New Music Friday: 22nd February 2013
I'm back! Hope you didn't miss me too much. If you feel like your weekend is in need of some new music to give it some extra pizzazz, then you've come to the right place, because normal service resumes from today. I've picked out a host of new stuff for you to wrap your ears around this week, including the return of one of my favourite artists of 2012, as well as your introduction to a band you'll see me gushing over in the coming months. In fact, this column contains much more than your recommended daily allowance of excitement: this week, I'm shining the spotlight on three acts that you need in your life, as well as plenty of other things. I hope you have as much fun listening to all this as I've had compiling it.
Track of the Week: Eli Mardock - 'Beat, Heart'
You may or may not remember Eagle Seagull - if you do, you'll probably be aware that the band's former frontman, Eli Mardock, released his debut EP, NE Sorrow is Born, last year. It was excellent, but follow-up ep Hamburg is sounding even better. Mardock sneakily released it last week, on Valentine's Day. It's not the most cheerful of listens, and lead track 'Beat, Heart' wrings orchestral grandeur from pessimistic lyrics and a shuffling waltz, becoming something strangely uplifting in the process. The 6-track EP acts as a primer for Mardock's debut solo album, Everything Happens For the First Time, which finally arrives on April 29th via Paper Garden Records. His debut EP was one of the highlights of last year for me, and he looks set for a great 2013. You'd do well to get on board.
Black Light Dinner Party - 'We Are Golden'
I know that these blurbs are meant to be about the songs themselves, but please, stop what you're doing and check this out. It's a link to an 8-bit video game (!) based around the absolutely brilliant video for New York synth-pop band Black Light Dinner Party's new single, 'We Are Golden'. Taken from their debut album, due for release in a few months and one of my most-anticipated debuts of the year, the song sounds like what would happen if Passion Pit slowed things down and added a bit more groove into the mix. It's quite a remarkable song, not least because it has excellent replay value, and the multimedia package created for it just seals the deal. BLDP are more inventive than most bands of this ilk - hopefully the album will live up to expectation.
F.U.R.S. - 'Striptease'
Lastly, I'd like you to turn your attention a band who are just getting started, but have been gathering a considerable amount of steam already. London's F.U.R.S. are a three-piece indie-pop band who are set to turn a great number of heads with their infectious debut single 'Striptease', which is due out on March 25th via Loose Lips Records. It does what it needs to do in under 3 minutes, crashing in with powerful drums and a wonderful guitar hook, before frontwoman Elle Wade's confident vocals arrive, the song delaying its chorus until the ideal moment before delivering the goods with an extremely well-crafted refrain. Here's the sort of band that makes the listener sit up and take notice - hopefully we'll hear more from them before too long.
If you're frustrated right now because you're stuck in work while it's sunny outside, we're in the same boat - I work three days a week in an office (on stuff that isn't related to music at all, sadly), and definitely wasn't a fan of being trapped inside some place hot and stuffy. I really would much rather have been outside, but thankfully I'm able to make up for that this weekend. [read more]
What did you do this week? Much of my week was spent in the sun, dealing with 38-degree heat. (That's Celsius, American readers.) When I wasn't doing that, I was rediscovering my love of swimming; I hadn't been in any sort of swimming pool for a few years, but my technique is still basically flawless. [read more]
Writing with a sprained wrist is never an easy thing to do, but we all have our crosses to bear. I've been having somewhat of a torrid time this week, certainly in terms of my health, having received an unwanted birthday present in the form of the slapcheek virus. It's neither as comical or as involuntary as its name might suggest, but it wreaks havoc on one's joints. Then I managed to make it worse yesterday. One gold star for me. [read more]
I seem to spend half my life on trains. That's the major drawback to living somewhere where things don't happen. So I'm headed to Dublin again for another gig, to cap off a week in which - even by the usual standards - there's been a veritable avalanche of new music to get through. I work three days a week (at a non-music-related job, sadly), so it's a wonder how I handle it. [read more]