In the last week or so I have become mildly obsessed with "I'm His Girl", the second single from the rising New York band Friends (a very unfriendly name for online search and social purposes, it has to be said).
The single will be released digitally and on vinyl through the UK label Lucky Number on Monday – find it on their Bandcamp page, at ind.pn/uqN56D. It's a slick slice of indie pop with a great stuttering beat, an addictive bassline and confident vocals from Samantha Urbani. She also co-directs the track's video, a so-so bit of 80s New York nostalgia; watch it at vimeo.com/30617037. Said video chimes with the mood but doesn't scale the song's heights – you'll be humming it all day long. "My Boo", the B-side to the single, isn't up to all that much, but that's B-sides for you and there is enough potential in "I'm His Girl" to whet the appetite for much more.
Crystal Stilts stay in full flow
Crystal Stilts have already released an album this year – their second, In Love with Oblivion – and they have followed it up with an EP called Radient Door, which will be released on 15 November. "Dark Eyes", the lead-off song, was premiered on Pitchfork, where it can be downloaded – ind.pn/uUuSGm. It's a fine, chugging number with a touch of Nuggets-era experimental garage rock, a wheezing organ and a distant vocal managing to be low in the mix while leading the charge.
A swift trip to the website of the hip hop-inclined label Stones Throw (stonesthrow.com) yielded some nice results: first up was an exclusive outtake from the West Coast MC Med's forthcoming LP, Classic. The track, produced by Madlib and featuring guest vocals by Steve Arrington, is a lovely bit of laid-back, low-key hip hop – ind.pn/rLC6w7. Next up, the site delivered a video of Mos Def (soon to be known only as Yasiin, according to reports) in good form, performing some new rhymes at a gig over backing tracks by Madlib (once again), J Dilla and Oh No – ind.pn/vxkZ1N.
Festival of Peel
Tuesday marked seven years since the sad passing of John Peel, leading music lovers in Britain and across the world to pay tribute to the great BBC broadcaster. One of the nicest things to emerge on the day came from an enterprising fellow called Dave Nolan (@davenolan), who created peelplayer.com; a website gathering together YouTube videos of "every track of every John Peel Festive Fifty ever". The annual chart was voted for by Peel's listeners rather than selected by the man himself, so it was perhaps a little narrower than Peel's voracious tastes, but there are plenty of fine sounds to be found in there. In some cases, the website highlights the far-reaching directions in which Peel was able to push his audience.