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Now Hear This: 02/11/13

We’re not really about lists. We like longform interviews and in-depth analysis; wordy think-pieces and lengthy reports. But that’s partly because we’re music-loving writers and there’s nothing we love more than the sound of a keyboard clacking satisfyingly with the sound of our own thoughts. Hey, at least we’re honest. We also know that not everyone that reads the site is up for 1200 meaty words on an artist’s development; some of you are here to get a quick bite of musical brilliance, so we’ve decided to institute a new weekly feature: Now Hear This. Harking back to TV’s Top of the Pops, we’re pulling together a list of tracks that we think are worthy of your time, or have received a terrifying amount of airplay on our office stereo. Old hits, fresh tracks, must-see-videos and obscure classics: Now Hear This is where we offer up our tunes of the week. We hope you enjoy it…

[Words: Alex Cull (AC), James Embiricos (JE), Seb Law (SL), Alex Lee Thomson (ALT)]

Katy B – ‘I Like You’

The Notion 54 cover star is at it again! Sinewy, basement beats; woozy, shapeshifting synths; those luscious vocals: it’s all here and more on this George FitzGerald-produced B-side to ‘5AM‘. This one should easily see you through the rest of the night.-AC

Drake – ‘Come Thru’ (James Blake Version)

Our mercurial man-of-the-moment has continued snuggling up to cross-continental hip-hop artists and reworked Drake’s ‘Come Thru’. Jimmy B adds a murmur of soothing coos while complimenting Drake’s heartfelt rhymes with layers of distorted electronica. -JE

Joel Compass feat. Pusha T – ‘Run’

And the transatlantic collaborations continue! Pusha T – he of the legendary Clipse fame – lays down a series of smooth verses atop Joel Compass’ silky production and gossamer vox. Long may the cultural exchange live on!-AC

Justin Timberlake – ‘TKO’

TKO, for the uninitiated, means “that you’ve been turned down three times” according to urbandictionary (where else?). In acronym terms, it’s PFS – pretty fucking serious; all noirish swagger, it’s like a lost track from Justified. Obvs that’s a brilliant thing. To listen to until your repeat button breaks.-SL

The Flaming Lips – ‘Peace Sword (Open Your Heart)’

On ‘Peace Sword’, Wayne Coyne and co unsheathe themselves from The Terror‘s murky self-reflection, shooting for the stars in the most glorious, transcendental and alien manner possible. It’s the stuff of pure childlike fascination. Step forth and be amazed.-AC

Eminem feat. Kendrick Lamar – ‘Love Game’

With anticipation for Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP2 getting everyone’s palms sweaty, The Real Slim Shady has released a fourth track to ensure the odd regurgitation of mum’s spaghetti. ‘Love Game’ is a furious pseudo-ballad that will unite the 1999 Em Stan’s with this years K.Dot circlejerk.-JE

Carnivals – ‘In Her Eyes’

A bike’s still spinning wheel in the glimmer of deflected headlights; a pool of blood gathering flow on a glass-dashed roadside. For most artists, that would be an incredibly overwrought way to start a video. Fortunately, Sheffield’s Stewart Green – aka Carnivals – produces such inherently gorgeous electronica that you won’t doubt a single second. Five minutes well spent, indeed.-AC

Ed Harcourt – ‘The Saddest Orchestra (It Only Plays For You)’

Ah cripes, another brilliantly blue piano tune from Ed Harcourt that’ll have you reaching for the booze one second, leaping out of your chair, fag in open mouth, clapping at stains on the ceiling the next. Quite grand, this is what Sigur Rós sound like to Icelandic people.-ALT

Kulkid – ‘U Were the One’

The first original cut from Kulkid sees the French producer bringing his distinctly Alpine take on deep house into glorious clarity: scatterings of found sound; skewed vocal clippings that dance across the ether before your face; bass lines that will leave you dazed and in complete submission. Sublime.-AC

Washed Out – ‘All I Know’

After the chilled sexmusik of his last record, Washed Out’s Ernest Greene has clearly been at the mushrooms. Trippy, blissed-out electronica that’s like a SAD light for your ears. Sex on the beach, if you will.-SL

Oliver Wilde – ‘Stomach Full of Cats’

Following on from this summer’s absolute blissfuck of a debut album, A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears, Bristol’s Oliver Wilde returns with another slice of transcendental psych-folk. It’s the audio equivalent of falling asleep atop a volcano that spouts out candy floss.-AC

And one from the vaults…

Lou Reed – ‘Berlin’

To try and put the legacy of the sadly-departed Lou Reed into words would be a wasted effort: it simply cannot be done. Instead, let’s allow the music to do the talking. Here, Reed perfectly encapsulates the beauty and sadness of life in the decrepit eastern half of a divided, Iron Curtain-draped Berlin; adorned with jazz hall pianos and his smokey, sultry vocal chords.-AC



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