October 11, 2008

Playlist: At that twilight state of mind

Five songs I highly recommend from recent albums:

Helicopter Girl Ghosts In The Machine
I've never liked a full HG album, but there is always some hidden gem. Jackie Joyce's last album,
Voodoo Chic, has an outright masterpiece, Umbrellas in The Rain, that's a melding of Bjork and Goldfrapp. From her latest release, the chicly titled Metropolitan, it's this urgent track with seesaw strings cutting through and references to the Tardis! Le sigh... "Donna Noble has left the library."

Stars 14 Forever
From their lovely new EP with a great title, Sad Robots. The new music is closer in spirit to the early work on Nightsongs and this tune is pure tinkly gorgeousness. It has the signature tradeoff vocals between Torquil Campbell and Amy Milian and a very subtle beat. I suppose I could rename this blog 14 Forever and, given my taste, it would be accurate. Is XO actually a sophisticated 14 year old? I mean, how many times have you seen me in photos, hmmm? Well, maybe 19 Forever is a better name. That's a Joe Jackson song.

Jenny Lewis Tryin' My Best
Jenny whips out the falsetto and it's perfect. Totally... gossamer. This is a country soul ballad set to a chamber quartet. There are choral effects and references to angel's wings - it's very fluttery. The chorus reminds me of the great
Laura Nyro, but she's another story for another day.

If any of you remember my post last year about Aqualung's masterpiece, Garden Of Love (the one he does with Blue Nile's Paul Buchanan), then you should download this new ballad from his Words And Music record. This album came out of the blue and seems a bit underproduced at times. Not this song, which starts with a 1:25 intro that sounds like a mix of violin and - what is it? - bagpipe and then morphs into a lovely piano lullaby. The lyric "get me, get me over the ocean to find you" GETS me. A spine-tingler, this song.

The Saturdays Why Me Why Now?
I've not liked anything this Xenomania group has produced thus far, but this one should've gone to Sugababes, because it's a complete ripoff of their sound. I'd classify it midtempo pop with elements of soulfulness. I like the bubbly synths and harmonies, again very Babesy. The Amazon UK description for this band says they're "named after everyone's favourite day of the week." No, that's already taken by The Sundays.

Go hunting: iTunes US | iTunes UK | Hype Machine | Google Blog Search

Photo by Hedi Slimane


Michael said...

I enjoy the Saturdays. "Up" makes me happy.

Paul said...

Oh we would have had SO much fun if we both knew each other at 14 :) Let's go back in time...

duanemoody.com said...

Thank you for letting me know about the Aqualung song... I bought that album and didn't realize he was releasing one, and that being the last song, it is hard to stand out amongst so many other songs sometimes.

I though Memory Man was one of the hands down best albums of 2007. This song is making this one a contender now!!!!

will said...

i have to beg to differ re: the saturdays, xo! i've loved the singles from "chasing lights"!! which reminds me, must pre-order my copy off amazon uk asap. love love love.