Getting recommendations from friends and contacts can be a difficult thing to handle. Someone says, “Hey, listen to this, you’ll love it!” and you listen to it and it’s Austrian techno-pop-oompah-rap. What the hell do they think I like listening to? But other times you get some real gems. One of my favourite bands of the last five years I only know about thanks to a tip from someone I’d only ever talked to on thar Interwebs (ta, Searsy), so you’ve always got to give them a try.
So here’s a selection of bands that people have said “Hey, give this a try!”. And I have. And they are good. Oh yes.
First off, it’s Chateau Laut1, from sunny Berlin. Occasionally taken to wearing Art Of Noise style face masks, they make a quite marvellous noise which is reminiscent of Sonic Youth back when they were good, on huge amounts of happy pills. Maybe like Mogwai relocated to Ibiza. I’d suggest you give Song for Ape Sue a try (below) – it’s really rather good. I especially like the odd Cramps on methadone bit near the end. It’s about 26 zillion songs in one and is over before you know it.
Their first album, Chateau Laut, is out now on Blunoise Records. I’ve certainly enjoyed their sweet, sweet noise. And make sure you watch this beautiful video for “When Sound Is Light”, made by Con Men and Stefan Fähler:
Second off, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. I love Mariachi horns. I’ve got a real thing for them. They start up in a song and my heart just melts. Now, I’ve had a little listen to their new album “Up From Below” and there’s all sorts of mariachi horns in there. And string sections. And an accordian. And handclaps. And many, many other things that made me go “Ooh! This sounds a bit like Devendra Banhart and Calexico meets Arcade Fire down an alley where The Band Of Holy Joy are having a picnic”. That’s a good thing, by the way. The one that really got me thinking of Band Of Holy Joy is the opener, “40 Day Dream”:
See what I mean? Joyous, rampant chaos. Enjoy, and there’s more to come from this lot.
I like new music. It makes me smile.
1 I’ve had to remove the circumflex (sp?) from the name, as it freaks out aggregators like hypem and elbo.ws.