Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week (01/09/2012)
Everything Everything, Karen O, Muse
Everything Everything - 'Cough Cough'
It would seem from the muted title that Manchester weirdboys Everything Everything would like to grab your attention, if you please. Not something the mile-a-minute freak-poppers have ever shied away from before, but recent days have seen them share a trail of enigmatic black-and-white images – police, burning cars, burning buildings – tagged with the words “something is coming”. But what? Talking to BBC 6Music earlier in the year, they promised more singable melodies. But if you were afraid that after supporting Snow Patrol and working in Elbow’s Manchester studio, they’d have sanded off all their lovable glitches, ‘Cough Cough’ puts you right (well, wrong) in about 0.3 seconds. It’s got herky-jerky stop-starting and Jonathan’s gabbled pleas of “Yeah, um… stop… wait a second”. And sure enough, we’ve got singable melodies and actual audible words, Jonathan crooning “Then that Eureka moment hits you like a cop car/And you wake up just head and shoulders in a glass jar”. You can also hear what they’ve said they did take from working in Elbow’s room – a bigger, bolder sound. The rhythm builds to something almost Battles-ish, topped by a back-and-forth, barked refrain of “I’m coming alive/I’m having it now”. Not such a polite excuse-me after all…
Madeon - 'In The City'
Teen-Guetta Madeon follows his mini mix triumph (a gazillion tracks in five minutes) with a tribute to staying out late and pretending that there’s no tomorrow. It’s a lot of fun, despite sounding like the product of an illicit tumble between Phoenix and Modjo’s ‘Lady (Hear Me Tonight)’.
Trash Talk - 'FEBN'
At one minute and 39 seconds this track is practically an epic by Trash Talk’s standards; and (whisper it) there’s something that resembles an actual song here rather than their trademark blasts of noise. It’s awesome, with the swagger of the best bits of The Bronx all over it.
Karen O - 'Strange Love'
What could be more perfect during this Indian summer than Karen O’s heady, Calypso-rhythmed ‘Strange Love’? Far from YYYs’ summoning of NYC dives, one listen and we’re in Hawaii, zoning out on the beach, lulled to sleep by a Theremin solo and O’s sweet vocals. Smoky, stinky city be gone.
The Men - 'Candy'
SCREW YOU THE MAN because The Men’s Jef Scott has quit his job and can stay out all night long. HELL YEAH! Crack out a can, ’cos this (a free download!) is some seriously slack road-trip rock, with enough warped riffs and killer distortion to remind us why we love these psych-punk-garage genre-benders.
The Avalanches - 'A Cowboy Overflow Of The Heart (Demo)'
It’s been 11 long years since Australian cut’n’paste wizards The Avalanches released their stunning debut ‘Since I Left You’. This new demo represents their biggest flurry of activity in ages, but please don’t get excited – it’s a poem about a dog with some music-like sounds in the background. Lads, can’t you just make an album?
Taffy - 'Flower Chain'
Taking mid-’90s Elastica and twinning it with the rollicking ferociousness of The Who, Japan’s Taffy return sounding their best yet with ‘Flower Chain’. Lyrically it’s way pricklier than its hippyish title would suggest – concerning itself with denial, goodbyes and rage – but it’s the Wire-esque guitar that wallops it across the finishing line in style.
Muse - 'Madness'
‘Survival’ threatened to make jumping the shark an Olympic sport, but thankfully Bellamy’s boys have finally delivered something on the back of all the talking up of ‘The 2nd Law’. Muse don’t do sexy very often, but when they do it like this – throbbing electro, jagged Prince guitars, euphoric thrust towards the climax – it’s very sexy indeed.
Ed Congreave (Foals) - 'Heal'
It’s a house tune yeeeah. By a dude (Ed Congreave) from an indie band (Foals) yeeeah. Because indie bands aren’t too cool right now yeeeah. But house tunes totally are yeeeah. So stop worrying yeeeah. And have a little dance yeeeah. Because this shit is deep and we just wanna party, because it’s 2012, yeeeah.
Mosca Feat. Katy B - 'What You Came For'
Yeeeah, Tom, it is 2012, and we do want to dance! Especially if it’s to this new Katy B vocal version of Mosca’s ‘Bax’ beat (just as good on its own, so go buy it). She quite rightly disses any dancefloor killjoys, asking, “If you ain’t moving, tell me what you came for?”
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