Now This is Music #14: Wild Bird, Panama Wedding, Sleigh Bells, I Am Snow Angel, Chloë Howl

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“Crazy Bird” by Wild Child


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The dwarves of Snow White’s acquaintance totally had the right idea.

Whistle while you work!

And if you’re going to whistle at work (ignore the stares from your cubicle-dwelling co-workers; trust me it’s worth it), then make sure you have “Crazy Bird” by Austin, Texas-based Wild Child to purse your lips to, people.

This has to be one of the most tap your feet, look at the wide blue sky, whistle and sing a happy tune songs out there, full to the brim with inventive riffs on the currently popular indie-folk pop sound.

Refreshingly Wild Child bend this sound to their considerable creative will, filling their songs with real life stories of love, life and everything inbetween, and using a galaxy of quirky instrumentation that never feels as if it’s too much or “Hey everyone look what we can play!” gimmick.

These guys are the real deal, they’re immensely talented and I am wondering how I missed their first album Pillow Talk when it released in 2011.

Rest assured, there’ll be no snoozing come October 8 when their new album The Runaround hits the streets.



“All of the People” by Panama Wedding


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The 80s vibe is strong with this one and (perhaps a little 90s too).

In a world where the fluoro decade’s influence is damn near omnipresent, and worn proudly, if somewhat derivatively by every second band to emerge from a dark basement with a synth, Panama Wedding, a New York City band who have taken the music blogosphere by storm of late, carries it proudly.

They are ample proof that all you need is a simple, beautifully played melody, clever lyrics, synth mastery, spot on vocals and enough imagination to make an influence your very own to really stand out.

Which is to say they are the whole glorious pop package who do a remarkable job of standing out from the pack by remembering that an influence is just the start of things.

It’s what you do it with it that counts and Panama Wedding have done a great deal.

With just one song so far.

Can’t wait to see what they will do with a whole slew of pop songs.



“Bitter Rivals by Sleigh Bells


Sleigh Bells (image via


Lordy I love me Sleigh Bells wall of sound songs!

They come on like a very musically-inclined, and melodically-savvy bull in a china shop, taking no prisoners and demanding you listen to their irresistibly compelling music.

And frankly who would want to resist?

Officially the music that this Brooklyn, New York-based duo (Alexis Krauss and Derek Edward Miller) make is called “Noise Pop”, great waves of eardrum-assailing guitar-based sound that arrive embedded with the sort of melodies that will have you moving for days.

“Bitter Rivals”, which sees twosome in fine form thank you very much, is the lead single and title track for Sleigh Bells’ third album which releases 8 October on Mom + Pop Records.

Warn your neighbours ahead of time that you will be shredding your stereo that week and who knows they may even join in.

Such is the power of the pop produced by this fantastically energetic duo.



“Let Me Go” by I Am Snow Angel


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With an electronica sound that is every bit as beautiful as her name –, who premiered the track, aptly named it “Gentle Electronica” – I Am Snow Angel is an arresting mix of Kate Bush and Imogen Heap, the latter an influence the New York-based artist recognises in her soundcloud profile.

Her latest song, “Never Let Me Go”, which follows hot on the heels (possibly not the best descriptive term for someone who uses snow in their name I guess) of the bewitching “Not the Same” is exquisitely beautiful, starting out with a melodic ethereal whisper before breaking into a robust, upbeat chorus.

The self-proclaimed “enigmatic synth-pop producer”, who’s worked in the industry alongside names like Felix McTeigue and Drew Guido, proves equally adept at describing her sound:

“Complex beats are balanced by breezy yet penetrating vocals in a smartly crafted track. The song effortlessly builds and evolves and fades out with a sparkling high-pitched synth.”

Her 4 song debut EP debuts, quite appropriately, this winter in the US, and it will no doubt spur a whole of people to rush out, throw themselves into the snow and stare spread-eagled up at the stars while her music wafts happily, lush-fully all around them.

I would try that in Australia but with precious little of the white stuff around at that time of the year down under, I’d have to make do with a giant freezer and a mountainous pile of ice shavings which may not have quite the same effect.

No wait, her music could totally evoke a mood in an industrial freezer.

Yes it’s that good, that original and that beautiful. You will love it.



“No Strings” by Chloë Howl 


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Is there no end to über-talented female British singers with great pop sensibilities, and innate quirky style?

No? Thank the lord for that!

But don’t even begin to think that Chloë Howl, a 17 year old with lots to say, and a skill for putting it to unforgettably original music, is simply one of a very large in-tune pack.

She’s broken out way ahead, with a highly charged sound that enthusiastically addresses the topic at end, synths washing every which way and just the right amount of playful attitude that never slips into faux posturing snarkiness.

She is the real deal, as fun in person if the interviews are anything to go by as she is in full beguiling vocal flight, the emerging Sandra Bullock (famous for her down to earth charm) of the pop world.

And I suspect, no, I know that with songs like “No Strings” and “How Proud” (epic, melodically anthemic pop at its absolute best) on her debut EP, she will be around long after the other current pretenders to the pop throne have faded into the background.



And to finish off this instalment of Now This is Music, THIS is how you use a flash mob and the divinely talented Betty Who’s fabulous song “Somebody Loves You” to make one of the most romantic, tear-inducing marriage proposals EVER.

“Dustin arrived at the Home Depot in Salt Lake City thinking he was there to help his roommate pick out some lighting for a party. When he was taken to the lumber aisle, what he found waiting for him was a mob of friends and family as his marriage proposal unfolded to the song, “Somebody Loves You” by Betty Who.”


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