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.
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]
I don't know if you heard, but apparently the royal baby was born this week. Did anyone see this widely reported on any news channels or anything? Seriously, though - I followed the story on Twitter, and from the sounds of things, the coverage from elsewhere made social networking sites look like they were trying to keep things quiet. [read more]
In just over 24 hours, I'll be touching down in Portugal for a few days worth of holiday. It's just as well, because the weather over here has taken a turn for the worse. Man, I enjoyed those few weeks of 'summer' that we had, so it's great that I'm able to jet off to sunnier and less changeable climes - if you're in the Mediterranean at this time of year, it'll either be really hot or really wet, and I'm hoping for the former. [read more]
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]