Peanut’s Playground: Traditional role patterns (or the last remains of the past)

Photography by chrysseis

Trend (trnd) – n.

  1. The general direction in which something tends to move.
  2. A general tendency or inclination.
  3. Current style; vogue: the latest trend in fashion.

There is something going about the music scene that I hadn’t noticed until recently. A break in the common routine. The abandonment of traditional role patterns if you will.

Some names: Mates of State (est. 1997), Beach House (since 2004) and Blood Red Shoes (d.o.b. 2005).

The thing they have in common? Women up front; men at the back. That’s what.

As much as this shouldn’t be surprising, somehow it is. At least it is to me (shows you how modern I am…). I’m one of those guys that didn’t even have female artists in their record collection until I was made aware of this fact (thank you again for that Ellen). Embarrassed, I decided to change my ways. I educated myself a bit more in this part of female accomplishments and found out that I had missed out on a lot of great music!

Still, the fact that three of my current musical favorites have an ‘untraditional’ set up was surprising enough for me to do this little write-up about the subject.

Mates of State are an indie pop/rock duo (drums and electric organ) from the US who have been releasing quality music since 1999. What sets MoS apart from a lot of acts is not only the prominent – and very effective – use of synths/organs but especially the impressive (and quite beautiful) man/woman vocal harmonies. The instrumentation is limited but very rich. The quality of the songwriting does the rest.

Mates of State – The Re-Arranger

Some linkage: Official | Buy

Beach House are Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. And Beach House are also fantastic! The band’s third album ‘Teen Dream’ was released on Sub Pop last January and it quite possibly is one the finest releases in recent years. At the very least it’s one of the finest of 2010 (for what it’s worth) so far, and it would really surprise me if this does not end up way at the top of a lot of year-end-lists come December. ‘Dream pop’ seems to be the most used term to define their music. I’d just like to use the term ‘impressively beautiful’.

Beach House – Lover of Mine

Some linkage: Official | Buy

Last up are Brighton, England’s very own Blood Red Shoes. A guy and a gal who make some of the finest guitar rock around. Some tags I found to be quite accurate as to describing the music: rambunctious, swaggering, energetic and stylish. Two albums into their career, they’ve just released another stunner called ‘Fire Like This’. Listen to the song posted below and be convinced.

Blood Red Shoes – Light it Up

Some linkage: Official | Buy

And now just hope that this doesn’t actually prove to be a trend after all…

Cheerio for now,


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My current top 10 for 2010:

Beach House – Teen Dream | Rogue Wave – Permalight
Blood Red Shoes – Fire Like This | Spoon – Transference
Josh Rouse – El Turista | Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History
Miles Kurosky – The Desert of Shallow Effects | Vampire Weekend – Contra
The Morning Benders – Big Echo | Yeasayer – Odd Blood

1 comment for “Peanut’s Playground: Traditional role patterns (or the last remains of the past)

  1. March 3, 2010 at 7:11 PM

    Looks like we share very similar tastes in great music!

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