MUSIC TO START THE WEEK WITH #012
2012 is just around the corner (only three weeks away!) and there’s a lot to look forward to, especially when it comes to good music. For this edition of “Music To Start The Week”, we’re setting our iPods to the artists/groups that will make our earth shake in the upcoming 12 months and those who have made such an impact this year but will surely continue a hot streak in the next one. But we won’t just limit ourselves to what’s new; we’ve also got an old school essential thrown in.
Here’s to you, and to all of ’em greats, your weekly top-10:
1. Amy Winehouse – Our Day Will Come
The world lost a bit of itself when the news broke on Amy Winehouse’s death last July (see our special obituary Lost Soul
2. Phantom Limb – The Pines
The Bristol, England country/soul outfit fronted by Yolanda Quartey is not exactly new. They’ve been around since 2004, put out a great selftitled LP in ’08 and participated in both SXSW and Glastonbury. The band visited California and teamed with ex Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford to record their second album, entitled “The Pines” (scheduled for Feb. 13). The sunny and rocky title track makes it all worthwhile to discover their back catalogue and await their new work.
3. Friends – I’m His Girl
Ever wondered what 2012 sounds like? Well, look no further than Brooklyn’s own Friends. The BBC can testify on that, since they elected them as part of their “Sound of 2012” poll. The quintet have only two singles to their credit but they are sought after, even in the UK, where they’ll headline shows in February at Manchester’s Deaf Institute and London’s The Lexington. So what’s so good about this song “I’m His Girl”? Um, just about everything. From the funky bassline to the sexy vocals and the glam Super 8 video featuring Samantha Urbani strutting the streets and owing hearts. She owned ours already!
4. Tom Vek – A Chore
TV Party did the deeds for lovers of early New Wave at a time when Soul Train and American Bandstand basically ignored them. The program, which remained in NYC telly from 1978 to 1982, featured guests like Blondie, David Byrne, Klaus Nomi and Jean-Michel Basquiat. It has been immortalized in a documentary by Danny Vinik and as a parody in the Ollie Evans-directed video for Tom Vek’s “A Chore”, the first single off his “Leisure Seizure” album, released in June. The man returned in style after six years with a record that shows his love for Indie-Electro instrumentation in a post-LCD world.
5. Pond – Fantastic Explosion Of Time
Once upon a time, there was a mulberry tree in Daglish, Western Australia. Joseph Ryan, Nick Allbrook and Jay Watson (the latter two from Tame Impala) sat under the tree and conceived an idea of tropical psychedelic proportions and thus, Pond was born. Their second album entitled “Beard Wives Denim” will be out on March 6th via Modular and what you can expect is something on the lines of “Fantastic Explosion Of Time”: a distorted, woozy, fractured and ultimately nostalgic piece. If you love Tame Impala, you must check this one out.
6. Air – Seven Stars (Feat. Victoria Legrand)
Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel’s best work always comes from a cinematic point of view. 2012 welcomes the French duo with the release of “Le Voyage Dans La Lune”, an album inspired by the 1902 silent film of the same name. An original score was composed for a fully restored color version of the movie and it includes this dreamy tune, which features the vocal talents of Beach House’s Victoria Legrand.
7. Yazoo – Midnight
We did warn you there would be an old school essential in the mix. As soon as Alison Moyet’s soulful voice ships, you know you’re in for a special treat. This ode for desire is extracted from Moyet and Vince Clarke’s 1982 masterpiece “Upstairs At Eric’s” and was performed live in their “Reconnected” tour three years ago. If this is not magic, I don’t know what is.
8. Yacht – I Walked Alone (Jacques Renault Remix)
Now it’s time for a little dancing, provided by Jacques Renault’s rework of Yacht’s “I Walked Alone”, from this year’s “Shangri-La”. It’s as Disco as Renault could deliver but also maintains the dance-punk quality of the original. If you choose to keep on dancing, buy the “I Walked Alone” EP, released by DFA and available on ITunes.
9. The Young Professionals (TYP) – 20 Seconds
Meet Ivri Lider and Yonathan Goldshtein, two stylish men who work hard in a Tel Aviv studio to create something new based on something old. They are armed with serious electronics, melodic hooks and artsy videos with lots of dancing in it. The boys’ songs are just begging to be remixed in abundance, a move that would surely make them omnipresent in today’s dancefloors.
10. Goldfrapp – Yellow Halo
Incoming sign of relief…Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory are back! The duo that brought us “Ooh La La”, “Strict Machine”, “Ride a White Horse” and “Rocket”, among others, is set to drop their first-ever greatest hits collection “The Singles” on February 6, marking the end of a long decade association with EMI. To promote it, they recorded two new songs, “Melancholy Sky” and “Yellow Halo”, the latter reminiscent of the Pagan electro-folk sound of 2008’s “Seventh Tree” album. It’s lush and dreamy pop at its best.