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features /  column
editor content by: editor
the early years
singles and downloads
Music (redux)

While yelping vocals, minimalist melodies and scratchy, post-punk rhythms ruled the roost in 2005, the – ahem – ‘sound’ of 2006 could well prove to be altogether more expansive, experimental and extravagant. The rapturous reception afforded Arcade Fire’s debut album last year has paved the way for the likes of Secret Machines, Film School and The Early Years to peddle their epic wares to the kids – the latter band in particular sounding like future festival heroes on the driving-rain rock-out of All Ones And Zeroes (Beggar’s Banquet).

And right behind Early Years we have the aforementioned Secret Machines, who we’d bet good money on going from cult favourites to chart conquerors in 2006. Due-soon new album Ten Silver Drops is the band’s most accessible work to date, their trademark psychedelic grandeur sounding all the more powerful when married to stadium-sized pop melodies – see new single Alone, Jealous And Stoned (679).

Away from the world of £1,000 reverb pedals and biblical guitar solos we have down-to-earth men-of-the-moment Arctic Monkeys, filling the days before the release of their debut long-player with new single When The Sun Goes Down (Scummy) (Domino), a song that boasts more perfect, deadpan couplets in three minutes than Morrissey has managed in the last fifteen years. On a less streetwise tip we have the favourite band of whimsical librarians everywhere, Belle And Sebastian, who return to the fray this week with the crisp hairclip-pop of Funny Little Frog (Rough Trade) – the title of which alone will send the group’s many disparagers into fits of apoplectic, twee-despising rage.

Also this week, we have seven lovely inches of storytelling whimsy from Cat Power on The Greatest (Matador); art school noiseniks Test Icicles clanging away like shattered disco balls on What’s Your Damage? (Domino); the hyper-hyped ¡Forward Russia! coming over all Devo on Twelve (Drowned In Sound); and, finally, UK hip-hop hero Sway throwing some very odd verbal shapes on the highly catchy/annoying (delete according to taste) Little Derek (All City).

Let’s have a free download to round things off, shall we? Head to the website of systematically ace record label Thrill Jockey
and find an invitation to download – for nothing – It’s Just Cruel by the mighty The National Trust, a band who’ll be ruling indie-disco dancefloors this year with their hot and sweaty grunt-funk. Ungh!


Joe Madden 12 January 06
All singles are released on 16 January 06
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see also
singles
last week

secret machines
album review

secret machines
interview

arctic monkeys
session

arctic monkeys
single review

cat power
album review

test icicles
session


sway
singles #152


sway
on public enemy

arctic monkeys
by spencer xray

arctic monkeys
by vincent roccoforte

arctic monkeys
by vincent roccoforte

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