Singles Round Up - 6th September

Featuring Eskmo, Grinderman, I Am Kloot, Goldfrapp & More...
Eskmo
September is upon us and the Clash stalwarts who are not currently employed in global adventuring (you know who you are) are in a feverishly excitable mood despite the rain, for it’s the season of shiny new shoes and fresh pencil cases. (I have my eye on an old school ‘Empire Strikes Back’ affair). So get some of this weeks recommended tracks on for your journey back to school/college/university/terminally boring adult type job and face the brave new world with a swagger in your step and the image of Nick Cave shooting laser beams out of his leopard print clad arse.

Single Of The Week

Eskmo

‘Cloudlight’


Circumventing any specific genre affiliations San Francisco based Brendan Angelides has previously produced work for such luminary labels as Warp and Planet Mu. Now signed to the eclectic and usually excellent Ninja Tune, his first single on the label is a deeply soulful electronic exercise reminiscent of labelmate Amon Tobin. Trippy and twisted, dense and glitchy, it’s simultaneously shadowy and sanguine with a bit of a Brainfeeder vibe going on also. But the cherry on this pleasantly piquant cake is the accompanying video, in itself a beautifully photographed paean to nature and the life cycle featuring aurora like alien lights in the darkening night sky. Pure aural pleasure.



Grinderman

‘Heathen Child’


The video, courtesy of fellow Aussie and Cave collaborator John Hillcoat, (The Proposition, The Road) is both jarringly literal and conceptually inspired with the predominant vibe being one of good humour, which is almost in direct contrast to the seethingly sinister rockabilly infused stew of sound that is the first single from Grinderman 2. Featuring Olympian deities, gay centurions, various godheads (including Cave as a blue faced Krishna) and a well scary wolfmanish figure that’d get me jumping out of my bath of milk post haste, it’s a foot stomping future classic. The band were quoted in The Guardian newspaper recently as saying “There's a kind of open rule within Grinderman that it's OK to embarrass yourself, to go to places that could be potentially disastrous." They’ve gone somewhere interesting for sure, disastrous or embarrassing it certainly isn’t.



I Am Kloot

‘Proof’


Manchester’s slightly down at heel ‘I Am Kloot’ are despondent yet admirably dogged. They’ve been kicking about for a good while now and don’t appear to be going anywhere until someone bloody listens. Thankfully this dishevelled little number is as understated and charming as their previous output. Funnily enough they released this a while back but have given it a reworking, which appears to have paid dividends as it’s been getting a fair amount of radio airplay. Richly textured jazzy guitars and quietly propulsive drumming over the chorus make this already darkly sparkling little gem shine all the brighter. And the portrait like video of fellow Northerner Christopher Eccleston is quietly affecting. The lyrics may not say a great deal but the tone says everything. This is the shit Noel Gallagher wishes he was still writing.



Insect Guide

‘Down From Here’


It’s the late eighties/early nineties, I’m in my bedroom topping up my kohl eyeliner and making sure my black Purdy haircut is sitting just so. Alas it’s not so, but this certainly takes me back to early Creation days when men really knew how to work a Chelsea boot. It recalls the Marychain, My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive amongst others but is a poppier affair altogether, driven by cheerfully insistent percussion, a healthy smattering of tambourine and a dolefully deep vocal from Su Sutton, which is charming if a wee bit on the flat side. That said, they’ll all definitely be dancing to it down the Leeds Union (in big assed sunglasses of course).



Robert Plant

‘Angel Dance’


From the whippet thin, tight trousered Bachanalian rawk god of yesteryear to the mellower suble toned Robert of today, there’s no denying the man still has charisma. He may not wail and moan like he used to but frankly, that might be a bit silly anyway. Picking up where he left off after his successful Alison Krauss collaboration the Plant is back with his latest incarnation ‘Band of Joy’. Indulging himself in yet another cover ‘Angel Dance’ is a mandolin rich bluegrassy version of an old Los Lobos track, with the guys from the band themselves featured in the video. A heart-warmingly simple lullaby, it’s a respectable if safe effort.



Goldfrapp

‘Believer’


“Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be Kylie’” In this, the latest single taken from ‘Head First’ Alison Goldfrapp has taken the electro pop anthem a worryingly platform footed foot too far. It’s resulted in this overindulgence of slick bouncy disco, closer to Olivia Newton John than the bands quirky best. A vocalist with some dexterous ability it’s as if the lady is just going through the motions here, albeit in some fetching pink Stevie Nicks jumpsuit (or some other). They may have been delegated to dinner party soundtrack favourites a while back but that’s no excuse for inane lyrics and what seems like a wilful lack of imagination. Could do better.




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