In this week’s Singles Club, Getintothis’ Matthew Wood sees the return of Copenhagen’s finest after four years of silence, plus a brand of LA post-punk and a turn of pace for dream pop.
Single of the Week
Iceage – Catch It
Catch It sees the Danish quartet cover relatively unchartered ground with a dusty, country feel running through this one, like an old leather boot weathered, tattered but snug and supple, they adopt a recycled brand of country, but douse it in their Scandinavian gloom.
The downtrodden, pulsing rhythm gives resonances of The Black Angels and The Velvet Underground’s phenomenal Heroin, with lead vocalist Elias Bender Rønnenfelt plangently spewing his very heart out over a ever increasing sense of impending doom.
We then get a ferocious flurry of guitar, and once it ceases the original chord progression feels that bit more menacing, gloomier and immensely captivating.
New album details to be announced soon. Clearly, another Iceage is upon us.
Beach House – Lemon Glow
This one came as a Valentines Day treat for many, a Beach House release is always gonna top a bunch of roses, and while they’re possibly one of the dreamiest bands going, here it seems the duo may be starting to reveal some thorns.
There’s a feel of Tame Impala’s Currents in those opening throbs of synth, while Victoria LeGrand’s vocal sounds huskier, less polished, and more baritone, yet retain that ever-ghostly feel that elegantly pervades all they produce.
We’re then met with a series of perilous bursts of synth that join layers of church organ sending this one into purgatory with a heavenly glow, obscured by the imperfect motifs they’ve favoured in this one.
Moaning – Tired
Sub Pop outfit, Moaning began out of the D.I.Y. LA scene, shimmering post-punk as their weapon of choice.
As the title would suggest, Tired has a lazy feel; a simple chord progression is styled-out like 90’s grunge, all baggy stonewash jeans and low-slung guitars, while lyrically they share symptoms of shoegaze, uttered without concern and exerting minimal effort.
The chorus then allows serene synths to soar to the surface, heavily heavenly, they recall the likes of Slowdive’s Alison and Nottingham trio, Kagoule.
Their self-titled debut is out March 2.
Caroline Rose – Talk
New York youngster Caroline Rose leaves her Americana roots over the horizon and lets her most memorable life experiences and eclectic taste take the wheel of her songwriting.
She sums up the record quite nicely, deciding to ‘put a spin on (her) greatest songwriting inspirations––misogyny, unplanned pregnancy, capitalism, anxiety, loneliness and death––and wrap such depressing subject matter in a sprightly, angsty-pop burrito‘.
Not technically a single release but fresh from her sophomore record, Loner, Talk throbs with confidence and Rose craftily utilises multiple vocal layers over a punchy, strutting pop track.
The Grand Veymont – La Tête de la Dame
French duo, The Grand Veymont consisting of Josselin Varengo and Béatrice Morel Journel produce lengthy, expansive synth-orientated tunes, fusing bobbing kraut synths with haunting organs and vocals steeped in medieval melodies.
La Tête de la Dame is 14 minutes in length, forging a vast plateaux of sound that encourages a pensive, meditative state, each note bubbling over the next like an endless whirlpool.
Shrill cacophonies of organ and synth continue to build well into the ten minute mark, while a marching drum grows ever-closer, joined by a haunting, ritualistic baritone which pervades the track like thick incense smoke fills the walls of a prayer room before rising to the heavens.
Albert Hammond Jr – Far Away Truths
Set to release his fourth solo record, Francis Trouble, Albert Hammond Jr seems perpetually in the fortunate situation of writing tracks with his signature guitar work but never really veering from the beaten track.
While Julian Casablancas and his Voidz grapple with the future of rock and roll, potentially pioneering a new age of guitar music, it seems Hammond is either quite content, or perhaps unable to break ground as effectively.
Far Away Truths is, for those familiar with his solo work, quintessentially Albert, but one can’t help but feel that for some he just comes off as a continuation of The Strokes with little effort to conceal this fact and lacking four vital ingredients.
While many of us will enjoy the record, particularly those of us who need their Strokes-related hunger satiated momentarily, I’d love to see Albert surprise us with a fresh injection of his genius.