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

Friday, 30 April 2010

Friday catch up!

Things have been rather busy of late and it's caused us to miss a couple of things.

Firstly, Theophilus London's new mixtape, I Want You, has finally been released and that's the artwork below. You can download it for free from here, and a very good listen it is too.

FACT: The cat in the picture belongs to TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek.

Interestingly, we're kind of linked to a minor beef that is taking place between Theophilus and The Guardian's Paul Lester. We won't explain it, best just to pop over and give it a read. WARNING: It's like Biggie vs. Tupac all over again.

Also, Kele from Bloc Party is on a bit of a break from the band and has decided to launch a solo career (as has Brandon Flowers from The Killers, in what must be one of the most expected moves in music history). This is Kele's first single, taken from the album The Boxer, and it's a beat-heavy, 'Wearing My Rolex'-cribbing dance behemoth:

Finally, Hurts are back with their first single proper, 'Better Than Love'. It also has a video, which resembles some kind of sequel to Tipping The Velvet, but a little more lesbian.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

"You take all my money / You take all my weed"

Here's a rather lovely new Best Coast track, which is not only taken from their forthcoming album, but also soundtracks a new XBox computer game (huh!?).

Anyways, it's called 'Our Deal' and has a lovely country-ish swing and can be heard here.

Riddle me this

We love a good puzzle and we enjoy them more if they feature a current favourite and new(ish) band that sound promising.

Basically, this video appeared from nowhere for a new act called ceo:

ceo - prologue from Modular People on Vimeo.

At the same time, Musick favourites jj, posted a new song called 'ceo Birthday' and that can be heard (and downloaded) here

Now we hear that Secretly Canadian, jj's label, have announced that ceo is actually Eric Berglund from Tough Alliance and that ceo have an album coming out in June called White Magic. It's all so wonderfully intertextual. We can't wait for Christina to secretly introduce the next Britney album with the subtle, 'She's Not As Talented As Me (Or As Dirrty)'.

Monday, 26 April 2010

New Musick Monday

It's not a great week when your biggest success is a new entry at number 54. The new Hot Chip single, we hear you cry? No, that missed the top 100 altogether (yeah, no thanks to our Facebook petition, right guys?). Oh, it must have been those ABBA loving LA residents, Music Go Music? Nope, nowhere near. Yep, Caribou was our lone entry in the UK Top 75 and now that we've heard the album we can safely say it's worthy of far more, but then you could have guessed that already. Let's keep the Crystal on ice until we've dealt with these bad boys...


"Hippies" by Harlem

Harlem are three wasters from Austin, Texas who clearly don't believe in politcal correctness or over-dubs. "Hippies", their second album, is a brilliantly ramshackle collection of bone-dry guitar, sloppy drums and slurred vocals that somehow flesh out some of the catchiest songs this side of The Lemonheads back catalogue. If you're still not convinced, just read some of these track titles; 'Gay Human Bones', Three Legged Dog', 'Stripper Sunset' and 'Pissed'. How can you not love these guys?


Crystal Castles (II) by Crystal Castles

This isn't out physically until May, but some terrible scamp has uploaded the whole thing onto the interpipe so the band have decided to make it offically available on iTunes. If, like us, you thought their first album sounded like the inner workings of a Dalek's mind, then you might be pleased to hear that the follow-up is slightly more musical. In fact, one song ('Celestica'), is actually really lovely. If something having a melody equals selling out then we can only apologise and suggest you put your head inside a microwave, record the sound and loop it ad infinium to get your kicks.


'Over' by Drake

This has been about for a little while now, but it's slowly creeping up the UK charts so we thought, given our new found influence (ahem), we'd give it that last shot in the arm it deserves. Drake, for those who don't know, is basically the future of commercial rap music, a protege of Kanye West and the man trusted with flying the flag for Lil Wayne's Young Money records whilst the boss is in the clink. 'Over' is a dramatic, paranoid slice of in your face hip-hop, complete with swooping strings, thumping beats and Drake's impassioned vocals. It's safe to say he's better than Chipmunk.

N.ot E.veryone R.eally D.igs (this)

After all the M.I.A shenanigans of last week (Musick was top of the google searches for 'Born Free', geeky fact fans), it's down to earth with a bump today. It's sad to report that the demise of the Neptunes as a producton power-house has finally been confirmed with this, the first single from N.E.R.D's fourth album, Nothing.

