Sunday, April 4, 2010

Date With Separation

It seems Malmö is quiet on the gig front until May. Mount Eerie and Deerhoof are playing in Copenhagen quite soon, but on this side of the sound there is nothing until the Best Coast gig on May 19th. Then there seems to be blitz of great gigs including Sic Alps, Bachelorette and Ganglians. I'll miss most of them cause I'm going to the US, but at least I will be helping put The Sunny Street on in June.

Great new singles have appeared in abundance lately - I'm especially excited about getting the La La Vasquez single on Captured Tracks - but a handful of albums worth mentioning have come out in the last two months as well.

First of all, The School have finally released that album that should have come out two years ago (if us fans had got what we wanted). It's available from Elefant and contains a whopping 7 new tracks. At least in my opinion, it seems a bit unfair to include all the tracks from the previous singles, because the fans will already have those. And I was looking forward to hearing some more new songs, especially now that we have waited so long and Liz and Ryan have practically got a completely new band together. That said, the news songs are easily worth their money! "Is He Really Coming Home?" is a sure-fire hit, "The One Who Left Me" is a fantastic minor key number that lifts the same inspiration from Love that Belle & Sebastian sometimes did, "Can't Understand" is proto-disco at its best, and it's fantastic to finally hear a proper recording of their sunshine pop classic "Summer's Here" that was on their first demo."I Love Everything" sounds like the kind of adorable ditty The Jerks would cook up (for those who are familiar with them, in other words went to the first Indietracks festival). The least interesting new track is "Hoping and Praying", a re-working of Peggy March's "I Will Follow Him" that is a little too similar to be really inspiring.

Mitch Easter is a name that crops up a few times a decade. In the 80s he played with his band Let's Active and put the finishing touches to The Someloves' powerpop classic Something Or Other and in the 90s he brought The Hang Ups and Velvet Crush into the presence of greatness. Boy Genius have just released their sophomore album, which, with Mitch Easter's help, is a great leap forward from 2008's Anchorage. It includes last year's pristine single "Blame Love" as well as 9 new tracks. A song like "He Can't Hit" reaches that much-desired state where the melody is so intimately familiar but still impossible to place, at least with more exactitude than "the nineties". Actually the album sounds quite a bit like pre-Velvet Crush outfit Choo Choo Train. "When Sunday Goes" could have been "When Sunday Comes".
Very Truly Yours have finally released an album! It's out on Skywriting in plenty of time before their appearance at NYC Popfest (along with e.g A Smile and a Ribbon...). The album is more of the same from their self-released Reminders ep from last year. The Camera Obscura likeness is even played-up on "Sorry to Say It" which is a dead ringer for "Teenager". While Reminders was a very slow and stately affair, it's great to hear the band tackle some mid-tempo tunes again. Opening track "I'd Write You a Song" is one of their best so far and the new version of "Homesick" sounds even better than before. Kristine's songwriting is brought to the fore on "Your Funeral" that has one of the most gorgeous vocal melodies since The Boy With the Arab Strap. I'm still hoping to hear some more from The Lorimer Sound too, but maybe that's hoping too much now that "Ballad of Growing Up" which used to be on their myspace is now released on the Very Truly Yours album?

Also, be sure to pick up the new Black Tambourine comp on Slumberland, which includes covers of Suicide and Buddy Holly as well as two previously unreleased originals. There's also a new Summer Cats 7" to go with it!

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