Thursday, January 31, 2013

Feel good hits of the 31st January

1. 'Before We Run' - Yo La Tengo
Just one month into 2013 and Yo La Tengo may already have got Album Of The Year sewn up. Fade truly is a thing of loveliness and beauty - and, by their standards, remarkably even and consistent in feel and tone. 'Before We Run' brings it to a beautiful close.

2. 'The Golden Path' - The Chemical Brothers featuring The Flaming Lips
Upon hearing this for the first time in ages recently (in the St David's 2 shopping centre in Cardiff, of all places), I was prompted into deciding that it is, essentially, the blueprint for everything LCD Soundsystem ever went on to do.

3. 'Rosemary' - Deftones
Having been disappointed by most of their self-titled album, I haven't bothered with Deftones' records since (Saturday Night Wrist - really?!), but a chance recommendation nudged me into sampling Koi No Yokan and it's really rather good. Currently satisfying my cravings for something with a bit of weight, at least.

4. 'Presence' - The Men
Open Your Heart is an unnervingly schizophrenic album, but 'Presence' - The Men's splendidly hypnotic take on Spacemen 3 - is a definite hit.

5. 'Marilyn' - Bat For Lashes
Synth reverb, choirs, electronic twinkliness - and a glorious chorus that reaches for the stars.

6. 'Slave To The Algorithm' - Turing Machine
The revelation of December's ATP, for me. It's taken a bit of effort to finally get hold of latest album What Is The Meaning Of What, but, though it inevitably can't match up to the live experience - Can re-energised by LCD Soundsystem - it nevertheless gives a good approximation. Plus it contains a song called 'Slave To The Algorithm'. Seriously, what's not to love?

7. 'Outdoor Miner' - Wire
The too-short pop song that could have made - and nearly did make - Wire household names. Sadly, due to some dodgy practices by the record company, it never happened. More's the pity. And what a shame their lasting legacy, in the UK at least, is much of the Britpop output - as John Harris' The Last Party underlines.

8. 'Be Above It' - Tame Impala
The glowing reviews persuaded me to pick up Lonerism, but I'm yet to be convinced it's an improvement on its predecessor Innerspeaker. 'Be Above It' initially seems like an unpromising opener, built on a drum loop and cyclical vocals - but those wobbly guitar washes really make it work.

9. 'Ashes In The Snow' - Mono
Appropriately wintery and apocalyptic for the recent weather. Something to hum while deicing your car.

10. 'We Drift Like Worried Fire' - Godspeed You! Black Emperor
The post-rock daddies strut their stuff. The best part of ten years out of the game and they've still got it.

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