-- if you don't like music(k), we don't like you --

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

We're guessing it's got some high notes...

A vast amount of people have been working away in some darkened studio somewhere in America, desperately trying to make people forget about Christina Aguilera's awful Motown-era makeover a few years back. We're talking SiaLadytronLe Tigre, Linda Perry and rumoured collaborations with Santigold and M.I.A. Somewhere along the line the ghost of Michael Jackson may or may not have breezed in to record BVs. So, after all that build-up, this is the first single from what is now called Bionic. 
Was it worth all that effort?

No really, was it? We're at work and can't hear it.

EDIT: We've listened to it and we can exclusively reveal that it's...OK.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Acapella, ella, ella, eh

Band: Kelis
Title: 'Acappella'
Album: Flesh Tone (due 17 May)

We mentioned this song a while back and now it has an equally bonkers video, which finds our intrepid explorer in a jungle, a desert and some kind of hareem surrounded by wolves. Just like those Michael Palin documentaries of old.

New Musick Monday

Last week was a good one for a certain Laura Marling, whose album crashed in at number 4, despite the lead single missing the top 75. She loses points for pulling out of an interview scheduled for last Thursday at the very last minute, leaving someone very close to this blog utterly bereft. We forgive her though, not least because her success manages to transcend an oddly cack-handed shout out from a certain Jo Whiley ("it's not pop music, it's more than that" or something). Unfortunately, James Murphy and Gonjasufi both missed the charts, but you'll be glad to hear we managed to pick up a copy of one of those Galaxie 500 reissues we were banging on about, so it's not all doom et gloom. Let's move to the present shall we?


New Amerykah: Part Two: Return Of The Ankh by Erykah Badu

Whilst Part One of Badu's current incarnation as America's First Lady of sprawling, densly packed R&B was suffused with pre-Obama paranoia and malaise, this follow-up finds her dissecting relationships of the romantic kind. Love is shown, simultaneously, to be a joy ('Umm Hmm') and a curse, as on 'Fall In Love (Your Funeral)'. Throughout, Badu displays her amazing vocal versatility, whilst producers such as Madlib and, er, J Dilla (he died a long time ago, how is it possible to keep making beats?) create an always interesting musical bed of warm beats and choice samples. It may not be as experimental as its predecessor, but Part Two continues what's shaping up to be some renaissance.


I Will Be by Dum Dum Girls

Having ventured to the local music emporium to purchase some albums this lunch time, we returned only to find we had completely forgotten to buy this album. This is why we're not in charge of running a country or healing people; we're too forgetful. Anyway, from what we've heard this album is really very good indeed. Recorded by just one Dum Dum, Dee Dee, I Will Be (amazing) is a lo-fi collection of scuzzed up garage rock with a pop core that will fill the hole until the Best Coast album comes out in the summer.


'Best Friend' by The Drums

The Drum Drum Boys (ahem) are back with their first proper single, the lovingly melancholic, Best Friend. It's hard not to like a song that starts with the line, "You're my best friend / And then you died", and even if that doesn't do it for you then the repetitive vocal sample and catchy as hell chorus should just about seal the deal. Chances are the wave of hype will drown them by the time their debut album drops on 7 June, but we've heard some songs from it and it's sounding really rather good so put your daggers away evil critic bastards.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Nude as the news

Band: Erykah Badu
Tile: 'Window Seat'
Album: New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)

Mildly NSFW, this video finds the increasingly bat shit Badu striding out amongst some tourists, slowly peeling off layer after layer before a surprising and obviosuly loaded finale. This woman is never less than interesting and no mistake.

All-star karaoke

Sometimes, here at Musick, we have some friends round, drink some wine, put on a song and sing along and it all sounds pretty terrible. Beck does the same thing only without the wine and the bit about it sounding terrible and his friends are people like St Vincent and the guys from Liars. For the past few months, Beck's been hitting the Rolodex hard and calling in amigos to help him record whole albums in a day and this month it was the turn of INXS' '80s behemoth, Kick, to get the faithful treatment. Here's a great little video showing the recording of the album's opening track, 'Guns In The Sky':


Two things; the drums sound amazing and Beck's got some lovely knitwear on.

