Arp Cleveland on St. Vincent and Temples…
Archie Bronson Outfit - Dom Garwood/Arp Cleveland

Alt-rock blues brothers Archie Bronson Outfit issued a tremendous fourth LP via Domino earlier this year, ‘Wild Crush’, and on December 8th they’ll release a new single from said set: ‘Two Doves On A Lake’.

Drummer Arp Cleveland here takes control of the Clash singles column, assessing the week’s new-release tracks. Read his words right beneath the video for ‘Two Doves On A Lake’, a typically rambunctious affair from a band that’s long-traded in sweat-soaked stunners like this.

Warning: don’t watch if ladybirds going at it offends.

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Paloma Faith – ‘Ready For The Good Life’

“I have heard more life in the back of my neighbour’s truck en route to the abattoir in Grampound (he is a farmer). It is so formulaic, and it lacks any originality or vitality.  There is no Art here, no sex, no drugs, no rock or soul; there is not one rogue element: sonic, lyrical, structural. Of course, pop plays by rules, but it must also sound fresh even while it plunders the past. The plonk plonk piano stabs are now a bit of musical shorthand to ‘let’s have a hit’ (previous winners: Jay Z, Grizzly Bear). This track is desperately shooting for the stars: ‘It’s my time now, tell everyone,’ go the lyrics, and there’s nothing wrong with that per se – but hang on… isn’t she already a massive O2-playing artiste? Aiming to sound like a modern soul diva, she comes off as a female Tom Jones-alike. Daytime TV appearances pending, she probably nailed it!”

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St. Vincent – ‘Rattlesnake’

“Yesssss! Synth guitar shredding solo for the last 55 seconds! St. Vincent’s manages to channel Laurie Anderson vibes, while fronting Tom Tom Club, with a healthy dose of Moroder-like bass. But, crucially, still sounding like an original. This is f*cking ACE! (Can someone please send a copy to Paloma?)”

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Temples – ‘Move With The Season’

“This is groooovy baby. If you know no psychedelia, you’ll love this. If you know lots of psychedelia, you’ll dig this too. Of course this is slavishly retro, but they make floating amongst the Greats of psychedelic music seem effortless, and that isn’t easy to do. In the modern digital iage, amidst a dense sea of MacBook electronic glitchers out there, to pull this off so well nowadays seems once again (like it was originally for their ’60s & ’70s psychedelic forebears) almost rebellious.”

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Lion Babe – ‘Jump Hi’

“This has a quality modern R&B production flavour I think Paloma would dig on her stuff. The best bit is what sounds a bit like Nina Simone on backing vocals. Amidst tons of slick modern production touches, there is an unmistakeably ’90s Boyz N The Hood vibe. It goes straight out pop-hip-hop about two minutes in, with a middle-eight rap – Childish Gambino, presumably. It mentions ‘bitch’ a bit and is about his strugglez. It ends with the ’90s referencing line, ‘White man can’t jump, but I…’ and then Lion babe is back in singing ‘jump so high’, a lot. I think my neighbour (the farmer) would appreciate this track when he is out ‘lamping’. (‘Lamping’ involves shooting rabbits in a field at night, i.e. jumping high and strugglin’ to stay alive, baybee.)”

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Wildbirds & Peacedrums – ‘Keep Some Hope’

“I saw these guys once upstairs in Kilburn at the now defunct Luminaire. I thought they were really interesting in their bare-bones approach, just drums and layered vocals (as here). In my memory they were a brother and sister duo. About a minute into the video for this single, they start kissing passionately and for a moment I was witnessing a horrendous/brave display of Egyptian-proportioned incest. An internet search tells me they are in fact a married couple. Phew. This track is really refreshing. It seems authentic and original. The self-harmonising counter melodies are ace and in the same class as Dirty Projectors.”

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Sinead O’Connor – ‘8 Good Reasons’

“I like the dubby snare at the start. It’s downhill after that ummafraid. SO’C sounds well pissed-off and sings, ‘You know I love to make music, but my head got wrecked by the business / Everybody wants something from me, they rarely ever just wanna know me,’ over really dated, basic production; drum loop, gentle guitar and swoony bass. It sounds like her local barman has persuaded her to ‘give it another stab’ and then coaxed her back to his place to sing over an old Pro Tools loop. Where is Prince’s number when you need it?”

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Archie Bronson Outfit’s ‘Wild Crush’ is out now – find the band online here

Related: Playlist: Archie Bronson Outfit

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