22 of Princess Stomper’s favourite songs of 2012 so far
It’s something of a no-brainer to stick Grimes into any best-of list lately, but this song is more infectious than Jeff Goldblum’s laptop in Independence Day. Wallace is right, those helium vocals do grate over the course of an album and it is all sickeningly twee, but this is just the right-sized nibble of Claire Boucher’s confection.
Zola Jesus – ‘Seekir’ (live)
The frustratingly inconsistent Zola Jesus had one of her high moments when she performed at the Guggenheim Museum in May. She coaxed the reliably brilliant JG Thirlwell into rearranging nine of her songs for strings (Mivos Quartet) and laptop, to effect so electrifying she literally glows.
JG Thirlwell – ‘La Rua Madureira’
Talking of whom, asking someone who can make dripping water sound interesting to cover a track by French star Nino Ferrer must have seemed like a good idea. As it turned out, even by Thirlwell’s standards it was great – veering off from its reverby vocal verses and bouncing around with orchestral aplomb.
Stream J.G. Thirlwell | La Rua Madureira by Optical Sound at Bandcamp
It’s crazy music. Not math rock or prog rock or anything like that, but shrieking-at-strangers-while-flinging-poo-like-a-monkey high-on-bath-salts batshit crazy music. File under Mr Bungle. Yes, I know it was on Everett True’s list, but some songs are so good you just need to hear them again.
Clint Mansell & Sam Hulick – ‘An End, Once and For All’
The Mass Effect 3 soundtrack might have been lacklustre compared to Jack Wall’s emotive score for the second game, but everyone I know welled up at this point, and it is all down to the music (since the oft-criticised endings just left fans bewildered). Hard to believe this is the bloke from Pop Will Eat Itself. This is the scene in the context of the (Extended Cut) game (jump to the 6′ 45″ mark), or click here if you don’t like endgame spoilers.
Sometimes less is more when it comes to PR blurb, and this email just said “Ultraísta are Nigel Godrich, Laura Bettinson and Joey Waronker” with a link to their new video. Nigel Godrich produced Radiohead; the titillatingly-named Waronker is a fellow producer, here on drum duties; Bettinson is a (visual) artist from London. Intrigued, I clicked and heard a pleasant shuffling electropop tune – vocals halfway between Imogen Heap and Beth Gibbons – that was catchy enough to make me want to play it again right away. Apparently, Pitchfork are raving about them, but I won’t hold that against them.
Breton – ‘Interference’
I don’t know why I love this song so much – after all, it just falls between Kasabian and Gorillaz – but every time I hear it just want to play it about 50 times in a row. It could be because it also reminds me of UNKLE, or because they sound like how MGMT would sound if their pop hooks didn’t get lost in the execution. It’s got the lazy groove of the Happy Mondays without the punchability. It has shuffling grooves and insouciance – cool in the South London way, not Brooklyn hipsters. They’re going to be absolutely enormous: I hope they don’t lose their cool.