Caught in the net: An infectious blast of noise pop
Friday 14 May 2010
It feels like every week a new all-girl guitar band emerges, each heavily influenced by 1980s indie; all distortion, guitar jangles and hazy vocals, with some swift punky riffs from the 1970s thrown in for good measure.
Following on from Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls et al, is Las Robertas (above), a four piece from Costa Rica ( myspace.com/lasrobertas). Their debut LP Cry Out Loud is an infectious blast of noise pop and can be downloaded for free at Lasrobertas.bandcamp.com.
The Gold and the beautiful
The UK electro producer Gold Panda got noticed last year after putting out a few excellent tracks. His latest offering arrived in April in the shape of the five-track "You" EP. The opening two tunes are streaming at iamgoldpanda.com, and they crystallise his streamlined, intriguing low-key electro sound, with bleeps and psychedelic noises flying in under the radar.
Taking matters into my own hands
I finally saw the Italian film I Am Love about a month after it landed in cinemas. I liked this visually beautiful family drama, which stars Tilda Swinton, though I felt the ending didn't quite work. Particularly arresting, though, was the score, culled from works by American composer John Adams. It leaps across his signature styles, taking in urgent minimalism and a modern slant on romanticism, jumping from the serene to the foreboding. After seeing the film I tried to find the soundtrack, but alas there isn't one, yet. Adams's label, Nonesuch, are planning a release, though it's not clear when it will arrive. Lapsing into full music-nerd mode, I decided to take matters into my own hands, compiling a Spotify playlist with the featured pieces. Hear it at ind.pn/asJIW4.
More exposure for Spencer Elden
Though you may not know his name, you might recognise Spencer Elden. "Everyone out there in the world's seen my penis already, or my baby penis," he explains in a video posted on the Obey Clothing website, ind.pn/cbQ0Lf. Spencer was the baby floating in water on the cover of Nirvana's 1991 LP Nevermind. Now 19, he works as an assistant to Obey's owner, the artist Shepard Fairey (the man behind the Obama "Hope" poster). He's also an artist and illustrator in his own right; see his work at Vampiresoneday.wordpress.com.
Brooklyn trio hit the heights
The Brooklyn trio School of Seven Bells' second LP, Disconnect from Desire, arrives in July. "Babelonia" is the first song to emerge and it's available from Stereogum at ind.pn/d6ScRV. With great harmonies, nice guitar lines, a few electro touches and some My Bloody Valentine-like vocal cooing, it's an enticing opening effort.
The word on...
The National, 'High Violet'
"What truly elevates 'High Violet', however, is the National's skilful navigation away from 'Boxer''s weighty production style... An expertly handled balancing of the airy and the dense." slantmagazine.com
"Their third masterpiece in a row... Another batch of cement to further supplement The National's already unshakable concrete career.' sputnikmusic.com
"The National have pulled off a neat trick here – an immediate, commercial album that grows with each listen." musicomh.com
"An easy grandeur is present throughout, as is a sense they are following an increasingly individual, carefully textured path. It is a wild, vivid romance that The National make their own." drownedinsound.com
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
They're back, they're big – and they're still spectacularly boringfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let’s see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Scottish independence: Former pro-union voters explain why they changed their minds to the Yes vote
- 3 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
- 4 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 5 Pornhub pleads with users to stop uploading videos of Brazil 'getting f**ked by Germany' in the World Cup
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories