Catch-up Time! Part 2 – June 2008

by MV

So, so, so.  Sunny, sunny June. A long, hazy, pleasant month with lots of good memories.  And lots of singles to catch up on.  Here’s the pick of them, including Single of the Week cuts from Mystery Jets (again), Frankmusik, The School, Weezer and Ladyhawke (again). Enjoy…

2nd June 2008

Single of the Week: Mystery Jets – Two Doors Down

Despite recent confirmation that they’re still a bit crap live, this is my second single of the week for Mystery Jets this year. While it lacks the subtle charms of ‘Young Love’, it’s clearly a fabtastic pop stomper that throws everything into the mix (including potentially lethal sax solos) and comes out with something that sounds pretty much like Summer 2008 in a box. Sorry Lykke…

Click below for all the rest!

Other good stuff…

Lykke Li – I’m Good I’m Gone [YouTube]
My album of the year so far is Lykke’s Youth Novels. This is another great track from it. Lacks the surprise factor of previous SOTW ‘Little Bit’, but otherwise flawless.

Sebastien Tellier – Divine [YouTube]
Didn’t win Eurovision; still awesome.

The Clik Clik – Did You Wrong [YouTube]
File next to the Ting Tings, Alphabeat, etc. Is this the sound of 2008? It’ll do.

Jeremy Warmsley – The Boat Song [YouTube]
Folkypoppygeekystrummything. I like.

Joan As Police Woman – To Be Loved [YouTube]
Slick, classy, but ulltimately a little bit too coffee-table.

Nightwish – The Islander [YouTube]
Why do I have a bit of a soft-spot for these preposterous Scandinavian rockers? Silly overblown prog this time, but difficult to hate.

REM – Hollow Man [YouTube]
Another decent enough track from their ‘return to form’ (tm everyone) album.

* * *

9th June 2008

Single of the Week: Frankmusik – In Step
The horribly named Frankmusik is Vincent Frank, a 21-year-old former beatboxer from Croydon. This is Discovery-era Daft Punk with slightly over-enthusiastic vocals. It’s lots of fun. And don’t we all want a flashing hula hoop?

More…

Sonny J – Handsfree (If You Hold My Hand) [YouTube]
More sampleadelic fun from the Liverpool man who brought us previous SOTW ‘Enfant Terrible.’ If anything, this is better, but it’s been released in a stronger week…

The Cure – Freakshow [YouTube]
Livelier than of late, and shower their many imitators how it’s done.

The Duke Spirit – My Sunken Treasure [YouTube]
Not as good as The Step and the Walk, but also very good.

Kid Carpet – I Dont Want To Fall In Love With You (7”) [YouTube]
A strange, skewed pop genius from a slightly different planet. Or Bristol. Brilliant, as ever.

Laura Marling – Cross Your Fingers / Crawled Out Of The Sea [YouTube]
More of the same, but none the worse for it.

We Are Scientists – Chick Lit [YouTube]
Radio-friendly, solid stuff.

* * *

16th June 2008

Single of the Week: The School – Let It Slip
Time to return to one of my guilty pleasures again… This is indie-pop loveliness in the Camera Obscura mould, from a Cardiff-based band featuring a former member of The Loves. OK, so maybe the intro rips off British Sea Power’s ‘Be Gone’, but that’s more than compensated for by the wonderful silky vocals and 60s-girl-pop breakdown.

And…

Infadels – Free Things For Poor People [YouTube]
Formerly chugalong electro-rock, Infadels seemed to have slapped a lick of Guilty Pleasures-style gloss all over their new material. It’s an improvement.

Jamie Lidell – Another Day [YouTube]
There’s something charming about Mr. Lidell that makes you forget he’s essentially making glossy facsimiles of classic soul, with little new added to the mix. But he’ll still never match ‘Multiply.’

Jay Reatard – Always Wanting More [YouTube]
Excitable, ADD-afflicted guitar-pop. Good stuff.

The Kills – Last Day of Magic [YouTube]
The first time a Kills record has explicitly reminded me of Jamie’s old band Scarfo. This is a good thing.

Presets – This Boy’s In Love [YouTube]
Depeche Mode-esque dark electro from Modular band. Pretty good.

White Williams – Violator (7”) [YouTube]
Hypnotic, repetitive guitar/bleeps thing from young Ohio guy on Domino.

* * *

23rd June 2008

Single of the Week: Weezer – Pork And Beans
Probably a slightly out of character choice here. But it’s single of the week because it makes me smile in a geeky sorta way. OK, so it’s hardly a genuine return to form. But it’s roughly a billion times better than anything on the thoroughly rubbish ‘Make Believe’ album. And they’re back to doing what they do (sort of second) best – making brilliant, memorable videos.

It’s a slow week…

MGMT – Electric Feel [YouTube]
Not as good as ‘Time To Pretend’, but sounds fantastic on the radio

Black Kids – Hurricane Jane [YouTube]
While this is competent enough, it does make one wonder if they peaked with their debut, and it’s all downhill from here… I could be wrong, though.

The Charlatans – The Misbegotten [YouTube – audio only]
More decent stuff from their New Order-indebted latest record.

Five O Clock Heroes feat Agyness Deyn – Who [YouTube]
WRONG on paper. On record, actually not bad.

Glasvegas – Geraldine [YouTube]
Sort-of-OK stuff from band that are clearly aiming to fill a stadium sometime before the end of the month. It’s a bit too much, too soon, for my liking.

Heloise & The Savoir Faire – Illusions (Hot Tonight!) [MySpace]
Seems like the sort of thing I should like. But somehow a bit too… forced?

* * *

30th June 2008

Single of the Week: Ladyhawke – Paris Is Burning
Second Single of the Week in a row (following the briliant ‘Back of the Van’) from the New Zealand popster with a bag full of classic influences coming together to make something very danceable but also rather beautiful. On live evidence, there’s a possibility that Ms. Hawke may well be a bit of a two-hit wonder. And while I’m hoping I’m wrong there, it doesn’t take anything away from the shiny brilliance of ‘Paris is Burning.’

Other singles available…

Goldfrapp – Caravan Girl [YouTube]
Summery pop loveliness and third excellent single in a row from Alison & co.

Estelle – No Substitute Love [YouTube]
No ‘American Boy’, but still moderately enjoyable.

Freemasons – When You Touch Me [YouTube]
Actually quite fun OTT dance-pop.

The Long Blondes – Guilt [YouTube]
The relative rubbishness of the second Long Blondes album still makes me a bit sad. This average track, which doesn’t really go anywhere, is probably one of the best things on it. Which really isn’t saying much. They are better than this…

Paul Heaton – Mermaids & Slaves [YouTube]
Breezier, and more Housemartins-esque, than any recent Beautiful South outings. Quite cheering, in a resolutely uncool sort of way.

Rosie Oddie and the Odd Squad – Cola Coka [YouTube]
Certainly a bit odd. The slow intro gives way to an all-over-the-place knees-up. Can’t really make up my mind here: great or awful? One of them.

Tricky – Council Estate [YouTube]
Sound little like anything he’s done before, but it’s pretty catchy and he handles the solo-vocals pretty well.

Wild Beasts – The Devil’s Crayon [YouTube]
New Kendal indie-rockers. Intriguing stuff.
Phew, nearly there…!

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