Friday, January 21, 2005

Maybe its the Baywindow girl

Momus with hoody

Momus is in fact Nick Currie. An original Creation Records artist signed by Alan McGee in 1987. His output has been vast and various and I hope to post up some older tracks another time. He has caused much controversy over his lyrical content (explicit sexual references) and his openness and willingness to talk and sing about sexual politics from a male perspective.
The NME loved him... for "Tender Pervert"

"One of the most provocative, intelligent songwriters around; someone who'll tackle sexuality, (im)morality, and the sins of the world with almost embarrassing sincerity." Len Brown, NME

..and hated him... for "Hippopotamus"

"Momus is a bit like a mussel: it tastes good when swallowed whole, but examine it too closely and it looks as disgusting as a shrivelled, unidentifiable piece of sexual organ. Spit it out immediately." Betty Page, NME

He has lived in London, New York, Paris, Tokyo and (presently) Berlin.
He has an excellent web presence including his own blog and newsgroup.
Recently he has posted up "Oskar Originals" comprising mp3s of the original versions of the songs on the 2003 album from Momus, Oskar Tennis Champion.
Oh, and look you can even buy a Momus doll!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Nouvelle Vague: 80's new wave meets bossa nova

Nouvelle Vague

One of the delights of last year was discovering the Nouvelle Vague CD.
It’s the project of Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux utilizing a heavenly array of (mainly) French female vocalists. It re-interprets classic new wave tracks of the early eighties, the idea being…

“… to forget the initial punk or new wave background of each song, keep simple fundamental chords, work with young singers who never heard the orginal versions, and make the quality of original songwriting happen in a completely different way.(bossa nova, jazz style and sixties pop)”

Sounds a great idea? Oh my it really is! Tho I'm a total sucker for that bossa nova beat!
Tracks covered include Love Will Tear Us Apart, A Forest, This Is Not a Love Song and Teenage Kicks...
The album can be streamed or purchased as a download here.
Check out the track below, a cover of a tuxedomoon song from their "Holy Wars" album

In A Manner of Speaking (mp3)

To purchase this fine recording go to Norman Records:slapping the thighs of melody!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I see your face each time I close my eyes

The Clientele

The Clientele are a band I love dearly and purchase without hesitation. They formed in Hampshire, UK and are now based mostly in London.
The main influences are Felt, Galaxie 500, Love, The Zombies, Nick Drake, the Kinks to name a few. They specialise in haunting melodies based around spectral guitars and very sparse production using old valve amps and mics.

Early singles were gathered together onto an initial CD "Suburban Light" which garnered decent reviews but still not a lot of recognition.

Various CD's, 7" singles and split singles have appeared, but the first "proper" CD "The Violet Hour" was released in 2003.

The Violet Hour

... to estatic reviews... such as this from Pitchfork

...and comments like these....

"the 13 tracks here drift from Felt-lined fragility to reserved Luna-ish experimentalism" Mojo

"Ever more intent on discovering the essence of indie, the Clientele are back with an album that dissolves like a daydream and aches like a jilted bride" The Guardian

They are on the Merge label in the US. And on Pointy in the UK.
Pointy has an excellent website with lots of mp3 downloads.

So start with a song from "Suburban Light" "Reflections after Jane" (mp3) which has all of their trademark guitar sounds and melancholy melodies.
"Five Day Morning" (mp3) is also from this CD.

The first single off "The Violet Hour" was...
"House on Fire" (mp3)
One more from this CD... ).
"Everybodys Gone" (mp3)

The Clientele have a very good mailing list "Lacewings" which is worth a look as the band quite often annouce gigs and releases here first.

All their records can be purchased from the ever excellent Norman Records.
"The loveliest & best in new & used indie rock & post pop, new wave meets avant hip hop, electro, IDM & alternative beats..... to alt country & experimental sweets. Vinyl, cds and DVD's from around the world. Delivered to your doorstep by underpaid but hopefully happy post people (that means we're mail order folks)"