Featuring a fairly listless turn by everyone's favourite 'feat.', Nelly Furtado, 'Hot N Fun' (ah, that title!) is neither of those things. We can't help but think it's time for Pharrell & co. to call it a day, stop all this rock nonsense and get back to making forward thinking beats such as this humdinger.


Friday, 23 April 2010


It's called 'Born Free' and it's not what you were expecting...

  M.I.A. - Born Free by TheProphetBlog

EDIT: That link has died, but here's another:

First thoughts - that Sleigh Bells collaboration is fairly obvious, but it sounds immense. Going to be HUGE.

EDIT: It now has a video (it's a bit explicit, so be careful)

He'll need some Savlon

We've kind of given up on Devendra Banhart recently, not because he lacks talent but because he's channeling those talents down some annoying '70s psych-folk noodle street, at least two miles off melody Lane. We remember when it was all gorgeously plucked acoustic ditties about spiders...

Anyways, this is the new, very much NSFW, video for the track 'Foolin', which features S&M, miraculously growing and shrinking beards, beards of a very different variety and some heartfelt acting form Mr Banhart.


You didn't even notice the song, did you?

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Nature vs Nurture

This is a rather nice surprise.

The Good Natured, aka Sarah McIntosh, released an EP about a year ago and then had to get her pesky A-Levels out of the way, but now, sans long term boyfriend - she split with him in the interim (perhaps he's the chap in the tree) - she's back with more lovely 'goth-pop'. As you might expect, her lyrics have taken on a slightly more "I'm going to wash that man right out of my hair" tone, but there's still a nice way with a melody.

You can listen to the new single 'Your Body Is A Machine' and download some remixes from this thing below:

Your Body Is A Machine by partisanpr

Very nice indeed. Our favourite bit? Those little thumb pianos that come in towards the end. The single is out on cooler-than-though French label, Kitsune Maison on the 21 June.

Colonel Gad-Uffie

A few days ago, in a piece about Sky Ferreira we said the following about Ke$ha (still with us?):

"[She's] everyone's fourth favourite Britney"

We owe Uffie an apology because clearly Ke$ha is a very low-rent version of the Paris-based potty mouth so, to paraphrase Marina Hyde, it's probably best if you change your records accordingly.

 That out the way, here's Uffie's brand new Mirwais-produced single, taken from the oft-delayed debut, Sex Dreams & Denim Jeans. It's called, somewhat bizarrely, 'ADD SUV' and features Pharrell.

  Uffie - ADD SUV feat. Pharell [Prod. by Mirwais] by TPBSecretLeaks

It's nearly very good, but it's hampered slightly by the feeling that they found the box marked 'vocal effects' and lost the one marked 'tune'.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Robyn there, done that

We've had the Diplo-produced 'Dancehall Queen', the future feminist anthem 'Fembot', the I'm-bored-in-this-town ragga of 'None Of Dem' and now we finally get the single. 'Dancing On My Own', produced by Kleerup [EDIT: Apparently this was produced by Patrik Berger], is full of those heartbreaking moments that Robyn has made her own since her eponymous album dropped about five years ago.

As with 'Be Mine!' and 'With Every Heartbeat', 'Dancing On My Own' simultaneously crackles with energy but also soaks istelf with real tears, Robyn imagining herself stood in the corner of a club whilst her former boyfriend starts a new relationship right in front of her eyes. Over a stuttering, pulsating beat and minimal clicks, Robyn laments, "I'm in the corner / Watching you kiss her / Oh, oh, oh" and it sounds like a heartbreak. The best bit is when the music falls away and it's just Robyn and a piano, then the chorus comes back in and that beat erupts from nowhere and you want to leap about with snot and tears streaming down your face.

You can listen to a poor quality rip of it here or download it from here.

Meanwhile, this is a brilliant performance of 'Fembot' taken from some Swedish TV show:

You've got something in your teeth

This rather disturbing image below is the one chosen to accompany the new Mystery Jets single, 'Flash A Hungry Smile', which you can download for free from their website.

Continuing on from the '80s pop leanings of their last album, 'Flash A Hungry Smile' races out of the tracks and can barely contain its enthusiasm. Keyboards twinkle and shimmer, the backing vocals are deliciously camp and there remains a definte heart of darkness amongst all the pop confection.

