The 13 best songs I’ve heard in the last two weeks. A fantastic Kinks cover; the return of Daft Punk and The National; the even longer awaited return of The Pastels and The House of Love, plus excellent examples of indie rock, electronic pop, indie pop, post-punk, and psych pop. from the US, Sweden, Australia, France, Canada, New Zealand and Scotland.
Woods ‘God’s Children’
The Kinks’ original was the opener to their 1971 soundtrack to the film Percy. Here the Brooklyn folk rock band play it more like The Byrds’ version of ‘Bells of Rhymney’. Wonderful.
Daft Punk ‘Get Lucky’
Built around Nile Rodgers’ funky guitar line and topped off by Pharrell Williams smoothest vocal since ‘Provider’. So good it should help you forget the last 8 disappointing years of Daft Punk.
[Daft Punk] [Nile Rodgers] [Pharrell Williams]
The National ‘Don’t Swallow The Cap’
Two tracks of The National’s forthcoming sixth album Trouble Will Find Me have been released in the last couple of weeks, the introspective ‘Demons’ and this more upbeat number.
Tempers ‘Strange Harvest’
Coldwave from New York band.
The House of Love ‘A Baby Got Back On Its Feet’
Speaking of 8 years, that’s how long it’s been since The House of Love’s solid but unspectacular comeback album, Days Run Away. Now, the last great guitar band of the 80s release a new album She Paints Words In Red. This opening track is superb, some classic jangle and chug, a great vocal melody from Guy Chadwick and Terry Bickers guitar solo half way through. Brilliant.
[The House of Love]
Speedy Ortiz ‘Ka-Prow!’
Female-fronted 90s-style indie rock from Northampton, MA.
Tove Lo ‘Habits’
“I eat my dinner in my bathtub then I go to sex clubs watching freaky people geting it on” – how’s that for an opening line? Swedish electro pop with great melody and killer chorus, “You’re gone and I gotta stay high all the time to keep you off my mind / spend my days locked in a haze trying to forget you babe”.
The Men ‘B Minor’
Recorded at the same time as latest album New Moon but not included, this is released as part of the Sacred Bones label’s Record Store Day compilation Todo Muere Vol. 3.
The Pastels ‘Check My Heart’
First new material in a while from the Scottish indiepop legends. Up there with their Illuminati-era stuff.
Songs ‘Boy / Girl’
Sydney band led by ex-pat Kiwi. Taken from their second album, again, you can hear the lineage of those 80s Flying Nun bands and a hint of Krautrock too.
The Mantles ‘Brown Balloon’
Lo-fi indie pop from San Francisco which channels 60s garage sounds in the same way those Flying Nun bands did back in the 80s. From their forthcoming Long Enough To Leave album on Slumberland.
Lightning Dust ‘Diamond’
80s influenced electronic soft pop from the side project of Black Mountain’s Amber Webber and Joshua Wells. Whereas on 2009’s Infinite Light, Wells’ vocals had a trembling country twang to them, here they seem smoother. Their most polished outing yet.