This week’s helping of free downloads, streams and video clips features a newie from Tiny Masters Of Today, a track from Just Jack that doesn’t suck, and a slab of crunchy electro brilliance from Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
1. Poppy And The Jezebels – Rhubarb And Custard
A whirling, wonderfully airy, big-sounding single from the teenage überfraus. They’re now possibly just old enough to stop us vomiting in fear every time their name is mentioned and could almost be Bombay Bicycle Club’s sonic sisters. Yet there’s something charmingly early-’90s UK indie, baggy-psychedelic about this track, singer Mollie Kingsley cooing flower-eyed “slide revolving, pink and yellow… out of body into very strange” like Harriet Wheeler from The Sundays singing with Inspiral Carpets.
2. Tiny Masters Of Today – Pop Chart
Continuing this week’s teen theme, New York siblings Ivan and Ada might have a way with bubblegum choruses but there’s an edge to their cuteness. This seemingly innocuous skipalong, like The White Stripes playing Cornershop’s ‘Brimful Of Asha’, masks a succinct dig at industry whores, “so rich it isn’t funny”. Still sticking it to the man, still only 15 and 13. Our money is not on the man.
3. The Sounds – Dorchester Hotel
You’d be forgiven for thinking Sweden is filled with shoegazey melancholics tapping tambourines while they sit on sturdy furniture. Helsingborg’s The Sounds, however, have been dedicated to ripping Scandipop a new one. Ballsy and punchy, this tale of a troubled rendezvous at a very posh London hotel makes us remember how good proper pop-rock can be. Stick that in yer Peter Bjorn And John and smoke it.
4. Lovelikefire – Stand In Your Shoes
Full-throated indie along the lines of their hometown heroes The Killers in their pre-“are we dancer?” days, or a rougher-edged Howling Bells, this also has a hint of a dark country-rock edge, like an answer record to one of Ryan Adam’s more anthemic moments. Ann Yu offers a troubled friend some perspective from her point of view, urging “it’s easy to see when you’re out of your body”, before a delicate mid-section ends in a huge clattering climax, Yu howling “I can imagine!”. Psychodramatic.
5. Archangel – Do It Again
One-man-band Nick Webber spent a year and a half holed up in a Wiltshire studio recording his debut ‘How To Lose Your Best Friend’. Now, he’s been thrust into the glare of adoration by this ace Steely Dan cover (no, really). Not exactly representative of his brooding, tetchy art-rock, it’s warm and infectious, like Athlete if they weren’t cack. Check out the awesome blog-sensation stop-motion stick-man video, too.
6. Just Jack – Doctor Doctor
Stop! Get it out of your mind. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about ‘Starz In Their Eyes’. Too late, right? Well, if you can’t put it from your mind, the tight, funky-dancing awesomeness of this cruelly funny taste of Jack’s second album will. In no way quirky or annoying, it’s bitchy and beaty, and “She’s no verse, mostly chorus/Between those ears there’s mostly sawdust”, rates among the best kiss-off lines we’ve heard lately.
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7. The Veronicas – Untouched
For too long, there’s been a pop no-woman’s land. On one side, you have adamantium-surfaced replicants such as Lady GaGa, Beyoncé and Girls Aloud, coyly cooing the words of faceless geniuses. On the other, you have the more identifiable, in-creative-control, more ‘real’ pop stars: your Allens, Nashes, Santigolds. But now! From Australia, twins Jessica and Lisa Origliasso. Yes! They write their own songs. Yes! They look like they wash their perfect hair in God’s tears. Yes! Their laser-tooled electro-emo brims with genuine teenage emotion and thrills coldly with its perfect structure. The new breed? Oh yes.
8. Jamie T – Sticks And Stones
Polish, sheen and glamour: very nice, very nice, very nice, but sometimes all the smooth airbrushed edges around nowadays get to us a little. We crave scuzz. Scuzz, yodelling, and messy energy. Bless this day, then, when we finally see a single release for this shit-kicking, adrenaline-rushing track, a sharp-witted snapshot of panic on the streets of the UK, first debuted at V2008. Argy-bargy never sounded so chirpy.
9. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Moon Hits The Mirrorball
Ahhhhhh. That is the sound of our huge relief at coming across a piece of deeply satisying, inventive, crunchy dance music that isn’t mired in either smug retro irony or ‘ooh, no, I’m all about the cock, me’ try-hard sleaze. Radiantly wired with housey energy that hints at Les Rhythmes Digitales or Daft Punk but keeps ’80s references at bay, this track is taken from TEED’s fantastically varied forthcoming EP as part of the International Sonic Wrestling series on New York’s Greco-Roman label.
10. Them:Youth – Bows And Arrows
“Sleeping fallen angel, you ain’t blind… You won’t find a broken-hearted boy who thinks about you more than me…” You won’t find many people flaunting their hearts like that in London. With a heartsore sound calling to mind Delphic and Doves, this is the sort of thing you turn up on headphones when staring out of train windows.
A version of this article originally appeared in the 8 May issue of NME.
10 Tracks Archive