Single of the Week!
Melt Yourself Down - ‘Fix My Life’ (The Leaf Label)
Jazz kaleidoscopes, man, everybody's gawpin at 'em. And you need to be gawpin at 'em too if you wanna be hip to Melt Yourself Down - who believe that every hook should be repeated until you begin to doubt the notes; being to doubt jazz; begin doubt yourself. Like Colin Stetson, MYD are trying to make you listen to saxophone riffs until you begin to wonder how long you have been listening to them, and if it was really wise that you ate that cake. And it is the aural equivalent of staring at a word for too long - except with saxophones, jazz and that. I love this band, I love them THE MOST.
Jagwar Ma - ‘The Throw’ (Marathon Artists)
Jagwar Ma have done all the drugs so there are none left everybody. And now it is the law that all boys have to have curtains, and dance with their mouths wide open, like they were trying to catch more drugs. Drugs! They are really quite good.
WALK - ‘Walk’ (Debt Records)
Crop rotation, deciduous ferns, clarified butter, I don't care what Walk are singing about when they have made a blues single this daft, simple and hooky. Especially not when it is this perfect for the kind of headphones-up-high, solo sauntering we all indulge in from time to time. Essentially any record that helps you fashion a catwalk out of Morrisons meat aisle is a gift. So let this be the thank you note my Mum made me write.
Matthew E.White - ‘Big Love’ (Domino)
Me and Matthew E. White are as one because like all good people who agree with me, he knows that 2013 will be the year of the saxophone. I don't blame him; I mean, it's a good signposty shortcut to making everyone believe you sang your first words in underground clubs as the janitor swept around you. Also, if you get the bassline off of 'Beggin' You', and borrow some disco strings and a choir who are having a day off from singing about God, then everyone will definitely believe it is time to put their hands in air because something is happening; it is definitely happening, please God say it all means something. This single can have an extra point for beginning with some reedy saxophone wailing as if Colin Stetson were strolling past the window. Especially because - as is now entirely clear - he is the only man I can name who plays one.
MØ - ‘Pilgrim’ (Chess Club)
Pilgrim's brilliance is all about pace and production. And I love how you can hear it dragging its heels, as if the sloppily synthetic brass and Tune-Yards-indebted vocal collage cannot quite be naffed. Now, I do not wish to do it ill, but it is hard to shake the feeling that if Merrill Garbus were more concerned with making herself palatable in the gawkward...
...way so beloved of American Apparel, she might have made a video like the one we have here. Which is not to say 'Pilgrim' is not a fabulous pop song, because it ruddy well is. But it's important to acknowledge the debt because we wouldn't have got here, if it weren't for Her (caps intentional).
Seasfire - ‘Falling’ (Too Pure)
I admire the production of 'Falling', but must admit that there is a whiff of manipulation about it - it doesn't half want you to cry. Also the anthrax-strength emoting has put me in mind of 'Another Day In Paradise'. (Sorry).
Also out this Week!
Bastille - ‘Pompeii’ (Universal)
Deap Vally - ‘Lies’ (Communion)
Limb - ‘Gift Of The Sun’ (New Heavy Sounds)
Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate - ‘Faya’ (Localization Records)
Vision - ‘Life’ EP (Big Dada)
Funeral For A Friend - ‘The Distance’ (Distiller Records)
Coasts - ‘Oceans’ (Tidal Recordings)
Azekel - ‘A Song To An Unborn Child’ (Thundrlghtng Recordings)
The Mariner's Children - ‘Sycamore’ (Broken Sound Music / PIAS)
Local Natives - ‘Heavy Feet’ (Infectious)
The See See - ‘The Rain & The Snow’ (Sundazed)
Stereophonics - ‘Indian Summer’ (Stylus Records)
Keaton Henson - ‘Lying To You’ (RCA)
Richard Hawley - ‘Don't Stare At The Sun’ (Parlophone)
Exit Calm - ‘The Rapture’ (Club AC30)
Bitchin' Bajas - ‘Krausened’ EP (Permanent Records)
Binary - ‘You Need The Blue Key’
The VirginMarys - ‘Just A Ride’ (Double Cross Records)
Joseph Coward - ‘Children's Bones’ (Blank Editions)
Trwbador - ‘Safe’ (Owlet Music)
Shellsuit - ‘Death Or Bongo’ (Higuera Records)
Balthazar - ‘The Man Who Owns The Place’ (PIAS)
Theatre Royal - ‘Death On The River’ (The Preservation Society Presents)
Kagoule - ‘Mudhole’ (Denizen Recordings)
Coasts - ‘Oceans’
In Isolation - ‘Film Noir Scandal’ (Self Release)
Heartless Bastards - ‘Got To Have Rock'n'Roll’ (Partisan)
Neon Trees - ‘Everybody Talks’ (Mercury)
Wendy is on the internet, here. You try staying up to watch the Oscars for the 20th year in a row and then writing about 'indie' while still flown with wine. It is well hard.