Single review – Gardenia – Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - GardeniaStephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Gardenia

Ex-Pavement front-man and all-round indie superhero Stephen Malkmus is set to release his new single “Gardenia” on June 2nd. The single is the first to be taken from the album “Real Emotional Trash”, Malkmus’ second release with the Jicks.

It’s a cool summery sounding single, like one of Pavement’s less-twisted offerings. Malkmus’ unmistakeably laconic singing marries sweetly with harmonies and backing from drummer Janet Weiss (Sleater Kinney), and bassist Joanna Bolme. The song wanders around musically like all his best ones, but never loses it’s catchy centre. Top-notch indie-pop from one of its more under-rated exponents.

You can catch the band in the UK next week:-

Thu 5th June – London Shepherds Bush Empire

Sat 7th June – Manchester Academy2

Sun 8th June – Glasgow Oran Mor

Mon 9th June – Dublin Tripod

Available 2nd June on Domino Records.

Paul Weller – Echoes Around The Sun

Paul Weller has a habit of drifting away and re-emerging when least expected with something to blow your socks off.

His latest single wil be a double A side, with Have You Made Your Mind Upon one side and Echoes Round The Sun on the other, and is released on May 26th.

Echoes Round The Sun is a collaboration with Noel Gallagher and is from the forthcoming Weller album 22 Dreams, which is out on June 2nd.

Here is the video for Paul Weller – Echoes Round The Sun. Its pretty good too!



Single Review – Lightspeed Champion

Lightspeed Champion – Galaxy of the Lost (Domino Records)

Appearances can be deceptive. Who’d have thought former Test Icicle Dev Hynes would return with a bittersweet pop melody that borrows more from The Lightning Seeds than from anything his previous band produced?

‘Galaxy of the Lost’ slowly builds from a gentle guitar-and-vocal intro into a catchy pop tune that’s hard to get out of your head. Listen closely to the lyrics and they reveal a song about relationship turmoil and the perils of alcohol. “As we kiss and I’m sick in your mouth”. Well, we’ve all been there….

I’m not sure Dev’s new accessible indie pop will see him regain the level of cult status that the Icicles achieved. But if this song’s anything to go by, he’ll certainly get more radio play and fans who don’t have to be home in time for Blue Peter.

Galaxy Of The Lost by Lightspeed Champion is released on 12th May on Domino Records.



Portishead return with a Machine Gun

Portishead Machine Gun - Third AlbumSingle Review: Portishead – Machine Gun

Portishead return with the release (28th April) of their third album, simply titled Third, on Island Records and the first single to be taken from the album is released this week as a limited edition 12″ vinyl single and a digital download.

Machine Gun includes the irresistible and unmistakable voice of Beth Gibbons, but the accompanying music is not so Portishead-like.  Adrian Utley and Geoff Barrow have constructed a darker, sombre soundtrack more akin to the Euro beat of Laibach and the industrial noise of Nine Inch Nails, with a hint of a 1980’s John Carpenter film soundtrack thrown in for good measure, rather than the easy listening trip hop of Sour Times and Cowboys.

Machine Gun by Portishead is much less likely to receive daytime radio airplay and so may be a taste of a less commercial sounding third album.

Listen to Machine Gun by Portishead

Portishead play London’s Brixton Academy on April 17th.

The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement

Single Review: The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement (Domino Records)

The Last Shadow Puppets is a collaboration between Alex Turner (from The Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane (from The Rascals), and The Age Of The Understatement is their wonderful catchy debut single, which is out now.

Two guitars one acoustic and one electric only in this Rawhide-esque sounding pop song. The single features the vocals of both Miles Kane and the unmistakeable vocal sound of Alex Turner. The twin vocals compliment each other perfectly as the tune is pulled along by the Turner’s chugging acoustic guitar.
Great stuff!

There are two separate 7″ single releases and one CD single versions to choose from:

7″ (ONE)

  1. The Age Of The Understatement
  2. Two Hearts in Two Weeks

7″ (TWO)

  1. The Age Of The Understatement
  2. In The Heat Of The Morning


  1. The Age Of The Understatement
  2. Two Hearts In Two Weeks
  3. Wondrous Place

The album of the same title is out the following Monday on the 21st April.

The Last Shadow Puppets are performing on Later With Jools Holland on BBC2 on the 15th and 18th April.