The Mighty Animal Kingdom.

When I try to describe my background and life to people who have just met me or who are trying to gain a deeper insight (or maybe just looking for clarification on the course of events) into who I am, I can best explain it as 'a series of very happy accidents'.  I can see this theme emerge throughout most of my life but it relates most specifically to my time living in London.  Things just always seemed to happen  and I would be unsure about my path and then all of a sudden, the dust clears and I realize that it was the best thing that could have happened to me. A bit prolific, yes.  But it's true.  Responses to this way of explaining myself have been met by many of those I love and respect with 'don't be so silly, it isn't luck at all, good things happen to good people'.  Hogwash.  I will gladly admit that most decisions I have made in my life have happened without me knowing what on Earth it was I was doing and, nine times out of ten, because I was in a panic.

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If you're wondering where I am going with this, it is an attempt at trying to explain my good fortune of meeting, getting to know and watching a lovely group of fellas as they embarked on a little journey called 'being in a band'  :)  It is one of the toughest things you could ever do (being in a band, not hanging out with one) but when you have something special, your hard work will hopefully be met with great things.

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This is a rather deep and emotional introduction to Animal Kingdom but, especially in my world, they deserve it.  Long story short, my dear friend (and roommate) was working with them in the early days and I got to spend a lot of time with the guys in the band going to gigs and just hanging about a lot in random moments of unemployment (yes, I would spend my days hanging out in other people's offices to make it feel like I was doing something).  If I wanted to date myself a bit, I might tell you about how they, to this day, call me Top 8 Kate...a reference to my standing on their MySpace page.  That's right.  MYSPACE.

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Well, we've all come a long way since then...Animal Kingdom especially...and I want to shout it from the rooftops that these lovely boys with brilliant accents and overly impressive musicianship will be visiting the States on a summer tour!

They are covering the whole country, including a set at Lollapalooza!  I can't tell you enough to go check these guys out.  Seriously one of the best live bands I have seen and I don't even have to legally say that anymore to hold onto my Top 8 status  :)

Check out more about the band and where you can see them live here.  (Also, they are all very handsome. Just sayin'.)

Oh, Daughter.

When I was living in London, I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Miss Elena Tonra and watching her grow into Daughter.  If you haven't yet heard of Daughter, which you very well may have with the amount of noise is being made about them, the group consists of Elena at the front, Igor and (one of  my favorite people from my London sect) Remi.  I've been meaning to write about Daughter for some time now...I have always been struck to the core by their music.

The first time I saw Daughter perform, the reaction of the crowd was perfect silence.  Their music and the lyrics somehow stun entire crowds into submission.  Haunting, beautiful, painful, understanding, destructive, peaceful.  It's like Daughter rips your heart out and comes to stand very kindly next to you as you watch it on the floor thinking 'that was bound to happen...thank you for understanding'.

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It has to be said, when I opened the latest issue of Nylon magazine and saw the perfectly quirky and stunning Elena as one of the 'cool kids' in London, gaining an entire page in the magazine just for her, I completely swelled with pride.  Her talent and her dedication to her art has ensured that she deserves all the wonderful that is coming her way.

Make sure to check out their music, watch their videos and keep a very keen eye on their tour dates.  It is with very tightly crossed fingers that I hope they make their way over to the States so I get to get welled-up in both a bit of pride and admiration at Daughter as a group of people who I think very highly of but also as a vessel for some of my favorite music in the world.

Daughter - 'Peter'

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More Saint Saviour loveliness.

Some of you may remember when I had a little love fest on Thrill of the Chaise for Saint Saviour before...if you weren't here for that or just want to check it out again, read/watch/hear it here (and there was another time too, come to think of it, here). And I'm about to do it again.  Because this stunning lady has a new EP out ('Suukei', buy it) and some new videos all of which I want to jump into and just live there for a little while.  Her voice is incredible, she looks like a million bucks, her lyrics rip your heart out and then give it back to you and she is, by far, one of the best live acts I have ever seen.  Not to mention, she's a very nice lady  :)

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