I write this, appropriately, still basking in the afterglow of a very special meal at Brawn on Columbia Road—special because it was playing host to The Four Horsemen, the Brooklyn wine bar-cum-restaurant co-owned by James Murphy, a.k.a. LCD Soundsystem. The meal had twists and turns and surprises aplenty, the greatest of them all arguably being that the night before, Murphy’s band had made their debut on Saturday Night Live, playing two new songs. Continue reading Dancing in the light
A few years back, I had a wretched dream in which Spoon recorded an album of tinkly lounge piano music, in debt to the worst indulgences of Steely Dan’s milieu. The album was titled Raw Repetition, and I’m glad it never came to pass (though They Want Your Soul features a blue-note-tastic cover of “I Just Don’t Understand”).
I mention this because of Factory Floor‘s monomaniacal comeback single, “Dial Me In”, which rides a three-note acid bassline for all its 6.5 minute duration. Continue reading Raw repetition
Back in 2008, when they released their third album Dear Science, the world was justifiably TV On The Radio’s to take. The album was a bold statement as to the waters in which rock music should tread—sonically and politically bold—and it was also enormously fun. I saw TV On The Radio for the first time not long after, and the show was a heady carnival of funk and philosophy. They were staking a claim, unintentionally or no, to be the greatest band in the world. Continue reading Battles, a band with a capital ‘B’
I’ve written previously about Noah Lennox’s way with clockwork rhythms that sit behind assorted musical mischief. On his latest album as Panda Bear, Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper, the rhythms are more indebted to psych rock, but here and there (as on the nonsensical anthem “Boys Latin”) the older, dubbier affectations slip in – and on these songs, the chaos unfurling above is all the more effective for it. Continue reading Waves of Brazil
Another season, another chance to dust off the well-thumbed treatise on the future of DFA. Sinkane’s late-summer grooves recall the humid soul of Marvin Gaye but without the social commentary. Meanwhile The Juan MacLean, now the trading name of John MacLean and Nancy Whang, go stratospheric on In A Dream. Continue reading Luxury problems
The world is plagued with pardoners, shucks and saviours, and they’re all bearing down on Britt Daniel. Continue reading No time for holy rollers
It’s no understatement to write that Spoon‘s forthcoming eighth album, They Want My Soul, is an album I eagerly anticipate, and from which I expect taut, muscular quality. From the contents of an All Songs Considered interview with the band’s Britt Daniel and Jim Eno which features snippets of new material, I also expect sweetness and light (“I Just Don’t Understand”), dreaminess and R&B (“Inside Out”), rawness and interference (“Knock Knock Knock”). Continue reading Spoon — Rent I Pay
Wild Beasts’ Present Tense is decidedly grown-up in its attitude to love and lust, and it’s also home to two of the band’s most foreboding, non-sexual compositions. Continue reading Murmuring in the plague age
From the bowels of the BBC, Delia Derbyshire et al coaxed endearingly schlocky electronic sounds from rudimentary, homemade equipment. Twenty years after it started shuttering up for the final time, two bands are channelling a similar approach to very different conclusions. Continue reading Radiophonic Workshop Rock
Hayden Thorpe is Antony Hegarty but beneath him, in place of Nico Muhly’s strings or a tender piano figure, are only chilly synths and caustic, brutal drums.