This Week's Best Album Streams: 5th December 2012
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! By which I mean I have no money in my bank account, the BBC are trailing festive editions of their biggest hits (just the same as normal, only, with snow), and music journalists are breathlessly compiling their year-end lists. They're jumping the gun a little bit, though - we've still go 26 days of 2012/the world as we know it yet, and there's still a surprising amount of good music being released. Look! Here's some of it!
Team Ghost - Dead Film Star EP (Dummy)
Fresh from being interviewed by this very website, the electronic French act that doesn't sound like any of the other electronic French acts you can think of (although one of them was in M83) have gone and released a new EP. In advance of their long-awaited full-length debut, Rituals, next year, the titular track (which has a brilliantly horrible video) and 'Away' give us a little glimpse at what we can look forward to - less of the swooping, shoegaze-y noise of their earlier releases, with their collective brain now giving as much room over to eighties-born melodies as moodiness.
Jacob Morris - Moths (Paste)
Following in the footsteps of fellow Athens, Georgia natives such as Vic Chesnutt and Neutral Milk Hotel - more so than fellow Athens, Georgia natives such as Bubba Sparxxx and of Montreal - Jacob Morris makes upbeat acoustic-lead music that's breezy in a concrete way, a bit like Real Estate if they unplugged their guitars and took on a brass section when they wanted to cut loose a little more. Reminds me a bit of Coconut Records, actor Jason Schwartzman's rather superior musical side-project, in tone and tunefulness - no bad thing, in my book.
Zombie Nation - RGB (Clash)
It'd probably be a lot to expect of a dance music producer who'd been in the business for over a decade to be able to make anything fresh and exciting, as they had been in their heyday, rather than just pandering to the latest trend - but Zombie Nation, better known to his landlord as German techno pioneer Florian Senfter, is more than happy to defy expectations with album number six. Remember how Justice went all weird and proggy with their second (less good) album? RGB is basically how they would've sounded if they'd stuck firmly on the dance floor, with the same sort of low-end bass buzzes and synth stabs that sound a bit like the strings from Psycho, but with the samples and programmed drums and keyboards constructed in the sort of meticulously rigorous manner befitting a man with over ten years in the business under his MPC.
The Horrors - Higher (Chart Attack)
Okay, yes, it's another remix album, but like the Twilight Sad one last week, this one's had a little more thought put into it than most. Plus I thought last year's Skying, the Horrors' third and best-received album, was a bit of a dud, following the blistering krautrock noise/Phil Spector pop song hybrids of Primary Colours. Higher injects a dose of much-needed vitality into songs that were previously like the shuffling corpses of arena songs that tried to reach their hands up with a lighter but were far too week, including Daniel Avery's do-over of 'Monica Gems' which sounds like a lost Screamadelica track and Andy Weatherall's jungley remix of 'Moving Further Away' using Faris' vocals to heir full mysterious capacity.
Takka Takka - AM Landscapes (Brooklyn Vegan)
Sadly not a concept album about Total Football as I first thought upon glancing at their name, AM Landscapes instead indulges in the super-smooth, warm and welcoming playing and production of MOR radio hits - but, as Destroyer did on last year's brilliant Kaputt, Takka Takka channel these familiar sounds and feelings into interesting areas and some bloody good songwriting, front man Gabe Levine shepherding them with his muted vocals and unfussy guitar work.
If you find any good album streams this week, Tweet me @tennis_everyone, where you can also find the pitch for my romantic comedy about two music journalists who fall in love over Last.fm
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