Niki And The Dove, Pure Love, Bjork
Niki And The Dove – ‘All This Youth’
Man alive, when are we finally going to get our grubby mitts on that Niki And The Dove debut LP in all its full glam-glory? It’s been two bloody years since we heard ‘DJ, Ease My Mind’ for the first time and instantly declared Swedish duo Malin Dalhström and Gustaf Karlöf the greatest electropop savants in aeons, and all we’ve had in return has been a few (admittedly killer) singles and a couple of (admittedly brilliant) EPs. Pull your fingers out, you two!
Of course, this is all part of Niki And The Dove’s masterplan: tickling our frustrations so our appetites are wholly whetted, and making sure they truly deliver the goods when ‘Instinct’ finally drops on May 14. And if ‘All This Youth’ – a cut from the special edition version of the album – is anything to go by, then they’ve got a right old stormer on their hands. It starts off chillingly sparse, just a woozy and wonky beat with frosted glass vocals, before the 21 glitter-gun salute of the chorus explodes: a giant scrape of guitar, bone-thwacking drums and some sweet’n’saucy lyrics: “The anxious lips, and the first kiss/ Will set us free”. Malin and Gustaf, all is forgiven: if ‘Instinct’ is bursting with bangers like these, then we won’t begrudge the Waiting For Godot-like kicking of our heels one little bit.
Pure Love – ‘Bury My Bones’
“I’m so sick of singing about hate/ It’s time that I made a change”, Frank Carter bellows in the kind of ultra-melodic brogue he probably used to have about as much disdain for as he did for shirts. And what is that change exactly? Going as Gaslight Anthem-go-AC/DC as Pure Love’s first gigs promised. This could be big.
Money – ‘So Long (God Is Dead)’
There are a lot of people out there trying to do transcendental, echo-laden Sigur Rós-when-they-were-good type space-hymns, but this is one of the best. Takes forever to get going (obviously), but if you can make it up to the two minutes, 22 seconds mark, you’ll experience something quite special.
The Flaming Lips ft. Ke$ha – ‘2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)’
A couple of years back Foals declared pop robot Ke$ha the enemy of music; the sentient world nodded in agreement. Yet somehow, thanks to the ingenious oddities of Wayne Coyne et al, ‘2012…’ is actually… good? Full of pouty, krunky bits and a weird, swirling, psychedelic mid-section, this is the starlet at her most tolerable. Which is no mean feat.
Ladyhawke – ‘Anxiety’
Given that it’s taken her nearly four years to follow up her debut, this endlessly fretful Kiwi should by rights be a mere footnote from the summer 2008 electro revival by now. But by returning with the top-down, wind-in-the hair chorus displayed here, Pip’s blasted firmly back on the radar.
Animal Collective – ‘Transverse Temporal Gyrus’
Expanding on the more experimental parts of 2009’s ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’, this sonic canter through the various studio cuts and live material from a performance at New York’s Guggenheim Museum marks Animal Collective at their most creative – a brilliantly superfluous and utterly bonkers soundscape of electronic skits, rasping vocals and dotted birdsong.
Wiz Khalifa – ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’
The first track from Wiz’s new album (‘ONIFC’, due out in August) is – unsurprisingly – all “diamonds”, “champagne” and “rolling up”. It just about works ’cos the beat’s good, but then comes the chorus – ‘Black And Yellow’ big, but completely mismatched with the verses either side. Record label bods are pulling Wiz in two different directions, and it shows.
St Vincent – ‘Krokodil’
As jagged and unkempt as anything she’s ever done, Annie Clarke’s guitar snaps like the “sweet crocodile” of the lyric as a world of acid-tinged synths bubble below her. In fact ‘Krokodil’ is as joyfully unabashed and brittle as ‘Strange Mercy’ was warm and fuzzy. It makes you wonder what direction she’ll go in next.
Fear Of Men – ‘Green Sea’
The Brighton quartet’s return after an extended stint in the studio is a welcome one. ‘Green Sea’ veers into subsonic levels of DIY kookiness, starting out as an acoustic paean to The Kinks before turning wholly more Cocteau-esque in time for the chorus. Promising stuff.
Bjork – ‘Thunderbolt’ (Death Grips remix)
Twisting the already bonkers electronic parp and whistle of ‘Biophilia’’s best track through a sinister mangle of white noise and something resembling the cries of terrified children, this 30-second snippet is one of those brilliant-on-paper ideas that actually works. Expect the full-length version any day now.