a dark quality to even upbeat songs like the excellent Bodhisattva. The same interview revealed that her name is pronounced “Karafeechay”, so you can go to your local CD shop and ask for her CD with confidence. Of course you could buy it online, but where’s the fun in that?

This dub album came out a year or three ago. I remembered it recently when I read that International Observer is actually former ’80s pop star Tom Bailey, of former ’80s pop idols The Thompson Twins. And now he seems to live in New Zealand, just like me.

His album reminds me of a more understated version of The Orb. That’s not a bad thing, but it just doesn’t really stick in my memory.

It just makes we want to move, and even throw my hands in the air like I just don’t care. It’s pretty cheesy, but I really like the nagging, nagging, nagging synth lead, the nice autotune harmonies and the whole good-time vibe. I also like the absence of rapping, which tends to be the weak point of Capsule’s songs.

Source: Japanator Radio 124