New Soundbites: Salem, Villa Nah, Swans, Menomena and Twin Shadow


Noise, drone, Damon Albarn soundalikes, homoerotic serial killers and a wee bit of funk – Getintothis gets involved in just about everything.

Twin Shadow: Forget
Somebody somewhere at 4AD is earning their A&R stripes. Not only are they one of the leading labels for consistently rad records, but just when you thought one of their main players, TV On The Radio, was taking a rather large timeout, they go and drop this slightly more funky, slightly less noisy but nevertheless altogether equally amazing slice of 21st century cosmic groove.
Twin Shadow is Dominican-born George Lewis Jr, who we get the distinct impression doesn’t have to try hard to be A) a deviant badass and b) a supercool rockstar oozing come hither Bambi eyes. (check the Calvin Klein-inspired vid below).
His debut dabbles in tightly wound guitar, slick understated delivery and the kind of impish disco perversity last found in the packet of Prince‘s used Trojans.

Salem: King Night
Witch house, drag, screwgaze, whatever you wanna bill it, it’s a limited and altogether less fascinating spin off of everything it pinches from; goth, dance and drone.
But Salem are the ones with the sassy back-story (drugs, prostitution, general dysfunction) and whopping label deal behind them. So were these ears prefer oOoOO and White Ring, this lot get the wiki page and a mountain of accompanying press coverage.
For those unfamilar, imagine being in club and someone spikes you with benzos then decides to prop you as close as possible to the speakers and strobes so that your senses feel like they’re about to fall out your arse.
Not particularly comforting but somewhat scarily thrilling.

Menomena: Mines
City Slang
Damon Albarn‘s new spin off is the best thing he’s done since Parklife.
He’s packaged 11 ‘Universals‘, cloaked them in delicate, intricate time signatures, kooky piano and horns riffs (check Five Little Rooms‘ homage to Morricone‘s Untouchables‘ gangster gloom) and added lashings of ‘I’m gonna decapitate my girlfriend’ melodrama.
They play Meshuggy‘s birthday party at the Kazimier on December 3 – but don’t expect Albarn to turn up, it’ll just be some American twerp that sounds EXACTLY like him.

Swans: My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky
Young Gods Records
Let’s be honest you know what you’re going to get with a Swans record – Michael Gira‘s intense vision of all things black and heavy.
This sits alongside his 2007 Angels of Light record We Are Him; all hulking expanses of noise with an outlaw’s slow swagger.
Once again he employs creepy children to recite biblical passages as violins rain lashings of audio fear amid doomy bass and the creaking of industrial machinery. Then if you weren’t overloaded with fright he adds Devendra Banhart and a mouth harp to the superbly-titled You Fucking People Make Me Sick.
Think you get the picture.

Villa Nah: Origin
Keys Of Life Records
This is the kind of deeply homoerotic electro usually piped down your TV set when there’s some kind of sociopathic serial killer film on the go – think Jame Gumb wrapping his cock up backwards as he slopes off to get jiggy with his silk robe and skin suit.
The grim reality is slightly different as Villa Nah are Juho Paalosmaa and Tomi HyyppÀ, two Finnish synth dwoobs who bonded over tiny micro machines toys and MacGyver episodes.
Luckily for us they’re nowhere near as dull as they should be as Origin is rammed to the hilt with expertly-crafted pop tunes perfect to work up a sweat to – maybe as the nights draw in go jogging down a dimly-lit countrylane and get ambushed by a sociopathic serial killer and listen to Villa Nah‘s icy cool as he starts hacking you into tiny little pieces.

Villa Nah support OMD at the Echo Arena tomorrow, Thursday November 4.




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