Category Archives: Hurts

New Music Monday

Another week has gone by in the (not as busy as it used to be) world of music purchasing, and lo and behold the albums we picked failed to set the charts on fire. Summer Camp‘s was an EP so we’re not even sure if it’s chart eligible and The Like would need a miracle of some kind to be on anyone outside of London’s radar. (We didn’t pick the Hurts album because of the disappointment, but it did chart at no. 4, which is pretty impressive nonetheless). The Bjork single was nowhere to be see EVEN THOUGH IT’S FOR CHARITY. Children in Pakistan are dying because of you, basically. Anyways, enough of the negativity, let’s get some love in the room…

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Body Talk Pt 2 by Robyn

We oversaw the premiere of this album on The Guardian website last week and had to defend it against a gluttony of dimwitted twonks harping on about how it’s all manufactured “pop pap” and that it’s made by idiots for idiots, etc, etc. It was exhausting, but worthwhile, because Body Talk Pt 2 – the second part of an audacious plan to release three albums in 2010 – is quite simply a brilliant album, regardless of genre. In just 8 tracks it covers love, lust, heartbreak, arrogance, ego, fear and heartbreak again. Now, you don’t get that from some indie band dressed like Top Man mannequins do you?

BUY THIS TOO, YEAH

Maximum Balloon by Maximum Balloon

You may be saying; who the fook is Maximum Balloon? To which we would reply; it’s Dave Sitek. You may be saying; who the fook is Dave Sitek? To which we would reply; the producer behind albums by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Foals, Liars, Holly Miranda and even that Scarlett Johansson one that’s actually pretty good. Oh and he’s the guitarist and producer with TV On The Radio. If you are still unsure then why are you reading a music blog? Anyways, Maximum Balloon features an amazing roll-call of guests – Theophilus London, Karen O, David Byrne, to name just three – and is a brilliantly conceived collection of woozy, slightly off-kilter pop.

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‘Hang With Me’ by Robyn

Yeah, what? If there’s a better single out this week then we’ve yet to hear it. Just buy this or there will be hell to pay, mmmkay?

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Shampain in the neck?

So, for all the press and general pre-empting of imminent success, Marina & The Diamonds debut album, The Family Jewels, has yet to really capture the imagination of the general public. All in all, this is a bit of a shame because when it works, it’s a fairly spectacular debut album packed with huge-mongous choruses and melodies that practically fight their way to the forefront to be heard. When it doesn’t work, it’s a bit too jazz hands at ten paces even for these ears.

But, it’s not in Marina’s nature to give up, so here’s the video for another single, ‘Shampain’, and it’s basically an M&S underwear ad filmed using alcoholic models with a Michael Jackson fetish. Or something.

TRUE FACT: Marina is dating Theo from Hurts. Like, for serious.

New Music, er, Tuesday

We know, we know, we’re sorry. In the UK yesterday was a non-working day, a chance for us all to reflect on our hangovers or go shopping and feed the capitalist machine that’s slowly grinding us into oblivion…but, we’re back now! Things aren’t great though. Rosanna and Sky Ferreira both missed the top 40, which is kind of insulting, whilst ‘Wonderful Life’ by Hurts stormed in at, erm, no. 21. This is odd given the fact that Radio 1 seem to have finally cottoned on and the publicity machine is in full swing (those giant album posters have more than a whiff of Bros about them don’t they?). In albumsville, the Klaxons entered at no. 10 and The Count & Sinden were nowhere. A very mixed bag in other words.

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Without Why by Rose Elinor Dougall

Without Why is the debut solo album from one third of the original line-up of The Pipettes. Having firmly ditched the polka-dot dresses, Without Why showcases Dougall’s heart-stopping voice and way with a lush melody to quietly devastating effect. It may not grab you by the ears and assault you on first listen, but give it time and there will be no escape.

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Man Alive by Everything Everything

If there’s a problem with this debut album from Manchester’s Everything Everything it’s that it tries too hard to do too much. Each song is crammed full of ideas and melodies that it can leave you slightly disorientated on first listen. But when they get it right – and they do quite often – they’re pretty darn exciting and Man Alive could well be one of the ten best debuts of the year.

