A ridiculously indie week this week. Couldn’t tell you why. Also, a load of songs about love, some of which even have the word “love” in the title. Disgusting. What’s wrong with me? Enjoy.
1. ‘RUSSIAN DOLLS’ – Jealous of the Birds
Jealous of the Birds (who occasionally goes by the name Naomi Hamilton) released her debut album Parma Violets back in May. I’ve only just come across it, but it’s a astounding to think that this is Hamilton’s first full length release. Each song seems to have been crafted uniquely, yet there’s no sense of this process being frustrating; everything flows brilliantly, and Hamilton’s vocals are mesmerizing. The album combines folk, indie-rock, grunge and punk elements, which leaves you guessing constantly. ‘Russian Dolls’ speaks for this combination of genres better than most other tracks. It’s truly humbling to sit and listen to work this incredible by someone who’s the same as you are. At least I’ve got my collection of rocks.
2. ‘LOVE IS NOT LOVE’ – Cate le Bon
Cate le Bon is responsible for me realising I have no idea what the Welsh language sounds like. However, she’s also responsible for bringing some of the best music I’ve heard in a while to the airwaves, so I’ll forgive her there. ‘Love is Not Love’ is taken from le Bon’s fourth album Crab Day, and I love it for its simplicity and that it exposes the vocals wonderfully. The track is also a good example of le Bon’s songwriting, which may feel muddled when first examined, but becomes a beautifully layered mixture of textures on closer inspection.
3. ‘POOL PARTY’ – Julia Jacklin
Strange how some people can smash completely different genres of music together, and birth an astonishingly beautiful sounds. Julia Jacklin’s ‘Pool Party’ has doo-woop, country and indie characteristics; in my mind, doo-woop and country shouldn’t go hand-hand, but Jacklin makes it work. By taking harmonious elements often found in country and setting them to a doo-wop backing, the Australian singer-songwriter has succeeded in creating something that seems unique, yet oddly familiar. Great stuff.
4. ‘WE USED TO BE IN LOVE’ – Clean Cut Kid
I’ve included this lovely Liverpudlian lot on the list a couple of times in the past, and that’s because I love them. This time, they bring us a new single ahead of their debut EP. ‘We Used to be in Love’ contains many elements I’ve come to expect from the group; soaring harmonies from Mike and Evelyn Halls, great riffs, and infectious melodies. I’m hankering to hear Clean Cut Kid’s EP more than ever.
5. ‘MIND MISCHIEF’ – Tame Impala
Another Australian act here (I said they were taking over!) who most will be familiar with. ‘Mind Mischief’ is taken from the group’s acclaimed album Lonerism. One of my favourites I’d have to say, Lonerism introduced to me to a world of music I had never experienced, and opened me up to finding some of my favourite current artists. Those bloody Aussies ey?
6. ‘SUGAR IS SWEETER’ – CJ Bolland
That shady looking bloke you see above you (God I’m hilarious) is CJ Bolland, a British-born Belgian-raised producer who was one of the most consistent DJs through the 90s and well into the Millennium. A musician who utilises techno and European electro in his music, Bolland has worked with some of the world’s biggest electronic musicians, as well as having his worked remixed by a number of them. ‘Sugar is Sweeter’ is a track that juxtaposes the rough and the smooth, creating something that’s hard to keep still to.
7. ‘DANS LA RADIO’ – Jaques
It was difficult trying to find information on Jaques that I didn’t have to get a rough Google translation for. From what I could gather though, the French electronic musician recorded various sounds in “Maison de la Radio,” a building which houses numerous radio stations. Using these sounds, he’s created a crazy bit of techno-house that is stupidly infectious.
8. ‘OPEN UP THE SKY’ – Shock Machine
Shock Machine is the solo project from Klaxons’ James Righton, and the debut EP, shockingly named Shock Machine, is his first release. ‘Open Up the Sky’ is an addictive, if not slightly repetitive track that will grip your psychedelic subconscious and pull it out through your ears. Wonderful.
9. ‘I’M IN LOVE’ – Teenage Fanclub
Teenage Fanclub released their first bit of new music in six years with the single ‘I’m in Love,’ which will be included on their upcoming album, Here. It’s mad to think the the group have been going for twenty-six years. That’s older than I am. ‘I’m In Love’ is vintage indie-rock, bouncing along pleasantly. Pleasant, until you take another look at the lyrics which turn out to be somewhat bittersweet. If Here sticks to the core of what makes ‘I’m In Love’ so good, the album promises to be a hit.
10. ‘COO COO’ – Weaves
Weaves released their debut album of the same name a couple of weeks ago, and whilst it’s not hugely innovating, it’s a solid indie-rock album that deserves recognition. Instead of moving towards a more indie-pop approach, Weaves have taken a heavier path with their effort. ‘Coo Coo’ is an interesting track, with polyrhythms that tumble over each other, and a terrific vocal performance from Jasmyn Burke.