Out of the Woods
Everything but the Girl vocalist and dinner party diva Tracey Thorn returns to the music biz after five years on parental leave, very smartly enlisting Ewan Pearson to back her up on production duties. Tracks like ‘Get Around to It’ (a cover of an Arthur Russell song featuring The Rapture’s sax player) and ‘Grand Canyon’ will doubtless be remixed into dancefloor killers, while the more sedate numbers (‘A-Z’) showcase a distinctly British urbane melancholy.
Kill Rock Stars
San Francisco’s Deerhoof’s layered, angular psychedelic sound is very ‘now’, and, combined with the distinctive squeaky vocals of Satomi Matsuzaki, produces an effect something like Pizzicato Five jamming with Animal Collective. It’ll take a few listens for their music to warm on the average punter, but the production and writing is so detailed and great, each play will uncover something new, like the shimmering arpeggios of ‘The Galaxist’, or the wonky free noise folk of closer ‘Look Away’.
A throwaway side project maybe, but any project featuring Nick Cave and three long-time Bad Seeds has to be worth a listen. Although the songs are underdeveloped – for the most part sleazy sketches packed with Cave-isms but lacking the subtly and craft of his proper releases – the sound of the band is great. Clearly everyone is enjoying the punky freedom of the smaller band format, and the album occasionally recalls the Birthday Party’s manic stream-of-junkie-consciousness vibe.