Death Cab For Cutie, Nirvana, Phoenix
1. Big Boi – For Your Sorrows
Hot shit! OutKast – remember them? Well, they might have been starting to feel a bit like a bizarre dream that never actually happened, but here’s half of them back to prove we didn’t make it all up. Welcomed back by the growly tones of the father of funky weirdness George Clinton, this cut from BB’s much-delayed solo album, ‘Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty’, is spacey and slick, with a glossy chopped and screwed feel anda guest rap from veteran rapper Too Short. It’s been too long. Hurry up with the rest already!
2. Death Cab For Cutie – Meet Me On The Equinox
The lead single from the soundtrack from the forthcoming second film in the Twilight vampire series, New Moon, it’s all bloodsucking melodrama and star-crossed love for Ben Gibbard and his boys. Whether or not you’re into the films, it doesn’t matter, you still won’t be able to help but swoon a little at their lofty sentiments.
3. Frightened Rabbit – Swim Until You Can’t See Land
Knowing Selkirk four-piece Frightened Rabbit are ever the cynics, it comes as little surprise that the first single to be taken from their as-yet-unleashed-untitled new album should lack glass half-full optimism. That it’s not called ‘Swim Until You Can’t See Land And Die A Miserable Painful Death Among The Plankton’ is indicative to the fact that the band’s quixotic blend of folk-rock melodies and frontman Scott Hutchison’s total heart-grabbing vocal harbours the same fragile hopes and fears that the rest of us do.
4. Nirvana – Scoff (Live)
Much missed as our cover star is, there’s still a few gems glinting down in the depths of the Nirvana archive to ease the loss. If the Guitar Hero thing left a nasty taste in your mouth, this bracing blast of nostalgia-free brilliance will clean it away. From a previously unreleased and remastered live recording from Portland in 1990 that will be released as part of the special edition of ‘Bleach’ on November 3, it’s breathtaking. Still sounds like he’s saying “gimme back my Albert Hall”, though.
5. Britney Spears – 3
We couldn’t give a toss if the ‘racy’ lyrics are about threesomes or three-for-two shampoo offers – it’s all about the hooks. One of the catchiest tunes we’ve heard from Brit in years, its rude techno synths are soothed by a cracking pop tune that reminds us of the halcyon days of ‘Crazy’.
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6. Joensuu 1685 – I’m On Fire
Two things that have made 2009 a great year for us: Bruce Springsteen owning Saturday night at Glastonbury festival and The Horrors owning everything else. Imagine you put them together in a food blender and set it to ace, then you might come out with this super-smoothie of a fraught cover, all hazy lust and stoned amazingness.
7. Built To Spill – Things Fall Apart
Built To Spill supported Foo Fighters back in 1995 and were greeted by Foo fans with a reception fit for a Fritzl. Not that it’s put a dent in their laconic charm and thoughtfulness if the first single to be taken from their seventh album ‘There Is No Enemy’ is anything to go by. ‘Things Fall Apart’ may shatter the soul with a sense of woeful foreboding, but its Doug Martsch’s caramel croon that helps stick it back together.
8. Phoenix – Rome (Devendra Banhart Remix)
In a parallel universe where remixes don’t exist it’d be hard to picture a band like Phoenix, so common is it for the French outfit to tinker with and be tinkered. But in a move that looks set to disturb the space-time continuum they’re releasing a whole album of guest remixes. Doss-folk hippie Devendra Banhart has tried his hand at re-imagining the indie-rock pop tarts’ ‘Rome’ with an understated move away from the original that shakes off its pop glean, shrouding it in ethereal glow.
9. Yeti Lane – Lonesome George
So summer has galloped away like a fat child chasing a van full of Biscuit Boosts, but fear not; serotonin-boosting joy can be summoned up simply by listening to the beautiful debut single by this Pavement-loving Parisian trio which brings to mind a krautrockin’ Grandaddy. In case you’re wondering, George is a real-life hero in a halfshell; he’s the last surviving 90-plus-year-old Pinta Island tortoise – a subspecies of the Galapagos Island tortoise made famous by Charles Darwin. Thankfully, he might be not be lonesome for much longer now that five eggs have been found in his nest. We’ll find out next month if there will be any little Georges or Georginas…
10. Royksopp ft. Karin Dreijer Andersson – This Must Be It
As fashionable as it is to name-drop Italo disco, it certainly has a lot to answer for: bad fashion sense, creepy-looking dudes with ’taches, some odd lyrical content about old geezers and, er, robot loving. And although this seductive number from the Norwegian outfit featuring the vocals of Fever Ray’s enigmatic frontlady may possess the teetering electro rumbles of the aforementioned genre, its sleazy, demonic beats are more honey to the bee than flies around shit.