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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

New Year New Music Part Two – Aerial

Hmm, it’s good to see that my New Years Resolution is going well. Six days into the New Year and I’ve only managed two posts so far. And only one in the series of New Year New Music. I’m blaming the snow. *Sigh*

Right, time to remedy that with a new tune by those chirpy Swedes Aerial, who have a new single out. Entitled “Velvet Light Trap”, it’s not quite as immediate as their last single “All Refrain”, but it’s still a fine bit of indie-pop, sounding again not unlike the late lamented Beulah. And it’s not two minutes too short this time. They’ve got themselves a release date for “Put It This Way In Headlines” (Feb 17th in Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and even some live dates round Europe:

Feb 20 Offenbach (Germany) – Hafen 2
Feb 23 Vienna (Austria) – Rhiz
Feb 24 Dresden (Germany) – Conni
Feb 25 Berlin (Germany) – Nbi
Feb 27 Ribnitz (Germany) – Ajz

(Those dates have been cut & pasted from an email, so I’m really not sure about those venue names. “Nbi”? “Ajz”? Eh?)

The album’s available on the website to have a listen to, so make sure you listen to it then order yourself a copy. Take that, Bono!

MP3: Velvet Light Trap by Aerial