Twelve shining gems from the last two weeks of new music. Along with the return of The Walkmen and Beach House you’ll find: a track that sounds like Teenage Fanclub if Gerard Love came from San Francisco; a cover of 80s Glaswegian post-punk types The Wake; a slacker guitar solo that wouldn’t sound out of place on Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere; a Pet Shop Boys cover; the most jubilant electronica instrumental of the year.
The Walkmen ‘Heaven’
Ten years, six albums and a handful of labels in, The Walkmen are on a roll with their last two albums,You & Me (2008) and Lisbon (2010) being easily their best. This is the title track of the next one due out in June. It features the usual circular motifs of drunken trebly jangling guitars and Hamilton Leithauser’s imploring vocals.
Beach House ‘Lazuli’
Mesmeric dream pop from Baltimore. This is one of the stand out tracks from their forthcoming album Bloom.
Beachwood Sparks ‘Forget The Song’
It’s been 10 years since the last Beachwood Sparks album. If you like classic rock, Cosmic American music and and Teenage Fanclub, you’ll probably agree that this was worth the wait.
Felix ‘Oh Thee 73’
Can’t quite put my finger on who these UK guys remind me of, although for some reason I’m getting Shannon Wright meets Edie Brickell.
MV & EE ‘Too Far To See’
Matt Valentine and Erika Elder are incredibly prolific and deal in combining eastern and western instruments, often with a psychedelic, folk and raga flavour. This is from the aptly titled ‘Space Homestead’ album due out next month. About a third of the way in it becomes a vehicle for a lazy guitar solo that could comfortable sit bewteen Neil Young’s ‘Down By the River’ and ‘Cowgirl In the Sand’.
[MV & EE]
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat ‘When I’m in A Car’
73 seconds of conceptual punk from Baltimore featuring No Age’s Randy Randall on guitar. Intense.
[Ed Shrader’s Music Beat]
Field Music ‘Rent’
Half of Pets Shop Boys is of course North Shields’ favourite son Neil Tenant. Here they get covered by fellow North East boys Field Music (from Sunderland). Recorded specially for a Record Store Day 7” (with a cover of the PSB’s Heart on the flip).
Blouse ‘Pale Spectre’
Portland based band take on this track originally by Glasgow post-punks The Wake. Their ethereal electropop reminds me of Clan of Xymox meets mid-80s indiepop.
London based band recently signed to Candian indie Arts & Crafts, where their charming homage to 80s pop will no doubt be at home.
Doseone ‘Last Life’
Doseone (aka Adam Drucker of cLOUDEAD / 13 & God and co-founder of Anticon) was talking about a supergroup with Tunde Adebimpe of TV On The Radio and Mike Patton as far back as 2008. I don’t think the results have seen the light of day, but for sure that’s Adbimpe providing some of the backing vocals here? While the main vocals deserve credit for channelling a bit of Mark Linkous.
Solar Bears‘Cosmic Runner’
Wonderful retro electronica from this Irish duo.
Unicorn Kid ‘Pure Space’
20 year old Glaswegian makes uplifting and joyous electro-house anthem.