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Selected Releases: Monday 12 May

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Martha Wainwright
I Know You’re Married
But I Have Feelings Too
MP3: Jesus & Mary

Dan Le Sac vs
Scroobius Pip
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Angles
MP3: Angles

Isobel Campbell &
Mark Lanegan
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Sunday At Devil Dirt
MP3: Seafaring Song

Album of the week is Martha Wainwright’s I Know You’re Married But I Have Feelings Too. I gave the record it’s first spin last night out in the back yard, eating some yummy BBQ. It’s a much more mature album than her debut, and more stylistically diverse all held together by that great voice.

A long awaited release, and this weeks runners-up are hip-pop duo Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. Hugely demonstrating to their doubters that last year’s Thou Shalt Always Kill was no flash in the pan, this is a record full of intelligent rhymes, deft beats and plenty of humour. A fantastic full length debut, only beaten into second place by a Scroobius Pip beard-hair’s breadth. The title track is a particular treat.

Also in the running for album of the week was Campbell & Lanegan’s second collaboration, Sunday At Devil Dirt. Deciding that the formula of 2006’s Mercury-nominated Ballad Of The Broken Seas was too good to break, the second LP is much the same. However, it is no less intriguing or satisfying. A rootsy, bluesy, cracked record full of songs about love and loss.

Death Cab For Cutie
Narrow Stairs
MP3: I Will Possess
Your Heart

Pendulum
In Silico
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MP3: Propane Nightmare

Flight Of The Conchords
S/T
.
.

Death Cab For Cutie release their second major-label LP, Narrow Stairs this week. The band claim the record to be wildly different to previous outings, a dangerous game to play when your last record was so critically acclaimed. Pendulum also try and follow up a massive success with In Silico. Flight Of The Conchords follow their cult TV hit with an album of their fun folk songs that made the series.

Martina Topley-Bird
The Blue God
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Gemma Hayes
The Hollow Of Morning
MP3: Out Of Our Hands

Santogold
S/T
MP3: L.E.S. Artistes

Three great singers, three new albums. The most hyped of the bunch is Philadelphia’s Santi White, aka Santogold. Her debut, self-titled album has been preceded by storming single L.E.S. Artistes. I hope the album follows that track more than her contribution to Mark Ronson’s Version, I found her vocals on Pretty Green really annoying.  The other two hae been relatively quite since their nominations for the Mercury Prize in the early 2000s. Both those albums, Quixotic and Night On My Side, were a complete treat. Having heard several tracks on Jools Holland recently, The Blue God isn’t as hot. Hayes’ form since her debut has been patchy too, but I haven’t heard The Hollow Of Morning.

Adem
Takes
.
.

The Black Angels
Directions To 
See A Ghost
MP3: Science Killer

The Shortwave Set
Replica Sun Machine
.
.

Finally, amongst the featued releases are three diverse albums from three diverse artists. Adem presents an album of covers as his third LP, featuring tracks by artists who inspired the Fridge bassist. The Black Angels’ second LP, Directions To See A Ghost is an unexpected treat. Picking up good reviews in most places is The Shortwave Set’s Replica Sun Machine, so that finds it’s way into this list.

Also out this week are the following: Duels – The Barbarians Move In, Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours, Wiley – Grime Wave, Drive By Argument – S/T, Matmos – Supreme Balloon, Shout Out Louds – Our Ill Wills, Stapleton – Rest And Be Thankful. Truly a bumper week.

Don’t forget to vote for your favourite release of the week, the poll is in the left sidebar.

