Another week down the drain but what do we have to show for it? Actually quite a lot, with a Pavement reunion really, physically happening, albeit a year away. Add into that what, I think, happens to be one of the best Spotifriday playlists so far and, hopefully, one which flows more like a paper boat down the Ouse on a serene summer's day than a sputtering high-pressured waste pipe.
1.The Dodos - 'Fables'
Making it into This Week's Singles we have The Dodos, who had a bit of a problem a while back with their album leaking very early indeed, so they streamed it for free ahead of release. The album's not a bad little chunk of music, as it happens, much like 'Fables' which does sound very, very similar to The Shins. Still, a good way to kick things off.
2.Frightened Rabbit - 'The Twist'
This week we announced the line-up for our In The City showcase-cum-birthday-party and these guys are on the bill, along with Munch Munch, Esben and The Witch and Canada's Clues. Exciting stuff. We're going to be nine years old! Their Scottishness characteristically abounds in this three point five minute number. Dance!
3.Alberta Cross - 'Lucy Rider'
Yip, another one from This Week's Singles, as reviewed by Wendy Roby. 'ATX' wasn't on Spotify so we've stuck in 'Lucy Rider' for your aural pleasure. Though verging a little on the side of Soft Rock, the quality found within does more than enough to outweigh this slight disadvantage. If only I had a voice which could go high enough to sing along in the chorus.
4.Piney Gir - 'Albelha: Bumblebee'
Continuing the theme of "lovely poppy-melodious-folk songs" with which we have started, Piney Gir's song about a Bumblebee is just delightful, maybe a little too delightful for its own good, but nevertheless lovely. The sort of track that would appeal to all ages. Note to singer: the act of a Bumblebee spreading its wings would be physically impossible. We reviewed their album The Yearling earlier in the week, giving it a deserved 7 out of 10.
5.Dawn Landes - 'Accordion Song'
Dawn Landes needs a bit more reppin', to be quite honest. She's an artist deserving of more loving and time, as the aptly titled 'Accordion Song# demonstrates so well with that wonderful American drawl of hers. We only gave it 5/10 but she's better than that, we promise. Maybe not on that particular record, but as an overall package.
6.Ramona Falls - 'I Say Fever'
If, like me, you hadn't heard Ramona Falls, a.k.a Brent Knopf of Menomena's side project then you will, hopefully, and quite probably be blown away by just how good this track, and indeed the whole album entitled Intuit is. The way tension gradually ratchets up with the odd tinkling of the ivories in the background is the stuff of dreams. We thought so too, giving the album 9/10.
7.Sunset Rubdown - 'Paper Lace'
It's no secret that we gave full marks to Sunset Rubdown's Dragonslayer earlier in the year and, whatever your views on whether it is a near-perfect album, it's certainly not for off if it isn't. Here we have the band starting off sounding like the Eurotrash introductory theme tune before striding into territory reminiscent of Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. We had a two-part interview with them this week, and a brilliant read it definitely is. Read part une here and part deux here.
8.The Big Pink - 'A Brief History Of Love'
If you are undecided on this band you could do worse (or maybe better, it is another splitter...) than listen to the title track from The Big Pink's debut album. It's like an acceptably good Glasvegas. We reviewed the aforementioned album here - it has some great tracks, some quite good tracks and some not so good ones. It scored 7/10.
9.KMD - 'Peachfuzz'
So, DOOM may be linking up with David Sitek but he's definitely releasing a compilation in October, entitled Unexpected Guests. It features some of his best mates, which should be quite a riot. Here's one not from his days as DOOM (MF) but from his days as Zev Love X in the rap collective KMD, rapping about facial hair. This particular track includes my favourite rhyme EVER - "use your imagination just a smidgen / if I was a bird I'd be a pigeon". Enough.
10.Nosaj Thing - 'FWD'
OK, so we cheated again. We know that the first ever DiScover Mixtape was technically last week, but it was published after last Friday's Spotifriday feature and, well, we make the rules, so we're going to include Nosaj Thing in this week's. Problem? No. Good, much like this soundtrack to a particularly tough workout at the gym is. Times two.
11.HEALTH - 'Death +'
Our esteemed Albums Editor Andrzej Lukowski reviewed HEALTH's new one Get Color here. On this occasion I'm going to use his cleverly chosen words instead of my ill-considered ones: "Weakly smiling at a man in a ‘YOU WILL LOVE EACH OTHER’ t-shirt, the latest in a series of men in ‘YOU WILL LOVE EACH OTHER’ t-shirts, all of whom had greeted me as a brother of sorts on grounds of my own ‘YOU WILL LOVE EACH OTHER’ t-shirt... I begin to feel vaguely despondent. It is ATP Vs Pitchfork, and we all seemed to be the same: uncool twentysomething males attempting to look vaguely edgy by sporting a garment that combines a budget price tag, allegiance to an up and coming noise band and a half-arsed stab at leaping aboard the fluero bandwagon. I wasn’t even sure if really liked HEALTH."
12.Q-Tip - 'Heels'
Another choice-cut of hip-hop on Spotifriday, what the hell is going on? Well, it's only the capped crusader Q-Tip, innit? He returned this week with Kamaal The Abstract, an album which was recorded quite a while ago but sadly never saw the light of day. On the back of this funked up modulation that is 'Heels' it's a struggle to wonder why. Maybe because of the instrumental nonsense which features on it. We reviewed it here.
13.Brand New - 'Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades'
OK, so this may have been an obvious choice of song, but obvious can be sometimes what you need. As I would argue is the case here. Fiona McKinlay caught up with Jesse Lacey from Brand New earlier in the week, in an equally in-depth and brilliant interview which you can read by clicking here.
14.The Get Up Kids - 'I'm A Loner Dottie, A Rebel'
The Get Up Kids remain forever in our hearts and, for some of us (the lucky ones), our ears, having reformed earlier in the year. It's also been ten years since Something To Write Home About was released and to celebrate this, the band released a tenth anniversary edition and we, in turn, reviewed it. James Skinner prefers to not get caught up in the etymology and semantics behind EMO and gives this record a deserving nine. He describes this particular track as posessing "unassailable triumph of simplicity". He's right.
15.Lovvers - '1-2-3-4 Count'
We need far more bands who sound like they're using My First Microphone by Fisher Price as their one and only vocal input, and maybe running it through a scuzzed up amp or four. Especially if they're from England. We spoke to Lovvers' Shaun Hencher and picked his brains about such things as the noise-pop "scene".
16.Pavement - 'Pavement'
17.Maps - 'You Don't Know Her Name'
Our resident Singles Reviewer Wendy Roby has fallen a bit in love with this band, so I'm told. In particular this song which, she says, "really does feel as if Chapman has found a way to use positive, beatific noise to illuminate foul corners and bat away the badness - by making a record so dense, NOTHING can fight its way through. His very own Wall of Sound!". If I were, personally, to describe this song I'd use the words "triumphant" and "shoegaze-y".
To listen to this week's Spotifriday playlist, please click here.