30 January 2010

say yea! to 2!0!10!

it's a new year! i'm glad to be here! definite 2010 jam thus far (though "white sky" is close) is this song (click to listen, or download from the band here), "o.n.e." (annoyingly meaningless title - as far as i can tell - though it does align it fittingly with last year's spelling-jams trend, as spearheaded by "m.a.g.i.c") by yeasayer,

whom i have previously paid not too much attention... but i think i'm not alone in the internet (for once?!) when i say that this new album (coming out next week) is pretty pretty pretty good! i first listened to it when i was working on a jigsaw puzzle, by myself, too late at night. the album as a whole struck me as likably sprightly with a nice positive message, and this song stuck out right away. but it was only about a week ago that it really started hitting me, and now i have decided that is the "my girls" of 2010.

by which i mean, i guess, an indie-rock dance jam of supreme hookiness and mega-crossover potential that shall become quasi-ubiquitous. with a pair of distinct and equally strong vocal hooks. though, the subject matter is rather different, and it doesn't have that distinctive, elemental bifurcated structure. but: it's better than "my girls." for one, it's actually an electro-pop song (with a tricky but stomping beat and a sweet'n'bouncy synth riff) instead of just playing at being one. and the lyrics (at least the lyrics to the refrain - haven't fully parsed the rest) are not only sensical and non-mock-worthy, but actually good:

hold me like before
hold me like you used to
control me like you used to

kinda kills. a bit. not sure how i feel about the juxtaposition with "no/you don't move me anymore/and i'm glad that you don't" - puts a curiously smiley/cynical spin on the sentiment, but it's a bit sharp, and undercuts the sublimely subtle pathos of the "control me" line. anyway, interesting. anyway, it's a total JAM. get in.

this is already looking like a boom year for indie dance, after something of a downtick in '09... between this and the spunky new vampire weekend (and maybe four tet?), and a promised lcd soundsystem newbie among other things upcoming. and, the other one i've been jamming lately, hot new hot chip chip.

which is innarestin, too. it's surprisingly serious. basically none of joe goddard's goofy interjections. it's pretty silky-smooth throughout –
a bunch of their marvelous moody slow jams, with a handful of swoony, streamlined house bangers – with their familiar playfulness coming through most notably in a few quirkily chromatic musical bits (the post-chorus blips on the "one life stand," the mildly dissonant ostinato of "take it in.") in essence, it's an extremely romantic album, never more so than on the aforementioned title track, "one life stand," which is a clear highlight. great video, too:

a departure from their title songs being relatively minor tracks on their albums (i do love "made in the dark" and "the warning," but they're not exactly standouts.) i really like that hot chip are a band with title tracks. this one gets a lot of its charm and potency out of its just-so-clever (and slightly dorky) but truly sweet and touching notion contained in the title phrase, delivered with
alexis taylor's perfectly understated sincerity. (followed by a tammy wynette reference that seems too corny to work but does, anyway.) i'm curious to see how this album grows as i get to know it; for now i'm kind of loving its quiet, tender, heartfelt simplicity.

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