By Mary Chang on Friday, 7th January 2011 at 10:00 am
Dalston, London’s Male Bonding (pictured above) released a split 7″ single with Brighton’s Cold Pumas last September on Faux Discx. Seeing that the 7″ is now sold out, the two bands are being quite magnanimous, offering up both songs – ‘Stare at My Problems’ (Male Bonding at their usual ‘nyah nyah nyah’ best) and ‘Altered Yeast’ (Cold Pumas, who I’d never heard of before but should be right up your alley if you’re a Male Bonding fan) – for free download. Listen and download them below.
By Mary Chang on Thursday, 23rd December 2010 at 10:00 am
Modular Recordings is offering a free remix mp3 of Cut Copy‘s ‘Take Me Over’. The remix master in this case is none other than DFA Records co-founder, the New York-based, British producer Tim Goldsworthy, who for this remix is going by the name Thee Loving Hand. (I’m a big fan of his remix of Delphic‘s ‘Counterpoint’.)
In this version, as can and should be expected from one of the two great minds that birthed one of the best dance labels of recent history, the song is transformed into a sexy, almost liquid form of music. About 4 minutes in though, the direction shifts towards a more chiptune sound.
By Mary Chang on Wednesday, 22nd December 2010 at 10:00 am
I have a very vivid memory of a gym class in the ’90s and hearing the extended version of Everything But the Girl’s ‘Missing’ for the first time. It was one of those mind-altering moments in my life, probably one that cemented my love for dance music.
These days Tracey Thorn has been making music solo and for the holidays, she’s offering a bundle of gifts. She recently recorded a cover of Sufjan Stevens‘ ‘Sister Winter’ recorded in Berlin with producer Ewan Pearson, as well as a live-at-home performance of ‘Singles Bar’ (from her most recent solo album, ‘Love And Its Opposite’) that features Pearson on keyboards and EBtG’s Ben Watt on guitar.
By Mary Chang on Tuesday, 21st December 2010 at 10:00 am
The other night my mates and I walked through the door of the pub and what was playing on the PA? Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ of course. (I groaned inwardly as I made my way swiftly to the bar for a pint of Harp.) If you’re like me and looking for something a bit different this holiday season, have a listen and download I Like Trains‘ cover of the song below. After too much holiday brew, it’s a very chill and welcome number to listen to.
By Mary Chang on Monday, 20th December 2010 at 10:00 am
I am not shy about my love for the Crookes. The Sheffield band makes such good time rock ‘n’ roll, my heart goes pitter-pat every time I listen to them. And I die a little inside every time I see a gig I can’t go to.
But I think the Crookes will be spreading their love musically further afield, if their free Christmas single ‘It’s Just Not Christmas Without You’ is any indication. ’60s style Roy Orbison vocals and instrumentation make may this song soar. The ‘b-side’ is a spare, ukulele and vocals only number called ‘All Alone on Christmas’. “Where the lonely hearts go? / nobody wants to be alone on Christmas”? I swoon, but in a bittersweet way. These are certainly sappy, but it’s Christmas! You’re allowed things sappy and sentimental this time of year. It’s like having eaten a big candy cane or chocolate orange and getting that warm, happy feeling inside.
Both songs (plus a holiday message from the Crookes that I won’t spoil for you) can be downloaded for free from the band’s Web site.
By Mary Chang on Friday, 17th December 2010 at 12:00 pm
While it will take me a while to come off the high that was the ‘Man Alive Ensemble’ iPhone/iPad/Web live performance (which, incidentally, you can watch here [probably for a limited time] if you missed it as it went out live Wednesday [15 December] night), I would like to bring your attention to Everything Everything‘s next single, ‘Photoshop Handsome’. The video for the song is such a trip; watch it below if you’ve been living under a rock and missed it when we featured the promo as a VOTM last month.
But I think it’s a bit of a shame that everyone’s talking about the video, which never would have happened if they’d never written and recorded the actual song, which will be released in mid-January as a single, the third official from ‘Man Alive’ (reviewed here in August). ‘Photoshop Handsome’ is boppy, it’s catchy and it’s very unique. I remember hearing it for the first time, listening to it as part of ‘Man Alive’ and thinking, wow, this sounds nothing – nothing – like anything I’ve heard before. It’s got military-style drums (the kind that make me expect stomping feet at their gigs); lead singer Jonathan Higgs’s unusual word delivery, spanning from falsetto to hip hop quickfire vocals; shouty backing vocals from the rest of the band that sound like they must be so much fun to sing (and indeed, I am eager to join in whenever I have the pleasure to see these four guys perform in 2011); and yet, there’s an underlying earworm of a melody.
Flippin’ heck, Everything Everything. You are definitely at the top of my list of bands I must see live as soon as possible. See you next year!
The single for ‘Photoshop Handsome’ will be released on 17 January 2011 by Geffen. Also included below are two remixes you can listen to, one by Soil in the Synth (more bleepy and videogame-y than the original) and the other by Sunday Girl (more clubby, with a female vocal replacing Higgs’s own). What do you think of these interpretations? Let us know in the comments.