Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Wooden Finger Five – June 2015

5. Just Like Blood – Sharon Van Etten

‘Just Like Blood’ comes not from an upcoming album from Sharon Van Etten, but her ‘I Don’t Want To Let You Down’ EP, as the second track. This and the title track are both of the same level of quality as the best tracks on her last two LPs. Sharon Van Etten is one of those artists that I feel like if she didn’t exist we would have to invent her. Every generation needs a Sharon Van Etten. Mine was probably Cat Power, or before that Fiona Apple or Tori Amos. Maybe Aimee Mann too but I was never really into her. Anyway the point is you can always rely on Sharon Van Etten to produce some good, solid tunes.

4. Caught – Florence & The Machine

Any musings Florence had about changing her sound for her third album must have been quickly dismissed. Advance releases ‘What Kind Of Man’, ‘Delilah’, and ‘Ship To Wreck’ are as bombastic as anything on ‘Ceremonials’. Once again though possibly my favourite track is one that is kind of hidden among the roof-raisers: like ‘Breaking Down’ on ‘Ceremonials’ and ‘Hurricane Drunk’ on ‘Lungs’ the one that I am fond of is a nice song called ‘Caught’, which is a bit dialled down from the songs around it. Florence’s ‘ooh-ah-ooh-ah-ooooh’ would work well sitting in a small club in a hotel around 11pm, aperitif in hand, which is probably some way down from her ambitions, but is the mark of a good singer nonetheless.

3. Reapers – Muse

Muse must know how ridiculous they are, right? Like the prog-rock gods of the ‘70s I am sure I can hear moments in their music when they are parodying themselves, and making sounds that no rock band completely concerned with cool would ever make. The chorus of ‘Reapers’ is an example of this, as is the interlude. They are also two of the best parts of Muse’s new album, which is an hour-long concept album about drone warfare, naturally.

2. Hotel California – Swim Deep

When can we say that a tribute song measures up to the song it is referencing? Having heard the Eagles’ original ‘Hotel California’ about forty squillion times Swim Deep’s tribute (‘I was drunk, singing ‘Hotel California’) feels considerably fresher to me than that worn-out classic.  Amazingly it is ‘just’ a B-side, but of my first dabbles into the music of Swim Deep this is the song that has stayed swirling around my head.

1. Regret – Everything Everything

New Order worked out thirty years ago that nothing fuels an indie-pop song like the subject of regret.  Now Everything Everything have worked out how to make the kids mope and dance with their question/chorus of ‘Did you imagine it/In a different way?’ That tilt into the chorus is so dreamy that it covers up that I actually find the repeated chant throughout the verses of ‘Regret! Regret!’ semi-annoying. This is almost as good as their ‘Duet’ song.

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