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‘Offline Dexterity/Linstigator’ by Disclosure

Disclosure are both about 15-years-old and are signed to Moshi Moshi. These are two reasons to be pretty jealous already, but they also make amazing music and this double a-side is just the icing on the forthcoming cake. If you like your dubstep – and who doesn’t these days, right kids? – then you should definitely check these guys out and if you’re not a fan then have a listen anyway because the worse thing that can happen is you’ll waste five minutes of your day.

New Music Monday

So, shall we just forget last week ever happened? It wasn’t a vintage one, was it? This week, however, is a bumper sized edition, complete with THREE recommended singles. It’s like that old saying; you wait for one good single and three come along at once, but only one of them really has a chance of success because one of them’s a ‘buzz single’ and the other is on a small(ish) label that’s only just establishing itself. Yeah, that old saying. You must have heard it before. Anyway, let us not waste anymore time, WE HAVE MUSIC TO WRITE ABOUT.

BUY THIS IF YOU THINK IT’S WORTH THE 3 YEAR WAIT

Surfing The Void by Klaxons

Klaxons have had a lot of column inches written about them in the small time since their inception. Let’s be honest, their debut album was proficient, temporarily diverting and had, at a push, three good singles on it. Things got a little out of hand when they won the Mercury Prize and everyone was either claiming them as the band to save ‘credible’ pop or another example of the emperor’s new clothes. Either way, they went off to make a second album, then scrapped the first version (there’s some talk of the label rejecting it) and now we’re left with this. It’s not that Surfing The Void is a total disaster, it’s more that it carries the weight of the three year gap pretty heavily. Everything seems second guessed and simultaneously over-thought and rushed at the same time, as if they had a burst of creativity for the first time in a while and just assumed that whatever came out of it was worth releasing. It has it’s moments – Echoes, Future Memories, Valley of The Calm Trees – but it lacks the vibrancy of their debut.

BUY THIS IF YOU LIKE A BIT OF A DANCE

Mega Mega Mega by The Count & Sinden

The Count & Sinden are a right pair of DJs from Essex who have been remixing and DJ-ing for a while, but have only just pulled their fingers out and made an album. Featuring the likes of Katy B (soon to be pretty HUGE), Bashy and Mystery Jets, Mega Mega Mega (so (quite) good they named it thrice) is a fun, balls out dance album that takes elements of nearly every sub-genre of dance and has a right good go at it. Sometimes it doesn’t work – Panther is pretty woeful – but you can’t fault the lads for putting in the effort.

DOWNLOAD THESE THREE SINGLES PLEASE

‘Wonderful Life’ by Hurts

‘One’ by Sky Ferreira

‘Waterfall’ by Rosanna

What a threesome that is, right lads?! First up are Hurts, the most stylish duo since Canon & Ball. We’ve had a fairly rocky relationship with these guys in the past few weeks, but we won’t go into that now. Today is all about ‘Wonderful Life’, which is, let’s be honest, a properly amazing pop song that features a). a narrative, b). a HUGE chorus and c). a video with a swimming pool in it. WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE? It’s practically perfect. The same could be said for ‘One’ by Sky Ferreira. A day hasn’t passed without us listening to this song at least once, which is quite something considering how fickle we are. If you’re unconvinced by this song then we suggest you watch the video and if you’re STILL not convinced then we suggest, politely, that you fuck off. Finally, we have Rosanna, a singer from Sweden who makes emotional pop songs about love and stuff. We went to a showcase of hers the other day and despite the fact there were about thirteen people in the room (one of whom was a charming man who kept asking where all the “sluts” were) and the sound system seemed to be underwater, it was a minor triumph. ‘Waterfall’ is an enormo-doom-laden-electro-pop-ballad-thing and it’s very very ace.

Hurts so good

When is a buzz single not a buzz single? That’s the question literally no-one else is asking about ‘Wonderful Life’ by Hurts. Basically, towards the end of 2009 ‘Wonderful Life’ was released to various blogs and ‘tastemaker’ type places and everyone went “wowzer, who are these two young men with slicker hair and even slicker-er pop tunes?”.

The song was enough to get them on all those new music lists and the stage was set for the first release proper, ‘Better Than Love’. Unfortunately, it didn’t really do the business (it missed the top 40 actually), so the label have resorted to plan ‘buzz’ and made ‘Wonderful Life’ the next single. Don’t be surprised if ‘Better Than Love’ now gets referred to as a ‘buzz’ single, such is the complicated nature of being The Next Big Thing.

