Single of the Week!
Omega Male - 'Testosterone' (Full Time Hobby)
Lecherously low slung, 'Testosterone' includes the sound of sirens going off - as if a particularly manly cove had passed through a sexy airport detector, and broken it by sheer dint of his machismo. What is particularly nice about this single - which is the kind of record you should put on, should you wish to glide past an ex-lover, sluttily swinging your hips as you studiously ignore them - is that you can hear how much fun Omega Male are having; from the sultry gasps, actual grunts and perilous drawl of the vocals, to the delightful lyrical detours that take in horticulture, and the formation of stars; nothing here is not having larks, and every single one of those larks is proper blue. A song that celebrates the Alphas as much as it sniggers behind their preening, overly-muscled, triangular backs, 'Testosterone' will be the record I will play this week, when I most want to sashay.
Animal Collective - ‘Applesauce’ (10" on Domino)
'Applesauce' is a paean to the curative powers of superfoods, fruit in particular. And it has the kind of malleably genial lyrics AC are known for, that are very handy because they can be bent to the peculiar desires and lifestyle of the listener. This means, of course, that a song that is notionally about apples and starfruit can actually be made to mean anything you like. I mean, there's definitely something in here about how we're all going to die someday; ripe fruit at the base of a tree-trunk, the fall of man, man's inhumanity to man, fatal flaws, the seeds of tragedy are sewn in Act 1 scene 1; but to what extent are the events inevitable with reference to the opening? Answer with reference to the role of the Fool and his importance in the play. (Good.)
Roses Gabor - ‘Stars’ (Girls Music)
Because no woman ever had a wank prior to the release of Rihanna's S&M / the publication of 50 Shades of Grey, it is now The Law that all 'edgy' pop music must contain a vaguely bottom-y line. Roses Gabor's is: 'Pulling my hair, biting the skin from my lip,' - which is quite rude, when you think about it, though thankfully Gabor has the good grace to gloss over it, instead of signposting WHAT A BAD GURL she is, in shouty caps. Other than that, 'Stars' is as good a single as you might expect from an artist with the pedigree of Digital Soundboy behind her. Which is to say, it is very good.
Dutch Uncles - ‘Fester’ (Memphis Industries)
'Fester' is sounding very much like a lost Hot Chip smash, with its deft and jolly marimbas, crystalline vocals and rinky-dink pop production. In the least patronising way possible, I would like to contend that this is what Dutch Uncles really sound like, now they have found their feet and settled into their own, slinky skin. It's a proper, proper pop song, too, and lightly done.
Rowdy Superstar - ‘Breathe’ (Accidental Records)
Ever the budding meteorologist, Rowdy Superstar asks; 'Why does everything seem so dark, when outside, the sky is blue, the forecast is dry?'. And while the metaphors here are pure GCSE poetry exam, all WEATHER IN THE WORLD: GOOD / WEATHER IN THE WORLD OF MY MIND: BAD, Matthew Herbert's production elevates the whole affair, to the point that it is almost pointless trying to shoehorn 'Breathe' into a hip-hop pigeonhole. Anyway, it hardly matters what you want to call it; there being enough strange twangs, moody rumbles, dischordant detours and intricate layers, for it not to matter.
Brassica - 'Modern Magic' from ‘Temple Fortune’ EP (Civil Music)
The dependably brilliant Civil Music almost never put a well-trainered foot wrong, which is why Brassica's ghostly excursion through Joy Division's basslines - as seen though the smoke and lazer synths of Jean Michel Jarre - are particularly welcome. Usually, when musical references are this easy to spot, it is tiresome. But Brassica gets away with it, on an EP that draws on Italo house, Malcolm Mcdowell-style kiddie choirs and the vocals of a Patrick Wolf-style crooner called Stuart Warwick. Promising.
The Heavy - ‘Can't Play Dead’ (Counter)
SHHH QUIET YOU GUYS LISTEN THE HEAVY ARE SAYING SOMETHING: "There are way too many puppets in this industry now. Real music is getting lost. You have all these shows that make puppets every season, and then you don't hear about them next season. [This business] can take you to the grave and spit you out." YOU GUYS, THE HEAVY ARE NOT PUPPETS LIKE OTHER BANDS IN THIS INDUSTRY. REAL MUSIC, MAN.
Also out this Week!
Darkstar - ‘Timeaway’ (Warp)
Dingus Khan - ‘Plank’ (Fierce Panda / Label Fandango)
Dan Fodan & Alexis Taylor - ‘Under A Cancer Sky’ (MMW1 / DFA)
Cheval Sombre - ‘Someplace Else’ (Sonic Cathedral)
Goodnight Lenin - ‘A Cautionary Tale’ (Static Caravan)
Kyla La Grange - 'Been Better' (ioki / Sony)
Rhye - ‘The Fall’ EP (Innovative Leisure / Polydor)
Clinic - ‘Miss You’ (Domino)
Victor Talking Machine - ‘Had Enough’ EP
Neil Halstead - ‘Tied To You’ (Sonic Cathedral)
Night Works - ‘Modern European’ (Loose Lips Records)
Paradise - ‘Endless Wave’ (The Blue Rider)
Wild Cub - ‘Jonti’ (Big Light Recordings)
The Killers - ‘Miss Atomic Bomb’ (Universal)
Soft Bullets - ‘Hyperreality’ EP
Funeral For A Friend - ‘Best Friends & Hospital Beds’ (Distiller Records)
Deafkid - ‘Pig'
Don Nino - ‘Beats’ (InFiné)
Eugene Francis Jnr. - ‘Calliope Fuxwar’
The Prison Library feat. Sarah Hall - ‘Lovesick’ (Protective Atmosphere)
Crazy Arm - ‘Bandalito’ (Xtra Mile Recordings)
SIREN - ‘Here Today’ (Loose Lips Records)
Wendy is on the internet, here.