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Delirious With Weird

Tuesday, July 01, 2003  
Album of the Year
Or rather a compilation of my favourite songs from the first six months of 2003…

Part 1

Ambulance Blur
Graham’s gone, nobody cares, Damon goes to Mali and translates the TechnoKrautGrooveMisery of 13 into something more melodic, maybe, a rescue vehicle? Canyon horns and amphibious bass. Get that falsetto – “I ain’t got nothing to be scared of”, false, fabricated, unreal. He’s not scared.

EZ Pass Har Mar Superstar
You are from Police Academy and I claim my £5. But that piano roll is perfect, those drums, the movement, the way they first slink up beside you for half a bar… “cash / dash / easy pass / gonna ride that tunnel till the babies hatch / keep it lock down / throw away the key / my second home is known as New York City…” You dirty bitch.

You Were Wrong Loose Fur
Jeff Tweedy sings from a liquor-induced coma. This is the ‘pop’ one from the eponymous album by this trio of alt.country and avant journeymen. “You were wrong / to believe / in me” and I break into tiny pieces. I could drown in his voice – he already has.

Move Your Feet Junior Senior
From the sublime to the ridiculous. How gay? Very gay. No verse – hook, bridge, chorus, hook, bridge, chorus. Relentless. Overexposure can leave you disoriented and nauseous. The horns are so obviously fucking fake (AR Kane’s shite moments?) and the chorus so obviously fucking rips off MJ (well, he can’t very well use it at the moment can he?) but we don’t care. “Move your feet until united.” Yes.

The Only Road Richard Hawley
And back to the sublime. Who’d have thought he’d have this baritone? Longpigs string-stroker turned guitar-for-hire. Mature, resigned, beautiful, it should be crapulent. “I water flowers in the rain / I dance beneath your silver frame / … I’m crippled by the sound of love…”

Little Eyes Yo La Tengo
First I’ve heard from them, Summer Sun. The younger lads at Stylus, weaned on their noisier, more alt.pop moments of triumph and recalcitrant squall, were unimpressed, bored even, by it. I like it; nothing spectacular, but grown, unfurled, comfortable. This is subtle, whirrs and glistens and delicate voice.

As Serious As Your Life Four Tet
Rock’n’roll recontextualisation, doing a sinewave tango, a quantum foxtrot, taking a riff and tearing it into constituent parts, move them, shake them, curl them about a lamppost, reduce it to bits and bytes and processors. In how many ways do I love you, Kieran Hebdon?

The Lonely British Sea Power
I don’t reckon to like indie. Balls. Balls. Fact is British Sea Power are very good. This stays the right side of noise and melody, nothingness lyrics that force you to ask questions – what does this mean? – that you then have to find answers for. They tear apart what a song is for, why we love it. Any song. This song.

Soul Cry Susumu Yokota
Moved away from The Leaf Label (how much do I have to be thankful to Graham Sutton for? – lots) and from his beautiful ambient music, painted with a different palette of sound and texture to almost anyone else, to Play and Over Head and (almost) his dance roots, far from a masterpiece but still more accomplished then you can imagine.

7/01/2003 03:47:00 pm


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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

All material © Nick Southall, 2003/2004/2005