A lesbian wedding in Brighton

This here is the new single by LCD Soundsystem and as any clued-up music fan will know, it sounds a lot like 'White Light/White Heat' by The Velvet Underground (we only realised it did when we read it on the youtube comments and checked it for ourselves, although we also liked the comment about it sounding like a scuzzed up 'Parklife').

Anyway, this is 'Drunk Girls':

We have to admit we're slightly disappointed. It's catchy, fun and cynical, don't get us wrong, but there's a section of it that's almost identical to a track from Sound of Silver. We do, however, have a feeling the rest of the new album will sound a lot different to this. We will just have to wait and see...

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Baby horses

A few weeks ago a new track by Foals materialised and very lovely it was too. Now they've made a video for the first single from their second album, Total Life Forever, and it finds the Oxford quintet in Bloc Party territory. Luckily, it's Bloc Party circa Silent Alarm so it's melodic and shimmering, which is good because if they'd sought inspiration from them any later we'd have a single called 'I've Read Some Books About Things And Now I'm Seriously Angry And Confused'. Instead, it's called 'This Orient' and can be heard and viewed below:

They're still mildly insufferable aren't they? But it's better to be pretentious than boring, right? RIGHT.

Never Eat Shredded Wheat

Band: Jamie Lidell
Ttile: The Ring
Album: Compass (out 18 May)

We've not listened to this in a while (it's the first song from his new album but it was premiered a while back) but now it has a video we decided to put it up. We remember it being very good so that can't have changed...

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

"I've got some news for you..."


Here's the pretty much amazing 'Fembot':

Fembot by robyn

You're welcome.

Monday, 22 March 2010

New Musick Monday

Well, well, well, it looks like our prediction that the Sugababes 'brand new image' (read: FHM pin-ups with less class) may not be paying off was an accurate one. Their new album stalled at no. 14, which, if they were a brand new indie band who had just completed a tour of Milton Keynes would be a success, but seeing as they're signed to a major, have a well-known brand as their moniker and have had a lot of press - all publicity is good publicity, right? - this is not good. The White Stripes' fist live album entered just outside the Top 20, whilst the Laura Marling single was nowhere to be seen. Odd. Perhaps it's the fact that the video looks like something Sting would knock out as a holiday video?


I Speak Because I Can by Laura Marling

Forget the fact that Marling has only been able to vote for the past two years and focus instead on the fact that she seems incapable of writing a shit song. I Speak Because I Can may feel slight on first listen but beneath the fragile exterior the songs quietly rage about everything from the perils of marriage, the plight of women in society and, most significantly, not riding bikes down to the sea (the brilliant title track makes this seem like the saddest thing not to do, ever!). Musically, it's all plucked guitars, stark strings and the muted kick of the drum and on top of that Marling's weathered vocals sound simultaneously desolate and pissed off. Dismiss this as Mumford & Sons-esque Top Man folk at your peril.


Greenberg: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by James Murphy

Greenberg is the new film by Noah Baumbach, he who directed that one with the dysfunctional family and that other one with the dysfunctional family (he's the one that's NOT Wes Anderson) and it's soundtrack features twelve new songs by James Murphy, aka the guy from LCD Soundsystem who looks like a rebellious accountant. The songs are mostly short pieces, some with just the odd flutter of piano, but on tracks like 'People' and 'Photographs' you start to realise how versatile this Murphy man is. The album also features a song by Albert Hammond Jr's Dad and Galaxie 500, who also have some reissues out this month, which we tried to buy but HMV is, quite frankly, a dog shit establishment...unless you're looking to buy Hannah Montana on DVD, in book form and the computer game for the PSP.


