The Dreamers : "Någon Annan"+"My Stupid Heart" mp3 single (Friendly Noise)
Unexpected news to see the anglo-swedish duo The Dreamers (Kevin Wright aka Mr Wright + Sarah Nyberg Pergament aka Action Biker) back with those two songs, another contribution to the Friendly Noise faultless multi-format hard/soft catalog.
On the low-key “Någon Annan” (Someone else), their first song in Swedish (!), they achieve their most obsessive and persisting loop chorus ever. As for the other title, "My Stupid Heart", it is another breathtaking piece of K. Wright's sweet & sour way of imaginary life sung by an angel...
Furthermore, this gives hope again to see the duo release something new in the -not too far- future...
Here's the LINK for free download of the 2 songs.
Compute : This (Distortion Girl)
Listening to Ulrika Mild and her music machines, aka Compute, on her freshly released debut album might reveal some striking similarities with lending an ear at Sarah Assbring (El Perro del Mar) singing some good old Vince Clarke-penned tunes (especially Yazoo ones) ! This statement could severely frighten some of you, but actually you better not plug up your ears.
Both Sarah and Ulrika are from Göteborg, both collaborated with Jens Lekman in the past and both have the uncannily same voice grain...but comparison does not necessarily end at this point.
Besides the first sight clinicallity and coldness of those 9 synthpop pieces, there's also a deep background melancholy and delicacy indeed. This proves furthermore that Ulrika Mild is not only a good audio-master or musician but also a very brainy singer-songwriter ! UNDERBAR !!!
The Wild Swans : English Electric Lightning 7" (Occultation)
After releasing one of the best 12" of all time (Revolutionnary Spirit / God Forbid on Zoo Records back in 1982) you can't do anything but fall down from your cult status pedestal (their comeback circa 88-90)
Well, fuck no, after two decades of silence, The Wild Swans are back again with this epic 7" and I just love it ! Album to follow !!
=> BUY !
Martin Dupont : Full Discography reedited on CD (Infrastition)
More than 2 decades after their 3 cult albums released from 1984 to 1987 (Just Because, Sleep is a Luxury & Hot Paradox), French band Martin Dupont ( Alain + Brigitte + Beverley from Marseille) has become a true myth amongst a few "wave" afficionados & other music fans.
With its introspective lyrics and haunting instrumelos, the band is not just another great French coldwave outfit of its time...their music has got that touch of cerebrality (see NYC postpunk scene) and that sort of "ambition" that, to my eyes, makes them surpass the likes of KaS Product and Charles de Goal...
Resurrected several years ago by Veronika of Minimal Wave with the "Lost & Late" vynil compilation & on the funny RVB transfert DVD compilation with the re-actualized "It's so" video, it was about time to finally release their entire catalog on CD with loads of bonus tracks !!! You can order them HERE directly from French label Infrastition !!!
Two if by Sea
When Teresa meets Lisle, it's like dreaming the impossible dream. Time is frozen and nature is still. The miracle of the instant. The strength and the fragility of the human being gathered into the sound of the music.
The Existentialists : All the Polka dot Bandits EP (Topplers Records)
The Existentialists is a one-man band hailing from Toulouse France, and nothing in this newly-UK-released debut EP is giving any bloody clue about it !!
With its freewheeling and sweety-quirky autonomy, Jimmy's music obviously let us think of all those 60's psychedelia & mod outfits (think The Action, The Small Faces, The Creation...), with a hint of TVP's-inspired impulses and a surge of Half Japanese's DIY preciosity.
Organs, girly-poppy voices, John Wayne hommage, garage rock, hamonica, Dean Treacy obsession and Andy Warhol ghost, all wrapped in a harmonious unison, everything here makes this EP a golden smash wonder !!! Full length to follow soon.
Buy it HERE for 1£ only and get a free comp added !!!
Automelodi fait ses courses EP (Autoproduced)
Take some french Növo (Martin Dupont or Ruth), a bit of Neue Deutsche Welle (Grauzone or DAF), a pinch of Belgian Electronic Body Music (Neon Judgement or A Split Second) and a dash of melodic Synthpop too (think OMD)... mix and squeeze everything, add some drastic contemporary POP sensibility, production savoir-faire and a visionary speech, you'll get Automelodi brand new debut EP, 5 top-notch songs (+one hidden), a condensed summary of what you secretly expected for years without waiting for it anymore...
