by / June 7th, 2014 /

State’s New Music Mixtape # 17

With the impending arrival of the World Cup, this, possibly, is the last normal week of the Summer. There’ll be a whole month when football and trivia thereof become the symbolic capital du jour in offices and pubs up and down the country. After that, in a post-World Cup society, we’ll be left asking ourselves myriad questions about how we got here, what exactly happened, how can we prepare for this happening again, etc. Obviously, a great many couldn’t care less about football and so, with that irrelevant preamble out of the way, State brings you some new music to take your mind off FIFA’s traveling recreation of a lawless, taxless semi-fiefdom-with-a-few-games-thrown-in-to-distract-us-from-the-wholesale-corruption-fun that the World Cup is. Here are 15 corruption-free songs to line your pockets with.

Slowlcub – ‘Suffering You Suffering Me’

What can we say about this…firstly it is one of the best songs you’re likely to hear all year. It is as close to Motown as Sheffield will ever be, in all likelihood. Out are the strictly indie inflections of the Slowclub of yore, and in it’s place are soulful, dramatic, joyous brass-and-all production tricks. This song is so old-fashioned it is about three songs in one but as the song swells to a conclusion you’ll forget that it is a song about heartache. Unless you’re heartbroken, in which case this song will make you feel better.

Curtis Harvey – ‘Hard Times Come Again No More

Here we have a rootsy, folky, Dave Van Ronk-esque offering from Pullman and Rex multi-instrumentalist Curtis Harvey. It’s nice… and it probably won’t change your life in any meaningful way but Harvey is a bit of a legend so give it a whirl.

Tussilago – ‘Say Hello’

In keeping with the lo-fi hue this week, Stockholm natives Tussilago bring us this deceptive little hotrock. The drums, vocals and melody all say dream-pop but after a few listens the reverb from the guitars and the bouncing bassline start to become the dominant forces in this track. It’s a beauty.

Avi Buffallo – ‘So What

To California we go to catch up with Avi Buffalo, now. ‘So What’ is an arpeggio-infused, jangly, breezy little shuffler and, so, not much has changed since this band arrived as teenagers in 2010. Only now the harmonies are stronger, the lyrics are slightly more mature and the writing is better than ever. There is an end-of-the-ninties feel to this so it gets three thumbs up.

Robin Romei – ‘Vapors’

Please excuse the radio DJ overdub here, but if your of a certain vintage it will remind you of the days when illegal peer-to-peer downloading was called “press Play + Record on your tape deck at the same time as soon as you hear the intro to a song you like on the radio” and radio chit-chat was just the price you paid. The overdub here has done State’s job for us. Cheers.

White Reaper – ‘Conspirator’

Some punk to liven things up here…only for some reason the fizz has appeared to have been sugared out of this track by some appalling mixing and suspect production. It sounds like you’re listening to the song through a glass pressed up against a door and, other than that, there’s not a whole lot to say.

Faded Paper Figures – ‘Breathing’

Some weirdly fascinating electronica here from LA based Faded Paper Figures, or FPF for those I.T.K. The organ/keyboards sound off-kilter which makes for a nice change from the slick production values generally associated with the indie new-New Wave. All in all this song was a contender for pick of the week. An accolade which deservedly goes to Slowclub…

Got A Girl – ‘Did We Live Too Fast’

As far as collaborations go, ostensibly, this is one of the less obvious ones. Dan the Automator, world-renowned producer, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who stared in some Die Hard movie or another, have teamed up to give us Got A Girl, a hybrid of DTA’s signature production style mixed with Winstead’s Nancy Sinatra-esque vocals. This just works perfectly.

TEEN – ‘Not For Long

Maybe we were a little hasty, this could also probably be the pick of the week. TEEN are what Teeny Lieberson did after From Here We Go Magic and this is an absolute cracker. There are more than a few comparisons with Joan as Policewoman here but the layered vocals, dreamy and ghost-like production make for some inspired stuff from the New York four-piece.

Lore City – ‘For You’

Laura Mariposa and Eric Bessel, or Lore city, have been attracting Portishead comparisons for a while now and although there is definitely an element of the Bristol legends to be found here, this is the least Portisheady of their tracks. It’s a gothic, brooding track with bags of echo and haunting vocals and some other-worldly production.

Caribou – ‘Do Without You’

This is the first track to be released from Caribou’s forthcoming album Our Love, and it’s a slow burner if ever there was one. There are no gimmicky drops or contrived sampling and it is just as you’d expect from the Canadian uber-producer; there is depth, texture and emotion in spades here.

Heiðrik – ‘Maria’s Donkey’

The Faroe Islands are famous for two things, Brian Kerr managed their national football team once, and Heiðrik. Faroese polymath Heiðrik á Heygum brings us this track replete with fiddles and thunderous, bruised-sky sounding production and haunted vocals. It’s not too often State comes across a song about a donkey but this is probably the best one you’ll ever hear.

Vomitface – ‘Sat In Your Lap’

Shit on a stick. A terrible version of one of Kate Bush’s less impressive songs and what was once weird is now unlistenable. Take a bow, Vomitface.

Dirty Lungs – ‘I Suck In Bed’

Sticking with garage rock, we have Alabama 5-piece Dirty Lungs to thank for this one. It’s a fairly straight forward and considerably better it’s name suggests.

Traams – ‘Giddy

And like death, garage rock comes in threes. So, killing off this week’s Mixtape are the UK’s Traams. If Two Door Cinema Club electrocuted themselves they might sound like this. Slightly more melodic than you’d expect and catchier than it should be.