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My musical ramblings – gig and album reviews, music news and views

New Hot Chip album – One Life Stand

Hot Chip are back. And if the rest of their fourth album is anything like the title track, One Life Stand, this return is likely to be as emphatic as Made In The Dark’s was in February 2008.

Self proclaimed as the antidote to aggressive, processed, digital dance music, the fivesome release this first single as well as the album on 1 February, shortly before they start their 12-date UK tour 11 days later.

As a single, One Life Stand isn’t as instantaneously catchy as Ready For The Floor, but it has infectious 80s drum beats mixed with steel drums, catchy keyboard hooks and the soulful, vulnerable vocals of Alexis Taylor. The clever composition is sure to translate just as well live as it will to the dancefloor – after all that’s what Hot Chip are good at – providing an electropop indie alternative to banal chart dance.

What’s more, if you do a bit of Youtube digging you can also find Take It In, which starts with a brooding bassline and siren-sounding keyboards, before a sing-a-long chorus suddenly breaks through the foreboding.

Made In The Dark brought us One Pure Thought, Shake A Fist and Touch Too Much. The Warning, the band’s second album from 2006, brought us Over And Over and Boy From School. So it’s a fairly safe bet that the tracklist will offer more of that feel-good, soulful and melodic dance, littered with influences from all over the musical spectrum.

01 Thieves in the Night
02 Hand Me Down Your Love
03 I Feel Better
04 One Life Stand
05 Brothers
06 Slush
07 Alley Cats
08 We Have Love
09 Keep Quiet
10 Take It In

Words written for www.themusicmagazine.co.uk

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BBC Sound of 2010 longlist

The ‘BBC Sound of’ longlist is usually a pretty good indicator of the artists that’ll be making it onto the masses iPods, the festivals and bigger venues over the next calendar year. From a corporation which brings us helpings of mainstream and Strictly Come Dancing, it’s a little bit surprising that they should be the temperature gauge of next year’s talent, but the list is picked by leading UK music critics and, for the last few years it’s been startlingly accurate.

Admittedly the Beeb’s 2009 picks were already a little more familiar than this year’s offerings by the time it was announced. And White Lies, Florence and the Machine and Lady GaGa all went on to headline festival stages, Passion Pit, La Roux, Little Boots – the 2009 winner – and Empire of the Sun were big hitters, whilst The Big Pink will grace next year’s NME tour.

Mumford and Sons and The Temper Trap, although a little less aimed at mass consumption, also gained some serious helpings of critical acclaim.  And testament to that, The Temper Trap’s ‘Sweet Disposition’ became one of the tracks of 2009.

Although Adele won it in 2008, with Vampire Weekend, Foals, The Ting Tings and MGMT making up some of the longlist, lets not forget past and rather less favourable winners included Keane and The Bravery – admittedly the longlists they topped were considerably better than they themselves.

So onto this year, safe bets are The Drums, who will play alongside The Big Pink, The Maccabees and Bombay Bicycle Club on the 2010 NME Tour and Everything Everything, who have notched up some good support tours including the Maccabees in early 2009. The electro indie bands Delphic and Two Door Cinema Club are also likely winners – both which sit on the achingly cool Kitsune French label and have toured under the Kitsune Maison umbrella during the year. Gold Panda and Joy Orbison are also really good bands, but its difficult to see them winning. Perhaps we’ll be surprised.

However, from the longlist, it’s hard to spot any immediate acts which will manage what some of the bands/artists from 2009’s longlist have. But then time will only tell whether Little Boots, Lady GaGa and White Lies will stand the test of longevity and this looks like a list more interested, largely, in critical acclaim than showing your posterior on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.

The glaring omissions? Perhaps Filthy Dukes and 65daysofstatic, definitely The Joy Formidable. Suggestions on a postcard. And by the way, the longlist in full is:

  • Daisy Dares You
  • Delphic
  • Devlin
  • The Drums
  • Everything Everything
  • Giggs
  • Gold Panda
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Hurts
  • Joy Orbison
  • Marina And The Diamonds
  • Owl City
  • Rox
  • Stornoway
  • Two Door Cinema Club

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