Julia Holter’s Don’t Make Me Over, this week’s best new track

‘Malevolent and exhausted by life, it sounds like Nico staring down the audience from the stage of Twin Peaks’ cabaret lounge’

Julia Holter
Don’t Make Me Over (Domino)

You know that disappointing gap between the Lana Del Rey hype (“gangsta Nancy Sinatra”) and the actual reality of Lana Del Rey’s music (dreary)? Fill it with this, on which Holter, a purveyor of vaporous, synthetic art-pop, transforms Dionne Warwick’s easy listening standard into a provocation. Malevolent and exhausted by life, it sounds like Nico staring down the audience from the stage of Twin Peaks’ cabaret lounge. Somewhere, Burt Bacharach and Hal David are screaming: “What did you do to our song?”


Black Light Smoke
Firefly (Scissor & Thread)

Is it electroclash revival time, already? Well, count me in, mein freund! Emotionally dead vocal + bass synths x judicious cowbell = good times. No? Not having it? Suit yourself, but before you go, can you help me out of these latex bondage trousers? They’re chafing me something chronic.

Scare Away The Dark (Island)

Lachrymose, post-Mumford rallying cry for office drones who are, “slowly dying in front of computers” (yeah, you read that right). In the video, Mike ‘Passenger’ Rosenberg – Brighton’s answer to Mikhail Bakunin – helps a load of middle-aged wage-slaves break free and get naked in a field. Blimey. If that’s what the revolution is going to look like, I’d rather be in work, checking these spreadsheets, forever.

Franz Ferdinand
Stand On The Horizon (Domino)

Remember when Coachella launched a cruise ship? So that Manic Pixie Dream Girl and Brooklyn Craft Beer Beard could play quoits? This is how I imagine the onboard dinner-dance sounded, as, with a heavy dose of Love Boat schmaltz, We Are Scientists or someone hammed their way through various millennial indie classics. Sadly, that is idle fantasy, whereas this really is Franz Ferdinand drifting rudderless into self-parody.

Circle Traps
Machine City EP (Lex)

…Or the revenge of the token jazz nominees. Remember Mercury also-rans Portico Quartet? No, me neither. Anyway, this is two of them and a mate, boiling down lots of good things – the clapped-out scuzz-techno of Brooklyn’s L.I.E.S label; Oneohtrix Point Never’s drones; Hyperdub’s thunderous bass; Kompakt’s rippling vistas – into five A1 slabs of earworm electronics. Just think: if they had won the Mercury, they would probably be too busy touring with Jamie Cullum to bother with this Circle Traps tackle.

Eric Prydz
Liberate (Pryda Recordings)

Less music, more high-functioning, computer-generated peaks and drops. I don’t care how much molly you take, America, this is bilge. Liberate? Exterminate!


Tony Naylor

The GuardianTramp

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