This last week was one of the least predictable we've had in terms of your favourite, with the lead exchanged between Belleruche, Big Deal and Beau and the Arrows before the latter took an unassailable lead with 44% of the vote, and Big Deal in second, just 80 votes behind. This week has a lot to live up to, and just about manages through the fantastic 'Come Outside' by Melodica, Melody and Me, with notable releases as well from Deerhunter, Sea of Bees and Dizzy Eyes. Do a little dance, make a little love, then get down to the bottom of the page and get voting.
Melodica, Melody and Me - 'Come Outside'
Photobucket What a blinding song. I've been aware of Melodica, Melody and Me for a while, after they supported Bombay Bicycle Club last summer, and they seem to just get better and better every time I hear them. Making clever folk songs with a genuine talent and ability behind them, and crafting beautifully vulnerable music, combined with a gorgeous video filmed on Camber Sands, you couldn't realistically ask for much more without being inappropriate. This isn't your basic, two up two down folk track, there is an honesty and subtlety to 'Come Outside', through the mixed vocals and the softly developing depth, as violin and charango are deftly introduced. There aren't many bands currently making such accomplished music without discovering Americana and angst, so for the hopes of alternative music I'll be hoping that they stay in their lovely bubble of innocence on the Sussex coast. I honestly defy anyone to watch this video and not fall in love.
Deerhunter - 'Memory Boy'
There's something definitely epic about this track, quite upbeat, but with a military drumbeat infusing a certain sense of urgency. Certainly, the song races through its two minute duration, checking both Bowie and Of Montreal. Don't get me wrong, this is a structured and well produced single, but there's a lurking fear of definition which only plays to the strengths of the band, as various influences found a totally fresh, clean song that juxtaposes Syd Barrett with a summery, conclusive sound.
Sea of Bees - 'Sidepain'

Sea of Bees "Sidepain" from

Starting from a chugging, Slow Club guitar, before developing into a fully-blown jaunt through whisky and defeat, Sidepain is all about showcasing the vocal, as the predictable riffs play off Julie Ann Baenziger's voice. There's both Joanna Newsom and Caitlin Rose there, but something altogether different, as the high pitch transposes the obvious Bright Eyes influences to create a wonderful, whimsical country track in a class of its own. This is very American, threatening to sit around camp fires outside log cabins and such, but the multi-instrumentation is a saving grace, with the voice both accentuating the differing directions, and drawing them together.
The Kabeedies - 'Santiago'
What with having a housemate from Norwich, The Kabeedies have been on my radar for a while, and not always in the most flattering sense, previously perching themselves on the negative end of my unofficial and uninformed scale of indie pop. However, before fans rally to attack me with marshmallows or equally ineffective comedy weapons, 'Santiago' is a welcome change that shows a real confidence in the vocal, and the brass influx that informs the vague Spanish aspirations throughout. From Xbox Kinect adverts to Soccer AM, this undoubtedly twee band are garnering a real following, and seeminglywell deserved with the release of 'Santiago'. It builds over a reiterative guitar hook, very reminiscent of Frankie and the Heartstrings, before the harmonised chorus brings the personality of the band out, with a continental feel from the always necessary use of trumpets.
Guillemots - 'The Basket'
Remember these guys? The brilliance of 'Made-Up Love Song #43' and 'Trains To Brazil'? The mediocrity of just about everything on Red? Well this goes quite a long way to righting the wrongs of their poorly received second album, taking the ill-advised synths and instead using them to front a glittering, shimmery return to form, again realising the range of Fyfe Dangerfield's incredible voice. You get the feeling that they are still trying to reinvent themselves following the success of Through The Windowpane, but this goes a long way to answering critics, whilst tantalising hinting at further grandeur to come.
Hiatus (feat. Linton Kwesi Johnson) - 'Insurrection'
Released for the 30th anniversary of the Brixton Riots, with relevant video, this is a low key track, hinting at dancehall over soft throbbing synths, and soulful, passionate lyricism. You get notes of Faithless, whilst never actualising its dance roots and instead focussing on the memory and destruction of the riots. The result is an eerie, haunting record, combining poetry and electronics to create a painful reminder of the losses and damage.
Dizzy Eyes - 'Let's Break Up The Band'
For a band on indefinite hiatus dus to visa issues, this is an uncannily apt debut single from Canadian's Dizzy Eyes, who make 90s noise pop sounding familiar yet contemporary and original. They've either got very obscure influences, or have succeeded in mixing a huge range of acts, from Wavves to The Vines to Girls. Replete with summer vibes and shoegaze guitars, plus distorted backing vocals and probably great haircuts, this is a very 'happening' band, who aren't actually being allowed to 'happen'.
Architecture In Helsinki- 'Contact High'
Somebody has been listening to a lot of Prince I think, but the Tetris bass (if there is such a thing) is doing some intriguing work here. The affected vocal sounds a little bit like too much hard work, but this is an interesting attempt at a dance record that still maintains creative integrity. Whilst an “interesting attempt” in the “at least you've tried hard” way, this shouldn't be immediately dismissed. Maybe after the second listen..
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