Monday, 25 October 2010

Small Black- New Chain (jagjaguwar)

Small Black- New Chain (jagjaguwar) 

Azure Ray- Drawing Down The Moon (Saddle Creek)

Azure Ray- Drawing Down The Moon (Saddle Creek) 

Azure Ray is a weird concept in 2010, a duo that had a real importance in 2003-2004, just as the saddle creek was crossing over into mainstream crediblity, the likes of Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley and Cursive enhanced the Omaha, NE scene as the hottest place in the world to make music. Azure Ray could have been the right hand woman to Conor Oberst/Mike Mogis' possessive baby, but instead they split to focus on their respective solo projects/other bands, and Azure Ray was left to be featured on countless TV Shows and live on many peoples love but never seen live lists. Maria Taylor was arguably the more successful of the two, with three solo albums which saw her featured and quite highly on Grey's Anatomy (which has in the states launched several high profile acts) and tour the world with varying degrees of popularity with each album being more pop than the previous one. Orenda Fink's solo projects were more daring and varied, the question is do Azure Ray have a place in 2010, as many people have done what they did in varying degrees since their initial break through, (compare in part to this week's album of the week Warpaint for an example of a band which feature on Azure Ray's historical importance), Drawing Down The Moon succeeds because it's very knowing and even responds to their limitations within the confines of the song as they sing on Silver Sorrow "what we do, we do the best that we can..."  and they acknowledge their TV exposure with a wink and a smile.

Drawing Down The Moon is an incredibly split album, rising to each woman's obvious strengths, Maria is left with some of the more upbeat but conversely bitter pop songs ("Don't Leave My Mind", sounds like a lot of the songs from Taylor's three solo albums) while Orenda's are more dreamlike and experimentally arranged, with broken beat percussion and haunting harmonies ("In The Fog's" soaring duet over the static feedback beat.) Azure Ray do what they do very well, no-one can create haunting female popsongs as well as they can and the Taylor/Fink combination has not been bettered over the previous eight years, ("Larraine" is the perfect example of the abilities of building a sinister ballad). But sadly, it also feels a little too late for Azure Ray to really get the appreciation that many who came after them got instead, but "Drawing Down The Moon" is an album created with love and tears and hurt feelings, and thus it has the ablitity to make you laugh and cry quite like any album you've heard this year, if you don't feel tingles on "On and On again" as Taylor sores above the wild synth or your foot doesn't tap during the warm country patter of "Make Your Heart" or the heartbreaking opening verse on "Signs in the Leaves" "I'm a little worried that I killed something inside of me when I let you go/Days were dark with you in my mind, I thought it best to be free, but now the birds don't sing and the trees dont speak and I dont see signs in the leaves anymore.

Azure Ray are still vital because there is still no other artist who can convey light and dark quite like they have been able to and like The Concrete's return, they have come back with something new to say and yet to continue to improve on what already made them an interesting concept in their origin. Azure Ray's attempts are simply more valiant, darting from thirtysomething pop to country to trip hop with the haunting build that even the excellent Tamaryn and the overrated Zola Jesus have still yet to achieve. Suprisingly still vital listening then, Maria and Orenda please stay around this time! 9/10

The Concretes- WYWH (Something in Construction)

The Concretes- WYWH (Something In Construction) 

Welcome to 2010! Things are scary here! The World is in the midst of a global recession, which may or may not get worse due to banks being even more greedy (despite being bailed out by public money), but isn't like to get better thanks to an unelected governments cuts on all public sector and arts and pretty much everything. There are lunatics in America, calling for a new right wing fundamentalism, complaining that Obama isn't doing enough, those claiming that they are embarrassed that they are black and he is black too. In fact 2010 has been a pretty good year to be bitter, angry and heartbroken, and suprisingly WYWH is also a perfect record to be bitter, angry and heartbroken to.

