Saturday, February 27

Satellite News?

If you hadn't read a paper, watched any news or checked the internet in about the last month, this rolling headline at the top would really confuse you...
Feeder 'Satellite News'

PS - No idea what the 'satellite' relates to exactly. It was the nearest thing to 'news' I could find in my iTunes...

Thursday, February 25

Second Time Lucky

So all the way back in the year 2008 when Manchester endeavoured to pitch us its latest strive in converting the lager lads, all went wrong when the cover boys' debut album turned out to be, well, not that good. So just imagine my out-and-out shock after listening to 'Falcon', the second offering from Liam Fray and company, aka The Courteeners.

Not shock 'cause it blows even further than the first. But shock 'cause it really doesn't. Like, really, really doesn't. 'The Opener' gets things going via a tasteful five-minute mount of oozy strums and acceptable admissions of Manc love ("I miss the city I love but I've been having an affair with LA and New York, Dundee and Doncaster if I may dare").

Meanwhile, 'Sycophant' sees Fray get somewhat steamed up, yelling, "You're seen everywhere in town, but you're never with a friend. You know everybody's name, you're the king of pretend". And the silvery pop is still very much there, all rooted in a lather of comely piano and steadfast guitar.

'Scratch Your Name Upon My Lips' carries on the almost Manics-gung-honess, and on the eve of Best Track On Here 'Last Of The Ladies', which truly is about as pretty as they come. In short, 'Falcon' is puffed-up without the cockiness. It's charming minus the sappiness. And it's angry and reflective all the same.

God knows what went down, but there's way more to The Courteeners than first signalled. Liam hums in 'The Opener': "I've been away I've been working, but now I'm back I need to know if you're still there, and I need to know if you still care." You know what? I really do.

DLThe Courteeners 'Last Of The Ladies', though buy it from iTunes if you want it!

Tuesday, February 23

Two Doors Up

Alright, I give up. I can't do this anymore... Hi, my name's Adam and Two Door Cinema Club are fucking fantastic.

Well, fantastic may be pushing it a touch. But 'Tourist History', their Elliot James ('The Next Paul Epworth')-produced debut album, is verrrrry strong indeed. And not just the singles, either.

So, I hereby announce that Shout And Twist is formally aboard the TDCC bandwagon. Yes, me and the rest of the cool kids.

Two Door Cinema Club 'Undercover Martyn'

PS - Do the kids still say 'cool'?

Sunday, February 21

Same Name For The Different Things

So you know what I just realised? The last movie soundtrack song I recommended was Sad Brad Smith's 'Help Yourself' from Oscar-nom'd Up in the Air. And the lead in Up in the Air, played by George Clooney, was called Ryan Bingham. And Ryan Bingham is too the name of the guy I'm recommending in this post. And I'm recommending him after listening to his song 'The Weary Kind' whilst watching Crazy Heart. Which is also an Oscar-nom'd movie.

So, coincidence? I think not... Well, it probably is. Still, here's Ryan Bingham's tremendous track. The New Mexican who soundtracked Crazy Heart. Not George Clooney from Up in the Air.

Ryan Bingham 'The Weary Kind'

Thursday, February 18

Her Name's Marina

Not Florence. Not Elly. NOT Victoria. But Marina... And her debut album is absolutely fabulous.

UPDATE! (21/2) Just came back from watching her perform at Manchester's Deaf Institute. Turns out Marina's rather brilliant live to boot.

Sunday, February 14

Hallo...Listen To These!

As loyal readers will be mindful of, the first two years of Shout And Twist wholly addressed themselves to the city of Liverpool. Now that I don't live there anymore (It was me, not the city), something Scouse is gonna have to be real good for it to make these pages.

And so we say hello to Hallo...I Love You! (No space after ellipsis, remember explanation mark), quite probably some kind of waggish homage to the Doors track of the same name (only "a" becomes "e", ellipsis becomes comma, remove explanation mark).

Fortunately, though, this ain't all just a tale of punctuation. HILY!'s debut single 'Walk Me To The Sea' - while took me about four attempts to catch on to its early-'90s Nintendo whams atop sweet 'n' sappy bedspread - is pretty darn bang-up. Said-bleeps and blaps ultimately come to light as rather indelible, all pasted under the kinda plot you'd expect in an unRichard Curtis rom-com.

So, if you live in Liverpool or a town these'll be playing, I encourage you to go and examine for yourself... Oh, and the bassman used to be in Elle S’appelle, who S&T fixated upon like a GaGa robe back in '07.

'Walk Me To The Sea'

Wednesday, February 10

Engerrland Engerrland Engerrland

Patriotic I am not. Of course, there are somethings about England I love. Its open-door conduct to culture, all-out elective government and unmitigated gratitude to the sport of football. Having noted those, there are probably even more somethings I hate - Heck, its people, to name but one.

The National (you know, of New York, America-fame) are to return very soon with a new record. Thank heavens, indeed. In the meantime they've been demoing some fresh material to and fro. One song in particular, which they debuted at NYC's Radio City Music Hall last May, goes by the name of 'England'.

And you know what? This 'England' has not a fault...

The National 'England (Live)'

Sunday, February 7

Mumford & Lies

So what happens when Shout And Twist's favourite band of last year cover a song by Shout And Twist's eighth favourite band of last year? This is what...

Mumford & Sons 'Unfinished Business (White Lies cover)'

Thursday, February 4

... Yeah They Were All Yellow

I may or may not be thieving a BBC headline here. And I don't even watch The Simpsons. But this is truly awesome...

Coldplay 'Yellow (The Alpha Remix)'

Monday, February 1

Album Of Last Month

Vampire Weekend 'Contra' (XL)

The trouble with assembling a great debut album is that ensuing the sell-out academy jaunts, afro-pop-enriching delirium and total sovereignty over untold end-of-year lists, the follow-up must be no less than equally significant. For NY's Vampire Weekend, anticipation is loftier than Burj Dubai - and they've only themselves to condemn.
Now, it should be warned that such distressing shivers of panic do present themselves following the first few spins. Nevertheless - and thank fuck there's a nevertheless - what originally sinks in as unsociable beat reggae and awkward blistering is in actuality newfangled Crispy M&M's pop cradling subtle nuances of utter indie sunniness, all of which happen to fashion 'Contra' into one of the year's very best efforts. Yes, already.
'White Sky' jounces like a Disney-up'd Carrie Bradshaw, all honeyed "aaaahhhhhhoooooooo"ing and Manhattan office observations. Frontman Ezra Koenig's fixation with the English speaker's syntax displays itself further in the instro-bolted friskiness of 'California English'. Though only he can make sense of his PDQ yammerings through 'Cousins' - but a euphonically advanced piece still and all. The twinkle-toeing 'Giving Up The Gun's plying of choristers to mark its end reminds you that 'Contra' is indeed a second album. And 'I Think Ur A Contra' - as they've saved the best 'til last - transmutes in character of Bright Eyes-era Conor Oberst attempting a Talking Heads chanty, with Koenig still talking the "You wanted friends with pools" but via a more "But I just wanted you" intimate anguish. Heck, it's as close to a love song these'll get.
See, 'Contra' so differs from 'Vampire Weekend' that it doesn't even feel like a sequel, yet it's so familiar that it just couldn't be anyone else. Squirrelly guitar lines and umpteen glitterati dissections of course, but this time they're even sweeter.

Best Track
I Think Ur A Contra, though go to iTunes if you want it!