We mean this:
And yet, we also mean this:
Exhibit A is so appalling it makes us want to just give up on music, on writing, on using our eyes to look at things. We're fairly sure it's incredibly symbolic of Joss Stone's current argument with her label, who refused to release the album (oh, for why?) earlier this year. Is she making a grand comment about feeling trapped? Is she saying she feels like just another product, another paint-by-numbers model waiting for someone else to make her feel complete? It's all terribly complicated. It's also very poorly finished, crudely designed and actually a little bit disturbing in a Boxing Helena kind of way.
Exhibit B not only misses the boat on covers of Candi Staton songs by about a year, it's also incredibly dull. As in, it's almost miraculous how someone can turn a song like 'You Got The Love' (or 'You've Got The Love, depending on who you trust) into something as flat and lifeless as this. If this was playing softly in the background in our nearest Starbucks we would burn it to the ground.
We mean this:
We're all for expensive videos with oodles of graphics, some lasers and a lighting rig that inadvertently melts an ice cap or twelve, but sometimes it's best to keep things simple.
This video for 'Reunited' by Fan Death takes a very simple idea (that of using lookalikes of famous singers) and turns it into a ridiculously creepy, almost Twin Peaks-style journey that culminates in some pretty amazing dance routines. Watch it until the very end to hear a special message from 'Billy Corgan'.
Please look out for the Bjork lookalike, who we're fairly certain was in the Stoke Newington branch of Morrisons just the other day.
The song is pretty amazing too. It's taken from their forthcoming EP Coin For The Well, which is out 'soon' according to their myspace.
Michael Jackson's not been long gone and already there's a desperate Greatest Hits cash-in featuring some songs everyone's already got, one 'new' one and a poem (!?), but now comes the news that this years X Factor finalists have recorded a cover of Jackson's 1995 number 1, 'You Are Not Alone'.
Read about it here.
Rumour has it that Michael Jackson's song wasn't the first choice for the cover. No, initially it was going to be 'No Matter What' by Boyzone. As in, Boyzone, who recently suffered the death of Stephen Gately. Is it appropriate to 'cash-in' on the work of two dead people when you're trying to raise money for a hospital?
Now then, we want words with ya. Yeah, that's right, all of ya. Look 'ere, right, we weren't messin' last week when we told ya what to buy with your hard-earned wonga. SIT DAHN. Who said you could get up, you sniveling excuse for a music-buying public. Not one iota of what we said last week has gone into your empty 'eads. Annie, gawd bless 'er, missed the top 75 altogether, as did that gangly bloke from Deerhunter. Those two fairies from Kings of whatstheirnames just about scraped in, and they're not 'appy, let me tell ya. IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Don't turn on the water works, it don't work with me. Just do as we say or we'll 'ave to kill ya. Thanks ever so.
What Will We Be by Devendra Banhart
Beautiful, bohemian folk Overlord Devendra Banhart lost us with his last album, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. All the promise of those first few albums seemed to have gone up in smoke, upon a fire of his own ego. There were the odd flashes of that latent genius of course - 'I Remember', 'Carmensita' - but in the main it was drowned in wilful experimentation (i.e. drawn out 'jams' and will-this-do time signature changes). So, it was with trepidation that we approached his seventh album, his first for a major label. But fear not dear friends for it is a triumph. Co-produced by some bloke from The Bees, What Will We Be is a more focused but no less eccentric collection of songs that take in everything from delicate acoustic lament ('Angelika'), to piano-lead ballad ('First Song For B') to, er, one that starts a bit like the Gossip ('16th & Valencia Roxy Music').
BUY THIS IF YOU LIKE THIS SORT OF THING
Butter by Hudson Mohawke
Hudson Mohawke is a terrible name. The artwork for his album Butter is pretty appalling. So far, so disappointing. But, it's not about that is it? No, it's all about the music. Luckily, the music is the sort that allows us to write these kinds of things: Imagine if Prince had grown up in Glasgow and not Minneapolis and instead of going on to be a successful pop star he'd actually made friends with a bloke called Richard D. James, aka Aphex Twin, and they'd hit it off so well that they shared a bed once and a small medical miracle occurred and they were able to conceive and Prince - for he would be the woman of this relationship...although, if we're able to determine that, and it's all fiction, perhaps he should have just been a woman in the first place - gave birth to a little boy called Hudson Mohawke. (Interesting fact: Rihanna's people called Hudson Mohawke's people to see if he'd like to work with her. We demand a remix of 'Russian Roulette' now. Thanks).
