Tracks of the Week: 17 September 2011

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Matthew Britton is our human blog-music aggregator, kind of like Hype Machine but with feelings and shit. Every week he goes, puts on his rubber gloves and trawls the darkest sewers of Soundcloud, reporting back to TLOBF with his findings. Sometimes he strikes gold, sometimes just faeces, but one day, maybe, just maybe, a band covered here will play an actual gig in front of human people. We continue to live in hope.

Writing a music blog does certain things to you. First of all, it makes you instantly less likeable to anyone who knew you in real life before you signed up to Blogger and started nicking stuff from Altered Zones. After that, you slowly have your sense of musical perspective warped beyond all recognition, with bands like Cults and Big Deal turned into the kind of mega-stars living the high life, on a kind of pedestal that normal people reserve for acts that tour arenas.

The inevitable conclusion is that you start consuming music at such a rate that it all becomes a little bit meaningless, your self-worth is slowly ruined and you begin pining over gigs that are free at some dive in Bristol just so you can see that band you’ve heard two mp3s of, cursing yourself all the while.

But, thankfully, most people have the sense not to be a music blogger. For those of you who actually have a life that doesn’t involve crawling through Soundcloud embeds, listening to a 13 year old producer’s attempts to become the next DeadMau5 and questioning the point of your existence – this is my weekly column ‘Tracks of the Week’, a ‘Week In Embeds Of Different Share-Media Sources’ if you will. And this is the inaugural edition, so you can claim to like it before it got lame and/or turned me into an international megastar. Hopefully.

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Soft Focus – I Was On Fire

First up is a sublime number from a band that come from Brooklyn without being one of those bands that you hate for coming from Brooklyn. Still, Soft Focus is the kind of name that you’d expect one of the many millions of Washed Out wannabes to use as a moniker for their latest reverb heavy project, but instead comes across all heavenly, with vocals that tiptoe along where lesser talents might’ve simpled clattered through. If you’re looking for a simple way out, shoegaze is as close of a match you’re going to get – but that’s still absolutely miles off. They just defy expectations: it’s what they do. This is their first track and it’s delightfully called ‘I Was On Fire’. Oh, nostalgia.

Soft Focus – I Was On Fire

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Sight Seeing - Feel

And in a good week for the traditional hipster hotspot, we’re back in Brooklyn again for a Sight Seeing, who seem like the type who’ve listened to a My Bloody Valentine album once or twice and decided to make a band based around what they think they can remember it sounds like. The result is remarkably polished, a concoction layered and layered again to form some dense, melodic mulch that kind of makes you wish you could go back to the 80’s but ultimately gives you the sense that you’d be absolutely useless in any other decade. Such is life.

Sight Seeing – Feel

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Make Believe Ballroom - Three

Though they probably wish they were, Bos Angeles don’t come from New York, or Los Angeles (despite the name), or anywhere cool. They’re from Boscombe. Nobody cool has ever come from Boscombe before. Maybe more will in the future given that they’re one of the hottest new acts in the country at the minute – with new tracks on the way, we’re treated to some excellent tunes to fill the time by the band’s very own frontman. Working under the name Make Believe Ballroom, ‘Three’ is nothing like what he makes with his Bos bros. Lift music from an alternate, rad future, this is going to be the opening track on Art is Hard’s forthcoming compilation – tracks from which will probably be clogging up this column for weeks to come.

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Waiters - Tomorrowland

Manchester’s DIY scene centres largely around the same group of people, who endlessly form and reform under various different guises, creating all the while. The dudes that make up Waiters are in other bands, playing under different names and doing slightly different tracks, but with ‘Tomorrowland’ they seem to have reached some kind of creative zenith. And they even got one of fellow scroungers Former Bullies to make the video, nonsensical as the track itself relentlessly builds and builds and builds until it all falls in on itself.

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Pool x I Break Horses – Hearts

One thing missed out on the introduction to the pathetic lot of a blogger is the addiction one gets to remixes and cover versions – any shape, any size, any style, but give a blogger an alternative take on a track they’re already in love with an you can count down the seconds until they’re breathlessly hammering out a post about it. Pool know this, and they know that everyone in their right minds has fallen for the I Break Horses album. Even with their inability to BCC an email, this is meat and drink to any wannabe tastemaker/bloke sat in a bedroom at his mum’s house in his mid-20’s. Hopefully their own stuff will be just as tasty, and will be delivered before everyone’s forced to get a job and move out.

I Break Horses x Pool – Hearts

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Palace x Destiny’s Child – Say My Name

PALACE takes a different route to the same destination, opting for a classic (for anyone born between 1985-1990), managing to strip Beyoncé of her sex appeal and giving it all to a new backing beat for the still fresh ‘Say My Name’. Attention-hungry producers take note: if you want your egos to be stroked by pale white boys, download Ableton and a copy of Destiny Fulfilled.

Palace x Destiny’s Child – Say My Name

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BLOUSE – Videotapes

To round this all up – here’s a band that seem to have been ubiquitous this last week. Captured Tracks aren’t really renowned for putting out this kind of stuff, but BLOUSE make a racket so brilliantly haunted that they must’ve found it difficult to pass up on. In truth, there’s been little better coming through tinny laptop speakers, perhaps proven by the fact it’s been posted absolutely everywhere in the past 7 days. If the rest of the LP lives up to the broken down glamour of ‘Videotapes’, we’ve got something really special on our hands.

BLOUSE – Videotapes

Matthew Britton runs a blog called The Pigeon Post and contributes to Lost Lost Lost.

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