New Musick Monday

Last week we strongly advised you to bypass purchasing the new Scouting For Girls album in favour of donating money to any given charity. Whilst we collate the information to find out just how much you raised, it gives us great pleasure to announce that the 'band' failed in their attempt to score a second number 1, their flaccid excuse for an album flopping listlessly at number 2. MGMT entered at number 4, but we predict a pretty spectacular fall once the people who haven't read the reviews start telling all their mates there's no 'Kids' on it. In the singles chart, Kelis scored her ninth top 10 single as 'Acapella' strutted in at number 5. But enough of the past, let's step into the future (or the present)...


Expressions by Music Go Music

This trio from LA make sun-kissed, '70s FM radio style music that would make ABBA think twice about releasing something so immediate. Much of Expressions is like being transported back to a time that probably didn't even exist, but has been created by a nostalgia machine on a full spin cycle. There's plenty to love though, from the ADHD of opener 'I Walk Alone' to the long lost ABBA single that is 'Light Of Love', to 'Warm In The Shadows' ten minutes of sheer disco joy. Chances are you won't want to listen to it very often - it could have the reverse effect and cause some kind of gun-toting rampage - but as a blast of cheesy but brilliantly crafted pop, it's of an (ABBA) Gold standard.


Swim by Caribou

Everyone's been going on about this guy and this album and we were going to buy it, we really were, but things happened and it slipped our minds. We could lie and ramble on about how we've heard it and it's wonderful (not that we've EVER lied before you understand), but that seems a bit mean, so instead, we'll just point you in its direction and let you make up your own minds.


'I Feel Better' by Hot Chip

What's a band got to do? You make a killer video, get an alt-folk legend to do a remix and still Radio 1 refuse to playlist the catchiest song form your album. Hot Chip have twittered (tweeted? Twot?) that their new release has rather died on its arse following Radio 1's refusal to playlist it and have, quite rightly, pointed out that 6Music is needed more than ever if new acts (or just any acts that aren't 3OH!3 or Diana Vickers) are going to succeed. So, after out heroics last week, let's see if we can get Hot Chip the top 10 single they deserve. Let's start a Facebook campaign! ARE YOU WITH US? Oh, no? OK...

"i will never understand this kind of videocrap"

Title: 'Drunk Girls'
Band: LCD Soundsystem
Album: This Is Happening (17 May)

The above quote is taken from a disgruntled youtube user who likes the song, but doesn't like the video. He/she just doesn't "understand this kind of videocrap". We're not sure there's much to understand really, it's just a bunch of guys dressed up as panda bears attacking the members of LCD Soundsystem whilst they try to perform their new single. That's literally it...

Friday, 16 April 2010

Spotify the difference

This is a fairly staggering (and aesthetically pleasing) chart that someone has made to show just how mental the music industry payment system has become.

Basically, a song would need to have been played over 4.5 million times on Spotify in order to generate enough cash to give the artist the equivalent of the US monthly minimum wage...let's digest that for a second. Obviously, artists also make money from CD sales and digital sales (although the label makes substantially more in both cases), but with Spotify being so prevalent and many calling it "the future", it's clear a new model needs to be created. At the same time, the major labels all have shares in Spotify so it's not as if any of this is new to anyone.

So, why are we discussing any of this when we have no answers and everyone knows all this anyway? Our thoughts exactly.

Here's a brilliantly cheesy pop video by Mini Viva to make the move into the weekend that much easier:

Thursday, 15 April 2010

With or without you

A month ago we interviewed Beth from Best Coast for the new edition of Dazed & Confused (in the shops NOW!) and she was thoroughly lovely (well, as lovely as you can be via email). We've been enjoying 'When I'm With You' for months now and some very clever people at her label have decided that this deliciously summery jangle of a song is the perfect choice for a summer single. All Beth wanted to talk about, incidentally, was the weather, so it's no surprise that this very good video has a lot of beach action. Enjoy.

Ronald McDonald (well, it's not him, for legal reasons) is pretty fuckin' scary is he not?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Oops up side your head

We've been going nuts about Theophilus London for some time now and it seems appropriate to go slightly bonkers for him again seeing as his new mix-tape, I Want You, has now been given a release date of 28 April. As a little taster, he's started leaking a few of the tracks and one of the best we've heard so far is this cover of Tweet's excellent, Timbaland-produced ode to masturbation, 'Oops'. Production duties on this cover were handled by a certain Hudson Mohawke.

You can hear it here and download it for free here

This is the original, which is still very much worth hearing:

So good.

OK now Go

Band: Music Go Music
Title: 'Light Of Love'
Album: Expressions (out on 19 April)

This is an amazing video. There's not much else to say about it really, you just need to watch it. We've had the Music Go Music album for about a week and we still can't decide whether it's the worst or the best thing we've heard all year. We can only assume the delays in releasing the album were down to the fact their legal team had to deal with a few royalties requests from ABBA's people.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Damme it!

