Single of the Week!
AlunaGeorge - ‘Your Drums, Your Love’ (Island)
When you have a longheld, irrational hatred of a particular band, it doesn’t taint or falter. In the same way that the embarrassments of youth do not dispel or wane after time - and that years after a moritifying thing; and even after you have recounted it many times, it still has all of its potency; Bands You Hate can provoke a reaction that is very physical. I mean, if you hate them enough, certain hidden muscles really do contract. You know, as if sound could penetrate down there, and actually get in you. Now, I’ve got that for Morcheeba - who, for a time (and yes, still now) - represent everything I hated about the 90s; its cosiness and its vaguery, its unpolicitised, Generation Ex-y waywardness - its sheer, ruddy, that’ll do-ness drove me MENTAL. Because a lot of soul, jazz and funk at that time seemed expressly concerned with being palatable, inoffensive, not-too-fast, and not-too-slow, it had no fucking fire in its loins. Now, what this has to do with AlunaGeorge, is that they sound an awful lot like Morcheeba. But even so, and even yet, I absolutely love them. I have played ‘Your Drums, Your Love’ a hundred times, and it’s still making me shivery.
Standard Fare - ‘Crystal Palatial’ (Melodic)
Bear with me for the hundredth time while I explainify how Standard Fare are better at puppyish, excitable, shuffly indie than anyone else. Mainly because they understand the pop-alchemy that is balancing your joy quotient with your mourn requisite. On 'Crystal Palatial', perfect Emma Kupa perfectly sings a perfect, throwaway couplet: "We sat by a bridge and shared a cigarette. Smoking's bad." And I don't know why that's brilliant, but I know that it is.
Melt Yourself Down - ‘We Are Enough’ (The Leaf Label)
If you are fond of clatter – especially loose and louche clatter, in the manner of ChkChkChk (except with a larger, and much more happy-drunk, brass section) – you will find much to admire in 'We Are Enough'. The Man has described Melt Yourself Down to me as a 'North African-inspired party band.' But I am more interested in all the ragged bawlin'n'shoutin they are doing. Pretty wonderful.
Keane - ‘Disconnected’ (Island)
You do not need me to point out that Keane are not snobs. I mean, most bands would blush and baulk before using the phrase ‘the blind leading the blind’ in a song - but Keane are too comfortable with themselves to give two figs. BUT their video is REALLY GOOD - because it is one part The Shining to one part The Haunting to another part The Hand Coming Out Of The Grave At The End of Carrie. Also, it seems to be saying that it is okay to do necrophilia with your boyfriend if you have had a well bad dream. And that's not very Keane at all.
Tame Impala - ‘Elephant’ (Modular)
Whether you will let Tame Impala get away with being The Sweet, is, of course, your ruddy lookout. But I am going to let them - even if 'Elephant' is about a man who swaggers about, ‘swinging his trunk’. Of course, nobody will award you any points for writing ‘METAPHOR’ in the margin of this song, much less give you any literary props for scribbling the more elegant (and scholarly) ‘ALLEGORICAL’. Although if you spell it 'ALIGORICKAL', I might want to snog you a little bit. Anyway, when it comes down to it, 'Elephant' is basically a brilliant glam stomper about how wanting to have a massive wang is daft, because men with massive wangs have no friends. And you don’t need a degree in Psychology to know that this is some epic wishful thinking, on Tame Impala’s part.
Magic Arm - ‘Put Your Collar Up’ (Switchflicker / Peacefrog)
This isn’t as good as ‘Widths & Heights’ but it’s still complicated, artfully-layered, intricate pop music. Him Out Of Magic Arm understands: he knows great production is about allowing each part of a song its own space, to breathe. This is a lot harder than it seems.
Lekiddo – Lord Of The Lobsters - ‘Beautiful London’
Here is a treat for you. I submit it for the consideration of the reader/listener, without comment.
Also out this Week!
Lord Huron - ‘Time To Run’ (PIAS)
Emperor Yes - ‘Wasps’ (Tape Club Records)
Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny - ‘Dodecahedron’ (Mute)
Alpines - ‘Early Hours’ EP ()
Evans The Death - ‘Catch Your Cold’ (Fortuna POP!)
Yes Cadets - ‘Le Mans’ EP (Humming Records)
Andy Burrows - ‘Because I Know That I Can’ (PIAS)
Cuddly Shark - ‘Body Mass Index’ EP (Armellodie Records)
The Black Keys - ‘Little Black Submarines’ (Nonesuch)
*Me* - ‘Like A Fox’ / ‘Rock And Roll Dandy’
Folks - ‘Say Something’ (Ignition Records)
Glitches - ‘Leper’
Tame Impala - ‘Elephant’ (Modular)
Olympic Swimmers - ‘Knots’ (Green White Violet)
I Am In Love - ‘Palm’ (Velocity Sounds Records)
Artifact - ‘Worn’ (Local Action)
Richard Walters - ‘Walk Softly Stranger’ (Beard Museum)
The New Union - ‘Without You’ (Two Sisters Records)
Ice, Sea, Dead People - ‘You Could Be A Model’ (Lost Toys Records)
TEEN - ‘Electric’ (Carpark Records)
We Are The Physics - ‘Napoleon Loves Josephine’
Wendy is on the internet here. In case you were wondering and even if you were not, Tim looks the nicest in the Keane video.