by Dave Bertram
The first week of new releases this year is upon us, delivering a fabulous new single from Fat White Family together with new offerings from SASAMI, Lana Del Rey, Sharon Van Etten, the Twilight Sad, Beirut, Deerhunter and Stella Donnelly.
The dirt is still there. But scrape it away and you’ll find a purring, melodic engine on Feet which bangs together metronomic indie and electro funk into more sophisticated beast. Fat White Family’s first single off third album Serfs Up! – their first on new label Domino – is gratifying and rather unexpected, drawing plenty from a great man who would have been 72 this week.
Among the best of the rest is SASAMI, releasing Jealousy ahead of her self-titled debut record, set for release on 8th March.
Beirut are back with another new song off their forthcoming album, Gallipoli. Zach Condon’s latest is called Landslide and it arrives in-hand with an Eoin Glaister-directed visual, shot in Kazakhstan and featuring Game of Thrones actor Ian Beattie.
Without doubt, the best named track this week is Sleaford Mods’ new single, Kebab Spider – which also happens to be, in my humble opinion, the best track they’ve released to date! If the rest of Eton Alive is this good, then you should definitely keep an eye out for the LP in February.
Sharon Van Etten returns with new record Remind Me Tomorrow on the 18th January and has preceded it with third single, Seventeen. Exploring gentrification and generational patience, it draws melodic influence from Ryan Adams and Taylor Swift, which pour against an upbeat piano synth arrangement.
Deerhunter have shared a third track, Plains, from Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? – another big new album set for an 18th January release.
Another solo debutant set for her first release this year is Freemantle singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly, after her excellent EP Thrush Metal with standout track Mechanical Bull. Beware of the Dogs is led by single Old Man.
Steve Gunn’s 2014 LP, Way Out Weather, was a fantastic slice of Americana, and Vagabond is no different – and it’s taken from the upcoming album, Unseen In Between, which is due for release on Domino Records in February.
And finally, after announcing the completion of a book of poetry with the pencilled title Violet Bent Backwards Over The Grass, Lana Del Rey has pushed hope is a dangerous thing… Perhaps missing the cutting edge of her earlier work, hope sees Lana return with just the backing of dampened piano roaming the streets in her nightgown.