by / June 10th, 2011 /

Top Story: State’s Office Stereo – WU LYF, Amanda Palmer, Fucked Up, Ham Sandwich & more

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

Maria Minerva – ‘Hop Hop Gone In Spring’ (chosen by Daniel Harrison)

LA’s Not Not Fun label have been responsible for some fantastic music recently (Peaking Lights, Sun Araw, LA Vampires/Matrix Metals), and bedroom musician Maria Minerva continues the trend. Tallinn at Dawn is the excellent follow-up to her Noble Savage 12″, and one of the standout tracks is ‘Hop Hop Gone in Spring’, a blissful mix of shimmering synths and layered, sensual vocals.

Maria Minerva – Hop Hop Gone In Spring by

Crystal Stilts – ‘Converging in the Quiet’ (chosen by Jennifer Gannon)

Yes, the other band with ‘Crystal’ in their name. They possibly suffered a bad rap for most of their output sounding like an Interpol B-side drifting tinnily through the partition wall of a dank flat. This may be another walk on the dreary side but there is something captivating about this dull, relentless thud. It possesses the eerie menace of the Chills ‘Pink Frost’ and thrusts and flutters like a burst of hot rain on a Summer evening. It’s an on-the-bus song to stare aimless through the condensation fogged window to. It is as hypnotic and captivating as the sad Bambi stare of doomed little Edie Sedgwick whose Andy Warhol screen test led your humble narrator to this gem to begin with.

Ham Sandwich – ‘Ants’ (Chosen by Elaine Buckley)

There was much to love about the inaugural Forbidden Fruit festival over the bank holiday weekend, but Ham Sandwich’s set at the Lighthouse Stage on Saturday evening was definitely my highlight. ‘Ants’ has undeniably been the standout single from White Fox – but to hear the capacity crowd (including those surrounding the tent who couldn’t fit in!) embracing it as they did on Saturday evening takes it to another level. A must-see for this year’s festival season.

The Young Punx ft Amanda Palmer – Map of Tasmania (chosen by Louise McHenry)

I never could quite understand the love for Amanda Palmer. Probably didn’t help that I’d never actually listened to any of her songs. Still, a friend decided that I might enjoy this little ditty. Best not to wonder why but indeed how right she was. This unashamedly sunny ode to fluffy lady parts is a complete joy & the video is undeniably bewitching. Amanda Palmer, I salute you.

Sallie Ford & the Sound Around – ‘I Swear’ (chosen by James Goulden)

From the ultra-hip indie folk city of Portland in the North West of the US comes the music of Sallie Ford. Her band have recently released their debut album in North America. It’s a step back to vintage sounds and a voice that is classic bluesy jazz. This track from the album Dirty Radio is an apt first single with Sallie singing about modern pop stars who all sound the same. Sallie certainly doesn’t fit in that box.

Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside – I Swear from Matthew Ross on Vimeo.

Gang Gang Dance- ‘Chinese High’ (chosen by Loreana Rushe)

Since coming home from Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona all I’ve been able to listen to is Eye Contact by Gang Gang Dance. I wasn’t completely sold on the record when I first heard it, but after seeing what I believe to be the best live performance of the year it’s hardly left my stereo. ‘Chinese High’ in particular is 5 minute ascension into a weird heaven taking all the sounds the Middle East has to offer along the the way.

Sun Stroke Project & Olia Tira – ‘Run Away’ (Chosen by Ciarán Gaynor)

Why have I been hammering Moldova’s 2010 Eurovision entry, which only managed to finish in 22nd place at the contest, all week long? Well… A ten hour edit of The Epic Sax Guy viral video (hey, that’s the internet for you) came to my attention and while enjoying the hypnotic clip in question, and while being reminded that this was exactly the sort of thing Alex Patterson and Mixmaster Morris would have spun during ambient sets in the late ’80s, and with the clip renewing my belief that distinctions between the ‘mainstream’ and ‘alternative’ music just don’t hold anymore, I was also reminded that the song the clip is snipped from, is itself, a lost Eurovision classic. The performance has everything. Daft lyrics: “just run away from my mind!” Daft vocal ‘stylings’. Daft clothes. It is so camp, it would surely cause even Susan Sontag to require a bit of a lie down followed by a reviving cup of milky tea. But however absurd, ‘Run Away’ is also the very acme of melancholic, wistful europop.

Soundgarden – ‘Loud Love’ (Chosen by Lisa Hughes)

Ah yes, the song which soundtracked Wayne seducing Cassandra in Wayne’s World. What better recommendation is there for a song than that? From its whiny opening seconds to its sludgy pace, every second of ‘Loud Love’ is quintessential Seattle sound. Angsty and ferocious at the same time, (“I’ve been deaf now I want noise”) this tune wrongly gets overlooked by Cornell & Co’s later work. A tale of fighting back, ‘Loud Love’ sees Cornell vowing “I’ll hammer on until you fight.” Damn right.

Super Best Friends Club – ‘Sunshine! SUPER MEGATRON!’ (chosen by Josh Clarke)

Super Best Friends Club is an attempt to stuff every possible positive emotion into a song. Search for them on youtube, you’ll find footage of them playing a 3 a.m slot in a small club dressed in little but bodypaint. The music is a mess or horns, electronics and poetry. I suppose with it being a super best friends club no idea is shot down and every noise is cherished. It’s tough to explain, just listen and hear for yourself.

Super best Friends Club – Super Megatron! by musicbornagency

WU LYF – ‘Dirt’ (chosen by Phil Udell)

My normal instincts when faced with the kind of ultra cool hype that has surrounded the debut album by WU LYF is to run a mile, but this is genuinely jaw dropping stuff. Boiling over with anger, passion and belief, ‘Dirt’ comes with a suitably provocative clip. This really does sound like the start of something world changing.

Fucked Up – ‘The Other Shoe’ (chosen by Niall Byrne)

Canadian punks Fucked Up usually move at a ferocious pace in terms of releases but an 80-minute long rock opera as their latest album? David Comes To Life is a concept album that maybe doesn’t manage to sustain interest despite the upkeep in energy over its duration but there are some gems in there. ‘The Other Shoe’ sounds like a punk-infused collaboration with fellow countrymen Broken Social Scene. The guitars layer beautifully over a simple riff, the intensity ramps up, drums kick while Damian Abraham does his grizzly best in the vocal stakes. It all builds to a tender female-voiced crescendo with the refrain “We’re dying on the inside.”

Fucked Up – The Other Shoe