By Tom Fake
January 22, 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: Vancouver Sleep Clinic – ‘Collapse’
Selecting a song to listen to based on the name of the artist is rarely a successful method for finding new music. This time, however, it worked wonders. Australian ambient trio Vancouver Sleep Clinic have that musical quality that is so often underrated – the ability to use texture in songs. The way they layer effects and strip them back is so organic, adding to the atmospheric nature of the song that’s encouraged by the floating vocal line of Tim Bettinson. The band also manage to merge electronic drum beats with reverberating vocals and synths to create a fantastic and modern sound. Rather fittingly Vancouver Sleep Clinic are supporting London Grammar on their Australian tour dates in January and February.
Damon Albarn – ‘Everyday Robots’
Legendary Blur frontman Damon Albarn announced his first proper solo album this week. Titled Everyday Robots, the album is due to be released on April 28 and will feature guest appearances from Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes) and Brian Eno. Albarn’s brand of self-categorized “folk soul” was unveiled on Sunday night at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where he played a set accompanied by a string quartet. Damon Albarn’s versatility speaks for itself, you only need to listen to glimpses of Blur, Gorillaz and The Good The Bad The Queen among other projects to see it, so I would imagine we’ll get something weird and wonderful from Albarn this time round; roll on April.
Temples – ‘Mesmerise’
Temples seem to have successfully merged Britpop catchiness with the neo-psychedelia of Tame Impala with their latest single, ‘Mesmerise’. Set to be released on their debut album Sun Structures, this reverb-coated tune suggests a sense of urgency, eager to show off catchy hooks and impressive production techniques. The album was recorded in the box-room of frontman James Bagshaw’s house in Kettering, and will be released on the February 10. Temples are set to tour the UK in February and March, with 10 solo dates and 8 dates as part of the NME Awards Tour alongside Interpol, Royal Blood and Circa Waves.
Sam Smith – ‘Berlin’ [Live Lounge RY X cover]
Sam Smith is probably the most talented new artist in the music industry today, and this cover of the fantastic RY X track consolidates that. I’m not normally a fan of covers done in the BBC’s Live Lounge session, but Smith makes the song his own, whilst retaining the sound that made this song so fantastic in the first place. Sam Smith is touring the UK in February, and I’m sure he’ll continue to be pretty awesome for the foreseeable future too …
Hidden track of the week: Everything Everything – ‘Kemosabe’
As always, not much of a hidden track, but nonetheless its absolutely fantastic. If you weren’t already aware, I really like Everything Everything. News this week suggested that the band were disappointed with last years album, Arc. The band were quick to dash to its defence, and suggested that they are eager to get back into the studio ASAP. Hopes of a new album from them in 2014 are not unfounded, exciting times!