'Kobwebz' / 'Speaketh' by Gonjasufi

We kind of missed the boat with these guys and we forgot to mention they're amazing new album, A Sufi and A Killer, which was out on Warp records the other week. Anyways, this double A-side single features the brilliant 'Kobwebz', which sounds like the work of some seriously drugged up nomads who live in the desert (appropriately enough), and the non-album track, 'Speaketh'. What they lack in spelling skills they more than make up for in spooky, dry-as-a-bone, freaky, space rock.

She's a big lass, she's a bonnie lass

Are you one of those people that likes Hot Chip because they're dancey, but also, when the dancing stops, you quite like a bit of a sit down whilst listening to Bonnie "Prince" Billy? Good, because the latter has remixed the former's new single, 'I Feel Better', only now it's called 'I Feel Bonnie'. You can hear it by clicking here.

In other Bonnie "Prince" Billy news, he seems to have another new album out next week. This man seems to make albums as regularly as us normal folk produce flem. Nice.

EDIT: You can now listen to it here too

Thursday, 18 March 2010

A couple of Cu**s

Cults are a duo from, erm, we're not sure where, and they, er, have a Myspace...oh, gosh, no they don't...and, erm, they've got this song and a few others but to be honest we, er, don't know too much else. Here's 'Go Outside':

All we do know about them is that the other month they started making music to share between themselves and a few friends and now they're on Pitchfork and everyone's scrambling to get their signature and do interviews. This is the post-record-company-digital-media-post-apocolyptic world we live in now, there's no time for Myspace these days.

London (De)Lite

We've been banging on about Theophilus London for a while now and the other month we got to interview him and he was a thoroughly nice chap. He mentioned then that a new mixtape would be out fairly soon and that it would be more down tempo and introspective in comparison to his previous efforts, JAM! and This Charming Mixtape. He talked a lot about how much Marvin Gaye he'd been listening to and the fruits of this can be heard on the track below, the first to surface from the new mixtape, I Want You:

Theophilus London featuring Jesse Boykins - Life Of A Lover by Hypetrak

You can also hear snippets of a new track on this video below, filmed in the studio and featuring a certain Dev Hynes, aka Lightspeed Champion, on the piano and 'busting some moves'.

To read more of the interview, please pick up a copy of the new Dazed & Confused magazine from all good stockists (and those not so good ones that sell nasty things like Pushing 60 and Latino Boyz R Us).

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

JLS meet their maker

Band: Hot Chip
Title: 'I Feel Better'
Album: One Life Stand (out now)

Hot Chip - I Feel Better

Hot Chip

MySpace Music Videos
For those still wondering what a JLS or Blue video would look like if Chris Cunningham directed it should be happy now. Not that it was Cunningham behind the lens, but instead, UK funnyman Peter Serafinowicz. The best bit is clearly the beginning, some of the dance moves are killer. What do you mean we've missed the point?

Ober and out

Is it us, or is everyone ridiculously young these days? We know that we all start young and slowly decay and start to wither and die, but it seems that literally everywhere we look we see fresh, nubile young people with better ideas, better clothes, better jobs, etc. We're not bitter, we're just sayin'. So, to add to the misery, here's a 19-year-old American gentleman who goes by the moniker, Oberhofer.

Oberhofer makes brilliant lo-fi guitar pop and his debut EP, o0Oo0Oo (kids, eh!) is ridiculously good. By far the catchiest thing on it is 'Away FRM U', which not only features some nice xylophone action, but also a whistling solo. WHISTLING SOLO!

Before listening to this we suggest pulling your jeans down a bit, putting on a pure white vest, getting on your youngest cousins skateboard and, you know, just chillin' the fuck out Grandpa.

You can download o0Oo0Oo for free from here.

Monday, 15 March 2010

New Musick Monday

Last week was a bit of a rocky one. Two big releases in the shape of the Gorillaz album and the Goldfrapp single had decidedly mixed weeks, with the former sitting pretty at number 1 in the album charts for most of the week before being deposed by a grieving Boyzone at the last minute, whilst the latter single missed the Top 40 altogether thanks to a dearth of airplay. The terrifying Liars album missed out completely, which is how it should be really. We're not sure how society would benefit from having kids exposed to such a racket! This week is a pretty slow one all things considered.


