Tag Archives: WU LYF

BEST ALBUMS OF 2011

This is only going to be a short list, twenty of the best releases of 2011 – containing a very strong top five of the universally critically acclaimed mercury prize winning P J Harvey album; to the pretty much unknown fourth placers Cashier Number 9 with their belfast “baggy” music in the form of debut To The Death Of Fun; on to the infamous WU LYF’s Go Tell Fire To The Mountain; with The Horrors’ epic being very unlucky to have missed out on the top spot and been released in the same year as the flawless second electric record from Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix, an unquestionably clear record of the year.

For the best tracks of 2011: https://codamusicblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/best-tracks-of-2011/

The complete top ten follows:

1. Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix

File:Bombay bicycyle club a different kind of fix.jpg

The unrivaled stand out release of the year, shocking topping the brilliance of Bombay’s first album I Had The Blues. A pop record full of beats and nods to The Stone Roses brand of psychedelia. The infusions of guitar based indie and melodic folk makes it Bombay Bicycle Club’s offering clearly a record of its time. You cannot go without listening to this record.

Review Link: https://codamusicblog.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/bombay-bicycle-club-a-different-kind-of-fix-review-and-download-links/

Top Tracks: Take The Right One, How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep, What You Want and Your Eyes.

2. The Horrors – Skying

How have The Horrors reached this point with an unlistenable first album to their third, Skying – a masterpiece and force of nature which although not entirely ground-breaking stylistically is a beautifully created record. The themes of oceans and expanse resonate through an album without a faulty song on it.

Review Link: https://codamusicblog.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/the-horrors-skying-review/

Top Tracks: Still Life, You Said and Moving Further Away.

3. WU LYF – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain

Don’t think for a second that WU LYF are all about the mystery of their image because this album is euphoric undecipherable sound-scapes. They brought something very different to the tale with the success of the contrasting elements of screaming savage vocals and clean poppy instrumentals gives WU LYF a memorising signature sound.

Review Link: https://codamusicblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/wu-lyf-%E2%80%93-go-tell-fire-to-the-mountain-review/

Top Tracks: Heavy Pop, Such A Sad Puppy Dog, 14 Crowns For Me And All My Friends and L Y F.

4. Cashier Number 9 – To The Death Of Fun

Cashier Number 9 haven’y caught many people attention this year, with their top youtube video only reaching 40,000 hits – and god knows why not. They have a really accessible sound and make joyful jangling guitar music which sounds so perfect prticularly well done the three tracks mentioned below.

Please Note: Due to the opening of Codamusic being half way through the year, not all of these albums have been reviewd.

Top Tracks: Oh Pity, The Lighthouse Will Lead You Out and Make You Feel Better.

5. P J Harvey – Let England Shake

As mentioned earlier, the universally critically acclaimed mercury prize winning Let England Shake truly deserves such prefixes. It is an beautifully executed politically based  album about the war and ruin which which have caused. The love for a great nation, or what used to be a great nation – not that the album’s beauty can only be realized with this theme. Every song is brilliant so don’t just listen to the tracks below.

Top Tracks: Bitter Branches, The Last Living Rose and Written On The Forehead.

6. Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See

A return to form from the Arctic Monkeys, with a mature album that is listenable and also lyrically brilliant. It’s not the Arctic Monkeys of old, but really no one in their right mind would want that after listening to this. And one belter of a closing track:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9U1r38di-8 (Number 1 on the Best Tracks Of 2011 list as it happens)

Review Link: https://codamusicblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/arctic-monkeys-suck-it-and-see-review/

Top Tracks: That’s Where Your Wrong, The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala and Reckless Serenade.

7. I Break Horses – Hearts

The first overseas album, from Sweden’s I Break Horses whose electronic shoe-gaze pop is one of this years highlights. A trance-inducing cascade of electronic music, which really seems to have a soul. An under the radar album of other worldly majesty.

Top Tracks: Winter Beats, Pulse and Wired.

8. S.C.U.M. – Again Into Eyes

S.C.U.M., a post-punk outfit who say their music is the manifestation of repressed lust. Their debut album takes influence and mood from Joy Division – a must listen for any post-punk devotee. Although its of a particular taste, the darkness of the music really comes through as euphoria rather than depression.

Top Tracks: Whitechapel, Amber Hands, Cast Into Seasons and Faith Unfolds.

9. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Having assumed the worst after the Beady Eye’s flop, Noel pleasantly surprised with this collection of tracks. If you never liked Oasis these aren’t for you as they are nothing new but if you did, its blood good stuff. If only he had spent a few more minutes thinking of a better name, lets be honest it shouldn’t take long.

Top Tracks: Stop The Clocks, If I Had A Gun and (I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine.

10. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra

The best of this years influx of brilliant American lo-fi psychedelic rock which includes Smith Westerns and Moon Duo. Trippy, drug distorted vocals and direct punchy guitar. UMO’s debut is also very accessible and relatively easy listening for what it is, making it one of the coolest albums of 2011.

