Archive for April, 2009

April 28, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 36

Better late than never, here are my ten favourite tracks from this week:

The Broken Family Band’s vocals have tinges of Bowie in the way they pronounce “We could drink booze or Tea” and have the good humour to rhyme it with “Eat cake on your Settee”.  It’s the combination of this great way with a rhyme and the invitingly chilled Rock sound that makes ‘Mimi’ such a great record.

All three songs on DJ Vadim’s new ‘Hidden Treasure’ EP are essential and stylistically varied.  But I had to pick one, so I went for the lightning-fast Rap and soothing beats of ‘Soldier’ featuring Big Red and 5Nizza.

Those endearing Rock-‘n’-Roll-throwback-Aussies Jet have got a new album called ‘Shaka Rock’ on the way later in the year.  The hard rockin’ sonic-assault of ‘K.I.A. (Killed In Action)’ makes for a tantalising taste with it’s marching Drums and waves of squealing feedback.  Unlike Oasis before them, they are three albums in and can still remember why we liked them in the first place.

‘Nothing Rings True’ is a mournful cut from King Creosote’s predictably excellent new album.  The ghostly samples swirling round the central acoustic performance create a gorgeous dream like atmosphere.

It’s the Harpsichord that I love on Rohan Lee’s ‘No Easy Way Out’.  It makes a dainty counterpoint to the hazy Dub sounds.

If you follow his blog you’d have noticed that I’m a big fan of producer Smoove (aka Smov).  I’ve been meaning to put Smoove & Turrell’s ‘I Can’t Give You Up’ in a TEN4SE7EN for ages now… I can’t explain why, because it’s a flavoursome Soul cut that any sane person would have been shouting about from the first second they heard it.

Again I’ve liked The Sweet Vandals’ ‘Too Much’ for a long while and it’s only this week I’ve decided that I truly love it.  If you dig The Bellrays raucous take on Soul (And who doesn’t?) then you’ll adore it.

The Tallest Man On Earth’s wonderfully intimate ‘Shallow Grave’ album is pure Lo-Fi-Acoustic magic from start to finish.  I could’ve picked any track to recommend but I went for the Country tinged sorrow of ‘Pistol Dreams’.

With the bouncy rhythm provided by a nice chunky Bassline ‘Angel Of Death’ could be a huge Indie/Pop single.   Slow Down Tallahassee have all the charm of late-Eighties Lo-Fi Popsters The Vaselines.

Alasdair Roberts’ ‘You Muses Assist’ features the delightful couplet of “You muses, you muses assist, all down-trodden spirits uplift”.  This is beautiful Scottish Folk adorned with ‘Bryter Layter’ style production flourishes.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP CONTAINING ALL TEN MP3s

Alasdair Roberts MySpace / Purchase
DJ Vadim MySpace / Purchase
Jet MySpace / Purchase
King Creosote MySpace / Purchase
Rohan Lee MySpace / Purchase
Slow Down Tallahassee MySpace / Purchase
Smoove & Turrell MySpace / Purchase
The Broken Family Band MySpace / Purchase
The Sweet Vandals MySpace / Purchase
The Tallest Man On Earth MySpace / Purchase

Here’s a fan-video for Smoove & Turrell’s ‘I Can’t Give You Up’ featuring Brains from Thunderbirds pulling some serious Northern-Soul shapes:

April 20, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 35

I’ve been feeling dreadful for most of the weekend but luckily I’ve had plenty of awesome music to cheer me up.  Here are the ten best things I’ve been listening to:

Ben Kweller’s latest album ‘Changing Horses’ is a gorgeously warm Country affair.  ‘Gypsy Rose’ is like a brilliant outtake from ‘The White Album’ recorded in Nashville (Cos Abbey Road was all booked up!).

If you like Lambchop or Magnolia Electric Co. it’s a cert that you’re gonna fall head-over-heals in love with Bill Callahan’s ‘Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle’ LP.  ‘Jim Cain’ has a vocal so deep and rich that Bill Gates’ pocket’s ain’t got nothing on it!

Searing Lo-Fi Bluesman Billy Childish’s band The Chatham Singers make searing Lo-Fi Blues (No surprise there).  The title track from their latest album ‘Juju Claudius’ wails like a Hurricane ripping through the Mississippi Delta.

Provocatively named Fagget Fairys are (To quote their profile) “An explosive cocktail of Islam, lesbianism, true love, and relentless beats!” and really I couldn’t say it any better.  The chorus of incredible pounding Electro cut ‘Feed The Horse (Extended Dub)’ sounds hilariously like “Feed the whores, yum yum” (Which I suspect is no accident).

You might be forgiven for being unaware that Mike Skinner ever released last year’s super low-key ‘Everything Is Borrowed’ LP.  But anyway, The Streets are back with three new harder edged productions delivered free (With more on the way).  My pick has to be the modern-life-destructing ‘Trust Me’ which brilliantly employs a sample of Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘Dies Irae’.

The latest in a series of covers by Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring is The Pogues’ ‘Lullaby Of London’.  They turn Shane MacGowan’s sozzled barroom lament into a delicate Indie gem.

Apart from the sensational music, I was always gonna love Brooklyn MC Theophilus London’s new mixtape because of it’s brilliantly executed Elvis Costello tribute artwork.  The whole thing is utter genius but I picked the all to brief ‘Hum Drum Town’ as the best cut.  The rest of the Mix takes in samples of Kraftwerk, Amadou & Miriam, Whitney Houston and Bill Withers and it ends with a celebratory rendition of The Edwin Hawkins Singers’ Gospel classic ‘Oh Happy Day’.

It’s not the first time I’ve featured Thunderheist on TEN4SE7EN, but their brand new album is so magnificent I thought they were worth mentioning again.  ‘Sweet 16’ is Electronic Hip-Hop that’s so sleazy it should come endorsed by Gorden Brown’s cabinet.

The Weight’s new album is full of straight up Rockin’ tunes and should delight fans of The Hold Steady.  ‘Had It Made’ has all the reckless Pop abandon of a lost Chuck Berry single.

Yo Majesty have the spirit of Late Eighties Lady Hip-Hoppers like Queen Latifah or Salt-n-Pepa.  ‘Don’t Let Go’ is a highlight from their superb ‘Futuristically Speaking… Never Be Afraid’ LP.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP CONTAINING ALL TEN MP3s

Ben Kweller MySpace / Purchase
Bill Callahan MySpace / Purchase
Fagget Fairys MySpace / Purchase
The Chatham Singers MySpace / Purchase
The Streets MySpace / Purchase
The Weight MySpace / Purchase
Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring MySpace / Download
Theophilus London MySpace / Purchase
Thunderheist MySpace / Purchase
Yo Majesty MySpace / Purchase

Here is the eye popping video for Yo Majesty’s ‘Don’t Let Go’:

April 13, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 34

This week, as far as printed material goes, I can highly recommend two titles I’m currently reading; Frank Miller’s ‘Batman: Year One’ (It’s got a great deal more subtlety than I’d expected) and Über-Genius Alan Moore’s ‘Tom Strong’.  As far as recorded material goes, I heartily recommend the following ten tunes:

Akron/Family’s ‘River’ is like a gorgeous response to the Neo-Prog of Manchester’s Elbow from the other side of the Atlantic.  The plethora of odd instrumentation, military Drums, distinctive lyrics and it’s Jazzy air make for something refreshingly new.

Mark Everett has been firing out books, documentaries, live albums and compilations since his last magnificent opus ‘Blinking Lights & Other Revelations’.  But ‘Fresh Blood’ (From his new LP ‘Hombre Lobo : 12 Songs Of Desire’) is his first new material under his celebrated Eels moniker in four years.  It’s unmistakably Eels yet also unlike anything he’s done yet, combining head crushing Drums and sinister Bass Guitar.

The excitingly named Ezra Bang & Hot Machine!!! bring a bit of schizophrenic Rap called ‘We On Top Of This’.  They chuck a load of Public Enemy and Simian samples in a blender while Ezra spits political fury.

Nashville MC Future’s new ‘The Sci Fly EP’ is great from start to finish.  But I had to pick one track, so I plumed for the catchy and witty rhymes of ‘Cleaning Out My Hard Drive’.  It’s an ode to the little ways that all these modern life-enhancing devices and websites actually make all our lives impossibly complicated.

Kasabian kindly made new track ‘Vlad The Impaler’ available for free as a taster of their bizarrely titled new album ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’.  It’s got all the elements you’d expect; crunching Electronics and pounding Drums, delivered with all the aggression of the Gallagher brothers declaring war on Transylvania.

The news that Manic Street Preachers’ forthcoming album would be entirely based on left-over lyrics by Richie had me (And probably the rest of the world) apoplectic with excitement.  So it’s a massive relief that the first track I’m hearing ‘Jackie Collins Existential Question Time’ is an exhilarating slice of them at their vitriolic best.

Neil Young’s latest superb album ‘Fork In The Road’ has an overarching automotive theme.  The title track is a swampy highlight, spitting fiery Blues at the Politicians and the Bankers.  I’m duty bound to love the line “Keep on bloging ’til the power goes out, the batteries dead… twist and shout!”.

Portal’s ‘Options’ brings to mind New Order at their melancholy best.  The lyrics are full of superb ear-pricking lines like “All I want is a place to dream, a velvet rope round my self-esteem”.

‘Black Star’ is the best cut from Tokyo Black Star’s new ‘Black Ships’ album (That’s allot o’ black!).  The addition of Rich Medina’s vocals make for a song not unlike Barry White getting all spiritual over a hypnotic House track.

Tom Middleton’s ‘Return To Atlantis’ is a big, bold, cinematic Instrumental.  The sound-effects, tranquil Strings and humming Bass are truly intoxicating.  I’d love to hear somebody like Ty lay some rhymes over the top.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP CONTAINING ALL TEN MP3s

Akron/Family MySpace / Purchase
Eels MySpace / Purchase
Ezra Bang & Hot Machine!!! MySpace / Purchase
Future MySpace / Download
Kasabian MySpace / Purchase
Manic Street Preachers MySpace / Purchase
Neil Young MySpace / Purchase
Portal MySpace / Purchase
Tokyo Black Star MySpace / Purchase
Tom Middleton MySpace / Purchase

Here is Kasabian’s video for ‘Vlad The Impaler’.  Watch as Noel Fielding goes all Vincent-Price and terrorises a bunch of horror-movie dames with his massive rod!:

April 5, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 33

I’m spending this weekend building a new faster Computer with hard-drives big enough to store all my music (Well probably anyway!).  While not doing that, I’ve found the time to bring you another ten essential tracks:

First off, Bitter:Sweet deliver a slinky Electronic Soul cut called ‘Waking Up’.  It’s got hints of Moloko and Portishead all wrapped up in velvet and gorgeous strings.

‘Beyond Here Lies Nothin” is the first track I’ve heard off Bob Dylan’s latest album (He gave it away gratis from his website!).  If it’s anything to go by, the new LP is going to be another fantastic entry in his recent chain of great records going back to 1997’s ‘Time Out Of Mind’.

‘Moonage Daydream (Leo Zero Electric Eye Dub)’ is from Leo Zero’s new ‘Dub Psychedelic Series’ and it is of course a reworking of David Bowie’s 1971 single.  As it says on the tin, Leo Zero takes the Glam original into fabulous cosmic Psychedelic and hazy Dub territories.

Check out Found’s new EP ‘The Fidelities’ to delight in six tracks, with six different sounds, from Electro to Punk-Funk and Folk to country.  My pick is the smooth Eighties-Electro-Funk of ‘Now We’ll Never Make The Playlist’ which sounds not unlike StopMe favourite Malcolm Middleton.

Golden Silvers’ ‘True Romance (True No. 9 Blues)’ is Beat-Psychedelia seen through the prism of Eighties-Funk.  The twisty half-rapped vocals add that extra dimension to this great track.

Although I’m well aware of them, Gomez are a band who’ve I’ve never actually listened to.  Based on the sexy Double-Bass and catchy rhythms of new track ‘If I Ask You Nicely’ this is an oversight I should probably correct in the near future.

‘A Sucker For Your Sound’ has a wonderfully disconcerting merry-go-round vibe.  I Monster mix in all the weird sounds you’d expect to create some more of their awesome brand of bizarro Pop.

I imagine Peter Bjorn & John will never be able to top ‘Young Folks’ but then again (To paraphrase Joseph Heller) neither will anyone else.  That aside, ‘Just The Past’ is a mournful, yet richly romantic track from their brand new LP ‘Living Thing’.

You can probably guess from the title that ‘Hip Rave Anthem’ is a gloriously retro Dance cut.  Rico Tubbs mixes in all those tried and tested Rave staples for a track that can’t fail to brighten your day.

‘Gravity’ is just one of the many reasons to buy The Whitest Boy Alive’s second album.  As always, Erlend Øye’s dreamy vocals are naturally superb and the music envelopes your ears with rich Bass and beautiful Guitars.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP CONTAINING ALL TEN MP3s

Bitter:Sweet MySpace / Purchase
Bob Dylan MySpace / Purchase
Leo Zero MySpace / Purchase
Found MySpace / Purchase
Golden Silvers MySpace / Purchase
Gomez MySpace / Purchase
I Monster MySpace / Purchase
Peter Bjorn & John MySpace / Purchase
Rico Tubbs MySpace / Purchase
The Whitest Boy Alive MySpace / Purchase

Here is the video for Golden Silvers’ ‘True Romance (True No. 9 Blues)’.  It’s like a love letter to cheesy (But brilliant) music-TV of the last few decades: