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Ten Beautiful, Alternative Songs
Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy 10 Beautiful Alternative Songs
Need a bit of time to chill? Here are ten stunning alternative tracks that are a perfect soundtrack to your relaxation. In no particular order...
1. All I Want - Kodaline
Channeling the rich folksy melodies that define Mumford and Sons and combining these with a unique edge that generates wonderful musical results: it's no wonder that Kodaline feature in BBC's prestigious Sound of 2013 poll. All I Want is a moving track which builds up to an epic arrangement of tribal drums and ringing guitars. A gorgeous piece of anthemic pop.
2. Hard to Get Around the Wind - Alex Turner
Hailed by many music fans across the globe as this generation's John Lennon, Alex Turner was able to showcase his gift of composing beautiful songs through Richard Ayoade's Indie-success film "Submarine". More downbeat and relaxed compared to the Arctic Monkeys' catalogue of Indie Rock belters, Hard to Get Around the Wind encompasses a beautiful chord sequence with vivid, expressive lyrics.
3. Something or Nothing - Pale Seas
Self-described as being a "Dream-Folk" outfit, Pale Seas craft soothing songs that combine delectable melodies with dreamy vocals. After gaining some radio play on BBC Radio 1, Something or Nothing has been brought to the public ear - but not as much as the band deserve. It's a portal of sugary harmonies and bittersweet imagery - step through it!
4. Still Life - The Horrors
The Horrors are the chameleons of the alternative music world. Transitioning from a gothic debut, (Strange House) to a post-punk sophomore effort (Primary Colours) to a more psychedelic/"shoegazy" sound in Skying. Although the whole of Skying is awe-droppingly beautiful, one track in particular shines through. Still Life is a crescendoing anthem, laced with dreamy synths and a pulsating bassline. When it reaches its epic climax, there are few songs that can challenge its dream-pop perfection and musical immensity.
5. Note to Self - Jake Bugg
Eighteen year old singer-songwriter may have shot to fame for his slick-riffed Lightning Bolt and anthemic folk-rock number Two Fingers, but his self-titled debut holds some chill-out ballads. And none better than Note to Self, where Bugg's lyrics are not only far beyond his years, but also smothered in an old-fashioned vocal effect that gives the track a fantastic atmosphere. Like all of his songs, the bass is also top-notch.
6. Angels - The xx
Minimalistic, and undeniably characteristic of The xx, Romy's sultry vocals perfectly complement the occasional sliding guitar riff or the infrequent but brilliantly-chosen percussion that Jamie xx overlays. It's hard to get a song that's more relaxed than this. As Romy croons "In love with you as I am" hand-in-hand with a simplistic bassline, it's perfect chill music.
7. Spanish Sahara - Foals
Upbeat Math-Rock is the usual recipe for a great Foals song, yet there most cherished song from thousands of alternative music fans worldwide, is in fact, a sombre yet beautiful Prog-Rock track. Featuring oceanic synths and a washed-away bassline/guitar set-up it is artistically, a stunning song. Building throughout, it reaches an epic climax that completely immerses the listener in a tidal wave of sounds.
8. Nightdriving - Tribes
Such a fantastic atmosphere to this track. An intriguingly-toned guitar introduces the track, and Johnny Lloyd's voice is extremely powerful throughout the song. It builds up to a truly anthemic chorus (which sounds immense live - hearing it at Sheperd's Bush was incredible) and stops for a quick break as a subtle guitar solo mixed with an old-fashioned recording gives the track some breathing space, before the London fourpiece go into a HUGE end chorus that is impossibly hard to not sing along to. Incredible.
9. Matilda - Alt-J
Thankfully now recognized for their bold and beautiful music due to deservedly winning the 2012 Mercury Prize, Alt-J are on the rise. The first song I heard by them, Matilda, is a fantastically wonky and fairytale-like track that is catchy from the go. The song definitely showcases the group's musical talent and their unique abstract lyrics, and to anyone that writes them off as pretentious aesthetes - take a listen to Matilda. You'll be hooked.
10. Wait - M83
Wow. Wait is pretty damn hard to describe in words. It's a musical masterpiece that is instantly calming and it builds up to a hypnotic ending, smothered with hazy. shoegazey 'woahhs' coming from all angles. Transfixing. Take a listen!