I haven’t bought a physical single since my childhood, when an over nationalistic period of my life saw me purchase Gina G’s ‘Ooh Aah, Just A Little Bit’ in a bid to boost our chances at the Eurovision Song Contest. Not that sales count for anything. I just wanted to show my support. Music has come along way since then, and so have I. Evidence is below.
Single of the week: Errors – Magna Encarta
If I could rent out the space in my head where songs get trapped, I’d give Errors a twelve month lease, without even looking at their credit rating. I wouldn’t care. They’d be my skull squatters. It’s songs like ‘Magna Encarta’ that make me feel like this. Fat, soothing analogue synths and the odd deviant electronic beat that picks up the tempo whenever it sees fit. Six minutes of delicate joy that is complex and planetary, yet never confusing.
Kate Bush – Deeper Understanding (Directors Cut)
Kate Bush is back! Or is she? Well, she kind of is, but I thought if I opened with “Kate Bush is kind of back!” it wouldn’t quite carry the opening line gusto I required. She’s re-recording a selection of previous releases. This one, ‘Deeper Understanding’, was originally written in 1989. And you can tell. It’s attitude to computers and technology is from a sickeningly optimistic period of time when people viewed monitors as the window to adventure, and the keyboard as your ever-faithful guide. A period of time that spawned films of cyber salvation and sexed up exaggeration, like Weird Science, Tron and Explorers. Back then, this song probably made sense lyrically. “As the people here grow colder / I turn to my computer / And spend my evenings with it / Like a friend”. Feeling detached from the outside world, spending evenings in with your Amstrad. Nowadays, and I don’t take pleasure in saying this… it just sounds like the late night auto-tuned monologues of a desolate paedophile. I wanted more from Kate. Just leave me with my memories!
Everything Everything – Final Form
This is Everything Everything at their melancholic best. Making the rhythmically complex sound so emotively genuine. It’s all infectious stand alone lyrics and melodies that simmer beneath Jonathan Higgs’ nimble falsetto. He continues to reach notes the average man couldn’t – without someone yanking on their testes like Quasimodo on the bell rope – and for that reason, I respect him.
Veto – This Is Not
Veto have been around for ages, ploughing the fields of dedication, and deviating their musical style at every turn. And they haven’t gone unnoticed, if you count Best Danish Music Video at the Danish Music Awards in 2007 as noticed (and if I know you, then I know you do). Well, it’s all starting to amount, and ‘This Is Not’ should go down as one of their most favourable turns. It’s non-tacky, intelligent electronic pop. You’ll hear at least thirty more songs just like it this year, but it’s ok. Alright? What else do you want me to say? That’s all I’ve got.
Dana Jade – Galang / Little Sister
This is feisty, upbeat and brassy, and the vocals are fired at you with ballsy effeminate conviction. Yet… didn’t M.I.A do that already? Wasn’t this originally her song? So what the fuck was the point in this? Perhaps the point was, to create a video that looks like a French & Saunders M.I.A skit.
The Joy Formidable – Whirring
Possibly one of the hardest working bands around, and fully deserving of the booking agent desperation that surrounds getting them to play live. On ‘Whirring’, Ritzy Bryan’s vocals somehow stay afloat above the spinning, yet melodic, noise that they thrash out in the majestic peaks of the chorus. This song has been armoured and polished for single release, and it’s sounding bigger than ever.
Justice – Civilisation
It isn’t technically released this week, but I felt it’d be ignorant to overlook what has to be one of the most talked about tracks of the past 10 days. The stylistic pop structure might be a bit ‘DVNO’, and the lyrics might be a tad 2001: A Space Odyssey, but this is still a blinding return to form. Sometimes it’s hard to judge with Justice, whether the veil of unequivocal fashionista status might be over your eyes, blocking your view, and you’re failing to judge the music for it’s actual merit. That said, I genuinely think ‘Civilisation’ is an ecstatic stab of over-dramatic brilliance. There may be a trendy leather jacket on my head, but I have cut out eye-holes!
Words by Curious Joe