In a valiant attempt to stay hip and current (and probably because there were no Katy Perry songs left), this week’s Glee featured Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand”. This bold move comes on the heels of last week’s stab at Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers”.
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The self-titled debut of Friendly Fires was the choice of yours truly in PopMatter’s 2008 Slipped discs selection. Since then, the band has released an electro single (“Kiss of Life”), a split with the likeminded Holy Ghost! (not to be confused with the incredible ‘ardkore era Holy Ghost Inc.), submitted a Bugged Out mix, collaborated with Azari & III, and remixed Phoenix. All of these signs point to a more electronified Friendly Fires, but their lead single to their forthcoming Pala sounds like much of the same rock-band-as-stadium-ravers thing that defined their debut, though they’re perhaps more credible heirs to the “nu-rave” tag bequeathed upon the Klaxons (but who’d want that attacheed to them?). Nevertheless, the band has made this entertaining montage of acid’s second summer of love to go along with that single and somehow it begins to make sense.
Dizraeli’s new track (with his band, the Small Gods), takes a breather from his usual frenetic political diatribes, slowing down his trademark spit-fire delivery in favour of a more meditative approach. Opening with a flush of baroque strings, “Million Miles” explores a moody soundscape of nocturnal paranoia and fever-dreamed eroticism. Over a rhythm built equally of hip-hop sampling and jazz riffing, Dizraeli levels rhymes of sex and death amidst a haunted wash of ghostly vocals floating in the musical ether above the groove. It’s a new direction for the artist who opted for slams and jams on his previous outing, Engurland (City Shanties), injecting his arty, rough-hewn brand of hip-hop with a coarser blend of live instrumentation. It’s like an emotional apocalypse of sound and poetry.
New Yoork outfit Hooray for Earth traffics in laptop pop. When it comes to videos, however, these dudes throw down like Peter Jackson. Their latest LP True Loves drops June 7th via Dovecote. In the meantime you can get your HFE fix via this epic, Young Replicant helmed video for the album’s title track. Any clip with horses in it just demands your attention.
Sweden’s Lykke Li offers up a mini-film for her latest video “Sadness Is a Blessing” starring herself and fellow Swede Stellan Skarsgård, who just happens to be one of the best actors on the planet. I’m just saying. The tune is something of a homage to the sounds of ‘60s girl groups with that Phil Spectoresque wall of sound. It’s yet another fabulous song from an album chock full of them.