Sunday, 31 January 2010

Track of the Week 2010: #5

Los Campesinos! 'Romance Is Boring'

Easy choice for track of the week this week. Los Campesinos! were one of the primary inspirations behind starting Keep Pop Loud and if you don't like them then I'm afraid that you're probably reading the wrong blog. Cheers though.

The new album is out today and I've been listening to it over the weekend (thanks to the miracle of pre-orders getting here early) and it's really good. I mean REALLY great. Although it must be said that it's very dense and not as pop as they have been.

This is the title track from the album and has an equally good (if somewhat odd) video to go with it. There's not much else to say really other than it's a right noisy belter of a single, so enjoy.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Track of the Week 2010: #4

Blood Red Shoes – 'Light It Up'

There's a lot of decent stuff appearing at the moment. So much so, in fact, that it was hard to pick the best one out for this weeks Track of the Week. In the end, to make up for for my past mistakes with this band, I've gone for 'Light It Up'.

I missed the boat with Blood Red Shoes when their first album came out. For some reason when I saw then at Sheffield's Fuzz Club I was unimpressed with what must have been an actually impressive show. I say 'must have been' because their d├ębut album Box of Secrets is a cracking blast of a rock record, and astonishing that it's done by just two people. For some reason when I saw them I evidently just 'didn't get it'.

Being a comeback single it's good to hear how BRS have progressed since we last heard from them. It seems to be that they've turned everything up to 11 and done more with the male-female vocal interplay as well as digesting a lot of Pixies material. In other words I think 'Turn It Up' is brilliant and easily the first great ROCK song of the decade.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Track of the Week 2010: #3

Ash - 'Space Shot'

The weather may be clearing up slightly but we're nowhere near out of this winter yet. The nights are still dark and long and we're all having to deal with the fact that no matter what we thought the new year and new decade would bring, we are all still the same losers in the same ruts that we were in in the 2000's. That's right it's existential angst time.

Still, none of that matters when 'Space Shot' comes on. It's a classic pop song and I'm not in the habit of repeating myself so here's a review of why exactly it's awesome that I wrote last week. If you're not on board for The A-Z Series yet then either start now or just pick up this track.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Track of the Week 2010: #2

Peter Gabriel – 'The Book of Love'

First off, as far as I'm concerned anyone who Wikipedia describes as a “lead vocalist and flutist [sic]” of a “progressive rock band” can normally fuck right off. No questions asked. At the same time, if there's two things in this world that are great then it is:
1) Orchestras
2) Songs written by The Magnetic Fields (aka Stephen Merritt)
This week's song of the week is therefore this. Which takes an already beautiful song and simply turns it into something huge, yet at the same time retaining the intimacy of the lyrics. It's the sort of song that after hearing you don't want to listen to anything else for a little while. “Peter Gabriel, a former member of Genesis, doing something emotionally resonant?” You ask. “That cannot be!” I assure you, however that it is.

Also, this gets weirder. This track, 'The Book of Love', is due to be released in March on an album where Gabriel is covering a selection of songs in a similar manner. Which granted sounds pretty standard for a rock dinosaur until you see the tracklisting which includes Elbow's 'Mirrorball' (!), Radiohead's 'Street Spirit' (?), and Arcade Fire's 'My Body Is A Cage' (‽). (The acts featured are due in turn to cover some of Gabriel's songs therefore giving title to the project/album: Scratch My Back – but there's no more details on this side of it yet)

Granted, this has the possibility to be overwrought and utterly atrocious. But in the meantime we can but enjoy this, which you may remember as the track over which the finale to Scrubs was set.

For comparison, here's the original Magnetic Fields version, from the album 69 Love Songs

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Track of the Week 2010: #1

Everything Everything - 'My Keys, Your Boyfriend'

The tips for 2010 are coming in thick and fast with some sort of rough consensus around Ellie Goulding, Marina & the Diamonds and Delphic. Now I must admit that this year I feel somewhat out of the loop and therefore unable to say exactly what new acts are going to be doing what in the coming year (although do look out for three ace ROCK bands from Leeds: Dinosaur Pile-Up, Pulled Apart By Horses and Chickenhawk). Still, if the tips have been good for one thing it's the unearthing of Everything Everything.

Now, there's little need for me to regurgitate the standard blurb from these guys and any information on their city of origin would be potentially misleading. They are however very good, as can be gleamed from this week's Track of the Week 'My Keys, Your Boyfriend'. It came out as a single towards the end of last year, but managed to pass us COMPLETELY by, which is an utter shame because it's wonderfully idiosyncratic, completely original and very much End of Year List worthy.

The nearest reference points that I could possibly find for Everything Everything are Wild Beasts and Official Secrets Act, for all delight in confounding the listener with multiple styles and constant changes in rhythm whilst being a resolutely pop proposition. Also, all may require multiple listens to actually get. Suffice to say, I'm looking forward to an album from these guys and I hope fervently that the group have a decent (and maybe even commercially successful) 2010