Register

captcha image

A password will be e-mailed to you.

pop

Dum Dum Girls – ‘Coming Down’

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

In the past I’ve only really checked out the Dum Dum Girls tunes because a) they covered the Smiths b) they dressed kinda cool, and c) they’re a band of cute girls. Yep, I can be like that.

But now they’ve got an album on the way and the first track is rather impressive! So it looks like I’m going to have to quit being a patronizing jerk and enjoy what the Dum Dum Girls were all about in the first place.

‘Coming Down’ is a reverb laden ballad, performed at a trudging pace. The track feels like its got a body on its back, endlessly climbing uphill. Only the slow grind is really effective. You can download this track for free from www.wearethedumdumgirls.com, the album ‘Only In Dreams’ will be out this September on Sub Pop.

Twin Shadow – ‘Slow’

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The first time I heard this song I liked it. The second time I loved it. And the third time we got married and made melody babies. Hmm…

‘Slow’ proudly steals from the 80s, songwriter George Lewis Jr. is clearly a Smiths fan and let’s it all hang out in this one. He also sounds like he may have had a cold when he was tracking the vocal parts??

Anyway, another odd Twin Shadow fact came from a little birdy who told me (dressed in American Apparell and loafers) that George’s songwriting powers are intrinsictly linked to his manscaped moustache. I’m taking that with a grain of salt but crossing my fingers he doesn’t shave before recording the next album.

In the meantime the band is in the middle of their Clean Cuts Tour.

Cass McCombs – ‘County Line’

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Wow, this song is a downer. ‘County Line’ is like the Mount Fuji of sad bastard music, so if you’re not in the mood – beware. But… if you hang in there it will take you to a different headspace.

There’s a number of things I find fascinating about this song. Firstly, it sounds terribly nerdy. It sounds like the kind of crusty cassette tape you’d find in your parents glovebox, despite being a current release.

The second thing is, it sounds like a classic. I imagine if John Lennon covered a Bee Gees hit at half speed, you’d just about have this track. And lastly, it’s just an amazing song with an incredible vocal delivery. I just hope somebody keeps an eye on Cass before he goes the way of Elliott Smith.

You can pick up the album ‘Wit’s End’ from Cass McCombs here.

Bon Iver – ‘Beth/Rest’

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I never thought this would happen but it appears that 2011 has marked the return of brass in modern pop music. I know, I feel ill as well. I’m going to point the finger at Lady Gaga for kicking it off on a mainstream scale with a Bruce Springsteen sounding album, complete with saxophone. Ironically enough, all of this comes at the same time as the most famous of rocking Saxophonists Mr. Clarence Clemons (of the E Street Band) sadly passes away.

So what does this have to do with Bon Iver? Well, the finale of his self titled sophmore album continues not only the saxophone trend but ups it into Hall & Oates territory. But, it kinda works in a surprising way. That is until the 80s guitar really kicks in, not forgetting the acommpanying brass. I really wish Vernon had decided to end the song at the 3 minute 30 second mark.

Now that I’ve done my whinging I must admit I hang out for the line ‘I’m not gonna live in the dark no more, it’s not a promise, I’m just gonna call it’. So… hats off to Bon Iver for taking a risk and leaving his acoustic guitar in the cabin.