NEW ALBUM: Blur – The Magic Whip

This has certainly been a day to remember! Why? Because for the first time since 2003, Blur will release a new album. The album is called The Magic Whip and was recorded in Hong Kong last year. It’s been well known among Blur fans that the band had recorded in Hong Kong, but everything the band members said up to now suggested the recordings didn’t come to anything. But obviously not, because a new album is here!

A new track from the album, Go Out, is available to listen to now:

This is certainly a huge day for me and other Blur fans. I’ve been a huge fan for as long as I can remember and have wanted a new album since Think Tank came out in 2003. And finally, we have one!

Blur will also be headlining at BST Hyde Park in London, where songs from the new album will make their way into the setlist. This also means a full tour is also possible! The Hyde Park show is on Saturday the 20th June and tickets are available on Friday the 27th February.

The album is out on the 27th April and is available to pre-order NOW.

10847401_10153603387785744_867521640637367161_o

Favourite Albums Of 2014

The Rentals – Lost In Alphaville

51m+xP+U5mL._SL1425_What can I saw about this album? It’s BY FAR my favourite of 2014, in fact I’d been waiting for a new album from The Rentals in what seemed like forever. Every year I’d hope a new album would be on the cards and this year my wish was answered. It is absolutely spectacular, as I mentioned several times in the review I wrote after it was released. Their debut album, Return Of The Rentals, is one of my favourite albums of all time however the follow up, Seven More Minutes, wasn’t nearly as good. But Lost In Alphaville was a real return to form for the band. Every single song from start to finish is perfect. Some albums I listen to a lot and then stop listening to but this one hasn’t been like that, I’ve listened to it consistently since it was released and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. If you don’t have this album (or don’t know who The Rentals are) then please get it now!

The Allman Brothers Band – The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings

abbfillmoreeastThe 1971 Fillmore East Recordings are an expanded set of songs from The Allman Brothers Band’s legendary shows at the Fillmore East in New York in March 1971. At Fillmore East was the original live album, released in 1971, and is considered one of the best live albums of all time. However this set contains every single set the band played during their time at the Fillmore East in March of that year, minus the first day where the sound was ruined due to the inclusion of a brass section. But what we have here is all of the other sets together for the first time, and boy it’s great to have them. What I love in particular is listening to the different versions of songs. The version of Statesboro Blues which featured on the original live album is iconic but listening to the other versions of that one song the band played in the other sets is fantastic. This release has probably given me the most pleasure this year, it’s superb,

She & Him – Classics

10633384_10153019538293900_3073224813206653102_oAs soon as this album was announced mid-way through 2014, I couldn’t wait to get it. She & Him have been one of my favourite bands since their debut album Volume One was released back in 2008. Since then they’ve released two other studio albums, a Christmas album and now an album devoted to classic songs. The production on this album is simply divine and drenched in reverb which just adds to the whole feel and vibe from the get go. The collection of songs are nothing but perfect and M. Ward, Zooey Deschanel and their band are in fine form. The highlight for me is I’ll Never Be Free which Zooey Deschanel sings to perfection. If you don’t fall in love with her upon listening to this song, then frankly, there’s something wrong with you! Great album.

Beck – Morning Phase

Beck_MP_Cvr_MINI_5x5_FNLSix whole years after Beck’s last studio album, Modern Guilt, I was unbelievably excited to hear his latest album and I wasn’t disappointed when I did. When it’s lead single Blue Moon was released prior to the album I knew it would be something special. Many other people who reviewed it consider Morning Phase a natural successor to Beck’s 2002 album Sea Change. I can see where they are coming from but for me, I think he takes his work in a completely new direction. Yes the songs can be compared to Sea Change in terms of feel but it’s a step forward and not a step back. It’s a very enjoyable album, I hope we don’t have to wait another six years for Beck’s next release.

You+Me – rose ave.

81n02TCMQEL._SL1500_This album was a real surprise for me. I’ve been a City and Colour fan for a number of years now and I wasn’t sure what I’d think about the album when I heard Pink was half of this duo. She’s known for big stage productions when singing live and roaring vocals but her input here is absolutely fantastic. I’d love more City and Colour albums in the future but I’d settle for more from these two as a duo as well. Their vocals really compliment each other beautifully and Dallas Green, as always, is fantastic on acoustic guitar.

Nina Persson – Animal Heart

LJX070_800This is an album I reviewed upon release and I loved it instantly. Having been a fan of The Cardigans since getting the Gran Turismo Playstation game as a child (My Favourite Game featured on the soundtrack) I couldn’t wait to hear her debut album. She’s without a doubt one of my favourite female singers and the album didn’t disappoint.

ALBUM REVIEW: Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways

Sonic Highways is the first new album from the Foo Fighters since Wasting Light was released 3 years ago in 2011. I thought Wasting Light was a great return to form after a disappointing album in Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. That album didn’t really seem to have an identity and the usual sound you’d expect from the Foo Fighters. Wasting Light did, and it was great! Naturally I’ve been unbelievably excited to hear their new album since it was announced a couple of months ago. It’s shorter than any of their previous albums at 8 songs but with the Foo Fighters, that shouldn’t matter one bit. Usually.

