Off The Course (Tru Thoughts)
It’s 2014 and pop music is obsessed with space. Everything has to sound as if it were recorded in a car showroom, with crisp percussion and synth stabs echoing off its whitewashed walls. I predict nothing other than eventual doom for this trend – it bottoms out sometime in 2015 when James Blake forgets to play any notes at all on his new album – but in the short term it does produce some lovely stuff, like this piece of dreamy, aerated pop, which wafts in gently with cooed falsetto and then suddenly lobs a menacing bassline into the mix a minute in. Soothing but also unsettling, like sharing a warm bath with a box jellyfish.
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK
Headbanger (Sub Pop)
Also good, for precisely the opposite reason to Lost Midas, is Headbanger – a three-minute chug-along in which everything is coated in a layer of thick fuzz. It sounds unapologetically like Cheap Trick, which itself is a bit of a cheap trick (arf), but one I’ve fallen for completely. Right, good tracks done. On to the dross...
New World Sound & Thomas Newsom Feat Lethal Bizzle
In a just world, every flute in existence would be confiscated and bundled into a furnace. Seriously, people have been playing that thing for millennia and no one – not even Ron Burgundy – has ever managed to make it sound like anything other than an out-of-shape, middle-aged man breathing limply through his nose. And yet still people are giving that hateful little tube of silver alloy the time of day. I despair. I really do. Anyway, Flutes is New World Sound & Thomas Newsom’s 2013 Europop chugger Flute, but with Bizzle shouting “Dench” over the top. It’ll almost certainly be massive. Another victory for the all-powerful flute lobby.
Back To The Shack (Republic)
Admitting to liking Weezer is a bit like bringing an embarrassing friend to a dinner party. “Why do you even hang around with this idiot?” everyone keeps asking you, as said friend puts a Frisbee through the flatscreen and vomits on the cat. And yet you still can’t shake those hazy memories of just how fun he/she was in the old days. Make no mistake, Back To The Shack is witless frat-boy rock of the lowest order. Terrible. Irredeemable. And yet I’ve listened to it four times today already, and it’s only 12.27am.
The Stars Are Ours (PledgeMusic)
Crowdfunding started out with such lofty ideals. We’ll change the world! We’ll upturn capitalism! We’ll get a second series of Veronica Mars! No one imagined there would be a downside; that in 2014 people would be summoning Bush, the Vines and B*Witched back into existence, like kids foolishly messing with a Ouija board. The Stars Are Ours provides the chilling answer to the question: “What would C’est La Vie sound like with an Avicii drop in the middle.” Please don’t give generously.