=> ORDER it directly HERE
Doggy : Mon colonel CDEP (Anorak Records)
The golden age of French Anorak Pop circa 1992-1996 is engraved somewhere deep in our hearts and seminal names like Des garçons ordinaires, Les Freluquets, Les Chaplinn's or Les Poissons Solubles have now officially been declared national lost treasures.
Amongst those once legendary indie labels like Cornflakes Zoo, Alienor or Rosebud, Anorak Records has resurfaced from that revolved period without losing its initial spirit, being now integrally part of those new generation labels, releasing CDR's from pop bands all over the world, mainly discovered through Myspace.
Guillaume Bassard, Doggy's frontman, formerly of the fabulous Caramel, was the soul behind this resurrection -back in 2003- firstly intended for the release of Doggy's debut album "Des stars dans tous les bus", literally "Stars in every bus" , a quite promising opus, made of jangly guitars, some strings too!, and even ...some english words !
Six years later, with this brand new EP, the bus has become an airplane, quicker, bigger, safer, with an aerodynamical deluxe fuselage. Initial double propulsion is ensured by "Mon Colonel" and the well-known "Les petits parcours", both straightforward clap-along hits. The flight in itself is delightfuly running after Caramel footsteps with a bit of Arnold Turboust in the back, testimony of insouciance and generosity. The landing is the crown achievement of the voyage, with "Les jours de transition" and "Paris 2012", confirming that Guillaume's songwriting skills can reach stratosphere upper regions..."Je prends de l'altitude par rapport à la pelouse"...
Buy the EP HERE and put your player to "Automatic pilot"...
The Wendy Darlings : We come with friendly Purposes (LostMusic Records)
Can't think of another French band sounding like this before...
Hailing from Clermont-Ferrand, The Wendy Darlings go for a basic trio formula with some sense of fuzz-pop guitar mangling, tempered (or not) by Saddam Suzy's gentle (or not)voice, reminiscent of those post-shoegaze noise-pop UK bands that partly saved music from Britpop boredom in the mid 90's (think Prolapse), all of this topped with some floating C-86 intoxicating triviality...
This is the ultimate release by Lostmusic Records who sadly announced the end of their activities recently. Who believes this ?
Mr Wright : Diary of a Fool (Series Two)
As time goes by, we all have new stories to tell. And as long as the pendulum clock keeps ticking, there must be music to come in phase with the beat...
From his debut masterpiece "Thames Valley Leather Club" on the legendary él Records to his latest solo accomplishment "Metropolitan" on Siesta, Kevin Wright has been casually and wryly flying over pop trends for more than 20 years. And more than ever, he still knows how to get his timeless pop and elegiac feelings accross. Most recent projects like "The Dreamers" or "The Party and the Guests" are there to testify it adequately.
On his first ever release, "Late Again", a very obscure 7" from 1984, a personal liner note : "There are some songs which perhaps don't really adhere to the pop structure, and are more concerned with a kind of emotion, a point of view, rather than attacking the mass market. A personal point - but that's not to say that there's no humour. Some impressions:a small English town at night, wet, glistening streets, giggling schoolgirls and hedonistic lads. Also, disappointment, perhaps always...". Straight to the point.
"Diary of a Fool", to be released this March 31st, will be Mr Wright's ultimate album. And still, those point of views and impressions, turned into feelings...gambler in an old-fashioned mixed duet "Band Apart", lonely in a jangly "Tomorrow not Today", magician in a cinematico-retro "Diary of a Fool", untouchable in a baroque "The Arrows", lost in a modern "Desert of Love" tango, nostalgic in a very poppy "I wish I had a Girl like you", dreamer in a fully orchestrated "Look at the stars" - in duet with Bid-, hopeful in classic ballad "Don't look back", annihilated in a "Civilization" guitar wall, and...head-over-heels on the undressed "My true Love".
A brilliant testament !!! Order it HERE
Little Big Adventure
For 2 years now, swedish artist Magnus Sätterström, aka LBA, has been putting several easy going treasury songs available on the web and his Ben & jerry's has been nominated as one of P 'n C 2007 fave songs. (Oooh yeah, who kerrs ?)
After the release of a first official CDR EP on Cosy Records, here comes the announcement of his signing to Labrador Records. HURRAYYYYYYY !!!!
The first single to be released in may is called "The hateful eye" and is made available HERE, in the old LBA tradition... A bit more upbeat than previous stuff, as if the Whitest Boy Alive was having some inspiration again...
