The sounds rattling round the skulls of the NME staff this week
Cocknbullkid – ‘Cocknbullkid’
Eponymous track? A rare occurrence, and a bold move. But in greased bat-out-of-hell times like these, it was gonna take a bit of tenacity to remind us why we, the people, should give a hot-damn about ol’ Anita Blay from Hackney. It’s been a wee while since she treated us to a taster brace of singles that yielded no album-shaped meal. Including – to recap – one of the most underrated hunks of noughties UK cred-pop, in ‘On My Own’. But following a gestation period one can only assume involved a fair few stirred waters and maybe even a quick voyage of self-discovery, all traces of the shonky icicle synthery of Metronomy’s Joe Mount have skidaddled.
Now, with new go-to-guys in the form of lumpy-faced piano eccentric Gonzales and Marina’s main man Liam Howe, her return is coming on all lush and twinkling. Strings, choirs, timpani and shitloads of tinkled ivories are the accompaniment of a bright and breezy return. But if songs that sound like a website description of a Spanish timeshare apartment don’t take your fancy, fret not: the airing of first proper album single ‘Misery’ on Huw Stephens’ Radio 1 show nodded to a whole new confidence and sophistication to Anita’s initimable bop. She used to laugh at idiots for assuming she was gospel before they’d heard her. Ironically, it looks like she might’ve gone with a dash of just that sound. If you can wait ’til January 2011, it feels like you might just get a whole elevenish tracks that are worth the wait.
[Jaimie Hodgson, New Music Editor]
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – ‘Say No To Love’
Oh wow! These New Yorkers return with a tune that’s part-dubstep, part-jazz metal, all innovation and forward-thinking nous. Oh, actually they still sound like The Wedding Present, albeit wired on Haribo, or The Delgados in the days before they discovered Burt Bacharach. Still wow though.
[James McMahon, Features Editor]
Tokyo Police Club – ‘Wait Up (Boots of Danger)’
The Ontario boys’ latest is a fizzing pop single with a rumbling Link Wray underbelly which makes for the best rough-yet-smooth Canadian experience since John Candy put his hands between Steve Martin’s ‘pillows’ in Planes, Trains And Automobiles. Weezer gone pubic.
[Martin Robinson, Deputy Editor]
Miike Snow – ‘The Rabbit’
Having written pop songs for Britney et al in a previous life, Swedes Miike Snow finally get hot’n’heavy on their own watch. Boasting the Day-Glo pop-rock of their first efforts, this throbbing new single adds deep breathing and pacts with the devil to the band’s heady cocktail.
[Paul Stokes, Associate Editor]
Foals – ‘Miami (Chestheme Remix)’
It’d take a dark and malign influence to turn the most loose-limbed, louche and widescreen moment from ‘Total Life Forever’ nasty. The evil Darth Vader-breath rasp and dark, clanging beats that haunt this reworking, by new DJ duo Dave Chambers and Ninechequer, chasing poor Yannis’ voice through a menacing futurescape where little Foals are made to drag coal-wagons in the mines for machines? Yep, that’ll do it.
[Emily Mackay, Reviews Editor]
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Unicorn Kid – ‘Dream Catcher (DJ Donna Summer Remix)’
Getting over the fact that Unicorn Kid isn’t an actual baby unicorn and DJ Donna Summer is actually a man called Jason Forrest, this remix of the Scottish teen’s track is a good’un. Forrest takes off the bleeps from the eight-bit dubstep tune, and offers up this minimal jungle track.
[Abby Tayleure, writer]
Black Mountain – ‘Old Fangs’
Taken from their third album ‘Wilderness Heart’, Canadian psych-rock outfit Black Mountain have returned with a track that can best be described as ‘meaty’. Beefed up basslines, a tasty mouthful of debauched riffs and a side serving of spacey synths; get your gnashers round it, quick.
[Ash Dosanjh, Assistant Reviews Editor]
Beck’s Record Club – ‘Never Tear Us Apart (INXS cover)’
Beck’s superb Record Club this month features the honey-voiced St Vincent, Liars’ Angus Andrew and Os Mutantes taking on INXS’ ‘Kick’. ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ was already practically perfect, but Hansen and co give it a Velvets shimmer and replace the obligatory ’80s sax with a piercing violin solo. We want these released, and soon.
[Laura Snapes, writer]
Cooly G – ‘Digitally Deeper’
A stylistic shift, then, for the producer with the best name-as-jingle in electronic music (COOL-EE-GEE!). Rogue German DNA has been introduced into the already mongrel make-up of UK Funky with warm, dubby synths in thrall to Basic Channel poised over an antsy syncopated groove. A welcome progression indeed.
[Louise Brailey, writer]
Eminem ft Lil Wayne – ‘No Love’
Sampling Haddaway’s 1993 cheese-dance classic ‘What Is Love?’, Em’s latest thankfully finds him back to his best. The first verse is left to the man he called “one of the greatest in the game”, but it’s his ludicrously fast flows – “Get these wack cocksuckers offstage!” – that steal the show here.
[Hamish MacBain, Assistant Editor]