1. Gossip – Heavy Cross
We don’t know if it’s the introduction of Cajun Squirrel-flavoured crisps to the UK that finally tempted them back, but we are full of bushy-tailed skippety joy to hear from our favourite fem-punk-funk-soul-hop trio (now a quartet live, of course) again. The title might suggest weighty burdens, but to bask in Beth’s beautiful bellow once more feels more like a sweet relief. “It’s a cruel, cruel world to face on your own…” she coos sweetly over Brett’s tense express-train-coming riffing, every bit as urgent as ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ before a typically positive and uplifting disco punk chorus slams in. Definitely a case of crucifix up, look sharp (sorry).
2. Kasabian – Fire
“I’m a roadrunner!” Tom Meighan proclaims at one point on this most straightforward cut from ‘West Ryder-Er-Have-They-Actually-Gone-A-Bit-Mental?’. A song that begins life as the Velvets’ ‘Run’Video interview – Kasabian at the Camden Crawl
3. Deerhunter – Rainwater Cassette Exchange
We’d barely had time to recover from the awesomeness of 2008’s ‘Microcastle’ and now there’s a new five-track EP from the prolific Atlantan psychonauts. Swampy and tropical, dripping layers of sound hang around the dark heart of this lush track. “Do you believe in love at first sight?” keens Bradford Cox, but this is no tale of boy-meets-girl. “Yes my son, I did before I died” comes the answer in a phantom voice with toothy riffs.
Free download from Stereogum
4. Jarvis Cocker – Angela
Continuing in the long tradition of ageing rock stars lusting after free-spirited young women (see also: Ronnie Wood) and the trend for them to turn to Shellac man Steve Albini for reinvigoration (see also: Manics), this finds our erudite hero Jarv in the red light district at midnight. Don’t worry, though, the eye he casts over the hot young Angela is as much ironic as erotic. “She is mobile poetry… earning £4.15 an hour” he hisses over sleazy, lo-fi guitar, deftly undermining the brainless lust of the chorus.
Free download from jarviscocker.net
5. God Help The Girl – Come Monday Night
So Belle & Sebastian haven’t just been twiddling their thumbs all this time. Frontman Stuart Murdoch has been working on a ‘musical’ of sorts. This is the first track to be released; a fresh, delicate thing, with cut-glass vocals courtesy of Catherine Ireton.
6. Royksopp Featuring Robyn – The Girl And The Robot (Live)
Robot love. The seedy underbelly of sci-fi ever since Isaac Asimov first started freaking us out with tales of intelligent machines. Latest to blow her circuitboard fuse is Swedish pop empress Robyn, who deploys the heart-in-mouth vocals that made ‘With Every Heartbeat’ such a smash over Kraftwerky trance supplied by her Norwegian partners in sound. Check out this Norwegian TV show Senkveld for extra emoting from Robyn and nerdy synth-boy bopping from Svein and Torbjørn.
7. Ebony Bones – The Muzik
Harlequin-like maker of her own mad, many-coloured clothes, faithful devotee of Grace Jones and former Channel Five soap star (for reals), Ebony Bones is a carnivalesque, rude-and-ready pop cherry bomb just waiting to be detonated. Preceding her imminent debut album is this defiant unity-anthem. “Stop doing that job related-task! Miss Bones understands your pain” it begins, before reassuring “all we got is each other and the music to keep us warm”. Musically, it bounces around a hitherto unimagined punk-funk space between the opposing flanks of The Pop Group’s post-punk classic ‘She Is Beyond Good And Evil’ and Spiller’s late-’90s dancefloor classic ‘Groovejet’, but about 12 million times more fun than that makes it sound.
8. Annie/Anthonio – Anthonio/Annie
If the news that Norwegian pop queen Annie may finally, finally be releasing that second album was not enough, and the fact that she’s soon to release delicious, Richard X-produced single ‘Anthonio’ was still not enough, the fact that Italo-disco sexy dancers Heartbreak have immediately recorded a retort to it will be almost TOO MUCH. Annie’s shimmeringly aloof, accusing trance-pop letter to a summer fling almost challenges Ace Of Base’s ‘All That She Wants’ as the ultimate holiday romance song. “Did you even know my name… do you ever feel ashamed?” she accuses. “You have to believe that it’s not you it’s me…” responds Latin lover Sebastian Muravchix over moody retro-synth swathes. Whatever, you heartless bastard.
And here’s Heartbreak’s response:
9. Salem – OhK
Released only in Japan as a limited seven-inch, this is worth hunting down online. With the usual eerie vocals and bassy dubstep backing from these nihilistic Michigan electroids, what’s new with this track is the energy. Uncharacteristically full of light for the normally bleak trio, it pushes into murky, woozy territory before culminating in a sunrise mid-section of sheer gossamer-techno joy. It’s not all smiles, though: “Cold in the morning when you’re walking home/In yesterday’s clothes” intones Heather. Well, we’ve all been there.
Free download from The Fader
10. The Answering Machine – Obviously Cold
Manchester indienators TAM know that sex can go wrong. This is a nervy, XTC-ish rattle of post-punk indie that sweatily jostles for bedspace with Teenage Fanclub, Los Camp!, Dinosaur Jr and The Lemonheads.
A version of this article originally appeared in the 2 May issue of NME.
Don’t miss the next issue of NME, on sale from Wednesday 6 May, for the latest 10 Tracks You Have To Hear, featuring VV Brown, Little Boots, The Breeders.
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