Singles & Downloads
Life’s shit enough, so this issue we’re only gonna review good stuff. So, no Libertines-influenced jangle monkeys, no dodgy hip hop, no execrable manufactured pop or R&B, no po-faced nu-metal (you have no idea). Only quality, original tunes will make it onto The List’s stereo.
Björk is a good place to start. The Icelandic force of nature is in typically weird yet ultimately wonderful form on ‘Wanderlust’ (One Little Indian) ••••, which blends her unique voice with cranky techno beats and arguing horns, and builds to a thrilling climax.
‘Sunshine Kid’ (Text) ••••, from American female artist One Little Plane, is a gentler affair, and sounds a bit like The Breeders if they hung out at a lo-fi indie disco and drank sugary juice instead of methadone.
Glasgow foursome Burnt Island’s ‘The Moments Before’ (demo) •••• is a sombre and moving slice of indie folk, sonorous vocals blending moodily with delicate piano and rhythms to sound like a downbeat Delgados on an acoustic tip. Parka are the flipside of Scottish rock, their ‘Better Anyway’ (Jeepster) ••• bursting out the speakers in a flurry of riffs and shouting, and while it’s not the most original sound around, they inject plenty of Fratelli-style charm into proceedings.
Meanwhile, ‘If the News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It’ (XL Recordings) ••• by Edinburgh collective Broken Records is an expansive bit of anthemic, string-laden, folk-flecked indie, which owes a debt to the wide-eyed wonder of Arcade Fire, but has enough invention of its own to bode well for the future.
And so to Joint Singles of the Fortnight, an all-Glasgow affair with Make Model and Attic Lights sharing the honours. The latter’s ‘God’ (Island) •••• is consummate Fannies-style melodic guitar pop, dripping with melody and harmony, and pouring liquid sunshine into the ears of everyone within listening distance. By contrast, Make Model’s ‘The LSB’ (EMI) •••• is a thing of ragged glory, an angry, jagged affair of shouting and jerking which somehow manages to remind you of a hundred great pop records at once, then suddenly left-turns into stadium-filling anthem territory.
Nice. That’s cheered us up a treat.