The American indie-rock band Here We Go Magic released one of my favourite songs of 2010 in "Collector", an off-kilter pop song full of angular guitars and Krautrock rhythms.
The album that accompanied it, Pigeons, didn't quite maintain those high standards, though it had some fine moments. The band, led by singer Luke Temple, now follow it with a new LP, A Different Ship, released in May. This week a track from the album, produced by Nigel Godrich, was shared; it's available to download via their label Secretly Canadian at ind.pn/yMn7GQ. "Make Up Your Mind" is another deliciously skewed art-pop song – not quite up there with "Collector", but very good.
High-flying electro, or fishy business?
The UK experimental electronica duo Icarus released their ninth album this week. Aside from the fairly unclassifiable electronic sounds and noises of the record, Fake Fish Distribution, it is unusual in another way too. For the release Icarus have created 1,000 variations of the same recording using "generative and parametric techniques"; I'm not sure what such techniques are but I'm told it means that each of the 1,000 versions of the album that can be downloaded from their website, icarus.nu/FFD, is different, giving every listener their own unique album. To verify that all the albums were actually different would take quite a lot of effort, however.
Gone Tomorrow, hear today
For no real reason I stopped following alt-country collective Lambchop some time after the release of their lovely sixth album, Is a Woman, in 2002. There have been four more albums since then from Kurt Wagner's Nashville outfit and later this month their 11th LP, Mr M, arrives. Now is as good a time as any to check back in: the first song from the new record, "Gone Tomorrow", is available to download free at snd.sc/ zKUJZM. Clocking in at almost seven minutes, it showcases all the finer points of their alt-country-soul ways in style.
Why Ross is a big noise online
Alongside writing dispatches on classical music for the New Yorker magazine and tomes such as The Rest Is Noise – a book so masterful it has spawned a year-long festival at the Southbank Centre – Alex Ross keeps a blog at therestisnoise.com. A recent addition to it is his "My Favourite Records" series, where he invites various luminaries to share their favourite music. It began with Björk (from Gustav Mahler to Steve Reich, Public Enemy and Aphex Twin); next up was the choreographer Mark Morris. For the latest he has moved things to the New Yorker's website (ind.pn/ zDsBdt), where Alec Baldwin's selections range from Steely Dan and the Beatles to Mahler, Stephen Sondheim and Adele.