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Track Of The Fortnight

HAIM

THE WIRE

 

Polydor

Reviving an anthemic guitar pop sound we’ve not heard since David Lee Roth left Van Halen (erm, the first time…), ‘The Wire’ might just be the massive thing everyone’s been predicting for California sister act Haim, who, you’ll be excited to hear, have just confirmed their debut album Days Are Gone for a September 30 release. A fiercesome slowburner that’s part Shania Twain, part Pat Benatar, part Eagles, it finds the LA trio turning everything – harmonies, riffs, production! – up to ‘10’.

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MAIGHREAD

SOONER

 

Meon Records

Specialising in songs to jump around your bedroom to, Limerick-born, London-based electronic singer-songwriter Maighréad has created something special in ‘Sooner’, a soulful, high-energy nu-disco number of epic proportions. Delivering that same feeling we treasure in ‘90s bangers like ‘Show Me Love’ and ‘Finally’, it’s fiercely uplifting stuff, dated somewhere between fresh and futuristic.

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SAINT YORDA

DISCO

 

FIFA Records

Proving that you don’t have to enjoy tropical temperatures to create a fiendishly addictive trop-pop number, Cork trio Saint Yorda present ‘Disco’, a terribly clever stick of lo-fi dynamite, boasting roughed-up synths, some blissful steel drum samples and the gut-wrenchingly gorgeous falsetto of vocalist Paul O’Reilly. Fans of Vampire Weekend, Waaves et. al beware: give this track 10 seconds and it will commandeer your entire week.

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JANELLE MONAE

DANCE APOCALYPTIC

 

Warner

A hyperactive, funk-laden party jam based around an endlessly danceable chorus of ‘Don’t Stop’s and ‘Chalangalangalang’s, ‘Dance Apocalyptic’ hints that Janelle Monae’s forthcoming LP The Electric Lady might not be the high concept affair that 2010 ground-shatterer The ArchAndroid was, but with the enigmatic Ms. Monae in the driving seat, there’s really no excuse to whine.

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THE STRYPES

WHAT A SHAME

 

Universal

A extratropical cyclone couldn’t halt the Strypes juggernaut at this stage, so it’s a relief to hear that the Irish foursome haven’t relaxed their songwriting muscles just yet. And there’s more good news; blistering new track ‘What A Shame’ is laced with sweet, sweet irony (‘If he changed a couple lyrics in the chorus it might/Sound fresher than ever, a radio hit/And all the ladies would sing it when they get in the pit’). Psst! The accompanying music video, directed by fellow Cavanite Finn Keenan, is also proper good.

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TIRED PONY

ALL THINGS AT ONCE

 

Fiction

Given that Gary Lightbody, Richard Colburn, Iain Archer, Jacknife Lee, Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Troy Stewart are all sharing the Tired Pony pie, it’s impressive that ‘All Things At Once’ is such an unfussy creation. A stripped-down, guitar and vox-led piece of folk rock, it’s gentle and timid, but in the best possible way.

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THE NAKED AND FAMOUS

HEARTS LIKE OURS

 

Fiction

Taken from In Rolling Waves, the forthcoming second album from Auckland synthpoppers The Naked And Famous, ‘Hearts Like Ours’ is a predictably schmaltzy item, a trundling piece of radio-ready indie melodrama that relies on the distorted vocal talents of Alisa Xayalith to bring it down to earth. Next!

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LITTLE XS FOR EYES

SUMMER STAY

 

Self Released

It’s unlikely that an independent alt. pop group have any power over the changing of the seasons, but if it’ll buy us a few extra hours of sun, we’re happy to play ‘Summer Stay’, the dreamy new single from Dublin sixsome Little Xs For Eyes on a loop until October. Built around swooning synths and the twee vocal stylings of Bennie Reilly, it’s a perfect mantra for courting the weatherman, but it’ll also be handy come wintertime, when we’re all trying to remember what a blue sky looks like.

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PASSENGER

HOLES

 

Nettwerk Records

Depending on your viewpoint, Passenger’s last single, the ubiquitous ‘Let Her Go’, is either an appealing and inventive slice of Brit folk-pop or the most irritating dirge ever to occupy a radio playlist. The follow-up from the All The Little Lights album finds the Brighton based Mike Rosenberg in a similar mode, with another lightweight, albeit more up-tempo folk-ish tune. His voice, which sounds like it has been filtered through laughing gas, is instantly recognisable and the song, with its accessible radio-friendly melody and memorable chorus, is guaranteed to appeal to devotees and repel the naysayers in equal measure.

