Track Reviews

Track Reviews: 30 January – 5 February 2012



Alright. Who hasn’t bought the Ed Sheeran album, who actually still wants to buy it? Hmmm? Who? Anyone? Can we all just get this over with as quickly as possible? This week, if you think you might want the Ed Sheeran album at any point in your entire life, just go out and buy it. Now.

And then stop. Don’t buy it again. Don’t buy it for a friend. Don’t buy it for a potential love interest. Don’t buy it for your boss. Because they won’t want it. We’ve had this moratorium. No one else should want it. Ever.

Then we can actually get back to some semblance of normality. Some semblance of originality. All of you, look forward. Not backward. Upward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom. Freedom through something new. Anything new. New tracks. Yes. That might work. Maybe.

Jack White Love Interruption

There’s long been a rumour that should a losing X Factor contestant say Seven Nation Army five times into a mirror then Jack White would appear with a meat hook, looking very, very angry.

Worried, Collins?

Yep, Jack’s back. Well. Not that he’s actually been away. Not whilst there have been collaborations with the Insane Clown Posse to mysteriously agree to. Side projects to project. And hundreds of other things.

Cut from the same forlornly doomed romantic cloth as A Martyr For My Love For You (from Icky Thump), Love Interruption is musically pretty simple, but has a black-hearted lyrical twist that corkscrews into the subconsciousness like a, uh, um, corkscrew?

Saint Etienne – Tonight

Bob, Pete and Sarah have signed to a major and announced their first new album for – heavens, has it been that long? – seven years. Words And Music By Saint Etienne will appear in May. Ahead of it they’ve let loose Tonight as a free download, with a single, I’ve Got Your Music, following next month.

You can get a free download of Tonight at their official website, if you’re of the mind. Or have a listen here. You should certainly do one or t’other.

M.I.A. Bad Girls

More and more, M.I.A. is beginning to resemble the elderly relative in the corner at the Sunday family meal. Left sitting in the corner unhappily chewing as the kids run riot and the adults talk amongst themselves. So, starved of attention, she resorts to shouting unconnected, vaguely controversial things very loudly, in the hope someone, anyone, takes notice. Like duetting with Madonna. Well, really.

Also, not to poke fun at the emperors tiny genitalia but, isn’t Bad Girls kind of predictable? Kind of the same squelchy beats topped with a veritable litany of banging bhangra electro stuff that we’ve had a trillion times before? It’s not in the least bit special. Or new. Or exciting.

Still. Nice to be out of the house isn’t it? I SAID IT’S NICE TO BE OUT OF THE HOUSE ISN’T IT?

Sinead O’Connor – Wolf Is Getting Married

A taster of new studio album How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? – out next month through One Little Indian – comes in the form of Wolf Is Getting Married. Musically the single’s a bit of a plodder, but O’Connor’s voice is as expressive as it always is. She covers John Grant’s Queen Of Denmark on the album, too.

The Dø – Tightrope

Ambitious French-Finnish indie-poppers The Dø (pronounced “d’oh”, obviously) topped the French album charts at the first time of asking back in 2008 with an LP burgeoning with promise. For the follow-up: grander ideas, greater scales… and lower sales. Evidament.

But check this out: an interpretation of Janelle Monáe‘s Tightrope that veers so comprehensively from glacial to anarchic that we’re not entirely sure where it leaves us. Entertained? We think so. Enamoured? It’s possible. Interested? Certainly.

Jess Mills – Gabriel

Most assuredly one to watch this year, Jess Mills is more than just Tessa Jowell’s daughter (thanks, Wikipedia): she’s a Ms Dynamite-knowing, super-producer-collaborating, three-sandwich-eating force of nature. We think.

Hot on the heels of a guest spot on Breakage‘s rather good Fighting Fire – and prelude to a debut LP penned in for later this year – this cover of Roy Davis Jr‘s Gabriel isn’t a million miles from Joe Goddard‘s track of the same name. Ergo, we like it. Lots.

Cloud Nothings No Sentiment

It isn’t a particularly appropriate name. Cloud Nothings sounds like it should bring tidings of floaty-light frivolity. But it doesn’t. No Sentiment is dark, menacing and jarring. And Steve Albini produced.

It’s ace. It doesn’t mess around. So neither will we. It’s ace. But we said that already.

The Cast Of Cheers – Family

Pros: The Cast Of Cheers is an inspired band name; the video, made up of 5,000 photographs, is little short of Peter Gabriel-esque. Cons: theirs is a sound championed by the likes of Fearne Cotton and Edith Bowman, which reminds us of the existence of the likes of Fearne Cotton and Edith Bowman. Deflating.

Conclusions: whoever champions it, Family is a short, sharp jolt of energy of the type Vampire Weekend‘s A-Punk rode to mainstream acclaim, and one of the best new tracks about to get the blood pumping again.

Sisterland – Dirty White

Any act taking the Pixies as their jump-off are alright by us, and Leicester’s Sisterland do a particularly nifty job of channelling their sound through a filter marked ‘Kim Deal clarting around with The Jesus & Mary Chain‘.

While the androgynous vocals carve out 90s nostalgia-shaped daubs on our hearts, we’re unlikely to get hold of one of the EP’s colourful cassette tapes; its tres hip form is part of an even hipper limited run of just 100 copies. But it’s also a just a click away, so, you know, we’ll live.



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