Singles Round-up (05/05/08)
This week DiS welcomed Black Lips’ Cole Alexander and Jared Swilley into our meeting room to assess a selection of the week’s new single releases. Check out the video for their forthcoming single ‘Bad Kids’ and their UK tour dates HERE. Over to them, then, for their verdicts on what we had to play them…
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
Scarlett Johansson – ‘Falling Down’ (Warner)
Famous acting sort covers Tom Waits by mumbling something over the top of ethereal dream-pop backing drones...
Jared: First, it’s totally strange that Scarlett Johansson is doing an album of Tom Waits covers. It’s not the most typical of musical ventures, but no doubt it’s way better than, say, Steven Segal or Keanu Reeves. I think it’s cool – it sounds kinda like Beach House.
Cole: The production is really good.
Jared: And it was already a really good song, so with the production sounding good too…
Cole: I think if she wasn’t Scarlett Johansson this would still get attention.
Jared: Her name will sell it though, and those of the others involved. I just think it’s a weird thing to do, but it’s cool. With the people she’s worked with though – Dave Sitek, David Bowie – she has an unfair advantage.
After assessing all the singles…
Cole: I think that this and Lightspeed Champion are my favourites. But I’m not Jared.
Jared: I think the Scarlett Johansson one is my favourite.
Cole: I’m a firm believer that a good producer can make a great record…
Jared: …And she had the best production of all the songs. The Lightspeed Champion one would have been better for me if it wasn’t so, so clean. But the Scarlett one was really dreamy, and it was a good song to start with, the Tom Waits original. I don’t think this decision has much to do with it being Scarlett Johansson – she’s just had the resources at her disposal to make a good record.
Cole: He voice isn’t that great but, by the same token, my voice isn’t that great. Bob Dylan doesn’t have a good voice either, though.
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ALSO OUT TODAY
Attic Lights – ‘God’ (Island)
Teenage Fanclub-ish jangle indie-pop from Scotland…
Jared: (Turns it off after 40 seconds) Just the vocals here, and the way the guitar’s done, it’s so…
Cole: It’s the industry standard, where the drums have to be mic’ed this certain way.
Jared: It’s the kind of music that cowards make.
Cole: I’d reach for their balls if they had any. God would be pissed at them using His name in vain.
Operahouse – ‘Diane’ (Marrakesh)
By-numbers Razorlight-lite fodder from London…
Jared: Where was its chorus? It had no chorus!
Cole: It’s better than Attic Lights, but that’s not saying much.
Jared: It’s way, way better than Attic Lights!
White Denim – ‘Let’s Talk About It’ (Full Time Hobby)
Scratchy indie-rawk noise pop from across the Atlantic, boisterous fun…
Jared: It didn’t offend me, but I wouldn’t listen to it in my car.
Cole: I liked the music. There were cool, good drums. We like garage-rock bands who fuck things up a bit, who aren’t complete purists. We just got off tour with The Black Keys, and we’re not big into them. I like The White Stripes though – they’ve got a similar thing going on, but it’s less wanky blues.
Video: ‘Let’s Talk About It’
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James Pants – ‘We’re Through’ (Stones Throw)
Slick pop-funk from a stable most associated with hip-hop releases, close in spirit to Chromeo…
Cole: It’s alright – people can dance to this in a posh disco. It’s for snooty dancers with cocktails. Is this from the UK?
Jared: (Looking at PR blurb) It’s from Texas. (MySpace says Washington – Ed)
Cole: This is the last music you expect to come from Texas.
Chromeo – ‘Fancy Footwork’ (Back Yard)
Essential dancefloor-filler material from Dave 1 and P-Thugg…
Jared: I like it. I’ve seen them live and they get people dancing. It’s not my thing, but it is kinda fun.
Cole: It’s certainly danceable.
Jared: I like how they use vocoders, too. And like I said, their live show is really fun.
Video: ‘L.E.S. Artistes’
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Santogold – ‘L.E.S. Artistes’ (Atlantic)
Pristine pop from mate-of-M.I.A. who has ditched the dirt for this chart-climbing single…
Cole: She’s got way better songs than this single. I think this is an okay song, but I prefer her more dubby stuff. This reminds me of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but even more mainstream. I saw her at a party not so long ago, and I think she’s already written for some other pop stars. I give this a 50/50.
Jared: I’d like to hear more.
Lightspeed Champion – ‘Galaxy Of The Lost’ (Domino)
Dev Hynes sings about throwing up in mouths in the company of freaky puppets, as produced in Omaha with the Saddle Creek team…
Cole: I met him at a party once, he was a nice guy. I like this song, it’s okay. It’s not something I’d listen to much, but you can hear that he’s got a good craft to his songwriting. I like the line about throwing up in the girl’s mouth, because usually indie like this is too polite. It goes up a notch because of that lyric.
Jared: It’s a good song, yeah. We like that one.
Cole: One time in high school, we were playing spin the bottle, and dudes had to kiss too, and we were really drunk and Jared threw up in my mouth.
Jared: I threw up everywhere.
Video: ‘Galaxy Of The Lost’
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