Under Great White Northern Lights by The White Stripes

Everyone's favourite 'sibling' duo return with their first ever live album, which also comes with a brilliant documentary filmed during their 2007 tour of Canada. The album features some brilliant selections, from the opening 'Let's Shake Hands' to the joyous 'Seven Nation Army', via lacerating versions of 'The Union Forver' and their last big single, 'Icky Thump'. There's a tinge of sadness that runs throughout the album and that's because it simultaneously reminds you of how good they are and makes you question whether either Jack or Meg have the desire to carry it on seeing as Jack's got his fingers in every conceivable pie and Meg had to quit the tour due to anxiety. Still, it's a worthy testament to a band who are missed more than ever.


Sweet 7 by Sugababes

We know that some of you might just say, "well, we weren't going to anyway" and that's fine of course, but this is a message to the people who think, "yeah, I like Sugababes, they make brilliant pop songs with a slight edge that show personality and have a certain something about them". NOT ANYMORE THEY DON'T. The FHM-esque cover shot tells you all you need to know about a pop group with no remaining original members, no ounce of originality and no hope of ever reclaiming the sense of excitement that you get from hearing tracks like 'Overload', 'Push The Button' and 'About You Know'. Remember those moody-looking, fully-dressed young women? They've been replaced with three personality vacums.


'Devil's Spoke' by Laura Marling

The timing couldn't be better for a new Laura Marling album seeing as her former backing band, Mumford & Sons, are currently sitting pretty in the UK Top 10. But where as they can easily be dismissed as a kind of Burtons version of folk, Marling appears to be the real deal and her second album, I Speak Because I Can, is a genuinely exciting leap forward from her debut, Alas I Cannot Swim. 'Devil's Spoke' may not be the most immediate track on the album, but it does feature this lyric, which can't help but conjure some very odd imagery; "Ripping off each others clothes in the most perculiar way". In what way is it perculiar? Are they both dressed as clowns and they're only allowed to tear garments off using their teeth? Or, with one hand behind their backs? WE NEED ANSWERS.

Cheque's in the Post

As a little aside, we've been listening to a lot of old Björk albums lately and the one that we keep coming back to is Post. So, it seems fateful that the excellent Stereogum have assembled quite a cast to record a special tribute to it. Acts including Liars, Atlas Sound, Dirty Projectors and Xiu Xiu have all attempted a track each and you can download the whole thing for free form here.

Dave Longstreth has this to say about why his band, Dirty Projectors, picked the amazing 'Hyperballad':
“I think what I took from Björk when I was obsessed with her in high school was her way with deconstruction. She writes these classic melodies but breaks them apart so that it’s sort of up to you as the listener to put them back together. The song ends up meaning so much more because of the effort you have to give to it. Out of a perverse habit, I tried to do the opposite with this recording: present the song like the unbroken stone it might have been. But I think I probably just arrived at a new deconstruction: Björk’s essence remains elusive!”

Amen to that!

Friday, 12 March 2010

High tariff

There's too much to say about this 'music video' (and we say that in the loosest terms seeing as it barely mentions the song and references nearly every film ever made), so we're just going to let it speak for itself. This is 'Telephone' by Lady GaGa and Beyoncé:

One thing, however; we're not sure those fag sunglasses are going to make it past the smoking ban.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Those madcap drug hoovers, MGMT, are back with a new album entitled Congratulations and to celebrate the band are releasing no singles whatsoever. Oh. But what they have done instead is give away a new song, 'Flash Delirium', free on their website.
All you need to do is click here and then click on the weird picture and Bob's your mother's brother.

'Flash Delirium' is, as you might expect if you've read any of the build-up stuff surrounding this album, not exactly radio friendly, but it does have a certain charm. It also has a nice flute solo, a bit that sounds rather pleasant and a loud bit at the end. Classic journalism.

