…and four other tunes worth listening to.
A long, long time ago, I was a ‘music blogger’, writing lots of posts about music and filling them with lots of ‘pithy comments’ and ‘unnecessary inverted commas’ etc etc. But then I got too busy to spend all my time listening to tunes and making jokes about them, so I stopped. This year I have hardly spent any time seeking out new music. Indeed, I’ve devoted a fair portion of it to listening to old and/or boring music (eg The Beatles) just to see if it is ‘classic for a reason’ (mostly it isn’t).
Recently, a few tunes have caught my ear. I’ve decided to write some words about them, which you can read below.
Bar9 – Before The Storm
Despite having a name that sounds like some sort of pre-club boozing venue in Oldham, Bar9 make very good dubstep tunes and remixes. The latest in the former category is Before The Storm, probably their best release yet, which was ‘dropped’ by Skream and Benga as a world exclusive on their Radio 1 show this week. It takes a couple of minutes to get going, but it’s got the sort of drop that reinforced dance floors were invented for. That’s assuming reinforced dancefloors have been invented. They probably have, or should be, whichever.
King Krule – Rock Bottom
The indie industry is in crisis. In fact, the entire music industry is in crisis purely because indie exists. But there are some artists trying to rescue the most boring form of music from its perpetual decline. Step forward King Krule, basically the saviour of shouty urban indie, whose recent single Rock Bottom boasts myriad influences (including The Streets, whose Empty Cans is quoted in the refrain) and moves along at a pace brisk enough to blow away all the cobwebs left behind by Mumford & Sons and their dusty fucking box of dead ideas.
Jake Bugg – Two Fingers
Here’s another chap trying to make non-shit guitar music and succeeding. He might have a lot of Dylan-esque ticks, but you’re unlikely to have heard anything as striking as Bugg’s opening vocal this year. The first verse, however, does pose a question: why does Radio 1 think it’s OK for white artists to talk about drugs in their songs (cf Ed Sh**ran and his nonsense about crack pipes) when black artists regularly find themselves censored? Rolled-up fattys aside, this is classic songwriting, like Donovan jamming with The Coral. Bonus points for having the parole officer out of Misfits being lairy in the video, too.
HOSH – Woohoo
Ever since Unklejam bombed, there’s not been enough falsetto-specked spacepop. And there’s never been enough tunes called Woohoo. So this release remedies both of those situations within the first few bars. The rest of the track goes on to evoke New York disco and house clubs, but in a completely non po-faced way, which is increasingly becoming a rarity in the ‘dance music scene’.
Monsta – Holdin On (Skrillex and Nero remix)
The original Holdin On has a fair stab at being a decent tune, and pulls it off on the whole, thanks in large part to the incredible vocals of Skaar, but it take a re-take from Skrillex and Nero to make the tune stand out among the literally millions of bass tunes that are released every week in the UK. The drop is a bit too heavy on the Sonny Moore side of things, but the build (“I’m a beat without a drum,” etc etc) is very much ‘worth the entry price’.