By Tom Fake
February 19, 2014
The Hot Five – My favourite new tracks of the week, usually rounded off with a classic, obscure or alternate track from my music collection. Tracks usually concentrate on guitar-based music, but really focus on anything and everything that I come across.
Track of the week: Little Dragon – ‘Klapp Klapp’
Little Dragon lead singer Yukimi Nagano’s smoothly trip-hop-inspired vocals sit so nicely on top of the synth and bass driven backing of her fellow band mates. The Swedish act’s new LP, Nabuma Rubberband, is out on May 12. Little Dragon are also set to bring their live show to London at the end of the month, and follow their European tour dates with an American tour, including appearances at SXSW and Coachella.
V.V. Brown – ‘Faith’
The name of V.V. Brown has been floating around for a few years now. Her critically acclaimed third album is called Samson & Delilah, and was released in the second half of last year. It was a step in a new musical direction for Vanessa Brown, and was co-produced by Mercury Award winning producer and The Invisible front man Dave Okumu. The album’s third single ‘Faith’ sees her rerecord the track and team up with Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke for an atmospherically dark duet.
The Hold Steady – ‘Spinners’
I fell in love with The Hold Steady after the release of their third album, Boys and Girls in America, in 2007. Seven years and two albums later, Craig Finn and co. are back with a new album, Teeth Dreams, after a four-year absence. Though their sound has certainly matured from those early days, what hasn’t changed is Finn’s fantastic talent for storytelling. ‘Spinners’ tells the story of a woman out on the town. As Finn puts it, “I think there is something beautiful and hopeful about watching someone all dressed up riding the train into the city.”
Holy Esque – ‘Silences’
Holy Esque; dubbed Glasgow’s most exciting new band by many, they have recently released their latest single, ‘Silences’. What Holy Esque offer the listener is something slightly different from the norm. The distinctive vocal performance of Pat Hynes on ‘Silences’ really gives the track an identity that lifts them far and above many artists in their genre, complete with a clever backdrop for the vocals to work with. The band have recently been recording in Copenhagen, Denmark, so hopefully we’ll hear some new material from them in the near future. If you like this track then also check out ‘St.’, available on the Holy Esque SoundCloud page.
Hidden track of the week: Robert Johnson – ‘I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom’
Like the pretentious Muso that I am, I purchased the complete works of Robert Johnson on vinyl this weekend. A man whose career never took off in his lifetime, Robert Johnson has become one of the most influential guitarists of all time after a collection of his work was finally noticed in the 60s. His death at a mere 27 is shrouded in rumour; was he poisoned? Was he possessed? Did he really sell his soul to the devil at a crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi? I guess the beauty it is that we’ll never know, and you can hear his style in artists that he influenced decades later – see The White Stripes, Led Zeppelin (‘Trampled Under Foot’) and Eric Clapton to name but a few.
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