Sep 18, 2012
I first became aware of Nat Johnson and the Figureheads last year, mistakenly including a track from the Sheffield-based quintet’s 2010 release, What the Heart Pours Into, among the candidates for my top tune of 2011.
Spared the embarrassment of selecting it ahead of the eventual winner, I can safely include the band’s most recent offering among my favourite records of this year.
Johnson describes I’m Across, I’m Ashore as a concept album, but don’t let that put you off. It’s a fine record and this a very fine track. And it has a pie bird on the cover.
Nat Johnson and the Figureheads :: Is My Heart Needed For It?
Like Johnson Cleveland, Ohio’s Cloud Nothings refused to stick to a tried—or is that tired?—and tested formula when recording their latest LP. Consequently Attack on Memory is “a record that crackles with ‘let’s get this on tape now’ immediacy”, according to Pitchfork, which then ruins the image by comparing this wondrous nine-minutes to the Foo Fighters. It’s so much better than that.
Cloud Nothings :: Wasted Days
From Ohio to Nottingham and Red Shoe Diaries, five friends who “write pop songs for messed-up grown-ups” and are definitely not a 1990’s erotic drama series; as far as I know.
Red Shoe Diaries :: Saturday Love Rocket
Some good bird noises there, which is as good a reason as any, if one were needed, to recall this classic Nigel Blackwell lyric from 2002.
Half Man Half Biscuit:: The Referee’s Alphabet