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The Hot Five - September #2

  • Published in Columns

The Hot Five – My favourite new tracks of the week, usually rounded off with a classic, obscure or alternate track from my music collection.

Track of the Week: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – ‘Give Us A Kiss’

I think that Nick Cave has to be one of the most consistently fantastic artists on the planet. Not only have The Bad Seeds’ recent studio albums received great reviews across the board, but the band’s live performances are also held in extremely high regard. Cave’s latest project is the documentary film 20,000 Days On Earth, which depicts a fictitious 24 hours in the life of Nick Cave, and seamlessly blends performance and storytelling with emotional truths. Neither a music documentary nor a concert film, 20,000 Days On Earth contains not just electrifying performances, but also keen insights into the creative process. The songs from the award-winning feature 20,000 Days On Earth, including this, the fantastic ‘Give Us A Kiss’, will be available digitally from September 4 with a limited edition vinyl 10” to be released on November 10.

20,000 Days On Earth will be released on September 19.

Philip Selway – ‘It Will End In Tears’

Ramping up the anticipation of new album Weatherhouse, Philip Selway has released a new track, ‘It Will End In Tears’. It’s a succinct and well written song that shows the maturity of Selway’s solo songwriting. Weatherhouse was made in collaboration with Adem Ilhan and Quinta, who had previously performed in Philip's backing band. “From the outset,” Selway recalls, “we wanted the album to be the three of us, and we covered a lot of instruments between us. With a studio full of inspiring gear and a great-sounding desk, we felt like a band.  Different musicians stretch you, and I felt stretched on Weatherhouse, but very enjoyably so.Weatherhouse will be released on October 6 via Bella Union.


Spoon – ‘Rent I Pay’

Okay, so I’ve got to admit that I don’t really know a lot about Spoon. ‘Rent I Pay’ caught my attention after automatically coming on after the above Philip Selway track had finished playing on SoundCloud. The intro to the song made a big impression on me; it’s a classic bit of rock music with indie and blues overtones that is undeniably cool. ‘Rent I Pay’ is taken from the Texans’ eighth studio album, They Want My Soul, which was released in last month.

I think that Gene Simmons needs to give Spoon a listen.


The Fratellis – ‘Oh Scarlett’

I can’t believe it’s been a year since The Fratellis released their comeback album We Need Medicine. As a thank you to their fan base, the Scots have released a new three-track EP entitled The Soul Crush EP. ‘Oh Scarlett’ shows a slightly different side to the Fratellis; a slower tempo and a bluesy, laid back feel suit the vocal of Jon Fratelli in what is one of The Fratellis’ best songs to date. You can download The Soul Crush EP for free via The Fratellis website.

Hidden track of the week: The XX – ‘Crystalised’

I don’t think anyone ever needs an excuse to listen to ‘Crystalised’, The XX’s stunning debut single taken from their Mercury Music Prize winning album The XX. You can hear the atmospheric, minimalistic influence of The XX in many current bands, including London Grammar and Vancouver Sleep Clinic (a personal favourite of mine). With tracks of such quality and originality under their belt, it is easy to see why the sound of The XX is so influential to emerging artists. In May 2014 the band revealed that they were working on their third studio album, working with producer Rodaidh McDonald at the Marfa Recording Company studio in Marfa, Texas.

You can follow Tom on twitter @tom_fake


The Hot Five - September #1

  • Published in Columns

The Hot Five – My favourite new tracks of the week, usually rounded off with a classic, obscure or alternate track from my music collection.

Track of the week: TV On The Radio – ‘Happy Idiot’

Despite having a name worthy of a Scouting For Girls track, TV On The Radio’s latest release, new single ‘Happy Idiot’, is an upbeat, catchy track with punchy guitars and entrancing vocal hooks that makes an instant impression. ‘Happy Idiot’ is the first track taken from TV On The Radio’s new album Seeds, the band’s first album release since the death of bass player Gerard Smith in 2011 following a courageous fight against lung cancer. Seeds is set for release this autumn.


We Were Promised Jetpacks – ‘I Keep It Composed’ 

Boasting a more refined sound with their new material, indie rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks have just launched their latest single. ‘I Keep It Composed’ is taken straight from We Were Promised Jetpacks’ third album Unravelling, which was recorded at Chem19 Studios in Glasgow and is due for release on October 6. ‘I Keep It Composed’ feels more mature than previous Jetpacks material, with a well balanced sound and clever arrangement that showcases the band at their best; it’s also a great advertisement for the new album. Unravelling is available in physical and digital formats via Fat Cat Records, including a special edition yellow vinyl release. 


Fable – ‘Stranger In My Head’

At just nineteen years old, ‘Stranger In My Head’ is a seriously impressive release from Brighton’s Fable. She has recently worked with electronic acts Orbital and Archive, and you can really hear their influences on her work. Co-written and produced by Archive, the light and shade of ‘Stranger In My Head’ is superb, and the dark strength of the vocal line takes the track to a whole new level. Later you hear the real influence of Archive in the trip-hop inspired drum beat that builds the track along with vocal harmonies. Fable’s debut EP, Parasite, will be released on October 13.


The Lost Brothers – Gold and Silver

When a track opens with an acoustic guitar part that has this much character, I’m normally hooked straight away; this example of a traditional folk fable is no exception. The duo vocals tell a story of riches and greed, life and death, and precious metals in this quant track, which was produced by Bill Ryder-Jones (The Coral, Arctic Monkeys). The Lost Brothers will be playing an in-store at Rough Trade East on September 22 to mark the release of their fourth album, New Songs of Dawn and Dust, on the same day. ‘Gold and Silver’ is available as a free download via The Lost Brothers’ SoundCloud page.


Hidden track of the week: Kate Bush – ‘Wuthering Heights’

She really is the artist of the moment; Kate Bush has received unanimously positive reviews from critics and fans alike as she performs Before The Dawn at the Hammersmith Apollo in her first live dates for 35 years. On top of that, Bush also had eight entries in the UK Official Album s Chart last week, something that has only been better by The Beatles and Elvis Presley. ‘Wuthering Heights’ was Kate Bush’s debut single in 1978, and it went straight to the top of the UK Singles Chart.

You can follow Tom on twitter @tom_fake

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