New Year, New Format, BBC Sound of 2009, Passion Pit, and the like

by MV


A new year, a new format. A new bandwagon to jump on. While my (ahem) comprehensive single review style was a fun experiment for a year (and I even saw it through!), it’s time to move on. I was too tied to outdated physical single release schedules, and ended up reviewing songs after they’d been at number one for 3 weeks already. Useless. As such, I’m now just going to fire out 5-10 singles each week that I like and are around or upcoming in the next couple of months. Or that I’ve just taken a fancy to. They still have to be proper singles, but the timing of them is less important. Anyway, on with business…

Track of the Week: Passion Pit – Sleepyhead (from Chunk Of Change EP)
Here seems like a good place to pass comment on the list of Kings And Mostly Queens of All 2009 that the BBC put out last week. Comment: It’s mostly a good list. The right gal won (well done Victoria) and thankfully White Lies did not (although evidently they will be successful as they are Jo Whiley’s kinda thang, yes?). And let’s draw a line under that, while listening to La Roux and smiling.

Here are a band that made the longlist but not the shortlist of that BBC Thing. They’re rather good. You may have heard this one on an advert for a computer game type widget. It’s got pretty bleeps and kind of scary wailing. It’s got a man with a beard (in a friendly Wayne Coyne kind of way). They’re American and they’ve got a psychadelic thing going on, a bit like MGMT but a tiny bit less stadium and more intimate. And the rest of the EP contains even better things. Like, um, Better Things.

Out: some time in February

Click below for other things of the week from Empire of the Sun, Tilly & the Wall, The Rakes, I Monster (remember them?) and that Lady GaGa character…

Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream
EotS (as I decree they must be called) are OFFICIALLY the Fourth Most Likely To Do Something Or Other band this year! The Beeb told it to me. Serious. Anyway, this is Mad Luke Steele off of the Sleepy Jackson (MINISKIRT!) and his mad mate (who belongs to something called “Pnau” on his day job). Mad Luke Steele is a genius and always did sound like he was a spaceman type genius from the future and now he has the bleeps and bobbins to prove it so. We bow down to our new leaders (or whatever fourth in commands are called).
Out: 9th Feb

I Monster – A Sucker For Your Sound
You may remember these Sheffield types from, ooh, ages ago, when they were (one of) the first to use that ‘Daydream’ saple that has since been beaten to death many times with many musical bludgeons. Anyway, here they are again with a cute and/or creepy video featuring cute and/or creepy speakers with lips and a nice, polite slice of electro with cute and/or creepy vocals. Oh yes.
Out: 19th Jan

Tilly & The Wall – Pot Kettle Black
So the last one was Tilly do Almost-Pop; this one is Tilly do Almost-Rock, with a mighty riff and a chantalong nonsense chorus that fell off the back of the early 90s. Never fear though, there’s still that familiar edge of twee and a bit of tapdancing for all the lovers out there. All is well. Breathe.
Out: 23rd Feb

The Rakes – 1989
The Rakes are a London band that grew out of the post-post-Libertines Thing thing. Still reading? Thought not. Anyway, they make nice songs about being a banker (not so fashionable these days) and spilling soy sauce on your shirt. At least that’s what I remember. This one, like some of their old songs, is kind of scratchy and sounds mildly peeved at something or other. I don’t think it’s a spectacular return to form (um?) but they’re sort of nice and cuddly and you know. They alright, right.
Out: TBC

Lady Gaga – Just Dance
Currently stomping all over the charts, here’s the first big new hitter of the year. An opinion divider, oh yes. There’s been a lot of hype and at the same time a lot of hate for Ms Gaga. I’m not loving this, but I’m not hating either. I think it’s solid, pretty decent sounding pop music. If you’re going for the 2009 femme electro sound I’ll stick with the quirkiness of Little Boots and La Roux rather than this relatively conventional affair, but it’s an enjoyable listen regardless.
Out: Now