A better summer single you'd be hard pressed to find. Instead of travelling further down the increasingly sterile jazz/lounge route occupied by Stereolab on their last couple of albums, the band opt instead to release their best song in years, an irrepressibly jaunty pop song replete with gently plucked slide guitar, occasional parps of shimmering brass and restless, pounded piano. At under 3 minutes long, it's irresistably concise, surprising given Stereolab's recent penchant for over-extended psychedelic wig-outs.
Production duties are handled by both Jim O'Rourke and John McEntire, a dream team whose Chicago avant-pop influence drips from every note here. With the vocals remaining reassuringly Gallic, and the rhythms hinting at the bands Krautrock obsession, so evident at the beginning of their career, it's hardly a giant leap forward for the group, but this hardly matters. It's a formula that works to perfection. Other tracks on the EP, most notably 'Long Life Love', merge the band's more recent lounge-core tendencies with a reaffirmation of their commitment to joyous melody. Where else can you find retro-modernist grooves peppered with lyrics detailing classical Marxist economics, sung in French? It's just too tempting to refuse.
8Tom Eyers's Score