'Islands' by The xx
(This isn't the actual artwork. Just imagine a greenish hue behind the X)
By far the catchiest thing on their debut, 'Islands' is almost annoyingly perfect. Over a typically skeletal backing of beats and a simple guitar melody, it seems to expand and contract, adding elements and then taking them away to leave those two voices cooing at one another. "I am yours now/ So, now I don't ever have to leave", sounds a bit wet written down, but on record it's the sweetest thing. Plus, the last thirty seconds add up to one of those unique moments in music when you get a strange feeling in the pit of your stomach.
This blog post has it all. You want a musically rehabilitated posh bloke? We got one. You want young people remixing things and calling it stuff like dubstep? We got 'em. You want achingly hip rappers remixing the remix by the young people who call things dubstep? Er, what? We got that too.
This is a pretty amazing remix of Jack Peñate's 'Pull Your Heart Away' by Jamie Smith from The xx:
Fine as it is we think you'll agree. But how about when the remix is remixed by Musick's favourite rapper Theophilus London?
Click here to listen and download it at will.
Whilst on the subject of Mr London, he's also got a pretty impressive myspace page (damning with faint praise? Perhaps) and on it you can download two of his amazing mixtapes (one of which includes this), as well as any new stuff he might have made since writing this post (he's pretty prolific). Here's his latest, 'Enjoy The Sun':
Theophilus London will be touring with Jack Peñate this month.
SCROLL DOWN FOR A 'REAL' EXCLUSIVE!
It's the terrifying gift that keeps giving. As we've mentioned numerous times before, Fever Ray (aka Karin from The Knife) has made a pretty amazing album and to accompany songs from said album, she's also made some spectacular videos. So that fans of drip-feed, eerily delicate electro-pop have something lovely to open on Christmas day, the self-titled debut has been re-packaged and will now include a DVD of all the videos as well as two covers.
This is the video for one of those extra songs, 'Stranger Than Kindness', originally by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Please note the air of general disquiet, the claustrophobic atmosphere and marvel at all the LASERS!
In related news, The Guardian newspaper will be giving fans the chance to download a Fever Ray live album. All you need to do is purchase a copy of the paper on Saturday, find the unique URL and Bob's your mother's brother. Oh, you'll need a computer too.
This is the tracklisting:
If I Had A Heart
I’m Not Done
Now’s The Only Time I Know
Keep The Streets Empty
Dry And Dusty
Stranger Than Kindness
When I Grow Up
The album was taken from a show in Sweden on March 28 2009, so if you were there you can listen closely to hear the exact moment your mind was blown.
Who else is fed up with us just throwing any old video up here and hoping that no-one notices the lack of effort we're putting in? Show of hands please...wow, OK, wish we'd never asked. Anyway, this is the new video from everyone's favourite Welsh warbler, Marina & The Diamonds (she's got one of those names that seems like it should be plural but actually it's just one person. She makes a mockery of grammar, that's all we're saying):
It's like the 'Single Ladies' video if it was re-done by a classroom full of five-year-olds. This is a good thing, obviously. It's also a neat way of side-stepping the whole 'young female singer looking like a stripper' argument that Marina herself has waded into via her blog. You find yourself going, "yeah, she's well fit...oh God, are those legs made of paper? Ew...I actually find that a bit of a turn on...oh dear, am I different?"
It's normal that big American superstars are awarded about six months of pre-release buzz in order to get everyone's attention before dropping a ridiculously catchy, precision-tooled 'joint' all up in our collective grills. Weirdly, Rihanna has suddenly and unexpectedly announced that she'll release her new album this November (it's called Rated R, but isn't a cover of the entire Queens of the Stone Age album of the same name).
This might have been preferable, however, given that the comeback single is so, well, 'meh'. Her label have obviously decided that in the crowded Christmas market, what we really need is a Ne-yo-produced, mid-paced plodder all about shooting yourself in the head as part of some bizarre game of chance. Imagine doing THAT around the dinner table this year instead of pulling a cracker.
PLOT SPOILER: She shoots herself at the end.
