This Week's Best Album Streams: 22nd May 2012
What a week it's been for album streams. The 405 has already brought you links to St Etienne, Alt-J, El-P and more, not forgetting the international live stream of the new Sigur Rós album- which was like gathering around the wireless listing to the Radio 1 Evening Session for the first play of Love Spreads all over again.
But the week was marred by the deaths of Donna Summer, Robin Gibb and Donald ‘Duck' Dunn, all of whom influenced the music you listen to today. So respect their achievements by listening to their legacies at the core of this week's best streams. Then go out and buy them.
Gaz Coombes – Here Come The Bombs (guardian.com)
The Supergrass man's first solo disc the record Radiohead would make if they weren't wankers. It uses disjointed rhythms and sparse electronica, yet it maintains a jovial humility which marries dark tones and poppy structures. Each song is vibrant and ambitious, allowing Coombes to achieve genuinely modern and exciting record. It's the kind of record Brian Wilson would have made in the 60's if he had a drum machine and decent sampler. Here Come The Bombs is a truly surprising and magnificent album from an often underappreciated song writer.
Mina Tindle – Taranta (independent.com)
Taranta's leftfield jazz folk is an irresistible display of musical excitement which demands repeat listens. It amalgamates traditional French folk with sprightly pop yet never descends in to a cabaret cliché. Tindle's sophisticated subtly is more Feist than Jaques Brel, which allows her nu-folkeuse roots to blossom into fragile mastery. It's a beautiful album of truly charming songs.
Soulsavers – The Light The Dead Sea (thesoulsavers.com )
Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan lends his vocals to Soulsavers' tenderly haunting cinematic wake, which seasons a brooding mortality to fine effect. He sounds almost repentant among the airy strings and gentle guitars; as though a lone cowboy carving a cross is asking forgiveness. It feel's intensely emotional, raw in fact. Rarely does an album feel genuinely important, as though it has to be created. It's serious, grown up and deeply rousing.
The Temper Trap – The Temper Trap (rollingstone.com)
WOW, this is a huge record. It's a defibrillator to the wimpy synthpop which is so often peddled as exciting and hip nowadays. There are rampaging drums, mountainous keybords and the causual ambition of Arcade Fire gone electro. From nowhere, Temper Trap have managed to give their falsetto sheen a dimensional depth which fills every part of this mesmerising stream. I never liked Temper Trap, that's wholeheartedly changed.
The Cult – Weapon Of Choice (themusic.com.au)
The worst gig I've ever been to was The Cult at Middlesbrough town hall, but there's something about their goth-sludge which always sounds enthralling. They're a proper rock band with infectious riffs and anthemic chorus', but never resort to mid tempo, hip replacement friendly, bluesy sing-alongs. Elemental Light is as a true rock sucker-punch, and Amnesia has a Page and Plant churn which is timeless. At least they're not Gun- they were really bad.
Whitey – Lost Summer (3voor12.nl )
Remember when Whitey has the hippest guy in town, the prince of mid noughties indie-electro? He did remixes, released killer tunes for the discos, but was still one of us. Then the Klaxons and Justice made everything shit, wiping away the good work of White Rose Movement. Well his new post-disco could be Tom Vek in a K-hole, while Deadeyes sounds like a monastery of monks singing Fat Truckers and Beta band B-sides while drunk on Trappist ale. It's bloody awesome.
Still Flyin' – On A Bedroom Wall (spinner.com)
Initially Still Flyin' are as progressive as Tory tax policies, they likes the status quo- a status quo from 1989. Their second disc is the kind of soft synth rock your parents probably conceived you to, chorus jangles and Nick Heywood hooks sound tracking the deed. What makes it so good though is the anorak indie chanting, twee grooves and naïve synth charm.
Lemonade – Driver (hypemachine.com)
The Great Escape's highlight was Tanlines, but they needed to be a bit more prom disco chic, this is where Driver comes in. It sounds exactly what Molly Ringwald heard in her head every day between 1984 -1987. It has slick Sade keytars, bouncy afro-beat undertones, and probably one of those dancing flowers with sunglasses the cool kids had, it's that 80's.
Know of an amazing album stream? Then Tweet me @HIDavidNewbury
What a week! By which I mean, what a week for less excellent album streams. The Strokes continue to try and sabotage each other's careers by making the most identikit music they can (this time referencing A-ha for a joke). Peace reach even further back, to psychedelic sixties garage rock, and are even more boring in the process. Depeche Mode are old. It's all a little disheartening, isn't it? [read more]
All week my earworm was Nick Lowe’s I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass, with ‘glass’ replaced with ‘eggs’, such was the eggcitement about Easter. However, my chocolate was tainted by the death of Jim Marshall, inventor of rock’s greatest amp and the man who shaped the music we love. So, as Easter is a time of resurrection, I went through my record shelf, choccy in hand, honouring the great guitar heroes I’ve idolised over the years. [read more]
God bless indie music. Bands and artists with a DIY aesthetic, struggling against The Man to create beautiful innovative music which John Peel would be proud of. And the fans, hip outsiders who name check the right bands and are quirkily cool. Yeah right. The biggest selling indie artist is bloody Adele and this week’s top 20 indie chart contains The Osmonds and Gilbert O’sodding Sullivan. [read more]
This afternoon more than any other, I truly need some good music to listen to. Because last night - for reasons that now escape me, and wouldn't excuse me regardless - my girlfriend and I sat combing through YouTube for the dregs of mid-00s scene kid music. The stuff that exists in the darkest recesses of your memory, the bands with names whose inherent awfulness is rivalled only by the songs themselves. I've had 'Shake It' by Metro Station stuck in my head for about twelve hours now. [read more]