Single of the Week!
Lorn - ‘Weigh Me Down’ (Ninja Tune)
As you should know by now, Lorn is not creating flowery music; he prefers to wallow in the weeks-rank, dank stuff at the bottom of the vase. And it is not especially subtle music, with its lyrics about how he is ‘watching you sharpen knives’, but which also darkly boast that he still has 'one good eye’. All this leads me to believe that the average afternoon with Mrs. Lorn does not see them harrumphing behind respective copies of The Lady and The Times – but I happen to think darkness is a good thing in music. Especially if you are making silky, watery, scratchy soul music like this; music this drenched in melodrama and this defiantly sulky. I mean, in many ways, 'Weigh Me Down' is as emo as sucking hair. But I love it, and suspect the grown-up adult humans among you (who have also retained an ability to strop) will too.
Society - ‘All That We’ve Become’ (Roundtable Records)
While we are on the subject of drama, you might like Society, who believe in the kind of production values Danger Mouse slathered all over his Rome project. It’s massive, it's morriconey and there's a lot of titting about with vibraslaps, dizzying strings, wibble guitar and vibey organs. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely and velvety and for-its-kind, pitch-perfect. But ‘All That We’ve Become’ also honks of Daniel Merriweather. And that’s not good.
Tonfedd Oren - ‘Tonfedd Oren’ (Enraptured)
If you will allow me to talk in ridiculously broad brush strokes about an entire nation (and please, oh do), I will tell you: what I like most about the Welsh is their irrepressibility. They seem a nation at ease with themselves - which, if you have ever got shamefully zonked with a welsh lass, you will already know (not only can they drink any human under the table, they also suffer from not a smidgen of guilt the next day). Anyway, I don’t know what this has to do with Tonfedd Oren, but they do seem at ease with themselves, plopping out a single that has bass lines as pleasing as early New Order, tinny PWEI drums and a loud-hailered lyrical refrain that apparently translates as ‘orange wavelength’. It’s one of those singles that manages to be amiable in spite of its gnat-like flaws. I want to bat it away, but I can't.
SURES - ‘The Sun’ from ‘Stars’ EP (Ivy League)
It might not be modish or wise of me to point out that pretty much any single with enormous, gurning, four-part harmonies will end up being praised on this page - such noises reduce me to an easily-pleased, misclapping simpleton. And though I would like to think it has something to do with how the sweet fellowship contained on songs like ‘The Sun’ speak to the essential, human part of wor souls, I know this won’t explain it, it's just a weakness. Of course, this also means that anyone who doesn’t like ‘The Sun’ is basically some sort of sociopath. (You’re welcome.)
Shrag - ‘Devastating Bones’ (Fortuna POP!)
Shrag know they are not reinventing the indie wheel - they deal in the kind of brio-barbed pop that makes a virtue out of angles, shonk, shout and posture-tawk, putting me in mind of Girls At Our Best. Here they are trying their hand at a glam stomper - and as ever, what marks them out is the sheer verve with which they go about the task. Singing ‘I think you might need those knees for kneeling’ to the stupid-but-beautiful figment of the title, it’s less cute than it sounds - not least because Him Out Of Shrag sings like – of all people – Ian Astbury. Very good, and quite rude.
Also out this Week!
UMA - ‘Drop Your Soul’ EP (Enraptured)
Hot Chip - ‘How Do You Do’ (Domino)
Grass House - 'The Boredom Rose' (Dancing Coins)
Ringo Deathstarr - ‘RIP’ (Club AC30)
Frost - ‘The Woods’ (Frost World Recordings)
The Erratic Man - ‘Back In The Day’ (Worker Records)
Body In The Thames - ‘Jupiter’ (Body In The Thames)
GuMM - ‘Lionheart’ (Howling Owl Records)
Ty Segall - ‘The Hill’ (Drag City)
Spring Offensive - ‘Not Drowning But Waving’
The Busy Twist - ‘Friday Night’ EP (Soundway Records)
The Coronas - ‘Dreaming Again’ (Lix Records)
Janice Graham Band - ‘Assassiner’ (Acid Jazz)
I Am Oak - ‘Reins’ (Heist or Hit)
Theatre Royal - ‘A Hundred Thousand Tears’ (The Preservation Society Presents)
I Am Giant - ‘Purple Heart’
Wet Nuns - ‘Why You So Cold?’
Harrison - ‘Overexposure’
Smoke Fairies - ‘Let Me Know’ (V2)
SCAMS - ‘Lifeboats’ (Devil Duck Records)
Grass House - ‘The Boredom Rose’ (Dancing Coins)
Fixers - ‘Pink Light’ (Dolphin Love)
Brother Ali - ‘Mourning In America’ (Rhymesayers)
Firestations - ‘Meanwhile Gardens’ EP (Waltz Time Records)
Wendy is on the internet, here. Do you want to watch a music video in which a woman in a giant red tutu has her arms licked by another woman but it is not even sexy or nothing because the whole thing whiffs of Sarah Brightman’s pop career and Pan’s People? Okay.