Twelve Track Review #4

Austra – 05 Home

The beginning of this track sounds a bit like an Adele pop song, but the mood shifts when the electronic drum track flicks on around 40 seconds in. There are pad synths, chorus effects and electronic bass – all swirling together to create an emotive and heavily layered song with plenty of chart appeal. There’s even some flute around 2.50 in – nice.

Cairo Pythian – A1.Unity_Mitford

The drum track on this sounds Streets-esque, but the vocals ensure this track is a world apart from Mike Skinner’s gang. I have to admit, I struggle a bit when a keyboard track follows a vocalists melody – it all sounds a bit too Mighty Boosh for me. This track kicks that habit (and perhaps the haircut) during the chorus, where each instrument begins to compliment rather than mirror. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s enough to win me back round.

H.Hawkline – Ghouls

Indie crunch guitar, with a distinctive vocal sound and a busy rhythm section. It’s suitably loose, with a sort of 60s New York vibe. There’s an interesting steel drum type sound that appears in the background around 1.40 in – which I really like – it’s subtle enough not to steal the limelight, but interesting enough to offer something new. Nice. The track’s longer than you generally see nowadays at 4.54, but it doesn’t seem to drag at all. It slows down and fades out, in a faintly Beatles fashion – which is nice.Hailu Mergu – Shemonmuanaye

Just not my cup of tea I’m afraid. It’s like two four year olds playing easy learning centre accordions to a drum machine. For nearly 7 minutes. Unacceptable.

Juan Atkins & Moritz Von Oswald – Mars Garden

Wow that’s deep bass. It really kicks – my headphones are struggling with it. Some interesting, game station fx in the first few minutes – with some decent drum loops. The track feels like it’s building to something, but I don’t think the something ever really comes. It would be good to hear this as part of the album it’s made for – it feels like it is setting the stage for something else. Nevertheless, I do like it.

The Orwells – 02 Other Voices (Dave Sitek Version)

Really great. 1960s sounding – it’s a Beatle reincarnate. The track has been produced loose – but the band feel tight. The guitar tracks are a little Wombats – punchy and poppy. The track feels like it was almost therapeutic for the band, and in 3 short minutes it’s all over. Top track to finish off the set.

David Yow – Thee Itch

The first 20 seconds sound like the start of a Tomb Raider soundtrack, but with the drum track from the House of Cards themetune. It’s gregorian chant-like, and all round quite interesting, with some rocky-horror discordant organ peppered throughout. Not a pop song, more film score – but fun nonetheless.

Deap Vally – Woman of Intention

I’ve heard a bit from Deap Vally already, but this one was a new one. Beautiful grungey guitar and a skillful rhythm section. The vocals are female rock songstress – with all the right warbles and squeaks. There’s a nice effected guitar around 1.41, that sounds a bit like it’s clipping through a compressor. Towards the end (around 2.40) the drum track shifts closer to a disco beat – driving the track forward nicely.

Kirin J Callinan – Love Delay

A tasty bit of crunchy guitar stabs with Morrissey-esque croon start this track off. There’s some strings somewhere up top in the mix, that crescendo with some dark and swirling guitar around 2 minutes – building building building and stop. In comes the band, fast paced drums and guitar fx that sound like the wind. Very nice.

Lloyd Cole – 03_Period Piece

Charming sort of Counting Crows band on this one, but with a vocal sound all Bob Dylan. The guitar parts lock together pretty perfectly, and the track sounds like a summer on the road. And that’s kind of its problem I think – it feels very familiar. It’s nice, but familiar territory.

Sarah Johns Music Party – Greenbud Really great start on this track. The percussion track sounds a little like some of the instrument experimentation Willy Mason was doing a year or two. The vocals are extremely pretty – like it was recorded in a fairy garden. It’s fresh and interesting – with elements of blues and folk mixed with electronic percussion. Really like this.

Coast to Coast – Waxahatchee

Another rock pop song this week. Very listenable – the vocal harmonies are graceful and the band is tight and noisy. It sounds like The Cranberries to me – which isn’t a bad place to be. If I had one gripe, it would be that it’s all over far too soon – finishing at 1.25 in and holding on the guitar until it crumbles to feedback.

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