Saturday, 15 June 2013

What I was listening to last month: May

Woah, this is a late post. Still, I’ll try and forget that we’re stuck slap bang in the middle of June, and instead look back to what I was listening to last month.

There were a whole heap of records released in May that will no doubt sit in and around the top ten records of 2013 by the time December comes around. Whether they get a place in my top ten is another matter.

The global salivation that greeted Daft Punk’s latest full-length was a tad OTT. It’s a good record, yes, but it hardly seemed groundbreaking. Likewise, The National’s latest effort, Trouble Will Find Me, was in every sense a The National record; morose, enveloping and stacked full of crescendos. Did it surpass the masterpieces of Alligator and Boxer? I don’t think so.

Still, there was much to enjoy last month. I made a trek to Field Day in London where I saw a caught the likes of Animal Collective, Savages, Chvrches, Solange and Django Django. But, the real find of the weekend was Francois and the Atlas Mountains, whose blend of French-tinted pop and intricate math rock motifs created a  limb-shuffling forty odd minutes of rare brilliance.

Finally - against all my better instincts - I fell hook, line and sinker for the new Vampire Weekend record, Modern Vampires of the City. I’ve never really paid too much attention to VW; their Graceland-inspired melodies merely made me want to reach for the actual Graceland. But this new VW offering is a supreme slab of indie intelligence, the likes of which I never imagined they were capable of.

Goes to show that, underneath all the superlatives and verbosity, we critics know very little at all.

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