Regardless of how it all came about, this new, slightly beefed up version of ‘Wonderful Life’ is still amazing and the new video is everything you’d expect from a band who already have a very definite look; buttoned-up shirts, silhouettes, cloudy skies, sleek lines, lots of faraway looks. Also, somewhat unexpectedly, the video features some amazing eyebrow acting from Theo around the 1:14 mark. Look out for it.

The bit where they all jump in the pool is strangely thrilling, is it not?

Sweden’s tourist board get desperate

Following their recent Top 50 smash, Hurts have taken to posting city guides. First up, Stockholm:

New Music Monday

Last week was a bit of an odd one for us. We were aware that Musick (our old blog) was dying, and frankly we wanted to leave the room as it’s slowly decaying body spluttered and heaved its way towards the final curtain. Or something. In actuality, we were having a bad day and were feeling a bit lazy. Things weren’t helped by a general lack of good releases – hence the MC Hammer suggestion (which we stick to by the way) – but this week is a bumper edition as recompense. But first, let’s go through the motions and say that the Wild Nothing album didn’t get anywhere, neither did the Chapel Club single and frankly you’re lucky we’re even talking to you after the whole Kelis and Hurts double debacle. Let’s move on to pastures new, and 3mins30secs first New Music Monday (the ‘k’ had to go, obvs).

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The Drums by The Drums


Since they arrived on the music scene like some giant cheekbone, The Drums have ruffled many a feather by being a). Good looking and b). Having a handful of amazing songs. Their debut EP, Summertime, is very near perfection and though their sound isn’t original, there’s something undeniable about those seven songs. Their self-titled debut album stretches their fairly basic sound of highly strung guitar riffs, drum machines and Jonathan Pearce’s pained yelp to breaking point, but it still retains their amazing hit rate when it comes to brilliant choruses that bore into your brain.

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Before Today by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

We reviewed this album for The Guardian last week. This has no baring on anything other than a neat way to show off. Before Today is a rather wonderful amalgam of early ’80s FM radio with ’70s stoner rock, spearheaded by Ariel Pink, a man who has made about a thousand albums and who looks like he’s not washed since 1991. This album is genuinely brilliant and that’s all we’re going to say on the matter.

CHERRY PICK THE BEST OF THIS

Bionic by Christina Aguilera


It’s odd to think that Christina Aguilera isn’t the biggest pop star in the world in 2010. She’s not even in the top 3. It’s weird because around the time of the Stripped album you’d have bet on her taking the mantle that Lady GaGa rudely snatched and wore as a bra, and even Britney returned from oblivion to be maneuvered around the stage long enough to have two US number 1 singles. And yet it’s Aguilera who seems to be having an identity crisis and the sales aren’t what they used to be (Not Myself Tonight, the album’s first single missed the UK top 10 and the US top 20). Bionic has some stellar collaborators – Switch, Sia, M.I.A, Santigold, Le Tigre, Ladytron, Cathy Dennis, Peaches, etc, etc – and yet the amazing tracks are either surrounded by generic R&B filler (yeah thanks Polow da Don, fuck off now, yeah) or dumped onto the bonus tracks bit of the special edition. Our advice? Get on wikipedia, work out who produced what and buy the best ones on iTunes.

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‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’ by Giggs


We reviewed this single for The Guardian last week. This has no baring on anything other than a neat way to show off. (We’ll stop now). ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’ features Giggs’ gruff rumble of a voice mixed with some brilliantly cheap sounding beats and a chorus that’s catchy without the need to be sung by a member of a girlband who were passed their prime 5 years ago. Huzzah Giggs, huzzah.

New Musick Monday

Right, is this some kind of pathological disorder we’re dealing with here? Do you want to make us track down each and every one of you (yes, all twenty!) and talk sternly at you for ten minutes? For fucks sake, what’s going on? How can a song as instantly catchy and indescribably amazing as ‘Better Than Love’ by Hurts enter the charts at number 50? How? It defies belief. Sure, Villagers missed out too and the chances of Sleigh Bells denting the charts was up there with Susan Boyle’s next covers album featuring a cover of Aphex Twin‘s ‘Windowlicker’, but Hurts! Seriously, come on. We should put an end to all this, but we love you and we forgive you.