Best Tracks: Ffunny Ffrends, How Can U Luv Me, Biocycle and Thought Ballune.

11. White Lies – Ritual

12. Metronomy – The English Riviera

13. The Crookes – Chasing After Ghosts

14. Yuck – Yuck

15. Glasvegas – Euphoric /// Heartbeat \\\

16. Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde

17. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials

18. The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines

19. Moon Duo – Mazes

20.The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar

Disagree? Missed any of yours? Pray Tell.

Please note that these are not the opinions of the whole codamusic team but of one man.

Oscar B. Wilson

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WU LYF – GO TELL FIRE TO THE MOUNTAIN REVIEW

The highly anticipated debut from the reclusive Manchurians, giving the new wave of Manchester scene a twist from the egos and personalities of the eighties and nineties comes with a very strong wave of hype behind the band. Yet maybe they are the same as the rest – they barely played outside of Manchester before the release, with the world having only just discovered their names shows you that they are all about the music, and frankly the mystery adds to the bands celestial sounds and tongues-like vocals. Can hiding ones faces and singing with your back to the stage in an attempt the remove the individual from the collective brilliance of their music, in actuality be the same swagger and confidence of Curtis and Hook, Morrissey and Marr, Brown and Squire, Gallagher and Gallagher and the rest? Even with their “disregard” for Manchester’s legacy.

WU LYF or World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation has unleashed a new level of primal romanticism on the musical world.  The clean instrumentals, particularly the resonation of the high guitar sections give the music its other worldly beauty. In the case of the organ on L Y F the album wouldn’t be out of place if played in a church, so long as they removed the “Lucifer” from their name. Throughout the album these instrumentals give the listener a chance to feel exhilaration beyond the self in an expanse of sound showing the seemingly celestial origins of the music. This can be best appreciated on Such A Sad Puppy Dog and Dirt, both of which are full of resonance that cuts through the soul. Not that they are the exceptional compared to the album as a whole.

Combining the strongly contrasting primal otherworldly elation of the vocals and indecipherable lyrics with the clean perfect underlying instrumentals works in harmony and gives WU LYF a very strong defined sound. One which they don’t stray from on Go Tell Fire To The Mountain, but they have no reason to have too diverse a sound when that sound is so perfectly pulled off throughout the album. Although it has been said that Ellery Roberts’ voice is off putting, being so indecipherable and so far from the norm – which takes away from the bands beautiful playing. The accessibility and vibrancy of the instrumentation balances the composition out to a pint where the vocals are in no way unlistenable.

Clearly, WU LYF’s doubters have missed the beauty of the “tongues” like ambiguity of the vocals giving them a mystique as though of a higher spirituality, which WU LYF have enabled us to glimpse. Having lyrics which are less clearly universally understood or themed (other than We Bros about brotherhood) may give the listener more from a song emotively than one which has been clearly defined to mean it certain thing – in other works the listener can derive whatever they want from its ambiguity. With 14 Crowns For Me And Your Friends song which builds into a crescendo for four minutes the lyrics themselves do not take you in, but by the sound of the voice itself and the ecstatic jangle of the guitar. Not differing from the most downbeat sing in the record, Such A Sad Puppy Dog.

There is a slight problem with two of the songs to the end of the record, Concrete Gold and Heavy Pop, but because they were both brilliant – at least the singles released before they had been rerecorded for the album that is. The album versions are still particularly good; it’s just comparatively it’s a bit disappointing to hear a lesser version on the final product.  The original version of Heavy Pop is an exceptionally powerful song, the best WU LYF have released and it is a real shame if it is not listened too – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yW73ENT3w0.

The energy WU LYF are unable to contain, a ferocity that must be screamed at the world is an ever present spirit within the album. A soaring expanse of a song, Spitting Blood demonstrates their energy, along with a similarly themed video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDTEhWO2wyo. The same has to be said of Heavy Pop and actually nearly every song come to think of it.  However, WU LYF aren’t ever going to be universally liked, by then the best bands never are, they are doing things differently. WU LYFs passion and want for change – or at less looking at things with a different perspective defines them musically, so it is of little important if people don’t get the music because there is never going to be a time where everyone agrees with a change.

The sense of the new wave, an alternative way of thinking or perceiving that is so clear and ingrained in WU LYF’s music is what makes greatness especially when it is misunderstood. For example the use of Lucifer in their band name – not to show their support of satanism but a presentation of an alternative view which the established good, may deem bad – when maybe it isn’t bad, merely an alternative to the conventional positions held by authority. As done by the original Manchester revolutionaries – Joy Division. WU LYF really do have some depth to the concept of their music, it shall be very interesting to see how they develop.

They are simply a mesmerising listen, full of soaring celestial expanses of sound combined with the exhilarating screaming savagery of the human voice – quite possibly revelatory in nature. A beautiful work to say the least. The birth of “heavy pop” (as they like to call their new genre) has come.

Best Tracks:

  1. Heavy Pop
  2. Such A Sad Puppy Dog
  3. 14 Crowns For Me And My Friends
  4. L Y F
  5. Dirt

Oscar B. Wilson

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