1. Interpol – ‘Lights’
Sessions for the follow-up to 2007’s ‘Our Love To Admire’ have seen Interpol attempt to recall the dark atmospherics of their debut ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’ while melding it with a more orchestral approach inspired by bassist Carlos D’s forays into the world of soundtracks and iPhone ads.
2. Kele Okereke – ‘Tenderoni’
Are you buying his dance makeover? No matter: feeble protestations of inauthenticity are a flimsy shield against this sort of space-warpingly massive big beat pulsar. Deeply NSFW, as the most cursory of listens is liable to make you strip to the waist, sweat profusely and start big-fish-small-fishing.
3. Yuck – ‘Suicide Policeman’
This record confirms the suspicion that Yuck are the most exciting bunch of Evan Dando devotees to pick up fuzz pedals since the glory days of grunge. It’s romantic, it’s yearning, it sounds a bit like there was a bong in the room when they recorded it – it’s a musical love letter to the invention of indie rock.
4. The Gaslight Anthem – ‘American Slang’
It’s karaoke Boss time – these New Jerseyites could be no more slavishly indebted to early-’80s Springsteen were they to wear headbands and employ a sax player called Clarence. Thankfully, the title track of their third album retains enough righteous punk-rock passion to offset the try-hard bluster.
5. Shuttleworth – ‘England’s Heartbeat’
When Mark E Smith tackles football, the result is a caustic diatribe – see The Fall’s ‘Kicker Conspiracy’ and ‘Theme From Sparta FC’. Thus his unofficial World Cup song is a bit of a shock. Recorded with ex-Fall members Ed Blaney and Jenny Shuttleworth (aka Girl Peculiar), it’s a jaunty acoustic affair in which Smith swaps his cantankerous snarl for melodic singing.
6. Young Knives – ‘I Love My Name’
Britain’s indie scene would be a much duller place without Young Knives’ dry wit and crunchily bent riffs, so it’s good to hear on this third album demo that their knack for a tune didn’t go down the plughole when sales of their last album did. Expect their next effort (destined for platinum status, surely) later this year.
7. The Hundred in the Hands – ‘Sleepwalking’>
As slithers of Metric’s sublime Andromedan disco shoot through this Brooklyn-based duo’s celestial, soul-flipping sonics, it’s hard not to go a wee bit wibbly. Warped – in more ways than one, thanks to their label, um, Warp – ‘Sleepwalking’ manages to exude glacial cool and cuddle-worthy warmth at the same time.
8. Gatekeeper – ‘Mirrors’
For anyone who got ‘stuck’ on the generic dungeon level of an 8-bit fantasy quest game. For anyone who took ‘a bit of a shine’ to Sigourney Weaver after she got possessed in Ghostbusters. Behold! A stalking slab of 2-D ‘slasher disco’ from the Chicago pioneers that could’ve been crafted by the great Zuul himself.
9. Midnight Juggernauts – ‘Vital Signs’
MJ make their return in a flurry of celestial organs, spaceship beeping, alien communiques and other otherworldly type descriptions. Aghast at the idea of radio-editing their intergalatic masterpiece, they sent us the un-edited version and a B-side that should have been an A-side.
10. Dizzee Rascal – ‘Dirtee Disco’
In which Dizzee brushes Calvin-assisted pop aside for ‘Disco! Disco! Disco!’ (ad infinitum). “If he continues down this road, he’ll be the Vengaboys soon” was one staffer’s response. But until that road stops being cobbled with funky four-step and a wailing X Factor reject, we’ll keep on enjoying the journey, ta.