On this week’s playlist – Teengirl Fantasy’s “scratchy noise and snappy beats”, Clock Opera’s “chop pop” (his phrase, not ours), and an indie-pop remake of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ by The Bon Bon Club.
What are you listening to this week? Let us know by posting a comment below.
1. Yeasayer – Ambling Alp
Rejoice! Brooklyn’s poster boys for rainbow-clad modern world music have gone and morphed into the proper radiant pop band they always threatened to become. Triumphant and shining, warm Afropop is undercut by weird shifts into odd-funk and Fuck Buttons-ish ambience as Chris Keating urges “Stick up for yourself son, never mind what anybody else done”. Did someone say ‘anthem’?
2. Teengirl Fantasy – New Image Every Day
Do not approach this track even if slightly hungover, as the way its underwater psychtronica flits from speaker to speaker will play havoc with sensitive stomachs. And that’s before its scratchy noise and snappy beats have you cowering behind the sofa. For the firmer of disposition, though, this weird and playful track is a fine toe in the water of this Ohio duo’s work.
3. Jamie T – Man Not A Monster
Oi oi! If cheeky chappies with a wry observational eye and scuff-toed charm are your thing, well, happy November. Mourn that cancelled tour no more, for yet more new tracks will accompany the release of Jamie’s third single from ‘Kings & Queens’ on ‘The Man’s Machine’ EP. This is ballsy skank with a shit-kicking, Clash/Specials feel, a fat dubby bassline and a big riot of a chorus.
Meanwhile, here’s the ‘Man’s Machine’ video:
4. Clock Opera – White Noise
We think we’re in love with this London chap, who terms their minimal, graceful sample’n’stitch ballads ‘chop pop’. This track, out soon on Pure Groove, is chillingly lovely. The sweet, scratchy synths and sense of twilit romanticism reminds us of folktronica hero Adem, but with some of the grandeur of ’80s synth balladeers like The Blue Nile or Japan. And then just when you’re settling into its pale prettiness, a great big whacking chorus out of nowhere! The B-side, ‘Alouette’, is just as brilliant.
5. Lil Wayne – Run This Town
Still no sign of that Lil Wayne album, but in the meantime a new mixtape has clambered aboard the internet in the form of the 17-track ‘No Ceilings’. Wayne’s on fiery form, particularly here as he takes on the standout track from ‘The Blueprint III’ and savages it with spit. We’re calling it Jiggaweez.
6. Turbo Fruits – Mama’s Mad Cos I Fried My Brain
Former Be Your Own Pet poppet Jonas Stein recently featured with his band in the new Drew Barrymore movie, Whip It. NME hears unsubstantiated rumours that it’s a goodie, but until we get a chance to verify that, we’ll happily do a little dance to the first single from Turbo Fruits’ upcoming second album, ‘Echo Kid’. This delightful garage-pop romp comes with the unmistakably sweet stench of a misspent youth. Now take a big whiff!
7. The Antlers – Two
You look tired. Sit down, take the weight off your feet. Would you like to talk about anything? The Antlers are here for you, with their comfort-blanket soft indie, woven from Guided By Voices and a flash of Arcade Fire, that’s charmed the whole of YouTube (well, all that searching for funny videos of drunk dogs is tiring on the soul, you know). Snuggly music, for dark nights.
8. The Bon Bon Club – Dreams
In the week that the mighty Fleetwood Mac hit our arenas, we thought it would be fitting to shine a light on this brilliant indie-pop refashioning by former Long Blonde Reenie in her new covers band The Bon Bon Club. Released alongside a neat cover of ‘Sex On Fire’ and Britpop sweeties Dubstar’s ‘The Day I See You Again’, it’s deadpan and kind of dangerous, like it knows something you don’t.
9. Esben And The Witch – Skeleton Swoon
We’re so excited about this Brighton lot, and this track, released on Leeds label Dance To The Radio’s 4X12 series of 12-inch vinyls (alongside tracks from Chickenhawk, Olfar and Airship), should show you why. Spookily dramatic, and intercut by disturbing samples from documentary films about x-rays and spontaneous combustion, as singer Rachel howls darkly through sheets of white noise, it’s Siouxsie And The Banshees or early Cure, but with a dark digital edge that haunts the same shadowy forests as Fever Ray.
10. Codeine Velvet Club – Vanity Kills
If the classy dames and burlesque beauties on the cover of The Fratellis’ debut album ‘Costello Music’ had a band of their own, it might sound a bit like the foxy melodrama of (curly) head Fratelli Jon Lawler’s new side-project. With his rough bad-boy edges smoothed off by the velvet hand of Glasgow songwriter Lou Hickey, this camply glamourous, jazzy boy-girl duet is no so much ‘Creepin’ Up The Backstairs’ as swishing down the red-carpeted grand staircase.