Last week was a bit of a mixed bag, but on the whole music was the real winner. The Flaming Lips seem to have scared the majority of their fanbase with the sprawling, maddening Embryonic, whilst Shakira has won some new converts with her uncanny wolf impressions (her album crashed in at no.4). The real winner of course was Alexandra Burke whose 'Bad Boys' sold nearly 200,000 copies in a week and is the fastest selling single of the year so far. Who thinks Jonathan & Edward will be doing similar business this time next year?
This week is jam-packed with amazing new albums so we've scrapped the download single bit to squeeze everything in. There's also a theme, see if you can spot it.
BUY THIS WITH YOUR BIRTHDAY VOUCHERS
Don't Stop by Annie
This album's gestation has been as protracted as a 48 hour labour only with less mess. Originally due for release in 2008 it was then put on the shelf whilst Annie looked for a new record label. She then recorded three amazing new songs to go with the other amazing ones and finally Don't Stop is available to one and all. Featuring production by Paul Epworth, Richard X, Xenomania and Timo Kaukolampi, it's a forward-thinking pop gem with at least ten singles and a personality all of its own despite the ubiquity of it's co-creators. Plus, there's a special version of it that features a five track EP, which is better than 90% of all pop albums released last year.
BUY THIS WITH YOUR BIRTHDAY VOUCHERS
Declaration of Dependence by Kings of Convenience
It's been 5 long years since their last album, but finally Norway's answer to Simon & Garfunkel are back with this lovely collection of acoustic-lead singalongs. With no drums or percussion, the focus is solely on their harmonies, the twang of the guitar and the odd flutter of a violin here and there. Luckily they've not lost their ability to craft memorable melodies, even if 'Me Inside You' is impossible to listen to without thinking of a parody from Flight of The Conchords (yeah, cheers, Maddy Costa from the Guardian!).
BUY THIS WITH YOUR BIRTHDAY VOUCHERS (plus £4.97 of you're own money)
Logos by Atlas Sound
Atlas Sound is the pseudonym used by Bradford Cox - the lead singer with Deerhunter - for all his solo work. Logos is his second album in as many years and is as intimate, experimental and downright lovely as anything Animal Collective have done in recent years. Featuring guest vocals from Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier and Animal Collective's very own Noah Lennox, as well as Cox's own hushed tones, Logos rewards repeated listens, revealing itself slowly over time...a bit like that fat kid at school that you thought was a bit boring but was just shy and actually had some amazing opinions but then died of high cholesterol.
Not sure if you guys are aware but there are these books, right, and in them are words about vampires, Mormons, love and death and all that kind of stuff. Somewhere along the line someone decided to turn these books into films in order to create great art and perhaps make a few bucks to keep food on the table. MONEY WASN'T A MOTIVE. They cast some hunky young men and some beautifully kooky women and sat back and waited for the awards. None arrived, but the soundtrack entered at number 1 in America and sold a lot more then people expected. So, they've decided to make another film and luckily there's another book to base it on and this time they've really gone all out on the soundtrack in the hope that even more people will get to understand the art.
Big literature fan and all-round film buff Thom Yorke has contributed this rather catchy ditty, entitled 'Hearing Damage':
Whilst Lykke Li has created what we can now call a 'fangtastic' ballad, 'Possibility':
In all seriousness, both these songs are top drawer, with Yorke's even having a hummable chorus and the advantage of not sounding like a headache. We see this soundtracking the bit in the film where the hunky vampire has a bit of a bad day. Lykke Li's effort is glacial, dreamy and very lovely and this will of course be played over someone dying or musing their existence.
As 2009 lurches further towards its end, we're left to reflect on what has been a pretty good year for music. There have been some pretty amazing albums released - Animal Collective, Annie, Antony & The Johnsons (and that's just the 'A's) - but there's one album we keep returning to and that's Primary Colours by The Horrors.
Everyone's already heard all about 'the year of the second album' and the fact that Primary Colours is this massive departure into krautrock with bits of shoegaze, etc, etc. The truth is much more straight forward; the album is well good. To make it even more well good they're releasing a new single in November that was previously only available on the Japanese version of the album. This is the video for 'Whole New Way':
Yes, we mentioned the song before but it's now a bit shorter and has images and things to go with it. Lazy you say? Yes. Yes we are.
This is the new video for Florence & The Machine's new single 'You Got The Love'. It's not a new song of course, but rather it's what people call a cover version. It's a bit of tough one really because on the one hand it's going to be all over Radio 1 and will boost album sales, but on the other it's not really the right choice for a single in terms of 'pleasing your existing fans'. That would have been 'Cosmic Love' or 'Hurricane Drunk'.
