LCD Soundsystem, The National, MGMT
1. LCD Soundsystem – ‘Oh You (Christmas Blues)’
It’s been three long years since ‘Sound Of Silver’, and we were fit to bust with rage at James Murphy’s lack of action. Then this sleek and slinky Pink Floyd-esque track with its laconic bassline, scuzzed guitars landed in NME Towers. One of eight Murphy-penned tracks on his soundtrack to new Ben Stiller movie Greenberg, it’s well worth the wait.
2. Django Django – ‘Wor’
A Link Wray surfabilly guitar death-rattle, an air-raid siren, an itchy handclap rhythm. Somewhere between the heavy psych murk being propogated by west coast types such as Sleepy Sun or Crystal Antlers and a Beta Band/Bees/Clinic menacing psych pop whimsy, these art-school boys from east London are perfectly formed and ready for your love. Indulge the cads.
3. Primary 1 ft. Nina Persson – ‘The Blues’
The first single from Primary 1’s debut proper is so ruddy well refined and enviably gorgeous that it might as well be punting down a river in a ballgown. Featuring vocals from the criminally underrated Nina Persson and production from PB&J’s Bjorn Yttling, that king of cutesy hooks, ‘The Blues’ possesses a sophisticated and addictive sense of damnation to rival that of the violinists on the Titanic.
4. The National – ‘Terrible Love’
The National have quietly become one of the most important bands of their generation. Obama loves them, and the Dessner twins curated the stunning ‘Dark Was The Night’ compilation. They’re not just do-gooders though – this, the opening number off forthcoming record ‘High Violet’, demonstrates their willingness to deliver a punch to the heart with their tight coil-and-release catharsis, and Matt Berninger’s voice could knock you out cold even if he were reading the bus timetable. Just gorgeous.
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5. Summer Camp – ‘Ghost Train’
Being young can be hard. But with the social dysfunction that goes hand-in-hand with being a teenager comes some sunkissed respite – the feeling captured by this London duo. Fronted by former folk troubadour Jeremy Warmsley and sometime NME scribe Elizabeth Sankey they trade in joyous nostalgia carried by fleeting synths and Sankey’s heartfelt vocal. Superb.
6. Born Ruffians –‘Sole Brother’
If The Maccabees had Canadian penpals, we imagine they’d be something like the winsome and entirely inappropriately named BR, back on our radar with a new album, ‘Say It’, due in June, and this rather lovely, lazy and loping track. Drawing on the Orange Juice template of suavely jangly, Afropop-influenced good-times indie vibes, Luke Lalonde’s richly crooned tale of sibling tensions is worth giving someone a Chinese burn for.
7. Sparrow & The Workshop – ‘I Will Break You’
With the likes of this powerful country-blues lament, boiling with the gin-soaked rage of a woman scorned, these little Glasgow birds are pecking their way into our cochleas.
8. MGMT – ‘Flash Delirium’
Don’t you hate it when a band you cherish dearer than your own life gets hijacked by cloth-eared celebutants (we look to you, Mischa Barton)? This week’s cover stars look set to cure themselves with a vengeance by means of this tasty number. It’s richly layered with delightful detail and intricate sounds that hark back to good old rock’n’roll psychedelia. MGMT are back. Reclaim them for yourselves!
9. Atari Teenage Riot – ‘Digital Hardcore (The Builder Remix)’
Warlord of subversion Alec Empire has seen sense and reformed his auspicious politically-minded techno punk outfit. The first signs of life since their initial disbanding in 2000 is this remix of their 1999 album track by LA-based dubstep artisan The Builder. And with the ever-present threat of the BNP on these shores this lot’s stridently anti-fascist message seems as relevant now as it did when they first formed back in the early ’90s.
10. Karen Elson – ‘The Ghost Who Walks’
Otherwise known, of course, as Mrs Jack White, former supermodel Elson is shortly to release her debut album on her spouse’s label Third Man. Altogether smoother and more witchily seductive in style than any Jack project (although he did do the production duties) this acoustic version of her album’s title track is eerily haunting and coolly delicious gothic country-folk..