New EPs round-up - August 2013
Jacques Greene, Arches, Computerscheisse and Sampha reviewed
Jacques Greene - On Your Side EP
LuckyMe (the label that ironically calls itself 'post-cool') it seems, have unearthed a major talent-in-waiting with Montreal’s Jacques Greene. He’s also released on Night Slugs and Vase, of course, but this third collaboration with LM is the most convincing yet of his most enduring label relationship. Lead track ‘On Your Side’ is the pick, a ghostly, minimal garage beat pressing the fragile vocal of guest How to Dress Well on. ‘Faithful’ and ‘Quicksand’ follow a similar but distinctive dynamic, with the latter bouncing along on a lovely, twinkling piano part.
Available now on iTunes. See thisisluckyme.com for more info.
Arches – Broken Clocks EP
(Transmission Recordings) ●●●
‘I am always gonna be this way,’ hollers singer Michael Rice, his voice arcing over a pit of pleasantly clashing guitars on first track ‘Be This Way’, and it’s like a manifesto for his band in general. Like a Biffy Clyro shandy, heavy on the lemonade, Glasgow’s Arches are all about your run-of-the-mill anthemic sweep, each of the songs here following a similar template.
From the highly produced martial stamp of ‘Too Late for a Miracle’ to the relentless, yearning chime of ‘Like Fireworks’ near-seven-minute extended edition, it’s as if they’re a lab-bred fusion of Biffy, Editors, Frightened Rabbit and, er, Big Country.
ComputerScheisse – These Beautiful Minds
For anyone wondering what Tommy Perman’s been up to since leaving Edinburgh art-rock adventurers FOUND, the answer is this largely electronic project comprising a bunch of compelling experiments in genre and some lovely pop motifs.
We’re a big fan of the kitsch piano line which winds through the minimal ‘Radio Gaga’ rhythm of ‘Hot’s Hot’, for example, or the baffling chip pop plus Gangbusters equation of ‘Wet’ featuring Jonnie Common, while the title track is an understated Kraftwerkian delight.
Sampha – Dual EP
(Young Turks) ●●●
SBTRKT collaborator Sampha Sisay has brought together half a dozen tracks here which offer a new definition of what urban soul music can be. The Londoner’s voice is clear but rich and weathered, and not a million miles from that of John Legend, but the production is truly unique.
‘Without’ is marked by delicate, African-style junkyard rhythms; ‘Hesitant Oath’ sounds like it was recorded from the other side of the room onto a gramophone record; piano ballad ‘Indecision’ is perhaps the closest to a mainstream hit.