It also raises some very serious issues (please put on your serious issues face...done? Good, let's continue...) about 'female singers being a bit like strippers'. There's a comment under the video from Mazumune that reads thusly:
Florence I love your music and everything about you but I really am worried where they are making you go.. lots of stripping and sexy dancing, i want to see more folksy storylines in your vids like dog days and rabbit heart, drumming was good in the cathedral but should of had more of a storyline.
and i say this as a genuine fan thats followed you since you were singing covers
Some very serious issues indeed. But what do you think? Too much cheek and leg on show? Or, are we thinking that perhaps she wanted to dress like that in the video that's clearly paying homage to certain era of Studio 54 and disco, etc?
VERY SERIOUS ISSUES.
You know how it is when you're driving about with your pal in some clapped out old Granada and suddenly a gorgeous hitch-hiker stops your car. It's pretty annoying. Especially when you're in the middle of singing a beautifully sun-drenched acoustic ditty taken from your third album, Declaration of Dependence. It's even more annoying when another doe-eyed lovely stops your car 500 metres down the road, followed by another with a surf board. The annoyance levels smash through the roof, however, when another pale ingenue flags you down with a boat she'd like you to tow. This has never happened you say? Well, you're clearly not the Kings of Convenience.
Ah, lovely. The song kind of tells the tale of their relationship of late, what with each of them going off and doing their own thing for a bit ("I could never belong to you"). We are very glad they're back and have even been invited as special guests* to their Barbican gig tomorrow night.
*When we say "special guests" we mean "brought a ticket", just to clarify.
Woah, last week was a bit of a disaster. Due to an unforeseen administrative error (which is ironic considering), we said that the new Fuck Buttons album was out last Monday when every single fool with a computer nearby knows that it's actually out today. So, this means you've had a week to think about buying it and if you've not made your mind up by now then we can safely assume it's not going to happen. The Air album, incidentally, charted just inside the top 40, whilst The Drums single missed out altogether but who cares because their new EP, Summertime!, is amazing (that's out today too, but it's not really an album or a single so it misses out...*pauses to listen to the tears of their record label*).
She Wolf by Shakira
Shakira!? Shakira!? Are you out of your mind, etc. Look, we know she's madder than a cage full of mildly psychotic tarantulas, but this Neptunes-assisted collection is up there with the best of 'em when it comes to R&B bangers about sex. There's a run of 5 songs at the beginning of the album that immediately sets it apart from similar fare by Nelly Furtardo or Gwen Stefani, with Shakira's mildly terrifying lyrics ("Every night I pray that you don't knock her up/ Because I still want to be the mother of your child... I really hope you have a horrible vacation") reminding you that this woman is as unique as she is predatory. It also sees a return to form for the Neptunes who deliver four expertly produced examples of why we loved them in the first place. Aaaawwhhhooooo!
LISTEN TO AT LEAST HALF OF THIS
Embryonic by The Flaming Lips
Double albums are always criticised for being overly long, which is kind of an obvious thing to say. No-one makes a double album because they want to be concise or because the recording process has gone ever so smoothly, and this is the case with The Flaming Lips. Struggling to follow-up their run of relatively accessible recent albums, they've decided to shred the rule book, including the chapters on 'song structures' and 'tunes'. A lot of it is a mess, but sometimes the mess sounds exciting, daring and a little frightening. Guests include MGMT, some German mathematician and Karen O pretending to be an animal.
'Bad Boys' by Alexandra Burke
Shakira AND Alexandra!? Have you gone mad, etc. We know this song is essentially not very good - the verses don't fit with the chorus, Flo Rida's on it - but there's something about it we can't quite shake. We almost love it's precision-tooled-ness, the way it has been laboriously worked on by a crack team of producers who Simon Cowell keeps locked in a basement somewhere. "If this single isn't number 1 in the UK you will all be mutilated and/or forced to listen to Robson & Jerome on repeat until your bowels give in. The choice is yours" he probably says. Alexandra meanwhile, knows how to deliver a song as this performance clearly shows.
Like us, you probably hate the X Factor. But like us, you probably can't tear your eyes away from it either. It's the pleasure/pain principle in full effect. We noticed this year that a lot of contestants were performing Oasis' not-exactly-seminal, 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out', or rather we noticed that a lot of the contestants shown on TV happened to be singing 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out'. "But why?" we asked ourselves.
