I admit, I still buy CDs.  There, I said it.  I’m not big into vinyl (never owned a record player, and the whole lack of portability really kills the appeal of buying one).  I remember when I used iTunes regularly to buy music, but that was way back in the days of their DRM protected AAC’s they used to sell.  Then when they switched to DRM-free, they asked me to pay even more to unlock it.  I wasn’t very impressed.  But digital copies just don’t compare to actually holding the album in your hand.  Turning the pages of the album leaflet, adoring the art that artists (usually) so painstakingly whittle down from a collection of many, to give an extra sense of meaning to the album.

All that being said, record stores, in  a fashion similar to but not exactly like movie rental stores, are becoming a thing of the past thanks to the digital revolution.  Not so much that they are closing their doors, but in that their selection is becoming increasingly limited.  It sounds kind of old fashioned, but that was how I used to discover new music, wandering around these record stores and using their machines which would scan a bar code on the CD you show it, and would play you through the entire album.  Nowadays, if you don’t listen to Top 40, or if you don’t live near one of the colossal record stores like the HMV or Virgin megastores, then chances are you’re pretty much screwed in terms of selection.  Which is reason number whatever why I love the internet.

If you go back ten years ago, your selection was limited to what the record store stocked.  Which was almost always limited by the release rights record companies had to release music in a certain geographical area.  Basically, unless you were Top 40 and a huge sensation, chances are you weren’t going to be seen internationally.  At least, that’s how it seemed in North America; access to European content was more like the flow of water running through a crack in the wall: small, to say the least.  Couldn’t say how American content made it’s way over to Europe, maybe they had better success, I couldn’t say.

The point of all of this?  If it wasn’t for the internet allowing you to circumvent effectively all limitations that were previously held by record companies to distribute music, I wouldn’t have found this band, Fenech-Soler (among others, but this is the latest) (technically Muse would have been the first for me, but I’ve already written about them).  I had seen the name floating around on Hype Machine for a while but never really looked into it.  As it would happen, I had actually listened to them on two separate occasions without realizing it, once through an “Indie-Electro Playlist” I stumbled upon in November, and another via a remix of one of their tracks by Alex Metric about a year ago (who, thanks to poor song tags, I had thought at the time had originally crafted the song).

Their music is definitely some form of electro-rock/pop, and I guess that makes it a guilty pleasure of mine, given I generally am not a fan of pop music.  Guiltiest of them all is one of their singles, “Lies.”  A disco beat (with actual drums, from the sounds of it at least( and some well placed keyboard chord jamming just make this an absolutely amazing track.  Very summery I suppose, and as one of the highest rated comments for the video says, “is unbelievably underrated.”

Battlefields is another good track.  I’m not gonna lie, it’s definitely a track to dance to.  May or may not have done so on some occasions.

That track I heard through that playlist I mentioned was this next one, Contender.  While I can’t find a studio track uploaded on Youtube, I found a live session they did for a blog.  In case you had any doubts about lead singer Ben Duffy’s vocals, and maybe perhaps if they were heavily processed, this should prove you wrong.

Maybe we’ll be lucky that they’ll come out and do a North American tour.  I know I’d see them.  And to finish this off, the Alex Metric remix of Lies.  Man that guy is awesome.