Cut Copy’s latest record Free Your Mind showcases the band’s efforts to create even more vibrant, colourful electronic pop music, edging further from their earlier, rockier material. They clearly take inspiration from dance acts like Black Box as seen in the title track, which is full of dreamy synths and piano melodies reminiscent of Ride on Time. ‘Footsteps,’ with its infectious hook in the chorus and soaring vocals, wouldn’t be out of place in a Pet Shop Boys or Frankie Goes to Hollywood compilation. The band works best under the influence of such eighties synth pop masters, from whom they take their best ideas and fuse them with the group’s own distinctive voice and character. The standout track is certainly ‘We Are Explorers,’ which could be the sequel to the outstanding ‘Take Me Over’ from Zonoscope.
Remember when The Fratellis were a thing? Their songs played in beer adverts, they won a Brit Award and everyone in the west of Scotland claimed to have a vague Fratelli connection (true story: my uncle taught the drummer). This success however, proved difficult to maintain, and the follow up to Costello Music failed to match the same excitement and acclaim they had achieved so effortlessly in their debut. An apparent indefinite hiatus and solo efforts followed, but the band soon announced their return to touring and recording in 2012.
RDGLDGRN, Hector Bizerk – ABC 11/5
RDGLDGRN may win the award for the most difficult band name to pronounce this year (it’s Red Gold Green, also the monikers for each band member). Hailing from Washington DC, the trio fuse hip-hop and alternative rock surprisingly well – many have tried and failed to bring two very different musical landscapes together, yet this group seem to have broken the curse and created something pretty impressive. With support and praise from artists as diverse as Pharell Williams and Dave Grohl, who plays drums on the majority of their first EP, RDGLDGRN have the capacity to become a new source of inventive and compelling music.
Tegan and Sara – O2 ABC – 09/06
Tegan and Sara have always enjoyed cult status; after a decade of creating bittersweet pop songs fused with everything from folk to rock, however Heartthrob, the latest album from everyone’s favourite Canadian twin pop duo, peaked at no. 3 on the Billboard Top 200, signalling a significant mainstream breakthrough after years of cultivating a fiercely loyal fan base. Previously celebrated predominantly by the LGBT community (both twins are lesbians), their emotional but infectious music has begun to be embraced more widely, and their recent gig at O2 ABC will have undoubtedly won over a legion of new fans.
We’re all guilty of using “Americanisms”. My friend from Aberdeen is the spokeswoman for DUDE, I revel in the AWESOMENESS of everything and even my dad is partial to throwing in a BUDDY every now and then. The biggest explanation as to why we’ve adopted so much American slang is surely the influence of US film and television. For example, the main character in The Big Lebowski is The Dude- everyone wants to be The Dude, he made milk cool again, for God’s sake. Thanks to Mean Girls we were both reacquainted with “skank” and introduced to “skeez”, and programmes like Friends, a show that plays several times every day in syndication and has done so for nearly twenty years, are responsible for the “Oh my God” and “like” pandemics that spread across the English speaking world. Diablo Cody, the writer of Juno, has been praised for the way in which she managed to engage with and portray the way American teenagers actually speak, and because of the movie’s worldwide success, we have picked up some Juno-isms like “food baby” and wanted to be as smart, witty and irreverent as she can be. While we might not all go around repeating every new word we hear on this week’s episode of Girls or chronicling the way Jersey Shore cast members speak, the language and phrases British audiences are exposed to by the US media definitely have the ability to shape the way we talk.