Charlie Big Time : The tall Storeys of... (Series Two)
Charlie Big Time’s
Despite a perfectible production, the 11 gems from their debut album “The Tall Storeys of…” are setting up the nearly-perfect imaginary soundtrack of a black & white early 80’s holiday home movie, built of a Mc Lennan/Forster-like subtle songwriting framework and a Split Enz-esque vocal harmonies outline…
As for live appearances, Charlie Big Time will be playing a few acoustic shows later in the year to coincide with a new EP and a new album but that’s another story…
For the time being, order the album immediately HERE, open your heart and enjoy!!!
Aujourd'hui Madame : El Americano EP (Susy Records)
After Cloudberry, Weepop! and Edition 59, here's a brand new 3" CD label hailing this time from Peru and run by a young POP lover called Pancho ! Releases include Desmond Reed, PaddlePOP (a funny band from Singapore) and... Aujourd'hui Madame.
After his "Italian cassette", and despite being dropped in the middle of nowhere (US countryside), french POP aesthete Philippe Lavergne has indeed succeeded in quickly releasing some new material in Paris with his fellow bandmates (a new album is also ready) in the purest "Aujourd'hui Madame" style : heavy Fenders at the service of a heavy POP sensibility with heavy french ingredients on top.
The EP starts gently with the Rivers Cuomo-esque "Faux-semblants" and its realistico-naïve french lyrics, then follows up with the charming "Before You leave me" and its rhythmed guitar reverbs, continues with "Une saison Particulière" as if Fugu was having a session with Peter Buck, then finishes by giving Joy Division's "Atmosphere" a new POP dimension. Welcome back Mr Lavergne !!
Klaus & Kinski : "tu hoguera està ardiendo" (Jabalina Musica)
"Your bonfire is burning". With such a debut title and such a mysterious actor nickname, spanish band Klaus & Kinski is revealing itself inside a smoke-screen.
And the content is cast in the same undefined mould. From classic guitar indie and shoegazer-type songs you are quickly dropped into soft pop (think Margo Guryan), acoustico synthpop or galactic boleros (think Ana D).
Klaus & Kinski tends to spread an overall ethereal and hazy feeling, wrapped-up with Marina girlie-pop voice, new attractive bits being uncovered after each and every listening. A very strong release again by Jabalina.
Minimal : Demo (Selfreleased)
France, electro, minimalism, basic, flesh, pop, beaux-arts, mixed duo, metronomism, English, decadence, objects, game, dissimulation...
Lean Tales : Christmas 2008 demos (selfreleased)
At first it felt exactly like Black Tambourine’s ‘Throw Aggi off the Bridge’, like a mixture of action, pure speed and shy seduction. The girl put her lipgloss on. She adjusted the heart-shaped barrette in her hair and watched over the banister as Aggi was falling – eternally. It felt like something sweet could actually come out of something scary. The girl had a funny, strawberry-scented smile, a smile that said: ‘Stephen Pastel is now mine’.
Glasgow-based Lean Tales have something of the now-defunct Organ. They’re shivering in a winter of souvenirs. They have something of the Smiths, too: something that gleams within – the lace-like light of the guitar, maybe. Imogen sings icily, yet passionately: she’s the queen of cool playing with fire. LT have something, and it might be for you. Look. It’s a piece of music and it’s a piece of their hearts, it’s a part of guitar and a part of themselves – it is both the interrupted line of the bass and the flimsy line of the sky.
LT are a simple, humble, boys-and-girls band. Their demo recordings result from the clumsy collision of souls and sounds. They are deeply imperfect and deeply attractive: the power of the void. ‘The taste of Superglue’ and ‘Penny on the Floor’ are the most delicious time capsules I’ve tasted in a long time.
How old is the sound of Scotland today? It is still young and gripping, a continuous, contagious bliss. It is still in motion: the draft of the love letter you never sent.
Pathos is pretty. Pathos is alright.
The Candees - Candyfloss LP(Unreleased 1986 - Issued Accident Records 1997)
Yummy yummy yummy supersweetened pop was not the kind of music targeted for 80's kids, and it's no surprise that this 1986 demo release from all-girl combo The Candees remained hidden in the suburbs of hell for more than a decade, being only fully released by those treasure seekers at Accident Records in 1997 !
At the exception of several acts like The Jet Set, Mari Wilson or The Maisonettes or a record label like The Dance Network, happy bubblegum immediacy was not quite hip on those dark and depressed times indeed...