Over & Over

We're pretty big fans of Canadian hip-hop rookie Drake's debut mini-album, So Far Gone, especially the single, 'Best I Ever Had'. Given his huge success in America, expectations are high for his debut long player, Thank Me Later. As with most young rappers, Drake's got a bit of a chip on his shoulder about how he can't trust anyone anymore because all his friends just want his money and all dem hoes are just trying to knock his swagga, etc. Thankfully, as with Kanye and Lil Wayne, he seems to have that ability to turn a cliche into something exciting and 'Over', complete with urgent strings and off-kilter drum beats, is pretty spectacular.

Rumour has it that Jamie from The xx has also contributed beats to the album. Those pesky kids are everywhere at the moment.

You can download 'Over' from Drake's blog

Isn't this just the cutest

Band: She & Him
Title: 'In The Sun'
Album: Volume 2 (due 2 April)

It's as if the director of 500 Days of Summer decided to remake High School Musical.

Monday, 8 March 2010

New Musick Monday

So, last week we got a bit morose about how no one reads this blog but we've seen the light and realised that if no one reads it, well, it's their loss. How else will anyone know what new albums and singles are out this week? It's not as if there are adverts or reviews or billboard posters or virals or...you get the picture. Last week was pretty successful, what with Ellie Goulding's debut flying in at number 1 and Joanna Newsom's triple album sauntering elegantly in at number 28. Unsurprisingly, Perfume Genius didn't dent the Top 75, but hey, who buys vinyl these days? Seeing as we downloaded it for free, we can hardly complain.


Plastic Beach by Gorillaz

It's funny, when Britpop was raging all those years ago, we assumed it would be Liam Gallagher who'd cast off the shackles of his main band and experiment with Chinese pop music, hip-hop, African rhythms and the Venezuelan nose flute. Instead, it's Damon Albarn who has quietly gone about proving himself to be a bit of a genius (OK, not so quietly). Plastic Beach is the third Gorillaz album and it's a sprawling, 16-track opus taking in a loose concept about the environment and features guests as diverse as Lou Reed, Kano, Snoop Dogg and Bobby Womack. In short, it's all over the place, but in a very good way. 'Empire Ants' is possibly the best thing we've heard all year.


Sisterworld by Liars

Again, it's time for a confession. We have this album, in fact it's on the arm of the chair as we type, but we've yet to enter Sisterworld in its entirety. What we do know is that it's a dense, frankly quite terrifying listen, that ranges from the sporadic meltdown of 'Scissor' to the violent convulsions of 'Scarecrows On A Killer Slant'. If you buy the deluxe, 3D artwork version you get an extra CD with remixes of every track by people such as Thom Yorke, Devendra Banhart and one of TV On The Radio.


'Rocket' by Goldfrapp

So, that folky reinvention didn't last long did it? Everyones second favourite female-fronted synth pop duo (La Roux is number one, right?) are back with their forthcoming album, Head First, and 'Rocket' is the Van Halen-aping first single. Allison Goldfrapp was always more suited to the rush of electro than the gentle strum of an acoustic guitar and though 'Rocket' isn't vintage Goldfrapp it certainly beats roughly 78% of everything else in the charts.

Do one

We're nothing if not fair and so we've decided to give you the flip side to Kate Nash's recent foray into the world of Stars In Their Eyes ("Tonight Matthew I'm going to be PJ Harvey"). This is her new single proper and it's called 'Do Wah Doo' and if that's not enough to put you off then here's the video:

The song is catchy enough but the lyrics, once again, are woeful; "I saw a cat, yeah, on a mat, right, and I was like, you're a prat". OK, so that line isn't in the song but you get the feeling it was only left out for being too detailed. It's a shame, because there's something there it just doesn't work when she tries to be The Pipettes.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

This is rather lovely

Band: Foals
Title: 'Spanish Sahara'
Album: Total Life Forever (due 10 May)

Nice to see Adam Buxton's lining up new work now that 6Music is set for the chop. Ha ha.


