It must have been a challenge for White Lies to top their successful, critically acclaimed debut, but with ‘Ritual’ they may have just about done it. This is not immediately apparent on first listen, but once you perceive how much they have matured instrumentally & lyrically; it all becomes clear. The band are aiming for bigger things and the incredible ambience of ‘Bigger Than Us’ certainly sets them in the right direction with its heavy-riff lead, anthemic chorus. They’ve never had problems constructing a huge sound, but they seem to have excelled. With evidence of new wave and synth influences throughout, they’ve been more experimental this time; particularly apparent in ‘Holy Ghost’, the most sonically well produced track on the record. They’ve even gone as far as sticking a ballad-y type on the end. The lyrics are still sincere and vulnerable, but instead of compelling us into a great depression with their original dark style, they embrace themes of love and religion. ‘Ritual’ may not match the popularity of their debut, but that won’t be because it doesn’t deserve to.
(I wrote this mini review for Electric Magazine, check it out here: electricmagazine).
The band currently on the tip of everyone’s tongues, make a triumphant return to London’s Koko courtesy of MTV. Tonight they prove they deserve to be in the running for that Brand New For 2011 award as they put on a compelling performance for many who have turned up especially for them instead of the headliners. As they take to the stage, tight jean clad, quiffs intact and Jack Daniels in hand; they fit the retro, rock n roll band mould perfectly. Just like Kings of Leon were back in ’03, this Nashville based four-piece are the epitome of ‘effortless cool’; it’s no wonder so many people have already jumped on their bandwagon.
Launching into ‘Trouble On The Way’, ‘Teenager’ and ‘Lines In The Sand’ respectively, they seduce the crowd with their romantic rock n roll, bluesy baselines and passionate Springsteen-esque vocals. They are confident and comfortable and I’m stunned by how incredible tight they are for such a new band. As their most recognisable song, ‘Listen To Your Love’ provokes the biggest crowd reaction. However, I actually find that I prefer unreleased album tracks such as ‘Shooting The Moon’ and ‘Lean Into The Fall’; even though I’d never heard them before. Every song on the set list has the potential to be a single, hinting that their debut (due for release May 16th) is going to be full of nonstop bangers. One was so good in fact, that for a moment I was convinced it was a cover.
There’s no doubting that Mona are justifying the hype surrounding them and although this is my first time seeing them live, by the end I am left reassured that I just witnessed something special. If predictions are correct, in a few years time an intimate gig like this will be hard to come by and I’m glad to say I was a part of it from the beginning. If the continuous crowd chants of “Mona” during the show are anything to go by, I don’t think I was the only one.
Set List: Trouble On The Way, Teenager, Lines In The Sand, Listen To Your Love, Say You Will, Shooting The Moon, Lean Into The Fall
See this review on Clink: http://clinkmusicmagazine.com/2011/01/26/mona-at-koko
This five-piece caught my eye after discovering them through their management buddies Deaf Havana and Francesqa. You might recognise them from their previous project Lights and Sounds but they’ve had a shiny musical makeover. Now edging towards a more laid-back pop approach, their dramatically matured sound and talent is indisputable. The fact that they’ve managed to convey this in only a couple of demos and stripped down, acoustic videos is a testament in itself. The results so far are looking promising; angelic vocals, passionate lyrics and big pop gems perfect for summer. Newest teaser ‘Satellites’ particularly fits these three categories but the beautiful acoustic version of 'City Of Lights' is what drew me to them. Progress is being kept under wraps at the moment whilst they make their debut album, but something tells me that it will be worth the wait.
Related artists: One Night Only, OneRepublic, The Script
Check out: ‘Satellites’, ‘City Of Lights’
I pounced on this top so quickly in Topshop Oxford Circus today that I almost broke the rail (true story). I was on my own as well which is quite embarrassing. Anyway...I love this label, definitely one of my favourites. They do the most amazing studded leather jackets as well, I'm talking crazy big pointy studs. I want one so bad. You can visit their ebay page to see some of their collection: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/The-Ragged-Priest
So yeah that was surprisingly all I bought from Topshop today, had to restrain myself big time. I don't usually post clothes i've bought on my blog but I was so chuffed with these that I had to!