Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Oh My Days (Summer Days, that is)

Some Gypsies in a tree...
and Little Dragon.

Well now, a first ever blog post, this is exciting. However, thinking about it, I best keep it MOR, don't want to do too much now, might overstimulate myself. Rome wasn't built in a day etc...

Hence, A BEST OF SUMMER. nb. due to technical ineptitude, climate change and possibly dinner time, this is only a paltry 5 songs long. I believe the technical (twice in one 'nb', rusty) term is 'whetting the appetite.' Go, get wet.

Phoenix - Love Like A Sunset

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix; not wholly fantastic, although not wholly shyte neither. More consistent than the jittery - but oft strikingly beautiful - flicker disco of previous albums (see; 'If I Ever Feel Better'), it is at times however a little too frustratingly refined. Too sleek, too crisp, too 'The Bravery' (ouch). Love Like A Sunset, however, stands apart. Clocking in at a soaring 7 minutes 39 seconds, it goes some way to absolving the Parisian's accompanying major label production sheen. Think Four Tet circa 'Everything Ecstatic' spliced with Weezer's Only in Dreams. Totally fucking plastic.

jj - From Africa to Malaga

Another Sincerely Yours success. Takes the Balearic piano house of labelmates Air France and gives it a tropical squeeze, High Places meets St. Etienne. Swedes, it appears, do summer very well. Just why that is, I've no Ikea. This song is most probably about sub-Saharan immigration (sympathetic towards, not BNP) so further kudos due, also I think I detect a pan-pipe (or four) somewhere. Godspeed You! jj.

My Morning Jacket - El Caporal

Identifiably Sun tinged; a breezy, horn dosed, waltzing Mexican lilt. Included because sometimes the simplest things are truly the most satisfying (I'm looking at you Animal Collective, just make it easier for us, y'know, sometimes I really just can't be arsed). Dark Was the Night is special, jam packed with gems, I could have picked any number. The National's 'So Far Around The Bend' exhibits a graceful shuffle alongside the typically ridiculous (but oh so loveable) lyrics, Sharon Jones and the Dap King's 'Information Inspiration' injects a hardy dose of much needed soul (white boy indie overload) and Yeasayer even loosen their shoulders to produce their most accessible work yet. El Caporal brings together all these elements, a playful, but accomplished Latin shuffle.

The XX - VCR

God this album's good. Approximately 85% better than I anticipated, once the NME started humping them I almost kicked the metaphorical can, that however, would have been foolish. Underwhelming live, but arresting in the twilight, suited to a parallel universe of night buses, elongated shadows and overflowing ashtrays. A modern day musical Film Noir, if you will (you really don't have to). Fluffier, bass driven, sentimental trip-hop. What presumably would have happened if Tricky dug out his emotions. Hmmmm, I think I'm done with the pretentious analogies, for now. Listen...

Little Dragon - A New

Picking up where previous album opener 'Twice' left off, 'A New' slowly grows into a strutting, soulful shard of beauty. Swedish-Japanese vocalist Yukimi Nagano demonstrated her versatile vocals on eponymous first album, however, aside from Twice she was often left exposed by often soulless electronic 'soul'. 'A New' sets the standard for a much richer record in 'Machine Dreams', synth driven neo-soul with the arresting weapon of Nagano's gossamer lead. Good, very good.

Notable nominees

Dirty Projectors - Stillness is the Move
Kleerup - Longing for Lullabies (Joakim remix)
Kings of Convenience - Mrs. Cold
Erlend Oye - Sudden Rush (Twelves Remix)
Jack Penate - Be The One (only joking, he's really really really shit)