Track of the week:
‘Fever’ by Jef K and Chris Carrier
Now, I don’t know much about these two men (presumably, they could be very well be women for all I know), but this really gets me in high spirits. The bass is really slick and very dance inducing, and the whole track really has me up on my feet. Lovely disco-ish sound, and I do think there is a cowbell in there, which I’m always in favour of. After two minutes they put in some new sounds to go with that bass which changes the whole complexity of the song, and that just goes on with the addition of vocals as well. First distant, what seems like backing vocals repeating a line, but then actual vocals come in, and they are very disco-y, very in tune with the feeling of the track. The rest of the song stays interesting due to the adding and subtracting of the elements introduced in the first half, and that is why it stays very catchy and very lovely and does not get boring. Fab is the right word, I believe.
(sorry for this link, apparently this song isn’t streaming anywhere anymore but this at least gives you a 2+ minute preview, so it should give you a nice idea of what it is).
‘Rocket’ by Goldfrapp
For all the revival talk and “oh-this-does-sound-a-bit-like-the-Eighties-doesn’t-it” tagging, this really sounds like the Eighties. Or at least, it sounds like what in 2010 you would think the Eighties would’ve sounded like, with cheesy synths and cheesy lyrics. “I’ve got a rocket / you’re going on it” is not great lyricism in my book, thank goodness it isn’t sung by a man, that would really put it in the “lollipop” 50 Cents category. If you are having an Eighties theme party you can smuggle this one in the playlist with ease. You have to hand it to Goldfrapp that they’re always trying to do something different, from glam rock to the last album to this. Sometimes you do something which you could’ve left out, and this is one of them in my opinion.
‘Stylo’ by Gorillaz
Oh this could easily be the track of the week if it weren’t for the fact that everyone has heard this new Gorillaz track already and has heard about the band already anyway, so that bit of promotion might as well go to a lesser known act, no? But it is very good this is. Gotta love Bobby Womack belting it out, but also the main vocals are very hypnotizing, very fitting of the track. This track is just put together really well, very nice to listen to. Also the instrumentals are done nicely, not boxing up against the vocals as I’ve seen in recent weeks with guest appearances, but it really fits each other and is pieced together very smartly. Though that synthy bit or whatever it is does remind me of MGMT’s ‘Kids’ every time it comes up. Not much else to say really except that I’m now really looking forward to the album, because this surely is golden.
‘Boy From School’ by Grizzly Bear (Hot Chip cover)
I actually semi-like the original, which is saying something as I’m not really a Hot Chip fanboy myself. And I do kind of like Grizzly Bear, though the album wasn’t really near my top list of last year, but live I found them quite lovely sounding when I saw them. This, however, is kind of boring. It exactly sounds like if Hot Chip would’ve made a ballad out of this song, but with slightly better vocals. I do think that Grizzly Bear themselves are just having a bit of fun with this one and do not think they have created a masterpiece, and there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of fun and trying some things out. To me, it is just a slow moving version of a Hot Chip song which is kind of nice precisely because it is not slow moving. So you can see the problem there I guess.
‘Please Don’t’ by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim (feat. Santigold)
When seeing the information of this track I did expect a lot of Fatboy Slim, a bunch of David Byrne, and occasional vocals by Santigold. I guess the first two created the music, because Santigold is the only one I’m hearing. Unless one of the two is softly singing along with her, sometimes it seems like someone is doing that, unless I’m just getting paranoid. At least Byrne gets an “oh no” and a yelp in there. I love Byrne’s vocals, so I’m always pleased when hearing him. Not that the Santigold vocals are anything to sneeze at, they are lovely. And so is the entire track. I do feel a Byrne vibe in the music making, it is something I see him penning. It is semi catchy and you can dance to it a bit, and that while Santigold is naming all kinds of former presidents and high placed people. It is sort of an indictment on how such people do not listen to the “common people” I suppose. “Please don’t let them look down on us / like they used to do on me”, so I guess that’s the gist of this really nice track which wants to say something but is easy on the ear and very catchy at the same time (and obviously, it is not like it is a Wallace Shawn play here, the message is there, but slight).
‘Evelyn McHale’ by Parenthetical Girls
I am not the greatest fan of folk rock, so surprise surprise, this one is not my cup of tea really. I’m not really digging the voice, it comes across to me as kind of whiney, it drags a bit doesn’t it? To me this would probably be what Fanfarlo would sound like if they were down to three men and the frontman would lack the charisma (not saying this frontman lacks charisma, I have no idea what he looks like, but vocal wise it doesn’t bode well). The folky instrumentals are decent, but nothing special, and there isn’t really anything which sets it apart from the horde of similar soundings songs.