Thursday, September 11, 2014

Feel good hits of the 11th September: bumper edition

1. 'Forgiven/Forgotten' - Angel Olsen
I'm so smitten with Burn Your Fire For No Witness that I don't even care if it means I'm now in Uncut's target demographic. This brilliant single should be prescribed to anyone who was raving about Waxahatchee's overrated Cerulean Blue last year.

2. 'FM' - The Slits
I've got an awful lot to thank Thurston Moore for - the latest being naming The Slits' 'Love Und Romance' as one of his 38 favourite songs ever, and thereby both introducing me to the song and persuading me to get the album on which it appears. More than 35 years on, Cut's inventive elision of punk, reggae and feminist politics still sounds incredibly fresh. Viv Albertine's book Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys has been added to a lengthening reading list.

3. 'Buy Nothing Day' - The Go! Team
As recently mentioned, a serendipitous discovery and no mistake.

4. 'Manipulator' - Ty Segall
Him again. And the title track (at least) is great, again - nicking the rhythm from The Stooges' 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' and adding some garage organ. Let's just say it won't take much to manipulate me into buying the album.

5. 'Paper Heart' - Howling Bells
Juanita Stein's no Natasha Khan or Cat Power, but 'Paper Heart' is a fair stab at a emotionally freighted piano-led ballad.

6. 'Marathon Man' - The Icarus Line
The fantastically sleazy and violent highlight of last year's undisputed return-to-form album Slave Vows has nothing but contempt for the health of your speakers.

7. 'I Called' - Jenny Hval
An indie-glam oddity from the Norwegian's fiercely idiosyncratic and occasionally brilliant record Innocence Is Kinky.

8. 'Prince Johnny' - St Vincent
Poor Annie Clark. She finally manages to grab my attention sufficiently for me to buy one of her albums, and immediately it's overshadowed by Angel Olsen's. Still, tracks like 'Prince Johnny' suggest that I may become quite the fanboy in time.

9. 'Back In Black' - AC/DC
One of my very few memories of my first visit to Fuel in Cardiff on Saturday night. A song that brooks no argument whatsoever, even if it's performed by a man wearing a tweed flat cap and another dressed as a schoolboy.

10. 'The Specter' - The Besnard Lakes
A track beamed in from that parallel universe where Pink Floyd, My Bloody Valentine and The Beach Boys made sweet, sweet music together. Par for the course for The Besnard Lakes, mind.

11. 'Brightest Star' - Ringo Deathstarr
A high point from ver Deathstarr's underwhelming last album Mauve, a spaced-out reverie that sees Alex Gehring take a back seat.

12. 'Cornelia And Jane' - Yo La Tengo
Georgia Hubley and company make making swoonsome songs sound so effortless. Listening to 'Cornelia And Jane' again has me thinking that I may have done Fade a disservice in last year's album rankings.

13. 'Nighttime' - The Amazing Snakeheads
With Royal Blood soaring high and just named as Mercury Prize nominees, the question is whether an Arctic Monkeys endorsement can have the same effect for Domino labelmates The Amazing Snakeheads. You'd hope so - 'Nighttime' is a nicely sinister glam/rockabilly stomp that recalls The Archie Bronson Outfit.

14. 'Fear Of My Identity' - Best Coast
Nothing sinister about Best Coast - just self-doubt set to cast-iron indie rock of the sort that's supposed to be a dying art.

15. 'Fold The Cloth' - Cate Le Bon
The track with which Ms Le Bon closed her main set in Oxford on Tuesday night - a gig to whet the appetite of someone totally unfamiliar with her work.

16. 'Take It Home' - Lightning Dust
Hearing this - the splendid last song on 2009's Infinite Light - reminded me that I really should invest in Amber Webber and Joshua Wells' latest offering, Fantasy.

17. 'Open Eye Signal' - Jon Hopkins
The reason why Hopkins (and his most recent album Immunity in particular) is so lauded continues to escape me, though 'Open Eye Signal' is one of those tracks that suddenly seems to make a lot more sense in conjunction with its video. Certainly a lot more sense than his collaborations with Coldplay...

18. 'Cycle' - Beck
And thus begins Morning Phase - to all intents and purposes Sea Change Part 2. Like the rest of the album, it's all very nice, but perhaps plods along a bit too tediously.

19. 'Dripping' - Blonde Redhead
It's been a long, long time since I last heard Blonde Redhead - probably around the time of Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons - and judging by the sinuous groove of 'Dripping' they've not stood still in the intervening years.

20. 'Forever' - Iceage
While it's fair enough that Iceage have decided they couldn't keep up the explosive intensity of last year's blistering You're Nothing, I'm far from convinced that the glowering 'Forever', lurching unsteadily like a seasick drunk doing an impression of the Bad Seeds, is the direction they should be taking. The Carry On innuendo in the title of forthcoming new album Plowing Into The Field Of Love doesn't bode well either.

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