Matthew "Matt" Hales (born January 17, 1972), better known as Aqualung, is an English singer and songwriter best known in the UK for his song "Strange and Beautiful", which was featured on a television advertisement for the new Volkswagen Beetle during the summer of 2002 and went on to become a Top 10 hit in the UK singles chart later that year. In the United States, Aqualung is also known for the song "Brighter Than Sunshine", which had considerable airplay and was used in the film A Lot Like Love and various television spots.
Matt is married to Bad Girls actress Kim Oliver, who helped him write the lyrics to "Strange and Beautiful".
Aqualung, real name Matt Hales, is incredibly talented. I'm most impressed with his most recent album "Memory Man", which I highly recommend you listen to. When I first heard that first track "Cinderella", I felt love. Like, actual love! To make it on this list, that was good enough for me. Damn. Good job, Aqualung, good job! If you continue on to listen to the next track on the album "Pressure Suit", the lyrics and actual imagery of the music might just blow you away. The video is pretty damned creative also. You can view it in good quality on his website. I suggest you do: Pressure Suit Video (second video)
On 2008's WORDS & MUSIC, his first full-length outing for the Verve Forecast label, British singer/pianist Matt Hales (aka Aqualung) returns to spare, melodic form after `07's more challenging, electro-tinged MEMORY MAN. As on his breakthrough, ... STRANGE & BEAUTIFUL, Hales largely relies on his fragile, plaintive voice and gentle piano-led arrangements to carry his songs, which include the swooning "On My Knees" and the aching-yet-playful "When I Finally Get My Own Place." Hales also offers up a wonderfully melancholy version of Paul Simon's "Slip-Sliding Away," a rendition that bears such a signature Aqualung stamp that it's hard to remember that it's a cover tune. An album that will certainly rally most wayward fans, WORDS & MUSIC reveals that Aqualung remains a vital and accessible alt-pop artist.
"It feels like coming home. I think you’ll like it".
Dears CD discography Montreal-based indie outfit the Artist' emotive take on classic U.K. indie music struggled to make an impact outside of their native Canada until the label Bella Union--run by ex-Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie--released their second album, NO CITIES LEFT, in 2004. The album earned favorable comparisons to Blur, Joy Division, and particularly the Smiths. As a result, the band was invited to support their idol, Morrissey, on his 2006 tour. Later that year the Artist released their third album, GANG OF LOSERS, to critical acclaim. The album revealed a broadening of their sonic palette, with greater emphasis given to synthesizers and electronic textures.
The Dears - GANG OF LOSERS (2006)
With this album, Murray Lightburn continues to move away from the sparer Brit-pop that dominated his band's earliest work, emphasizing the grandeur and bombast that was always lurking in the background. On opener "Disclaimer," Lightburn calls ... Full Descriptionout to "the Son of God," and from there he tackles capitalism ("Money Babies") and war ("Missiles"). The general feeling of unrest and upheaval is unsurprising considering that the actual recording of MISSLES was plagued by turmoil and a rejiggering of the lineup. In fact, Lightburn initially planned it as a solo record, and his emphatic, Morrissey-ish croon is still the main draw. MISSILES remains, indisputably, a Dears record, and its bigness of sound will especially please fans who were happy with where the band went on 2006's GANG OF LOSERS.
The Dears - Missiles (2008)
If the Dears sound a little deflated on this, their fourth full-length offering, they certainly have that right. The creation of Missiles coincided with (and, it has been suggested, led to) the departure of five-sevenths of the band's most steady and successful lineup thus far. And while surviving Dears (and husband and wife) Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak have since assembled a new seven-piece ensemble, the mounting list of ex-Dears on Wikipedia coupled with the Montreal act's relatively brief existence practically has these guys shifting at a Fall-like pace. Quite a feat for a band that sounds so composed on record and isn't fronted by Mark E. Smith. What's more, Missiles marks a new relationship with yet another record label-- Silverlake, California-based Dangerbird-- meaning the Dears have parted ways with Bella Union abroad and, in these parts, Arts & Crafts, a label not exactly known for artist turnover.
If the Dears sound a little deflated on this, their fourth full-length offering, they certainly have that right. The creation of Missiles coincided with (and, it has been suggested, led to) the departure of five-sevenths of the band's most steady and successful lineup thus far. And while surviving Dears (and husband and wife) Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak have since assembled a new seven-piece ensemble, the mounting list of ex-Dears on Wikipedia coupled with the Montreal act's relatively brief existence practically has these guys shifting at a Fall-like pace. Quite a feat for a band that sounds so composed on record and isn't fronted by Mark E. Smith. What's more, Missiles marks a new relationship with yet another record label-- Silverlake, California-based Dangerbird-- meaning the Dears have parted ways with Bella Union abroad and, in these parts, Arts & Crafts, a label not exactly known for artist turnover. Given all this-- plus a few reportedly less than perfect tours and a succession of breakthroughs that never quite happened-- it comes as little surprise that Lightburn and founding keyboardist Natalia Yanchak surround his keening vocals with epic constructions, as on the gorgeous, saxophone-assisted opener 'Disclaimer'..."
"This could have been a message saying that the Dears is over."
Canadian designer, Ken Chow has been killing the bag game for a few seasons. Using a variety of waxed cottons and treated leathers in dark, classic colors, he has put together one of the best bag collections on the market. He seems to have the eye for just the right amount of buckles, handles and pockets while keeping a minimal aesthetic and a high quality. Although his pieces are not cheap, you get some pretty amazing materials and design for your dough. I really like the color and look of the texture on these new bags over at Revolve. If you’ve got some money to burn and stuff to carry, I would recommend Krane baggage.
Halfby is the solo project of Kyoto resident artist, Takahiro Takahashi. Basically, he’s DJ and is always busy with his Dj tour in Japan. Also, he’s now well known as one of the Japanese rising star DJs. His DJ styles is Breakbeats and Hip hop based but he also plays Rock, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Bossa Nova, Reggae and Calypso/Caribean music. His combination play of wide range of music is well reflected in Halfby’s music.
Halfby made his debut in 2002 and all the three EPs became hits and were sold out soon. Especially, the first mini album “Half Works” was a huge hit at big record stores like HMV and Tower Records and stayed at the higher position in the indie chart. After the release of the mini album, he remixed the songs of the famous Japanese artists the likes of Cubismo Grafico, M-Flo, Doping Panda and Halcali. He got an offer from one of the famous film director in Japan at the moment, Mr.Katsuyuki Motohiro, and made the soundtracks of the movie
“Summertime Machine Blues” in cooperation with Strauss (Tatsuki Hashimoto). Then, he had chances to perform in the huge rock festival in Japan like Summersonic 05 and Count down Japan 05/06.
Halfby’s first full-length album “Green Hours” finally released in October 2005. It has been sold much more than the mini album and has reached 2nd position on Tower records’ indie chart.
Halfby - Side Farmers (2008)
So yes, it's happy big beat dance music, and if you like the names I've dropped in the previous paragraph then you'll probably like this. But I have to admit, the one thing that pushes Halfby's work towards greatness is what attracted me to it in the first place: the videos. Made by the good people at Groovisions, they all feature the same lead character - a computer animated, bewigged, dancing man - making his way through an array of insanely detailed environments. The YouTube widget at the top of this page collects five of them for your entertainment: a double bill of non-album track Rodeo Machine and Screw The Plan, followed by Halfbeat, Star Track and Slip ON. After a while they become compulsive viewing, as you start to spot the characters and themes that recur in each video.