This week’s new-music round-up features some woozy love-pop courtesy of Girls, “bizarre stentorian electro-rock” from Editors, and some Geordie yodelling from (yes!) Cheryl Cole.
1. Girls – Lust For Life
In The Virgin Suicides, Kirsten Dunst, as Lux Lisbon, scrawled her name onto her underwear, and thus sealed the fate of the doomed ’70s Lolita in cherry chapstick. This sweetly sepia, slightly fuzzed-out summer love song complete with fittingly lo-fi and adorable video recreates that feeling of lost youth and monogrammed pants perfectly.
2. Kindness – Swinging Party
Without The Replacements there’d be no Hold Steady or Green Day, and Winona Ryder wouldn’t have insisted the high school in cult teen film Heathers be named after Paul Westerberg. And they were no dab hands at alt.dance pop, so it’s a delight to hear this pepped-up cover of their ‘Swinging Party’ by these Berlin-based elastic-funk Londoners. Although not very established on the live scene there’s something highly accomplished about these popsters.
3. The Sound Of Arrows – Into The Clouds
Despite being a relatively new trade (compared to like, baking), music videos have been bled dry by clichéd narratives. So our hands shook with excitement when we stumbled across the visual masterpiece that accompanies Sound Of Arrows’ brilliant new synth-romance epic: it’s Labyrinth meets Depeche Mode in a world where unicorns are commonplace.
4. Grizzly Bear feat. Michael McDonald – While You Wait For The Others
When you create accomplished indie music fit to bounce off the Barbican’s cultured walls, you rarely consider, “Will Jay-Z like this?” Yet the rapper became a proven fan after being spotted swaying meditatively to Ed Droste’s symphonic drones. This B-side to their gorgeous single features the white soul veteran and ex-Doobie Brother taking over on vocals, and doing a rather classy job of it.
5. Male Bonding -Year’s Not Long
We love Dalston’s kings of lo-fi, who’ve recently packed up their cassettes and relocated all future releases to their new home at Sub Pop. An ideal residency, since the Seattle label is defined by its DIY sensibilities amid corporate hype. ‘Year’s Not Long’ is the embodiment of sweaty nights at warehouse parties – leaving you bruised, heartbroken, but shouting along with the chorus.
6. Cheryl Cole – Fight For This Love
Girls Aloud have broken up! Oh, they haven’t, Cheryl is just reaping the benefits of being Julie Burchill’s Topshop Vera Lynn by plugging herself into a vocoder and fighting for her solo career. And, judging by this debut, she’s not going to give up easily. It’s a strong ballad busting with handclaps and Geordie yodelling. While Vera has never wrapped her thighs in a body-con dress, she probably would have approved of the successor to her throne.
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7. Editors – Papillon
Now we’re not saying that, in a moment of confusion about where their sound should go, Editors have been feverishly hammering together a sonic ark from their dads’ old Gary Numan and Krautrock records and their little brothers’ La Roux MP3s, and riskily launched themselves into a new wave of bizarre stentorian electro rather than sticking to their tried and tested gloom-indie heritage. No, we’re not saying that, just that you should probably hear their new single ‘Papillon’, it’s pretty interesting…
8. No Age – You’re A Target
This visceral new single from LA vegans No Age is a carefully fused cacophony of re-looped samples, slow-building guitars, and drums played to the point of sweaty destruction. A more focused offering than tracks from their last album, ‘Nouns’, it packs a sucker-punch of tightly wound atmospheric vocals and found sound. After touring with Deerhunter, they’re performing a live score for 1988 art house escapade The Bear and directing a music video for Mika Miko, Randy Randall and Dean Allen Spunt are two soy drinkers thoroughly deserving of your attention.
9. Acres Acres – Diamonds From Coal
With only a few London shows under their belt, electro-folk crooner Jeremy Warmsley’s new band Acres, Acres already count legendary producer Gordon Raphael as a fan. Inspired by Neil Young and the latest wave of US indie mavens, their songs drip promise. Despite their lush harmonies, there’s a distorted undercurrent – it’s Brian Wilson if he had cut his teeth in Black Flag.
10. Washed Out – Feel It All Around
As summer slips away, leaving tans pale and holiday romances just faded photos, we find ourselves reaching for music to remind us of dreamy sunsets on warm beaches. The songs of Washed Out, or Ernest Greene, does just that: his bedroom lo-fi pop soothing and oozing us into autumn with its fuzzy and sparse synth romance.