By Tom Fake
September 11, 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.
Track of the week: Arcade Fire – ‘Reflektor’
We’ve been waiting for a while, but here it is. The follow up to The Suburbs was announced on Monday, along with ‘Reflektor’, the album’s first single, which is over seven minutes long. Firstly, it’s a bit different… It’s a great bit of vintage disco rock and includes vocals sung in French by Régine Chassagne. Also, do you hear that vocal at roughly five minutes in? The rumours were true, backing vocals provided by the one and only David Bowie, who is known to be a fan of the band. The new album, also titled Reflektor, has been produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and is set for release on October 29. It’s got to be said, you do have to wonder whether Arcade Fire are trying to fool us with this new style, or if they’re just trying something totally new. Either way, I’m rather looking forward to hearing it.
Atoms For Peace – ‘You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry [Mush Mix]’
This is an 11-minute mix of new beats from Thom Yorke’s Atoms For Peace. Created for a Rag & Bone runway show, this soundscape features “a collage of unreleased beats and such like…” with a mashed beat from Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood and the percussive skills of AFP’s Mauro Refosco. This track was, er, ‘cleverly endorsed’ by Thom Yorke via his twitter page… I quote: “Its like… fashun innit” before posting a link to the soundcloud page.
Arctic Monkeys – ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’
I hate to say it, but there are those of us who preferred earlier, more innocent Arctic Monkeys albums. AM, the band’s fifth album, leads this weeks releases. It boasts a very sophisticated, smoother sound that has been steadily refined since the release of 2009’s Humbug. You can almost hear the swagger in Alex Turner’s voice; once the poetic voice of urban Sheffield, the man has truly become a rockstar. ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ demonstrates all of this perfectly. Turner’s way with words and melody work really well here over a well-produced track.
Haim – ‘Falling’
Elton John’s return to close Bestival marked the end of this year’s major UK festival season. That, along with the NME’s yearly survey, got me thinking about the band that had made the biggest impact on this year’s festival season. That band had to be Haim. After sets at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds & Pukkelpop as well as a host of other European and American festivals, it seems that Haim have successfully gained people’s interest ahead of their debut album and fourth single ‘The Wire’ released later this month. The band are also set to tour the UK later in the year after completing a host of US tour dates. The album Days Are Gone will be released on September 27 via Polydor.
Hidden track of the week: The Dead Weather – ‘Blue Blood Blues’
I can’t believe I forgot to mention just how excited I was at the idea of The Dead Weather getting back in Jack White’s Third Man studio in Nashville, TN. The writing was seemingly on the wall: another two-album project from Jack White after The Raconteurs shut up shop. I was wrong, it was announced recently that The Dead Weather are working on multiple new tracks after White took some time out for his solo album, Blunderbuss, last year. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Jack White said: “We all live in Nashville now. All The Raconteurs and all The Dead Weather live in Nashville now, so we often go on trips together, because we’re all just good pals. We’ve recorded some things, too. And Brendan (Benson) and The Raconteurs just built a new studio right in town, so it’s a lot of great inspiration going around.” It seems that Jack White and friends have a nice little setup down in Tennessee. I think I’m going to move to Nashville… As for ‘Blue Blood Blues’ it’s less well known, sure, but what an intro to their second album, Sea of Cowards. That riff is just excellent, its bluesy with some really dirty effects piled on top, classic Jack White.
You can follow Tom on twitter @tom_fake.