Here We Go Magic – Falling
The New York group’s last album (and my absolute favourite record of 2012!) benefited from the masterful mind of Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, who ironed out their knotty krautrock and added space and depth to their songs. Here We Go Magic’s fourth, Be Small, is self-produced however, and deliberately less expansive in sound. Inspired by Brian Eno and John Cale’s Wrong Way Up and Robert Wyatt’s Shleep, frontman Luke Temple claims their fourth is “overtly major and optimistic” compared to their last, a quality that’s translated in their latest single Falling, a noodley mess of odd instrumentation, existential questioning and a clappy-happy chorus that sounds like the end credits to a creepy kids cartoon.
Foals – Mountain at My Gates
For the creation of their new album, Foals disappeared into a studio located in the same village in the south of France in which Van Gogh was hospitalised after savaging his own ear. I’m not totally sure what this bit of context is supposed to tell us about the album, but I suspect it knowingly points towards the band’s ongoing tussle with the demons within. Produced by James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Florence + the Machine), their latest album pushes the group’s evolution from mathrock indie boys towards titans of monster rock. New single Mountain at My Gates is a lurching, looming shadow of a track – but for those after something a little more meaty, the mammoth leading single What Went Down is far better.
Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin
Pretty Pimpin’s my favourite arrival this month, and not just for Kurt Vile’s self-eviscerating deadpan and the song’s classic, southern-fried rock feel. The video for his new track features the lank-haired singer lip-syncing like the world’s most understated pop star as he stands in various locations including the bra section of a clothes shop – a bit like that famous scene in Father Ted’s The Wrong Department. Eagle-eyed indie fans: keep an eye out for Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa on drums.
Dilly Dally – Desire
If your definition of decent indie sounds more like the Pixies than Pulp, Dilly Dally from Toronto should hit the spot. Satisfaction is key to their new single, Desire, as Katie Monks and Liz Ball emulate a “huge sexual release”, while also touching on “fantasies, youth, and purity”. The song heaves its way through exhaustive sighs, ferocious growls, whiney guitars and buckets of nasty guitar tones. It’s sexy, in a kind of disgusting, anatomical way.
C Duncan – Garden
Bit late to this, but worth a reprise just for the hippyish, west coast waves of sparkling psych pop that a mid-week playlist requires. Taken from his recent album, Architect, the 25-year-old Glaswegian and classical composer’s airy, Colin Cluntstone-like vocals mix with choral backing vocals, and swirling “4ADesque dreampop”.