Review: April Alternative Tracklist

As May rolls in and the summer moves closer, take a quick look back over my pick of last months Indie/Electro/Alternative-rock tracks that should be dominating your ears.

If you think that you’ve seen all that April had to offer, or just want some fresh acts to dig your teeth into, look no further and check out some awesome tracks and bands that may just have slipped in under the radar.

Flash Delirium-MGMT: The first single off the band’s second album Congratulations, is instantly indicative of the change in musical style that the band-members hail as a return to their true musical-selves. The psychedelic chord sequences and the pop-punk riffs of the track illustrate the bands transmogrification into the modern day prog-electro trendsetters that they are.

Heartbeat Song-The Futureheads: Plug in your headphones, turn the volume up to full, and by god this track grabs you by the ears and simply goes to town. The first single off the aptly named new album The Chaos, upbeat and fast-paced, the tracks punchy nature makes an instant impression, and draws direct, dramatic and explosive visions of angsty teenage lust. Awesome.

Die By The Drop-The Dead Weather: Jack White and Alison Mosshart always create a pumped and moody feel to their songs, this by the way is no exception. Reasons to love this track; it sounds like it came together as the result of some epic jamming session (not out of the question with Jack White), its intense riffs and driven vocals are characteristic of classic prog-rock anthems of old, and as much as we all know Jack White’s style, each one of his tracks manages to bring something fresh to the proverbial table.

Bubbles-Biffy Clyro: An all around good song from Biffy here- the verses have a nice indie feel to them and move along unfazedly, with the chorus building up to the big sounds you expect from Biffy Clyro. The conluding riffs of the song change the atmosphere quickly, with angsty instrumentals and elevating guitar crescendos bringing about a darkened mood as the track’s final thought, definitely deserving its place in any 2010 alternative playlist.

Born Free-M.I.A: This is a track that will definitely surprise, and hopefully delight, fans of M.I.A, with what sounds like a complete stylistic change from their hit single Paper Planes. The track is pacey and consists of deep, rolling rhythms and echoing vocals that provide for a song with serious attitude, great tune to get the adrenaline pumping! Video can be checked out here if you haven’t seen it.

Now for a few tracks that operate slightly outside of the mainstream. A couple of them I definitely tip to get a lot of critical accliam over the coming months, so take a look and you never know, you might get hooked:

Radar Detector-Darwin Deez: New York band Darwin Deez seem to encaptulate all that is good about the New York ‘sound’, that epitomises bands such as The Strokes, and Vampire Weekend. It does so however, in a light hearted and accessible way. Radar Detector is an up-beat and up-lifting track that I’m sure will capture hearts and minds across the alternative music scene.

Tornado-Jonsi: My playlist simply wouldn’t be complete without this special and beautiful track from Jonsi- frontman of Icelandic band Sigur Ros. Building from slow introspective piano chords to beautiful strings arrangements, as it gathers momentum gradually to the bashing crescendos of the final chorus. The track is reminiscent of some of Sigur Ros’ best work with a dash of Moby-esque eclecticism. Brilliant stuff Jonsi.

Rules Dont Stop-We Are Scientists: Typically punchy, kooky track from We Are Scientists, which has a great degree of listen-ability. Look out for the upcoming album Barbara, and definitely check out the video feature from a few days ago.

This Orient-Foals: If you’re a fan of Foals, and anticipating the release of Total Life Of Forever as much as I am, then let your thirst be quenched by the albums first single; This Orient. The jittery guitar undertones and vulnerable vocals moving throughout the tracks fleeting rhythm (with the odd electronic ‘blips’ and ‘blurbs’), create a complicated yet adherent tapestry of sound which, aswell as being easy on the ear, is also challenging and thought provoking.

We Still Got The Taste Dancing On Our Tongues-Wild Beasts: One of my favorite bands of the last couple of years or so and very much a love or hate band; the countertenor voice of frontman Hayden Thorpe definately polarises opinion in the Indie rock camp. I myself sit firmly in the ‘Love’ camp as I feel it combines perfectly with their lyrical excellence and unique musical style. This track is a flowing example of the bands individuality, all I can really say about it is just give it a listen and see for youself.

Celestica-Crystal Castles: You can always rely on Crystal Castles to create atmospheric and challenging music. Celestica’s house like beat, ambient chords and otherworldly vocals provide a dark and compelling vista. Listening to the new album can give you a somewhat warped perception but I’d more than recommend giving it a try, as it makes for brilliant ‘out of your comfort zone’ listening.

Tonight-The Big Pink: Recent kings of the ‘big’ Indie sound; The Big Pink released latest single Tonight on the 23rd of last month, since then its fair to say I’ve had the track on repeat a fair few times. Brilliant big beats and visceral, chanting vocals make for an epic, primal sound. Another great song for getting you pumped.

Big Jet Plane-Angus & Julia Stone: This is definitely a track for just kicking back and taking it all in. Absorb the intimacy of the gentle vocals, the beautiful overtures of the strings and piano, and the complex fantasies that the music evokes. One of those songs that gives you the sense of taking something new away at the end, seriously deep stuff.

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