In effect, behind this "manufactured" girl group ( no no no, not the 4 sixties' chicks pictured on the cover) we found Paul Bultitude (Advertising, Secret Affair & Dance Network producer) with the help of Jet Set's multi-talented songwriter & incidentally pop genious Paul Bevoir, mysteriously credited on the LP as C. Stephens...Contrived innocence, yearning for love, childlike themes and catchy melodies, this is music for pop lovers who never grew up !!!
Soon to be released on CD on Accident Records
Le Couleur : Petit piano électrique (Self-released)
Sometimes, discovering a new band name or an artwork is sufficient to perceive it could be great stuff. And, when you get both of these clues, you're almost sure you're not wrong...You call this in french "Un a priori positif". No need to traduce it, huh.
Once you read it is produced by your fave francophone artist (!), Xavier Paradis aka Automelodi, you just know you will be conquered, without having heard a single note of it. You say in french "C'est dans la poche!", "It's in the bag", well yeah it directly was !!
This debut EP by Montrealese quartet Le Couleur is everything we cherish indeed, from synth pop ritornellos "petit piano électrique" to nymphet melody "deux et 2", to modern waltz "Bonaventure" to metronomico-electrico minuet "Concerto Rock" to polysonic yé-yé-disco tune "Africola", all of this galvanized by Laurence Giroux-Do' s unperfect voice (in the sense of perfect, of course). Miam miam.
Paddington Distortion Combo "frän hat till handling" CDr (Self released)
Those of you who think Swedish indiepop is all about fluffy, dare I say twee, Sarah records loving bands, think again !The diversity of great new Swedish POP shouldn't be underestimated and just to prove my point here is Paddington Distortion Combo. Theirs (or his, as PDC is basically Carl Olsson) is an old school electro sound in the vein of early Kraftwerk or the Human League when they were still The Future (pun intended!).
Paddington Distortion Combo songs glisten like dark crystals: always the sense of foreboding is sweetened by a supreme sense of melody. The album "fran hat till handling" (of which there are sadly only 100 copies) opens with "industrial skyline", an electronic waltz to rival Kraftwerk's "neon lights". The more up tempo, almost rave-like synth melody of "Lilja 4-ever" hides a dark heart (no wonder when you know the movie after which it is named is just about the most heartbreakingly bleak movie ever)
Another song "allt är förbi" begins with a long piercing Throbbing Gristle like intro only to suddenly change track and pick out one of the loveliest synth motifs on the album, like finding a multicoloured flower in a desolate dark industrial estate. The title track "frän hat till handling" gurgles like an electronic waterfall, while another track "minnen hem & fran" is a Cabaret Voltaire like mantra, repeating the words "memories from home" over and over again. "Let's create a new world" could be prime time Warp records (think LFO) with it's stomping techo like undertow.The album closes with the crystaline melody of "ship" which adds some guitar and creates an almost Japanese ambience.
There's no doubt that "fran hat till handling" is one of the finest electronic sounds of the year.
Strangely woke up this morning with the NightMoves' song "TransDance" in my head so I decided to take on my cheapy mixtable, some discs hanging around and tried to queue them up in the best way I could. Here's the result, hope you'll enjoy :
1. Gerd Michaelis Chor : Schön fängt Jede Liebe An (1969)
3. Theoretical Girl : The Hypocrite (2008)
4. Elsa Leroy : Mieux vaut tard que jamais (1965)
5. Cocoanut Groove : The End of the Summer on
6. Jens Lekman : Sipping on the sweet Nectar (Bogdan Irkuk Mix – 2008)
7. Beaumont : Discothèque à la carte (2001)
8. NightMoves : Transdance (1981)
9. Little Boots : Stuck on Repeat (2008)
Epilogue : Carol & Snowy Red : So low (1981)
Comet Gain : Love without Lies 7" (Twee as Fuck)
B. Books of California
Released in collaboration with "What's Your Rupture" almost in the same time than the -sort of - new album, this single has galvanized the birth of a so called "Twee As Fuck" label, related to the well-known London Club nights. Opportunism or pure fan devotion ? Don't know what to think about it except both songs are leaving a black imprint deep in my head ! Mission accomplished...
