[10] Shamir, ‘If It Wasn’t True’

shamir 2014

Each beat a little chip out of your skull, fidgety hooks, a slinky wriggly sexy vocal, all of these things make a great dance-pop record in 2014. I decided a few minutes ago that I’d call it ‘post-Disclosure’, in the sense that this has that early 90s Strictly Rhythm house kineticism but still feels ‘now’, but I think there’s some DFAism too – The Juan MacLean, Hercules & Love Affair, you know where I’m at. The insultingly young Shamir Bailey just adds another level, and considering the strength of the whole EP and the more recent ‘On The Regular’, he’s an exciting new proposition altogether.

Those hard, seductive beats get Juniors 1 and 2 robot-dancing around the kitchen table. “Awesome!” says Junior. “I’m imagining myself as a Cyberman.” Me too – even more when Shamir’s playing.

Advertisements

[4] Hercules And Love Affair, ‘My House’

Hercules And Love Affair

To deliver this skintight streak of acid soul, Hercules use three singers: one to, well, sing the song, one to say “Get up, get up”, the third to say “Ca-con-con”. Staggering. The last days of disco indeed.

It’s all very Fingers Inc and diva-defiant but goes to show just how fresh this kind of thing still sounds. There’s no way you can’t at least jerk your head around to ‘My House’. In a way though, it was a false start for an album that never quite catches fire like their wonderful debut; maybe that’s the absence of Antony, but I think these three singers do a fine job even with their ill-balanced burden.

Or do they? Over to Junior: “It’s a bit good. Not the singing, the instruments – they suit the singing.” I wouldn’t like to work out those royalties.

[4] Hercules And Love Affair, ‘Blind’

Hercules And Love Affair

Antony Hegarty’s a rum old cove – you think you have him pigeonholed as a massively melodramatic torch singer, the type that can ruin a good couple of tracks on a Björk album simply with his wailing presence, and then he goes and fronts up on a stunning disco track as if it were, to him, the most natural thing in the world.

Of course, ‘Blind’ is more than disco; it’s deep, deep house too, throbbing with delicious beats and perky muted horns. Hercules And Love Affair is the brainchild of mythologically-minded DJ/producer Andy Butler, but here it’s very much the Hegarty show – the lead Johnson lifting the song from the solid to the sublime.

This sort of thing is catnip to Junior who hasn’t even had her Rice Krispies yet, but is flinging herself around with gay abandon, sporting a set of penguin-shaped deely boppers. Deely boppers. You remember. You’ve seen Kate Thornton getting giddy about them on I Love 1982.

2008 Top 20 Singles?

Halfway through the year, always looking for delaying tactics and ways to ramp up the tension for the year-end countdown, here’s a minor indicator – the Top 20 Most Played 2008 Singles on my iPod thingy.

[1] Martha Wainwright, ‘Bleeding All Over You’
[2] The Ting Tings, ‘Great DJ’
[3] Laura Marling, ‘Ghosts’
[4] Alphabeat, ‘Fascination’
[5] Fleet Foxes, ‘White Winter Hymnal’
[6] Coldplay, ‘Violet Hill’
[7] The Ting Tings, ‘That’s Not My Name’
[8] Death Cab For Cutie, ‘I Will Possess Your Heart’
[9] MGMT, ‘Time To Pretend’
[10] Lykke Li, ‘I’m Good, I’m Gone’
[11] Coldplay, ‘Viva La Vida’
[12] Santogold, ‘L.E.S. Artistes’
[13] Portishead, ‘Machine Gun’
[14] Vampire Weekend, ‘Oxford Comma’
[15] Laura Marling, ‘Cross Your Fingers’/’Crawled Out Of The Sea’
[16] Hercules And Love Affair, ‘Blind’
[17] The Shortwave Set, ‘No Social’
[18] Goldfrapp, ‘A&E’
[19] H ‘two’ O featuring Platnum, ‘What’s It Gonna Be’
[20] Foals, ‘Red Socks Pugie’

Admit it. You’re astonished.