I have been slowly won round to Lana Del Rey. Not because of the fact that I had a problem with the way that she looks, but more to do with the excessive hype, and yet ‘Video Games’ and other tracks have won me round. This is a version by a band called Silver Swans, who do an excellent take on it.
Over the last few days, I have become increasingly obsessed with Belgian-Australian artist Gotye (pronounced like Gautier) whose track ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ looks like it might be a huge hit. I hope so. This is a version by a band called Walk Off The Earth.
There’s numerous covers of songs by Frightened Rabbit around, but this is a version of a Frabbits song, as perfomred by John Stotz. The song is originally from their second album The Midnight Organ Fight.
Another track from my inbox, this is a Steely Dan song, performed by The Darcys:
Back in 2009, the duo Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell released their debut album A Brief History Of Love. Though the band had made an album which owed much to the commercially successful end of electronic-cum-goth (think Mary Chain circa 1992, Depeche Mode et al), they did at one stage suggest that this album would have more of a Hip-Hop feel.
They did retract that statement, though, and whilst it would be doing the band a diservice to say that this record was ‘more of the same’ it it’s not a huge departure from their first record as to alienate those who fell in love with their sound. The two opening tracks ‘Stay Gold’ and ‘Hit the Ground (‘Superman’) set an early highpoint, and have already been single releases at the end of last year. Both suck you in quite quickly, and the latter uses a sample of Laurie Anderson’s hit ‘O Superman’ (with its’ synthesised ‘ah ah ahs’).
Whilst the album does play safe on occasions – with the result that your mind tends to wonder just slightly – there are also some other strong tracks like ’13’ and the closing, beautifully brooding ’77’ that make this album worth investigating beyond the singles.
So, here it comes, increasingly one of the most anticipated debut albums of the year. Set to drop at the same time as one of the most anticipated full stop -Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3, the acres of coverage that this album is set to receive seem certain.
And the thing is, it’s absolutely deserved. Whilst the risk of the charts clogging up with watered down versions of La Roux, Lady Gaga et al may get higher, Messrs Cordell and Furze, aka The Big Pink wander into town, like two gunslinger men come to take somebody down. Maybe that’s who ‘These girls fall like dominoes’ refers to.
Twenty years ago, this would probably have been called goth, and it totally fits that at any time over the last thirty years this would be on 4AD, a label who have consistently and rightly presented good alternative music as high art. The enduring spirit of the Jesus and Mary Chain (particularly circa Honey’s Dead) hangs over this album, as does that of Spaceman 3 and My Bloody Valentine.
Yet this isn’t just another band in love with gothic shoegaze and feedback. They’ve got their eye on the prize and commercial success (Florence of the Machine sings on the b-side to ‘Dominoes,’ entitled ‘She’s No Sense’) without this being at the cost of their art and muse. I’m not sure why previous single ‘Stop the World’ isn’t on the album, but, no matter, this is an album that firmly makes its’ point, and deserves to clean up in the charts and the end of year best-of lists.
**** A Brief History Of Love is released on Monday
The Big Pink are set to release their debut album on September 14, entitled A Brief History Of Love, on 4AD.
And this is your chance to hear it four yourselves ahead of release!
The tracklisting is:
Here’s the tracklisting for A Brief History Of Love:
‘Too Young To Love’
‘Love In Vain’
‘At War With The Sun’
‘A Brief History Of Love’
‘Countbackwards From Ten’
As always, please let me know what you think.
This is the next single, made available as a free download:
If the name ‘Big Pink’ makes you think of The Band’s album Music From Big Pink or Bob Geldof’s character in Pink Floyd: The Wall…well, fair enough, but you’re quite wrong here, as it happens.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the above named acts, but The Big Pink are in a different league. In some ways, it seems like thye’ve arrived that they’re almost so perfect you wonder why no-one came up with the idea before. A two-man act comprising Milo Cordell and Robbie Furze, though augmented by another four musicians live, they are set to be absolutely massive. They take their cue from the Velvet underground, Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, shoegazing and electronica…but there’s something here that seems distinctly theirs.
They’ve so far released one limited single ‘Too Young To Love’/’Crystal Visions’ which can be streamed on myspace. Their next single ‘Velvet’ is a serious contender for track of the year. They’ve already won the Philip Hall Radar Award at the NME Awards this year, and I genuinely believe these guys deserve to be massive. They’re signed to 4AD, which seems like their spiritual home. My latest band to fall in love with…