Erik Wikström : Marathon / Autonight EP (Feed Recordings)
Prepare for some hypnotic scandisconavian killer tunes here from Mr Wikström, who already mixed The Embassy and Tough Alliance under the monikers of Meatboys. Simply imagine Lindström meeting Lil' Louis. Worth bending your knees, clapping and shouting!!
=> get it HERE
Aldemaro Romero and his Onda Nueva : S/T (CBS Columbia 1972 -Sony Japan 2001)
-"What about you & me appearing on Pop 'n Cherries, honey ?"
-"Are you kidding ?"
-"Not at all ! They gonna feature A. Romero's 1972 classy album... you know, the one in English with 'It's impossible', 'Bluesette', 'Venezuela' and 'Sunrise, Sunset' remember ?
-"Tchou bou tchou bou tchou bou tchou bou tchou bou tchou bou tchoouu..."
Crystal Stilts : Alight of Night LP (Slumberland)
I feel dazzled. I feel frozen. I feel lost. I feel bound. I feel distorted. I feel preserved. I feel strange. I feel dead. I feel nostalgic. I feel disturbed. I feel sick. I feel mad. I feel unconscious. I feel intact. I feel escaped. I feel impatient. I feel re-created. I feel perverted. I feel redeemed. I feel ecstatic. I feel affected. I feel perverse. I feel chaotic. I feel un-real. I feel astonished. I feel transfixed. I feel locked. I feel violent. I feel innocent. I feel transformed. I feel like standing on crystal stilts.
Moderne : Indicatif 7" (Arabella 1980)
B. Vers l'Est
French synth-wave band Moderne has only released 2 albums in its short-lifetime. "Indicatif" is the only 7" single released from their selftitled 1980 debut album, my favourite one, more minimalist, more gentle and straightforward than the 2nd album "L'espionne aimait la musique".
Both albums were released on the famous Arabella label, also home of M, Lio, Buzy, Lili Drop... Bernard Guimond's voice on the debut essay is also softer and smoother than Dominique Marchetti's novö-styled tone on the second. As some might hear it, the mix has been done in Düsseldorf by Joschko Rudas, the man behind Kraftwerk's "Man Machine"...case made !!
Je Suis Animal : Self Taught Magic From A Book (Angular Recording Corps)
Je Suis Animal are what they say they are: an untamed band. They’ll be found playing in the forest - little girls’ singing shrilly, crying, screaming, little boys banging drums. They’re but a bunch of weird kids fighting and crawling on the ground. “Self-Taught Magic From A Book” is their first album.
The music they make is painfully pretty. It is simple and clever. The main chanteuse sings words of soft hysteria and lackadaisical desire. There’s a Violette Nozières look in her eyes. High-pitched voice and high-pitched claims.
The music they don’t make is equally pretty. JSA play invisible, secret chords. At times, they rush to the landmine field once set on fire by My Bloody Valentine. You didn’t even know it was still here before they lit it up again. At other times, they are simply out of the world. (A Sunny Day In Glasgow, whom they share glass paper aesthetics with, are just a bit further up the way to estrangement and derealisation/deconstruction of the indiepopscape)
JSA are two girls and three boys. They burst into laughter and burst into tears, with the same truthful eagerness. They are both physical (primitive) and cerebral, both tuneful and experimental, which might be the edgiest place to stand. Their music is mainly dry though, minimal: the deficient noise of lonely hearts beating underneath crystal, transparent skins. Bang. Bang. Bang. It is a sweet syncope – a Stereolabian, cool rumour (Beginning of Time). It is noise forever – It’s love. Girl cries wolf. Boy cries too.
And it’s raining outside. It’s been raining for days. They’re somewhere in Norway staring at their frozen effects pedals and I’m here gazing at my rain-drenched shoes and you’re obviously somewhere else, looking elsewhere, trying to figure out what comes next, and how many more seconds you can hold your breath before it starts to hurt.
Purple Submarine Orchestra : Acapulco EP (Martyrs of Pop)
Welcome to the fantastic world of Martyrs of Pop, a world of rainbows and candy sugar. Your host for this journey will be French music aesthete Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe, producer, journalist, pop entertainer and now Martyrs of Pop mogul...
In the long tradition of French orchestral pop à la Louis Philippe, here comes at last the second audio release from the newly founded multimedia label, with this classy 7" by parisian duo Purple Submarine Orchestra.
