Boards of Canada Boards of Canada… Certainly not bored of them

Singles Reviews (best): Boards of Canada, Kanye West, TMBG and more!

Published on May 30th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

This week’s singles were a strong bunch, you know. Here are the best of ’em for you to pick the bones out of, lick the bowl, or whatever it is that you do…

Boards of Canada – “Reach for the Dead”

New Boards of Canada album coming new Boards of Canada album coming new Boards of Canada album coming new Boards of Canada album coming new Boards of Canada album coming! Tomorrow’s Harvest out on June 10th and they’ve tossed us this juicy morsel to tide us over with.

If “Reach for the Dead” is anything to go by, Tomorrow’s Harvest is going to be a darn sight different to any of its illustrious predecessors: the slow, sticky beats and lush analog mongedness remain intact, but where once there was a heavy dose of the ‘distorted childhood memories’ there is now an enraptured lament (if such is possible) of synth paddery.

So electronically hewn is it that you could see it as harking back to their first two albums, 2005’s The Campfire Headphase having incorporated live instrumentation (albeit heavily treated)…but “Reach for the Dead” is a different sort of feel; more Sigur Rós-y, we’re surprised to find ourselves saying. Let’s see what the album holds.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Gaz Coombes – “One of These Days”

A brand new single from the erstwhile Supergrass genius, whose Here Come the Bombs debut solo LP made the top ten of our top 100 Albums of 2012 list, directed by his brother Charly. It’s an absolute corker as well, arousing suspicion with initial U2-iness before blossoming into something else entirely, some divine swirl of subtly exquisite melodies and progressions over a skittering beat and gloopy electronics.

And that’s without mentioning the impassioned lyrics and delivery, which align it with Coombes’s also-wonderful prior single “White Noise”. This is looking like being a very fruitful solo venture indeed.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Kanye West – “New Slaves” (projected onto the side of a building)

“It’s leaders and followers / But I’d rather be a dick than a swallower” rants West over a thumping, unsettled rhythm, sounding out a relentless, rhythmic flow of consciousness that, befittingly of its having been beamed onto buildings in ten cities across the world, delivers its message in no uncertain terms.

“New Slaves” ends unexpectedly with West taking on a falsetto classic soul croon; he may not come across well at times but he seems willing to try almost anything, and most of the time succeeds.

He’s a fruitloop, perhaps even an asshole, but Kanye West is one talented so and so.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Liars – “I Saw You from the Lifeboat” and “Perfume Tear”

Click here for the official free download of these tracks

The former’s an entrancingly bleepy, blaring blast of analog distortion riffs and a vaguely trip-hoppy beat, the latter’s an alluring yet menacing twinkly twilight of chopped up, tripped out mix features. Their WIXIW LP of last year is also superb, just so you know.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Spectrals – “A Heartbeat Behind”

We were ready to write this one off as derivative rockabilly unnecessariness…and then that absolutely divine chorus kicks in. They sure showed us.

Big Star, is this you? Fabulous stuff.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Taffy – “Tumbling”

As with The Spectrals, an indistinct intro and verse teed up a cynicism that was smashed asunder by another belter of a chorus. What is going on this week? A light-hearted, energetic and fuzzy take on the current trend of resuscitating C86 pop.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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They Might Be Giants – “Icky”

Goodness knows what “First name getting all up in your last name face” means, but it sounds fantastic invested with that masterfully staggered early ’60s delivery. This is just one of many great songs on TMBG’s typically excellent recent album Nanobots, served up with a flippin’ tremendous animated video directed by David Cowles and Jeremy Galante. Treasure this band.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Tom Milsom – “Take Me Out”

Jeepers, this is tremendous too, not at all what we were expecting. Fans of Animal Collective/Deerhunter/Flaming Lips/Tame Impala, get ready to receive this blue-haired bloke.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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T’ra for now!

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.