Now then, we want words with ya. Yeah, that’s right, all of ya. Look ‘ere, right, we weren’t messin’ last week when we told ya what to buy with your hard-earned wonga. SIT DAHN. Who said you could get up, you sniveling excuse for a music-buying public. Not one iota of what we said last week has gone into your empty ‘eads. Annie, gawd bless ‘er, missed the top 75 altogether, as did that gangly bloke from Deerhunter. Those two fairies from Kings of whatstheirnames just about scraped in, and they’re not ‘appy, let me tell ya. IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Don’t turn on the water works, it don’t work with me. Just do as we say or we’ll ‘ave to kill ya. Thanks ever so.
What Will We Be by Devendra Banhart
Beautiful, bohemian folk Overlord Devendra Banhart lost us with his last album, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. All the promise of those first few albums seemed to have gone up in smoke, upon a fire of his own ego. There were the odd flashes of that latent genius of course – ‘I Remember’, ‘Carmensita’ – but in the main it was drowned in wilful experimentation (i.e. drawn out ‘jams’ and will-this-do time signature changes). So, it was with trepidation that we approached his seventh album, his first for a major label. But fear not dear friends for it is a triumph. Co-produced by some bloke from The Bees, What Will We Be is a more focused but no less eccentric collection of songs that take in everything from delicate acoustic lament (‘Angelika’), to piano-lead ballad (‘First Song For B’) to, er, one that starts a bit like the Gossip (’16th & Valencia Roxy Music’).
BUY THIS IF YOU LIKE THIS SORT OF THING
Butter by Hudson Mohawke
Hudson Mohawke is a terrible name. The artwork for his album Butter is pretty appalling. So far, so disappointing. But, it’s not about that is it? No, it’s all about the music. Luckily, the music is the sort that allows us to write these kinds of things: Imagine if Prince had grown up in Glasgow and not Minneapolis and instead of going on to be a successful pop star he’d actually made friends with a bloke called Richard D. James, aka Aphex Twin, and they’d hit it off so well that they shared a bed once and a small medical miracle occurred and they were able to conceive and Prince – for he would be the woman of this relationship…although, if we’re able to determine that, and it’s all fiction, perhaps he should have just been a woman in the first place – gave birth to a little boy called Hudson Mohawke. (Interesting fact: Rihanna‘s people called Hudson Mohawke’s people to see if he’d like to work with her. We demand a remix of ‘Russian Roulette’ now. Thanks).
‘Islands’ by The xx
(This isn’t the actual artwork. Just imagine a greenish hue behind the X)
By far the catchiest thing on their debut, ‘Islands’ is almost annoyingly perfect. Over a typically skeletal backing of beats and a simple guitar melody, it seems to expand and contract, adding elements and then taking them away to leave those two voices cooing at one another. “I am yours now/ So, now I don’t ever have to leave”, sounds a bit wet written down, but on record it’s the sweetest thing. Plus, the last thirty seconds add up to one of those unique moments in music when you get a strange feeling in the pit of your stomach.