Track of the Day: Marie Davidson – Naive to the Bone

It’s Friday. You’ve just clocked out after doing a Dolly Parton and you’re trundling through the rush hour traffic like a sardine in a tin can that’s well past its sell-by date. 

You need to shed that fusty workday skin and slip into something more comfortable for the weekend. 

What better way to start than listening to this hedonistic acid-tinged dance track from Marie Davidson

Hailing from Montréal in Québec,  Davidson is one of the many roster of exciting artists making its way out of Canada (see this Track of the Day by Kaytranada for another Canadian love-in). 

‘Naive to the Bone’ fires the synapses in the same way Factory Floor captures the psyche with their repetitive but seductive  house music (this is most prominent on their latest LP 25 25

The listener gets caught up in the euphoria with its thick synth stabs,  then all of a sudden, a female voice breaks through, catching you off guard – “It seems like honesty is not so fashionable these days” could be a comment on post-truth society re Brexit/Trump. Mibbes aye, mibbes naw. 

Doesn’t matter either way though, just get caught up in its trance before you clock in on Monday morning. You might need a boost next week if the US decides to elect a radioactive Oompa Loopma as president. Actually, the way this country’s heading, you need a boost now. 

Marie Davidson’s album Adieux Au Dancefloor is out now. 

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Track of the Day 29/09/16 – ‘Up to Anything’ by The Goon Sax

Australia is ‘on point’ – like a hip prepubescent character from Neighbours would probably say – when it comes to endearing indie music. Dick Diver and Courtney Barnett for example are just two excellent acts from Melbourne. For today’s track of the day though, we turn to Brisbane for The Goon Sax.

Formed in 2013, they consist of Riley Jones, Louis Forster (son of Robert from cult favourites The G0-Betweens) and James Harrison.

Their album Up to Anything, released this March via Chapter Music, is a wistful collection of songs which perfectly encapsulates that awkward phase of adolescence. The opening title track is a personal highlight though.

The guitars scrape together nicely with a hint of melancholy that always feels present with bands like The Goon Sax and The Pastels, one of the Brisbane trio’s favourites. It also includes what feels like one of the most effective couplets on depression in pop music: “I can’t walk this sadness out/I just walk these things around”. Up to Anything is indeed ‘on point’.

The Goon Sax grace Glasgow tomorrow with The Pastels helming the decks. If you’re just reading this at time of publication, then chances are it’s short notice. If you read this the day after the gig…emm…get off my back – just make The Goon Sax your new favourite band! 

 

Track of the Day 28/09/16 – ‘A.H.B.’ by S U R V I V E 

Every man and beast has probably watched Stranger Things now, the Netflix show that’s captured people’s imaginations with its blend of Spielbergian Sci-Fi and unadulterated nostalgia for the 1980s. The excellent soundtrack has also pricked up folks’ ears – it’s the brainchild of Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein who are one half of  S U R V I V E, a quartet from Austin, Texas.

‘A.H.B.’ – a track taken from the new album RR7349 -naturally wouldn’t sound out of place on Stranger Things – it’s an eerie, synth-ridden instrumental with lashings of John Carpenter and Depeche Mode:

RR7349 is out Friday via Relapse Records. If you want more infectious synth music, there’s a whole bunch o’ stuff on their Bandcamp page, and the Stranger Things soundtrack (Vol 1 and 2) is out now via Lakeshore Records in all good music outlets.

Track of the Day 27/09/16 ‘New Song’ by Warpaint

Whenever a Warpaint song comes on the radio, every guitar scrape, drum beat and vocal seems to seep out the speakers with a haze of smoke, mystique and groove. Love Is to Die sounds like the James Bond theme song rejected for not having enough Bond clichés. 

Meanwhile, their cover of Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes epitomises the Warpaint sound – the bass melody flutters about like Peter Hook cooped up in hill somewhere in L.A, while the guitars and drums lock-in to each other with such nonchalance and ease – it’s such a cool, hip breezy sound that it makes any other band sound like they’re trying too hard. 

Third album Heads Up is a continuation of that trademark Warpaint sound, but with some extra oomph in parts. New Song for example sounds like like the L.A. four-piece have taken their best elements and supercharged them like an Italian plumber tearing through a power star. 

