The sounds rattling round the skulls of the NME staff this week
David Lynch – ‘Good Day Today/I Know’
David Lynch’s great skill as a film director is to build dreamlike fictive worlds that are impossible to dislodge from your brain. That vividness is often just as much to do with the music he chooses as the imagery. And he takes an unusually hands-on role. The plangent Twin Peaks theme, for example, was written by composer Angelo Badalamenti as Lynch sat next to him at the piano, describing moods and scenes. Lynch has recorded music himself before – he released a rock album, ‘BlueBob’, in 2001 – but it’s never been that interesting. Until now.
What makes Lynch so intriguing is that he’s not actually as ‘dark’ a person as his films might lead you to assume. He’s obsessed with transcendental meditation – and that questing spirituality finds expression on these new, download-only tracks.
‘Good Day Today’ is basically new-age hippy trance, but in a good way, recalling Opus III’s rave-era classic ‘It’s A Fine Day’, only without the druggy undertow. ‘I Know’ is more obviously Lynchian in the sense that it echoes the tremolo-laden, off-kilter jazz of the Blue Velvet soundtrack. OK, it’s not like he should quit the day job. But this is the sound of a creative genius dipping a tentative toe in a new medium, and as such it’s worth hearing.
[Luke Lewis, Deputy Editor, NME.COM]
2. HTRK – ‘Slo Glo’
Having weathered the untimely death of bassist Sean Stewart early this year, the remaining members of Australia’s darkest, sexiest exports sound at full strength. On this doomily romantic track, written before the sad event, metallic clangs reverberate at a level almost too low for the soul to reach.
[Emily Mackay, Reviews Editor]
3. Zoo Kid – ‘Out Getting Ribs’
One guitar and a load of dumb-ass vocal echo is all it takes for 19-year-old Archy Marshall to thrill. “Hate… runs through my blood”, he spits here in his best Joe Strummer brogue, and before long the whole song is drowned under the weight of its own battle-scarred brilliance.
[Matt Wilkinson, News Reporter]
4. Hercules And Love Affair – ‘My House’
After unpicking themselves from the indie entanglements of the DFA, Andy Butler’s nu-disco crew have gone deeper, purer and, on ‘My House’, house-r than before. A wailer of a jam, with bass squelchier than a storm-sodden Glasto.
[Dan Martin, Writer]
5. Cut Copy – ‘Take Me Over’
Steel drums! Tom-tom rattles! Highlife guitar jingles! Cut Copy have cut and copied a fair few ’80s staples for this taster from next year’s ‘Zonoscope’. But while it’s variously a bit yacht rock, a bit Fleetwood and a bit Men At Work it’s still very much pasted with classic CC.
[Tim Chester, Assistant Editor, NME.COM]
6. Robyn – ‘When Doves Cry’
Having proved her badass credentials on the Snoop-featuring ‘U Should Know Better’ (“Even the Vatican knows not to fuck with me”), Robyn cranks up the gangsta on this heavy duty cover of Prince’s hands-down best track, gyrating and jerking her way through three minutes of melodrama.
[Mike Williams, Features Editor]
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7. Telekinesis – ‘Car Crash’
He’s still a bit of an unknown over here, but Michael Lerner, aka Telekinesis, is ruffling a few lumberjack shirts in US indie circles. A breezy pop rock ode to being miserable over a girl in the vein of Cheap Trick? Cheers, mate. No need to seek it out, its hooks will find you…
[Martin Robinson, Deputy Editor]
8. Win Win ft Lizzi Bougatsos – ‘Releaserpm’
Lizzi Bougatsos is the singer from Gang Gang Dance who sounds like a sexy elf. Win Win is the new project from Spank Rock tour DJs XXXchange and Devlin (presumably the one from Baltimore, not Dagenham). And together they’ve made a noise like the sun rising on a Balearic beach party.
[Krissi Murison, Editor]
9. Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx – ‘NY Is Killing Me’
For those who thought Scott-Heron making an album for XL was an odd idea, things are about to get odder. Jamie XX has remixed the entire album. A dirty, disturbing listen, and true to Scott-Heron’s spirit.
[Liam Cash, writer]
10. The Duke Spirit – ‘Everybody’s Under Your Spell’
Who knows why fickle fate’s victim bands fall by the wayside. Sexy bastard blues’n’black leather rockers The Duke Spirit certainly never deserved to, and hell, are we glad to see them back with this freebie from their new ‘Kusama’ EP. Liela Moss’ vocal is slinky-husky as ever, the riffs raw and ravening for prey. Bewitching indeed.
[Duncan Gillespie, Writer]
This article originally appeared in the December 4 issue of NME