None of those words would essentially be paired with the Stockholm pop band Concretes, a band best known for their two incredible poppy singles from their debut album. The Concretes songs were poppy and sparky and twee and even at their more bleak moments there was still a wistful innocence, a second chance, a new tomorrow, whether in the lyrics or in the click click of the accompaniment, on "New Friend" (2002) despite it's regret of a ended friendship, the protagonist is still open for the other person to call them, and despite the departure of lead singer Victoria Bergsman, their third album was still undetered, former drummer and now frontwoman Lisa Milsburg walked away like Renee and the lush orchestration remained in tact, in fact if anything Hey Trouble (2007) signalled a brighter day tomorrow as "Simple Song" (2007) disappeared with a plodding electronic beat and a upbeat brass and guitar line... The Concretes did their pop very well, a mixture of interesting percussion, sixties influenced guitar harmonies and a great and often suprising mix of orchestration....

The Concretes WYWH is akin to seeing a once eternally optimistic friend after several years, beaten up and bruised after the one they thought was the one has kicked them face and shat out their heart. WYWH doesn't give up the pop ear that the previous records have but the words are heavier and from wearier hearts. Opening Track and first single "Good Evening" is all sparse with a single disco like beat and a downtempo guitar line (one of the most noticable guitar lines on the album, as it is mostly absent), the lyrical themes on the album are mostly regretful stories about a relationship gone sour, begging partners asking for second chances and a heavily bitter conclusion of what is essentially no. "My Ways" tells of a soured relationship as one half of the relationship abruptly says on a date that they've lost what they had, the chorus is the heartbreaking "if you take me back I will change... I can promise more than I try, I'll try and try..." with a real sense of apologetic emptiness.

Lyrically, the album has a couple of very close moments which are brutally honest with a real sense of ill ease and hatred towards the other person, almost too difficult for the listener to hear. WYWH also deals with post-break up songs and stories of going out a lot to escape these feelings. "I wish we never met, I wish you'd never got them thoughts into your head, now you needed me for a while you wouldn't let it lie, I wish we never met, I wish I wasn't so easily impressed, I wish I didn't feel the need for you to see me," are an example of some of the saddest, while "What We've Become" spouts domestic memories before crooning the soul disco esque "I just wouldn't believe it, I just couldn't see it..."  The album also cleverly progresses, as the title track seems to hint at some togetherness/self recovery as she bids with a knowing goodbye "Wish you Were here

Muscially, The Concretes have really paired back from their huge sounding distorted tracks, most contain a consistant (disco-esque) beat, and a guitar line that is mostly accompanied by some sort of dominant synth. Together they work very well, the spareness and the base selection of the odd orchestration on the album compliments the darkness of the lyrics suitably. The production is crisp and clean and mainstream seeking, many songs are potential dancefloor hitters. The problem is that a minority of the songs fail to differentiate from each other enough to make every song a bonafide success, they just beat along to the a silmilar single drum beat, awaiting the chorus to come along, and sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. which is the one great criticism of the album, because in so many ways this is the most daring and bold move the swedish popsters have made since their debut. WYWH is however on the most parts a sad, blunt and sonically soulful record, which shows a band ready to take a step forward and find a new sound and a new direction and most importantly recover from any previous setbacks made by themselves or people they once loved. 7.5/10

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Forthcoming This Week

This Week's New Releases from:

Plus Seven More Discovery reports from CMJ and around the world

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

FTC DISCOVERY ROUND-UPS 2 (Blackberry Edition)

It's done to such a bad effect so often that when you find someone doing it with some degree of accuracy and in the case of Quilty to an excellent degree, it's so refreshing. Quilty is from Brooklyn, New York and captures the real alternative rock of the late 80s, emboding the sort of Kim Deal freshens that she herself hasn't had since Last Splash, to create some fragile epic alt rock pop songs that haven't been heard for decades. This is cool shit guaranteed to make Best Coasty's (and I can say this) and fans of the aforementioned piss themselves with excitement. Solid Hooks, swirling Feedback up to 11, sardonically gentle vocals, they dont make bands like this anymore.

