We listen to A LOT of new music every week. But not all of it’s that great. So in this new column, Danny Wright has kindly started to go through all of the good shit and bad shit of promos and internet leaks so you don’t have to. He’s picked out the best of the bunch from the past seven days; here are three tracks that you simply *have* to listen to.
Cat Power – Ruin
I think we’ve all been missing Chan Marshall’s effortless cool. So we were very excited when she announced that Sun, her first album of new Cat Power songs since The Greatest was released waaayyy back in 2006, would be released in September. The first fruits of that album don’t disappoint either.
‘Ruin’ is propelled by an insistent beat built around piano and drums and given some added pizzazz by some choppy guitar. Chan sounds at her most expansive, both sonically and lyrically. In her smoky vocals she intones, “I’ve seen gypsies who made it all the way and kept going,” and tells of her travels around the world – before returning “all the way back to my town”. It’s certainly a welcome return.
Purity Ring – Fineshrine
‘Fineshrine’ jumps right into your ears with its skipping, skittering synth start. Yet its sunny, dreamy sounds contrast with Megan James’ explicit lyrics about wanting her lover to “make a fine shrine” inside her body.
Her light though darkly intimate vocals ride over of the top of the hypnotising, hiccupping beat as she sings “get a little closer let’s go, cut open my sternum and poke my little ribs around you” (don’t try that one at home). It’s a swirling ride through the skies of melody, and following on from the equally stunning Belispeak, it shows that their debut album Shrines should well be something special. You can download ‘Fineshrine’ for free here.
Empty Pools – Exploded View
If you haven’t heard Empty Pools’ ‘Vanderbilt Cup’ yet, you should. It’s one of my favourite debut single releases of the year so far, and the follow up is now here. ‘Exploded View’ is less dreamy but packs more punch –guitars crunch and swirl intensely before building into a flurry of blazing riffs.
It’s twitchy post-rock, it’s angular and arty (there’s also a bit of a funky swagger in there too). But most importantly it never loses sight of the importance of a melody and a great tune. Intelligent and sophisticated but never boring, this is 5 minutes and 29 seconds of intense excitement. I’m starting to expect greatness.