Category Archives: The Drums

Albums of 2010: 30 – 21

21. Odd Blood – Yeasayer





Best track: ‘O.N.E’

22. The Fool – Warpaint




Best track: ‘Undertow’

23. Love King – The-Dream





Best track: ‘Yamaha’

24. The Family Jewels – Marina & The Diamonds





Best track: ‘Obsessions’

25. Without Why – Rose Elinor Dougall





Best track: ‘Find Me Out’

26. Maximum Balloon – Maximum Balloon





Best track: ‘Groove Me’ feat. Theophilus London

27. Learning – Perfume Genius





Best track: ‘Learning’

28. Hidden – These New Puritans





Best track: ‘Attack Music’

29. IRM – Charlotte Gainsbourg




Best track: ‘Heaven Can Wait’

30. The Drums – The Drums





Best track: ‘Best Friend’


New Music Monday

Wow, so last week all three of our choices crashed into the Top 3, making it our most successful week, EVER! Only, this didn’t happen. We’re being sarcastic. No, absolutely bugger all happened last week, with all three of our choices missing the Top 100 (hell, they could have missed the Top 250 for all we know). Granted, the picks were hardly likely to set the world alight, but still, we don’t like being ignored. Let’s see if these bad boys fare any better…


Record Collection by Mark Ronson & The Business Intl.

There’s so much to dislike about Mark Ronson. The quiff, the suits, the smug grin, the model girlfriends, the sense of superiority. But, you know what, the guy knows what he’s doing and when he’s on form, he’s a brilliant producer. So, the follow-up to the ubiquitous covers album, Versions, features a host of guest talent, from rappers Theophilus London, Wiley and Ghostface Killah to crooners such as Rose Elinor Dougall, Boy George and Simon Le Bon, not to mention songs written by the likes of Cathy Dennis, one of Mystery Jets and the singer from The Drums. Sure, some of it is dated (there’s a painful D’Angelo song that could have been so much better), but most of Record Collection is stylish pop at its best.


Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter

Deerhunter’s fourth album follows lead singer Brandon Cox’s excellent Atlas Sound solo project and its the spectre of that album that hangs over Halcyon Digest. Each song comes with a strange fragility, as if it’s all about to unravel and yet it’s also their most confident set of songs. Tracks like Helicopter, Earthquake and the closing He Would Have Laughed (dedicated to the late Jay Reatard), are amongst the most beautiful things they’ve done. It’s not immediate, but it’s worth all the effort, trust us.

Also worth mentioning this week are Salem‘s King Night and Everything In Between by No Age.


‘Cold War’ by Janelle Monae

We recently went to see Janelle Monae play a ‘gig’ and during her set she did the moonwalk. Now, there’s a very short list of things a pop star need do in order to elevate his or herself into the upper echelons of our respect-o-meter, and doing the moonwalk ranks pretty highly. Needless to say, she could have pulled her trousers down and shat on the stage and we would have walked away still proclaiming her a bit of a genius. This amazing song only confirms it even more.

The Drums get a good seeing to

‘Let’s Go Surfing’ by The Drums is, unquestionably, a really good song. It’s so perfect in a way that remixing it seems kind of pointless, but clearly no one told The Raveonettes who have offered their own take on the song from last year.

Rather than tamper with it too much, they’ve seemingly just decided to play over top of the original, creating a denser, more muddy sounding beast. Whereas the original kind of minced about, this new version stomps in with its cock out.

You can hear it below:

New Music Monday

The other day, this here recently re-launched blog had a grand total of 0 (zero!) hits. Do we get some kind of award? Even blogs about how to train your dog to juggle get some casual readership. We’re beginning to regret this decision of ours. As if to add insult to injury, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti did absolutely nothing and despite our best efforts, Giggs‘ peaked outside the Top 50 with ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’ (if you follow him on Twitter, you’ll know that this will possibly lead to some kind of Twitter server meltdown). Christina Aguilera and The Drums both flattered to deceive, with the former entering at no. 1 with the lowest sales for a chart-topper since Doves in 2002 and the latter entering at no. 17 with sales of less than 10,000. Perhaps we’re being a bit harsh on the fey foursome, but considering the acres of press and a Florence & The Machine support slot it’s hardly enough to keep Island happy. Anyway, let’s celebrate the new…


Body Talk pt 1 by Robyn

Yes, we mention her every week, what of it? Body Talk pt 1 is the first of a trilogy of albums to come out in 2010, with these eight songs being chosen because they were the first ones to be completed. Seriously, it’s that simple. Opening with the caustic, minimal Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do and ending with a Swedish traditional song first performed by Robyn during a Tsunami benefit concert, pt 1 does feel slightly thrown together at the last minute, but there are a clutch of perfect pop gems that form its core. Dancing On My Own you already know about, Fembot is amazing, Cry When You Get Older is a lovely sigh of a song, Dancehall Queen just about steers clear of pastiche and None Of Dem is bratty but brilliant. Oh, and Hang With Me makes us cry, but that’s because we’re incredibly lonely.


