Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Updates and inspirations: 16style

Now blogging for 16style, a teen fashion blog, as well as writing for Tom Magazine, which is essentially a music and entertainment source.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fiction: 'Stray Into The Woods, Little Red' for Six Sentences

Fiction in six sentences. An old piece published on, Nov last year.

Stray Into the Woods, Little Red

She couldn’t remember why they’d fought, or even if they had. She is alone, straying much too far away, listening to strangers laugh unfamiliar yet unmistakably beautiful tunes; it is of no consequence now. A young girl weaves through the pines, towering giants sway to an inaudible melody, a reluctant swing set sighs under a delicate frame; the child’s world is untainted and all is as it should be. Letting the earth melt softly into her back, she closes her eyes; black speckles replace the girl’s red pinafore. Rough fingers seek hers through the supple veil of grass, and squinting through the sun, she finds him next to her. Night falls and he fades into a bruised sky, she is alone once more, yearning for home, where everything was as it should be.6S

Anna Angel is studying Journalism and Creative Writing, and is often told her name makes her sound like a superhero, or a porn star. She is neither.

Review: 'NEON Essentials Vol 1' for Tom Magazine


Neon Essentials Vol. 1 (Neon/Warner)

Neon Essentials Vol 1 brings a bucket load of dance mixes from some of the hottest acts around, across two discs, one mixed by TV Rock, the other by Chardy. Neon is an essential ‘throw-the-record-on, let-the-non-stop-dancing-begin album’, having the benefit of being mixed so every track blends seamlessly into one. In order to properly review this record, I couldn’t just listen to it; I had to make sure it had the ‘booty-shake seal of approval’ first. So, yes, I got down in my pyjamas to what, I must say, are some pretty stellar mixes from artists like Armand Van Helden, Tommie Sunshine and Empire of the Sun. With rises in intensity, some mellower moments, but 100% persistent energy, I give Neon four booty-shakes out of five. Not bad at all.

On disc one, Sidney Samson’s ‘Riverside’ is intense, persistent, and addictive, despite the only lyrics being, "Riverside, Motherfucker!" TV Rock’s remix of ‘Hey Boys and Girls’, by Evermore, is a standout, with the benefit of sing-a-long lyrics. Disc 2, mixed by Chardy, does not always flow as smoothly as the first disc, with some sudden groove-killing drops in intensity. However, there are some killer tracks, bass heavy, and a whole lot of fun. Two tracks by Bingo Players, ‘Get Up’, and ‘Chop’ are ridiculously infectious with strong beats, and hip-hop vocals. The record finishes strong, with Empire of the Sun’s ‘We are the People’, remixed by Sam La More, fusing an unrelenting rhythm with an undeniably catchy hit.

(Anna Angel)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Interview: Ash Grunwald for Tom Magazine

Ash Grunwald.

"I live outside all the time; if I was at home, I’d probably be stuck inside doing this interview," Ash Grunwald, who is travelling through Western Australian in his new motor home, says. "But instead, I’ve got a cuppa, in a nice park, and I’m sitting here jumping on rocks as I’m talking. It’s great."

The Australian bluesman is nomadic by nature, taking his life on the road in his stride, although he admits that if you want to be a musician, you don’t really have a choice but to love travelling.

"I’m kind of addicted to touring; it’s a great way to live, you’ve got your whole life with you, you feel free - you don’t have to have a normal life," Grunwald enthuses.

Review: 'Mean Everything to Nothing' by Manchester Orchestra for Tom Magazine



Mean Everything to Nothing (Favourite Gentlemen/ Sony)

Manchester Orchestra (read; an indie-rock quartet from Atlanta) ask all the big life questions on their sophomore album. Mean Everything to Nothing deals mainly with religion and crises of faith, through a rollercoaster of musical influences and styles. Manchester Orchestra’s versatility and development really shows on this record as sweet intros melt into powerful choruses, and Andy Hull’s almost whispered vocals turn into wonderfully executed screams. The band’s preoccupation with religion may begin to grate some listeners, but there is enough here to make sure they aren’t lumped as ‘Christian rock’ - namely, angsty questions of faith, and a wider musical appeal.

The lead single, ‘I’ve Got Friends’ is fun and biting southern-rock, with a killer chorus and just the right amount of venom, as Hull sings, "I’ve got friends in all the right places/ I know what they want and I know they don’t want me to stay". The title track is emotive as Hull sings "I don’t know much but a crutch is a crutch/ If it’s holding you from moving on", as this time around, they focus on putting, and losing faith in individual people. ‘Shake It Out’ is a sure-fire winner, fusing teenage angst and catchy hooks - possibly the world’s most popular combination. Darker moments on the record seem to channel Nirvana, as in the gritty, ‘Pride’ which uses repetition to effect through heartbreaking verses like, "What a dead head/ I think I’m dying/ I think I’m dying for another one".

This is definitely a stronger effort than their first release, showing maturity while managing not to completely remake their original style. Fans should be pleased, and newcomers who appreciate any component of their Modest Mouse meets Nirvana, meets Jesus, meets Dashboard Confessional mash-up should be won over.

(Anna Angel)

Review: 'White Lies for Dark Times' by Ben Harper and Relentless7 for Tom Magazine



White Lies for Dark Times (Virgin/EMI)

Ben Harper’s new project with Relentless 7 sees the artist move in a new direction with this blazing, emotion-ridden folk/roots/classic rock hybrid. Harper’s signature vocals and guitar are augmented by Jason Mozersky’s on lead guitar, Jesse Ingalls on bass and keys and drummer Jordan Richardson. This, Harper’s 9th studio release, brims in part with darker, tougher and sometimes downright pessimistic influences. Half of the tracks, like the lead single ‘Shimmer and Shine’, are focused on finding happiness through escapism.

The darker tracks are the backbone of the record. Harper does depression surprisingly well, especially on the resonating break up track, ‘Up To You Now’, "You wrote a list of all your demands/ and you nailed it to both of my hands". ‘Skin Thin’ is a sparse and raw folk track that again deals with failures, "It’s all I can do to hold on/ we’re just skin thin". ‘Fly One Time’ is the highlight of the record with almost restrained vocals; "now you’re caught between/ what you can’t leave behind/ and all that you may never find/ so fly".

White Lies for Dark Times flows well from one track to the other, with no real rough patches. The record has the feel of being a complete album, not just a collection of songs, with a discernable theme slipping through each track. The mixture of the forlorn and the hopeful is a winning combination.

(Anna Angel)