My song of the year so far


Apologies for it all being quiet round here this week, a mixture of work and family illness, anyway, I’m back now!

I’m very excited about St. Vincent’s forthcoming self-titled album (as I’ve mentioned before) and I can’t wait to get my mits on it. Thus far, ‘Digital Witness’ is my favourite new track of the year, and while Annie Clark unveiled the track a few weeks ago, she’s now unveiled the video proper. It’s really rather cool, and not a little weird.

You can buy this track now. The video (not the song, for obvious reasons) remind me a little of Blur’s video for ‘The Universal,’ if a little less explicitly an hommage to A Clockwork Orange

St. Vincent is released by Caroline on February 24.

Damon Albarn: solo artist – finally!

Damon Albarn sports an Intercity logo on his T-shirt

This year, as was inevitable, you can tell that there’s going to be a big fuss that it marks twenty years since the Britpop era began. True, 1994 was a spectacular year for music (up there with 1967, or 1977 and not far behind 1979), but the really telling thing will be those artists who were part of it but are looking forward rather than looking back.

And this year will see the release of Damon Albarn’s first solo album proper. Released twenty years to the week since Blur’s Parklife came out (April 28), the album is called Everyday Robots and this is the tracklisting:

1) Everyday Robots
2) Hostiles
3) Lonely Press Play
4) Mr Tembo
5) Parakeet
6) The Selfish Giant
7) You And Me
8) Hollow Ponds
9) Seven High
10) Photographs (You Are Taking Now)
11) The History Of A Cheating Heart
12) Heavy Seas Of Love

(as outlined over on God Is In The TV)

The video for the title track can be seen here:

Meanwhile, this has emerged online from a solo gig earlier in the week of him performing ‘Lonely, Press Play.’ It may be a rough video, that ends before the song does, but even that can’t disguise the sheer loveliness of this track:

This is another clip -‘Hollow Ponds’


another track has been unveiled via the NME website

Album Review: Warpaint


The new self-titled Warpaint album is fantastic, and I have been getting excited about its release for a while now.

It’s even on target to enter the UK album charts in the top 5 this weekend, which is great news and means that the brilliant reviews the album has been getting have had an effect.

Check out my review over at God Is In The TV and if you haven’t heard the awesome ‘Love Is To Die’ and ‘Biggy’ below.

The return of Neneh Cherry

neneh cherry

I loved Neneh Cherry when I first encountered her with ‘Buffalo Stance’ and the parent album Raw Like Sushi back in the late eighties. It’s strange to think that it’s now a quarter of a centuy since then, though Homebrew and Man were strong albums, too.

Two years ago she collaborated with The Thing on The Cherry Thing (an excellent album, if you haven’t heard it yet) and now she will release her first album in eighteen years, Blank Project, on February 24. Collaborators on the new album include fellow Swede Robyn and Four Tet.

Stream ‘Blank Project’ and ‘Everything’ below:

The Blank Project tracklisting is as follows:

1. Across The Water
2. Blank Project
3. Naked
4. Spit Three Times
5. Weightless
6. Cynical
7. 422
8. Out Of The Black (featuring Robyn)
9. Dossier
10. Everything

Album Review – Mogwai


Mogwai -‘Rave Tapes.’ (Rock Action)

This is Mogwai’s eighth studio album (not including soundtracks, compilations and remixes) and the impressive thing is that nearly twenty years into their career, Mogwai are still continuing to surprise listeners.

This time, there’s far more keyboards than ever before. If the only track you’ve heard so far is the one doing the rounds ‘Remurdered’ you’ll notice that there are keyboards on the track and these are far more prevalent than they have been on much of their back catalogue. In fact, it sounds like they’ve started listening to Kraftwerk and incorporating the Dusseldorf Kling Klang sound within,

In many ways, without going backwards, it’s one of the darkest sounding albums they’ve given us in perhaps a decade. Certainly titles like the aforementioned ‘Remurdered’ and ‘Simon Ferocious’ do hint at that. And yet the album starts off with ‘Heard About You Last Night’ which for the first fifty seconds is far more reminiscent of the likes of Brian Eno or Harold Budd, until the guitars kick in.

It may not be the most immediate or accessible work they’ve produced – but that’s probably no bad thing. What is clear is that Mogwai are continuing to operate at a very high level and have produced another excellent album.


Rave Tapes is released on Rock Action on January 20.

Album Review: Gyratory System

Gyratory System

Gyratory System -‘Utility Music.’ (Soft Bodies)

Their name might sound like a workout programme from a gym (not that I would know, mind you), but London three-piece Gyratory System are a rather fine act, specialising in pretty damn brilliant electronica.

The flavour here is influenced by the more electronic end of 1970s krautrock (because German progressive rock is so far away from what this actually is), thinking of bands like Neu! and of course, Kraftwerk, but it manages to have a contemporary feel, so that this is not an exercise is backward-sounding behaviour. THere are still, bizarrely some people who find electronic music rather cold -have they never heard the original music to Dr. Who? – but this manages to be gently bonkers and yet warm and cuddly.

As is the case with albums of this sort, it works best as a whole, rather than any one track particularly standing out. It would certainly make for a great travel album, so if you’re heading somewhere make sure you’ve got this on your headphones.


Utlity Music is out on Soft Bodies on January 13.

Does there have to be a reason?


I’d been a fan of Mr. Richard D. James for several years when I first heard ‘Windowlicker’ – but my first thought was one of utter disbelief. Not the single’s cover, but the sound was …something else.

And then after a few listens, I suddenly got it. And then I saw the video by Chris Cunningham.


Both are still utterly amazing, nearly fifteen years on. And if it seems unlikely that a song as weird as this got into the charts, perhaps the British public deserve credit for sending it all the way to no.16, back in 1999. And I’m staggered to realise it’s now fifteen years old.

Hopefully you’ve seen enough Hip-Hop videos to understand what this is parodying, and if you are offended by bad langauge (amazingly, some people still are in this day and age) perhaps you’d better not watch this.

The rest of you – press play.

Forthcoming from St. Vincent


It’s funny, I remember not being particularly impressed with an early St. Vincent single I was sent to review, ‘Jesus Saves, I Spend.’ The joke was clearly on me, because I have realised that Annie Clarke is, of course, absolutely brilliant.

She’s now about to release her fourth solo album (in addition to her collaboration with David Byrne, Love This Giant), which is self-titled and comes out on February 24 in the UK.

So far she has unveiled two tracks from the album, ‘Birth In Reverse’ and ‘Digital Witness’ and I encourage you to stream them both now, and then go and pre-order the album if you like them (which I really hope you do):