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HOZIER

TAKE ME TO CHURCH EP

 

Rubyworks Records

Playing virtually every instrument Wicklow’s Hozier conjures a unique palette of sonic textures. The title-track, a genuinely uplifting slice of yearning, soulful pleading, sounds like it was recorded in a church before a repentant congregation. ‘Like Real People Do’ is more intimate, acoustic and haunting, ‘Angel Of Small Death’ encompasses New Orleans Mardi Gras; live track ‘Cherry Wine’ is a fragile, unadorned ballad with just voice and guitar. Intriguing.

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CONTROL FREAK

ALRIGHT (A RIGHT TO CHOICE)

 

Hypergasmic Records

A duo featuring the strangely named Kyle Goldstein on vocals, guitar and synth pedals and the even more unbelievably monikered Dietrich Blitzer on drums, Control Freak take aim squarely at the pro-life movement and the Church. Lyrically, they don’t take prisoners: “This is not your body – it don’t belong to you, it’s not the dark ages,” (Available as a free download from: controlfreaksex.com)

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BIG SEPTEMBER

MONEYMAN

 

Following the terrific ‘Preacher’ single of a few months back, ‘Moneyman’, takes aim at the bankers, politicians and others responsible for the current financial crises (it even features snippets from the now infamous Anglo tapes!) With a memorable chorus, “Use me, come on use me, take my money, take it all”, and a meaty, guitar-drive melody with a strong Britpop influence (Blur’s ‘There’s No Other Way’ comes to mind), this is certain to expand the band’s growing audience.

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JERRY FISH

BAREFOOT & FREE

 

The Mudbug Club

The irrepressible ring-master of all things musical and magical returns with a new band. He performs his Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow extravaganza at the upcoming Electric Picnic. ‘Barefoot & Free’ features R.S.A.G. on drums, a Duane Eddy guitar riff and a leery, down ‘n’ dirty vocal performance from Mr. Fish. This is primal rock and roll, with elements of The Doors, The Cramps, early Stones, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and a bit of U2’s ‘Desire’.

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ANGEL HAZE

BAREFOOT & FREE

 

Free Track

The irrepressible ring-master of all things musical and magical returns with a new band. He performs his Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow extravaganza at the upcoming Electric Picnic. ‘Barefoot & Free’ features R.S.A.G. on drums, a Duane Eddy guitar riff and a leery, down ‘n’ dirty vocal performance from Mr. Fish. This is primal rock and roll, with elements of The Doors, The Cramps, early Stones, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and a bit of U2’s ‘Desire’.

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ANGEL HAZE

NEW SLAVES

 

Free Track

Kanye West’s infectious tirade on the commercialisation of rap culture dons a new outfit thanks to Brooklyn rhymer Angel Haze, who adds education deficits, the stranglehold of technology and rape in the US legal system to an already jam-packed list of gripes. Complex, passionate and persuasive, this fearless Yeezus reworking shows that Ms. Wilson has got brains to burn. Her debut album Dirty Gold simply can’t come fast enough.

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DEADMAU5

SUCKFEST 9001

 

Free Track

Joel “Deadmau5” Zimmerman has been itching to share this throbbing slice of electro house for months now, but recording contract commitments kept his hands tied until June 25, when he respectfully dissolved the partnership with a cordial Tweet (“FUCK YOU @ultrarecords IM OUT.”) It’s not yet clear whether ‘Suckfest 9001’ will appear on the beat-sculpting man-rodent’s sixth album, but it’ll certainly keep shoulders bouncing while we wait to hear more.

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ACTION BRONSON

LIVE FROM AN OLD FOLKS HOME

 

Live Session

St. Hilda’s East Community Centre in Shoreditch took a break from their usual programme of knitting and brass cleaning last month when Vice music channel Noisey dropped by with their good friend Action Bronson, the chef-turned-rapper from Flushing, Queens whose diamond-in-the-rough flow is currently doted over all around the world. In a performance too hilarious for words, Action lays down fan favourite ‘Strictly 4 My Jeeps’, earning an average score of 5/10 from the seniors at St. Hilda’s. Well, they liked his beard, at least.

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NO MONSTER CLUB

THE SUN

 

Music Video

An impossibly chirpy, deliciously lo-fi guitar pop jam with a grainy, home movie-styled music video to match, ‘The Sun’, full title, ‘I Think You Could Only Get Away With This Carry On When You’re In The Sun’, is everything a modern-day bathing beauty could wish for in a soundtrack; fun, messy and infinitely singable.

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