Saturday, May 28, 2011

Peachcake is Back!!! (They were never gone, but I was!)

Hello, friends! It has been a while (seriously a while, probably at least half a year but probably longer) since I've posted...anything. I'm sorry. I'm a busy lady with lots of things going on, always. But listen, this is worthy of me digging my password out of my brain to get everyone in on this action.

Everybody knows that Voila! is collectively a huge Peachcake fan. We always have been, and we certainly always will be. If you didn't you do, and don't forget it. From our first post about Peachcake way the hell back in 2008, we've been mesmerized.

So, time to get down to business. I'm pretty nervous about writing this post since I haven't written one in a while and I want to do justice to this EP.

Today upon logging onto my Facebook, I received a chat message from my friend Stefan Pruett. I'm name dropping because he is the man. He's Peachcake's singer, who, after meeting me many years ago (I'M FULL OF COMMAS AND I'M SORRY BUT I HAVEN'T TAKEN AN ENGLISH CLASS IN A YEAR,) he has been relentlessly kind and patient. I say patient because no matter how many times he sends me an update and I pass it on to Chris, he still is kind enough to send me information about his next project. Now that the timing is right and it is summer, I hear from him again and have the opportunity to listen immediately and get writing! Now I'm writing but also stalling, accidentally. The point of this paragraph: I wanted to set up the next paragraph, where I tell you about the wonderful music that Stefan sent to me.

For those who don't know, Peachcake is an electronic and vocal ensemble from Pheonix, Arizona. They've been around for a while, and at some point when I wasn't looking, they transitioned from a rough early-Fruity-Loops-and-keytar-esque (no offense, Stefan! I still loved and love it!) sound to a mature, polished group. While this sound is new to me in regards to Peachcake, it still retains the soul that I remember from way back in my freshman or sophomore year of high school when I saw them for my first time opening for Hellogoodbye.

Peachcake, however, no longer constitutes an opening act. I've been to a few of their shows (unfortunately I have not made it to all of the ones in my area T_T) and those who have as well know that they put on an act that would make Lady Gaga shake in her boots to follow. I mean, a seriously colorful, interactive show complete with a feeling that will never leave you.

The new sound of Peachcake is organized, polished and greatly matured in comparison to Peachcake circa-"Don't Act Like You Know More About Internet Cafe than Me". I've been listening to this free EP (sorry, you'll have to wait until the end to get it. Or just scroll down and click...but I suggest reading the post anyway.) for the past hour, wondering what I missed in the past few years that morphed Peachcake into this whole new genre, almost.

I'm having a hard time picking a favorite track from their new EP, This Wasn't Our Plan. I want to go one-by-one and talk about all of them, but I don't want anyone to have preconceived notions when listening to each track. Each of you will have a different experience listening to each track, and that's what's so beautiful about it music. So I will quit my rambling, and just say this: I don't know if the world is prepared for the change that Peachcake is planning to bring, but I know that Peachcake is prepared to change the world.

You won't regret it for a second!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Video: Mobile Phone Commercial

As if you didn't already know, Voilà! is a music blog. Fascinating, astounding, completely unheard of, I know. But music isn't just limited to the miniscule amount of bands that we feature here. No, no, the realm of music stretches far and wide, from the biggest stage at the largest festival to the smallest amp or most quietly played guitar by the kid who doesn't want to wake his parents up at night. Music is big, and everywhere, and though I can't feature it all here, I can certainly help anyone reading Voilà! glimpse some cool stuff.

Which brings me to today's video. NTT Docomo, a Japanese phone company, is marketing their latest and greatest product, a phone with wood paneling instead of plastic or aluminum. And sure, they could've shown all the hip young'ins using their fancy-pants phone all around Shinjuku or something. But YAWNERAMA, that's so passé. You've got to intrigue with your commercials, snare the attention of the masses. So, how do you do that?

Apparently with a massive mount of creativity poured into a remarkably simple concept: wood and music. I could go on, but this is one of those entries on Voilà! where it's much better to show than tell. Turn your speakers up loud, sit back, and watch the magic of their unique interpretation of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by Bach.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Band of the Week: Apollo 18 (아폴로18)

[April 4 - 10]
Apollo 18 (아폴로18)
Sounds Like: Experimental / Post-Rock / Shoegaze
Terroir: Seoul, Korea
Drinking Buddies: Wax on Radio, And So I Watch You From Afar, Battles
Synopsis: An hybrid of spacey post-rock and rockin' post-hardcore.
Makes You Want To: Rock out; Scream; Gaze.
[Official] / [Myspace]

One week, one band. You know the drill.
This week, the featured artist is Apollo 18 (아폴로18).

The digital age is a magnificent thing, especially in terms of music. Only thirty, sometimes even twenty years ago, we were extremely limited on what we could hear musically. You were either listening to the local music stations in your town - oftentimes, frankly, which can be quite lacking is quality - which would normally feature the biggest recording artists as selected by the music industry; limited to the bands that came thru your area on tour, trips of which were no doubt rare and less publicized than they are now; and of course, stuck with whatever artists may have been local to your locale, and again, these were oftentimes not the best quality.

However, with the power of computers, the entire planet is our locale, and you have the freedom to experience all manner of different musical tastes and cultural styles. Which is why it's odd that these two music discovery experiences - the old school "analog" style, if you will, and our new digital style - convened for me at the local punk rock venue. For those who don't know, I'm in Fort Worth, Texas, where we are more than fortunate to have the one and only 1919 Hemphill, an communally run music venue centered around punk rock. And it was within those very walls that I was introduced to Apollo 18.

Named after the iconic space exploration vessel, these South Korean rockers bring spacey to a whole new level. Blending their sound calm, post-rock/instrumental sound with heavier hardcore and metal elements, the result is a sound that is perfectly juxtaposed between calmness and chaos. Apollo 18 moves their listeners with quiet, fulfilling guitarwork similar to that of This Will Destroy You or Explosions in the Sky. And in similar fashion, they can build their songs up until they rip apart the speakers with massive walls of sound and wild expulsions of dense musical release.

They aren't instrumental, to be said. But it is also to be said that their singing, while crucial to their songs, is more an instrument than an instrument in itself, rather than a poetic form of expression - the voices that join the powerful gutiars and rhythmic bass are more a contribution to the musical construction than trying to say something in particular, similar to the Vonlenska experimented with by Sigur Rós. However, as I compare these guys to similarly spacey artists in the post-rock world, do not underestimate their ability to lay down some proper rock. Their sound is significantly heavier than most of their peers, as if a rejection of the seemingly structured South Korean society, generating wild, raucous energy all contained and exploited within a concentrated process of musical performance. Their sound weaves between genres, from experimental, to jazzy, to some good ol' fashioned rock 'n roll, and they are definitely a name quickly on the rise, one you'll hopefully be hearing from more as the days go on.

Apollo 18 is only two years old, and brand new to the American coast as far as I'm aware. But they're quickly climbing into the consciences of savvy music listeners around the world. They won the award for "Best Rookie of the Year" at the 2010 Korean Music Awards (2010 한국대중음악상), and have been a major performance at both the Green Plugged Festival in Seoul, as well as one of the biggest festivals in Korea, the Jisan Valley Rock Festival (지산 밸리 록 페스티벌), playing alongside the likes of major international acts such as Pet Shop Boys, Mutemath, Vampire Weekend, Belle & Sebastian, and Muse.

From what I can understand, the show I got to catch here in Fort Worth, Texas was the last Apollo 18 had booked for their first tour on American shores, which had them roaming all across Texas and around the south, culminating in a tonne of awesome shows down in South by Southwest. Assumably, the trio returned to Korea to relax and recover. Apollo has three albums under the belt already: Blue Album, Red Album, and Violet Album. They were also selling some strange album - which I have - that has NO name beyond the band's and no info beyond their contact information. So I'm nicknaming it the Black Album, and it's filled a compilation of all their different releases.

Apollo 18 has their official site, both in Korean and English, as well as a Myspace, where you can get quite a bit of a preview into their music. They have quite a number of live videos posted around the net so you can experience their live performances for yourself. And of course, you can snag all their awesome albums from their online store or via iTunes for digital download. Enjoy their wicked sound, and have an awesome week, readers!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Video: Doolittle Addiction

I thought after that bit about Ms. Eliza Doolittle at the beginning of the week would end my binge of the fine lady's fantastic vocal work and summery hooks. Apparently that's not the case. On a spur, I hopped onto my iPhone's YouTube and looked her up so as to introduce her music to someone. One of the first videos in the results is not one of her hits, but instead, a cover. Which begged me to ask the question, "Are there more?"

For those who don't know much about my musical tastes - and I reckon that's a fair number of you - I am a sucker for a good cover. Copyright copyspite - I don't care what record labels say is legal or not, I love it when an artist can spin another's song into something new; if not something new, something unique and intriguing in its own right, whether by transition or in the form of homage. I have a huge collection of covers in my music library, and my ears are always perked for new ones. Especially good ones, and especially from artists I really enjoy and respect, such as Eliza Doolittle herself.

I enjoy Eliza's honesty. You so rarely get that from an artist, especially a pop artist with a big label. But she shines of it. Between her blog to keep things personal, her countless videos of her doing... well, nothing in particular, and her impretention (can I coin this word? That'd be awesome!) is a glowing example of how I like my musicians when on or off the stage. So to you all, who hopefully have also been riding high from Eliza's tunes earlier in the week, a collection of lovely covers I found. There are plenty more to be found, so if you're still hungry, search about the internet or YouTube. Look for some gems. Also, I'll have you all know that this is the only circumstance I have ever listened to a Justin Bieber song without groaning and or self-mutilating. Just sayin', don't automatically discredit it.