Band: Lightspeed Champion
Title: 'Madame Van Damme'
Album: Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You

This is going to sound mean, but we're saying it for his own good; Lighstpeed Champion's videos are usually more interesting than the songs. There, we said it. It's us being cruel to be kind, because we've seen him at work with acts like Solange and Theophilus London and he's clearly super talented, but his own stuff seems to be a bit, well, disappointing. The above video for 'Madame Van Damme' is bright, funny and self-referential, whilst the song is a bit of a plodder.

Monday, 12 April 2010

New Musick Monday

Here at Musick Towers our internet connection appears to currently be powered by two mice, running furiously on tiny wheels, so this edition of the award-winning New Musick Monday may be cut short at any moment. With that in mind, let's cut the crap and get right to the good stuff; Rufus Wainwright was last week's real winner, entering at number 21, whilst She & Him and Darwin Deez both bowed at number 62, the former on the album chart and the latter in the singles version. So, who's stepping up to the plate this week?


Congratulations by MGMT 

This is fast becoming one of the most over-analysed albums in recent years, with every critic worth his salt mewing about the fact that the band have ditched their sound in favour of eighteen minute long impressionist soundscapes. In reality, Congratulations is a brilliant mix of English psych rock and a very peculiar sense of humour, one that finds them crafting a song about how Brian Eno is responsible for just about every sound we hear. Sure there's a twelve minute long song that sounds like a brief run through of popular music and a fairly odious instrumental called Lady Dada's Nightmare, but it's on the quieter moments that you realise how well-crafted it all is. I Found A Whistle and Someone's Missing in particular are both quietly devastating, whilst the closing title track tells you all you need to know about why they've 'ditched' the sound of old.


Everybody Wants To Be On TV by Scouting For Girls

Seriously, if you've got a spare tenner and you're thinking of buying this album, then don't. Instead, why not donate the money to any of the causes below, thus helping your fellow man and giving you the warm glow inside that only comes from hindering a band as loathsomely inept as Scouting For Girls (what is that name about!? Isn't that the name that three serial killers would come up with if they wanted to form a band in order to lure people to a den and murder them?). Anyway, here are the links:
Cancer Research
The Music Therapy Charity (for the future!)


'Acapella' by Kelis

Christ knows we've gone about this a lot already, but it's out to buy on iTunes now so we thought we'd mention it again. It's always nice to have pop stars like Kelis around and she's been off the radar for too long, so rejoice with us that she's back, making slightly off-kilter dance tunes like this one. One, two, three, "Huzzah!".

Sunday, 11 April 2010

jjoin the jjoyride

Swedish duo jj were shrouded in the kind of mystery that can only be perpetuated by music blogs, so it's telling that by the time we get round to doing something on them the mystery has vanished (you can see them below) and Pitchfork are calling their new album "not very good" (or something a bit more wordy).

It's hard to describe the music jj make - balearic beat or dream pop seem the most appropriate - and there's an air of dissaffection and general inertia that's quite appealing, as if it's not really terribly important what you think of the music, it's just there. To emphasis the point, all three of their releases so far have just been ascending numbers, so their new 'full-length' (it's 26 minutes long) is called, simply, jj n° 3. The follow-up to the breathtaking, jj n° 2 (obviously), it's not the musical shit heap that Pitchfork makes out, but rather a slightly more formless and downbeat affair. As with recent tour campanions (and fellow fans of letters), The xx, jj's music is simultaneously vaporous and compelling, loaded with emotion but barely breaking a sweat. They also share a love of hip-hop, with jj choosing to seak inspiration from current jailbird Lil Wayne on the opening track, 'My Life'.

Below is the first single from jj n° 3, 'Let Go', and it features a nice dog, the two band members and a recurring visual theme, blood.

jj n° 3 isn't officially out until May but you can buy it from Rough Trade as part of an exclusive deal that also means you get jj n° 2 included. It goes without saying that you should buy these two albums right now!

Friday, 9 April 2010

It's the Friday catch-up

Time to catch up on some admin and bring you, dear reader, up to date with some songs we've been enjoying recently, but that we haven't actually got round to sharing. There are many reasons for this - the weather, laziness, the impending elections, EastEnders - but here at Musick we figure that telling you about them late is better than not telling you at all. Besides, nobody likes a know-it-all.

