For me, pop music that comes the closest to genius is that which requires no context; there’s no need to know a band’s biography, have groped the lead singer at a frantic gig or own an entirely illegal back catalogue.
All I know about Phantogram is that they’re probably from America, I downloaded their debut album and quite liked it, and the centre piece to their new EP, “Don’t Move”, is one of those moments of genuine genius that are far, far too rare.
It’s got one of those wonderfully regretful, world-weary vocals that manages to be both sultry and completely accessible. Cut over stuttering electronics, with hook upon hook thrown in almost indiscriminately, it ends up sounding like an enormous collage of fantastic noises that somehow make perfect sense.
By quite a crazy coincidence, my quick research informs me that their “Nightlife” EP/mini album is out today. It was clearly meant to be. If that’s not a reason to press play on the soundcloud link below, then I don’t know what is. It’s the big orange button, live the dream and press it.
There’s been an insane amount written about London-based band Theme Park since they popped up out of nowhere last Wednesday. As in, they’re actually making Bin Laden look like small news. I want to be cynical about them; I should be thinking that there must be some Sir-Alan-Sugared business man hanging around somewhere who has deduced that if you paired the Mystery Jets’ vocals and Friendly Fires at their hip thrusting best then you’ll rake some cash in, but “Milk” is just too, too good for me to start thinking that. It’s just amazing. The world is that simple. Sometimes.
Nobody’s had this much fun in the North-East since Maximo Park released a decent single. Many a year, in other words. It’s not much to go by in the way of cementing a long-term career, neither does it suggest an album of decade-defining proportions is on the way – it’s just an immensely catchy tune, and an insanely likeable single and we just can’t argue with that. We’re hoping that the release of “Borrowed Time” in April is going to coincide with the national fixation on the Geordie accent caused by Cheryl Cole, and take over the country. For now, though, insanely like-able and immensely catchy just is enough.