Don't panic, everyone. Turns out guitar music is not dead after all and was merely in the pub when all that 'what's happening in 2009' stuff was being decided. This week's new releases, then, from Crystal Stilts, Pulled Apart By Horses (we know we're late), The Do and Antony & The Johnsons...
Single Of The Week!
Crystal Stilts – 'Departure' (Angular)
Crystal Stilts are the darker older brother of Vivian Girls and Wavves, the cool and distant one who wears a leather trenchcoat and skulks around with a copy of Naked Lunch being meaningful and stuff. This sounds like a diss, but it isn't, because 'Departure' makes us want to do that too. Warm music for cold hearts.
Beyonce – 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)' (RCA)
Surely somebody at Beyonce's record company needs to tell her that she's pissing money up the wall by letting them "release" this as a "single" today, given that it's already been in the charts for 11 weeks and is more ubiquitous than a Facebook status update about the snow. Even writing about this is pointless. Oh.
Pulled Apart By Horses - 'I Punched A Lion In The Throat' (Too Pure)
But wait! As a direct result of Beyonce making a mockery of release dates, we now take this opportunity to retrospectively review 'I Punched A Lion In The Throat', even though it's already out. This is because we missed it in previous columns and a recent live experience of PABH suggested they could be the second coming. Synths might have trounced guitar bands in the weird game of genre Top Trumps being played by the music press, but PABH are smashing it all to smithereens. So, retrospectively, single of the week, for two weeks ago. Blame Beyonce for fucking it all up.
The Do – 'On My Shoulder' (Get Down!)
It's difficult to pick holes in something so impeccably constructed. Everything about The Do, from their pool of references (Fleetwood Mac, Midlake, Sparklehorse) to their strained, life-weary vocals, fuses together with meticulous attention to detail. Like Nina Persson's A Camp, there's a certain unexpected frostiness, but that might just be the ultra-clean production.
Sunny Day Sets Fire - 'Adrenaline (XXXchange mix)' (Wonderboat)
As a non-fan of twee it's tough to tackle about Sunny Day Sets Fire without prejudice. So instead let's listen to the XXXchange remix of 'Adrenaline', which takes what could be the soundtrack to a CBBC ident and washes the sunniness right out with some dirty mucky bass. All better. We gave it away on the Lipster last week if you want it for free.
Heloise & The Savoir Faire - 'Illusions' (Simian)
There's something fundamentally off about this and I've been having repeated listens to work out what it is. And I think it's that it sounds like they've cut out every good bit of all upbeat, danceable hits from the past five years, slapped them all together with glitter glue and hoped for the best. But it's not the best. It's annoying.
Antony & The Johnsons - 'Epilepsy Is Dancing' (Rough Trade)
The terrifying first 20 seconds of the video for this make it look like it's going to be a zombie-metal thrash-monster of a single. Of course this is Antony & The Johnsons, so it's not. Since 'Epilepsy Is Dancing' is so spectacularly theatrical even without visuals, it's enhanced no end by the forest-nymph video, which makes it ultra-magical.
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