This video has a big pair of knockers in it

We all remember the '80s right? Big hair, shit clothes, big mobile phones and a smattering of amazing music (and some drivel). Everyone kind of hated it at the time. Well, as you are aware, we're forgiving the '80s in a big way by using its style and nabbing bits of the music that weren't awful. On the surface Nottingham-born Ronika is another young woman whose spent too much time rooting through the '80s NOW compilations, but there's something much more genuine about her sound and also, weirdly, the way she looks. It's as if Cyndi Lauper and Siouxsie Sioux ran into each other really hard and formed a new person.

The single is called 'Do Or Die' and it's a brilliant romp, full of skittering beats and weird gurgling noises and, most importantly, a HUGE chorus. The video is brilliantly crap, with listless dance moves, DIY costumes, some weird man doors and a brilliant bit at the end where Ronika walks back to the camera whilst pulling her dress down awkwardly. Production values be damned!

Here it is:

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Tidy that mess up

In the world of modern R&B there's been an obvious shift towards the dancefloor, with cheesy synths being slathered all over the beats. What tends to happen when extra elements get added to songs that already have a lot going on, however, is that things get muddled and we end up with one big fat mess. Sometimes the song can technically still be defined as a mess but be so good it still works, but there are also times when all the elements seem to clash and you can't work out which bits a chorus and which bits the sound of your modem dying. Obviously, there are always exceptions to any rule and sometimes a mess of a song with no discernible chorus is still amazing (Girls Aloud's 'Biology' please stand up).

But, we digress. R&B messes. This is a hot mess that works brilliantly:

This is just a mess:

This leads us on to the new single by Estelle. Produced by dance titan David Guetta, it samples about three different songs, has no real chorus and for all its bells and whistles is just a bit of a, erm, mess really.

The less said about Karinall Offishall the better. He makes Flo'Rida seem like Nas.

Monday, 1 March 2010

New Musick Monday

We've noticed that our daily numbers have been dwindling quite dramatically so more and more this all feels slightly fruitless, but at the moment we're still enjoying it, so for now New Musick Monday returns to fight another week. This weeks edition isn't quite the bells and whistles bumper edition of last week, but it does feature a TRIPLE album. But, first, let's deal with the relative successes and failures of the past seven days. LoneLady, Toro Y Moi and Brigadier Ambrose all missed the top 75, but they're all amazing and the latter actually sold out in most of the HMV shops that stocked it, so music is the winner. Marina & The Diamonds album crashed in at number 5 and was looking good for the number 1 slot at the midweek point. Giggs, despite all the twittering, landed outside the top 60. It seems a lot of listeners literally didn't go there...THIS IS WHY NO ONE READS THIS!!


Have One On Me by Joanna Newsom

A confession; we haven't heard this yet. It's waiting for us when we get home, but for now, our ears have not been lightly grazed by Newsom's latest three CD extravaganza. We're urging you to buy this on the fact that her last album was a masterpiece, every review of this has been glowing and because even if it isn't something you'd normally listen to, it still means you have three extra coasters in your house should you be silly enough not to love it. Plus, it comes in a box and has a lyric sheet as long as the Bible (but better). THIS IS WHY NO CHRISTIANS READ THIS!!


Lights by Ellie Goulding

We reviewed this album for another website and you can read it here. It kind of sums up our feelings towards what is a solid pop album, but one that feels a bit emotionless and is in no way the future of music. But we knew that already.


'Mr Peterson' by Perfume Genius

Perfume Genius, aka Mike Genius (may not be his real surname), makes fragile, haunting piano ballads that make Antony Hegarty seem like H from Steps. His lyrics are so stark that they sometimes border on the hilarious in that did-he-just-suggest-his-teacher-was-sexually-attracted-to-him kind of way. In fact, it's exactly that storyline that runs through 'Mr Peterson' and the song ends with the titular character killing himself. Yay, Spring is here. THIS IS WHY NO ONE READS THIS!!

You can download this single and the b-side from here.