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Five-Finger New Music Punch: January

Segment previously known as Ears Open now has a new shiny title and is more of a retrospective singles club. Hopefully it explains itself:

Blue Hawaii – Try To Be

Pitchfork BNM’d and appropriately so, this mournful, incandescent and texturally intricate little number comes at least in part from the pipes of BRAIDS bold, captivating and gloriously named lead singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston. A record entitled “Untogether” is due out at the start of March on Arbutus Records and I feel like that’s definitely worth being intriuged about off the back of this track.

Toro Y Moi – Say That

Subtly hilarious video matches subtly banging track. I’ve never really engaged with Toro Y Moi before [bizarre I know but I think it was the weird squid-thing in his mouth surrounded by sproutings of facial on the cover of the second album that put me off] but this is certainly a welcome dip into his world, I might wade fully into his new one Anything in Return over the weekend.

Bonobo – Cirrus

Tropical yet delicate and typically inviting work from Bonobo. Available for freeeeee but that’s a whole extra mailing list to sign up to so I’ll leave the choice up to you. It’s a great first introduction, and if you like what you hear I recommend you head over to Black Sands (particularly the rather gorgeous ‘Kiara’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7m86aMNjlQ)

Foxygen – San Francisco

After they caught my attention with ‘Make It Known’ last year, I’ve increasingly become a big fan of their schtick. Undoubtedly revivalist, and in some quarters at least damagingly so, but with a fresh warmth like just popped-up toast to my ears. A post-modern rehash of the sights and sounds of 60s/70s pop, ironic without cynicism, wiser from awareness of the intervening years but blissfully in love with the music nonetheless – sounds quite perfect at this dismal time of year.

Veronica Falls – Teenage

The deathly under/overtones that characterised their debut may well have drawn in as much as repelled potential listeners, but those that dipped their toes were well rewarded. Their song-writing chops were already well on display to go along with their refreshing uptake of gloomy 90s indie-pop, with plenty of astute riffs and refrains. But the initial singles from their follow-up seems to shed some of that gloom and the band sound all the better for it. I’ve yet to take the plunge but the Bratwell produced Waiting for Something to Happen is supposed to be a belter. If so, Veronica Falls are for sure ones to watch out for this year.

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