Single of the Week!
Pollens - ‘Helping Hand’ (Tapete Records)
‘Helping Hands’ is a sound collage in the ma-ma-manner of Laurie Anderson’s earlier work - though I should point out; there are no benevolent Art Nutbags doing voiceovers on it. Instead, what we have, is a sound in the general (joyous) ballpark that currently houses Merrill Garbus and Dirty Projectors' female chorus – which is some fine company, if you ask me. Propulsive and staccato, then – with layers of percussion that drive the clatter forward; this single sounds like it might be attached to an anvil, and Wile. E has just tossed it off the precipice. Now, because I am fond of stretching a metaphor, do let’s run with this one – because I want you to hear how the whole enterprise is tumbling through the air. And sometimes it is stopping to look at how pretty the world looks from up here; and sometimes it is panicking, because the ground is getting closer. Essentially: far more brilliant than anything this pretty should be.
Alt-J - ‘Something Good’ (Infectious)
There is a point in any hAwT nU tHinG’s career when their name becomes synonymous with name-dropping. That point - when Ordinary People know that mentioning said hot band will signify that they still ‘have it’ - for Alt-J, is now. And ‘Indie’ hates it, because Indie CANNOT ACKFING BEAR for any band or artist it likes to fall off the tongue of say, an estate agent. Or Uncle. So while it is true, that at this very moment, a ballbag of advertising creatives are pitching Alt-J to soundtrack their latest, offensively expensive Sony Bravia commercial, this isn't actually Alt-J’s fault. And in any event, surely the more pressing Alt-J Problem, is that however deft and intricately recorded his output, he still does that annoying thing of starting each wibbly-wobbly line
...and then ending it, rather creepily...
Richard Hawley - ‘Seek It’ (10” on Parlophone)
Silly old Richard Hawley with his silly, old-fashioned ideas about romance and courtship. I mean, what is he like, with his absent-minded lyrics and simple tunes for grown-up lovers. Anyone would think he was writing songs for people who understand that true, proper, actual love is a kind of fondness; and one that feels a little heavy.
Tilly & The Wall - ‘Love Riot’ (Team Love)
When did Tilly & The Wall turn into The Kills? Bit worried.
Allo Darlin’ - ‘Northern Lights’ (Fortuna POP!)
You can’t fault Allo Darlin’, it would be horrid. I mean, they never claimed to be Combichrist. But I just find: sometimes their jolly-ache is delightful. And sometimes I wish they would take their mile-wide, knowing grins, and tit off.
Gravenhurst - ‘Paint A Face’ / Beach Fossils - ‘Alison’ (Neil Halstead tribute 7”, on Sonic Cathedral)
Because I do not hate Slowdive more than I hate Hitler, I am delighted by Beach Fossils’ take on ‘Alison’ - it having a great deal of charm for a cover this straight-forward. There are also a lot worse things you could do, than find yourself listening to Nick Talbot sing ‘Paint A Face’. Mainly because his voice is increasingly putting me in mind of things so thin and glassy, you don’t want to risk picking them up.
Also out this Week!
Daughter - ‘Smother’ (4AD)
PINS - ‘LuvU4Lyf’ (Bella Union)
Deaf Club - ‘Break It Slow’ ()
Tokolosh - ‘Tokohorse’ / ‘The Hollow’ (Static Caravan)
This Many Boyfriends - ‘Number One’ (Angular)
Portico Quartet feat. Cornelia - ‘Sleepless’ (Real World)
The Jim Jones Revue - ‘It’s Gotta Be About Me’ (PIAS)
The Virgin Marys - ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ (Double Cross)
The Late Call - ‘Look At You Now’ (Tapete Records)
Boy Omega - ‘Halos’ (Tapete Records)
Kites - ‘This Jumped Up Boy In Livery’ (Self-Release)
PiL - ‘Reggie Song’ (PiL Official)
By The Rivers - ‘Don’t Say You Love Me’ (Kompyla Records)
Wendy is on the internet, here. Her column is late today because her laptop has died. This column is therefore dedicated to her Mum, who has lent her a laptop. It is also dedicated to the accursed phrase '(Not Responding)'.