BECAUSE LEONA LEWIS HAS DONE A COVER OF IT FOR HER NEW ALBUM THAT'S WHY!
So, everytime they played a version of it, usually sung by a perma-tanned young person, we were actually being primed for what will likely be a future single by a former winner. So, rather than have people go "oh, I feel like I should know this but I can't remember every having heard it before", they'll say "oh yeah, it's that song the guy with the ridiculous hair and the Top Man jewellery sang outside Simon's totally soulless mansion on one of the other shows".
(We mean fans of her music, not her porcelain, elfin face or lovely, slightly skewed smile...er, sorry, what were we saying...)
French chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg has been busy recording a new album with a little help from Beck. The album is to be call IRM (French for MRI) and has been hugely influenced by a brain hemorrhage Gainsbourg suffered following a water-skiing accident in 2007. You can watch a little teaser of the making of the title track here:
AND as if that weren't enough, you can download the song for free from here.
This isn't the lead single, however. That honour goes to 'Heaven Can Wait', a duet with Mr Hansen.
Everyone loves French dance duo Justice, right? RIGHT. Everyone loves former-dreadlock-sporting love God Lenny Kravitz, right? WRONG. So, a remix of the latter by the former is scientifically guaranteed to sound a little bit right and a little bit wrong, right? RIGHT.
Justice have re-worked 'Let Love Rule' and to be honest it's fair to middling. Luckily, or unluckily (not a word) if you want to sell some units, the video is so amazing that you barely notice the song after a while. The basic premise is that the guy in the video has just finished shooting a film (or has he?) in which he shoots a guy in the head and when the credits start to roll they begin impacting directly on his life! Woah. It's directed by Keith Schofield and is well worth a few minutes of your life:
For some reason we can't embed the video so click here instead
We've got a bit of space to fill now, so here's a picture of Justice
More stuff from the really quite promising Ellie Goulding, who we mentioned here. This is her new single 'Under The Sheets', produced by Starsmith:
It's quite a waifer-thin concoction on first listen, but grows on you like moss or some kind of skin disease (although, if moss grew on you I'd still go and see someone about it). It's one of those songs that seems to be building up to something ear-splittingly epic but doesn't ever quite get there, and is probably all the better for it. A flurry of harps and some group backing vocals is as near as it gets, but we're sure a remix should sort all that out. You can download the song for free from here.
Well, this is a lovely surprise. Those kind folk over at Vampire Weekend HQ have decided to allow their fans the chance to download their new single, 'Horchata', for free. All you need do is part with your email address. BUT if you'd rather not get lots of emails you'll never read, why not just listen to it below in this rather handy player type thing.
EDIT: the pissing thing isn't working! Click here instead.
It's certainly a bit of a departure, although the basic elements are still in place; lots of love for African rhythms, Ezra Koenig's slightly befuddling lyrics and a canny way of not really having an obvious chorus but somehow having more than one. Also, there are no guitars, which is hardly experimental, but weird when you think about the debut's reliance on those spidery guitar lines. It's also about five songs in one and has clearly been influenced by their keyboardist having a little dalliance with electronica via Discovery. It's a thumbs up from us!
After the unbelievable high of recent weeks comes the crushing low of last week. The Girls album missed the top 75 despite much love from all quarters, and the 'big in 2008' tag that still hangs round Kid Harpoon's neck seems to have strangled him as he misses out too. The Veronicas, however, made up for things slightly with their single '4Ever', which moved up to no.17, but seeing as they're currently on Radio 1's A-list this is something of a disappointment. Still, there was positive news in that Mika's album dropped out of the top 10 after just one week. Good job his record label haven't spent oodles of cash on his comeback, huh?
Tarot Sport by Fuck Buttons
We can't condone this kind of language. What is the world coming to when a nice couple of lads can't come up with something a little less profane than Fuck Buttons. Whatever happened to names like Selfish Cunt or Pissed Jeans? You know, nice names that don't make you hide your eyes for fear that you'll never be the same again once you've seen it written down. Still, Fuck Buttons are alright because they make music that's all light and fluffy and very easy on the ear...oh no, they don't, they make noisy, sometimes aggressive sometime beautiful dance music that will slowly put you into a kind of trance. BAN THIS FILTH!
