Six Shuffle is a feature where our writers play six tracks from their musical library whilst on shuffle and write thoughts on the track during the track length, no matter what song comes on or how long the song is.
Elbow – Picky Bugger
From their album Leaders of the Free World (the last Elbow album before their songs started being used to soundtrack every montage in TV history) this track is a rare vicious track, with a dark key and swearing – a bit different to the mellower Elbow we know now. I actually really like Leaders of the Free World, as it’s the album that I discovered Elbow from. It’s shorter than I remember though, but I love the clapping at the end.
The Cast of Cheers – Derp
I love this album – it feels like a better, more mature Bloc Party, with their cool factor still intact. There’s a loud level of math-rock to this album, and this track is a winding and flipping version of the shouty nature of the band. It was available for free from their Bandcamp last year, but is very much worth the money that they are wanting to lay it out – it has that excitable nature that debut albums sometimes don’t have, when someone is doing something not entirely new, but certainly something that will get your attention when it comes on. A very good album.
It is also worth noting is the lovely art work (posted below). It’s very Why?-esque, but it works.
Steven Milne – Falling
Ah! A local boy from Aberdeen: a close contender for my next New Scottish Music column. I ran into this album by going to see the Twilight Sad play an acoustic set, and Steven Milne (who is in the band Little Kicks) wowed the crowd with his lovely solo album. It really is a fabulous singer songwriter album and well worth sourcing. This track gets the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end – it must be the melody on the chorus that does it, and it feels so right and so good. Genuinely a good find and another reason to love my local record shop One-Up. I will get round to writing another column full of new Scottish acts for the winter, and he will certainly involved in the post, this album’s been on my rotation for a while now, and sits proudly in front of my iPod dock CD hi-fi player.
(The) Phantom Band – Folk Song Oblivion
My review of their second album The Wants was a vitriolic run through the worlds of “fucking pop music” and was for a while my favourite bit of writing I’ve done for here. It reads a little petulant and a lot like a music-indie prick acting out, but I kinda still stand by it, mostly that the album is the best British album of the last few years. This is from their debut album, Checkmate Savage, and is a probably the best song they have on that records. The sweeping riff feels like a cloud growing over a mountain, like a folk song mutated thanks to the Mutant X gene. It also feels like Cthulu, swarming a shipwreck. I love it, despite it being linked directly to me lodging my car ontop of a rock one night when going hillwalking and almost destroying my car, and certainly destroying the land owners lawn. Oops.
Battles – Toddler
Um... I’ve not really gotten into the new Battles record, but I loved Mirrored. This seems like a random interlude and is quite nice. It has a feel of one of those mobiles you get on babies beds – maybe that’s where the name came from.
The Twilight Sad – Made to Disappear
This is my favourite track from their second album Forget the Night Ahead. It’s something to do with the drum rhythm being a little off, and different, and it feels so good to drum along. “You said forget the night ahead... but you’ll never find her on her own...” genuinely love this track. It has this slow approach to the guitar that’s quite different to the actual sound of the drums and juxtaposition seems to work in the songs favour. It feels really good.
Interestingly, I am listening to these through my new Etymotic HF2 Earphones, and I have just noticed a little squeal on the guitar at the chorus I’ve never heard before. I love when that happens.
Bonus Seventh Spin
Dananananaykroyd – Some Dresses