November 2011, Penthouse Perfection


7 déc. 2011, 14h03m

Some Hallowe'en playlist introduced me to Found Love in a Graveyard by Veronica Falls, so that seems as good a place as any to kick off the November blog. Alas, it probably is the best track on album Veronica Falls, but what a track it is: like old-school Interpol laced with real venom during the verses, and old-school Lush for the chorus. Album closer Come On Over is a bit of alright too. I can't put my finger on a particular band (probably because of the restraining order), but it definitely brings to mind early to mid 90s indie, and I can only imagine how good it must be live.

Another new acquisition at the start of the month was Florence + the Machine's Ceremonials. Not sure if the title is meant to sound like an euphemism (as in, "ooh, I've got a right rash on my Ceremonials"), but the albums a pretty joyless affair. Admitedly I was a latecomer to début Lungs, but it had the right balance between heart and bluster. This one though has definitely tipped into overblown territory, with big big BIG production sounds and every tracking competing to be the most epic. For me the winner is probably Seven Devils, though even at that it is really reminiscent of the excellent Heavy in Your Arms from last year.

I still don't have a clue who Dirty Beaches is/are, but Badlands is an intriguing little thing. Like a lo-fi Chris Isaak recorded on a cheap 80s tape recorder,it's definitely the polar opposite of Flo's album when it comes to production values, and clocking in at just a tad over 25 minutes it definitely doesn't outstay its welcome. If Elvis rocked up at Toe Rag instead of Sun Studios, it might have sounded something like this.

Now, I realise my play counts probably indicate otherwise, but I'm not a huge Kate Bush fan. While I have a lot of admiration for the lady, and think that both The Dreaming and Hounds of Love are cracking albums, most of my plays are down to Mrs Dandy and her inability to turn my scrobler off *ahem*. Given that though, newie 50 Words for Snow is achingly lovely in places. Wild Man was a great lead track, at once reminding of those quality 80s singles she did so well while sounding nothing like any of them either. Title track 50 Words for Snow is a befuddling thing: managing to be naff ("come on Joe, we've got 30 more to go" and all that), but with incredible instrumentation, and some ingenious words for our white festive powder to boot. Wenceslas' Air, Phlegm de Neige and Sorbetdeluge are all gorgeously poetic, while 'Badfortrains' will raise a wry smile with anyone familiar with the UK's track record of coping with more than a dusting of the ole Slipperella.

A few days off sick gave me a chance to get briefly reacquainted with daytime BBC Radio 6, and specifically Lauren Laverne's show. Heard that new one by Friends with that killer bass (I'm His Girl), which got me curious. As cool as I'm His Girl is, I have to say that previous offering Friend Crush is the winner for me. Coming in somewhere between Tom Tom Club, The Breeders circa Cannonball and New Young Pony Club, it sounds like an album will definitely be worth cocking an ear to.

Discovery of the month has to be an oldie though. I cannot believe that I've made it this far without ever hearing Roxy Music's For Your Pleasure, and more specifically, In Every Dream Home A Heartache. Roxy's later, slicker sounds like Avalon and Dance Away remind me of listening to tapes in my dad's car as a child so they'll always have a nostalgic pull, but For Your Pleasure is so much more than that. The closest comparison I can think of is Suede's mighty Dog Man Star, it's that ambitious, far reaching and just plain fucking ace.

Three months, several albums, still nothing screaming out Album Of The Year...


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