/>
musicOMH
home / features / albums / live / classical / blog
Facebook Twitter
search:
features  

Track Reviews: December 2011 (Part 1)

by Tim Lee, David Welsh and Michael Hubbard
Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey

buy Lana Del Rey MP3s or CDs

Spotify Lana Del Rey on Spotify

(This is the first part of a two-parter. Part 2 is now live here.)

Ha. Bet you thought that this was the last original material you were going to get from musicOMH tracks this annum.

But no.

And this isn't just any tracks column. This is the proverbial extreme edition. In two parts. A month's-worth of pent-up bitterness, joy and despair, a last hurrah for 2011 before it descends into a sherry-soaked oblivion of hideous knitwear, highly flammable decorations and Christmas songs whose festive spirits have worn down like so many fingernails down a blackboard.

But we shall not go quietly into that white night: the pop dearth of holiday oblivion is not yet upon us, and we've managed to muster just enough resolve to click through to a few music videos, sit through a few bars and smile meekly/grin broadly/sulk despondently/react violently.

  1. Lana Del Rey - Born To Die

You'd be forgiven for thinking this year was El Año de Lana, but it'll be 2012 when the Internet's favourite miserabilist drops her next world-devouring single and album, both named Born To Die.

It's essentially Video Games with percussion, her (alleged) agents clearly having stumbled upon a formula with which they can (allegedly) print money and (allegedly) further consign Lana's secretive, (allegedly) real debut LP to the annals of history. You didn't hear it from us, right?

On the plus side, the agreeable Born To Die will shortly be accompanied by an "incredible" video conceived by the gorgeous siren herself. Apparently, it's got a tiger in it.

Although it can't be long till rumours abound that it wasn't always a tiger, less than a year ago the same 'tiger' was attempting to make a career for itself as a cat, before someone suggested it might have more luck should it come back with pretty stripes and massive teeth.

In the meantime, do your best to hold back the tears through almost five minutes of nudie hipster embracing. Bless.

  1. Yelle - Comme Un Enfant

Imagine if humans could be twisty pink marshmallows. Imagine if Lana Del Rey's lips could be made into a chic chapeau. Imagine if a song sung in French could be noticed by music journalists in England.

Well, Yelle manage the first two in Comme Un Enfant, a sweetly slice of their first album in four years, Safari Disco Club. The long player appeared earlier this year. It was duly ignored by music journalists in England. But if you - like us - love some electropop sassed to the max, this - surely the pinkest video ever recorded - will be for you and your ilk. Not only that but there's a shot of an ice cream melting. These Frenchies really do think of everything.

  1. Fleet Foxes - The Shrine/An Argument

Animated video of the year, which is no mean feat considering the glories set forth by the likes of Wye Oak and New Look in 2011.

Directed, edited and co-animated (!) by frontman Robin Pecknold - a true man of all seasons, it would appear - this eight-minute epic is nothing less than spellbinding. The curious tale of a carnivorous deer (as far as we can tell), it's easily as captivating as any micro-masterpiece to grace these pages over the last 12 months, and adds layers to this already-dense highlight from the Helplessness Blues LP.

  1. Lambchop – If Not I'll Just Die

The first single from what is widely expected to be the last ever Lambchop record is a pensive and melancholy thing. Alt. Country in all the ways you may expect, but with a swing that you might not.

Swing, in a finger-clicking, bow-tie undone, propped up at the piano with a whiskey in hand, kinda way.

Basically, it's a bit like a folk-rock rat-pack. Imagine Sinatra, Martin and Sammy Lee sat on the porch in their dungarees, a banjo perched on each of their knees.

  1. Echo Lake – Burial At Sea

Taken from their debut EP Young Silence, Burial At Sea is another five minutes of dreamy, echo-laden beauty that languidly washes over you. It's like lying on a beach, staring up at the (Mazzy) stars and being hit by a slowly diving wave of graceful noise.

In a good way. Not in a salty, damp, unhappy way.

It suggests, if we were in the business of making predictions about the future, that their debut album proper (due early 2012) should be something worth waiting for. But we aren't. So we won't.

