The Music Alliance Pact

Wednesday, 15 October 2008, 12:32 | Category : Uncategorized
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Here’s something different today. A while back, I got a message from Jason who runs Scottish music blog The Pop Cop. His plan was to form a sort of worldwide alliance of blogs which each month would post songs from their country, and so, after a bit of prompting we have the Music Alliance Pact.

It’s actually been quite a good way for me to listen to artists from other countries, which is something that I’m often quite rubbish at (apart from North American acts naturally). There’s some good stuff here, and others that I don’t like at all, but it’s worth giving Jason’s project a whirl to see how it goes.

There are 12 blogs from different countries at the moment (the UK has been split up, and I’m representing England, which is a funny position for a Scot to be in) but more may follow in time. The list of participating blogs, tracks and some blurbs follow right now…

USA I Guess I’m Floating
Arizona - The Glowing Bird

The title track from their sophomore album which came out on October 14 on Echo Mountain.

France is the new single by Brian Storming, a psychedelic pop orchestra from Buenos Aires. This band was the support act for Coldplay and Björk when they performed in Argentina. The song is included on their new EP, Brian Storming Avec L´Enchanting Device.

AUSTRALIA Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Miami HorrorDon’t Be On With Her
Miami Horror pretty much blew everyone’s mind from the start, just by being called Miami Horror even though he’s a producer from Melbourne (kinda like when everyone freaked about The Streets being just one guy). Then he cemented the name he had made for himself with unapologetically synth-heavy remixes - bootleg and official - of a crazy-wide array of artists from Perth’s The Dirty Secrets to France’s Stardust. And now here he is with the official release of his first single.

DENMARK Pastries, Peppers And Canals
Diefenbach On The Move
Diefenbach have been long-time stalwarts of the Danish indie scene, starting out as a post-rock band and gradually evolving into what they are today. Think Beach Boys meets Mogwai meets…well, Diefenbach, actually. The new album, Dark Spinner, is due in late October but the track we’re presenting is from 2005’s Set And Drift.

Absentee Bitchstealer
Absentee’s debut album proper Schmotime was one of my favourites of 2006, and new record Victory Shorts is a direct continuation of what the East London band does best. Singer Dan Michaelson’s ravaged drawl, the sweet boy-girl vocal play-offs with keyboardist Melinda Bronstein and hugely pleasing riffs from Babak Ganjei all call to mind a much less polished Teenage Fanclub or a poppier Pavement.

ICELAND I Love Icelandic Music
Plúseinn Shake
The man behind the band Plúseinn is Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson also known as Árni Plúseinn (a.k.a. Árni +1). He recently released an album called Lettuce And Tomato, made in his apartment in Brooklyn, New York under the name Hungry And The Burger. Árni Rúnar is and was involved in a lot of Icelandic bands and projects (e.g. Hairdoctor, Motion Boys) and is a founding member of the band FM Belfast.

IRELAND Nialler9
Fight Like Apes Digifucker
The band have just released their debut Fight Like Apes And The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion in Ireland and the UK. The album was produced by John Goodmanson in Seattle over the summer. They are currently touring the UK with The Ting Tings.

ITALY Polaroid
Le Man Avec Les LunettesThe Happy Birth Of You And Me
LMALL’s new album Plaskaplaskabombelibom is free to download from their website.

ERA – Opium
Taken from the band’s second album Ufocalipsis which was released last year.

Roddy HartDead Of The Night
Roddy Hart made the folk-rock masterpiece Bookmarks, arguably one of the best albums to have come out of Scotland. Dead Of The Night is the first fruits from its follow-up due out in 2009. It’s a live favourite and easily the most immediate pop song the Glaswegian has ever written.

SPAIN El Blog De La Nadadora
Blacanova Los Remedios
Blacanova is a band from Seville and this song is from their second demo, Perro EP. They are influenced by Joy Division, Seefeel, The Cure, Spanish band Sr Chinarro, David Lynch and Tod Browning films, and the writer Alejandra Pizarnik. Their music is a cross between dark pop, IDM (intelligent dance music) and shoegaze.

SWEDEN Swedesplease
Tvärvägen September
Tvärvägen is an eclectic one-man orchestra from Gustavsburg, Sweden. Notice both the clattering instrumentation and hummable melody. It’s that dichotomy that makes Tvärvägen so unforgettable. The band’s debut record is out November 6 on the small label Knoppar.

You can download all the above mp3s in one zip file here.

Let me know what you think. If you want my quick opinion, the best ones are from Iceland, USA and Sweden. Iceland is particularly awesome.

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