23 April 2010

NEU! featuring Blur, BLK JKS, Big Boi, and Ryan Jarman

Blur - Fool's Day
Poor Damon Albarn. Being in two of the biggest British bands of the last 20 years (cartoon or otherwise) must be one tough gig. There's no other explanation for the melancholia hovering over his most recent musical output. Gorillaz' "Plastic Beach" often drifts into miserable mopey-ness, especially and unsurprisingly on "On Melancholy Hill", although that doesn't cloud the brilliance of the album too much. Here, on Blur's first single for seven years, released exclusively last week for Record Store Day, Damon bemoans "another day on this little island" with all the effort and enthusiasm of your typical bedroom-dwelling 16 year old. But away from Albarn's miserabilia and Kinksian lyrics of modern Britain, the rest of the band sound as if they never split. Dave Rowntree's drums are solid and simple, Alex James' basslines are laid-back as ever and Graham Coxon goes into riff heaven for the final minute of the song. It's relieving and exciting that they've come up with something this good after seven years apart. All anyone (except Oasis fans) can hope for now is a new album. Despite quotes from the band saying the reunion is over, the line "the forthcoming dramas of the studio, and a love of all sweet music/We just can’t let go" says otherwise.

Download "Fool's Day"

BLK JKS - Zol!
With the World Cup in South Africa coming up in roughly a month and a half,it makes sense for the footy-related tunes to start rolling out. And BLK JKS (pronounced Black Jacks) since are South African themselves, it makes even more sense. Normally an experimental rock band, BLK JKS have produced a) the best football song since Dario G's "Carnival de Paris" and b) possibly the most summery, infectious tune I've heard in a long while. Hopefully, we'll all be singing along to "I roll and shoot at the same time" by the time England play Honduras in the final (a guy can dream...)
Download "Zol!" from Pretty Much Amazing

Big Boi - Shutterbugg
It shouldn't come as much surprise that "Shutterbugg" is great. After all Big Boi is one of half of Outkast, and whilst this doesn't quite reach the heights of "Hey Ya!" (not many things do), it's up there with the best. Pencilled in as the first single on Big Boi's forthcoming awesomely-named album "Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty", "Shutterbugg" is likely to be one of the big pop hits of 2010, and there's no reason why it shouldn't be
Big Boi - Shutterbug by HitsvilleUK-1

Ryan Jarman - Do-Wah-Doo
In case you didn't keep up with the love lives of today's indie stars, Ryan Jarman, singer in The Cribs, is going out with Kate Nash of "Foundations"/"bittah/fittah" fame. Nash's new album (which the original of this track sits on) is supposedly full of riot grrrl influences and punk guitars, which sounds like Mr Jarman has had a lot of influence on his new beau's musical direction. The original "Do-Wa-Doo" is a pretty perfect meld of Nash's old and new sounds, whilst this cover sticks to acoustic guitar and a bit of Stylophone chucked in for good measure (the video for the original is up there for comparison). Jarman's voice tends to irk some listeners, but when singing this, it suits the song almost more than Kate Nash. The sad thing is that both versions of "Do-Wah-Doo" are better than almost everything on The Cribs last album.
Ryan Jarman - Do Wah Doo by HitsvilleUK-1

No comments: