Unfortunately, for the next two weeks I am being a horrible bastard and leaving the whole reality thing, meaning that blogging is very unlikely to happen. So here’s what I can just tell is going to be going down in the next two weeks:
The GIT Award
It has been presented as the Scouse Mercury award but, having seen the shortlist, that’s probably a bit of an insult to the artists that have made it – and the Mercuries aren’t even that disastrous, the current crop of Liverpuddlian artists are just that good. Most encouragingly, there’s barely any Beatles/Oasis aping in sight; these artists are original, creative and brilliantly diverse. Check out the shortlist if it’s the only thing you do today. You’ll have heard of Outfit, Loved Ones and Forest Swords but Ninetails, Stealing Sheep and Ex-Easter Island Head are also favourites of mine. Listen to them all here.
The Kindness album “World You Need A Change Of Mind” was released earlier this month and it’s the kind of psych-funk-pop crossover masterpiece that literally nobody would have thought was a good idea apart from Adam Bainbridge himself. To be fair, there are a few points where the mark is slightly overstepped – “Anyone Can Fall In Love” is just about forgivably cringe-worthy – but as an album the whole thing runs into itself very well. Definitely get involved.
I have already irrationally decided that Beach House’s “Bloom” is the record of the year. That decision may seem somewhat premature in March, but after the way that it has continually bludgeoned me very gently but very insistently with its own obvious perfection over the past couple of weeks, I just can’t help it. It is out on May 15th via Sub Pop so, even if it’s not your album of the year, you won’t be able to stop it soundtracking your summer.
The Quietus are grumpy, intellectual bastards, so when they start popping out superlatives over pop records, it’s probably an indication that said pop record is something out of the ordinary. And NZCA Lines’ debut is just that; unusual. Yet it avoids being obtuse, and gives us a couple of the years’ best pop songs in “Compass Points” and “Okinawa Channels”.
The “Kingdoms” EP from this London-based producer Fort Romeau who used to play synths for La Roux pitches itself between subtlety and drive and is absolutely better than anything that La Roux ever did or will do (let’s hope there’s nothing more to come, anyway). Definitely an exciting prospect.
One of the most obvious evils of the internet and its merciless spreading of music, regardless of quality, is the lengths it drives people to to avoid shit music. For instance, last year I heard a 2:54 song. I thought it was a bit ok but not much more. And as a result I dismissed them and refused to listen to anything more until I heard “You’re Early”. Strangely, it has always been argued that record labels no longer give bands the chance to grow anymore which is why the internet is so useful in providing an early step up for bands – but in exactly the same way, we discard bands immediately if they don’t live up to expectations. Anyway, I don’t mind admitting that I was wrong and 2:54 are bloody brilliant. They’re currently on tour, so go and give their seething maudlin creations a chance, or read more about them here.