It seems silly that already we're fighting over the last Pepa Pig advent calandar and getting our tinsel in a twist about where to source a Christmas Turkey (sorry, Morrissey) but this year has flown by.
To welcome in the season of goodwill in tremendous Track style, the DIY writers have had a squabble and a tiff, and here are the new songs that are worth a place on Santa's spotify playlist as he flies round all night delivering pressies.
Childhood - Pinballs
The seventh point of record label Speedy Wunderground’s manifesto states that ‘the core of each song will be a live take recorded in the dark with smoke and lasers’. Too right - the label’s sixth release sounds as if it’s been recorded in some sort of galactic live lounge - with a psych-groove more spaced-out than a venue accidentally double-booking a Star Trek marathon and a clinical drugs trial. A seemingly one-note bass lives up to its name in pounding fashion, providing the underbelly for kaleidoscope guitars and Ben Romans-Hopcraft’s usual chilled-out vocals; with a total rhythm breakdown halfway through resembling a (hopefully existing) NASA house band. From then on it becomes a vibey solar-system of synths that sounds like it could be a threequel to ‘Space Oddity’; and is far more psychedelic and experimental than any of the fourpiece’s previous tunes. It would be impossible to have chosen a more apt title– the retro synths and see-sawing rhythms hark back to good ol’ pinball tables – and like any great arcade game, ‘Pinballs’ should be given some serious credit.(Kyle MacNeill)
Guided By Voices- Littlest League Possible
In years to come, 2013 will be unofficially known as the year of the silly oxymoron, with Vampire Weekend's 'Obvious Bicycle' leading the way for all manner of weirdly described nouns. Keen to get a slice of the action, Guided By Voices have announced that their new album - their second this year- will be titled 'Motivational Jumpsuit'. The first cut of things to come has appeared in the shape of the short, snappy 'Littlest League Possible', which tumbles with the ferocious pace of a skydiver zooming through blue skies. It's one loud, brash, no-pretense ball of fun. This song is the cheerful whiskery character in Wetherspoons who buys strangers Jaegerbombs, tells endless stories, and insists that the pub plays The Ramones all day on the jukebox. (El Hunt)
Friends - The Way (Blood Orange Remix)
Dev Hynes doesn't do things in half measures. When it comes to romance, he'll literally go outside and pick the rose he ends up wedging between his teeth, bloodied hands being no big deal compared to his mad love. With remixes, he won't put a donk on it. No way. He'll sing, coo, gush all over the thing. Especially when it comes to taking on girlfriend Samantha Urbani's most recent single. This is a duet of the highest order. It's the sound of a thousand doves coming in for landing, a steamy night at a hotel in audible form. Oh Dev, you Lothario, you. 'The Way' is - appropriately - stripped of its pulp. It's a gooey gushy orange and it tastes delicious. (Jamie Milton)
Sivu - I Hold (ft. Marika Hackman)
Collaborations are nothing new in terms of providing new, interesting content with which to fill the ears of us music fans far and wide. What is particularly special with Sivu and Marika Hackman's temporary alliance however, is the care and attention put behind it. Beginning with their collaborative track 'I Hold', the pair take us on a perfect bleeping, transcendental musical journey of the imagination. Next, they'll take us off on a physical journey, as the pair are set for a very special tour together throughout the UK in December. These are the once in a lifetime shows you'll kick yourself if you miss out.
ceo - WHOREHOUSE
If a chorus along the lines of 'I'm so lost inside a whorehouse' manages to force its way into your head before refusing to leave, then whoever's behind the song is somewhat of a minor genius. Eric Berglund - co-founder of indie label Sincerely Yours - has a knack for making the despicable enjoyable. 'WHOREHOUSE', the first single off of his upcoming ceo record, is a glistening slice of darkened pop that really shouldn't be as alluring as it actually is. The hook unavoidably worms its way in, as the synths gleefully bounce around Berglund's deceivingly joyful vocals - if this is Berglund delving further into his dissident brand of pop, then consider us well and truly sold. (Joe Price)
Childish Gambino - Telegraph Ave
Sweeping across the blogosphere in an unpredictable manner, the latest cut to surface from the forthcoming 'Because The Internet' album sees actor/writer/rapper Childish Gambino entrapped within a hypnagogic synth-laden comatose, breaking its dreamy clutches only temporarily to lay down one of his distinctly insecure rap verses. Like previous track 'Melrose', Gambino further channels ORANGE with his vocal performance on the track, mirroring Frank Ocean's impassioned, tender croon to a surprisingly authentic degree of mimicry. (Joshua Pauley)
Keel Her - Don't Look At Me
Back in the summer of 2012 Art Is Hard put out a compilation named 'Family Portrait.' It was really very good, featuring tracks from Playlounge, Joanna Gruesome, Gum and Keel Her – the bedroom project of Brighton-based Rose Keeler-Schäffeler. Since then there's been a wealth of Soundcloud demos including the infectious ‘Riot Grrrl’ single and Prize Catch’ EP, (there’s also a track called ‘All I want for Christmas is an Alien Invasion’ if you’re looking for alternative to Slade and Chris Rea this festive season) with this latest release continuing the stream of hazily lof-fi loveliness. ‘Don’t Look At Me’ is melodically lofty – a jangly pop gem,undercut by fuzzy production and distant, slacker-pop vocals which manage to harness all of Keel Her’s initial lovable distortion. (Laura Eley)
Deptford Goth - Union (Jim E-Stack Remix)
The brilliance of Deptford Goth's debut album is that it's so emotional, so bloody sad, so very there for the taking. Not a flickering second goes by without a spilling out of misery leaking all over the shop. Producers must've been dribbling at the prospect of taking on 'Union', the absolute peak of Daniel Woolhouse's tear-strewn declarations. What makes Jim E-Stack's remix so special is an actual extracting of sadness. It comes off like a positive 2am soundtrack, where friends share some of the best moments of their life. Gone is the notion that 'Union' should accompany some miserable night alone. Instead, the remix focuses in on the song's title. This is togetherness, communion. This is everything that matters. (Jamie Milton)
Eyes In Istanbull - Tenkawa Jinja
The new single from Birmingham's Eyes In Istanbull sounds like the defining statement they have always wanted to make with their music. Their style flows in the same vein as the recent stranger takes on the classic sound of R'N'B that acts such as How To Dress Well and Lemonade have brought into the mass concious of the web. It's hard to think that it's just three dudes making such an expansive and engaging sound with the simplest of instruments. Keep your eyes and ears on Eyes In Istanbull. (Jack Parker)