Fuck You (Cee-Lo Green) - Eliza Doolittle

Creep (Radiohead) - Eliza Doolittle

Yellow (Coldplay) - Eliza Doolittle

Baby (Justin Bieber) - Eliza Doolittle

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Death Cab: "You Are A Tourist"

As if on cue, I happened to restart Voilà! right when one of my favourite bands is announcing their new album! That's right, the good ol' west coast folks of Death Cab for Cutie are releasing a new record, entitled Codes and Keys. It's been three years since they're fantastic release of Narrow Stairs, which slept listeners by storm with its sheer density and well composed musicianship. A shining album of creativity, to be sure.

The set release date for Codes and Keys is due for 31 May, another summery release. And while we don't have much more than some album artwork to offer, a few songs have leaked out here and there from Camp Death Cab.

Firstly, there is the official release of "You Are A Tourist" off Codes and Keys, via Stereogum. You can check that out here. They also have LQ soundbytes of some live performances by Death Cab, new songs that will eventually appear on the album. They're rough, and likely to change quite a bit by the time of the release of the album. But it could pique your interest with a little preview. Stay tuned, or

Monday, March 28, 2011

Band of the Week: Eliza Doolittle

[March 28 - April 3]
Eliza Doolittle
Sounds Like: Pop
Terroir: London, England
Drinking Buddies: Kate Nash, Lily Allen, Lenka
Synopsis: The long-lasting bubblegum pop with a delectable taste.
Makes You Want To: Skip down the street; Sing + Dance; Walk in the park.
[Personal Blog] / [Myspace]

One week, one band. You know the drill.
This week, the featured artist is Eliza Doolittle.

It's been awhile, readers! But Voilà! is sort of back in action. If you're new to this little game we play, it is weekly tradition to feature a wicked musician every week. Or at least try to. Just something that's been bubbly bouncing out of the speakers into our lives; something that we feel is worth sharing with the masses of eager ears begging for some delicious tuneage.

And are we ever returning to the music scene with a delicious piece of candy. Meet Eliza Doolittle. That would be Eliza Caird if you know her personality. But her My Fair Lady-inspired pseudonym has been the one to springboard this delightful, curly-haired darling into some fairly significant international spotlight.

Let's get things straight: Eliza Doolittle isn't your prototypical pop artist. Okay, maybe she's super stylish, has a delectable voice, and is absolutely stunning. But c'mon, let's put the fundamentals of this lovely lady aside and get to the fundamentals of her sing-song. Her band got their feet on the musical ground back in 2009 with the release of Eliza's self-titled, debut EP. Not only did this EP flare up like oil in a fire, it caught the eyes and ears of listeners and major talents across the UK and beyond. Her first songs got several remixes made of them, including one by the likes of The XX.

This helped to propel Eliza along to her first album, equally self-titled, and equally infectious. Her musical style is unfathomably bubbly and fun-loving, light with a sense of jubilance, and a voice reminiscent of Kate Nash. Pair this with a proper band of lads to accompany her, a quick wit, and a flirty sense of lyricism, and you have a road well paved for some excellent hits that will have nearly any listener cooing over her her quirk.

Eliza's quick success has placed her as a shining star quickly rising in the sky over the UK. Her singles "Skinny Genes" and "Pack Up" both have scored her numerous honours, and both got their own nifty music videos. Tonnes of media outlets have picked up on her rising fame, on aiding in making her rise further exponential. Her success even landed her a number of gigs at SXSW 2011, which I was fortunate to attend, meaning her sound is only expected to expand across the seas. And why shouldn't it? Her viral success is the best sort of ailment you can receive, giving you symptoms of random public singing and dancing. You'll want to catch yourself a bit of Eliza Doolittle.

After her stay in the Texas capital, and a brief stint here and there whilst on tour, Eliza Doolittle and her gang of misfits have returned to the UK. She'll be touring throughout Great Britain, bouncing around from several gigs and festivals. Eliza Doolittle's eponymous debut has been out for awhile now, and is finally reaching American and international audiences through regular music outlets. Or, of course, you could snag some music from iTunes. There are tonnes of videos and remixes of her songs. Whoever the dancer is in "Pack Up" is FANTASTIC, the paper-cutout version of "Skinny Genes" is too fun to watch, and I'm a particular fan of her latest single, "Mr Medicine." Check them all out! Or, if you're just curious about what Eliza and co. is up to, wander over to her personal blog and check it out for yourself. In the meantime, I recommend this nifty acoustic, rooftop performance. And until next time, peace out!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Seeking Writers

I'm debating starting this silly blog again! I've missed being apart from the music scene, and after a revitalizing time down in Austin at this year's South by Southwest, I feel energized, and ready to re-enter the scene. Maybe... It's still undecided if I will actually do this. But it's definitely on the table.

However, one major thing I'd really appreciate is having another team of writers at my disposal. Voilà! never lifted off the ground in the way that I hoped it would the first time around. It turned into a blog mostly about my opinions on music I liked, which is not what I wanted. I wanted a more cohesive blend from several different perspectives - for whatever reason (potentially the lax structure I had for writers), people didn't post, and it ended up being almost myself exclusively. That's a drag.

If you've ever wanted to voice your opinions about music, here's your chance! Contact me at and we can try to arrange something. Again, I'm not entirely sure if I'll be returning. But with hope, I just may do so! We'll see. Until next time, readers!