One gets the feeling that this is Hot Chip’s year, much as it was LCD Soundsystem’s in 2007. The cheeky Brits—but with heart! and brains!—know how to engineer a beat and write a hook, and their wave is cresting at the precise moment when smart dancehall and techno appear to be at their commercial peaks (think Justice, M.I.A., Chromeo, and the already mentioned LCD Soundsystem). Of course, to their credit, they’ve been doing their thing long before some of the aforementioned, and Made in the Dark (reviewed this morning by J. Gabriel Boylan) should cement their high standing. So, what if their video for “Ready for the Floor” relies a little too heavily on ’80’s pastiche—did they grab those girls straight out of a Don Henley video?—it’s sure to do the trick.
Basia Bulat is a pop artist sculpted, it seems, straight out of the Feist mold—she’s cute as a buttton, Canadian, and she can write a mean hook. Her debut album, Oh, My Darling, on which she collaborated with Arcade Fire producer Howard Bilerman, has been getting rave reviews both in our northern neighbor and in the United Kingdom. Rough Trade is releasing it today in the states. Oh, did I mention she plays the zither?
Speaking of Feist, Jason Collett has spent plenty of time with the songstress, as both a member of Broken Social Scene and on tour with his solo act. Collett has been bouncing around the Canadian music scene since the late ’80’s, playing with in plenty of bands that don’t mean a whole lot down here. But he’s got charm (as evidenced from the video, which, unfortunately, doesn’t promote his music too well), some chops, and a soothing, reedy singing voice. Despite his association with BSS, his stuff tends to veer into alt-country terrain, like a simpler, more dixie version of Wilco. His new album is called Here’s to Being Here.
Neo-folk duo Samamidon is the collaboration between Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett. You may recognize them as Doveman, but probably not. They hail from New York, while Amidon was born and raised in Vermont. If the song Saro (video below) is any indication, their sophomore album, All Is Well, out today, should please fans of Sufjan Stevens.
With their Nintendo-inspired keyboarding, whacky checkered jumpsuits and seizure-inducing videos, experimental electronica outfit Yip-Yip do their best to be dismissed as WTF—and, trust me, after a brief listen, you’ll agree it’s probably easier—not to mention healthier—that way. But there’s something almost catchy, if not downright charming, to their madness. They grew up in Orlando. Give them a break!
Plenty of other stuff came out today: new albums by Taylor Dayne, Lenny Kravitz, k.d lang, Sheryl Crow, Kenny G, Nada Surf and Mr. Katherine Heigl, Josh Kelley. They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing.