Track Reviews

Track Reviews: 11-17 June 2012

Its begun. Between bouts of torrential rain, the sun has cast its withering, ageing rays into our squinting, gurning faces; assorted folk have gradually exposed greater acreage of their pasty, blotchy legs. The TV schedule has been mangled to within an inch of its life to accommodate the increasing number of seasonal sporting events that promise and indeed deliver crushing disappointment. It could only be the Great British Summer.

Yet all remains well in the world of music: festival season is stretching its mighty limbs, blockbuster summer releases are inching closer to reality, and each week brings a fresh and bountiful harvest of tracks. Don that bucket hat, apply that factor 30 and feast your ears.

Haim Forever
Haim are so hot right now. Instead of the seething anger being told that normally provokes in us, Forever is just so instantaneously wonderful that we’re just forced to grit our teeth, and nod.

You can’t blame them. You mustn’t blame them. They did not ask to be ‘chosen’ in this way. All that we must do is judge it (the music) on its merits. And on the basis of this, those musical merits are most meritorious.

Forever is a little bit ’80s. A tad ’90s. A touch ’00s. And it has been released in the ’10s. Basically, it’s a 40 year old song, with the youthful vigour and romantic naivety of a teenage runaway. Take Haim. They’re on fire.

Little Boots Headphones
Let us make this clear: we do not know Little Boots. We have never met her. We do not have her on speed dial. We’ve never offered her our last rolo. We’ve never beaten her at a friendly game of darts. She’s never been round our house for a round of canasta and a sliver of brie.

But. We are forced to endlessly remark, whenever some new video or song appears, how likeable she seems. It’s a factor somewhat lacking from a large proportion of today’s pop stars. Not Little Boots though. Little Boots seems lovely.

Headphones, her new single from her new album is a ridiculously high energy, sorry, hi-NRG, stomper. It’s euro-disco but in a nice way. This kind of thing can very easily go wrong. This, this is endlessly, unfathomably, irrefutably, likeable.

Road To Roy Dutch Uncles
Where better to begin than the unofficial anthem or anti-anthem of Englands Euro 2012 campaign, in which the gratifyingly bizarre Dutch Uncles team up with Everything Everythings Jonathan and Jeremy to gently relate Englands historical success (or lack thereof) at the European Championships.

Granted, its no Hoddle and Waddle, but is inspired, inspiring, and every bit as good as their World Cup 2010 effort, Fabio Acapella? Or, perhaps, is it simply an obtuse cash-in for the ironic quasi-fan? You be the judge.

Two Wounded Birds If Only We Remain
Listen: were going digging on the downs, so you cant wear that. Best grab a tight-fitting leather jacket and a pair of Doc Martens. Yeah, thats better. While youre at it, dial up the reverb. Further. Further. A bit further. Perfect. Were going for timeless, Americana-tinged pop here. Brian Wilson; Debbie Harry; Roy Orbison.

Whats that you say? Why are we going somewhere so isolated? Err… thats not important right now. You just have to trust us. Come on: our long-awaited debut album which is going to be rad, by the way is out in a couple of weeks, so were not about to jeopardise that by, say, stabbing you to death for no apparent reason…

Hey Sholay Burning
According to some, Hey Sholay are the Must-See Band of Summer 2012. Which, you know, is fairly impressive but are they up there with One Direction? We sincerely doubt it.

Nevertheless, kudos to Sheffields Hey Sholay, because Burning is light-yet-energising, airy-but-invigorating; a seasonal, Anglicized A-Punk from a band whose jaunt supporting Clap Your Hands Say Yeah seems to have further informed their sound. Eleven dropped ice-cream cones out of ten.

Van She Jamaica / The Idea Of Happiness
Tony Hoffers scent is all over Van Shes second album. The former Air, Phoenix and M83 co-conspirator has mixed the Sydney four-piece into idyllic shapes less Empire Of The Sun, more Billy Ocean and never more so than on the tropical, turquoise and frankly terrific Jamaica.

Yet we couldn’t resist doubling up with the promo for the albums first release, title track Idea Of Happiness, which seems to have slipped under our radar until now. Warning: if youre not into banana hammocks, this may not be the video for you.

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