Los Angeles punk crew hit a sweet spot between hedonism and poignancy on a multi-layered second album
10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week (6/11/11)
Girls, Amy Winehouse, Islet
In the space of a couple of years, Girls seem to have gone from one of the most hyped bands in the world to one of the most underrated – but make no mistake, right now main man Christopher Owens is a songwriter without peer, and well on his way to writing his classic, if new album ‘Father, Son, Holy Ghost’ is anything to go by. And while that album was inspired by a desire to emulate the greats – your Lennons, your Youngs – this new one-off single is a cap-doff to a seriously indie icon: namely Lawrence Hayward of Felt, for whom Christopher holds reverence comparable to Liam Gallagher’s towards the aforementioned bespectacled Beatles icon - ie, he really, really digs him.
Well, we say “cap doff”, but it’s more of an “unzip your flies and I’ll happily go at it, if that’s what’d please you” – the composition will be packaged as a heart-shaped vinyl single (out November 28) and has been envisaged as a gift to Lawrence. Christopher was supposedly too scared to add his voice to it as he always imagined the Felt frontman singing over its ‘House Of The Rising Sun’-style guitars, and as such, it’s instrumental bar a few impeccably ghostly “whooos” and “aahhhhs”. Thankfully that’s all Christopher really needs to tug on heartstrings with his usual hurricane force.
Jamie Fullerton, Features Editor
Field Music - (I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing
Forever sneaking up on indie-pop from unexpected angles, this superb new effort from the Brewis brothers roughs up Steely Dan muso-dom (seriously, there’s woodblocks) and Sparksian falsetto musings (“I jumped in the fire and burned my feet”) with sandpaper-scratchy rough-and-ready guitars.
Duncan Gillespie, writer
Kate Jackson - Wonder Feeling
It may be three years since The Long Blondes’ split (guitarist Dorian Cox suffered a stroke and they disbanded), but Kate’s lyrical obsessions – running away, motorways, classic love affairs – remain undimmed. As does her ability to knock out rollicking dancefloor-primed indie pop. It’s great to have her back.
Rick Martin, News Editor
The Internet - Cocaine
Odd Future’s Syd Tha Kid and Matt Martian twist on this melodious R&B number that genuflects to The Weeknd, Shabazz Palaces and ‘Velvet Rope’-era Janet Jackson. Even when they drop the hook (“Do you wanna do some cocaine?”) it sounds like a dreamy valentine.
Priya Elan, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
Wise Blood - Loud Mouths
Two-and-a-bit minutes of what sounds like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ backwards, tumbling piano motifs, an eerie Jack White-y falsetto and a waltzing drum machine give away little about Pittsburgh’s most mysterious, but they do make us excited about the forthcoming ‘These Wings’ EP, of which this is the lead track.
Hamish MacBain, Assistant Editor
Amy Winehouse - Like Smoke
Potentially the shakiest of the unreleased tracks that make up ‘Lioness…’, this posthumous duet with Nas, the rapper Amy toasted in ‘Me And Mr Jones’, is actually a deliciously slinky, sweetly sharp-toothed delight. The voice is hot-buttered-rum rich, and Nas sensibly keeps his verses punchy, not maudlin.
Emily Mackay, Reviews Editor
Doom, Thom Yorke & Jonny Greenwood - Retarded Fren
Riffed around fiddly samples from Greenwood’s ‘There Will Be Blood’ soundtrack, and with Yorke keeping his distance from the mic, this is all about DOOM. Textbook fuggy vocals, lolz un-PC lyrics and he even manages to plug his upcoming show with Ghostface Killah at the end. It’s #thefuture.
Mike Williams, Deputy Editor
A$AP Rocky - Peso
Sign a new rapper, as Sony RCA did, for a cool $3m, and what do you get? The exchange rate for now is one ‘Peso’, a dreamy psychedelic jam that, despite the drug references and gunshots, displays Rocky Harlem’s desire to move New York hip-hop out of clichésville.
Tim Chester, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
Cerebral Ballzy- I Wanna Be Adored (Stone Roses cover)
Weird as it may sound, but Honor Titus from Cerebral Ballzy frickin’ loves The Stone Roses. So it’s no real surprise to hear him and his gak-addled mates rework this into a smutty, speedy, fuck’n’roll approximation of Brown and Squire’s stoned original. It’s great, basically. Altogether now: “ADOOOO-OOOOOOORRRREEEEEDDDD!!!”
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
Islet - This Fortune
Islet’s philosophy? There are no gig spectators, just extra corporeal instruments. Their shows are always a riot, but if you’re seeing them this week, take a crash helmet – the first song from their forthcoming debut is brutally brilliant, mixing hardcore crunch with crazed seance drums, Emma yelping end-of-days mantras throughout. Islet, take my freaking body.
Laura Snapes, Assistant Reviews Editor
This article originally appeared in the November 5th issue of NME
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