Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Wooden Finger Five – February 2016

I watched the second season of ‘True Detective’ on DVD recently, and the point where I got the most excited was when I first saw the opening credits for the season, with this track playing over a very moody film sequence. I didn’t pick it up at first, but the lyrics from the song that the credits use change with each episode. Red raw, disturbed, and white middle-class – fairly appropriate for the types of characters Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams play in this series.
Suede’s new album sounds like Suede. And this track is Suede at their Suede-iest.
(Actually, the new Animal Collective album too sounds like Animal Collective at their Animal Collective-iest. Or maybe that should be Animal Collective at their Panda Bear-iest.)
PJ Harvey’s new single ‘The Wheel’ may just be her best track ever. It wastes barely any time in hitting its full-rock stride, starting off with a barrage of saxophone and guitar that shoots the listener straight into its dim and heavy atmosphere. The rock intro may hark back to PJ’s early days, but the call-and-response chorus – with Mick Harvey returning on back-up vocals – makes it more of a continuation of the ‘many voices’ style of her most recent album ‘Let England Shake’. Like that album too the lyrics of ‘The Wheel’ attempt to give voice to the murdered; in this case, 28,000 children who have disappeared, although the number itself doesn’t seem to refer to any actual historical body count. If PJ’s new album does end up coming from pretty much the same place as her last one there are plenty of worse things to be.
2.Synthia: album – The Jezabels
Australia’s indie-rock darlings The Jezabels’ have returned with their best album yet and one that recaptures the twisting, writhing sound of their early EPs. ‘Synthia’ takes a lot of turns – on opening track ‘Stand And Deliver’ singer Hayley Mary sighs that ‘you can marry me/let me be your wife’, and then follows that up by proclaiming stridently on the next track that ‘My Love Is My Disease’. On ‘Smile’ she tells us that we can ‘call her sexy’ and ‘whistle at me on the street’, but she has ‘one rule – don’t tell me to smile’. Alas, the band has had to cancel their tour as keyboardist Heather Shannon receives treatment for ovarian cancer; hopefully they can get back on the road again soon and give this album the showcasing it deserves.

Foxes’ music, I think, can rightfully be called ‘indie-pop’ – Louisa Rose Allen writes her own songs, and her singles have never really got higher than the UK Top 20. It’s also really, really good. ‘Better Love’ doesn’t break much more lyrical ground than your average pop song – it’s about a relationship that’s not going too well, and that’s about it – but it takes the grandiose choir sound and uses it to stunning effect. And Allen sounds like she means what she sings, which helps. If you’re looking for a bit of pop to go with your guitar music I recommend this.

No comments: