OOOOOO!! (Ghost sounds) It’s the final Friday of October and a spooky edition of Careless Tracks this way comes! I've written this before seeing what the guys have come up with so I have no idea if they are Halloween themed or not. A theme month certainly wasn't discussed, so it’s unlikely. Mine isn't really. Still, OOOOOOOO!! (Ghost sounds) Have you checked out our brand spanking new EP "Microwave Communion" yet? No? Well that’s not cool (wo)man. Make sure you do so right now as its mega wicked! We also have two new music videos out and a third for 'Bring out Your Dead' on the way next Friday 3 November, so keep a look out for that!
BTW you can check out all of our Careless Track recommendations on Spotify:
The Horrors – Still Life
Dickon: Let’s have an offering from the Horrors shall we, as it’s nearly Halloween? I remember when they were first thrust onto the cover of NME before anyone had really heard anything from them and many of us, perhaps not unfairly, went “Oooooooo, errrrrrrr, whaaaa??? Meh.” It was all a bit Robert Smith hair, Beetle Juice eyes and tiny drain pipes that, had they been actual drain pipes would have been way more comfortable. I didn’t mind all that to be honest, it’s just that the first album left me a bit cold so I turned away and didn’t think about them again for a few years.
Fast forward to album three, 2011’s “Skying”, and the Cramps are nowhere to be seen. Instead it’s all Tove Jansson on kaleidoscope moon pies and some sinister psychedelic summer sonnets. One such example is my track pick for this month “Still Life” with its refrain “when you wake up, you will find me”. That’s nice Farris but don’t touch me… Seriously though, great record, great band. Not checked out their very recent offering ‘V’ yet, but very much looking forward to it. Happy nearly Halloween everyone!*
*Note I wanted to write about Ryan Adams’ “Halloween Head” this month but I’m trying to go cold turkey. The guys think I have a problem. Love you Ry Ry!!
Twin Shadow - At My Heels
Ben: Oh damn, I just saw Dickon's intro and track pick and now wish I'd gone for something Halloween-y too. Oh well, I've spent a good (great?) hour writing this and I ain't changing for no-one!
Twin Shadow is the moniker of George Lewis Jr., who is probably the only musician I know of who hails from the Dominican Republic (apologies if I am overlooking the fact that Alex Turner is from Santo Domingo, what do I know).
I can actually pinpoint the fact that I first checked him out on 9 Jan 2012, thanks to Last.fm (does anyone still use this? If so then add me!). The first music I heard by him was the track Five Seconds off his second album, which I nearly picked instead of this one. As you can no doubt tell by the fact that it doesn’t say Five Seconds in the little sub-heading above, I went with the track At My Heels from his first album. Five Seconds is a really great track though, so do check it out.
I can’t remember what his first album was called (geddit, yeah?), but it is absolutely brilliant. It is very atmospheric (the whole thing is the sonic equivalent of a smoke machine) and showcases some great musicianship (check out his intricate rhythmic bass work in When We’re Dancing, particularly audible in the outro, for example) and some really interesting lyrics.
This song really reminds me of a very happy time in my life. You know when you hear a song you love in a totally unexpected setting and it just makes it 10x better because you weren’t expecting to hear it? It was my birthday in 2013 and I was floating around on an inflatable lilo in the Roosevelt Hotel in LA drinking champagne (as you do). This came on and it was just a really awesome time in my life in general. I think of that every time I hear the song and then feel the inevitable pangs of disappointment that every day can't be like that. Kind of like how the band Wizzard wishes it could be Christmas every day, but this would be warmer and with more swmming pools.
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room though – the video isn’t great. Trusty George looks like a bouffant 80’s Freddie Mercury (which is a huge win!), but it’s all pretty cheap and shitty. I’m not sure if that is the vibe he was going for (what with the random Cyrillic text, maybe it’s meant to look like an Eastern European 80’s video), but it doesn’t really do it for me. If you want to see a great video that channels Eastern Europe in the late 70’s and early 80’s then you probably need to check our forthcoming vid Bring Out Your Dead (PLUG PLUG PLUG).
Anyway, yes, this is a fairly rambling introduction to Twin Shadow for anyone that cares. First album amazing, second album very good, third album dross. I’m not a big one at seeing patterns in information, but I think I see where this is going. Mercury nominated 4th album in the bag.
The Bros. Landreth - Our Love
Rob: I’ve been making a more concerted effort recently to branch out and find some new contemporary music that I actually like. The Bros. Landreth is my latest discovery, and I found them via a YouTube Channel* that sometimes posts interviews with guitar players. This is a good starting point for me I’ve found because I quite like guitar.
The Bros Landreth are a Canadian band that sort of mesh Americana, country, folk and blues. That sort of vibe. But they have some definite pop tendencies as well. This song is the opening track on their debut 2015 album (although technically they did independently release it in 2013 before they signed to Slate Creek Records), Let It Lie, and has become habitual listening for me over the past couple of weeks.
Firstly, I think it’s a really well written song. Secondly, it has some of the tastiest guitar playing I’ve heard in ages. Thirdly, the production is so engaging. It sounds big and fat, but intimate at the same time, and really dynamic, which I think is an increasingly rare thing to find these days. Chuck some sweet vocal harmonies into the mix and you’ve got a very happy Robson.
*https://www.youtube.com/user/AndertonsMusic if you are interested!