It's been a long time since I've taken the time out to sit down and update Keep Pop Loud. Blame life getting in the way, a lack of ideas or just general burn out. As such this feature (which I've totally ripped off from The Album Wall, btw) is here chiefly as reason to get me to park myself at a keyboard once a month and put down some thoughts about the music I've been listening to.
Some of the music I'll write about here will likely be older, or having been doing the rounds for a while, but hopefully that's besides the point.
Paul Smith & The Intimations - The Deep End
I've eagerly followed Paul Smith's career for at least the last ten years, but somehow a gig at The Brudenell in Leeds at the start of the month was the first time I've seen him perform in any guise since Maxïmo Park were touring their debut album. Paul and backing band The Intimations played a cracking set that I was happy to see opened with this track, the highlight from recent album Contraditions which has been stuck in my head for most of the month as a result. The lyrics that document snapshots of a holiday perfectly complement the shimmering music, which is as refreshing as dipping into a pool on a hot day.
Kitty - Drink Tickets
I've got half a feeling that Kitty might actually be terrible, but I can't stop listening to this track at the moment. You might say that it was my jam, but I've got a feeling that has fallen out of parlance and there's something really now about Kitty. Named after the best member of the X-Men (she previously went under the name Kitty Pyrde) she makes electronic-y rap-pop that I'm sure Pitchfork hates. Dorky and very Tumblr this track bounces along on a nice pop groove and has lyrics about wearing fake jewellery and getting guest-list entry because you're skint. An album's in the works that will soon show if Kitty has any staying power, but for now this is on repeat.
Someone's uploaded it to youtube, but it's available as free download 3/19 in this year's Adult Swim Singles Project.
Stealing Sheep - Not Real
I picked up the Rough Trade Shops Heavenly 25 compilation as holiday listening for my trip to Barcelona this month, and whilst I can't say that I loved everything (I've never got the fuss about Temples) it introduced me to plenty of acts that I'd not normally have taken the time to listen to. Even by Heavenly Records standards Stealing Sheep, from the evidence of this track, are something of an oddity and as such stand out from the compilation as a highlight. A spectacularly wonky pop song, it features interesting vocal arrangements and a sound, that although feels part disco-y is also entirely un-placeable. Will investigate further.
CHVRCHES - Make Them Gold
Even though I've only just started listening to Every Open Eye I couldn't help but include CHVRCHES in this post. Whilst my initial feeling is that it's not as good as The Bones Of What You Believe it still manages to pack in enough sonic and emotional punch to keep them in my favourite acts of the last few years. 'Make Them Gold' is the track that makes my heart beat fastest at the moment and as such could well be the closest thing this record has to a 'The Mother We Share', but I'd like to refrain from any further judgement until I've listened to this record a lot more.
Keep Pop Loud