music update #3

Another week of music filled bits and bobs and I’m going to start off this week with an issue that keeps popping up every so often in the world of music and music journalism, the death and rise again of guitar bands.

According to the Radio 1 and KISS FM music bosses guitar music is making a return but is it? and did it ever really disappear in the first place? Back in 2004 until around 2006 indie/guitar music was at it’s peak or there was at least a lot of those bands around. Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Cheifs and Franz Ferdinand all broke through with amazing albums, good indie guitar tunes that you could dance along to with lyrics that meant something to people about a time, place, emotion whatever and that is and still does make them successful now [well 3 out of the 4 of them are still around anyway]. But when the music industry finds a successful formula it wants as much of it as possible and along came all of these substandard and not all that good guitar bands, people got bored and inevitably only the talented ones survived. Now it’s dance music that is having it’s moment in the spotlight, but look at the 90’s beginning with dance, house and rave culture and by the mid nineties Oasis, Blur, Supergrass, all bands with guitars were topping the charts. Inevitably the music industry like fashion and everything else goes through phases and right now it’s not the phase of guitar bands to be in the spotlight. But as people were talking about the death of guitar music, like they are always speaking about the death of rock music, did it ever really go away? Two of the biggest bands in the UK are guitar bands, Muse and Kasabian, and then we have bands such as The Maccabees nominated for the Mecury Music Prize this year, Alt-J the Mercury winners this year, Foals who have just burst back onto the scene with ‘Inhaler’ and then we have one of the finest bands to come from Scotland, Biffy Clyro. Guitar music never went away and became obsolete because that is what the death of genre means to me but then again language is a subjective medium. It faded a little in the charts but every year new bands with guitars break onto the music scene but most are now offering something a little bit different adding synths or other elements to the mix. Whatever happens I personally can never see the guitar disappearing from music, it’s such a staple instrument that it would be weird without it but maybe it’s dominance over music has faded and it is now sharing the stage with the new technology we have at our fingertips.

Last week, Foals announced quite a big UK tour to coincide with the release of their 3rd album ‘Holy Fire’. The tour starts at the very end of February in Dublin and finishes up a month later with a massive and quite special show at the Royal Albert Hall. I’ve already got my tickets for Leeds, I’m also seeing the band next week in Sheffield on their tour of really small venues. I’m pretty excited about that as it will be the first time I’ve seen them as well. With the release of the new album and a big headline tour and I expect they will also be playing tons of festivals in the summer too, I think it could be Foals’ year next year.

Musically this year has been one of my favourites, there has been a lot of good music released but also it’s been the year I’ve discovered a lot of new stuff be it brand new bands or older songs especially from the world of dance music. I’ve always been a fan of dance music but I think as an outsider looking in I found it quite daunting of where to start with so much stuff out there.

My track of the week this week is a track that actually features on my playlist mainly just because I think it’s an absolutely brilliant song by a really good band. A band that not only creates good music but award winning films and all live and work in an unused factory in South London. They’re a nice mix of indie/guitar music and electro.

Song of the week – Population Density by Breton.

Credits

Foals Picture

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