Ted Leo’s Hearts Of Oak will always have a special spot in my heart. That’s not important. What is important is the absolutely chill-inducing bit of this song where the fuzzed-out hit of a guitar string intros the howling climax of the song. It’s 3:37 here. Live it.
Sometimes there’s a line that’s so perfect that you figure it can’t have been the first time it was ever used. There’s a number of them in “As You Turn To Go” by the 6ths, but “if you ever loved me tell me so, as you turn to go” is the standout here; a line of such perfect heartbreak that it’s impossible to believe that it wasn’t ‘borrowed’ from another song or a poet. But I can’t find it.
Second up in heartbreak perfection:
I know I’m not supposed to say ‘I’m sorry’ I know you’ve had more loves than Mata Hari But you know you’re the star of my life story And I’m so sorry
This 6ths record is woefully underrated. It came right on the heels of 69 Love Songs, and while that album is rightfully hailed as a classic, Hyacinths And Thistles is rarely mentioned, but its simply perfect expressions of love and heartbreak are the equal to Stephin Merrit’s masterpiece.
I’ve always felt like Tennis was chasing the very first song that popped up on Hype Machine in 2010. The early version of “Marathon” was a lo-fi beauty, and while Tennis hasn’t put out a single dud since then, they also haven’t sparkled quite as much.
But while this was my first reaction to their new album—bring back the lo-fi and leave the studio polish behind!—I’m really starting to warm to it. Alaina Moore has a belt of a voice that she’s clearly been working on, and it makes “Bad Girls”…well, maybe not the stunner that “Marathon” was, but maybe something different, and also really excellent.
"Sexotheque" is kind of a fascinating song. On one hand, you’ve got a fantastically catchy song: a light and carefree groove with a killer hook in "oh, I bet money-money-money I bet", and an irresistible humming bit at the end. It’s one of those songs that’s works as well for listening as for dancing, and is perfectly at home on repeat.
On the other hand…there’s nothing on La Roux’s first album that suggests that they’d be capable of lyrics this terrible. It’s like a 12-year-old just became aware of affairs and stereotypical gender desires—girls want to “settle down”, but boys just want to have sex at all times—and in this 12-year-old’s mind, there’s a place that’s like a discotheque…but for SEX. And boys go there when they, ugh, “want to pound”.
Anyway, I’m going to listen to this about a 100 more times in a row to let you know where I can appreciate the song in spite of the lyrics.
Arial Pink is one of those infuriating indiepop artists like of Montreal or Fiery Furnaces, where fabulous songwriting is often undone with bizarre arrangements.
But just as those other artists occasionally hit the mark, so does Ariel Pink, and “Put Your Number In My Phone” is floating right beside “Round and Round” for songs that surface from the eccentricity.
Gary Numan’s The Pleasure Principal is one of those classics that I lived for way too long without. I always loved the sound where the cold synths met real drums in “Cars”, so why did it take me so long to get A WHOLE FUCKING ALBUM OF EXACTLY THAT?!