Single of the Week!
Mac DeMarco - 'Ode To Viceroy' (Captured Tracks)
You, lazy, are not allowed to invoke the Beach Boys when appraising any songs with honeyed, three or four-part close harmonies. The Dogs of Criticism also decry comparisons to Tom Verlaine, when you come across some especially twinkly guitar. So let's have our cake and move swiftly on, so that we may talk about the wavering on 'Ode To Viceroy'. Which is - damn it all to hell - a paean to smoking Viceroy fags in the morning, that I have been forced to listen to, and imagine smoking alongside, even though I gave up thinky sticks long ago (and still miss them). Because the wavering here is magnificent - as slinky as anything Connan Mockasin might conjure, and just as spindly as those tiny spirals of pure evil I used to merrily inhale. It's the sort of song where each note feels like it's raining down, from above. Even though the thing this song is about, hails from the depths.
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - ‘Jeremy’ (PIAS)
I was feeling vaguely guilty about POBPUAH (or Poo-bar, as I like to call them) this morning. All 'Come on, Wendy, let's not write another review of Pains Of Being Pure At Heart that points out how they deal in tweeful artifice, but are still good.' Even if that, in turn, makes me wonder whether it is healthy to address oneself by name, as if the 'I' in Me, Myself & I were actually a 'we' and, quite by accident, you had grown another entity. Then I listened to the Breakfast Club OST bonus song that is their cover of The Magnetic Fields' 'Jeremy', and heard its remarkable quatrain...
Like a Galapagos turtle
we grow old and stay that way.
Build our nest in a sand dune
lay our eggs, and walk away.
...and promptly (and rightly) forgot myself.
Two Fingers - ‘Sweden’ (Big Dada)
Whether or not you still have room in your heart for busted bass will depend on just how much of it you have chosen to injest / been subjected to, in the last three years. I still find it enlivening - but this may have something to do with the fact that when I am not tasked with listening to and writing about indie music like a bonded serf, I spend my time listening to Steeleye Span albums chosen specifically for their terrible artwork. If nothing else, 'Sweden' would make for a good alarm clock; with its rumbling rolls as mean and unrelenting as any storm clouds.
Bat For Lashes - ‘All Your Gold’ (Parlophone)
There are times when all the ingredients needed for a thing are present; but even yet, and even so, it doesn't quite work. So you can go to that deli, or farmer's market, like the provenance-obsessed ponce you are; and you can chop, whisk and baste it all neatly, and still end up with a dinner fit for dogs, not Sundays. This is not to say that 'All Your Gold' is dogsmess - clearly, far from it - but I am listening to the swelling strings and the super-meaningful, emotional emotions of the chorus, and it is all adding up to a not-quite, nearly-there, supremely almosty kind of drama. It's saying all the right lines and all the right notes, in the right order, but I'm still tapping on my ribcage and saying 'Bueller...? Bueller...?'.
Lotus Plaza & Nice Weekend - ‘Come Back’ / 'Longest Days' (Split 10" on Audraglint)
Lotus Plaza and Nice Weekend have hitched their respective wagons for a delightful split seven, and the a-side, 'Come Back', is something ruddy else. It does that thing all young bands dream of doing (and nearly always fail at), because it is an entirely justifiable nine-minutes of washing, lilting guitar lines and mangled solos. And it really is beautiful enough to put you in mind of (oh no, oh yes) a dewy spider's web - as if Lockett Pundt and his mates were actually performing on one.
Colorama - ‘Hapus’ (Aficionado)
'Hapus' is the only single this week that is using a rainstick for percussion. But before this puts you in mind of dread artifacts (dream catchers, 'tribal art' sold out of hangers on industrial estates, &c), do listen. Because it is a spacey, proggy rock ballad that will teach you how to ask 'Are you happy?' in Welsh, as it drifts about, all swayful.
Also out this Week!
Holy Ghost! - ‘It Gets Dark’ (DFA)
Roosevelt - ‘Sea’ (Greco-Roman)
Toodar - ‘So’ (Rash Records)
Regal Safari - ‘II’ EP (Regal Safari Records)
Tracey Thorn - 'In The Cold, Cold Night' (Strange Feeling)
Post War Years - ‘The Bell’ EP (Chess Club)
Red Hot Chili Peppers - ‘The Sunset Sleeps Tonight’ (Warner Bros)
Permanent Clear Light - ‘Higher Than The Sun’ (Regal Crabomophone)
My Chemical Romance - ‘Conventional Weapons Number One’ (Warner Bros)
Ethan Johns - ‘Whip Poor Will’ (Three Crows)
Funeral Suits - ‘Hands Down’ (Model Citizen)
The Chemistry Set - ‘Time To Breathe (Lake)’ (Regal Crabomophone)
A Place To Bury Strangers - ‘And I'm Up’ (Dead Oceans)
Anton Barbeau - ‘Psychedelic Mynde Of Moses’ (Fruits De Mer Records)
Adele - ‘Skyfall’ (XL)
Mutado Pintado - ‘Carbon Copies’
The PJP Band - ‘I Am A Racer’ (OUF Records)
Candice Gordon - ‘Cannibal Love’ (Fauna Records)
The I.D - ‘Bloodsweat & Honour’
Tom Odell - ‘Songs From Another Love’ EP (Columbia)
Talk In Colour - ‘Bones’ (NightCabin Records)
Ana Silvera - ‘Song For Daniel’ (Karamel Music Collective)
Redwire - ‘Playing With Fire’ (One Above Records)
Clockwork Radio - ‘Resolver’ (Poly Tune Records)
The Red, The White & The Blue - ‘Crisis!’ (Catapult)
Duologue - ‘Underworld’ / 'Zeros' (Killing Moon)
The Twang - ‘Mainline’ (Jump The Cut Records)
KAV - ‘King Of The World (The Undefeated Champion)’ (The Electric Dirt Junkie Recordings)
Dead Can Dance - ‘Opium’ (PIAS)