1. Hot Club De Paris – ‘Fuck You, The Truth!’
A while since we’ve heard from the spry and wiry Liverpool trio, whose splicing of antsy post-hardcore and oddball Fall/XTC-ish indie energy is as refreshing as a splash of cold water to the face. Also available in limited 10-inch vinyl, this standout track from new EP ‘With Days Like This As Cheap As Chewing Gum, Why Would Anyone Want To Work?’ starts off with the kind of glockenspiel twinkles and rumbling cymbals you’d expect from a Björk track. But then – oh yes – riffs.
2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs– ‘Skeletons (acoustic)’
We didn’t think this most heart-in-mouth moment from ‘It’s Blitz!’ could get any more heartbreaking, but we were wrong – this shivering, fragile take is near-emotional overload. Check out the brilliant gothic video for the main single as well, set in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in LA – it’s playing on NME TV now.
3. Chiddy Bang– ‘The Opposite Of Adults’
From Wale to Kid Cudi to New Boyz, a new wave of fresh and exciting hip-hoppers is coming through thick and fast. Leading the charge on the blogs is this Philly duo, whose staccato cut-and-shunting of MGMT’s classic single ‘Kids’ is, quite simply, corking. Also “Somebody tell Roth that I don’t love college”? – brilliant.
4. Civil Civic – ‘Less Unless’
This Australian duo do the kind of DFA 1979-inspired dance noise that makes our brains flood with equal parts pleasure and rage until we’re not sure whether we want to fight them, fuck them or just have a nice little jump up and down.
5. David Byrne/Fatboy Slim/Florence Welch– ‘Here Lies Love
You can always rely on former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne to freak you the fuck out, and his forthcoming project with Fatboy Slim, an extended concept album about the life of shoe-obsessed Philippine dictator’s wife Imelda Marcos, does not disappoint. On Byrne’s website, you can currently not only listen to a tasty, upbeat number with Santigold called ‘Please Don’t’, but also this dance-soul title track, with Florence getting all TV-movie-theme tune on its ass. Equal parts mad and brilliant = business as usual.
6. Dag För Dag–‘Hands And Knees’
Nice to hear a Swedish band who don’t sound like fey tambourine-tapping Sandie Shaw-obsessives who always smell of vintage clothing. This gothically dramatic, murky psych-rock is a good taste of the depth of this brother-sister duo’s forthcoming album, the appropriately scarily titled ‘Boo’.
7. Mock & Toof – ‘Farewell To Wendo’
London-based producers who made their name remixing Hot Chip and The Juan Maclean, it seems M&T are now very much coming into their own. This gentle and glimmering bit of electropop mixes proper dance music polish with the kind of homemade feel and blissed-out dreaminess of all that chillwave/glo-fi stuff that’s so hot right now.
8. Lonelady – ‘Intuition’
Further eroding our ability to use Warp Records as lazy journalistic shorthand for ‘brain-aching bleep fest’, the Sheffield stable’s latest signing, Manchester’s Julie Campbell, is a unique proposition and no mistake. Drawing on the dark and flamboyant sides of post-punk, this addictive track blends the taut energy of Gang Of Four with the playful sass of Eurythmics. It’s a sound that is not afraid to be poppy, not scared to be dark, and definitely with no qualms about being all itself.
9. Rolo Tomassi – ‘Kasia (live)’
One of the most suspenseful waits of 2010 is hanging around until April to see what the dang hell these baby-faced Sheffield screamers have been up to in the studio with MIA collaborator Diplo. It makes no sense, like lions and giraffes breeding, but from what we’ve heard live, it’s going to be an awesome freakshow, baby. This track showcases a more low-key, ambient (yes, really) side than we’re used to from Rolo, combing post-rock textures with slugs of hefty screamcore muscle, all wrapped up in sheer, ghostly synth. It’s MAHOOSSIVE.
10. Shearwater – ‘Black Eyes’
You might know Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff from Americana cult heroes Okkervil River, but let’s face it, unless you have a serious beard, you probably won’t. No reason, though, not to get bask in the glory of their less whiskered and distinctly superior band Shearwater, whose intense, melodramatic indie-rock chills and thrills. New album ‘The Golden Archipelago’ explores a different island on each song. In the case of this stately, surging and seductive number, that’ll be the buried South Pacific city of Nan Madol. Of course.