Sunday, 9 November 2008

singles round-up

Mumford and Sons - Love Your Ground (Chess Club 2008)
Mumford and Sons are purveyors of find acoustic blues folk, seeping with melancholy and aching melodies that haunt and hum on efforts like 'The Banjolin Song' which is a steel-string trip through basic Americana. Opener 'Little Lion Man' is all bluster and strumming feyness. Mumford's gravel voice is somewhere Hootie (of Blowfish fame) and a sad bluesman wearing his heart on his sleeve. The stomps and folky twangs of the banjo are similar to the twee antifolk of Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit but manages to capture none of their subtlety and wry sadness.


Joan as Policewoman (featuring Rufus Wainwright) - To America (PIAS 2008)
Rufus Wainwright returns the favour to Joan after spending years as a her taskmaster when she was but a wee star waiting in the aisles playing in his band. On 'To America' the piano plods and strings fiddle fiddly in the background while the sea throbs and pulses with waves. Joan and Rufus sing plaintively to each other over the ocean, crying, yearning, sobbing into their instruments. It's a sweet little love song to loss and to the power of optimism bestowed on weary travellers as they enter America... and as the traveller hits American shores, it erupts into a sleazy jazz showtune with Rufus and Joan reaching a unison of harmony empowering and hopeful, optimistic and dripping with sleaze.


Neon Neon - Dream Cars (Lex 2008)
Lex is a label that puts out pretty much what it wants, depending on rainmakers to bring the dividends in to finance pursuing pet projects. Lex usually relied on Dangermouse, who has since jumped ship to proper stardom. Now they rely on the unlikely 80s inspired marriage of Boom Bip, avante-garde hip-hop-prog producer and psychedelic Valley-man Gruff Rhys, in their Delorean guise, Neon Neon, this year nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. 'Dream Cars' is another psych-80's electro adventure, this time, obsessed with Dream Cars, specifically, the DeLorean and its inherent 80s coolness. 'Mr Right' their stomping live track is reinvented as a ballad by Young Marble Giants. There are also remixes by Motor City, a quite spacey housey version, and Dream Drums, containing some strange robot urges and clashing synth bongos and assymetric sounds.


Killer Meters - Dance Move Shake / Black Mountain (Breakin' Bread 2008)
The Killer Meters, famed for their 2005 cover versions of Meters tunes, return with their boombastic Karime Kendra, this time opting for a new set of original tunes, released on two 7"s. 'Dance Move Shake' is an instructional Jimi Hendrix-esque squelch of guitar funk and badass girly pop singing, urging you to explode on the dancefloor, start funky but slowly lose control when the jamming guitars take over your eardrums. 'Black Mountain' is slower, sweeter and dirtier, a porno contrast to the urgent fervent A-side. Karime gets sultry and strong over the top, rapping and singing her suggestive baritone moves into your ears. Proper UK funk star. Get those record players dusted off.

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