September 5, 2008
Marcus O’Dair, Host of Independent Music Radio, Profiles His Pick of the Latest Acts
By MARCUS O'DAIR
FIVE TO WATCH
News that the NME has declared The Dodos' new album one of this summer's must-have releases might raise sceptical sneers, but the magazine is absolutely right: Visiter is a corker. And rather than the usual indie shmindie, as moribund as their flightless namesake, this Californian duo instead peddle a distinctive take on psych- tinged folk. It's more upbeat and rhythmic than Sufjan Stevens or The Shins, however, the whole thing underpinned by prominent, heavy- duty percussion, equally influenced by heavy rock and West African drumming. The results have won comparisons to the rootsier side of Led Zeppelin; in terms of contemporaries, meanwhile, they're somewhere between the Afrobeat flirtations of Yeasayer and Animal Collective's experimental pop.
The album 'Visiter' is out now on Wichita
The single 'Fools' is out on Wichita on 15 September
The Dodos are on UK tour until 16 September
FUJIYA & MIYAGI
"Vanilla, strawberry, Knickerbocker Glory / I saw the ghost of Lena Zavaroni". Half-whispered, repeated over and over, it should be a ludicrous way to open an album. In the hands of Brighton's Fujiya & Miyagi, however, it's only mildly surreal - and utterly compelling. The band have been honing this wry, decidedly English take on Krautrock ever since 2002's Electro Karaoke In The Negative Style, and their third album, Lightbulbs, could be their best yet. Now signed to the same label as Tunng and The Hold Steady, it might also allow them to finally enjoy in their home country the kind of profile that they have long enjoyed abroad. They've also just done an 43-minute track for Nike, following in the footsteps of LCD Soundsystem - whose James Murphy is, incidentally, a fan.
The album 'Lightbulbs' is out now on Full Time Hobby
Fujiya & Miyagi are on UK tour from 18 September
Hip-hop is a famously male-dominated genre, and one which has a reputation for being unswervingly heterosexual. Step forward Yo Majesty, purveyors of booty-shaking electro hip-hop every bit as filthy as fellow Florida act 2 Live Crew once were, but performed by two out 'n' proud lesbians - that their current EP is called "Kryptonite Pussy" should give some idea of what to expect. That EP, however, was mere foreplay: this month finally sees the release of their much-anticipated debut, which apparently features the production talents of Basement Jaxx among others. Not for the faint- hearted, certainly, but good dirty fun for the rest of us, while recent tours with CSS and The Gossip hint at crossover potential.
The single 'Club Action' is released by Domino on 22 September
The album 'Futuristically Speaking... Never Be Afraid' is released on 29 September 29
Yo Majesty will be on UK tour next month
GET THE BLESSING
Bristol quartet Get the Blessing released their debut album, All Is Yes, back in February, but they're hot news again having recently won the BBC Jazz Album Of The Year award. And if the j-word is an instant turn-off, then hold your horses: this is punk-jazz or post- jazz, to be filed next to Acoustic Ladyland and Fraud. The rhythm section used to play in Portishead (whose Adrian Utley even shows up on the record), and members have also played with everyone from Roni Size to Super Furry Animals; besides, they're signed to Cake, also home to that famously energetic pianist and jazz ghetto escapee, Neil Cowley. There's a UK tour later in the year for all who missed them at Glastonbury and The Big Chill.
Get The Blessing play Croydon Clocktower in on 19 September
All Is Yes is out now on Cake
This duo's claim to sound like "two dads hanging out" is a tad misleading. These are dads who play gigs on New York fire escapes alongside hipster icons such as Spank Rock and Dan Deacon. And, er, one of them's a girl. Instead, think lo-fi pop that sits on that curious boundary between the primitive and the avant garde. One member is a former noise freak with no formal training, the other a bassoon-playing music graduate. The result is gently exotic pop that would be twee if the melodies weren't so fragmented.
The High Places self-titled debut is out on Thrill Jockey on 23 September
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