MNDR – Feed Me Diamonds

“Pop music is a platform to say something. You don’t have to only talk about parties.”

Interesting quote from ex-noise artist now shiny electropop-idol-in-waiting, Amanda Warner. Pop music has always been a platform to say something, but this shouldn’t make you believe that Warner is positing herself as Lady Bono or worse, Lady Gaga.

Trying to impart pop music with some kind of message in this day and age is redundant, unless you spell it out in easy to digest pieces. The only message spelt out on Warner’s debut Feed Me Diamonds is about going to the club. Messages about governments and banks and whatever else motivates MNDR is buried under the weight of synths and sequenced parts.… Read the rest

Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits

Divine Fits
A Thing Called Divine Fits
Merge
★★★★★★★★½☆

The concept of the ‘supergroup’ is relative and often abused. The formation itself is prone to suspicion, akin to selling out your bandmates in favour of some fresh thrills. Often it’s the point in a band’s career when the chief songwriter hits a stalemate or a stale state — ie: the last record didn’t do so well. Could you point that finger in the direction of anybody in Divine Fits? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t succumb to that kind of Transference.

Divine Fits is comprised of Britt Daniel from Spoon, Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade, and Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks.… Read the rest

Cat Power – Sun

Cat Power
Sun
Matador
★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Time and distance, be it geographical or emotional, have always been great assets to a songwriter. The ability to cease all activity, to step off the treadmill and get his/her shit straight, to let real life take precedence.

In a career that’s had its share of ups and downs, Chan Marshall has certainly had her reasons. The 6 years preceding her last album of original material, gave way to her second covers album Jukebox and several years of touring with her Delta Blues band, allowing Marshall to lend full weight to her love of blues and soul.… Read the rest

Various Artists – 15 Years Of Bella Union Records

Various Artists
15 Years Of Bella Union Records
Bella Union
★★★★★★★★☆☆

2012 marks the 15th anniversary of the birth of Bella Union, a record label started by Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins that was created, initially, to release their own recordings with no obvious aspiration to challenge the big UK independents of the day, yet somehow wound up acquiring a notable array of talent that would turn Bella Union into a world renowned label.

Celebrating this milestone comes a 2CD compilation featuring Bella Union artists past and present highlighting the immense talent that the label have provided a home to over the years.… Read the rest

Bob Mould – Silver Age

Bob Mould
Silver Age
Merge
★★★★★★★★☆☆

Alterna-rock statesman hot from bringing a little 90′s Sugar to the 10′s masses returns with shit-hot album. If that’s all the convincing you need, you might as well stop reading now and give the man your money. But if you need a little more, here goes…

Given that Mould has spent the early part of 2012 in Sugar-mode, it’s no surprise for Silver Age to be the point of connection between the past and the present. “I’d been batting around the idea of another aggressive pop record for some time,” Bob says, “especially as the 20th anniversary of Copper Blue kept getting closer”.… Read the rest