The guitars dance about as if it’s having a fit, the vocals swoon over with overly hopeful and romantic lyrics (“You come along and wash away the rain”), while the drums maintain a fast upbeat tempo, resulting in one of their least mystical and more mainstream records – but y’know, still sounding like Warpaint. Long may we continue hearing new songs from this band (and stop reading piss-poor closing sentences from this blogger).

Track of the Day 26/09/16 : ‘No I Won’t’ by Evans Pyramid

Normally the best tracks hit you when you least expect it – during a listening session of Caribou‘s eclectic Spotify playlist on shuffle, this song came on:

‘No I Won’t’ is a simple but effective slice of disco that combines the raw emotion of Stax soul with swooning pop strings and jerky new-wave guitar licks.

It sounds like taking certain chunks of pop history from the 60s and 70s, cutting it up and condensing it into 5 minutes. 

However, it’s not convoluted at all – it’s a relentless grove that doesn’t change tempo or have any unexpected tricks up its sleeve.

That’s the subtle beauty of the track – it doesn’t show off but grooves nevertheless.

Its understated nature fits well with the relative obscurity of its producer Andre Evans, the brainchild behind Evans Pyramid. 

He was a session player for artists like Issac Hayes and The Delfonics, but eventually started making songs himself. 

Tracks like this and ‘I Want Your Body’ left a lasting impression on the dance scene (and one excitable shabbaz79 on Youtube – read the comment below on the latter track mentioned).

Last December at the now defunct Shapes nightclub, I heard this track during a DJ showcase by Eclair Fifi

This brings me to that other satisfaction in discovering music – when an obscure song you’ve randomly stumbled upon online suddenly plays in a nightclub.

It’s as if the planets have aligned, and you feel vindicated for liking that song – that hip DJ on stage is a fan, the crowd around you are loving it…you get a real buzz (probably enhanced by half a dozen overpriced pints of Carlsberg swirling around your gut).

Of course it’s nice to have that special song or album that no-one can take away from you, but that collective experience on the dancefloor is something to behold too.

However ‘No I Won’t’ will always feel personally special.

 

 

 

Track of the Day 23/09/16 – Lite Spots by Kaytranada 

Canada has been producing a lot of excellent records this year – Oh No by Jessy Lanza , IV by Badbadnotgood, and 99.9%, by producer Louis Celestin a.k.a. Kaytranada. It hosts an array of artists such as Craig David, Little Dragon, Badbad themselves and AlunaGeorge.

Recently, 99.9% won this year’s Polaris Music Prize, a sort of Canadian Mercury. So it’s apt to conclude Track of the Day this week with Lite Spots. With a masterful sampling of Pontos De Luz by Gal Costa, it’s what one would describe as a ‘banger’.

There’s one moment where the beat rattles the ribcage and could cause a minor earthquake in any hip dancefloor. Lite Spots demonstrates how artists like Kaytranada and Jessy Lanza are putting Canada on the musical map with panache.

99.9% is out now on XL Recordings

 

 

 

 

Track of the Day 22/09/16: On Top by Hoops

Hoops are not a band from the East End of Glasgow (one for the football fans out there) but come all the way from Bloomington, Indiana. Their output so far has consisted of sunny, low-fi psychedelic rock – Tape #2, Tape #3 and EP sound like someone’s set foot across a treasure trove of demos from a legendary 80s cult indie band.

It doesn’t feel like we’ve seen Hoops at optimum level, and it would be interesting to see how they develop their sound on LPs. This track however on Tape #2 shows their potential. Granted, the production is a tad raw, and it sounds like someone’s frittering about with the headphone jack. But it’s a track that causes a tingle in the same way bands like Teenage Fanclub, The Lemonheads and early Prefab Sprout manage to create.

The guitar riff is effortlessly breezy, and the drums rattle away like someone enjoying the school summer holidays in their garage. The overly optimistic lyrics (“Keep your head up, you’re doing fine/I know it’s hard, but you’ll be alright) don’t sound disingenuous against the understated and melancholic nature of the track. As soon as the whistling part kicks in, it feels like you’ve known this track for a long time.

Hoops’ stuff, including their new live album released this week, is out on Bandcamp and all other good music outlets.