Thank Me Later by Drake

We don’t know what this album sounds like because when we visited our local independent music shop this afternoon, they didn’t have any. So, er, we’re sure it’s very good and we urge you to buy it should you be able to find a copy. Here’s ‘Over’ to prove our point (which is what exactly?).


‘Tenderoni’ by Kele

We were torn about which single to feature seeing as Robyn’s ‘Dancing On My Own’ is out (we figured that would be too much), as well as Kylie‘s ‘All The Lovers’, which we only mention because at the weekend we “DJ”-ed at an ’80s-themed party and yet the only song bouncing round our collective memory bank come Sunday morning was Kylie’s. Odd. Anyway, we went with this four to the floor club banger from everyone’s favourite Bloc Party member, Kele Okereke (or just plain old Kele as he is now). Perhaps the band hiatus has been good to him because not only does he seem less of a twat now, he also makes music that actually reflects the stuff he always claimed to be listening to.

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).


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.


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.


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.


‘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.

"Shake your tamberella"

Everyone hates Mark Ronson. We get it, don’t get it twisted; it’s that ubiquity, that smirk, those horns, the fact that he’s a good-looking chap with some nice threads. But at the same time, it’s weird because he’s made some pretty great songs – the majority of Back To Black, for example – and he clearly knows his stuff, but at the same time he’s easy to dismiss.

Whether you like him or not, his new album, Record Collection, is shaping up to be pretty interesting. Featuring a host of guest vocalists – including Boy George, The Drums‘ Jonathan Pearce, Santigold, Miike Snow and many others – it also features vocals from Ronson himself and no cover versions. A few weeks ago the first taster was released in the shape of ‘Circuit Breaker’, which as the title and the video suggests, is heavily influenced by the music to all those old console computer games.

OK, so it sounds exactly like the music from an old computer game and that’s not exactly a good thing, but it’s not the official first single so calm down. ‘Bang Bang Bang’ features a guest rap from Q-Tip and vocals from Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ touring keyboardist (the glamour!), MNDR, and it’s a stuttering, synth heavy little ditty that claws its way into your memory bank on the second listen. Not a horn in sight.


A little bit like The Go Team you say? Yes, you’re right. ‘Bang Bang Bang’ is released in July and the album is out in September.

New Musick Monday

We trust you’ve had your fill of Easter and are now settling down to read this with belly full of chocolate and mind full of tales of men on crosses, caves and Mel Gibson’s idea of what it all means. But, dear reader, it’s the fiery depths of hell for our three brave entrants from last week as Erykah Badu and Dum Dum Girls both missed the top 40 on the album charts and, most surprisingly, The Drums did the same on the singles chart. All this despite blanket music press coverage and the fact that ‘Best Friend’ is literally a million times better than the current UK bestseller (we can’t bring ourselves to mention them here, so if you do wish to know who we’re on about then pop over to google and do some searching yourselves). Anyway, force down another Wispa bar and read this…


All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu by Rufus Wainwright

Not, as the title might suggest, a homage to the short, flame-haired Scottish singer, but instead a tribute to the death of his own alter-ego and the death of his beloved mother (it says something about Rufus Wainwright that those two things should be mourned on the same album, but there you are). Gone are the orchestral flights of fancy and instead it’s just Wainwright, his piano and his musings on family (‘Martha’), America (‘Who Are You New York?’) and the loss of his mother, who died shortly after the album was completed but who Wainwright was already mourning. There are also three Shakespeare sonnets put to music, which should push the pretentious quota off the scale but somehow he manages to pull it off.


Volume Two by She & Him

Zooey Deschanel is one of the most beautiful women on the planet and the mere mention of her name causes young men of a certain age to stop breathing and collapse in a heap of corduroy and plaid. With M.Ward she’s managed to carve out a successful music career to go alongside her acting one and this second volume of songs is as lightweight, breezy and downright cute as the first one. Don’t buy it expecting searing emotional terrain or ear-bleeding noise, but do buy it if you’re feeling a bit bummed and, like, you know, just a bit ‘meh’.


‘Radar Detector’ by Darwin Deez

On the surface there’s much to hate about Darwin Deez. For one, his hair is appalling, a strange mix of corkscrew perm and footballer’s hair band and for two, this song is so naggingly catchy you might need therapy to have it removed from your brain. But, we’re here to celebrate music and this is music and it’s mindless but it’s fun and sometimes, especially at Easter, that’s all that matters.

