1. The Big Pink – Velvet
Having run away with the Philip Hall Radar Award at the NME Awards, The Big Pink now justify our love with the release of their intoxicatingly decadent second single (the first on their new label and spiritual home 4AD). Detached and tranced-out vocals, intercut by fuzzy and furious Mary Chain guitars, gradually build to a tumultuous climax, Robbie Furze crying, “These arms are mine/Don’t mind who they hold”. They just keep getting more exciting…
The Big Pink
2. Rogues - Not So Pretty
A textbook execution of the total eyelash-batting vapidity of good pop, this is Duran Duran for the modern age. It’s got the overwrought angst of exclamation-mark-era Panic At The Disco (and the sculpted fringes to match) but with the sharp corners smoothed off by Sam Sparro-ish airbrush sheen. Its new-romantic style chorus of “shiver shiver down your spine” is pure neon-lit heaven.
3. Golden Silvers - True Romance (True No 9 Blues)
cowbell-banging, lamé-clad hymn to the flashy low-lit sensualism of Prince and Roxy Music with a roving eye on Chromeo’s fancy footwork, the third single from this London trio of former Radar stars will get you het up for their debut album, out next month.
Download 'True Romance' as a free MP3 from Pinglewood on NME.COM
4. Voxtrot - Trepanation Party
A giddy rush of drums careers over the edge of a yawning piano chord and lands bewildered in a surprise comeback from these too-long-absent Texans. Like LCD Soundsystem’s more melancholy moments meets Magistrates, icicle-sharp Numanesque synths and singer Ramesh Srivastava’s heartsore promise that “I will always be the outline for your love…” make for a shiveringly romantic listen.
Download 'Trepanation Party' from Stereogum
5. Vampire Weekend - White Sky (Live)
Destined for their second album (hopefully due this autumn), this track has surfaced a few times live, but check out its fantastic TV debut on US show 'Tonight With Jimmy Fallon'. With a string section plucking and bowing its dainty rhythm, this sweet serenade features a neck-tingling falsetto from Ezra Koenig.
6. Nadja - The Sun Always Shines On TV
Doomy Toronto duo Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff are due to release a covers EP next month desecrating various tracks by the likes of My Bloody Valentine and The Cure. But by far the most excitingly strange is this cover of ’80s new romantic poppers A-Ha’s yearning classic, dragged down to stoned and swampy murk by doom-metal bass and shoegaze fuzz.
7. Passion Pit - The Reeling
Considering the international blog orgy triggered by the ‘Chunk Of Change’ EP, this first single from the Boston quintet’s debut LP has a tectonic plate’s worth of pressure on it. Sure enough though, it emerges a shining odd-pop diamond, handbag house meets Fleetwood Mac on the dancefloor of Michael Angelakos’ delirious dreams. “Oh here I am/Oh when will someone understand” he shrills, lonely beneath the sunny ecstasy of the music. We get you, Michael.
8. The Shoes Vs Primary 1 - Ho Lord
Stomping French dance-pop duo The Shoes have remixed Ladyhawke, LOTP and Santigold among others. Now, Soulwax-style, they’ve turned pop band, and this follow-up to ace debut ‘Knock Out’, a collaboration with their mate Primary 1, packs no less of a punch.
Download 'Ho Lord' as a free MP3 from The Daily Download
9. Kids Love Lies - Count In My Head
This strop-pop palpitation is a sub-three minute rush of Fight Like Apes/Pretty Girls Make Graves-style post-hardcore sweetness. It might be bedecked by handclaps, but don’t worry, Campesinos!-a-phobics: it’s too heartfelt to be twee. Firecracker singer Ellen ‘Mad Dog’ Murphy sounds pretty much like Kate Nash would if she gave up the prim-and-proper act and thrashed herself into a full-on Kathleen Hanna hissy-fit. Check out this London quintet’s impressive labour-of-love video as well, made from 3,500 photo stills all edited together.
Download 'Count In My Head' as a free MP3 from The Daily Download
10. Fol Chen - Cable TV
If The Ting Tings were a little less wholesome and a bit more into the crunchy electro rhythms of ‘Purple Rain’-era Prince, they might come up with something like this Californian quintet’s coyly bleeping hymn to the dirty weekend. “Won’t you come away with me… the carpet’s filthy but the ice is free”, implores Melissa Thorne. Pack your frilly knickers and take Monday morning off work – any band that insists on wearing masks in all their press shots have to be hardcore pop fun.
Download a Liars remix of 'Cable TV' from Stereogum
10 Tracks archive
23 March 2009 - includes The Dead Weather, Maximo Park, Asher Roth