This Week's Best Album Streams: 29th May 2012
With the current heat wave burning our knees (or maybe just mine) opting to lounge outside, quaffing ciders at noon, rather than sit at our desks is understandable. Luckily a decent WiFi connection stretches to the garden so avoiding albums streams is impossible.
Besides North London has a lack of babbling brooks, so an album stream is the nearest one can get to the cooling, rushing, chatter of foot tempting water. So let me share the soundtrack to my hazy afternoons, with these eight wonderfully chilled and mesmerising album streams.
Ladyhawke – Anxiety ( nme.com )
There’s a deep retro feel to Anxiety which is pure delight. From the glam lollop of Girl Like Me and Sunday Drive’s China Girl sass, to Cellophane’s subtle ambition, there’s a sense of classic virtuosity. Fuelled with storming bass and pulsing synths she’s blasted herself to the pinnacle of rousing subtlety, which humbles any doubters. The four years since her debut has hardened Pip Brown, with the sheen of 80’s naivety replaced with a dirgy vitality.
Fixers – We’ll be The Moon ( undertheradar.com )
Fixers are lucky. They’ve managed to avoid being like the god-awful Fun by trying to be Foster The People instead. Their happy-clappy melodies and sprightly syths make a great introduction to potential Animal Collective fans, while maintaining a sunshine personality. Although it lacks any real bite it’s a great example of when Fearne Cotton tries to be a bit Zane Lowe and alt. It’s perfectly acceptable pop which warrants a little smile.
Citizens! – We Are Here (3voor12.com )
Bands with punctuation in their name are brilliant. They have a point to make; “yeah, look at us. We’re a statement” they say. Then we listen to them...and it’s a treat. True Romance is a bit like a gloomy Hot Chip and Monster is Radio 4 (the band) goes Communards; surprising and poppy. The record takes the 80’s pop sensibilities of so many bands in 2012, but this time it is fun.
Grass Window – Internal Logic ( stereogum.com )
Being original is so last year. If you’re gonna be hip you gotta be retro, well, that’s according to this San Fanciscan trio. They are the living embodiment of 1986 anorak and ray-gun jangle indie pop, a world where the Marine Girls loiter shyly with The Flatmates around a fanzine photocopier. In other words brilliant. Their triple harmonies and woozy dynamism are indie in its truest form.
Many Places – Another Oath (brooklynvegan.com )
This song writing project of Chicagoan Kevin Rieg is an intimate and gritty journey through ambience and lo-fi folk. The mixture of instrumentals and vocals allow the albums themes of repetition and rejuvenation to causally develop, as though watching cloud shapes from a shady spot. It feels naturalistic as its rhythmic pendulum stutters between sedate vocals and majestic melodies. Kind of a Lo-Fi Timer Timbre, but much more beautiful.
Kind Tuff - King Tuff ( clashmusic.com )
It refreshing to hear guitars played how they’re meant to be; with fuzz slashes and bit of 12 bar angst. Chuck in some Teenage Fanclub harmonies and you have a proper rock record. Kyle Thomas deploys duelling riffs and hand claps during album opener Anthem, before Marc Bolan is reincarnated for Keep on Movin’. It’s Dazed and Confused stoner rock even includes, “hanging with my crew at losers wall.” What more do you want from a record.
Lil B - Choices and Flowers ( hypetrak.com )
To say The Basedgod is prolific, is an understatement, but this time he’s only gone and released a classical album. Well, It’s classical is a loose sense, it’s more of a synthesised soundscape which veers toward Vangelis. It’s more of a play around with Garageband than musical masterpiece by Dustin O'Halloran, but it has broken new ground for a rapper and is genuinely compelling.
Teen Daze – All Of Us Together (music.cbc.ca )
You all know the Chillwave score by now, dreamy synths and all that malarkey. Cushioned between Teen Daze’s shimmering synths, however is a contemporary techno edge which gives these bright compositions a hard clubby edge, particularly during Erbstück and Lake. Brookly Sunburn proves hipsters do sometimes venture out of coffee shops, yet proudly basks in its own wallflower detachment.
Oh, hello! I didn't see you there. I'm Tom, and I'm going to be your new guide to the hottest/coolest (delete as applicable) album streams that appeared online this week. So why don't you pull up a chair, make sure you've got a working internet connection - oh you have? Or you wouldn't be able to read this in the first place? Fair point. You're a perceptive fellow and/or lass. [read more]
What have you been up to this week fellow 405ers? Because I just got back from seeing Skyfall and I have to tell you it was incredible. Honestly, the best Bond film of my lifetime (to be fair, that list does include Die Another Day). Not sure I want to do anything else for the rest of the week except for marathoning my way through the rest of the series, in chronological order, skipping most of the Roger Moore ones. [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]
Britain is a very different place than it was just seven days ago. Last Thursday, we went to our local polling stations in our... erm, single digits, and voted to make a vital change to the way the police work in this country. Gone are the ineffective, corrupt bobbies that patrolled our streets for hundreds of years; in their place, a fleet of hyper-capable, bulletproof lawmen with an inability to be bribed and a prime directive for upholding the law. [read more]