let England suck


Those year-end lists have started to appear - is it me or is it early this year? - and, depressingly unexpectedly, PJ Harvey's 'Let England Shake' is appearing all over them. More often than not, it's hovering in or around the Top 5 if not occupying the top spot itself.

"It's brave!" "It's thought-provoking!" "It's topical!" "It's !"

You know what it's not, though? One thing that's KIND of important for a record to be, it being a primarily audio-based art form?


Opinions and all, blah blah blah, but fuck it. This is a terrible record and any "best of" list that has it anywhere nearby is automatically invalidated.



2:40, "Into The Clouds". Everything stops for a second as the final verse starts, then everything and then some kicks back in and the song literally takes off, matching the lyric.

3:13, "Wonders". The drum machine trips over itself, as if it can hardly wait to begin one final, glorious bridge.

1:25, "Magic". After some teasing, *that* chorus finally begins.

0:50, "Ruins of Rome". The pan-flute intro totally cuts out, silence, then gorgeousness.

4:25, "Ruins of Rome". Again. The word "home" is stretched over a few extra beats with a couple of ascending notes added on for good measure, sending the track into the heavens.

4:29-4:31, "Ruins of Rome". Yet again. The synths stutter underneath the chorus before unleashing a majestic rain of descending melody that has only been hinted at in the previous 4 minutes and 28 seconds. (These are 2011's greatest 3 seconds of music, by the way.)

And we keep going.

0:02, "Longest Ever Dream". The most Richard X of Richard X beats roll in.

3:15, "Nova". It's only a few "ahhs" but they ascend what could be a generic club banger into, well, something better.

All of these and more are what make the Sound of Arrows' 'Voyage' so fucking spectacular.

list making

I'm working on my list of my favorite albums of 2011.

There was a new Elbow album in 2011.

It's nowhere near the top 10.

This makes me sad.


coming out of the woodwork

Keeping with the "long overdue return" theme, Imperial Teen posted the first single from their forthcoming fifth long player yesterday.

It's called "Runaway" and the album - that's the FANTASTIC artwork over there - is out in January on Merge. (Vinyl release this time? Please? Did 'The Hair, The TV, The Baby & The Band' ever end up getting an LP release? I'll have to investigate.)

Anyways, good ol' Soundcloud says the song sounds like this:

Imperial Teen - Runaway by MergeRecords

Just as the last great album of 2011 shows it's head, the first great album of 2012 peeks out from behind the curtain. I *WILL* catch the tour for this one. (Will it really have been 10 years from the Imperial Teen Summer of 2002? Goodness!)


everybody shake

Apparently it is a week for things we weren't sure were ever going to happen.

First, the delicious Sound of Arrows album.

Now, the shock return of one Little Boots.

That's hew new logo. It's lovely.

This is her new song. It's called "Shake" and it is house-tastic:

Little Boots - SHAKE by LittleBoots

Worth the wait? Oh, yes.


counterpoint (or, IFUCKINGLOVEYOU pt. 2)

My thoughts, as they happen, as I give 'Voyage' my first listen.


November 8, 2011.

"'Into the Clouds' is a re-recording, which we knew. Somehow it's even more magical."

"So far - 5 songs in - every song is a could-be-a-closer mini-epic. That's a compliment."

"'Ruins of Rome' is ASTOUNDING."

"Holy shit. 4 & 1/2 minutes in 'Ruins of Rome' becomes a cut-up/fuck-up monster for a hot 30 seconds that completely makes the rest of the album barely matter."

"'Longest Ever Dream' doesn't appear to be related to 'Magic' - outside of the shared line - or 'Longer Ever Dream'. It does, however, sound like he's singing: 'Yesterday, I have the longest ever dream.' I'm going to pretend that's the actual lyric.

It's the most Richard X sounding song on the album so far with it's relentlessly driving synth undercurrent. It's the sixth time I've thought: 'This is my favorite track on the album'.

It's track six."

"Vocoders and marching band snares over an ambient background - 'Hurting All The Way' is a nice mid-album palette cleanser.

"'Conquest' is - ready for this one? - C+C Music Factory pulled through a Sound of Arrows filter. On first impression, anyways. It's blatantly early-90's dance pop in any case." (In retrospect, C+C Music Factory is completely off-base but early-90's dance pop is spot on.)

"'Nova' we know, and it fades into 'There Is Still Hope', a 7+ minute slow-burner of a track. The epic of the epics, if you will."

"We end the album proper with 'Lost Cities', all breathy 'ooh's and 'ahh's and astronaut speech samples. ('...Brothers who are truly brothers', etc., as also sampled in Geneva's 'A Place In The Sun'.) Perfect."

"'Disappear' is super upbeat - for them - and great to have but it would not have fit on the album. At all. I imagine it would KILL live."

"Worth the wait? And then some. We'll be discovering things about this one for years to come."

Multiple listens later and it's chasing 'Lights and Offerings' for album of the year. If you don't completely melt at this:

I have very little time for you at the moment.

Well done, boys.


into the clouds

Your order #202-0268508-xxxxxxx (received November 03, 2011)

Qty Item Price Delivery Subtotal


Amazon.co.uk items (Sold by Amazon EU S.a.r.L.):

1 Voyage £6.66 1 £6.66

Dispatched via Royal Mail (estimated arrival date: November 28, 2011).
Item Subtotal: £6.66
Delivery and handling: £1.68
Pre-order Guarantee: £0.00

Total: £8.34

Payment Total: USD 13.84**

I honestly thought the day would never come.

Also: 2 discs for under $14 shipped? Hello.