Last week’s top 3 as voted by the readers were:
1. No Age – Nouns
2. Elvis Costello – Momofuku
3. Delays – Everything’s The Rush

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Selected Releases: Monday 5 May

No Age
Nouns
MP3: Miner

Tokyo Police Club
Elephant Shell
MP3: Tessellate

Delays
Everything The Rush
MP3: Girls On Fire

Elvis Costello
Momofuku
.
MP3: Stella Hurts

Hadouken!
Music For An
Accelerated Culture
MP3: That Boy That Girl

Russian Circles
Station
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MP3: Harper Lewis

Fleet Foxes
Sun Giant
MP3: Mykonos

Devon Sproule
Upstate Songs
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We Are The Physics
…Are OK At Music
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The Declining Winter
Goodbye Minnesota

Fear Falls Burning
Frenzy Of The Absolute

Wave Pictures
Instant Coffee Baby 

This week is a relatively quiet week due to the Bank Holiday in the UK, but there are still a few gems. Taking album of the week honours this week is the debut full length from Los Angeles duo No Age. Nouns follows on from last years fantastic compilation Weirdo Rippers. They have remained high in my playlists this year through their involvement with the superb Stereogram-Björk covers compilation, Enjoyed. Released on Sub Pop, Nouns is no disappointment. Noisy, fuzzy and distinctly lo-fi, this is a great set of tracks. Loose instrumentation tied with intense, shouted vocals all drowned in layers of feedback. A real return to the heyday of the great Seattle label.

Runners up this week are Chicago three-piece Russian Circles. Heavy as anything I’ve heard this year, this is epic instrumental stuff. Comparisons to stuff like Isis and even the prog-rock brigade headed by Mogwai etc abound, but this is more post-metal than rock. Cycling between bass-driven riffs and more introspective passages, the six tracks are a proper treat.

Also well worth checking out is the debut full-length from Canadian indie-rockers Tokyo Police Club. Stepping up their game from relatively samey and uninterestind EP A Lesson In Crime, the group have produced a taut, yet melodic, record. The main problem still remains the love or grate vocals. Single Tessellate is a particular highlight.

Definitely worth avoiding is the debut platter from haircut rave-rockers Hadouken. This is about as cynical as marketed music can get, finger on pulse referencing by numbers. I mean their Myspaz page claims them to be Asbo-Disco. Who the fuck would want to go there? It doesn’t even have the sense of humour of scenemates Does It Offend You, Yeah?. Awful.

Elsewhere a personal favourite of mine, Southampton’s Delays, release their third LP Everything’s The Rush. Still dishing out sunny rock to ever diminishing returns, this record unfortunately sees them take a step towards self-parody, with nothing to really grab you like Valentine or Lost In A Melody. A perhaps inevitable shame, but a shame nonetheless.

Folk-indie brings us a couple of peaches this week too. Devon Sproule re-releases her acclaimed 2003 record Upstate Songs, and the much-chanted Fleet Foxes put out the Sun Giant EP. Amongst the fans of the Seattle five-piece are Bristol legends Massive Attack, who included them in their Meltdown line-up. The EP itself has some gorgeous melodies, a real taster for the upcoming album.

More straight up indie can be had from both We Are The Physics and The Wave Pictures. The former come off as an updated Blondie, all jerky rhythms and urgent stabs of guitar. Looking forward to catching them at New Slang this week, supporting US greats Les Savy Fav. The Wave Pictures take a twee-er slant on things, not so much Belle & Sebastian as My Life Story, minus the orchestration. Not really my thing but recent single I Love You Like A Madman is great.

Elsewhere, Elvis Costello clouds the 30th anniversary of the seminal This Year’s Model with the patchy and absurdly titled Momofuku. Belgian noisemaker Fear Falls Burning follows his split LP with Nadja with another slice of ambient-noise, Frenzy Of The Absolute. Sounds like a Muse title, that. Norman Records’ album of the week is by Leeds’ The Declining Winter, whose Goodbye Minnesota is a beautiful piece of work. Check out Summer Turns To Hurt on his Myspaz.

Last week, WoW readers voted these as releases of the week:
1. Half Man Half Biscuit – CSI: Ambleside
2. Portishead – Third (How? I mean, come on!)
3. Madonna – Hard Candy

Don’t forget to vote for this week’s poll, situated in the left sidebar.

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