Sleepy Vikings 
My biggest regret is not seeing these guys in person, chilled beach rock and roll with an agressive edge, strong vocals my other regret is listening to their EP this morning and now I can't get their fucking songs out of my head and they have all by all accounts one of the most alluring frontwomen in music right now. Check these guys out, nobody is doing something this dark, poppy and sinister right now.

Ma. Mentor 
Ma Mentor hark back to what was daring about British Music pre-Brit Pop with a bit of swagger and bassy edge, almost like if The Big Pink were actually as good as their singles suggested they could be. 

Red City Radio Heavy Hearted Punk Rock from Oklahoma, with some great authentic fist in the air moments, a welcome change in a world filled with fake punk bands in a world devoid of heart and filled with problems. Loud, Rowdy, Real American punk rock for fans of Hot Water Music et al.

Ill Ease
Female Fronted Indie Pop from New York with a sorta deelite wrestling with Sky Larkin quality, find that hard to imagine...

Body Language 
Another New York Band that sit comfortably on a record collection with Phoenix, Caribou & Dirty Projectors, Upbeat experimental instrumentals and vocals, almost if ice cream men formed Hot Chip.

Me You Us Them 
More Brooklynites Indie Rock with soaring vocals, off-kilter guitar lines which appear to drop out of nowhere, for fans of the sub-pop/barsuk/pinback sound. If you like well crafted American indie rock as much as I do... I'll be writing more about their album post data when I get back

Dominque Young Unique 
Me and My Boy Buyyourself checked this girl out when she played Old Blue Last earlier in the year, let's just say it was one of the most unimpressed UK crowds I've ever seen. Domique embodies Lil Kim's filthy mouth, Yo Majesty's indie crossover appeal and the spitting skills of Nikki Minaj  over some of the smoothest synth lines and beats you've heard this year, she started accidentally at  12 and they claim she is still under 18, but boy this girl has talent and it's only amount of time before everyone is talking about her.  PAAAAAAARTY! 

Kitten the Band are a female fronted band with huge chorus admist fractured intimacy, over in the UK with Twin Shadow at the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen before some of their own dates and their EP is available for free until November 1st. Keeping my eye on these guys

Fences' Resume is pretty special, striking up a friendship with Sara Quin (of Tegan & Sara) leading to her producing his debut album "Fences" a plesantly morose record hidden under the guise of a near straight up pop record coming across as a metaphorical collaboration between the aforementioned and perfume genius. But ultimately woeful tales told the way they should be, through the beauty of a tuneful knowing smile.

The Phantom Band- The Wants (Chemikal Underground)

 The Phantom Band- The Wants (Chemikal Underground)

While The Phantom Band return with an invariable feast of sides of scottish Indie rock, like most of the Scottish scene, "The Wants" heavily registers from many established acts (like a lot of English bands too) but stumble upon throughout their various styles, from straight up post rock to stand out track "Walls'" synth lead some original ground of their own. "Wants" is filled with some excellently performed and perceptive Indie Rock, some harmonies Sitek would be proud of, epic glam stomp to simplistic folk, I'm suprised the band hasn't seen more attention placed upon them, but at the same time there is no stand out track here which makes "Wants" an interesting journey to enjoy in one long listen then capable of a full out assault on the music scene just yet. 6.5/10

Kurt Wagner & Cortney Tidwell- Invariable Heartbreak (City Slang)

Kurt Wagner &Courtney Tidwell present KORT team up for Invariable Heartbreak (City Slang)
which presents some beautiful and touching alt-country moments with Wagner's weathered voice mingling with Tidwell traditional country twoon, but beyond the tide of seeing these two artists work together, there is nothing here that hasn't been said or done somewhere else before and I can't imagine an audience craving this if they were not already fans of either artist or heart broken country,which practically proves this to be an exercise best saved for unreleased ideas that look good on paper than in reality. Graceful and sublime sure but not as good as the Chart Records finest originals, nor Tidwell and Wagner's dayjobs. 4/10

Kisses- The Heart of The Nightlife (This is Music)

Kisses- The Heart of The Nightlife (This is Music)

I've been meaning to review this album since I got it a few months ago, but I could never bring myself to sit down and put words to paper,  now on it's official UK Release is the time.

Kisses debut is filled with familiar throwbacks to disco, it's created with a lot of love for the genre and it simply shimmers, and in comparison to the subtext heavy of my previously reviewed Twin Shadow album, Kisses have created a fun 70s/80s revival and The songs are carefully stripped from what could have been a full on disco/pop anthem and present themselves as an alternative exploration of that commonplace sound, somewhere between a friday night post-work disco for fans of The Smiths meets cheesy bossanovva disco and modern day chill wave nostagia from Washed Out, Small Black or Little Girls.

While Kisses certainly are able to create pop tunes, it doesn't stop it from getting rather old, rather quickly, and it all becomes rather repeative after a handful of songs, with very little hooks and very little to sing and dance to. Given the amount of inspiration and love of the genre, "The Heart of Nightlife" never encourages the dancefloor to neon glow nor gets weird enough to engage it's audience, simply sleepwalks through some pleasant if momentarily forgettable electro pop. 6/10

Twin Shadow- Forget (4AD)


Twin Shadow is probably the most personal album I've heard this year since Perfume Genius' "Learning," but "Forget" isolation is meant to be a shared experience, something warm and to be learned from, instrumentation limited mostly to fractured guitar lines and synths, carefully peaced together in a hotel room production by label mates and producers Grizzly Bear. Like the aforementioned masters, "Forget" pulsates its feelings through a senses of 80's new wave (this could have easily soundtracked Donnie Darko), a melancholy longing that Grizzly Bear have been unable to repeat since their debut. 

Forget"'s opener "Tyrant Destroyed" is as introspective and based around the feeling of teenage isolation with its "I know you spent some time from the town to the city looking for your life to start, I know what you said when you were 15..." opening lines. Each song is filled with a story of teenage confusion and a time of discovery, the production is crisp and each familiar sound adds to drawing out your nostagia but also the regret of your youth and the hidden memories you'd care not to even admit to yourself. "Forget" at times may sound sweet and innocent but dig a little deeper to find the sinister underneath the glossy eighties synths to discover not is all well which cements the quality of Twin Shadow's pop songs. Flirting between secret crushes and forgotten flirtations to suggestions that these stories are not very good at all. Brought upon in "Yellow Balloons" lines "Secret Handshakes, the swimming hole, keep awake, we will not grow old." or the creepy "Tether Beat" and it's message of breakup "Does your heart still beat?"

Twin Shadow in the context of modern music makes a lot of sense, it's not a million miles from the 80s pop revivalists from  Pains of Being Pure at heart, The Drums (at their darkest) or How to dress well on the surface, but "Forget" subject matter from the good to the bad to the ugly draws attention to repeated listening, as every heartbeat signifies something bigger, something more violent, something more tragic with every play, forcing you to recall every fumbling, every heartache and as Twin Shadow points out on the title track "this is all of it this is everyone..." and its also everything we've been trying to forget. 9/10

Marnie Stern- Marnie Stern (Souterrain Transmissions)

Marnie Stern- Marnie Stern (Souterrain Transmissions)

Just before the release of her third album, Stern launched an attack on her west coast counterpart Best Coast, and while I wouldn't usually point out such bitchy gossip, apart from being a big fan of "Crazy for You," it's easy to draw a comparison between Marnie and Bethany. Both records are particularly emotionally driven, Stern's "Transparency is the New Mystery" recalls the line "In order to see it, you've got to believe it, I do..." in relation to a relationship to a difficult boy who she is waiting for, the song a plea to see how good she is in comparison to this other girl, is simply not a million miles from "Girlfriend" or "Crazy for You." Bethany is young and naive, Marnie is older and arguably more experienced.
The difference being is Best Coast is backward thinking, her songs are often in past tense and her music seeks for a nostagic California before many of us were born, in fact it is the gimmick for the whole band.  Stern's arsenal is the complete opposite, Her album ploughs through with Superhuman Zach Hill's distinctive drumming style, Stern's mathcore frenetic guitar lines and an urgency to get to the end as fast as possible. It's a musical exploration which may alienate many of those who were hoping Stern would open up her essentially melody soaked songs to some of kind mainstream listenability, but fuck that, this album is dripping with ideas, heartfelt lyrics (when Stern's voice isn't cleverly used as a part of the awkwardly brilliant and out of nowhere thrusts of noise) and the album contains some essential hits in the making, see "Risky Biz" which could very well soundtrack our current governments plan for cutting the public sector "I tear the desert up, But it's not enough, I got something in my soul, pushing me to hold on to the pain." or the summer pop almost classic rock anthem "Cinco De Mayo" with its soaring vocal harmony.

So enough with the bitchiness between female artists, as Kim Gordon said "What's it like to be a girl in a band, I dont quiet understand, it's so quaint to hear..." and Stern's very own "Female guitar players are the new black" we should stop pointing out sex and  accept that this year has had some amazing records which happen to be written and performed by some exceptable female artists, than continue with the year of the woman tag,exploited last year. All for forward thinking, all for Marnie Stern 8.5/10

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

FTC Discovery Round-Ups

Midnight Spin

Midnight Spin are a great band that bring back what made college rock important a couple of decades ago, part indie rock, part a battle between old/new school emo, really catchy rock songs stuffed with hooks. Energetically driven (although terribly titled) "Through the Mojo Wire" is a must listen for those who enjoy high energy radio-friendly pop rock.


Saadi can steal your soul after one song, with a voice that can make you stop in the middle of a motorway along the same lines of everyone's favourite canadian princess Emily Haines with a street cred MC Edge (no rap here though folks). Her tunes are electic, one a guitar ballad, another encorporating a lively world beat closer to Imogen Heap's Frou Frou project with piled on harmonies part of the puzzle

Sean Walsh & The National Reserve

I'm a big Bruce Springsteen fan this is no suprise or secret to anyone who knows me personally, I own every record/live record/rareties/best of/dvd/video and a couple of t-shirts. As a result I like anything that sounds like Bruce, Gaslight Anthem, Hold Steady, Lucero, on the other hand I hate all cover versions of Bruce Springsteen (even the ones done by aforementioned bands), so as an uber fan (and probably amongst the youngest, I'm 23) I am still very critical of people that call the boss a influence. Sean Walsh calls Bruce an influence and while there are a few musical cues to New Jersey's number one son, the real connection is in the honesty and personal storytelling elements to his songs, which do bring him closer to Jesse Malin more so than the boss.
Sean Walsh & The National Reserve have already played with Dr. Dog and Vampire Weekend and self-released an album "Homesick" and his music is already self assured and warm that beyond his inspirations is a young artist with rich songs worthy of your time and attention


Kidstreet are a sibling threesome from Waterloo, Ontario who make dance pop with a striking female vocal, "Grow Up" is the most striking example of their current canon, recalling mid 90s girl fronted electro pop with naive although strikly frank lyrics "I don't want to grow up, but being young ain't that great I'm sure that you can relate to..." is the peter pan role call of 2010. Although still a way to go to humanize their poppy anthems to a wider audience, keep your eyes out for these three. (Great remix of Caribou's standout track Sun on their myspace too)

The Travelling Band

The Travelling Band are from Manchester, UK so it puts me to shame that I hear about them whilst in New York. Big English pop with group vocals, great orchestration and some anthemic bridges that could easily out heart a lot of current critic and audience darlings.

Street Chant

For Fans of more simplistic scuzzy punk rock, look no further, great rock and roll riffs, some great male/female call and response vocals, fresh from Auckland, New Zealand, and let's face it there are simply not enough bands from New Zealand getting any sort of international exposure. For Fans of The Thermals, Screaming Females and a rocking good time with plenty of sing-a-long indie rock harmonies! I think you'll like this @buyyourself


Telenovelas are from Brooklyn, New York (my current holiday spot) and I couldn't tell you anymore about them (as I missed them to see the above) but their music is shoegazey thrashy surf pop, and their three songs on myspace/bandcamp are what is good and pure about hazey guitar screaming lo-fi lazy creep pop in 2010. Supposedly they are great live too!

Hazard Adams

Hazard Adams is good time rock and roll often drifting into country and americana, based in Boston, MA their solid guitar based pop songs with a raw and unnerving vocal performances and some good feelin' percussion, "Golden Oldies" is the ideal party music for a college dock party with a side of whiskey and a glance at the mainstream.

FTC Discovery 5: Freedom or Death

Freedom or Death

Freedom or Death come from Toronto, ON and make some of the most earnest/thought provoking indie pop this side of the first Band of Horses record, the duo met through major record label and decided to make an artist record rather than something they knew would sell or be perceived wrongly as a hit and thanks heavens for that because their debut EP, which includes simple drum machines, soaring guitars and some direct vocals is a discovery for all fans of good diy/bedroom indie pop. The duo have various experience throughout their personal and musical scene, writing lyrics which have a mass appeal but also as they describe a truth to them with an ambition to simply make music that they enjoy and that appeals to them, thankfully Freedom or Death is a project which I believe many will hold close to the hearts for years to come.

FTC Discovery 4: Bad Books

Bad Books

Bad Books is the side project is Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull but their debut record is in no way tied down by their musical influence or previous work. Bad Books' self titled debut is filled with fully formed alt-rock songs not a million miles away from their previous work either, but the confident exchange they achieve from each other brings the songs alive. The album is amongst the hyperbole organic and based around pop melodies and more importantly is excellent because it brings together two of the worlds biggest joys; music and best friends.

Darkstar- North (Hyperdub)

Darkstar- North (Hyperdub)

Darkstar were/are underground dubstep masters but like many of the now famous tags ("Dubstep" "Emo" "Drum n Bass") over popularized and thus meaning often the exact opposite, Darkstar had to rejuvinate their sound if anyone going to pay attention. Dubstep is currently a horrible term, popularized to the degree that there are a half a dozen over zealous compliations trying to flog this "hot new thing" to tweenies desperate to be a enjoy tinie tempah with a side of the cool. Further judging by the supergroup team of the completley over hyped and under sauced Magnetic Man, which in a way proved that the sub genre was progressively running out of ideas and basically restepping the sound to the mass mainstream. Darkstar added vocalist James Buttery to their double minded production duo, it's not easy to forget the dubstep tag because obviously much of the album hypothesis comes from the famous style, but at the same time Darkstar have moved away from their roots on "North"

"North" opens with "In The Wings" A Huge Explosion of Sonical bliss paths the way for a piano solo pulled straight from 90s house and a delicate injured vocal harmony, which then in turns fades away into "Gold," a song which contains the same vocal aesthetic (comparison point- As if you robbed the disco joy out of the recent metronomy album) and a beat structure that could be created by Jimmy DNTEL/Postal Service if his broken beats were more inspired by minimal techno then fluid drum and bass. "Deadness" is accompanied by a pulsing haunting guitar line before jumping into the upbeat and better known "Aidy's girl is a computer" which takes the dubstep beat and time travels back to its underground garage form.

Darkstar is forward thinking in a time when the genre needed it to be, it takes risks but is also very willing to stick to the enjoyable and not overdone elements of the genre but can also be considered as beyond genre and simply an enjoyable downbeat dance album, for fans of minimal techno, downbeat electro and the (sic) term of Dubstep. 8/10

FTC Discovery 2: Water Borders

Water Borders

Water Borders hail from San Francisco, CA and conceptually aren't a million miles away from magnificient Glasser, the hotly tipped Kisses (although less fun) or the painedcore collective from the likes of Xiu Xiu, Former Ghosts and Paranthetical Girls, while also creating something mysterious, noisy and intensely distinctive. Recently released in the UK through uber blog 20 Jazz Funk Greats. Their self titled EP demands your attention if your a fan of any of the above, or just a fan of disturbing nightmares and a slave to the sonically destructive.

Warpaint- The Fool

Warpaint- The Fool

Warpaint have taken a while with this their debut album proper, and while some may argue that the heat on the band has died down since the hype made them possibly the most namechecked and anticipated band of the end of 2009/2010, it takes you less than one song to appreciate the time we have all been waiting for this extraordinary album to come along. Without adding anything further "The Fool" is one of the effortlessly brilliant albums of 2010.

The gentle glide of "Set your arms down" opens with little more than a fractured guitar and simple drumbeats, before the graceful howl sets the song in motion, guitars growing in the background. It is painstakingly subtle whilst been lyrically blunt at the same time "They want to find me/They want to fight." While "Warpaint" opens with the pop stride of "How Soon is Now" before bewitchingly all with it's azure ray alike group vocal simplicity, and mathish guitar build, designed for repeated headphone enjoyable.

Nothing about "The Fool" is done without careful planning and plotting but everything glides beautifully as if the album was recorded in one take, its an uncomfortable beautiful listen with each song combining a shoegaze progression with the threat of maleviolent menace at any moment. The Fool references a few expected heroes within the songs, but underplays it so delicately that comparisons seem so incredibly lazy and useless that there is no time to speak of them here or anywhere else. "The Fool" takes a template and smashes it, piecing it back together with a downward soaring guitar, fade out drum machine samples and handclaps hidden under overlapping percussion. At times there is so much going on in the mix that it will take you several listens to fully appreciate the highs and lows it provides.

Because most importantly "The Fool" is an incredibly naked record, few tricks exist in the recording, and takes a lot of pride and it's subtle build in emotion. The vocals glide from near whispered to "you must listen" sensiblity. It's lyrically at times straight talking very difficult and accusing with "Undertow's" "Why you want to blame me for your troubles? You better learn your lesson yourself, nobody has to ever find out what's in my mind tonight." While "Baby" is strictly acoustic and once again reminisent of the work of Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink, pointing to the same lyrical strive and strengths of their work together and solo with the heartbreaking refrain "You live your life like a page from the book of my fantasies. Don't you call anyone else baby"

If there is one complaint, "The Fool" doesn't display much growth from the critically acclaimed Exquisite Corpse EP, but there really isn't any need, Warpaint emerged almost fully ready for this debut, and have now created an album which will be unlikely to leave your head for a hour from the moment your hear it until the day you die. "The Fool" is something beyond this universe and should be the final chapter in our recent obsession with stripped back female fronted chill wave, which its contemporaries Zola Jesus and even the talened Tamaryn could only dream of... 9.5/10

Monday, 18 October 2010

CMJ Discovery # 1 Your Youth

Your Youth

Your Youth are among Brooklyn's finest, reinventing indie pop with some massive power chords and some lo-fi pop punk hooks.
Their Debut EP Aloha (Available from itunes) is effortlessly catchy and lovable, with an infectious energy of their own. Your Youth fit within the cool lazy creep scene and recommended for anyone who is a fan of the surf pop scene the likes of Wavves, Cloud Nothings, Surfer Blood and Best Coast