Julian Casablancas, Thom Yorke, Brand New
This week’s playlist encompasses the “desperate charm” of Times New Viking, free downloads from DJ Hell and Los Campesinos!, and the latest single from our favourite “Joan Of Arc-haired chanteuse”, Cate Le Bon.
1. Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension
In what is probably the most danceable Strokes-related moment since that shoe song he did with Pharrell and Santi, Jules has finally let loose upon the internet the first proper taste of his solo album, ‘Phrazes For The Young’. Upbeat and poppy, it’s distinctly more likely to get New York’s sidewalk-battered Converse tapping than a Little Joy or Albert Hammond recording. ‘11th Dimension’ boasts pleasingly cheesy sci-fi keys and could well pass for a ‘Room On Fire’ offcut after being fed through C-3PO’s oil hole. Caz’s voice remains un-tampered by such retro-futuristic leanings, however – no T-Pain style Auto-Tune here, thank you – and lord, it really is good to hear that doughy drawl again, isn’t it?
2. Los Campesinos! – The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future
The first peep from the Welsh yelp-punkers’ forthcoming third album showcases a far more epic and grand scale than we’ve heard from them before. Gareth’s still fixated on failing relationships, still sharp and sensitive, howling “and all you can hear is the sound of your own heart/And all you can feel is your lungs flood and the blood course”. The video, directed by bassist Ellen, captures that feeling perfectly.
3. Times New Viking – Move To California
The way TNV make their sweet-indie pop fight through layers of heavy, gnarly fuzz and distortion like fluffy chicks fighting their way out of an inches-thick eggshell of NOISE is what gives them their desperate charm. This cut from forthcoming album ‘Born Again Revisited’ finds them adding even more weight and punch to their sweet and scuzzy sound.
4. Brand New – At The Bottom
This New York quintet are proof that leopards can change their spots, having morphed over the course of their three albums to date from identikit emo pop-punkers to a complex alternative rock band with a glossy coat of many colours. This grungy, brooding single from forthcoming new album ‘Daisy’ is subtly addictive, with touches of …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead post-rock anthemicism.
5.Echo and The Bunnymen – Think I Need It Too
They’ve been playing this one live for a while, and now the Bunny boys have unleashed it upon the airwaves ahead of new album ‘The Fountain’. The same sort of anthemic, radio-friendly love song as ‘Lips Like Sugar’, it’s really very hard to argue with, and it finds Ian McCulloch in the lustiest voice we’ve heard for years.
6. The Joy Formidable – Greyhounds In The Slips
Our favourite melodic noise-rockers return with a track that’s red in tooth and claw, showing off their more earthy side. What’s more, they’re also aided and abetted, somewhat bizarrely if you ask us, by Paul Draper, former singer with ’90s NME faves Mansun, whose sleazy sneer perfectly complements Ritzy’s own silvery tones. Like former single ‘Austere’, this little fighter’s structure is less verse-chorus-verse, more a series of successive climaxes ending in a blissful rush of noise.
7. Cate Le Bon – Hollow Trees House Hounds
This new single from our beloved Joan Of Arc-haired chanteuse cavorts around the feral, Supergrass-y guitars, like the maypole-dancing children in The Wicker Man with Cate’s solemn Welsh tones weaving subtle spells. The video’s great too, a stop-motion surreal fable reminiscent of Björk’s ‘Human Behaviour’ vid.
8. Kid Cudi – Pursuit Of Happiness
When he’s not making juvenile tributes to oral sex out of Lady Gaga singles, young gobshite Kid Cudi is cracking out thoughtful, troubled hip-hop like this. Industrial space-station beats and a slow, moonwalk vibe (with extra production from MGMT and Ratatat) add to the lost feel, as Cudi mumbles “Tell me what you know about night terrors/Every night, 5am, cold sweats waking up to the sky… you don’t really care about the trials of tomorrow/Rather lay awake in the bed full of sorrow”. Makes a nice change from listening to Kanye tell you how awesome he is over and over again, doesn’t it?
9. Thom Yorke – FeelingPulledApartByHorses
No, fear not, he doesn’t have filthydesigns on Leeds’ favourite scream-punkers, but what he does have is a new 12-inch coming out. And on one side is this piece of dark menace, recorded with Jonny Greenwood but released as a Yorke solo effort. It’s a song that’s existed since around 2001 and has had live outings in the past, but has now been reworked into this fitting soundtrack to watching your small intestines fan out before your eyes as a bay mare neighs in glee.
10. DJ Hell – The DJ (White Edit) Feat P Diddy
“This goes out to all the motherfuckers that like 15, 20 minute versions of a motherfucking record”, a slightly incongruous-sounding P-Did informs us. Hell’s sleazy and urgent beats are undeniable, too, even if the porn moans are a little unnecessary.