I’m a self-confessed Hot Chip fanboy. So there. I said it. And I can’t wait to hear their new album and see them play live in June. This is Flutes, the new single from their upcoming album, In Our Heads, which sounds like vintage Hot Chip from the few listens I’ve had.
I know they’re not everyone’s cuppa, and the wilful geekness can get up some people’s noses, but for me they make really lovely, sometimes wistful, often dancey, always interesting electronic pop. I’ve seen them 6 times now, and I can’t wait to do it again in London and at Sonar. One Life Stand is still a thing of synthy beauty.
Listen, digest, comment.
And if you don’t like that one, then delight in this one.
Right. First things first. I love Grizzly Bear. I mean, *love*. I cannot fully express my admiration for the Veckatamist album. I think Daniel Rossen has a voice and a singular and peculiar ear for melody that make him stand out a mile from his contemporaries.
So I’ve been waiting for a new album. And waiting. And waiting. Apparently this year. Or maybe not.
And then suddenly I hear a song on the radio yesterday and I was like – that HAS to be Grizzly Bear. Well, it is. And it isn’t. It’s Daniel Rossen on his own, who’s just released a solo EP. And wow, what a piece of work it is.
Here’s the single:
And here’s him doing an astonishing live performance of one of the other tracks.
Tell me you love this. I think I’ll be sad if you don’t.
I don’t like the first quarter of each year, musically speaking. There’s not usually that much going on. When something good does come out, I’m never sure if it is that good or if it’s just good compared to anything or nothing else that’s been released recently.
So this popped up on Pitchfork and was badged as ‘Best New Music’ by Pitchfork which means an 8.5 score or above. I was familiar with Perfume Genius previously. In 2010 he released a single of his debut album called Mr. Peterson. An odd little track, piano and voice, relatively upbeat little song … about an inappropriate relationship with a male teacher at school. When you stopped and listened carefuly it turned out to be a beautiful and moving song about a very awkward subject.
This album is better than the first. Much better. 8.5 for me is a poor overall review for this album. No song has an ounce of fat. The album does not have a weak song. It is a collection of relatively short, sparsely instrumented ‘ballads’. The subject matter, on the surface appear to be personal and moving. If you google and dig about in interviews and reviews then you discover more about the subjects and re-engaging with the album and lyrics has bought me close to tears.
I know this won’t be for everyone. It’s not a happy album. If you like people pouring their hearts and their guts out in front of all and you like … and you like this done beautifully, then you’ll probably love this.
I can’t stop listening to this.
You can stream the album here. As always, if you can spare (I think its only about 35 mins) the time and have some headphones, it’s worth listening to in isolation, if you can find the lyrics online then that is worth it too.
So how do we feel about pop? Yes, I mean the lightweight throwaway variety, the bag of sweets, the box of popcorn, the fizzy drink. Built for the immediate impact, the bang in your face, the instant hit. And perhaps for a sugar crash afterwards.
This new Ladyhawke single is such a beast in my humble opinion. I love it, Caroline loves it, the kids love it. We all love it. I nearly posted the video, but that criminally changes the amazing guitar at the end into another chorus.
It seems that Hot Chip offshoots are the done thing these days. Not content with the brilliant The 2 Bears, Al Doyle and Felix Martin from the band, and Tom Hopkins. Their album, yesterday was Lived and Lost, is out on Monday and I’ll be seeing them on the 9th at the Corsica Studios in Elephant and Castle, supported by The 2 Bears.
It’s an interesting prospect, and from the first singles I’ve heard (head here for a preview) they sound pretty epic and electronic. The usual talk of Depeche Mode, Arthur Baker et al influencing them is a bit cliche but judging by their alumni I’m really looking forward to hearing the album.
They’ve started up their own label, Lanark Recordings, to release it all as well, so it’s always nice to have new independent imprints popping up.
Right then Brothers. This album is on it’s way to you. I have a dispatch notice for David’s copy but Guy and Nolan, Amazon seem to have left you until tomorrow.
So what are you getting in the post? An album that crept up on me big style. It was release in the Autumn of 2010 which is when Silvia was born. I think I say it crept up on me as we played it a lot but we were living such a whirlwind of new baby and very poorly mother that I don’t think it sunk in for some time. But then it did. I find this album hugely infectious. I think it is likeable. Very much so.
It owes huge nods to 80s new wave pop and much more. One point sounds like depeche mode, some points sound like Morrisey but all of it heard through quite a spacious production of simple synth sounds and rhythmn guitars. It sounds fresh and old fashioned (I am avoiding saying retro cause I don’t think it is) at the same time.
Brother David has a ‘but where are the tunes’ test for music that I think is admirable. For me, the answer to that question for this album is ‘everywhere Brother David’.
Anyway, listen without prejudice, in its entirety, preferably in the evening or whilst walking with headphones on! Thats my favourite environment to listen to this.