Another week, another Angle. This will be the final release for the year, but don’t be too sad; we’ll be back after the Christmas break to bring you some new gems to treasure. As it’s the last article of 2011, and with our proximity to Christmas, we’ve given it a very festive theme this time. Enjoy!
1. The 2 Bears – ‘Work’
The 2 Bears are a duo comprising of Hot Chip vocalist Joe Goddard and Raf Rundell. Taking its cues from the most recent Hot Chip album, with the strong bass and deep synths, the song ‘Work’ delivers a prominent beat coupled with a downright fast and catchy vibe along with Goddard’s instantly recognisable vocal style. Described vaguely as a fusion between hip-hop, pop and the electronic elements of garage, it’s a fresh and uplifting sound from the two talented musicians. Their debut album Be Strong is released on January 30th.
2. The Darcys – ‘Don’t Bleed Me’
Here is a four-piece rock band from Canada, who are signed up to the relatively large native label Arts and Crafts. ‘Don’t Bleed Me’ tends towards the lo-fi electronic rock that might be seen on more refined Delphic tracks, as well as vocal effects Radiohead fans might relate to. With twisting, sharp and hasty guitar riffs prominent throughout, The Darcys really infuse some power and depth into their musical repertoire. The song climaxes suddenly as the background fuzz drops away. Their self-titled debut album, which is free to download from their website, is well worth a listen.
3. Smith and Burrows – ‘When the Thames Froze’
Another duo, this time consisting of former Editors lead singer Tom Smith and ex-Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows. With a name that conjures up images of a respectable Victorian family-run business, the two are certainly yearning for simpler, traditional melodies in their album Funny Looking Angels. ‘When the Thames Froze’ is a touching and mellow instrumental song juxtaposed against the cold and bleak British melancholy, evident from the naming of the title. Despite this cool air vibe, the song is still uplifting and has enough spirit to be an excellent Christmas tune, away from the cheese and X Factor manufactured content we are used to.
4. The Killers – ‘The Cowboy’s Christmas Ball’
OK, so The Killers can’t exactly be described as a new band, but this Christmas release is a niche element to their well-known rock creations. Taking their inspiration from American country music and swinging tunes, The Killers have provided us with a festive treat, filled with Christmas bells, repetitive beats and the style anyone would be used to in order to create a hit throughout the festive period. There’s not much to add other than it’s a fun song for the time of the year, with the band showing off some new styles which will please fans of the genre.
5. Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler – ‘Home for the Holidays’
This is the lead single by London folk star Emmy the Great and boyfriend and Ash frontman Tim Wheeler, taken from their forthcoming Christmas collection This Is Christmas. The album is a mix between original tunes and some classic Christmas covers. Like a lot of indie pop albums from the festive season, at first you may be worried to be overwhelmed by twee, but fear not – the endearing nostalgia and the fact they both can knock out a great melody will melt anyone with a Grinchy heart! Check out the soaring strings and lo-fi drums, complete with the accompanying sounds of the mandatory sleigh bells. Merry “alternative” Christmas!
Contributions from David Martin, Rob Leane and Andy Neilson.