Monday, December 27, 2010

Tracks of the year IV

And the S's continue...

Steve Mason - Lost and Found [YouTube] [Spotify]
Kind of Mason in microcosm - rurally inclined acoustic melody, tentative beats, underlying darkness.

Still Corners - Endless Summer [download via P4K] [Soundcloud]
Ah, the Be My Baby drums. But what's going on around them is more fascinating, blurry Beach House/Broadcast dreampop with droney organ and shoegaze guitars in the shadows.

Still Flyin' - Runaway Train II [YouTube] [Spotify]
Another sax solo that doesn't invalidate the whole song, this one placed against the sort of rush only loads and loads of people being involved can produce.

Stop Eject - I Am A Social Network [YouTube] [Spotify]
One last splutter from the post-punk quarter, from a band running with Love Ends Disaster! in music life as well as baritone brooding.

The Strange Death Of Liberal England - Rising Sea [YouTube] [Spotify]
The new nautical theme didn't quite work across an album (as did speaking on stage instead of holding up signs, that was a disappointment when we saw them recently), but when they really let go with the rousing Arcade Fire on uppers swell they still pack a punch.

Summer Camp - Ghost Train [YouTube] [Spotify]
It didn't just fade away when they turned out to be some people nobody had heard of (this is on the worldwide blog scale, obviously we knew precisely who they were). The reason for that was they took only enough from the 80s - and then not even all that much musically - to not actually sound like they're as obsessed about it as they otherwise make out.

Superman Revenge Squad - Yeah, This House Is Haunted [can't help you here, go and buy Dead Crow Blues EP]
The man's a lyrical genius, and you'll all recognise this one day. And now he's writing a play based on (or at least sharing a title with) this song!

Swahili Blonde - Le Mampatee [YouTube] [Spotify]
From an album that turned out to be too cool for its own good, even with members of Duran Duran and Red Hot Chili Peppers involved, one spectacular moment of deformed scratchy punk-funk.

Sweet Baboo - Y'r Lungs [Soundcloud] [Spotify]
Plangent, wry Welsh folk. Another song on his album I'm A Dancer/Songs About Sleepin' features the fantastic line "Daniel Johnston has written hundreds of great tunes and I’ve got six, so I guess there’s some catching up to do".

Talons - Trevelyan [download from MusicGlue]
Shame the album was too bombastic for its own good, but taken individually they surge, swell and dramatise like nobody's business.

Tender Trap - Girls With Guns [YouTube] [Spotify]
The revenge of Amelia Fletcher (with Elizabeth Allo Darlin' on board) in classic stand-up drumming, jangly guitaring form.

This Many Boyfriends - I Should Be A Communist [Myspace] [Spotify]
There used to be loads of bands like this around 1986, of course, throwing Smiths self-deprecation into a pit of Orange Juice forceful jangle. Now there's the finest of lines between deliberately not trying and knowing, as these do, how to be... well... knowing.

Those Dancing Days - Fuckarias [download] [YouTube]
There was an occasional undercurrent of something less happy go lucky from Nacka's finest girl gang before, but now they're looking proper daggers at you through the medium of garage and rolling drums. The second album Daydreams And Nightmares is out on March 7th.

Tindersticks - Harmony Around My Table [Soundcloud] [Spotify]
"Found a penny, I picked it up/And on that day I had some luck/But that was two weeks last Tuesday". Oh, Stuart.

Under Alien Skies - Faint [Myspace] [Soundcloud]
Hard to pick out one track by the Prestatyn duo of sadly limited wider public knowledge, but the to date latest of their stews of dissembled samples, pre-chillwave summer beats, Beach Boys, Animal Collective and general laptop mystery is as good a place to land as any.

Vampire Weekend - Cousins [YouTube] [Spotify]
Ah, if only the rest of the album had been as thrusting and as charging as its lead-off single.

Wap Wap Wow - Don't Keep Losing Heart [Myspace]/Rhosyn - Glass [Myspace]
Wap Wap Wow was Rose Dagul plus eight, Rhosyn is Rose Dagul plus four. All the tracks on both Myspaces, based around hypnotic strings and looped voices, are worth your time.

The Wave Pictures - I Shall Be A Ditch Digger [Spotify]
As with most Wave Pictures songs it's hung around their set for years and may even have been recorded in reduced circumstances but ended up tossed off on an EP. If he put his mind to it Dave Tattersall could rival Robert Pollard for output.

Wavves - King Of The Beach [Soundcloud] [Spotify]
We may be alone in thinking the album of which this is the title track outdoes 'er indoors' all ends up. Very much California surf-punk by a chronic stoner, yes.

Wild Nothing - Summer Holiday [Soundcloud] [Spotify]
Over the course of this year's album and EP Jack Tatum attempted to represent the entire alternative 80s, from New Order to Kate Bush to the Cocteau Twins. Here he has a shot at Felt.

The Wind Up Birds - Tyre Fire [YouTube] [Spotify]
You don't often hear bands these days who remind you of Animals That Swim. Northern post-Morrissey kitchen sink drama meets insidious post-punk wiriness.

The Witch And The Robot - Hetero [Myspace] [YouTube]
Mates of British Sea Power make like Earl Brutus never left us. (Which with The Pre New they technically didn't, but you get what we're driving at)

Yeasayer - Ambling Alp [YouTube] [Spotify]
Been interesting to observe Yeasayer's development from Afro-futurists to death disco killers, especially live where things reach rave proportions as vested men hit electronic things.

Yu(c)k - Automatic [download] [YouTube]
The downbeat keyboard-led alter ego of dirty fuzz pedal-led Yuck, such starkness achieves an almost hymnal stillness. A sanctifying note to round off the hundred on.

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