You may (or may not) have noticed that I have been playing the absentee for a while now. More pressing commitments caught up with me, but – alas! – university is pretty much done and dusted! With approximately a month’s wait until results and potential retaking of assignments (hopefully not), I’ll take this opportunity to block that date from my brain and attempt to be productive elsewhere.
Little Dragon >> Distracting those squishy, marshmallow cells is the wondrously lush new album from Swedish band Little Dragon, one which is an easy contender for Most-Kooky-Album-Title 2014 with their fourth LP Nabuma Rubberband. ‘Paris’ itself is a juxtaposition of melancholia and euphoria, weaving itself into a ball of pop reminiscence that goads the listener into making it bounce again by practically punching REPEAT.
Future Islands >> You’d be forgiven for first crossing paths with Future Islands via the social media hubbub that sprouted following their appearance on David Letterman back in March. It was memorable to say the least, and not for the same rolling-on-the-floor-is-so-kewl reasons that The Orwells demonstrated two months prior. This was impassioned Dad dancing to a quality, ’80’s inspired soundtrack at its finest, and if my Dad decided he wanted to death-metal growl at the end of an emotional song (3:08, if you please), I would totally buy him a beer afterwards. My own preference aside, I’m sure many of you would disown him, so for the percentage whose ears and eyes are a bit sensitive, here’s the smoothed over recorded version. Either way, it’s fantastic.
The Wytches >> I’ve written about The Wytches on here before, with their recent single ‘Gravedweller’ easily being one of my favourite songs of 2014. In hindsight, ‘Gravedweller’ is by far the most poppy bit of music the trio have so far created, with newest song ‘Wire Frame Mattress’ regressing to their previous doom-tinged clatter. This is suddenly mixed up mid-way through, however, with a tide of groovy surf-rock washing aside the dirge. Another fine effort.
Honeyblood >> Honeyblood have that carefree sort of sound that the mind associates with being legal to drive on cider fuelled summer road-trips (naughty) in those years of brief, blissful purgatory between high school and real life. I just reminded you that you’re most likely ‘old’, sorry. It manages to be accusatory in the sweetest possible way, a bit like an uppercut that the Glaswegian duo considerately kiss better so you recant and buy their debut album when it’s released 14th June.
Nero >> It’s been a while since we’d last heard of Nero, specifically late 2012 when they ran out of singles to pluck from their 2011 debut Welcome Reality (an impressive or ill-judged eight, depending on your viewpoint). As an unabashed delegate of all kinds of electronica, it is with a heated satisfaction that I state that Nero have come back strong with ‘Satisfy’, smiting much of the crass synths from their previous album and returning with a heavy-duty, gleaming anthem of a track. It is difficult to progress with electronica, but if this is an omen of things to come, Nero’s second album should sate their thirsty deciples.
Lana Del Rey >> So the second album of one Del Rey is slated for a mid-June release, and you’ll have to forgive this writer’s recent tardiness for the untimely inclusion of the soon-to-be-released single ‘West Coast’ in this piece. Whilst the song and corresponding aesthetics are not a million miles from any of her previous output (sauntering and sultry black and white Americana), there is something in the rhythm of the lyrics and the alluring guitar that pushes the track marginally above Born To Die. It feels more mature and considered, and whilst Del Rey’s persona is as dominant visually as ever, it succeeds in raising the bar.
Now, don’t be shy; what have you been listening to lately?