the greatest band of 2011* only revealed themselves to me halfway through December
This above fact means it’s too late to feature them in my “best of 2011” list. (Clearly it’s not, as everything is online and easily amendable, but give me a break why don’t you? I’m trying to make a point here. Patience.)
Don’t worry. I ain’t gonna threaten to shut the website down – as I did here, and here – if a randomly-chosen amount of people don’t buy Muscles Of Joy’s single but really… you sure are gonna be missing out on a whole constellation-load of fun and adventure if you don’t.
The following is reprinted wholesale from Song of the Day 421:
Oh wow. If all else fails, trust Tamsin.
What does it sound like? Sixties Italian horror movie soundtracks performed by a seven-piece all-female matriarchal tribe whose gods are … And the Native Hipsters. Vocal harmonies and non-traditional rock instruments – blowy things and honking noises and funk and pop and it’s massively inventive and they will BLOW YOU AWAY EVERETT TRUE.
Oh wow. OK. There are three things I want you to do here before you click on the video (which is great, make no mistake: shades of Ivor Cutler and Maggie Nichols at London Musicians Collective circa 1980, febrile and humorous and full of spaced-out noise and teasing codas, vaguely reminiscent of Life Without Buildings minus any patriarchal guitar inclinations, and even Ann Magnuson in Bongwater, and I never evoke her name lightly).
1. Don’t click on the video first. Unless you’re prepared for full immersion. You need to stick with it until 6.11 until you fully understand the elasticity of the groove, the breathtaking cheek of the harmonies and bass. Oh fuck it, click on the video first: from Glasgow and as Tamsin says, seven in number (although there appear to be only three here) and … wait a second, are we all agreed No Mas Bodas are one of the discoveries of 2011? No? Good. I fucking hate people who hide their taste beneath affected wool. But wait. There is a revolution happening here. You’re just a maroon missing out on some heady wine and culture if you’re not grooving along with this, grooving on down hard.
And you’re already way more familiar than me with the brace of Ništa Nije Ništa‘s albums that I’m familiar with, right?
2. We all need structure. I’m thinking the imaginative, multi-dimensional, freestyle music of Arrington de Dionyso. I’m just trying to give you precious touchstones here, as to interject with descriptions of the fluid, changing sound of Muscles Of Joy, or a handful of watery metaphors seems more than pointless.: and anyway, anyone with half a chapter of Laurie Lee could do equally as fine a job. (Muscles Of Joy totally understand the necessity of giving their music space to breath, how vital silence is as a musical tool. I say totally. Really, I have no idea of course. I’m projecting. Don’t we all? They could all be journeywoman Oasis fans of course… although somehow I really, really doubt it.)
My second point is this, and it arrives way too late to make much impact. You probably, possibly, maybe, sort of … might be better listening to their SoundCloud song ‘Water break-its-neck’ before the video, or anything on their MySpace. But there again (shrugs), maybe not. The MySpace is fucken amazing. Brass horns and wooden percussion and frozen harmonies and trickling ringing sounds and tension and wired imaging, and way more. Like fucken Kings Of Leon had never been invented. I’m going to give the briefest of nods to Effi Briest here, not for any real reason but … precious touchstones, right?
Oh wow. ‘Interchangeable Letterset’ on MySpace. Listen to the MySpace first. What are you? A dumbbell?
3. Oh wow. Click on this button, double dare ya. And then start recalling all those best of 2011 forms you’ve already filled out …
ADDENDA: REGARDING TITLE OF THIS BLOG ENTRY
* Well, not necessarily the ‘greatest’ as I really do hate to differentiate, and I’m painfully aware that such concepts are dependent on mood and timing and context and cups of coffee not drunk and weather outside and exposure to certain musical forms, but certainly up there among my favourite five, or 50, or 500, or so. Hey, lighten up will you? I’m just trying to make a point here.