New Music Friday: 1st February 2013
Spring has sprung! Happy February to all of my readers - you're lucky I can't do the whole 'pinch, punch, first of the month!' thing over the internet. You'll just have to imagine it instead. I couldn't do it anyway, because then I'd get fired, but still probably livetweet the whole ordeal. People do that now, apparently.
With the first Friday of the month comes a whole new batch of music to put a spring in your step and get your weekend off to a great start. I think it's possibly my strongest selection of music yet - there were no less than 5 (!) candidates for my Track of the Week this week, but there can only be one. Please remain calm: it may just be my favourite song of the year thus far. By now I bet you're all just dying to know what it is, so I won't keep you in suspense any longer!
Track of the Week: Blue Hawaii - 'Try to Be'
Featuring a member of Braids, the latest song to be taken from this Montreal duo's forthcoming debut album - which has taken the best part of a year to see the light of day since they finished it in early 2012 - is absolutely stunning, sounding at times like a female-fronted Wild Beasts working off the blueprint of the more chilled moments on Smother. 'Try to Be' is a deceptively simple composition which, through layering and some deft production touches, becomes something else entirely. The moment that massed harmonies pop up in the song's bridge may just be the most glorious moment in music so far this year. The album, Untogether arrives on March 4th via Arbutus Records; do not miss it.
Homework - 'The Edge of Control Was Black'
Electro fans, take note: this lot could be your new favourite band. Hailing from Edinburgh and sounding like latter-period Errors jamming with James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem, the quartet have already picked up airtime on BBC Radio 1, and are set for big things this year. 'The Edge of Control Was Black' is as intense as they come and stretches to 6-and-a-half minutes, with not a second wasted. It's the first taste of debut album 13 Towers, which is due on March 25th. I've heard it. It's great, and therefore you should be quite excited.
Thumpers - Big Heat
Continuing my theme for this week, here's another band who look set to have a great year ahead of them. Summery alt-pop is nothing new, I'll admit, but even though that market is becoming crowded, London's Thumpers are well worth your time. It turns out that their b-sides are just as good, if not better than their singles. There are three of them accompanying Dancing's Done when released on Monday, but 'Big Heat' is the best of the bunch, and arguably better than the A-side. Big drums? Check? Infectious bassline? Check? Psych-pop brilliance? Double check. By the way, London people: if you're reading this, you'd better have already secured your ticket to the single launch at Trinity Center - it's sold out, and no wonder. They could be huge, after all.
This week also features music from We Three and the Death Rattle, John•War, Dream Koala, Lane 8, Apache Dropout, Violetness, Adam Lempel and the Heartbeats, Eric Howl, Southern Femisphere, Starchild Luke, Onra and Sol.
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This week has certainly been interesting. There's been one particular event that's dominated the news cycle all week, and it's brought a certain song back into the spotlight. 'Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead' from 'The Wizard of Oz' is seemingly going to chart rather highly on Sunday. [read more]
I'd like to begin this week's edition of New Music Friday with a shout-out to our American readers. I hope you had a great Independence Day yesterday, and also hope you're not all nursing killer hangovers, so that you're free to enjoy the rest of your 4-day weekend (whilst being aware that the rest of the world is very much in envy of you having a 4-day weekend in the first place). [read more]
Boy, oh boy, am I glad to be getting this one out of the way. Weeks like this are why I started doing this column in the first place, but holy shit, actually deciding what would make the cut this week was, er, difficult. As you can imagine, I get sent a lot of new music in a week; on my best days, I get to listen to roughly half of it. [read more]
St. Patrick's Day is on Sunday. Now, normally. I wouldn't have plans for it (there's only so many times one can re-watch the parade one took part in for years whilst in primary school, after all), but it turns out I'm going to see Bombay Bicycle Club, Jape and The Cast of Cheers in an 800-capacity venue instead. [read more]