Mathieu and Nicolas are not totally unknown to pop lovers as they used to be in the band Fantastic! , initiator of several cult easy-bossa-guitarpop-inspired EP's on Siesta and Les Disques Aquatiques some ten years ago... Songs like "Brian Wilson" or "Starfield" deserve a sunny place in the POP Pantheon and I'd wish there is somebody keen enough to release a Fantastic! retrospective CD one day soon !
As for the Acapulco EP, the duo remains true to its unique style, somewhere in between Cardinal's sophistication and Paul Williams ease (think The Love Boat). The great bossa-driven "Cha Cha Cha", is liven up by chords, flute and a charming frenglish! -, "Rain" with its initial sense of intimacy literally finishes with God's favor in its last minute, "En Route" with its ta ta la ta harmonies reminds a lot of early Orwell stuff, finally "Theme from Acapulco" closes the ball perfectly with its glockenspiel and its nonchalant gimmick. It is to be noted that "Le Ciel blanc de Pigalle", a song that wouldn't have denoted on several early 70's French movies, will be released soon too on a Martyrs of Pop compilation along with songs from Louis Philippe, Bertrand Burgalat, April March,...! But for the time being, let's go to Acapulco have a spring break in the winter !!!
Acapulco EP, officially out on December 5th => Preorder HERE !!!!
Some of you might know this great Serge Gainsbourg tune called "Les papillons noirs", sung in 1966 in duet with legendary intellectual french demoiselle Michèle Arnaud, and later reworked with Serge himself by French powerpop outfit Bijou in 1978...Dark -black- thoughts, melancholic mood...
Papillons Noirs is now the name of a brand new London/Belfast based 7" inch label and the link with abovementionned song is not purely coincidence...
The debut release of the label is a transcendental reprise of Air's "Cherry Blossom Girl" by Chicago romantic wonderboy Fireflies and next releases will include "Ebay watchlist" from Swedish superwoman Komon plus new stuff from HSOL and Cloetta Paris !
So watch out for Papillons Noirs next dispatches, all valuable promises of harmonies for your ears, for your heart...
=> go to the Magasin buy some Papillons Noirs stuff
Botpop Volume One (Happy Robots)
The term "indietronica" is finally being reclaimed by the very wonderful Happy Robots records (home of Arthur and Martha) to represent a compilation of perfect pop ditties where pure electropop and indie aesthetics cross-pollinate to breed a new kind of POP! Whereas the term "indietronica" has more and more become an excuse for uneventful underachieving singer-songwriter type "indiepop" artists to make their meandering "tunes" look more interesting and "radical" by adding some superficial electronical clicks (and no I am not naming any names, you will just have to work it out for yourselves) the Happy Robots team show how it should properly be done.
No mere melding of an electronic undercarriage to dull pedestrian indiepop tunes here. Instead we get a compilation full of first rate electropop gems, albeit with a true independent heart beating under their shiny robotic exterior. BotPop opens up with the latest instalment in Swedish band the Bridal Shop's quest to make THE perfect pop song of the year and they might just have achieved their goal. Whereas their songs have always been the perfect marriage between true Sarah records-esque indiepop and a Saint Etienne-esque dancepop shimmer, "cloudkick" sees them perfecting this skill by adding an even more dancefloor friendly touch, making it an almost balearic type classic for the naughties.
Arthur and Martha themselves deliver another highlight with new track "ultra alliance", less a gliding Kraftwerk-esque tune than their "autovia" single, but more of a New Order-type melody vs Pet Shop Boys influenced dancefloor anthem…
Former Plone member Mike In Mono shows he is still master of the electropop instrumental, albeit in a less children television/radiophonic workshop take on the Plone sound. "Promare" sounds more like one of those wonderful instrumentals you could find tucked away on the b-side of an old Soft Cell
The wonderfully monikered “Television Keeps Us Apart” deliver a sort of electropop take on the classic
Jupiter's "rollergirl" is everything you'd wish a Annie song would sound like (but seldom does). The Hong Kong in the 60's track "meet at Vincent Sq" sounds like Kraftwerk soundtracking a 60's spy thriller with Laetitia Stereolab or Kazu Blonde Redhead on additional vocals, and is utterly gorgeous (again and again they show themselves to be one of the finest and most versatile new bands about and I for one can't wait for them to get round to releasing an album which will be an absolute masterpiece). Ooh, I could go on and on ... There's no fillers here.
The enigmatic The Coal Daughters close proceedings with "panzerkrieg", another stately electropop instrumental which could have been included on Japan's classic "gentlemen take polaroids" album (and that is meant as a compliment).