Sunday, 2 February 2014

Best of January 2014

Let’s face it, January is crap. It's cold, it’s stormy and pretty much everyone is skint from Christmas. Fortunately, there has been a heap of good music for me to sink my teeth into and stop me from loosing the will to live at this dire time.

Album of the month - Warpaint - Warpaint

Admittedly, there wasn't exactly much competition considering January is never the optimum month for album releases. There were valiant efforts from Dum Dum Girls and Actress but this release from Warpaint stood out for all the right reasons. Despite being more subdued than it's predecessor, Warpaint made a quantum leap with this album. From the sultry coos of 'Love Is To Die' and 'CC' to the buzzing bass lines of 'Hi' and 'Disco//Very', there is a lot to love here. 

Check out my review in full here.

2. Dum Dum Girls - Too True
After two LP's Dee Penny and co. have finally stricken the right balance between shoegaze and indie-pop to create a extremely fun, catchy and exciting record in the form of Too True. Album standouts 'Rimbaud Eyes' and 'Lost Boys and Girls Club' are easily the best songs they've ever produced. Third time lucky I guess...

3. Actress - Ghettoville 
Despite being a bit too long in my opinion, when this record is good, it's really good. From the intense 'Rims' to the nauseating 'Rap'; this album is full of textures and layers, as long as you have the patience to find them all.

EP of the month - Menace Beach - Lowtalker

Whilst I'm not really a fan of the EP format, the debut EP from Leeds band Menace Beach was a great way to kick of 2014. A band which features members of Hookworms, Sky Larkin and Pulled Apart By Horses were never gonna disappoint were they? They embody the best of 90's rock whilst recalling other influences to give a new take on the genre. I am looking forward to what else they'll put out this year.

Songs of The Month

1. Kyla La Grange - Cut Your Teeth
The Watford singer/songwriter returns with a new look and a new, improved sound. Through trading her gutsy folk guitars for crisp synths she has taken her artistry to the next level.

2. Real Estate - Talking Backwards
The New Jersey slackers return with one of their catchiest songs to date. Although they haven't really changed their sound much, when their sound is perfect, is change really necessary?

3. Neneh Cherry - Everything
18 years since her last solo album (1996's Man) Neneh Cherry is back with a new sound and more confidence than ever. Her soulful vocals are complimented perfectly by Four Tet's sparse beats. The song get better as her vocals become more unhinged and the bast become looser, so far this new album is shaping up to be one of the year's best. I am particularly excited about her collaboration with fellow Swede Robyn.

4. Bombay Bicycle Club - Luna
With shimmering production and a hell of a crescendo, 'Luna' continues Bombay Bicycle Club's thus far flawless album campaign. 

5. St Vincent - Digital Witness
Speaking of flawless album campaigns, here's Annie Clark (A.K.A St Vincent) with yet another incredible new song from her self-titled forth solo album (due in February). 

6. Angel Olsen - Hi-Five
Angel Olsen can do no wrong in my opinion, with a voice like hers it is impossible to produce a bad song. She continues her gritty streak with this blues-infused alt-country stomper. 

7. Mac Demarco - Passing Out Pieces
Everyone's favourite goofball Mac Demarco is back with a summery new tune to get us through the cold. Judging by this, his new album Salad Days could see him reaching a larger audience.

8. Lyla Foy - Feather Tongue
Formally known as WALL, Lyla Foy is gearing up for the release of her debut album Mirrors In The Sky in March. 'Feather Tongue' is yet another light and sweet slice of indie pop.

9. Perfect Pussy - Driver
DC punks Perfect Pussy *sniggers* are following up their angsty EP I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling with their debut album Say Yes To Love later this year. 'Driver' is a loud, punchy, fun and aggressive slice of punk, but it's certainly not for everyone.

10. MØ - Don't Wanna Dance
Far from her best, MØ's new single is a bit more generic than her previous material but is still good enough to warrant a place on the list. Here's hoping she returns to her 'Maiden'/'Pilgrim' style on her debut album.

Worst Song - Foster The People - Coming Of Age
Now I'm saying this as a huge fan of their first album, but this song is terrible. Maybe it's because of the high expectations I had after their old material? or maybe this just isn't very good...the production is sounds dated, the chorus falls flat and it's just really boring quite frankly. I'm trying really hard to like it but it just isn't happening. Hopefully there will be better songs on their new album but for now I'll stick to Call It What You Want.

Judge For Yourself:

With new releases from the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, Patten, Katy B, St Vincent and Angel Olsen, February will be an absolute belter.  

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