Phew. It’s a week as busy as the new Dan Deacon album, dear reader, so let’s skip the preamble and get right to it. Stay tuned for new turns from Florence + The Machine (or whichever way they style it now), Passion Pit, Everything Everything, Taylor Swift, Hot Chip, Princess Reason and a great deal more, including…
TRACK OF THE WEEK~!
All Tvvins – ‘Thank You’
With Adebisi Shank tragically departed and The Cast Of Cheers… er, what’s the story there, exactly? A hiatus, at the very least. Anyways, if you’ve been missing those bands then All Tvvins is the hot new act FOR YOU. Granted, Conor Adams and Lar Kaye’s newest guise has been knocking around for the past year or so, throwing out songs here and there and opening the main stage of Electric Picnic, but ‘Thank You’ feels like the ‘There might be something special here’ moment. There’s a certain genius in its simplicity; a relatively straightforward A to B that concerns love and loss, but goddamn if it ain’t one of the most infectious and magnificent pop songs you’re likely to hear all year. Pretty sure that about 1000 of those YouTube hits are from me hitting the replay button.
BEST OF THE REST
East India Youth – ‘Turn Away’
First off, if you’ve not heard the exceptional ‘Carousel’ yet, do so immediately. ‘Turn Away’ isn’t quite so devastating but it’s still terrifically engaging, moving along at a fair clip before giving way to the apparent opening credit music of the greatest sci-fi TV show never to hit the screen. XL’s new boy is poised to deliver something special.
Hot Chip – ‘Huarache Lights’
Hands up if you know what a ‘huarache’ is. Yeah, me neither. ‘Huarache Lights‘, however, is a nice little groove with some cute Daft Punk-style vocals in the middle. Unlikely to pack a dance floor but a fun return from the enduring Londoners.
Sufjan Stevens – ‘No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross’
There’s a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ quality about Sufjan Stevens’ blissful return proper. Clocking in at a little over two-and-a-half minutes, ‘No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross’ feels more snapshot than song, its finger-picked guitar and slight, accentuated vocals bringing new meaning to the word ‘wistful’. Music to get lost in.
Twin Shadow – ‘I’m Ready’
George Lewis Jr. trails new album Eclipse in typical ‘reach for the heavens’ fashion. ‘I’m Ready’ walks a similar divinely-lit path as that of ‘To The Top’. Glory be.
Taylor Swift – ‘Style’
Sick beat merchant Taylor Swift returns with another song about boys and a video that inspired a quite bizarre riff on the opening credits of True Detective.
There’s nothing revelatory here but the chorus is decent and there’s the tiniest hint of Chromatics in the verses. Speaking of…
Chromatics – ‘Just Like You’
Again, nothing that will shock any seasoned fans and that’s just fine.
Young Wonder – ‘Intergalactic’
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If you’ve ever downloaded a dodgy rip of a song online (I’ve never done this myself, of course) you’ll be familiar with the uncomfortable tearing sound that is prone to pop up during a listen. For whatever reason, Cork electro-pop outfit Young Wonder have placed a similarly ugly texture in their latest work. It’s clear that producer Ian Ring is going for a Burial kinda vibe but it registers as harsh and distracting, like somebody cracking open a beer can in the middle of a Zero 7 track. Thankfully, it is a texture and thus doesn’t dominate what is otherwise a nicely-composed soundscape. Rachel Koeman’s vocals are less overbearing than usual, too, so that’s another plus.
UNINSPIRED RETURNS OF THE WEEK
Florence and the Machine – ‘What Kind of Man’
If you wish to avoid the boring and pretentious narrative that intros this, skip ahead one minute and forty-five seconds (yep) for the actual song. It’s just another vocal gymnastic showcase. Sounds terribly dated, too. Yawn.
Passion Pit – ‘Where the Sky Hangs’
Passion Pit closed out sophomore effort Gossamer with the finest song they’re ever likely to write; the candid, simultaneously heartbreaking and life-affirming ‘Where We Belong’. While it’s the kind of deeply personal piece that you can’t spread across an entire record, it’s a pity that Passion Pit have reverted to writing elevator muzak.
Everything Everything – ‘Distant Past’
Marginally more tolerable than Foals, I guess.
Saycet – ‘Mirages’
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French producer Pierre Lefeuvre releases his third album under the Saycet banner in April. The almost-title track ropes in vocalist Phoene Somsavath and really lays on the celestial grandeur in a manner not unlike Anthony Gonzalez’s work on the Oblivion soundtrack. ‘Mirages’ is an altogether warmer, more vibrant affair, however.
Princess Reason – ‘Dead Flowers’
[bandcam[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1121644719 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=815816943]Princess Reason’s cover of The Karl Hendricks Trio’s ‘Dead Flowers’ sounds like it was recorded in an attic in the middle of the night with a fading gas fire, a poorly-sealed skylight and a lone vintage microphone for company. This is a very good thing.