This Week's Best Album Streams: 27th February 2013
I don't know about you guys, but there's only been one thing on my mind this week: otters' tiny penises. Wait, no, stay with me! Apparently Britain's otters are seeing an increasing 'lightness' in their penis bones (hurrr) year upon year, due to pollution of our waterways. Basically what I'm saying is I'm glad I no longer go for a dip in that dirty brook down the park. But I did a lot as a kid so... is it too late for me?
Oh, yeah, I guess there's new music and stuff as well. That new AlunaGeorge track is pretty darn brilliant. As is the Low one! And Bowie's back! Again! And I refuse to listen to the new 'Replacements' song. Although I guess it is for a good cause. There's a whole lot of brilliant new albums available to stream in full, too! Look!
Friendzone – Kuchibiru Network 3 (Soundcloud)
'Friend zone' is a stupid term mainly used by men who cannot comprehend why a girl wouldn't want to get all freaky with someone as perfect as them, but conversely 'Friendzone' are a brilliant production duo who worked on the best songs off of LONG.LIVE.A$AP that didn't involve Clams Casino. This is the third in their Kuchibiru Network mixtape series and what lack in understanding of that title I make up for in opinions: it's very good, the first track is a bit like that one Ryuichi Sakamoto song for the post-club crowd, and the rest of it has a similar orchestra-on-sizzurp feel about it, whether you're listening to a Ryan Hemsworth track or a chilled-out Main Attrakionz joint. Oh, and free download!
Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse (NPR)
Wondrous Bughouse, like the Friendzone mixtape, is a bit of a headphone record – you don't really get the same effect of crinkled samples slowly unfolding or vocal echoes bouncing around an empty cave when they're coming out of your tinny laptop speakers (unless maybe they've got Beats by Dr Dre). Youth Lagoon – that's just a fancy way of saying paddling pool, right? – is still pretty dream-poppy, and I still don't really know what he's singing, but I do know it reminds me a bit of Bradford Cox's music, both in its wonkiness and loneliness.
BOY – Mutual Friends (Soundcloud)
So, there's a band of boys called Girls, and a band of girls called BOY? What is this? Upside down world? That's probably the sort of thing my grandparents would say, if their dialogue was poorly written and the internet didn't scare them. Anyway, there's not much comparison between Girls (R.I.P.) and BOY, so forget that. Where Christopher Owens played with his amply-stocked musical toy box with glee, Mutual Friends is a fairly simple record. The Swiss/German coalition sing small but perfectly formed songs around basic acoustic instrumentation, and it's very nice. And the first song is derived from a Fitzgerald quote – "I love her and it is the beginning of everything" – which I'm always down with.
Rhye – Woman (Pitchfork Advance)
So Rhye are a Canadian/Danish duo that I created out of my mind by thinking of all the best, blissed-out, sexiest music I've been thinking about over the past few years – the xx, James Blake, Beach House, The Weeknd, classic 90s R&B, that one Sky Ferreira song – so, you're welcome. Maybe that's not what actually happened, but it certainly sounds that way: Rhye is a gloriously dreamy album of breathy vocals halfway between Aailyah and Victoria Legrand tumbling between late-night piano, hop-skip drum machines, late-to-the-party synths and widescreen string sections. I think I'm in love.
I forgot to include this bit again last week. I'm a forgetful chap. So if you would be so good as to remind me of any good album streams that crop up in the coming weeks, please do Tweet me @tennis_everyone
What a week it's been for comebacks! Prince, Parenthetical Girls, Phoenix... yep, the 405's new music section is just dripping in P. So, naturally, absolutely none of the album streams I've selected for you discerning readers and listeners this week are by bands whose name begins with that over-exposed letter. [read more]
My Twitter feed has been jammed with people talking about one central topic this past week: the John Lewis Christmas Advert. Has this become a thing? Have we so lost sight of tradition through our free market capitalism that we no longer see Christmas as a magical time? A time when people come together for one single, special event which we can all share - the first airing of the Coca-Cola Christmas Advert? [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]