Thursday, 14 January 2010

Breathe out

Hmm... Wrote this a fortnight ago, saved it and forgot. Oops.


Charlotte Gainsbourg’s album IRM.

Partly this is because I’m a Beck fanboy, and he produced it. You can tell – a lot of it sounds like his last album, Modern Guilt. There are also a couple of weird bits that sound like Gainsbourg aping Beck, who’s spent his career aping her dad…

But mainly I like it for Gainsbourg herself. She hasn’t got an amazing voice, but she has character, and an impressive ability to swap between soulful, sensual and scary. On ‘Me And Jane Doe’ she sounds as artfully flat as Laetitia Stereolab, and the title track has a lovely industrial buzz, as awkwardly groovy as Broadcast's 'Pendulum'. You can hear it here (and check the natty stop-motion video)


See below for my unpublished Clash review of the re-released Psychonauts album, due out some time this month.

Psychonauts – Songs For Creatures

“Eclectic” doesn’t quite do this album, from the formerly Mo’ Wax aligned duo, justice. Over its 12 tracks, Songs For Creatures somehow packs in electro-folk, jazzy-house and Depeche Mode pastichery.

It gets off to a cracking start: ‘Circles’ is beguilingly lovely, with vocals that recall a softer Devendra. A couple of tracks later and ‘Empty Love’ is a towering analog banger. But then it all comes apart at the seams…

The album was first released in 2003, so it’s no surprise that it sounds a little dated in places, but there’s no excuse for the generic dance-lite of ‘Hot Blood’ and the tracks that follow it. ‘Fear Is Real’ aside, the album never regains its footing. Enjoyable enough, but with more filler than a branch of B&Q.

Rating: 5/10


I quite like the new Vampire Weekend album, and retract my snarky comments in the last post. It is actually quite good, though I feel a bit dirty admitting to it.

Monday, 4 January 2010

I have icicles on my eyelids

Or at least that's what it feels like.

It’s stupidly cold in Bath today. The sort of low temperature that makes being outside physically painful. I love Winter, tis my favourite season of all, but this is just silly.

Anyhow, a new track from Liars. Alright, it’s been kicking around the net for a couple of weeks, but I’ve been lazy. As ever with these guys, it grows in the listening. Really, I’m jumping around the room as I type. Also, doesn’t that opening “hrrrrrrrmmmmm!” sound weirdly like the beginning of Children of the Stones?

And you can download it for keeps here...

And a classic from that slightly patchy last album…

Had a first listen to the new Vampire Weekend album Contra today. Granted, they’re not really my kind of music, but I sorta liked parts of that first album. This time, I’m even less sure. I guess you’ve got to almost admire a band that tries their hand at cod-reggae. Don’t you?

Yeah, maybe not.

My review of Broadcast’s show at the Bristol Cube last month. A really fantastic night by one of our most perennially underrated bands.

I wonder what's the latest acceptable date for wishing people a happy new year?