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 (19/05/12)
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Four Tet, Passion Pit
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - 'American Dream Pt II'
Ahh, the American Dream. You never hear anyone banging on about French Fancy or the Romanian Rumination. Thankfully, TEED’s effort dodges Razorlight-style chest-thumping or Marina-style diva self-obsession in favour of good honest bangin’. And Orlando Higginbottom should know a thing or two about ignoring expectation and setting your stead on your own terms. This is, after all, someone who’s managed to shrug off the obligations of a Christian-and-surname-combo that should have made him a shoo-in as a QC or lord, instead of becoming one of the UK’s most exciting young producers. No mean feat.
This taster of forthcoming debut album ‘Trouble’ begins with a melancholy, beautiful early-hour ambience that was once the province of classic DJ Shadow, but it’s not long before Orlando ramps up the rave, building to a cruel climax with a noise like someone shaking a talking doll to death before cutting loose with a rearing, hammering womp like a technoid Triceratops tearing through your mind forest. It’s the most aggressive thing we’ve heard from him yet, and throbs with a bug-eyed energy.
Lianne La Havas - 'Is Your Love Big Enough?'
Ploughing the Radio 2, Corinne Bailey Rae-esque niche of acoustic singer/songwriter-ing, this may be the sweetest-sounding romantic demand around. All handclaps, delicately plucked guitars and honeyed tones, the title track from La Havas’ debut will be on your mum’s most-played list within the week.
Four Tet - 'Jupiters'
The hugely prolific Kieran Hebden’s latest single reaffirms his position as one of the UK’s best and most consistent electronic artists. This time he opts for an almost two-part affair, kicking off with squiggly, dreamy synths before breaking into a bass-heavy climax strongly reminiscent of recent collaborator Burial. Exciting.
Summer Camp - 'Life'
Not a Des’ree cover, sadly, but a track that begins with Lizzie Sankey singing about her “bloody hands” reaching out for us. Aaah! The track is pure Kylie meets Donna Summer, and by that we mean: four-to-the-floor, hot-pant-heavy and rather classic-sounding.
Click here to stream the track
Animal Collective - 'Honeycomb'
After the experimental meandering of largely impenetrable Record Store Day release ‘Transverse Temporal Gyrus’, the Baltimore oddballs regain a degree of focus here among the bubbling synths and aquatic production. It seriously rewards repeat listens, but the emphatic chorus augers well for that long-awaited ‘Merriweather…’ follow-up.
Melody's Echo Chamber - 'Crystallized'
Powered along as it is by a spirit-of-’66 psych bassline, you could guess Tame Impala were involved here. But while the latter’s Kevin Parker may put his musical stamp on it, it’s Melody Prochet’s vocal that makes this a thing of propulsive dream-pop beauty. Their first tune, but hopefully not their last.
Future Of The Left - 'I Am The Least Of Your Problems'
Always angry. Always loud. Always spikey. Always proud. “I am the least of your problems but I don’t mind” yowls ex-Mclusky frontman Andy Falkous on the first cut from FOTL’s third album ‘The Plot Against Common Sense’. Nothing’s changed: they bring the rock and they bring it hard, fast and cutting.
Cocorosie - 'We Are On Fire'
A soaring comeback for the Parisian freak-folk sisters with a penchant for ’taches and recording in the bath. “Now I can see in the middle of the night” they squeal over psychedelic flutes and throbbing underwater synths. With these two, mystic night vision is plausible.
Passion Pit - 'Take A Walk'
Striving to straddle the peak of the electro-pop mountain now that La Roux is lost down some rocky crevice, the Pit return with a bright synth blast heralding their “expansive” July-bound second LP. Expansive as in: trebling the amount of synths on it. We’re on board.
Nipsey Hussle feat. Rick Ross - 'Proud Of That'
Producer Jiggy Hendrix’s whirring, sleazy grime hook fits Nipsey’s earnest flow perfectly while Rick Ross’ one-verse cameo is scene-stealing. The fact that you can imagine listening to this while driving with the top down and the bass on “ridiculous” makes it a contender for future song of the summer already.
10 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (2/9/2015)
Former Disney star enlists The Flaming Lips and Ariel Pink on a thrillingly weird surprise album
Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
The Cavan teenagers attack album two with abandon, largely at the expense of quality