Monday, 30 August 2010

Track of the Week 2010: #35

Metric – 'Black Sheep'

A week's a long time in internet music land, isn't it. I'd just decided concretely on which song from the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack was going to be this week's Track of the Week and then I had to go and watch a video determining the week after's already. Maybe I'll have to temporarily make this a twice weekly thing. So keep your ears tuned, the next one's a doozy.

Anyway, back to the main point – you may have realised that the main music event of the week has been the release of the Edgar Wright directed movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. The soundtrack is jam packed with excellent songs, many of which were recorded especially for the movie, and the bands that appear in it. Elsewhere on the CD there's classics from Blood Red Shoes and Broken Social scene and this unreleased song by Metric.

And damn!, is the Metric song amazing. Having never paid much attention to them past 'Monster Hospital' I wasn't expecting a pop song of such intensity and genuine awesomeness. Stepping between gorgeous synth bridges and chugging artrock it's easily one of the best songs of the year. Y'know along with 'Ramona' by Beck... you should probably just buy the sodding soundtrack, really.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Track of the Week 2010: #34

Rose Elinor Dougall – 'Fallen Over'

I don't know about you – well I don't know about all of you – but I hit the HMV clearance sale this week. Twice. This is nothing to do with that however, this is to do with ANOTHER album that I've been listening to for review purposes.

Quick background for those of you who don't know: #1) I'm a little bit in love with Rose Elinor Dougall, and have been since her days with her old band, #2) she used to be the most talented member of The Pipettes before leaving in 2008 to go solo.

'Fallen Over' is from said debut album, but also came out as a single back in '09. The video below is said single, and has since been re-recorded for the album. So, whilst it sounds a little different this should let you know roughly how brilliant the joint best song from 'Without Why' is.

I'm not going to describe this song in length, because frankly it's here for you to make up your own mind about and is less than three minutes long. You've no excuse really, have you. But, if it's encouraging words that you need: 'Fallen Over' is punchy, pretty and liable to give you an earworm.

PS: For those of you wondering, the other best song on Without Why is called 'Carry On' and it has some brilliant crunchy guitars that sound a little bit like British Sea Power.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Track of the Week 2010: #33

Pull In Emergency – 15 Years

Oh, dear. I've come to write about this week's Track of the Week and I've come about a blank. Well, let's focus on the facts shall we?

Pull In Emergency are a relatively new band, a five piece, from London who are due to release their self titled debut record on September 6th. In the past week I've got my hands on a promo copy and can confirm that it is very good (expect a full review soon). In short the band are spiky and energetic, as we'd hope to expect from a group as youthful as they are. They properly came to my attention through 'Everything Is the Same' (which is available as a free download from their website here) which came across as not dissimilar to Thomas Tantrum – a very good thing, you'll agree.

'15 Years' however is one of the other songs on the album that has in the past served as a single of sorts. For my money, and on only a few listens through of their album it's a favourite and a highlight of what may turn out to be one of the year's best debuts.

I'm going to stop typing now and let you to listen to the track, because it's occurred to me that what I'm saying is rather discordant.

Pull In Emergency - 15 Years

Sorry for the lack of any non-TotW posting recently, I've got a new full time job writing marketing copy for a print firm and with what little time I have free I'm not (currently) feeling like doing much writing. I hope to change this and get back into the blogging swing in the near future.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Track of the Week 2010: #32

Paul Smith – 'North Atlantic Drift'

In a move that's as sudden as it was surprising, Maxïmo Park front-person Paul Smith announced last week that he's due to release a solo album in just two months time. This Is Fake DIY has been quick to comment on the fact that this comes the same year as Bloc Party's Kele and The Killers' Brandon have released solo records, so we need go no further on that front. Aside, that is, from saying that early signs point to this being MUCH BETTER than Kele's 'effort'.

You may have noticed that I've not embedded a video to go with this week's track and that's because it is very hot off the press, being made available as a free download only from Friday last. The vocal on 'North Atlantic Drift' is unsurprisingly a lot like that on Maxïmo's records, whilst the music (on which I believe Paul also plays guitar) is a lot more refined. Of course this doesn't come across as well as the spiky brilliance of his day job, but is certainly different enough to warrant separate release and consideration.

One thing to comment on however, is that the free download (click here and hand over your email address to receive) sounds a little unfinished. In places the click-track is still audible and it sounds possible un-mastered(?). If this is to be the final version then it's not a fatal flaw the doubt comes simply from being used to a recording of higher sound quality from Smith's projects. Nonetheless, even if the album, entitled Margins, is to be in this vain it is still one of the most anticipated albums due in 2010, in my book (the others being Everything Everything, Thomas Tantrum and the aforementioned Brandon Flowers).

The artwork is pretty nice, also:-

Monday, 2 August 2010

Track of the Week 2010: #31

Arcade Fire – 'The Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)'

The new album from the godly Arcade Fire comes out today and it's no surprise that it's leaked. I fully intended to wait until I had my CD in my grubby paws to investigate some of the songs from The Suburbs but the excited talk about one particular track made me deviate.

'The Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)' is an almost-disco beauty that makes suburban isolation and suffocating desperation sound truly exhilarating. The fact that Regine takes lead vocals has lead to the track being bizarrely compared to ABBA. Although ABBA are an act that I truly can't stand (too many associations with drunken middle aged women, I'm afraid) what makes the whole thing weirder is that it's probably actually a fair comment.

After checking out this week's Track of the Week on youtube I became particularly excited to hear the entire record. It's dropping through my letterbox on Saturday morning has therefore meant that I've been wrapping my ears around the album early. The miracles of pre-ordering never cease, do they? Anyway, on the first few listens I'm of the opinion that Arcade Fires LP is one of the finest records to have come out this year so far. Only time will tell if The Suburbs is as good a deconstruction of the dormitory wasteland as Pulp's classic His N Hers, but the signs are looking good.