ENJOY BITS OF THIS
Love 2 by Air
It's been a bit of a struggle for Air since Moon Safari. Such was the ubiquity of that near perfect album that anything since has always been compared to it. Never mind that follow-up 10,000Hz Legend was actually pretty amazing and their soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides certainly had it's moments. This follow-up to the disappointing Pocket Symphonies is better than its predecessor but not as good as Talkie Walkie, which in turn is not as good as 10,000Hz Legend or The Virgin Suicides, which are both arguably as good but not as culturally significant as Moon Safari.
DOWNLOAD THIS (and buy on 7")
'Let's Go Surfing' by The Drums
This was out last week as a download but is also out on 7" vinyl (VINYL!?) this week. Theoretically we should have done this song last week is what we're saying, but we forgot and it's so good that we decided to break all our strict rules and put it in this week. It's the best single to feature whistling since Peter, Bjorn & John's 'Young Folks', but will hopefully not find itself soundtracking a run of DFS adverts. Fingers crossed.
Marina, Marina, tell me have you seen her? What? We've mentioned Marina & The Diamonds a few times before (she even graced us with an interview...of sorts), and now she's just about ready to start her onslaught on the charts. Having recently signed to 679 (home to Little Boots), she's decided to revamp an old b-side as her first proper single. "Revamp an old b-side? That doesn't sound too promising" we hear you say, but fear not because the b-side could have been an a-side and now it will be. It's called 'Mowgli's Road' and it sounds like this:
It's not changed too much; just added some extra "cuckoos", done away with the longer intro and outro and generally just been given a good spit and polish. It will available to buy on the 2 November and there's even a video being filmed right about now.
Last Monday we asked you to buy Girls debut album, er, Album. We have to confess that at the time we hadn't actually heard it, just the odd song here and there on myspace and such like. We are well aware that we let ourselves down, but what hurts the most is that we let you guys down. We can only apologise and hope that one day, when the time comes, our Lord and saviour will look at us with pity and let us through the gates to Heaven.
In the meantime, let's celebrate the fact that we now have a copy of the album and it's a brilliant piece of work that makes us simultaneously happy and sad (sappy!?). Each song is suffused with an aching sadness that can probably only come from living your life in a religious cult, where-in you watched your older brother die due to lack of care and your mum forced into prostitution. Add to that a recent break-up and you're somewhere near where singer Christopher Owens is coming from.
Here are two videos they've made (with a little help from director Aaron Brown), for two of the album's highlights. This is the epic 'Hellhole Ratrace', which is accompanied by some footage that at first seems nothing more than a night out with VICE magazine, but is ultimately really beautiful:
This one is for the new single, 'Lust For Life', and has more bedraggled but beautiful people in it, this time they're lip-syncing along to things like "I wish I had a boyfriend/ I wish I had a loving man in my life":
A to the M to the A to the Z...you get the message.
We're well aware that this song was first aired way back in July (it's October already!?), but we only heard it recently and can't stop listening to it. Now, we all know that Jo Whiley is an unforgivable arse, but her 'Live Lounge' thing has produced some interesting cover versions. From little Will Young re-imaging 'Hey Ya' as a jazzy epic to Florence & The Machine tearing strips off of Beyoncé's 'Halo', there were moments when the artist really "made the songs their own". For The Maccabees that song was 'Boom Boom Pow' by the Black Eyed Peas...
Imagine if the Editors had tried this...awful, huh? The Maccabees don't take it seriously, they have a bit of a giggle, but at the same time the beat and the guitar sounds are amazing and Orlando Weeks gives it his best, "Will.i.am drop the beat now". The beat cover version since Robson & Jerome's 'Unchained Melody' and we really mean that.
Whilst doing some other writing stuff for other people, we stumbled upon a Swedish duo called Lake Heartbeat. Being Swedish essentially means they're guaranteed to be a). not exactly ugly and b). pretty good at making irresistible pop melodies. Seeing as there are no photos of either them on their myspace page, we can neither confirm or deny their relative aesthetic merits, but we can confirm that their album Trust In Numbers is a very nice listen indeed.
Produced by Dan Lissvik - who also worked on the recent Taken By Trees album - it's all '80s keyboard rushes, padded drums and heavily-accented lyrics about falling out of love. It's "misery pop" as only the Swedes can do. This is the first single, 'Mystery':
If you don't like it then fear not, it's only the fourth best song on the album. If you do like it then you'll be pleased to hear it's only the fourth best song on the album.