Hello, Music Fans!
So as we get ever closer to kissing goodbye to another awesome Summer vacation, we Demon Music writers are desperately clinging on to the holiday spirit with our ‘Around The World’ Monday Playlist.
Every country in the world has some delightful musical offerings, so we’ve hopped on the iTunes plane to bring home our favourite overseas acts to add to this week’s playlist. We’ve travelled America, driven around Great Britain, popped into Europe and gone down under to Australia to hand-pick a fine selection of music to get you through the week.
Behind the scenes, it has been a bit stressful for us this past week, with the Demon Media website suffering a series of server problems that ultimately prevented us from sharing any content with you since last Wednesday. We wholeheartedly apologise for the delayed content, but hope that you enjoyed the Reading & Leeds Festival specials last week, along with the belated ‘Rachael’s Round-Up’ posts from Reading Festival 2013 that we uploaded across the weekend.
Please do stick around with us this week as (server permitting) we have ‘Harry’s August Music Highlights’ and a wonderful ‘From The Archives’ review coming up – how exciting!
That’s all for now, so go and enjoy this week’s Monday Playlist!
Music Editor, demon-media.co.uk
P.S: You’ll need to download Spotify and grab yourself an account to access the playlist!
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REPRESENTING SWEDEN: NICOLA ALLEN (@NicoClaireAllen)
LOREEN – ‘Euphoria’
Nicola says: “Songstress Loreen represented Sweden at the 57th Annual Eurovision Song Contest in Baku in 2012, and she won! ‘Euphoria’ is the hugely anthemic track that pushed her to the winning podium at the ‘Contest, and also to the top of my ‘Most Played’ playlist in iTunes. The song is goosebump-inducing and breathtaking, whilst playing out as a contemporary power ballad. I often find myself howling into a hairbrush to this track, and I’m sure that you’ll find yourself doing the same. Loreen has an incredible voice, and the rest of her album Heal isn’t too shabby either. No wonder she stormed the Eurovision competition!”
THE HIVES – ‘No Pun Intended’
Nicola says: “The Hives are one of my all time favourite bands, and I’m always first at the box office when they announce a UK show or tour. I was fortunate enough to win tickets to see them play the tiny Borderline venue in Central London last May, and it was definitely one of my most favourite shows ever thanks to the incredible charisma and cockiness from the five Swedes. ‘No Pun Intended’ is one of The Hives’ early tracks – taken from their third album Tyrannosaurus Hives – and is by far one of their fastest, most raucous songs. Frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist throws his shouty vocals over contemporary garage punk instrumentals performed by Nicholaus Arson, Dr. Matt Destruction, Chris Dangerous and Vigilante Carlstroem. What comes of the combination is a kick-ass track by, arguably, one of the most underrated yet long running rock bands in not only Sweden, but the world.”
REPRESENTING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: HARRY DEAN (@harrydeansays)
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – ‘Take Back The Night’
Harry says: “Crowned the ‘President of Pop’ at the recent MTV Video Music Awards, Mr Timberlake has kept us entertained for over 20 years now and he isn’t stopping any time soon! ‘Take Back the Night’ is the lead single from his upcoming album The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2, due for release on September 30, and provides smooth romantic pop reminiscent of groovy 80’s music. As the second album to be released by Timberlake in 2013, there is an understandable hype for it to match the popularity of the first part of the album. After some time, The 20/20 Experience really grew on me and is now one of my favourite albums. This song has given us high expectations for the same and I really cannot wait! Hurry up Justin!”
HUNTER HAYES – ‘Light Me Up’
Harry says: “In the UK, this 21-year-old country artist from the deep south of ‘merica is fairly unknown. However in the USA he just celebrated his third number one hit and is quickly rising in popularity. After opening for Taylor Swift on her SPEAK NOW American tour in 2011, Hayes’ popularity began to grow. More recently, he’s been crowned the Teen Choice Awards’ ‘Best Male Country Artist’ for the second time running, and it’s easy to realise why. He isn’t just easy on the eye, but he’s equally as easy on the ears. ‘Light Me Up’ features as one of his more country-rock tracks from his debut studio album Hunter Hayes (Encore). The soft vocals of Hayes mixed with the sounds of guitars and drums creates a great feel for the American-country music that continues to grow in popularity worldwide.”
REPRESENTING IRELAND: ALEX UNDERWOOD (@broadcasteralex)
THIN LIZZY – ‘Whiskey In The Jar’
Alex says: “Starting as a traditional Irish folk song, Thin Lizzy gave it an incredible riff, injecting some serious rock n’ roll into the ballad of a heartbroken highwayman. This became one of the biggest hits of their still continuing career, along with ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ and ‘Jailbreak’. This is the perfect combination of a folk tale and wailing electric guitar.
THE UNDERTONES – ‘Teenage Kicks’
Alex says: “A short and simple punk song with a highly infectious riff, and lyrics dealing with the universal issues of adolescence. It is commendable that The Undertones chose to write songs about such simple subject matter, than involving themselves with The Troubles. Need anything else be said?”
REPRESENTING SCOTLAND: NATALIE WHITEHOUSE (@_natbcfc)
BIFFY CLYRO – ‘Booooom, Blast & Ruin’
Natalie says: “I couldn’t do songs from bonny Scotland without including this band! Biffy now have a stronghold in the rock world, with six albums full of hits to choose from and an army of loyal fans behind them. After the release of double album Opposites at the beginning of the year, Biffy have kept up the hard work and are fresh from headlining the Reading & Leeds Festivals. I thought I’d keep up the buzz around these Scottish greats, opting to go with classic rock track ‘Booooom, Blast & Ruin.’ The track definitely packs a punch and is one of my favourites from the band’s fifth studio album Only Revolutions. Although the stuff from their latest record Opposites is just as great, I have an affinity with their 2009 album and this song in particular.
THE PROCLAIMERS – ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’
Natalie says: “A little – well, a lot – different from my first pick this week but it’s one of those songs that everybody knows and, no matter how annoying it can get, one everyone loves (or secretly loves!) As one of the best known songs from the duo, brothers Charlie and Craig Reid, the song has catchy, memorable lyrics and is best listened to and/or sung at the top of your lungs when either drunk, on karaoke, or both… or simply enjoyed on a Monday! I apologise in advance for this being stuck in your head for the foreseeable future.”
REPRESENTING ICELAND: BRADLEY DUGGAN (@bradley_duggan)
SIGUR RÓS – ‘Hoppípolla’
Bradley says: “If you don’t know this song by name then you definitely will when you hear it. ‘Hoppípolla’ has been used on many different adverts and TV Programmes including Planet Earth and Slumdog Millionaire, which lead to the single being re-published by EMI following high demand for the single, six months after its initial release. The band are known for their ethereal sound and this song really shows the talent of the Icelandic group. It’s a good job that the music is good because most if not all of Sigur Rós’ lyrics are in Icelandic which is hard to understand for people who enjoy lyrics in a song. The video is equally as good, if you haven’t seen it before then I suggest you check it out. It includes people in their 70’s and 80’s playing children’s games like Knock a Door, Run. It really makes you smile to see people never really lose their inner child. This song is beautiful, an easy listen and great for a lazy Sunday.”
OF MONSTERS AND MEN – ‘Little Talks’
Bradley says: “What can be said about Of Monsters And Men? The band released their debut album My Head Is an Animal after winning Iceland’s Battle of the Bands in 2010 . The album shows how good Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and singer/guitarist Ragnar Þórhallsson were at writing songs that tell a story, most of which were fantastical stories involving wolves and bees, kings and bears. The song – ‘Little Talks’ – is amazing, with some very powerful but simple lyrics;“So hold my hand/I’ll walk with you, my dear.” It’s a simple lyrical message, but the group’s innocent, hook-filled ruckus speaks volumes. Coming from such a small country that is stereotyped by experimentors like Björk and Sigur Rós, they really wanted to stray away and create something for themselves.
I spoke about Sigur Rós’ videos, but nothing compares to the epic videos that Of Monsters and Men create. They are good enough to be published as short films, with stunning visuals and great animation. They really are a great all-rounder of a band.”
REPRESENTING AUSTRALIA: HOLLIE COPAS (@holc93)
TAME IMPALA – ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’
Hollie says: “2012 became the year that Tame Impala slowly, yet surely seeped into the UK. This time they were carrying second album Lonerism on their shoulders, which they quickly poured all over us, showering us in a beautiful, fluffy cloud of psych-rock. This track has a floating masterpiece of a chorus sculpted by Kevin Parker, accompanied by a bass line that wanders seemingly whilst lovely splashes of organ and keys add an almost Motown vibe to the track. However, this song channels pure hippy, obvious in the music video which is comprised of 1000 plasticine creations individually made by hand in wonderful bright, psychedelic patterns. Sure to hit the inner hippy in us all, this song will make you want to bathe in daisies, drink abstract herbal tea and don your John Lennon glasses in the sunshine.”
KNIFE PARTY – ‘Internet Friends’
Hollie says: “Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen (formerly of Pendulum) got together to form Knife Party, and have slapped us all right in the face with ‘Internet Friends’. If you haven’t heard this song before, it’s because you possibly didn’t go to one of the party islands in the 2012 season… nor did you go into a club… nor did you switch on the radio. Put simply, this song was EVERYWHERE last year. Given just 5 seconds to settle in with a sweeping intro, you’re slammed straight into hardcore, pulsating electro which is followed by a synth-made melody recognisable as ‘Pendulum-like’, which may both please or displease fans. Tantalised and teased until almost three minutes into the track, we are then greeted with a door knock and the climax of the song’s story, which tells of a stalker. We are then violently thrown into the final head-messing breakdown which has sent crowds upon crowds of partygoers into a state of absolute frenzy. Knife Party are new on the scene, yet the band members are not, creating an undeniably successful concoction of a fresh new sound with honed talent and experience.”
If you have a couple more minutes to spare, why not check out the past week’s other content?