Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Luck Soul's 'White Russian Doll' - Unfortunately, somebody seems to have spilled some white paint on the artwork

Things to Note:

1) LogoWatch: this is certainly good, particularly as the K and the Y of the band's name have been joined to create something of a Diamond Effect. In doing so, Lucky Soul have seemingly changed the Y to resemble a somewhat dyslexic X. THEY'RE LITERALLY REWRITING THE ALPHABET AND THE RULES OF POP AS THEY GO (insert PR spiel here).
2) The cover art is a nice leap forward in terms of aesthetics. The lines are all pointing towards some mysterious, unknown End Point. Which is probably some sort of metaphor for the fate of the music industry, but looks nice all the same.

Anyhow, you can hear the quite stomping new single from the why-on-earth-aren't-they-huge Lucky Soul over on their Myspace (www.myspace.com/luckysoulluckysoul). A side-step from the 60s swing of their debut album, 'The Great Unwanted,' this is an instant and surprisingly muscular piece of Power-Pop: landing, as it does, somewhere between Johnny Marr gone Motown and Scott Walker set to 'DANCE.' Like the Russian Doll itself, 'WRD' - oh yes, it abreviates nicely - is deceptively layered love song. Just listen to Ali Howard's aching declaration that 'Love is an Open Door / Inside is Another Room / Love is A Russian Doll / Inside is Another You.'

If you thought about it too much you'd probably stop dancing, so the best advice, in this instance, is probably not to think.

The band will play Camden's Monarch in December (see WeGotTickets for all the deets), where they will preview material from their now-finished second album (out March, with 'White Russian Doll' hitting Itunes on January 11th). We've heard a few sneak peeks from the record, and can firmly say that if 'Up In Flames' isn't the second single (youtube it) then we will film ourselves, on fire, by way of protest. It's THAT good.

As are Lucky Soul in general, really. Tell your mates.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Charles Dickens Reviews the new Muse single

Whilst struggling manfully with David Copperfield - you can tell Dickens was paid by the chapter - I came across quite possibly the earliest historical instance of music journalism.

The passage opens as Young Copperfield, sent packing by his mother and a predictably-evil Stepfather, arrives at boarding school. To make matters worse, the School's Master performs something of a flute receital, which David C reviews in the paragraph that follows:

"My impression is, after many years of consideration, that there never can be anybody in the world who played worse. He made the most dismal sounds I have ever heard produced by any means, natural or artificial. I don't know what the tunes were - if there were such things in the performance at all, which I doubt - but the influence of the strain upon me was, first, to make me think of all my sorrows until I could hardly keep my tears back; then to take away my appetite; and lastly, to make me so sleepy that I couldn't keep my eyes open."

As one listens to, let's face it, ANY of the Muse back catalouge, it is difficult to feel that Dickens was not only eerily prophetic in his description of Mat Bell(end)amy; but also that such a catty, relatively self-indulgent critical response - to which this post may be willingly catagorised - has become the common currency for journos.

In many ways it's quite sad, but in other, stronger ways, Muse deserve literally every shard of shit we can throw at them.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Pipettes are still very good, but more importantly, BBC Radio Wales is an absolute hoot

Top Tips To Combat Boredom Part 17: Listen to BBC Radio Wales.

It's incredible.

I only tuned in to listen to the Pipettes debut their new single ("you know it's a desperately lonely Sunday night when..."). Instead, I found the kind of rich, very British broadcasting the BBC has foresaken in favour of Fearne "The Devil" Cotton: warm, slightly eccentric, exceptionally comfortable listening. The audio equivelant of slipping on a pair of slippers, with Cotton's show - by way of contrast - closely relating to the experience of performing Riverdance on broken glass. I wouldn't reccomend the chap who introduced The Pipettes in general. The show's music was largely local (read: terrible), but the program before that - check the schedule if you're inexplicably keen - was some daft old woman banging on about dreams, and playing old love songs. It was blissful.

Talking of blissful - on to the Pipettes' newby (this is a blog about Pop Music, after all. And not a very good one at that). 'Stop The Music' is the first proper taster from a band who shed members like old skin, yet never cease to dazzle. Produced by Martin Rushent - the architect behind Human League's masterpiece Dare - this is a lush and lyrically melancholic return from the Saunders Sisters (aka singers Ani and Gwenno Saunders). It is, of course, still incredibly dance-inducing, with the musical reference points shimmying from the 60s swing of 'Pull Shapes' right into a very 70s strut. It sounds like nothing in the charts at the moment, and is unlikely to bother the Top 100, but I guess that's life, isn't it?

So a shit Sunday night in served up two life lessons.

1) The Pipettes are the same brave, under-appreciated Pop Pandas we fell in love with in 2006 (this image works on two levels: pandas are black and white, much like the Pipettes' dressing up box, and, like the panda, the Pipettes seemed very near extinction until recently).
2) BBC Radio Wales is amazing.

To hear 'Stop the Music,' fast forward to 30 odd minutes or so, as it's worth it. Scout's honour.