One of our most enjoyable and rewarding Twitter features is the New Song Task Force – where one group of community members suggest new songs for another group of members to vote on. The songs are showcased throughout the week with the results of the vote being issued on Sunday evenings.
We are always looking at ways to improve or expand our interactive features and so for the New Song Task Force we asked regular EIO40 contributor Rob Morgan @durutti74 if he would pen capsule reviews as he listens to each song for the first time (and second time just to make sure) then pick his three favourites. We also wanted to showcase each week’s songs with a bit more depth by seeing them from a listeners perspective.
We will publish Rob’s review of the week’s songs on Sunday afternoons after the voting has taken place. In the build up we are also asking people to rank their Top 3 of the week with prizes up for grabs if you match Rob’s Top 3 in order. So you may discover you have won a prize when you have finished reading this.
There is also a playlist of the songs at the start and links to any songs not on Spotify so you can listen along with Rob.
So here is Rob’s review of the Week 13 songs.
David Israel – Think Waste Time
Now this is sweet, a slightly shambling update on c86 jangle. The guitar parts work well together, choppy chords against a two note figure. The vocal is also charming too. I love the slapback delay on the main guitar solo, and how a little organ pops up towards the end. And at the end there’s a few rhythm changes and a fuzzy fizzy guitar pops up, but only makes itself felt at the end. I really like this song, the vocal is cute too. So is the surprising end.
Amber Arcades – Where Did You Go
Well this is different, that electric piano is immediately arresting and the jumpy rhythm is too. Another artist I’ve heard the name of but not heard anything. I like her voice and how she is playing with the melody – the move into the sweet chorus works well from the slightly atonal verse. There’s a lot of little elements which work as hooks here, and they all work well. Definitely too short… That song could have had another verse easily. Still, means I can listen again.
Second listen… I’ve twigged who I reminds me of… Imagine Courtney Barnett signing over “Jeans on” by David Dundas. Only better. Really enjoying this.
The Muldoons – Lovely Things
Immediately this sounds like an update of bands like the June Brides and the Bodines… Oh and I didn’t predict the trumpet appearing on the chorus. That’s VERY June Brides. In fact this reminds me of the Haywains too. Lovely guitar player interplay with the trumpet too, as the instrumental section makes clear. Lyrics seem to capture a moment too, very teenage romance.
Second listen … This would fit perfectly on the WAAAH! CD you know. Charming.
Swearin – Grown Into A Ghost
Oh now this is well fuzzy. That’s dedication to fuzziness, I count three fuzz guitars, is that right? There’s some interesting guitar figures over in the right hand side of the stereo, if you’re listening on headphones. A very NYC sound, speedy and urgent, slightly angular too. I’m enjoying this…. Hang on, is she singing “What you are” or “Chihuahua”? I like that kind of ambiguity. Not sure what the words are about to be honest. They’re making the most of two chords, so much so that you’ve probably not noticed really. That chorus is great. I’m loving the energy here. Definitely a grower. Good sudden ending.
She Makes War – Devastate Me
Instantly I like how this feels like it’s stumbling over itself, that’s a neat trick. Not long to wait for the chorus which is interesting, will this be a short song then? I can imagine the moshing crowd loving the chorus, that’s a banger. But the lyrics seem to be talking about quiet devastation (hence the title). Oh hang on, the instrumental break is different, I really like that a lot. That chorus is really catchy too. Liking the ending.
Second listen – the lyrics making more sense now. This is a really good song.
Dumb – Romeo
I’ve often used the word angular in my reviews here but I shouldn’t use the word angular again – I should save angular for Dumb. Hang on, in the time it’s taken me to type that sentence the song is over. Shortest song so far? Anyway, this sort of thing usually annoys me but this is really interesting, I’m enjoying this a lot. All kinds of things happening, the feeling the band might fall apart at any moment. Did the singer just say Gortex? I have no idea what the lyrics mean but quite frankly I don’t care. I’ve listened to this four times now, and it’s still startling me. A good sign.
Fenster – HBW
Now my basic knowledge of music says that intro bass pattern in a fifth down to a root note which is building tension nicely… Oh what is THAT? That keyboard is fantastic. The singer is nonchalant and cool, but there’s all sorts happening around her, little percussion hits and guitar scrubs and effects. But that keyboard and the guitar arpeggios at the same time… This is absolutely fantastic. I’m hearing odd vocals too, layers and layers… That instrumental break, the change in rhythm, the spooked wordless vocals, this is something special. I could listen to this over and over.
And the tape stops? What just happened? That little coda is so odd.
This is getting played again immediately.
Second time it still sounds fantastic. I love all the changes, the tension building. Great song.
Menace Beach ft Brix Smart – Black Rainbow Sound
A punky guitar lick and vocals lead to… A cheap drum machine and two intwined vocals… This isn’t what I expected but I’m liking it, sort of krautrock motorik. I do like that chorus. The dual female vocals make me think of Virginia Astley which is an odd reference. Synthetic pulses, a chanted vocal…. A spoken female vocal… That reminds me of something … “Hole in my shoe” by Traffic actually. The way it moves back into the chorus is neat. This is either going to explode or stop dead… Oh I was wrong on both counts.
Big Red Machine – I Won’t Run From It
Interesting intro, reminds me of Cody and Alfie, which is an odd combination. I should add here I know precisely nothing by either Bon Iver or The National, but this is rather lovely. I’ll happily admit when I’m wrong or I’ve missed something – I like the choral aspect of this. I know from the We Dig Music podcast that Justin from Bon Iver likes a bit of auto tuned choral vocals, I really don’t know whether this is more Iver or National, but either way this is impressing me. This is building nicely. Oh, I’d like that to go on further. It finished too soon for me.
TVAM – These Are Not Your Memories
Ah, Anne Diamond and Rustie Lee have made a record. No? Shame. Moody intro leading to a nice little riff, and distorted drums and intriguing synths. I rather like this. Not sure what the singer is singing about but that synth / vocoder bridge is very cool. This riff is going to get stuck in my head immediately, it’s so insistent. Ooh a breakdown… Then back into that riff. There’s stuff happening with the vocal modulating the melody a little towards the end, and a sudden end. I’ll have to listen to that again…. Still can’t make out the vocal at all, but that never stopped My Bloody Valentine. That riff is going to circle around my head all night now.
Another good week of songs. It will be tricky picking three songs for this – there’s an obvious favourite but lots of competition below that.
So here goes….
1 – Fenster
2 – Amber Arcades
3 – TV-AM
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions, another enjoyable week of new songs. Onwards and upwards!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rob writes about music and other less important subjects at his blog A Goldfish Called Regret (https://agoldfishcalledregret.wordpress.com) and also creates podcasts for Goldfish Radio (https://m.mixcloud.com/robmorgan589) and hosts the Everything Indie Over 40 album listening parties over at @eio40LPParty
He never achieved his ambition of making a Sarah Record.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading Rob’s review of the Task Force songs. If you want to follow the New Song Task Force and get involved head over to @indieover40 on Twitter and check out the feature hashtag #newsongfaceoff