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Musical Wanderings

For some reason or other, over the last few months, the amount of music that I've been listening to and the number of CD and download purchases has increased a fair bit. It may be because I'm not finding much on the video front, as there aren't really any films that I'm waiting for on DVD, or it may be a reaction to workload. When I was at University, I always used to find that my consumption of books and music ramped up somewhat when things were busy. Perhaps it's a form of escapism?

Anyway, one of the big differences has been that quite a few of the albums I've bought include new groups (to me at least) and thus completely new experiences.

Paul Gambochini has a fair bit to answer for, as I listened to part of his 'Class of 2009' which resulted in introductions to 'Owl City' and 'Delphic'. Of the two of them, I prefer Delphic. They have very strong shades of New Order, a band that I used to love and the album Acolyte has been played heavily on rotation, both in my computer, on my iPod and in the car. The album has grown on me more and more and I look forward to seeing more from this band. At the time of writing, iTunes is the cheapest place to get the download version, which includes several of the videos.

Owl City is a completely different kettle of fish. I say 'is' because in reality Owl City is a one man band. Very electronic, very poppy, but great fun. The single Fireflies has been number 1 in the UK – does this make me trendy? – and you'll probably recognise it if you hear it. I got into them with Maybe I'm Dreaming but you'll want Ocean Eyes if you're after the album with Fireflies. It's light, catchy and entertaining stuff.

You can try out either of these on
Spotify, if you have a membership. I was fortunate that someone pointed me at a sign-up link that was still in play for the ad-supported version rather than the full premium one, but it's great service for checking out new albums before you buy them.

I also picked up a copy of Muse's The Resistance, which is something I want to spend a while listening to. Several of the tracks have riffs that remind me of Queen at their best. If you're after this, the CD is cheaper than any of the download sites on Amazon. I liked the previous album Black Holes & Revelations, which lead me into checking this out on Spotify. It's quite a different take on prog rock to what I would usually listen to.

Speaking of prog rock, if you like Pink Floyd, Marillion or Porcupine Tree, you'll probably like Paul Cusick's Focal Point, which is a gorgeous and entertaining album that you can just escape with. You can listen to the whole thing on his website http://www.paulcusick.co.uk/ and also Spotify.

Finally, thanks to Angus Abranson for the pointer to The Eden House, an excellent female voiced band in the indie/goth style. They've got two albums out; the original Smoke & Mirrors (cheapest on Amazon) and the EP The Looking Glass, which is a covers collection (cheapest on iTunes). Great stuff, and I think that I'll be listening to it quite a bit over the next few weeks. Sadly, Smoke & Mirrors isn't on Spotify.

Finally, I have to mention the Johnny Cash cover of "Hurt" by NIN. It takes what was one of my favourite tracks and turns it into something even better; it drips pain and emotion and is absolutely fantastic.

Bubbling away in the background, I'm aware that Goldfrapp have a new album due this month, there's a new Faithless album due this year and that Massive Attack released
Heligoland earlier this month. I'm slowly working through the latter on Spotify, but so far it hasn't grabbed me!