Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Best of April

Album of the month

This month, it’s a toss-up between Electrelane’s No Shouts, No Calls, and Low’s Drums and Guns. I’ve spent more time with the former, so it gets the nod for now. But the spectral beauty of the latter may well win me over by the time the year’s out. But for now it’s all about the four girls from Brighton who have just released a very fine record indeed, albeit with slightly odd artwork. I’ve said plenty about it already, so I’ll just post another track from it. This one is probably my favourite, and also easily one of my songs of the month.

Download: Electrelane – At Sea

Buy No Shouts, No Calls.

Songs of the month

Low – Violent Past

This is my stand-out at the moment from Drums and Guns. I love the way that Low seem to re-invent themselves with each release, yet still manage to sound resolutely and uniquely Low. There’s no other band quite like them. Wonderful.

Battles – Atlas

I had pretty mixed feelings about last year’s Battles release, and there’s no guarantee that their new album (out on 12 May on Warp) is going to be as good as this track. But no matter – I can still be thrilled by the brilliant rhythmic clatter and helium vocals in this immense tune.

Loney, Dear – Saturday Waits

The stand-out track from the oddball but rather lovely album from the affable Swede with the misplaced ‘l’. The soaring melody, the gorgeous harmonies – all enough to make you come over all tingly.

The Young Republic – Excuses to See You

Not a new song, or even a recent one, but one that I’ve become increasingly obsessed with this month as I’ve rejoiced in my finding of this fine group of Bostonians. This is my favourite tune of theirs so far – coming on like an indie-pop Return of the Grievous Angel. If you ever thought that Belle and Sebastian would sound like if they went a bit country, here’s your answer. Perfect.

Joanna Newsom – Crab, Clam, Cockle Cowrie

Another not-quite-new song. Though this one has been re-recorded by Ms Newsom and her touring band and re-released on the cheesily titled Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band. But it still sounds amazing, this time with added male backing harmonies, and at a push is probably my favourite Joanna song ever. So I guess that’s why it’s here.

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