Pick of the week: Fleet Foxes, Mykonos (Bella Union)
For most folk the Greek island of Mykonos conjures up unsettling images of peeling tourists chatting up waiting staff and grinding on tabletops to the Bangin' Brits '09 version of the Macarena. To the Seattle Beard Board - more commonly known as Fleet Foxes - it's evidently part of something quite different. It's a land of mystical wonder, where Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young roam freely through the wilderness clutching big sticks, occasionally swigging from a flagon of mead and stopping by the shore to do a spot of whittling. Ruddy gorgeous.
Imelda May, Johnny Got A Boom Boom (Blue Thumb/UCJ) Though we can't be sure if Johnny's Boom Boom has anything to do with Bessie Smith's Jelly Roll or Little Richard's Ding-A-Ling, it's probably best not to mention it when you're passing the victoria sponge the afternoon the vicar pops round. With a streaked croissant of perfectly coiffed hair and faultless crimson lips, Dubliner Imelda May is a rockabilly confection who's yoinked her vital crackle from the lungs of Janis Joplin and ballsy stance from the soul of Patsy Cline. Her backing band also owe a thing or two to Eddie Cochran; now that's what we call discerning grave robbing.
Little Joy, No One's Better Sake (Rough Trade) Sadly, for a band featuring Fabrizio Moretti of the Strokes as well as the daughter of Helen Shapiro - the fabulously named Binki Shapiro - the debut single from Little Joy sounds little like the fuzzy New York guitar cover of Walking Back To Happiness we expected. Yet once you get over that, it's evident that this trio's laidback take on Os Mutantes popicalia is pretty tasty. Sure, there's not much of a tune, but we have a feeing that this is more about the "vibe" than crafting a karaoke classic.
Cage The Elephant, Back Against The Wall (Relentless) Cage The Elephant make the kind of vaguely embarrassing, mid-90s, sports-orientated alt rock which has landed itself the unfortunate legacy of being favoured by the middle-aged man at the skate park, who, above all, enjoys the simple pleasure of being better on the half pipe than the 12-year-olds. His skills, however, are only down to the fact that a) Instead of looking for a girlfriend and b) Getting a haircut, he's been practising them every day since 1992. Back Against The Wall deserves nothing more than a can of petrol and lit match.
Sky Larkin, Beeline (Wichita) Coming in at just over two and a half minutes, Beeline certainly doesn't outstay its welcome and pretty much leaves you wanting Sky Larkin to come up with a hefty extended remix so you've got that much more time to appreciate it. Sure, you could just play it two times in a row, covering up the small silence in the middle by singing the clattering riff very loudly, but it doesn't quite have the same effect. This is an arty, poppy treat that will leave you with an inane and probably quite embarrassing grin on your face. Good times.