Tag Archives: 2007

Beirut – Elephant Gun (2007)

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Ten years ago, Beirut were in their pomp. Originally a musical project of Santa Fe native Zach Condon, the band’s first performance was in New York in May 2006, to support the release of their debut album, Gulag Orkestar. By January 2007,  they carried their critical acclaim into the release of their first EP Lon Gisland. Its opening track ‘Elephant Gun’ again combined elements of indie rock and world music so successfully. Prodigious stuff; Condon was still only 20. Have a great week.

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Jens Lekman – Your Arms Around Me (2007)

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A little bit like The Divine Comedy, Jens Lekman is not easy to recommend. You are relying on the audience looking past the schmaltz to appreciate the creative force. ‘Your Arms Around Me’ features on his 1997 album Night Falls Over Kortedala. “I was slicing up an avocado/When you came up behind me/With your silent brand new sneakers/Your reflection I did not see.” Divine comedy indeed.

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Kings Of Leon – McFearless (2007)

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kings-of-leon-2007

In a year that they are showing signs of a return to form, one wonders what might represent their zenith. Kings Of Leon released Because Of The Times in 2007 and the album featured the direct ‘McFearless’. Will Caleb Followill get a better set of vocals for his rock persona? “So I know I’ma show/It’s my show/I must go/With my soul.”

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Jamie T – Sheila (2007)

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Jamie T 2007

Last week it was Joanna Newsom. This week, the polarising vocals are from South London’s Jamie T. Despite the dulcet rap, the clever lyrics and musicality are clearly there. And anyway, I happen to like all the cheeky chappy stuff about girls singing on the bus and fellas kicking up a fuss. And that’s not just another Wimbledon-born pushing his own memories. ‘Sheila’ featured on his 2007 album Panic Prevention. The John Betjeman recital is a nice touch too, but it does alludes to much mockney.

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Gary’s Gang – Let’s Lovedance Tonight (1979)

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Gary's Gang

Gary’s Gang was the vehicle for Eric Matthew (real name Joe Tucci) and Gary Turnier. Their first single ‘Keep On Dancin” sold half a million copies around the world. And then, their follow-up ‘Let’s Lovedance Tonight’ featured one of the all-time classic disco breaks. The NYC label Sam Records had struck gold; the keyboard loop would be sampled over and over. The vocals have aged badly and so I prefer one of the instrumental versions. I have selected Danny Krivit’s remix that was originally released on Nervous Records in 2007. SAM Records was founded by Sam Weiss in 1976. In 1990, he founded Nervous with his son. A full circle. Have a great weekend.

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Radiohead – Weird Fishes / Arpeggi (2007)

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Radiohead 2007

Good morning. 10 years after OK Computer, Radiohead were back to their best with the release of In Rainbows. Featuring on the album after the brilliant ‘Nude’, ‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’ starts at a pace and builds into something quite magical. Have a great week.

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Radical Face – Welcome Home (2007)

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Radical Face

We started this week with a couple of standout singers. So what happens if you blend a voice less remarkable with a superior sound. Please step forward Ben Cooper, the one-man-band that is Radical Face. On ‘Welcome Home’, an impressive set of electronic and acoustic instrumentation gets the juices flowing early. A Sufjan Stevens track? A modern take on Simon & Garfunkel? And then Cooper’s dulcet tones appear. If there was ever the case for a songwriter to have a band to hand. Great song nonetheless.

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Devendra Banhart – Carmensita (2007)

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Devendra Banhart 2007

If you are planning a Latino party this Christmas, with a bhangra dress code, and want to listen to something a little cosmic, Devendra Banhart has the song for you. ‘Carmensita’ is off the singer-songwriter’s 2007 album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. It’s a Punjabi hippy trip by a Venezuelan American, but that’s oversimplifying it.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2007

In no particular order…

Lucy Rider – Alberta Cross

Spoon – Black Like Me

Richmond Fontaine – Four Walls

Radiohead – Nude

Okkervil River – Savannah Smiles

Beirut – Nantes

Band Of Horses – No One’s Gonna Love You

Bon Iver – For Emma

Jamie T – Sheila

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Honourable mentions also go to: Public Enemy for ‘Harder Than You Think‘; Andrew Bird for ‘Heretics‘; Prince Fatty for ‘Milk and Honey‘; We Are The Fury for ‘Still Don’t Know Your Name‘; Frontier Ruckus for ‘Dark Autumn Hour‘; Kanye West for ‘Champion’; and Amy Winehouse for ‘Rehab’.

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Beirut – Nantes (2007)

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Beirut 2007

“Well it’s been a long time, long time now since I’ve seen you smile.” The initial sadness of Beirut’s ‘Nantes’ is percolated with waves of percussion, brass and an organ riff that could be straight off a Metronomy track. For those of you have not listened to Zach Condon et al’s gypsy-folk-infused The Flying Club Cup, please take the time to do so. It’s a tonic.

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Prince Fatty feat. Hollie Cook – Milk and Honey (2007)

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Hollie Cook

Now for an early take on a classic early dub sound. Prince Fatty is the offspring of producer Mike Pelanconi, who had already made a name for himself behind the desk for Lily Allen. He knows how to pick his singers – ‘Milk And Honey’ features the irie vocals of Hollie Cook. Have a great weekend.

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The Kissaway Trail – La La Song (2007)

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The Kissaway Trail

After finding their coupled lead-vocal sound, Thomas Fagerlund and Søren Corneliussen started to create Kissaway Trail’s debut album. It was released on Bella Union a year after the label had brought us the superlative Trials of Van Occupanther. At times, the sound evokes The Flaming Lips and Arcade Fire. Not too shoddy a list of references.

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Radiohead – Nude (2007)

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Radiohead again

Radiohead made a lot of news for business rather than art on release of In Rainbows, their seventh studio album. Its pay-what-you-want release seemed to muddy the inevitable quality of the product. Listening to the strings and soul guitars on ‘Nude’, you get the sense that they were nearing the source of what they were about.

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Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – War (2007)

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Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Phil Cohran played trumpet with Sun Ra in Chicago in the late 1950s/early 1960s. Then he had boys and passed down his craft. Cohran’s sons make up eight of the nine members of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, a band of 4 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 euphonium, a sousaphone and an outsider on the drums. I first heard of them when they collaborated on Damon Albarn’s Rocket Juice & the Moon album. The sparring horns and trumpet solo of ‘War’ are an earlier work. My daughter plays the euphonium;  the Samuel craft starts with her. Have a good week.

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We Are The Fury – Still Don’t Know Your Name (2007)

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We Are The Fury

It’s quintessential glam rock, all T-Rex and Bowie, but it’s from from across the pond. Largely overlooked at the time, We Are The Fury’s album Venus was full-on swaggering rock’n’roll of yesteryear. On ‘Still Don’t Know Your Name’, singer Jeremy Lublin realises he can be a glam rock hero… even just for one album. In 2008, their label went under and the group disbanded.

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