Friday, 16 September 2011
Songs For The Weekend, Vol.5
The Antlers- Sylvia
In 2009, The Antlers released their third album, the heart-wrenching "Hospice." An album that was proclaimed by many to be one of the saddest recorded in recent times and album that "had the power to emotionally wreck its listeners," "Hospice" is a harrowing but beautifully crafted and written work throughout. "Sylvia," the third track from the album, starts off with a screeching electronic hiss and front man Pete Silberman's vocals being drowned by the depth of the atmosphere, before lifting itself into a soaring and just as dense but heavily beautiful flurry of guitars, before closing on a huge fanfare of hypnotic brass. It's one of the album's most dense moments, and at first it may seem like a wall of sound, but if you look beneath the surface, a world of heart-break and truly magnificent musicianship is unveiled.
David Bowie- Drive-In Saturday
This is the third track taken from Bowie's 1973 masterpiece "Alladin Sane", which is probably my favourite Bowie record of all time. This song is a culmination of Bowie at his most fruitful. He had a fine talent from creative and emotional lyricism, a fine ear for huge and anthemic melodies and that grudgy, rocky underbelly which was showing its last obtrusive peaks throughout the album but not taking anything away from the monumental epic sound scapes that were portrayed, "Drive In Saturday" being one of the record's finest examples. Arguably the best song from arguably Bowie's best work.
Wolf Gang- Lions In Cages
On his project Wolf Gang's debut album "Suego Faults" released at the beginning of August, Londoner Max McElliot created for himself a fantasia land; a world where heart-break was present, but there was always hope. A world where romance was a way to escape from reality, just as pop music was back in the day. McElliot's revival of escapism and romance in pop has lead to "Suego Faults" being one of the most heartfelt and wondrously tuneful releases of the year so far. "Lions in Cages" was the first single from the album, and is perhaps the finest example of McElliot setting his lovelorn writ against a back drop of sketchily and mysteriously hazy yet beautiful backdrop. In starts off within McElliot's mind what of what "Suego Faults" should be, as he sings: "In the city where I'm from/ There are lovers 'til the dawn," before looking somewhat switching back to reality briefly as he skeptically glances towards the future as he sings "Who's gonna pick up after we've gone?". Like a life-like dream, "Lions In Cages" catches McElliot at his most creatively fertile.
DZ Deathrays- Gebbie Street
If you closely follow any music blogs or magazines and pay close attention to new music that's been surfacing over the past year or so, then you may well be familiar with DZ Deathrays. The Australian thrash-pop duo who apparently formed at a house party garnered much more attention after their stirling performance at The Great Escape this year. They've yet to release any EPs or records, but "Gebbie Street" is their signature 4 minutes of sleazy and bouncy scuzz- rock joy. Built upon a low-slung and tuned guitar line that Death from above 1979 previously trademarked and shifting forward groovily in a whirl of teenage fantasy- lyrics and crushingly heavy guitars as the song progresses, "Gebbie Street" encapsulates all of their slacker-but-sexy orientation. They will shortly be joining Wolf Gang, Niki & The Dove and S.C.U.M. on the NME radar tour around the UK, so try and catch them at one of those dates- They are well worth your time.
S.C.U.M. are another band who are just beginning to really make waves in the new UK modern music scene, despite having formed over two years ago. Featuring the runner of London's Underage Festival and the younger brother of Tom Cowan of the Horrors, their glacial, moving and atmospheric synthy take on post-punk is surprisingly fresh and brilliantly well crafted. This epic six minutes of soft euphoria rotates around an off-kilter but funky bass line and icy synths, making it sound like The Horrors if "Primary Colours" had been more "Blue Monday"- era New Order than Joy Division. They're also taking part in NME's Radar tour which kicks off soon, and they're another new young band that very much deserve your attention, both in terms of their recorded stuff and live.