On the playlist this week: a dazzling live performance by Dizzee Rascal, a cute 80s cover from The Killers, and a some "herky-jerky oddness" from Little Comets.
1. Devendra Banhart – Baby
We could tell by the faint waft of patchouli and the tinkle of prayer bells that new folk's most acid-fried son was due for a return. Hippy-baiting aside, his new offspring is a gently shuffling, Zappa-esque, Tropicália-tinged thing that¹s as easy as Sunday morning with nothing but pyjamas, sofa and toast. It gives a good sense of the flavour of his new album, 'What Will We Be', due out at the end of the month.
Devendra Banhart, 'What Will We Be' – First Listen
2. Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers (Live)
Thought you were sick of it, even though it still makes you laugh like a buffoon every time you hear that ridiculous robotic voice and those farcically aggressive synths kick in? Well, check out this countrified slide guitar version, performed on Later With Jools Holland and discover that this is the monster hit that just keeps giving.
3. Royal Bangs - War Bells
Royal Bangs are mountain men. Not in the born-in-a-barn, your-dad's-your-sister, in-the-dark-a-man's-mouth-feels-very-much-like-the-mouth-of-a-goat, squeal-like-Ned-Beatty-in-Deliverance kind of way. But these five musicians do happen to reside in the Smoky Mountains of Knoxville, Tennessee and their ebullient and chipper guitar pop scales summits of joyfulness on this album opener.
4. The Killers - Pretty In Pink (Live)
The Killers suffered two stage invasions in Hollywood last week. First up was talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who barged on to do - oh, the hilarity! - an impression of Kanye's VMA invasion! Welcome to the bandwagon, Jim-Bob. Much more satisfying was the imposition of suave '80s popsters The Psychedelic Furs, who swanked on to perform a slinky rendition of the Furs' hit 'Pretty In Pink', famously featured on the soundtrack to the brilliant John Hughes film of the same name. It was a beautiful moment.
5. Gracious K - Migraine Skank
The song that's been more persistent than a nagging hangover headache, this is a product of the keep-it-simple school of dance anthems. No surprise, really - he¹s Dizzee Rascal's cousin and went to school with Tinchy Stryder, so he's been keeping good company as far as rough-edged crossover hits go.
6. Little Comets – Adultery
Bright, shiny, herky-jerky oddness the likes of which we haven't heard in far too long. Beware, for while you may think you're on familiar ground, with all the odd angles of The Futureheads and Good Shoes poking out, this Newcastle quartet's tale of love on the sly and relationships gone awry ("tension grows/The signs of cavorting still cling to his clothes") has a great, lush chorus in the manner of The Killers hidden away in its pockets. So just when you're least expecting it, BAM! Classy pop euphoria in your face.
7. Massive Attack - Pray For Rain
Refreshed by vocals from TVOTR's Tunde, the rolling drums and doleful piano of this track from new EP 'Splitting The Atom' suck you into their world in a way few other bands can.
8. Ungdomskulen - Idunno (Gold Panda Remix)
It seems fitting for a band whose name means 'youth school' that their spazz-rock grunge'n'roll sound should possess all the mania of a Ritalin-deprived, ADHD-afflicted child throwing up all over the gym
floorboards. Thankfully Gold Panda is at hand with a bucket and mop to tidy up this Norwegian outfit's wayward behaviour and medicate a remedy of precision drumming, pounding woodblocks and ordered sonic fanaticism on this toe-tapping happy remix.
9 My Tiger My Timing - I Am The Sound (Portmanteau Remix)
Can the sound of a weeping heart induce such an illustrious dancefloor hit that will make you want to simultaneously shuffle your feet while bawling your eyes out? In this case, yes. This second offering from this New Cross quintet gets a flamboyant remix from Portmanteau that beats on the original with feist and fervour while buoying up their at-times thoughtful, at times dark lyrical intent.
10. Janee And Bless Beats - Sex In The City
Thankfully nothing to do with the execrable, patronising, lobotomised TV series and film of a very similar name - multi-talented Manchester
songwriter Janee Bennett sounds like the kind of party girl who has better things to think about than bloody shoes. Only 21, she's already collaborated with Roll Deep (on 'Do Me Wrong') and won the support of Tim Westwood (who cameos in the video). This Latin-flavoured, bass-heavy track, powered by 'Wearing My Rolex'-producer Bless Beats, is rude, fresh and kinda brilliant.