By Tom Fake
September 4, 2013
The Hot Five – My views on five tracks that have attracted my interest throughout the week. There’s usually an older or more obscure track thrown in the mix for something a bit different too. Tracks usually concentrate on guitar-based music, but really focus on anything and everything that comes to my attention.
I overlooked this track for last week’s column. I thought the lyrics were being forced to rhyme and it was all a little bit cliché. Yet I came back. Brian Molko’s entrancing vocal made me overlook what had initially put me off, and when you take a step back this is a very well arranged track. I suppose the message of this song is all about telling people to stop relying so heavily on social networking, forming false friendships and wasting their life on a computer screen. It’s ironic I guess, as I’m typing this out. Maybe I’ll go for a walk after to balance things out. Placebo’s seventh studio album, Loud Like Love, is released on September 16 and is backed up by a European tour as well as dates in Australia. You can see the route of their tour mapped out on the band’s website here.
Biffy Clyro – ‘Victory Over The Sun’
Many things are clear in this choice: first, I’ve never really been into Biffy Clyro. Second: I think my friend Mollie, who retweets this column every week, will say ‘I told you so…’ And third, my girlfriend will roll her eyes at me. Regardless, Biffy’s latest single, released this Monday, is pretty damn cool. At 1:26 when that guitar riff came in I found myself smiling, and indulging in this. It’s a real feel-good song for those of us who grew up listening to real music. Apparently the Scots nailed Reading and Leeds, promoting this year’s double album Opposites, and are touring the States and Europe before jetting off to tour Australia at the start of next year. Clearly Biffy Clyro have worked as hard as just about anyone to get to where they are now and its really starting to pay off, it would seem.
Paul McCartney – ‘New’
Paul McCartney surprised many people last week by announcing a new album, New, which is going to be released next month. McCartney worked on the album with producers Paul Epworth and Mark Ronson, his first solo effort since 2007. The track itself has that sound of Beatles-era McCartney, and shows that (despite what many said after the Olympics) McCartney hasn’t lost it 50 years on. He was spot on with his description of the track to BBC 6 Music’s Matt Everitt: “It’s catchy, it’s summery, it’s a love song. I think people will recognise it as definitely me.”
Lorde – ‘Royals’
This is one of those songs that I’ve heard loads of times, yet haven’t known who it was by or what it was called. ‘Royals’ is a very clever song. Ella Yelich-O’Connor’s vocal harmonies are tight, and her voice is strong enough to sound fantastic above a really minimal instrumental backdrop. In America they’re apparently calling her the anti-Rihanna, so Lorde might unfortunately end up being turned into some music industry product artist. For now though, lets enjoy her version of alternative-pop.
Hidden track of the week: Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five – ‘West End Blues’
And now for something completely different… This song is the reason this column is called the Hot Five. Louis Armstrong’s 1928 recording of Joe King Oliver’s ‘West End Blues’ with his Hot Five is one of the finest pieces of recorded jazz ever; end of discussion. It’s also a very early example of vocal jazz scat singing, which was used occasionally by artists for a decade-or-so before this but was here brought to mass attention along with other famous names like Duke Ellington (‘Creole Love Call’, 1927)and later Ella Fitzgerald (‘How High The Moon’, among many others). Sorry, that’s my bit of self-indulgence over; see you next week!
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