New Musick Monday

Last week was a good one for a certain Laura Marling, whose album crashed in at number 4, despite the lead single missing the top 75. She loses points for pulling out of an interview scheduled for last Thursday at the very last minute, leaving someone very close to this blog utterly bereft. We forgive her though, not least because her success manages to transcend an oddly cack-handed shout out from a certain Jo Whiley (“it’s not pop music, it’s more than that” or something). Unfortunately, James Murphy and Gonjasufi both missed the charts, but you’ll be glad to hear we managed to pick up a copy of one of those Galaxie 500 reissues we were banging on about, so it’s not all doom et gloom. Let’s move to the present shall we?


New Amerykah: Part Two: Return Of The Ankh by Erykah Badu

Whilst Part One of Badu’s current incarnation as America’s First Lady of sprawling, densly packed R&B was suffused with pre-Obama paranoia and malaise, this follow-up finds her dissecting relationships of the romantic kind. Love is shown, simultaneously, to be a joy (‘Umm Hmm’) and a curse, as on ‘Fall In Love (Your Funeral)’. Throughout, Badu displays her amazing vocal versatility, whilst producers such as Madlib and, er, J Dilla (he died a long time ago, how is it possible to keep making beats?) create an always interesting musical bed of warm beats and choice samples. It may not be as experimental as its predecessor, but Part Two continues what’s shaping up to be some renaissance.


I Will Be by Dum Dum Girls

Having ventured to the local music emporium to purchase some albums this lunch time, we returned only to find we had completely forgotten to buy this album. This is why we’re not in charge of running a country or healing people; we’re too forgetful. Anyway, from what we’ve heard this album is really very good indeed. Recorded by just one Dum Dum, Dee Dee, I Will Be (amazing) is a lo-fi collection of scuzzed up garage rock with a pop core that will fill the hole until the Best Coast album comes out in the summer.


‘Best Friend’ by The Drums

The Drum Drum Boys (ahem) are back with their first proper single, the lovingly melancholic, Best Friend. It’s hard not to like a song that starts with the line, “You’re my best friend / And then you died”, and even if that doesn’t do it for you then the repetitive vocal sample and catchy as hell chorus should just about seal the deal. Chances are the wave of hype will drown them by the time their debut album drops on 7 June, but we’ve heard some songs from it and it’s sounding really rather good so put your daggers away evil critic bastards.

I’ll be there for you

We’re big fans of The Drums despite the fact that their youth and beauty makes us want to hate them as much as we hate Geri Halliwell. Unbelievably, the debut play of their brand new single, ‘Best Friend’, passed us by completely, which is quite shameful.

If you’re able to forgive us, here it is on a handy Radio 1 player thing (don’t worry, you don’t have to listen to half an hour of Zane Lowe, it starts at the beginning):

It’s not as immediate (or as good really) as some of the stuff on the Summertime EP and it’s a tiny bit limp, but we like the echoey intro and the strange looped gasps that you can hear if you listen closely, but the rest of it is merely ‘good’ and not ‘amazeballs’.

Out on a limb: Our hopes for 2010


Apologies for the time between posts, we spent the New Year in a drug-induced coma having stumbled upon a warehouse party in East London. Basically, all you need to know is the Police came, the guy will be out of hospital soon and yes, your inner most fears being played out on the inside of your eyelids like a movie for 48 hours is more terrifying than death itself. Ah, fun times.

So, let’s kick this new decade off with another list shall we? This time, let Musick guide you through the next twelve months by picking out five new acts to keep an eye on. Haven’t the BBC done something like this you say? And nearly every other respectable publication this side of the NME? Well, yes, but there ain’t no party like Musick party, right? Right.

Les Corps Mince de Francoise

Three Finnish beauties with a difficult French moniker, make childish, hyperactive dance-pop to make you smile.

Listen to: ‘Something Golden’

Francis and the Lights

Slick, Prince-inspired funk from idiosyncratic white soul boy. The dancing in the video below is not recommended to those with weak knees.

Listen to: ‘The Top’

The Drums

Obvious really, but no less valid. Their debut EP, Summertime, is one of the best things released in recent memory. Sun-kissed melodies + infinite sadness = The Drums.

Listen to: ‘I Felt Stupid’

Theophilus London

We’ve written about him before, but having seen him live recently we’re even more excited about his debut. Fusing vintage hip-hop with icy electro, expect Theophilus London to appear in a lot of magazines and sell very little, but still be amazing.

Listen to: ‘Humdrum Town’

Marina & The Diamonds

Born in Greece, raised in Wales and as feisty as pop stars are allowed to be these days, Marina makes opulent pop songs overflowing with piano, jaunty melodies and a clever, knowing centre.

Listen to: ‘Hollywood’