From Southampton, the hitherto chirpy and Britpop Thomas Tantrum have undergone a make-under (a phrase no doubt coined by geometrically-faced wardrobe botherer Gok Wan) with helf from former Chew Lips soundsmith Will Sanderson. Now using the label GWAIIU, the smart-by-halves Sanderson transfers the sunlight and shine in single “Hot Hot Summer” to somewhere in Sara Lund’s coldcase drawer.
Now distinctly more in the area of Shirley Manson with dubstep beats dragging themselves across the place, “Hot Hot Summer” emphasises the character of Thomas Tantrum which was always more Blonde Redhead than Blondie. Where the original brought optimism, so this brings uncertainty, but don’t suppose that is a synonym for “bad”. Quite the opposite; singer Megan Thomas sounds more like a siren than usual, taking the bloke of her choosing regardless of his opinions of the matter. This is a far cry from the usual relationship with magic and melody associated with them, though what spells are cast send fingers rapidly hurtling towards their website on the hunt for more. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
‘Hot Hot Summer’ is released through Stranger Records on June 5th and their sophomore album, ‘Mad By Moonlight’ which also features the single ‘Sleep’ is out on June 12th.
You can hear it for yourself here and download:
Readers of a certain vintage may know Chikinki, bright young things with the sharpest indie-melody ears for some time. From deepest Hackney come the first band of a similar bias who could give the Bristol outfit a run for their money.
Foreign Office is the least search engine friendly band name since The Music but at least the end product is worth the hassle of going beyond the first page of results; “On Repeat” is as much Razorlight as it is 60s soul and MOR classics and for the dangerous proximity towards trendiness it rises above the merely fashionable.
If post-rock ambitions are travelling anywhere, it is slowed down, influenced by funk and disco, an obvious sidestep away from the corner into which the neon kids painted themselves. It’s as sharp and short as a comprehensive spending review, two curiously abrupt verses bookending the most effective repetition since Hall and Oates.
With more smarts than the smack of a wielded passport, Foreign Office could well be guaranteed an income stream far less uncertain than that of their governmental namesakes.
Released 8 November (Quiet Life)
The Polaris Music Prize is the Canadian version of our Mercury Award, celebrating an album for its merit rather than sales (or, you know, that’s how the blurb will always have it).
This year, the Quebecois Karkwa beat, amongst others, Caribou and Broken Social Scene for the top prize. Coming across as a folksy French-tongued Radiohead, Karkwa have a solid back-catalogue in subtlety in the manner of both British Sea Power and newcomers Hares.
They can be found at their MySpace page – http://www.myspace.com/karkwa.
Taken from their forthcoming album, “Physioterrorists”, this slice of electro goodness from Bikini Black Special is them at their most hypnotic and caustic, how self-help audiobooks might sound in a world in which false advertising is outlawed…
Seek out more of the sharp BBS sound at http://bikiniblackspecial.bandcamp.com