Radio 1 playlisting and sepulchral Top Of The Popsness notwithstanding, Guillemots' Made Up Love Song #43 doesn't seem the most obvious candidate for summer anthem status, what with its jazz leanings, clashing time signatures and kitchen sink of a production - live aficionados will recognise MC Lord Magrao getting the power drill out at the end. It's still a great, passionate, mad but it might just work and it has song, and we can report the album treads the same obtuse path to the same effect. As you'll see from the sidebar, wherever it's gone, we were interested in Fyfe when he was nothing, so buying this would make us feel very slightly smug. Just along the fractured pop greatness scale we find Green Gartside, still as honeyed as ever but scaled down to semi-minimal DIY production. Of course, when you sound like Green Gartside all DIY motives are relative, which is why The Boom Boom Bap finds him in as affecting a mode as when he was having hits. The kids, of course, prefer their shambolically wry Londoners these days, but even here we're dealt well with the sub-150 second indiepop cyncicism of Larrikin Love's Downing Street Kindling. As with a couple of other recent cases, though, we can't help but feel that this should really be their chance to leap over the popularity parapet rather than languish in occasional radio play as it seems to be doing. Unlinkable 7"s, finally, and while Broken Social Scene find not that much single potential on their current album so go for what's best and stick out Fire Eye'd Boy (video, not for those who don't like talking over the song) ruffled Medway scene singer-songwriter Kid Harpoon debuts on Brikabrak Records, also home of Sunny Day Sets Fire and thus a label we've got to watch, with The River, The Ocean, The Pearl EP. Lead track Riverside has a video. You may notice the female lead, who appears first about 50 seconds in, bears a striking resemblance to a well known if not that loved BBC youth presenter. There's a good reason for that.
After a slow first few months of 2006 the really, really great albums are coming thick and fast now. iLiKETRAiNS' Progress Reform is admittedly technically a seven track mini-album, but it's astonishing. Think Sigur Ros in their louder moments after a few hours in the library reference section and with an even more baritone Nick Cave on vocals, except such reaching for connections does little justice to the scope, majesty and thinking behind the record. Go and watch the video for A Rook House For Bobby to complement the one somewhere below for Terra Nova to see what we mean. Otherwise your poison for the week is all over the place. There's the Norwegian post-shoegazing glide of Serena Maneesh's self-titled debut, the oddball scatlogies of Kool Keith's The Return Of Dr Octagon - it's said this is an unofficial release of a scrapped album, but then when did you last trust Kool Keith's line of thinking - the continuation of fighting the good Scottish indie fight with the BMX Bandits' fourteenth album My Chain and the Norwegian Americana of William Hut's Days To Remember. Ian Dury and the Blockheads' New Boots And Panties!! should be in every collection, especially now it's half price. We've not had a themed Rough Trade compilation for a while, so good to see Singer Songwriter Vol.1 - none of them ever go to volume 2, do they? - and good to see they've stuck with the knowing mixed bag that typifies this series, featuring Elvis Costello's monumental I Want You, PJ Harvey's raging Dress, Tom Waits, Cat Power, Nick Cave, Robert Wyatt, Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Richard Thompson, Antony & The Johnsons, Nick Lowe, Mark Eitzel, Daniel Johnson, Kristin Hersh, Richard Hawley, Vic Chesnutt, Lou Barlow, Plush, James Yorkston and that.