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Back in the dark, dim mists of time (oh ok then, April), I mused away on some bad reviews Pitchfork had given two artists – Freelance Whales and The Kissaway Trail. The former had released one of my favourite records of the year, and the latter had piqued my curiosity thanks to a little (or rather quite long) tune named “SDP”. Which, I have been reliably informed, is not about David Owen’s lot.

So, fast forwarding half a year, I hadn’t really got round to listening much to The Kissaway Trail’s album that much. Stuff got in the way, you know. But I remembered how Pitchfork said that they were just like The Arcade Fire, only worse, and how I thought Arcade Fire’s new album was like “Funeral”, only worse. A little lightbulb went on in my head. Going back to “Sleep Mountain” might cure those Arcade Fire blues. And guess what? They did.

Because they aren’t just a cheap pale Scandinavian Ikea pine copy of Arcade Fire’s expensive mahogany Habitat coffee table. Not at all. There’s lots more going on under the surface, lots of little touches and details that Scandinavians seem to be excelling at. If anything, there’s more Mew to them than anything; and a hefty dose of fellow Scandis Aerial and Mixtapes and Cellmates. The album’s been keeping me company on my long commute for the best part of a week now, and is safely ensconsing itself into the nascent Albums Of 2010 list slowly forming in my head.

So, feeling not quite enraptured by Arcade Fire’s latest? Try The Kissaway Trail. It might be just what you’re after.

MP3: Beat Your Heartbeat by The Kissaway Trail

MP3: We Used To Wait by Arcade Fire

Amazon’s The Kissaway Trail Store

Amazon’s Arcade Fire Store

Pinch Punch

First of the month, no returns.

The lack of posting round here could well be taken as being a clear example of the maxim stating “A man who is very, very busy has no time to blog”. Whilst my life has become a thrilling rollercoaster of new projects, Spitfires, drunken nights out and all sorts of unexpected joys and challenges, these things are not conducive to the process of sitting down and writing something interesting1.

So, as first blog post of the month, I’d like to go right back to the dark-ish days of 1984, whereupon a bunch of reprobates named The Very Things released a gloriously doom-laden, yet humerous tune entitled “The Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes”. The reason why this popped into my head last night are long and varied and involve a cream-coloured limestone called Oolite, upon which a bit of research led me to a reverse-engineered version of the classic videogame Elite, entitled, yep, Oolite. The geekly types will, of course, see the link here.

Oh Lord Won't You Buy Me A Docking Computer

Anyway, reminiscences of my mis-spent teenage years listening to this song and playing that game notwithstanding, this is a great song, with a great video (song starts at about 1:30, by the way). And Elite was a great game. Yep, I’ve installed Oolite and I’ve been listening to The Very Things again, for the first time in many, many years. What fool said nostalgia sucked?

1 “Chance would be a fine thing” shout the riffraff at the back.

MP3: The Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes by The Very Things

Buy “The Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes” (CD/MP3)