This week’s best new music:
Alt-J – Something Good (Image above)
Starting with disjointed, tribal inspired drums that somehow find their place amongst the unassuming guitar, ‘Something Good’ is an understated combination of folk and indie at its best. The track is interspersed with spacy piano and slick choruses, helped along by smooth vocals from Joe Newman. The track is from the band’s Mercury-nominated debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’, and promises good things to come from the indie-pop quartet.
Lola Dutronic – Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead
Starting off with a simple, child-like beat, and moving on to a happy, upbeat tune with gentle vocals, the repetition of the track’s title is at odds with its joyful vibe. The song a sardonic tribute to the dead pop stars of the past; wryly commenting on the attention they received upon their passing. One of the comments on the tracks Youtube video sums it up – ‘Death – The ultimate career move!’ The fact that the song could be found on a children’s TV programme just adds to the effect – ‘Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead’ is clever and catchy and can be found on the bands album ‘Everyone’s A Star’.
Waylayers – Magnets
‘Magnets’ is full of effervescing synth, sounding like a jaunty trip up into space and around the planets. After spending some time away touring Europe, the new single from the East London trio is set to release on the 26th November. It is catchy and well produced and the vocals are well-harmonised, if a little plain compared to the glittery, spacy backdrop of well-co-ordinated synths, drums and guitars that Harry Lee, Dave Norman and Joe Andrews whip up between them. Having said that, one of the affirming moments of the track is when everything quietens down for a moment apart from Lee’s vocals, which are low and intimate.
Dog Is Dead – Talk Through The Night
Talk Through The Night is happy-clappy indie-pop that seems just a bit too sunny for the cold and drizzle that most of England is being subjected to this week. Having said that, it’s catchy and upbeat with simple but effective guitars and a folk-y feel. The lyrics are feel good as well; contrasting the miseries of a break-up with the joys of ‘talking through the night’ with ones friends. Look out for the Nottingham-based band’s album, All Our Favourite Stories, which was released October 12th.
Pyramids – Human Beings EP
OK Go’s Tim Nordwind and ex-He Say She Say singer Drea Smith make up Pyramids, and their 6 track EP is a mystical mix of the shadowy and exciting. Smith’s vocals are excellent, sometimes sounding like an electro-fied Shirley Manson (Perfect Picture is very Garbage), at other times sounding much darker. The more upbeat Animal is a stand-out track, with the guitars featuring more prominently perhaps than in the rest of the EP. Altogether, an intriguing mix of styles and a change of direction for both artists, but not necessarily a bad one.
Lower Than Atlantis – Changing Tune
Changing Tune opens with a two minute prologue of whining guitars and slow, deliberate drums that lies in stark contrast to the furious opening pop-punk single, Love Someone Else. It follows up with several more storming tracks, peaking at the lightning-fast ‘Go On Strike’, made to be played in a car at full blast with all the windows rolled down. The album loses momentum slightly with the less exciting, but perhaps more lyrically imaginative ‘Scared of the Dark’. From this marked halfway point, the album has less impact – Something Better Came Along is wistful but average, and finisher Showtime does not wrap the album up with the promise that the first few tracks showed. Despite this, Changing Tune remains a very listenable pop-punk album.
Words by Hannah Voss