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Gemini by Wild Nothing



Chillwave or Dream Pop or Summer-sounding Songs With Fey Boys Singing Them is big business right now. Well, when we say ‘big business’ we mean it sells very little but it generates a lot of press. Wild Nothing, aka Jack Tatum, has been lumped in with the rest of them and for the most part it’s a fair comparison, but there’s something a bit more ’80s indie about him then, say, Toro Y Moi. Gemini is his debut album and it features the stone-cold amazing, ‘Summer Holiday’, a cover of the Cliff Richard single…KIDDING. It’s not as good as that. The rest of the album doesn’t quite live up to it, but it’s a slow week and we’re running out of energy, so just buy it, yeah.

IT’S A REALLY QUIET WEEK, SO MAYBE JUST LISTEN TO AN OLD ALBUM

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‘Five Trees (The Horrors Remix)’ by Chapel Club



The original version is fine too, but a bit too Editors-esque for our liking. The Horrors remix adds some nice keyboard effects, puts some distortion on the vocals and generally makes it all sound less Editors-esque. We’re not sure if this version is available to buy but if not you could either listen here or buy the original and play it simultaneously with something off Primary Colours and you’d get the idea.

New Musick Monday

We need to have words. Seriously. Move closer, sit down and just fucking listen for once. How could you let Kelis‘ new album enter at no. 42? For those of you without a degree in maths, that means she missed the Top 40, whilst albums from the likes of Boyzone and Scouting For Girls pranced around in the upper echelons like they owned the place. Disgraceful. Still, LCD Soundsystem managed to gatecrash the top 10, which just goes to show that acres of press and a handful of amazing reviews do have an influence after all.  Jamie Lidell was nowhere to be seen and the Laura Marling single followed her last effort into the lower reaches of the Top 75. A decidedly mixed bag in other words. Here are some more things no-one will buy…

BUY THIS IF YOU LIKE JOOLS HOLLAND

Becoming A Jackal by Villagers

Villagers, aka Conor J. O’Brien, makes the kind of music that’s easy to dismiss. Earnest, studied and never knowingly exciting, his appearance on Jools Holland a few months ago had some very serious music critics talking very seriously about how he’s the new Radiohead. Debut album Becoming A Jackal doesn’t support this theory of course, but it does showcase an emerging young talent and as it creeps out of the speakers it’s hard to dislike. O’Brien’s influences are obvious – yes, a dash of Radiohead here, a helping of Bright Eyes there, a smattering of Elliott Smith just about everywhere – but he manages to create something interesting with the ingredients (have we laboured the food metaphor enough yet? Can we stir it up some more? Perhaps add a garnish of cliche, or a drizzling of empty compliments?). Anyways, it’s better then you expect it to be, which is high praise indeed, is it not?

DOWNLOAD THIS TO SUPPORT THE ARTIST

Treats by Sleigh Bells

We’ve already done a big thing about this so we won’t repeat ourselves. What we will say is that we accidentally illegally downloaded this thinking that it wasn’t out here for ages and then we go and find it on iTunes…SORRY.

DOWNLOAD THIS RIGHT NOW

‘Better Than Love’ by Hurts

We guest edited some kind of spam email thing and in it we had to pick our favourite current track and we picked this. It’s like Depeche Mode meets Tears For Fears meets Ultravox and yet somehow it’s better than even that makes it sound. The fact that it has two brilliant choruses doesn’t hurt(s), nor does the very lesbian video. After all the hype and the plaudits, it’s nice to see a band genuinely come good on their early promise. Now, don’t fuck it up this time general public, we’re relying on you.

Friday catch up!

Things have been rather busy of late and it’s caused us to miss a couple of things.

Firstly, Theophilus London‘s new mixtape, I Want You, has finally been released and that’s the artwork below. You can download it for free from here, and a very good listen it is too.

FACT: The cat in the picture belongs to TV On The Radio‘s Dave Sitek.

Interestingly, we’re kind of linked to a minor beef that is taking place between Theophilus and The Guardian’s Paul Lester. We won’t explain it, best just to pop over and give it a read. WARNING: It’s like Biggie vs. Tupac all over again.

Also, Kele from Bloc Party is on a bit of a break from the band and has decided to launch a solo career (as has Brandon Flowers from The Killers, in what must be one of the most expected moves in music history). This is Kele’s first single, taken from the album The Boxer, and it’s a beat-heavy, ‘Wearing My Rolex’-cribbing dance behemoth:

Finally, Hurts are back with their first single proper, ‘Better Than Love’. It also has a video, which resembles some kind of sequel to Tipping The Velvet, but a little more lesbian.