Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Wooden Finger Five - July 2015

5.Lady’s In Trouble With The Law – LA Priest

Late of the Pier was one of the better short-lived bands of the late 2000s, with great tracks like ‘The Bears Are Coming’ and ‘Random Firl’. Singer Sam Dust has now gone on to release music under the name LA Priest. Apparently he has been working with New Zealand singer Connar Mockasin, and man, does it sound like it! ‘Lady’s In Trouble With The Law’ has exactly the same ‘70s lounge room feel that we’ve come to expect from Mockasin’s own work. (By the way, I think I saw Connar Mockasin standing nearby in front of me at the Laneway Festival after he performed this year. He’s astoundingly short if it was him; his lady friend seemed a good few inches taller.)

4.Dreams – Beck

After dissing Beck following his Grammy win for ‘Morning Phase’, Kanye West reportedly admitted that he had heard the album and quite liked it. Maybe that’s because it reminded him of his friend Bon Iver. Anyway, ‘Dreams’ has a beat that is more like what I expect Kanye would be used to, harking back a little to Beck’s ‘Midnite Vultures’ era, but with a bit of the picked-acoustic, bird-at-the-window ‘Morning Phase’ feel as well. Sexxlaws is back, baby!

3.Waves – Miguel

I’m not a big R&B fan at all, but I do like Miguel’s latest album. It’s a bit of a cliché to think of R&B artists as sitting in the back of a car, sunroof open, beach in the background. ‘Waves’ however is like the perfect soundtrack to that type of image. The chorus ‘I wanna ride that wave’ seems like all that every LA tune has ever wanted to say; Miguel though somehow delivers the line with more cool and depth than your standard ‘at da club’ vocalist.

2.Silk – Wolf Alice
1.Bros – Wolf Alice

The recent NME review of Wolf Alice’s album called it ‘the debut of the decade so far’. Since I can’t recall a better one I agree. Wolf Alice are like a My Bloody Valentine if the latter hadn’t hidden their tunes behind a wall of distorted guitar.

There are plenty of tracks that are of the same high quality as ‘Silk’, but I wanted to highlight that one because it’s the one – apart from the one below – that has stayed in my head, and is a definite change of pace from the rest of the album. Whereas most of Wolf Alice’s tracks settle into a (compelling) groove, the vocals on ‘Silk’ change up every few lines, with some bits – e.g. ‘At least you’re not boring’ – still feeling like a mild surprise even when you’ve heard the song a few times through. It’s a good sign the band know how to craft a track, and not just play downstrokes repeatedly until four or five minutes are up.

NME, in its current Wolf Alice frenzy, termed the album’s second track ‘Bros’ a Proper Festival Anthem, after it got a good reception at Glastonbury. While I haven’t experienced it myself I imagine that standing in a grassy field high on your favourite happy drugs does feel a bit like this track. The lyrics also make you want to drape your arm over your friend’s shoulder: ‘Oh, I’m so lucky, you are my best friend/Oh, there’s no one, there’s no one who knows me like you do’. It makes one long to be twenty-two with long hair again. (Note: my hair at twenty-two was not that long.) But even at thirty-five I am more excited about Wolf Alice’s music than any other band this year, despite my initial antipathy towards them. (Wolf Alice - ?! Sounds like a hippy-dippy millennial band … ) Highly recommended.

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