Thursday, July 2, 2015

Listen: Magical Numbers from New Arcades, Flor, TAT and Stuart Newman

I just got down with some ghostly brisket fried rice action. Here's the tracks I fried to:

Since we are talking about a food that came out of things both ghostly and magical, let's start with London synth-pop duo New Arcades and their brand new single "More Than This (featuring Lula)". Like its predecessor (the fabulous "Let's Get Away"), "More Than This" has a grandiose 80's pop feel. Lula's vocals add that slight bit of magic, what some might call tenderness, to the single. Its like the bachelor pad that becomes a little more inviting after the woman moves in (or the fried rice that tastes better once you decide to learn how to cook it).

"Warm Blood" by Flor details some of the fabulousities that occur when you get the chance to learn about someone new, someone younger. Their is a bit of fire that burns in this person, something that you yourself have lost (or maybe never had). Despite this fire, there is an underlying sweetness that attracts you to the person. It's the perfect song to be paired with my brisket fried rice considering that underneath all the sauces and rice, the brisket has the same gentle hint of sweetness.

TAT's new track, "Anxiety," came attached to an email that describes the band and their sound. In said email, TAT is called a "punk inspired" band. Immediately I feel something in my loins. I considered myself a fan of punk more than anything else through my teens and early twenties and despite the fact that I now blog about lo-fi and garage and techno and whatever else people send me that sounds good, that's my first love. But "Anxiety's" beginning doesn't sound much like the punk I grew up on and so I dismissed it as one of those new school "punk songs" that incorporates tiny pieces of punk but leans too heavily on other genres. Because of the email said punk, though, I didn't instantly shut it down like I would've other tracks, I let it play through longer. Boy am I glad I did. That chorus, f***ing killer dude. That's the punk stuff I've come to know and love. It's not completely like the old school punk, but it's got the energy and the delivery of punk. What muddles things a bit is the background music. It's slightly dancier, more rhythmic and fun. It's like punk for punks that like to dance and not just run full force into another human being. I'm digging out my born to dance punk patch right now. "Anxiety" was made for me.


Don't fall for it. Despite the fact that in "Love's Off the Hook" Stuart Newman sounds like he has crafted an intriguing, American pop song, realize that this is all part of the ruse. Stuart has an interest in themes of the USA and the human condition. That's why he has conditioned his vocals to sound so Americanized. As his twitter states, "If it's okay for an actor to put on an accent, so can I."  In reality, Stuart is a Brighton based artist. The charming nature of "Love's Off the Hook" comes from Stuart's quirky use of repetition. Throughout the first half of the song, Stuart chooses words to highlight with repetition. Generally these words appear at the end of a phrase but occasionally he would latch on to something in the middle. Words like round, subway, tambourines and means get the multiple hit treatment. A little over halfway through, Stuart dials back the echo and focuses more on capturing you with catchy phrases that get repeated. He also throws more backup vocals into the second half as well, some oh's and ah's to get the crowd going, before closing with the line "and that's enough." I'm not sure if I've gotten such a feeling of finality from a song before. I sort of like knowing that things have come to an end in such a straightforward way. I might just have to steal that.

And that's enough. Oops, already did.