Saturday, 31 May 2008

Something distinctly different

Tunes of the Week #22

This is the first Saturday I've been able to write this post on the Saturday itself without needing to schedule for what seems like ages. As a result, there's an extra few days to listen to an extra few songs - and a bumper shortlist once again.

I'll start with the standard "should have mentioned these before" tracks, as in they've been out since the 19th May the lot of them:
From the forthcoming EP, DVNO is a nice funky track by Justice. Daft Punk influenced almost certainly, but not bad at all.
Sounding awfully like Embrace, Soul on Fire is the moody one from Spiritualized. Although, as Chart Blog points out - it's horribly familiar.
And, I mentioned it last week, but I'm still enjoying it - Turn Tail by The Young Knives is a very catchy number.

As the opening lyrics of Turn Tail are "These are my hands", I can do a very a poor Radio2-esque link to this Handsfree (If you hold my hand). The last time I mentioned Sonny J in TOTW, he was called Sonny Jim. The new single, out on 9th June, is of a very similar vein to Don't stop moving - which last year I suggested could be a summer smash. Being once bitten, I'm not going to say the same again - but it's distinctly retro characteristics aren't growing repetitive and boring, so I could be happy listening to it throughout my holidays.

I last mentioned Laura Marling when she was on TOTW13 with Mystery Jets, but now she warrants a mention of her own with Cross your fingers. There's not much to the song that I can see, but it just comes together very well. It has got enough speed to not get turgid, without being overly buoyant. More to the point, it changes pace throughout the song, but not in an annoyingly quirky way. It's out on June 9th.

Julian Velard has been 'introduced' by BBC Radio 2. Which, falling into the same category as Adelle and Duffy, should put him in good stead. Jimmy Dean and Steve McQueen is a bouncy number, released on 16th June, and is good enough to appeal to the MOR sort of folk that listen to R2 (such as myself); and yet isn't very 'samey'. I certainly rate it.

Final nominations with a quick mention, otherwise this post will get too long:
Supergrass - Rebel in You
Goldfrapp - Caravan Girl (is it me, or are they releasing a lot of singles in a very short space of time?)
The Music - Strength in numbers (9th June)
Does it offend you, yeah? - Epic Last Song (2nd June - and I love the lyric "I loved you long time". Mail order brides for Morgan Quaintance and the guys perhaps?)
Alphabeat - 10,000 Nights (26th May and another one for the lyrics. Chart Blog is prepared to forgive the CBeebies video with "I was not looking for arty farty love")
Morrissey - All you need is me (2nd June)
We are scientists - Chick Lit (9th June. Not a fan of the title though)

And onto the Tunes of the Week themselves. As you know, I show the videos of the 2 'chosen tracks', but that's not so easy today.

For starters, Electric Feel has several videos. On the basis that's it DIY. If you go to MGMT's website, you can download an interactive video. In the interim, here's the default one that will inevitably appear of MTV etc

Perhaps it's a bit repetitive, but it's not really that noticable. I think that, critically, the tune matches the lyrics. It feels electric - it's certainly made up of electronic instruments. It's not a hyper dance track, but it's not a slow number - it sits in the middle in perhaps its own little genre. I feel like I should be able to dance to it - but it's too slow. Perhaps it's unique?

What is certainly unique though is Sigur Rós. The Icelandic band have a bit of reputation for speaking gobbledigook in their minimalist sounding music, so have decided to title their first track from their new album exactly that. You might say that Glósóli is nonsense, but this really is Gobbledigook
Important note - the other problem with videos today is that this video is definitely for the over 18s only. Parental guidance advised, etc, etc - don't blame me, blame the band.

The album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (English: "With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly"), is out on the 23rd June - featuring the first ever Sigur Rós track in English.
Gobbledigook is available for free download on the band's website, and is very different to their previous output. It's pretty well tribal music (see the video), and their own press release is pretty accurate:
[W]ith its shifting acoustic guitars, playful vocals, time signature swings and
swirling percussion, while "inní mér syngur vitleysingur" ("within me a lunatic
sings") sparkles as one of the most anthemic songs sigur rós have ever written.
I've always said that I love the different, and today I think the two tracks really do meet that characteristic. It's so difficult to be different - every musical taste has surely been covered now? It's also bold to venture away from the established successful trends such as indie rock. Credit to everyone that tries it, and manages it with something quite as good as the two TOTWs this week.

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