by / July 22nd, 2011 /

Top Story: State’s Office Stereo: Tom Tom Club, M83, Squarehead, Katy B, The Cocteau Twins and more

A weekly feature in which our writers and photographers share their favourite tracks of the week.

Tom Tom Club – ‘Genius of Love’ (chosen by Jennifer Gannon)

Nothing can quite match the inexplicable,unrivalled, simple bliss of twisting and turning your feet on a dancefloor to a tune that feels like its captured the very heartbeat of life. Dancing out the death of the working week and losing yourself to the beat in a crowded room. To have not danced to ‘Genius of Love’ is to do your soul a grave disservice. With its belching, hiccupping hook, quacks and lolling bassline it creates a perfect groove in your brain that has never dimmed in its 30 years of existence. With ethereal vocals sprinkled like sugar on top,it spills out a roll call of legends from James Brown to Kurtis Blow whilst philosophising about the crazy journey of life,not bad for an artsy pop song. Not even a spell of being pulverised into a Mariah Carey single could destroy its effervescent spirit, ‘Fantasy’ became the best song she’d never written. So when it judders into life tonight do your feet a favour and give them a moment of unabashed joy. See them at Vicar Street tonight.

The Drums – ‘Money’ (chosen by Elizabeth Rushe)

Being broke has never sounded so good. The Drums new single ‘Money’ is all about a desperate lack of cash, transformed into a beauteous pop song. Do not adjust your stereo, this might sound to some ears as though the playback button has been set to fast forward, but before you can say “lend us a tenner?” you’ll be aiming to hit those high notes along with Jonathan and keep up with the pace. The Drums are obviously recovering well from Adam Kessler’s seemed to be sudden departure last September, months later they’ve announced their second album and begun the online striptease of what’s to come, posting up a teaser video for ‘Portamento’. The Drums are still not shy about their Smiths obsession/influence and believe it or not this song may be even catchier than ‘Let’s go Surfing’. If you’re looking for a new earworm, listen now.

The Drums – Money by WorkItMedia

Denim – ‘The Osmonds’ (chosen by Shane Galvin)

Has anyone ever managed to sum up a decade so accurately within the constraints of one song? It seems unlikely. Ex-Felt man, Lawrence, encapsulates the real 70’s – not that of Punk and Disco but one of polyester trousers, Brotherhood Of Man and bombings. What on paper reads like a novelty song somehow ends up being one of the most moving songs ever recorded.

Katy B – ‘On A Mission’ (chosen by Niall Byrne)

It’s songs like ‘On A Mission’ that remind you of the stark difference between Irish and UK pop audiences. While Katy’s album was a smash hit in the UK where it peaked at number 2 in the album chart, it only managed to scrape into the Irish chart at NUMBER 66. Not that State puts much weight or hope on the charts, but it’s indicative of the gulf that exists between us: Irish audiences don’t go for cutting-edge urban pop music while the UK have stations like BBC Radio One actively supports it. No, it’s Mumford & Sons for us and be done with it. ‘On A Mission’ is a song that manages to perfectly mix dubstep and pop into one big catchy and danceable crossover hit that still sounds as great as it did last summer.

Fanny – ‘Hey Bulldog’ (chosen by Dara Higgins)

It seems utterly disingenuous to refer to a song by the biggest band of all time as “lost”, but if there is one in the Beatles repertoire, it’s ‘Hey Bulldog’. (Yeah, or ‘Rain’. Everyone loves ‘Rain’). Hidden a way on an album that only sold a few million copies and on the soundtrack to a movie only seen by half the world’s population, ‘Hey Bulldog’s irrepressible spikiness and exuberant, practiced spontaneity could have raced up the charts, given the chance (certainly its non identical and lesser twin, ‘Lady Madonna’ got to number one…so why not this?).

As often happened with songs that the Beatles failed to iconify, someone else came along and did it, in this case the criminally forgotten Fanny. One of rock’s first all female, non manufactured bands, Fanny set a high standard that groups of either gender would find it hard to emulate. It’s a shame that what set them apart, being all-girl, as it were, probably robbed them of the credit they deserved at the time. But of course, you only have to look at Girls Aloud to see how far music’s attitudes have evolved since the early seventies, right? Even Lennon might appreciate the irony of a load of birds beating the shit out of him for a change.

Squarehead – ‘Midnight Enchilada’ (Chosen by Sean Conroy)

Squarehead have something which sets them apart from so many current Irish bands – they can write tunes catchier than an outbreak of MRSA in an old folks home. With a lot of guitar wankery or distressing vocal deliveries being the present trend with so many local bands, Squarehead offer an easy, chin-stroking-less alternative. There’s no meandering and moaning here, no sir, just snappy and infectious well crafted garage pop tunes. Take recent single ‘Midnight Enchilada’, a two-and-a-half minute pop wonder, as good as, if not better than anything by the current ‘champions’ of garage pop Best Coast. No, really. It is.

As it’s a Friday you deserve something quick, inexpensive and enjoyable. Squarehead have you sorted. ‘Midnight Enchilada’ is like a Pot Noodle: exposure to this tune early in the afternoon will have it repeating on you for hours, if not days. Unlike the noodles however, there’s some genuine substance on offer here. Tuck in.

Robag Wruhme – ‘Pnom Global’ (Darragh McCausland)

It has been a great year for techno long-players so far, with excellent releases from Sandwell District, Lucy, and Surgeon. Perhaps better than all of these fine releases is Robag Wruhme’s dreamy and understated Thora Vukk. ‘Pnom Global’ is, for me, the standout track on the album, a careworn and melodic piece of work with lullaby nonsense vocals that seem to communicate some sort of comfort. It is a perfect post-club track, a hand that ruffles your hair at dawn.

M83- ‘Midnight City’ (chosen by Loreana Rushe)

The year is 1985. I steal my parents white Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and head off into the night. Destination: Midnight City. As the hazy neon skyline slowly rolls into sight I pull over and get out to take it all in. Tim Capello, my spirit guide appears by the side of the road, sax-ing the the cosmos with the Messier 83 spiral galaxy in full glorious view. On this, the teaser single from M83’s new album Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, Anthony Gonzales invokes the spirit of the 80s and takes us on a saxophone fueled joyride into Midnight City. Epic.

Midnight City by M83

Wipers – ‘Doom Town’ (chosen by Aoife Barry)

The lyrics might be on the emo side – “life’s so incomplete/ Here on the street / Live in a doom town” – but the sentiment is one that every lethargic teen has experienced at some stage: the feeling that there’s nowhere more utterly boring than your home turf.
Taken from Oregon band Wipers’ third studio album Over The Edge (1983) this displays the melodic, insistent guitar riffs and intense vocal style that enamoured them to the likes of Nirvana.

The Cocteau Twins – ‘Heaven Or Las Vegas’ (chosen by Simon Roche)

Twitter lit up (well, myself, @djmarkkavanagh and @theoriginalsue lit up) during the week when we noticed this song bursting out of RTE Radio 1’s daytime playlist. 1991 all wrapped up is a spectoral (wall of sound pun intended) classic, Liz Fraser’s untouchable voice lighting up the dark, rainy day like the bright streaks of colour on the album cover. From the days when music could be all about mystery and no-one was on twitter.

Heaven or Las Vegas, Cocteau Twins by TwoThousand