Perfume Genius - Queen
Mike Hadreas' songs used to be spare things, a lot of the time just his falsetto and minimal piano arrangement, so for this to open with a huge bass synth throb is akin to his hiring a chamber orchestra. It's later joined by Flaming Lips-like effects and drones plus a keyboard figure that recalls Ryuichi Sakamoto's Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence score, yet in Hadreas' delivery and its almost teasing deconstruction of/challenge to gay panic it still manages to seem personal. Third album Too Bright, out 22nd September, is produced by Portishead's Adrian Utley and features John Parish.
Shy And The Fight - Stop Motion
Once again enacting our anti-Midas touch, as they were among our tips for 2013, Chester's driving folk-pop septet have gone the way of all flesh with a valedictory pay-what-you-like EP, First The Bird Fell. Clattering and rousing are both in evidence, this track picked out by us for reminding us of Fanfarlo's early way with subtle primary coloured sunshine pop with dark patches underneath.
Sun Machine - Tamaho Hitman pt. 1
The August (25th) offering from the Too Pure Singles Club is a kaleidoscopically shifting percussive-heavy stew that brings together sunshine psychedelia, washed out tropicalia and the kind of all-in-together post-AnCo melange that leaves the head spinning, with demonic incantation sloganeering to close. "Space Honey Jams destined for Japan" says their Facebook self-description. Well, yeah.
You Are Number Six - Magic
Inevitable someone was going to call their project that eventually. In this case it's one Theo Lefebvre of Montpellier, who on recent EP Weird Tales explores the point at which dark wave's gothic post-punk introspection meets the flamboyance of retro synthpop by way of latter day Patrick Wolf's joy in machinery.