Something From Nothing is the opening track and right from the off you know what band is playing. That’s the great thing about the Foo Fighters, they’ve always has such a recognisable sound (minus Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace) and this track is the highlight of the album. It was the debut single after all. It has everything you’d expect from the Foo Fighters, a great song. It’s very hard to explain why. But the vocals, the melody, the hooks, the guitar. It could only be the Foo Fighters. It’s followed by The Feast And The Famine which is contains the same things as the previous song in terms of sound and feel and Grohl is really on fire behind the mic.

Congregation comes next and this is when things start to sound different. The feel is different, that Foo Fighters sound is not as prominent. It’s a good song but a far cry from their 90’s prime. What Did I Do?/God As My Witness is exactly the same. There’s even some piano on this song. What? Not what I’d normally expect from a Foo Fighters song. It just doesn’t fit and never sounds right. But the song picks up when the full band comes in and things get back to normal. Ish.

  1. Something From Nothing
  2. The Feast And The Famine
  3. Congregation
  4. What Did I Do?/God As My Witness
  5. Outside
  6. In The Clear
  7. Subterranean
  8. I Am A River

Outside and In The Clear have the same kind of problems. They same to be lacking something even though they do rock and rock hard. But there’s something missing… But the two most disappointing tracks come at the end. Subterranean and I Am The River. Maybe it’s because I’ve only listened to the album a few times so far but I haven’t taken to these two tracks at all. It’s just not the Foo Fighters. What I mean by that is it could be any band playing. The only way I know it’s the Foo Fighters playing is because these songs are on the album. But that sound every Foo Fighters fan loves is nowhere to be found. That signature sound and feel I explained earlier on in this review is non-existent in these tracks.

Overall I feel it’s a pretty disappointing album from a band I consider to be one of my favourites. I was expecting a lot more than this. The songs don’t seem to go anywhere at all and every second you’re expecting the band to really engage and kick off but it never happens. And I get that different songs were recorded at different legendary studios in the US but at no-time would I have known that when listening to the album. What was the point? I don’t get it.

I hate that I don’t like this album. I want to love it so much but I just can’t.

5/10

EP RELEASE: Live 2014 Available Now

Today I released my new EP Live 2014. The EP contains three explosive live tracks recorded at shows I played earlier this year with my trio. They include a cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s Killing Floor and my original number, Tumblin’ All Night Long!

  1. Killing Floor (recorded at Native Tongue, Epsom – 10/1/14)
  2. Tumblin’ All Night Long (recorded at The Dublin Castle, London – 12/2/14)
  3. Got To Get Better In A Little While (recorded at The Good Ship, London – 15/3/14)

You can buy my EP for only £3 (roughly $4.50) at the following link, there’s also an option to pay more if you’re feeling generous. Thank you very much in advance if so!

https://tomcaswellmusic.bandcamp.com/album/live-2014

Time Out London: “Classic guitar blues from young virtuoso Caswell, in the mould of Freddie King or BB.” 

Bugbear Bookings: “Hotly tipped blues guitarist referencing B.B King. and Clapton” 

Zarathustras Live Events: “Blues guitarist Tom Caswell – unbelievable.”

Live EP3

SONG REVIEW: She & Him – Time After Time

Only a few days after She & Him released the first song off their next album Classics, they’ve released another one. Time After Time is a Frank Sinatra standard and you can listen to it right here:

With this song we have another taste of what the new album, a collection of covers, will be like. I can hardly contain my excitement, this is sure to be one of the releases of the year.

And if that wasn’t enough, She & Him were on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night, playing Stay Awhile, the first track to be released from Classics. Watch and listen to the performance here:

http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/video/she-himstay-awhile/2823083

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 21.49.35

SINGLE REVIEW: She & Him – Stay Awhile

Back in August, She & Him announced plans for a new album. Since then we’ve had two teaser videos and now we get the first single, Stay Awhile. The new album, Classics, is a cover album and this song was originally written by Mike Hawker and Ivor Raymonde and featured on Dusty Springfield’s debut album Stay Awhile/I Only Want to Be with You in 1964.

The She & Him version is wonderful with reverb sprinkled all over the song thanks to M. Ward. It just sounds delicious. You can hear the song right here:

New She & Him albums are always something to look forward to and this is their 5th album release after three ‘Volume’ albums and a Christmas album. No doubt this will be just as good as all of the others and I can’t wait to hear it.

The track listing for new album Classics is as follows:

1. Stars Fell on Alabama
2. Oh No, Not My Baby 
3. It’s Not for Me to Say 
4. Stay Awhile
5. This Girl’s In Love With You
6. Time After Time
7. She
8. Teach Me Tonight 
9. It’s Always You  
10. Unchained Melody
11. I’ll Never Be Free
12. Would You Like to Take a Walk 
13. We’ll Meet Again

The album is out on the 2nd December.