If you wanna floss, go get your own!
Last week The Singles Jukebox reviewed a bunch of acts on the BBC's "Sound of 2011" list. After weeping for BBC listeners in 2011, I became afraid that I was on the losing end of some impassable cultural divide. Thankfully, the Jukebox's British contingent disliked most of the reviewed songs as much as I did. Highlights:
The Naked and Famous: "Punching In a Dream"
There’s an appealing looseness about the whole thing — the singers “woo-OOO-oo!” along with the synth lines, Alisa Xayalith’s high notes sound unhinged, and every time you turn around there’s some new sound popping up. MVP is drummer Jesse Wood, who punches up some choice electronic effects while throwing a whole bunch of unexpected ratatats and cymbal crashes into his swingin’ disco beat. His fills at the end make me smile every time. As does this shirtless man drumming along to the song.
I call “Polly” reference! Never thought a song would make me long for the taut grooves of a Nirvana ballad, but there you go.
The opening chord reminds me of the Gathering’s stellar blast-off tune “Liberty Bell”; the rest reminds me of what I always imagined Spacemen 3 would sound like before I actually heard them, and Mr. Yuck sounds like he’s singing in a tin can, so I first assumed this song had something to do with space travel. Now I’m not so sure. I mean, it’s certainly as monotonous as space travel must be, but you’d think real astronauts with time on their hands would come up with more adventurous guitar parts.
...et le mot juste:
Jamie Woon: "Night Air"
One of my most indelible musical memories comes from summer vacation when I was 10, hearing Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Sign Your Name” pouring out of boomboxes around the swimming pool. I had no idea what the song was. Somehow its exotic Caribbean lilt and stately melody got all mixed up with the image of a bunch of half-naked people soaking up oppressive Wisconsin sunshine, and I knew I was in the presence of a voice that possessed some esoteric adult knowledge. I was surprised my parents didn’t cover my ears. Thing is, I don’t even like “Sign Your Name” that much. And I don’t particularly like “Night Air” that much — it’s fine, whatever. But despite having little in common with “Sign Your Name”, beyond minor-ness and a tenor voice and a beat I could imagine Sade copping, “Night Air” seems authentically haunting in the same way. When Woon sings, “I’ve acquired a kind of madness,” I believe him, and I imagine that phrase could forever alter some 10-year-old’s vision of the world.
Wretch 32: "Traktor"