First up is Sia with 'Clap Your Hands', the first single from her new album, We Are Born. Sia? Isn't she that bird who sang on all those dreary Zero 7 singles? Well, yes, this is true, but she also had a pop career before that and has worked with people like Beck since then so we can forgive her. Plus, We Are Born is shaping up to be something quite special and 'Clap Your Hands' is the kind of 'carefree summer jam' we just don't hear anymore.

Another person with breasts is Sunday Girl with her debut single, 'Four Floors'. There's the faint whiff of mid-nineties trip-hop about it, which may not be a bad thing, and the chorus and the vocal performance more than makes up for it if it is. It also has a lovely middle eight bit that makes us feel a bit funny. She's also had a re-rub by Diplo, but the original version is much better.

We end, as ever, with a club banger. This is the new single from Outkast's Big Boi and it's called, rather wonderfully, 'Shutterbug'.

That's all folks.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Sky's the limit

If Ke$ha has the whole LOL-OMG-my-knickers-just-fell-off thing down for the chart pop market, then 17-year-old Sky Ferreira is the more Dazed & Confused version. She goes to parties, sure, but she seems to go to ones that are in basement clubs and frequented by all the moody intellectuals at school and not the desperate frat boys and cheerleaders that make up the imaginary world of everyone's fourth favourite Britney.

Having worked with a plethora of pop producers for her soon-to-be-released debut - including Greg Kurstin, Bloodshy & Avant, The Teddybears and Paul Epworth - the buzz around Miss Ferreira is pretty loud. This is her debut single, '17', complete with a 'racy' video that would have got everyone all hot and bothered about ten years ago, but now just seems pretty tame.

Time will tell whether the whole package is just that bit too cool for school to sell a shed load of albums, but for now it's quite some introduction.

Fight for this love

Wildbirds & Peacedrums are that odd thing; a band who make pretension sound uplifting as opposed to knuckle-chewingly awkward.

Having tackled steel drums, every kind of percussion available and cryptic lyrics about snakes, they've decided to throw choirs into their already burgeoning mix of sounds and will release two vinyl-only EPs (Retina and Iris) later this year before slapping them together for an album in August. As a taster for what to expect they're giving away a new song, 'Fight For Me', and it's one of the best things you'll hear all week.

You can download the track from here or listen to it on this widget thing we stole.

Monday, 5 April 2010

New Musick Monday

We trust you've had your fill of Easter and are now settling down to read this with belly full of chocolate and mind full of tales of men on crosses, caves and Mel Gibson's idea of what it all means. But, dear reader, it's the fiery depths of hell for our three brave entrants from last week as Erykah Badu and Dum Dum Girls both missed the top 40 on the album charts and, most surprisingly, The Drums did the same on the singles chart. All this despite blanket music press coverage and the fact that 'Best Friend' is literally a million times better than the current UK bestseller (we can't bring ourselves to mention them here, so if you do wish to know who we're on about then pop over to google and do some searching yourselves). Anyway, force down another Wispa bar and read this...


All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu by Rufus Wainwright

Not, as the title might suggest, a homage to the short, flame-haired Scottish singer, but instead a tribute to the death of his own alter-ego and the death of his beloved mother (it says something about Rufus Wainwright that those two things should be mourned on the same album, but there you are). Gone are the orchestral flights of fancy and instead it's just Wainwright, his piano and his musings on family ('Martha'), America ('Who Are You New York?') and the loss of his mother, who died shortly after the album was completed but who Wainwright was already mourning. There are also three Shakespeare sonnets put to music, which should push the pretentious quota off the scale but somehow he manages to pull it off.


Volume Two by She & Him

Zooey Deschanel is one of the most beautiful women on the planet and the mere mention of her name causes young men of a certain age to stop breathing and collapse in a heap of corduroy and plaid. With M.Ward she's managed to carve out a successful music career to go alongside her acting one and this second volume of songs is as lightweight, breezy and downright cute as the first one. Don't buy it expecting searing emotional terrain or ear-bleeding noise, but do buy it if you're feeling a bit bummed and, like, you know, just a bit 'meh'.


'Radar Detector' by Darwin Deez

On the surface there's much to hate about Darwin Deez. For one, his hair is appalling, a strange mix of corkscrew perm and footballer's hair band and for two, this song is so naggingly catchy you might need therapy to have it removed from your brain. But, we're here to celebrate music and this is music and it's mindless but it's fun and sometimes, especially at Easter, that's all that matters.