Albums of note… In 2013, the apparent year of the comeback, Depeche Mode made a mini-one of their own, with their first album in four years Delta Machine. Dave Gahan’s still at the vocal helm and the group still enjoy looking at the darker side of pop. Something they’re still doing with great success according to our writer Dom Gourlay, who surmised “'Delta Machine' is a worthy comeback that while not quite hitting the peaks conquered so magnificently by 'Black Celebration', 'Violator' and 'Songs Of Faith And Devotion' back in the day, still sits comfortably in the upper quartile of Depeche Mode's finest releases to date.”
Another gaining the love of Contactmusic this week is Josh Kumra who released his debut LP Good Things Come To Those Don’t Wait. Give he’s only about 20/21 himself, it seems like he’s taken the title of his album to heart, and this Sony release looks set to make him a star early on in his career. Our man Jim Pusey reckoned “At its heart, Good Things Come To Those Who Don't Wait is a solid singer songwriter effort. It elevates itself beyond that by successfully dabbling in a number of musical styles along the way, while ensuring that Josh doesn't ever sound out of his depth. Certainly one of his strengths is his voice, and he gives himself ample opportunity to showcase that here too.”
Mr Pusey’s been on the good music hunt recently and found what he considers to be another gem in Seattle band Telekinesis’ new album Dormarion. Essentially the creative concern of Michael Benjamin Lerner, Telekinesis are on their third album on Merge Records and its scratchy fuzz-pop could be Lerner’s best yet. He writes “It takes such delight in the whirlwind of guitars and synths that it produces, that it's difficult not to enjoy the ride. Lerner shows that he's fast becoming one of Indie Rock's most notable new talents.”
We’ve spotted Bleached getting a few props around the internet and the summer-tinged scuzz pop that emanates from their debut LP Ride Your Heart certainly justifies it. So we thought we’d put our voice into the mix as well in giving it some hearty plaudits. “Ride Your Heart' is a rush of giddy punk spirit, citing obvious influences from Vivian Girls and The Ramones” wrote Haley Fox.
Live Reviews…The Gaslight Anthem have been back in the UK as they promote their continue to promote last year’s fourth album Handwritten, and David Edwards at Manchester Academy recently to catch their blue-collar rock anthemia and found himself blown away by the passion emanating from their raucously constructed rock ditties. He wrote “There is a connection in their live shows that genuinely warms the heart in a day and age where the stage barriers are physically and metaphorically larger than at any time in the past. What they do might seem initially simple from a musical standpoint, but there's a surfeit of heart and soul deep down in there that grows like a flower from a battered bulb in the live arena.”
A Week In Video… Big Black Delta pricked our sense last year with his returning video for the lead track off of his self-titled second album out at the end of the month. ‘Side Of The Road’ is an enjoyably sultry slice of pop electronica, while the video sees him grooving around an empty room clearly betrothed with his own song. We don’t blame him to be honest.
The Heavy are back with another slice of cheerful soul-infused pop. Curse Me Good. It’s the last single off their 2012 LP The Glorious Dead, released on Ninja Tune records. Though it didn’t feature anything matching the heights of 2009 single How You Like Me Now? The Glorious Dead still gained a generous smattering of acclaim, and when The Heavy are in this sort of mood it’s hard to resist them.
A full-hearted hooray for the return of Rilo Kiley! Rkives is the first album from the Jenny Lewis-fronted band since 2007’s Under The Blacklight and the video for the lead track Let Me Back In is an evocative collection of some of the band’s highlights on the road and in the studio. It’s a treat to have them back.
Fancy some panoramic cigarette-lighters-in-the-air soft rock anthemia? Well Story Books are perhaps the band for you. Debut EP Too Much A Hunter comes out on Communion Records on April 29th and the video for track Simple Kids follows their lives as young students going through all the thrills and spills that late teens early 20’s life has to offer - which from what we remember was generally being an utter pain to the rest of the general public. They don’t really let onto that here though, Simple Kids is seen through glasses of a far more rose-tinted hue.
Music in the news…Psy became the biggest viral star of all time after his video for Gangnam Style went truly stratospheric on Youtube, inspiring countless knock-offs and homages, but while we were all trying to emulate his dance moves, he was getting some new music together. He’s just announced a new track ‘Gentleman’ and revealed that it will feature a new dance. He’ll be performing it for the first time at a concert in South Korea on April 13th.
Cue much grumbling from muso types after BBC Radio 2 revealed that Coldplay’s A Rush Of Blood To The Head had been voted as the best album of all-time in a poll they ran. Guys, it’s a survey ran by BBC Radio 2, what were you expecting? A wave of their listeners aren’t suddenly going to remember they were huge At The Drive-In fans all along you know.
And as One Direction’s popularity swells ever larger, they’ve been given a timely message of handling fame by a British pop group from Smash Hits covers past. 5ive had success in the late 90’s before splitting up amidst struggling to cope with their public profile in 2001. They’re currently on reality TV series The Big Reunion and told 1D “remember who you are, who your mates were before. The hangers-on don't matter."