Strap on, sit down and plug in! It’s time for four songs who’ve never met to have an awkward fumble in your computer speakers and lie about their phone numbers afterwards.
So who’s making up our frisky four way this week?
Blondfire: Where The Kids Are
It might have all gone a bit tits up for Same Difference, but the world of brother/sister sibling-pop is about to get a new ambassador in the form of Blondfire- an L.A based duo who specialise in luscious soundscape indie-pop. Their new single Where the Kids Are- taken from upcoming album Win The Game- is a gorgeous bittersweet lament about those last carefree days of childhood before the scary world of grown-ups marches along and does a big old shit over everything.
Live it up, You’re growing up
Parties in the wilderness of life
Light it up, Just give it up
Where the kids are running free tonight
You would think that a music video featuring psychotic cowboy pandas, feathered shoulder pads and bizarre ‘boy gone mental’ stabbing sequences would detract from the song slightly- the equivalent of a bitchy cousin trying to upstage the bride on her wedding day. ‘Oh god, you’re wearing white too??? If only I’d known! And this figure hugging mini dress with the plunging neckline was all they had left in stock! Mortified.’
Fortunately Where the Kids Are is more than capable of holding its own. With the same dreamy, whimsical hints as The Naked & Famous, MGMT and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s ‘Maps’, Blondfire take a familiar indie template and layer it with epic synths to create a potent blend of futuristic grandeur and youthful pathos. If the new album is as good as this it has the potential to be one of the best of the year.
Oh My!: Dirty Dancer
There’s always room in the charts for a quirky female duo. Whether it’s the ‘lesbian schoolgirl quirky’ favoured by shy, retiring duo t.A.T.u, or the ‘WELL AREN’T WE MASSIVE TWATS?’ quirkiness of Daphne and Celeste, there’s something about the chemistry between a female pop pairing which, when done well, is brilliantly effective.
Oh My! are the latest female duo to bound onto the scene in a cheeky flash of playful British brattiness, and with their feisty ‘I don’t give a shit’ attitude, clever lyrics and love for exotic wildlife they may just be my new favourite girl group. The two girls who make up Oh My!- Alex Grewcock and Jade Davies- have already professed their love for 90’s girl power groups like The Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child, and in the brilliant video for new single ‘Dirty Dancer’ they bristle with the same kind of spontaneity and fun which The Spice Girls did back in the day, while also managing to pull off the almost impossible feat of looking cool while singing to a Chameleon. They even subscribe to the bizarre rule of female pop duo’s followed by the likes of Shakespear’s Sister, t.A.T.u and Shampoo by having one girl with short hair and one with long hair! Amazing.
The song itself is a catchy slice of quirky dance pop with an infectious chorus, and you can’t help but fall in love with the girls as they talk about calling into work sick (a.k.a- ‘pulling a Rowland’) and dissing guys with flashy watches and wanky personalities. If there’s any justice in the charts at the moment (cue hysterical laughter), this song and the girls will be huge.
The Flaws: Sixteen
The Irish town of Carrickmacross might sound like the kind of place where the weekly highlight is pension pick up day at the local post office and all the shops go into lockdown at 4pm in time to catch Deal Or No Deal, but it also happens to be the hometown of The Flaws- an all male indie quartet made up of childhood friends who make gloriously atmospheric indie pop in the same vein as 80’s gloomsters The Cure and The Smiths. Their debut album ‘Achieving Vagueness’ ,released in 2007, found itself in that strange but not unenviable position of being almost universally praised by critics for its precision crafted melodies, intelligent lyrics and catchy hooks. Guided by frontman and lyricist Paul Finn’s solid vocals and a radiant combination of lush synths, jangling guitars and diamond cut drum beats, The Flaws make music which is almost, well, flawless.
And if you want to hear The Flaws at their impeccable best, look no further than Sixteen- an elegantly dark slice of indie pop with a beautiful plaintive chorus. Finn’s haunting lament of ‘even as a boy of sixteen I had this recurring kind of dream, where every night I’d feel the same pain’ plays over a pensive guitar riff aching with nostalgic longing and delicate angst.
Commercially it’s all gone a bit tits up at the moment, but when you have the kind of raw talent and ability to craft air tight melodies which The Flaws clearly do, it shouldn’t be long before the town of Carrickmacross goes apeshit along with the rest of the country for them. JUST NOT AFTER 4PM. That’s Noel’s time.
Bjork: All Is Full of Love
By now you either ‘get’ Bjork, or you don’t. For some she’s an artistic genius- constantly evolving with each album and challenging the boundaries of music through her work, while for others she’s just that mental bird from Iceland who will only ever be known for dicking about with umbrellas and rudely shushing people in the street.
As I discovered last year however, it’s never too late to let a bit of Bjork into your life. Whether it’s the epic native rawness of Homogenic or the microscopic intimacy of Vespertine, each of her albums has its own musical soul layered with hidden depths and surprises. It’s impossible to do justice to Bjork’s thirty year career in a few paragraphs, with its seven studio albums, giant dancing cats and mountain of awards, other than to say that she remains one of the most eclectic, inventive and poetically sublime artists in the industry today.
Granted, to the outsider it can all look a bit ‘banshee screaming mad woman enjoys making an almighty racket’, but for the uninitiated/ potentially terrified Bjork beginner, All Is Full Of Love is quite a good starting point. As the last track on Homogenic, it manages to encapsulate the epic majesty of that album, while still retaining a gentle, sultry quality- softly guided by Bjork’s otherworldly vocals as it blooms into a stunningly beautiful ballad. Oh, and the video is a bit mind blowing too.
Female robots having a snog?? Someone alert the Daily Mail!!!