The Best Of The Week's Releases
Florence & The Machine

In a timely riposte to that old curmudgeon T.S Eliot’s modernist assertion that "April is the cruellest month” we’re feeling flighty and full of the joys of spring here at Clash HQ…with a whiff on the wind of the years first flowers and a veritable bounce in my brogues, I’ve come over uncharacteristically benevolent (almost)…enjoy it whilst you can!

Single Of The Week

Roulet – Kitamanda

Raucous, sweaty and downright dancetastic, this is an exuberant first offering from Portuguese art student Tiago Trole, released on Buraka Som Sistemas ‘Enchufada’ label. It’s a slow starter that develops into a delectable Afro Latin electro mish mash infused with the characteristic sunburst flavours of Kuduro, the infectious beat driven Angolan music which has successfully transplanted itself to downtown Lisbon. Influences abound, from Modeselektor & Kraftwerk by way of Bollywood. Blast it out and feel you’re in an altogether edgier, shabbier, heat soaked holiday environment. Cracking.

and the rest…

Florence & The Machine – Dog Days (re-release)

Stepping over the murdered corpse of Candi Staton and neatly away from the Gang Gang Dance plagiarism accusations, Flo is like Kate Nash with delusions of grandeur and a better stylist. I want to like her but just can’t muster. A healthy dose of infectious handclapping coupled with some great beats does get the toes a tapping on this track…but then the wailing starts and all is lost. That said, she looks fabulous in this new video and I’d maim a man for those frocks.

Matthew & The Atlas – To The North (EP)

Matthew Hegarty has a great tobacco rich voice reminiscent of Ray Lamontagne (or to be less kind, the guy from Gomez) and uses it to great effect in this banjo spattered, acoustic picking rough and ready folk tinged gem. With more handclapping (there’s a lot of it about this week) and a beautiful female harmony successfully smoothing out the edges, this kicks Mumford & Sons to the kerb.

Celestial Bodies – Vanity

From the nostalgia infused 80’s brain of singer/director/illustrator and all round overachieving renaissance type chap Ferry Gouw (formerly of The Semifinalists) we have a solemn, percussive driven exercise in spare, gothic monumentality. The vocal isn’t the strongest but it’s rather made up for by the deliberate po faced nature of it all. Plus it’s rather a fine video (which Ferry also directed) in which the bands faces elegantly degrade by solar exposure to reveal deaths heads beneath. One to make a Cure lovers heart swell to bursting.

Coco & Fyfe – Only Love Can Break Your Heart

The unusual coupling of Coco Sumner (daughter of Sting) and the Guillemots Fyfe Dangerfield has resulted in this rather lovely cover of Neil Young’s first top 40 single. In what’s tantamount to blasphemy in these here parts I have to say I prefer it to the nasal winsomeness of the original. Coco’s low timbered voice engages with Fyfe’s in a believably touching way. Wiggle your bare toes in the grass, lie back and enjoy.

Paul Weller – Wake Up The Nation

In what must now be at least his seventieth return to form, the eternally well dressed one presents us with a feisty, finger jabbing state of the nation address. With a Dr Feelgood style opening and a whiff of Man Who Sold The World this is unapologetic harmonium driven 60’s rock. With an imploration to “get off your Facebook” its brash insolence almost recalls the halcyon days of The Jam. Does what it says on the tin.


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