  1. Phenomenal Handclap Band - Unknown Faces In Father James Park

Phenomenal Handclap Band's 2009 self-titled unveiling flattered to deceive, smothered as it was under the weight of expectancy generated by the surprise success of the band's debut single 15 To 20.

Unknown Faces In Father James Park, however - precursor to a sophomore album early next year - is denser, more ambitious and far more accomplished than its maligned predecessors: there's a lot going on here, all of it good, and PHB (as we've suddenly decided to call them) seem to have nailed down the psychedelic, Mamas & Papas-esque irresistibility that graced a select few of their earlier efforts. Bodes well.

  1. Oliveray – You Don't Love

When all and said and done, December is a miserable time. It's cold. It's dark. It's expensive. You'll have to spend time with people you don't like, and who you avoid, for good reason, for the other 360 days in the year. People will almost certainty attempt to enforce fun. They may even attempt to make you dress up.

The most wonderful time of the year? Fuck right off.

So, this folky, quiet, downbeat lament from Erased Tapes label mates and now collaborators Nils Oliver Frahm and Peter Ray Broderick makes for the perfect accompaniment for these sad times. Bah. Humbug.

(This is the first part of a two-parter. Part 2 is now live here.)



Comments

related articles
GIG: Lana Del Rey @ Scala, London
recent features
    1. FEATURE: Ones To Watch 2012: Part 1
    2. INTERVIEW: Luke Haines
    3. FEATURE: Track Reviews Of The Year 2011: Part 3
    4. FEATURE: Track Reviews Of The Year 2011: Part 2
    5. FEATURE: Track Reviews Of The Year 2011: Part 1
    6. FEATURE: Track Reviews: December 2011 (Part 2)
    7. FEATURE: Track Reviews: December 2011 (Part 1)
    8. musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2011: Complete List
    9. musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2011: The Top 3
    10. musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2011: Nos 10-4
    11. musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2011: Nos 20-11
    12. musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2011: Nos 30-21
    13. musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2011: Nos 40-31
    14. musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2011: Nos 50-41
    15. musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2011: An Introduction
recommended
Ones To Watch 2012
FEATURE
Ones To Watch 2012

Tips in five parts.
Luke Haines
INTERVIEW
Luke Haines

On wrestling, rock'n'roll, time passing and new project The North Sea Scrolls.
musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2011
FEATURE
musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2011

With a Spotify playlist and everything.
latest album reviews
    1. Pulled Apart By Horses - Tough Love
    2. Diagrams - Black Light
    3. First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
    4. Tribes - Baby
    5. Django Django - Django Django
    6. Ani DiFranco - Whose Side Are You On?
    7. The Maccabees - Given To The Wild
    8. The Little Willies - For The Good Times
    9. The Big Pink - Future This
    10. Dear Reader - Idealistic Animals
    11. Plug - Back On Time
    12. Roedelius Schneider - Stunden
    13. Jonti - Twirligig
    14. Bosco Delrey - Everybody Wah
    15. Thee Attacks - That's Mister Attack To You
    16. Tunng - This Is Tunng... Live From The BBC
    17. Niobe - The Cclose Calll
    18. Paper Dollhouse - A Box Painted Black
    19. The Black Keys - El Camino
    20. Fairewell - Poor, Poor Grendel
    21. Rocket From The Tombs - Barfly
    22. Baloji - Kinshasa Succursale
    23. Korn - The Path Of Totality
    24. Dominant Legs - Invitation
    25. Rebecca Ferguson - Heaven
    26. T-Pain - rEVOLVEr
    27. Ólafur Arnalds - Living Room Songs
    28. Dan Mangan - Oh Fortune
    29. Mr Oizo - Stade 2
    30. Standard Fare - Out Of Sight, Out Of Town
    31. Flare Acoustic Arts League - Big Top/Encore
    32. Chris Cornell - Songbook

    33. more album reviews

  more features and interviews...



musicOMH
about us
contact
copyright
home
elsewhere
Twitter
Facebook
Last.fm
Soundcloud
© 1999-2011 OMH