Posts Tagged ‘Indie’

Cool Tunes for Cool People

Posted: October 25, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Music
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Right, so next time someone asks you “what kind of music are you into?” just mention any one of these artists and they will definitely ride you… if that’s what you want.


This girl makes great music, who'da thunk it?

Electronica has been dominated by men from day one, and girls are especially few and far between in the field of electro/future dubstep. This hasn’t stopped Ikonika from becoming one of the coolest new artists to emerge from the last year or so. Glitchy, wobbly, relaxing and stimulating all at the same time… 

Tame Impala

You can never go wrong with a bit of low-key psychedelia, and these Australian lads hit the nail on the head when they released their debut album, Innerspeaker, earlier this year. 


OK, they’re a bit sad and whiny for my tastes, but this post is all about name-dropping cool artists… Deerhunter released this new album, Halcyon Digest, recently, go check it out if you’re into this kinda thing. 

Jamie Vex’d

Jamie Vex'd - A cool bastard

We’ve covered Flying Lotus, Joy Orbison (I think) and Mount Kimbie already on Universalgrassroots, and if you like them, you’re going to love Jamie Vex’d – another pioneer of experimental, trippy electronica which is hard to put into a tangible category of its own.


Hit the scene at the very beginning of the whole “Brooklyn” thing. (97% of all new bands are now from Brooklyn according to a poll I just made up) and most of the artists that came after them happened to be pale imitators of their look and sound…

…. except for TV on the Radio also from Brooklyn, equally cool, but a totally different vibe altogether. 


If someone told you that LCD Soundsystem, Interpol, Foals and Booka Shade were all bringing out albums soon, I’m sure it would set your heart racing. Don’t get too excited though, because early indications suggest that the first two on that list could be a bit disappointing

So anyways… Let’s get the bad news out of the way

LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls: It’s the first single from This Is Happening, the 3rd album from the James Murphy-fronted electro outfit who gave us great dancefloor hits such as “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” and “Get Innocuous”. If this is anything to go by however, their new stuff might be a bit of a let-down. Initially, “Drunk Girls” ticks all the right boxes – it’s shouty, catchy and bears all the hallmarks of the great DFA record label. On further inspection though, its a bit, well, to be honest… it’s a bit stupid. Murphy has said that this will be his last album under the LCD Soundsystem name, and maybe his heart isn’t in it any more, perhaps he has his sights set on other more interesting (and hopefully better) things.

James Murphy’s new single isn’t my cup of tea

I do think, however, that when This Is Happening is released here on the 17th of May, there will be plenty of great tracks on it; we all know what Murphy is capable of – his last album, Sound of Silver, is going to live long in the memory as a stunning piece of work. Another thing to bear in mind in this day and age is that the first single has to be really catchy, regardless of whether it’s any good. I’m sure this tune will get plenty of airtime, because it’s certainly a tune that gets under your skin, but not in a good way.

Have a listen yourselves:

Interpol – Lights: They’ve always been known for their austere sound, and the New York quartet’s first two albums are up there with the very best that have come out of the 21st century. Their last album, however, 2007’s Our Love to Admire, didn’t quite hit the spot, and since then, the band have been very quiet. With frontman Paul Banks embarking on a solo tour, it looked as though they might even part ways, until this cropped up on their website a couple of days ago…

Artist photo

Interpol’s teaser from their new album is underwhelming

It’s all there, the “Interpol Sound” – Banks’ voice is still dark and atmospheric, with Daniel Kessler’s sculptural guitar sounds coming to the fore. The problem isn’t really the song itself, but the lack of courage they show by releasing a song like this. It’s by no means the big step forward that the band needed at this time. In a December 19th, 2009 interview with NME, Banks hinted that his band were about to take their sound in a radical new direction, saying “there’s some really classical stuff going on, it’s gone to total new levels of crazy sophisticated orchestration.” It pains me to say it, but “Lights” shows no real evidence of this at all, but again, let’s wait until we see an album before condemning them entirely.

OK… Here’s the good news

Foals have managed to avoid 2nd album syndrome

Foals – Spanish Sahara: These Oxford lads burst onto the scene in early 2008 with the singles “Cassius”, “Balloons” and “Olympic Airways”, and immediately settled into the role as pioneering indie prophets. That album, Antidotes, was one of the few that year that got me in any way excited about a guitar band, but there was always a lingering feeling that it could have just been a one-off. After all, a band has their whole life to write their first album, so could they reproduce that success after the hard slog of touring? The answer is a resounding yes, because although they’re a bit pretentious (they recently described their new sound as “the dream of an eagle dying”) and they look a bit too arty for their own good (see picture above), they’ve delivered the goods in a big way with their opening single, “Spanish Sahara”.

It couldn’t be further from the frenetic sound they started off with, it’s quiet, reflective, and very well put together – a real slow-burner, and one of the best songs I’ve heard all year. The album, Total Life Forever, is coming out on the 10th of May.

Spanish Sahara:

Booka Shade – Bad Love: One of the best and most interesting players on the minimal techno scene, the German duo of Arno Kammermeier and Walter Merziger return with their fourth studio album, entitled More!, due in stores on the 3rd of May.

Booka Shade live @ BFI Southbank

Booka Shade: The first Germans to appear on Universalgrassroots

Bad Love is a significant departure from the kind of music we normally hear from them; this time featuring a funky vocal from some kind of Rn’B type fella. It could have gone badly wrong, but the result is great, and the whole thing works equally well in a club setting or just chilling out at home. Great stuff, as ever, so go check it out right here! Bad Love While you’re at it, have a look at this one as well, also taken from More! Regenerate: