summer’s final dance: last month’s mix, august 2011;

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In which, even when she is being the world’s most rubbish and lazy music blogger, Lis puts together a selection of songs that have caught her attention through the joys of iTunes shuffle this month.

All In The Reel of the Summer: last month’s mix, August 2011

1. Roscoe Vacant and the Gantin’ Screichs: “All In The Reel of the Summer”
It made him smile when I used the name for a photo album on Facebook, so I figured recycling it for the title of this month’s mix wouldn’t hurt. “All In The Reel of Summer” opens Reckurdt with a fire and a fury, all jagged guitars and howl. You should read yesterday’s interview with its protagonist, if you haven’t already.

2. M83: “Midnight City”
Oh my God. This has the ugliest artwork I have ever seen, I mean seriously, what the fuck is that? But ooh, it’s catchy as sin and it doesn’t have a cheesy spoken word bit like the last M83 song I liked so two thumbs up from me. It’s from their forthcoming album Hurry Up We’re Dreaming.

3. Grouplove: “Colours”
A preview to their forthcoming album Never Trust A Happy Song, I discovered this band through the All Songs Considered podcast. It’s an all-pile-on cheerful number, although whether that can be believed from the album’s title I don’t know.

4. tUnE-yArDs: “Bizness”
I confess to having had only a Stereogum reader’s bare familiarity with Merrill Garbus’ work as tUnE-yArDs before her turn behind the production desk on that Thao and Mirah album I’ve been raving about this year. Crammed with whacked beats and tribal percussion this is definitely not the sort of thing I usually listen to, but I’m glad that I did. Also, the bezzer said she really loved the album artwork when I picked up W H O K I L L when staying with her recently.

5. Dirty Beaches: “A Hundred Highways”
I was introduced to Dirty Beaches by Matthew at Song, By Toad and have yet to come up with a better way of describing the music than his “sounds like what you might hear if you submerged yourself entirely in the bath while your next door neighbour was playing pop music just loud enough that you could hear it”. It’s melodic yet damaged, low key and vaguely filthy. This is from Badlands.

6. The Lovely Eggs: “I Like Birds But I Like Other Animals Too”
This one’s courtesy of another Edinburgh blogger, the always-educational and sometimes shambolic Edinburgh Man. We share a love for screamy girls and quirky, low-fi pop. I know next to nothing about the song, or the band, other than it’s on something called If You Were Fruit.

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7. Dave Hughes: “How To Craft A Life”
It’s a wonder how somebody so happy can so perfectly capture the spit-in-your-eye bitterness of a song like this, complete with one of the proper punch-the-air refrains he crafts so well. Come see him supporting Roscoe Vacant at Nice n Sleazy’s tomorrow night? You’ll be able to pick up a copy of the rather fantastic Despite the Blackout there.

8. Song of Return: “Trajectory”
Risen from the ashes of Glasgow electro band Union of Knives, Song of Return are one of those names my colleagues in the Scottish music scene have been banding about for so long I was almost too scunnered to check them out – but this one sneaked its way onto my playlists anyway, exploding in the perfect mix of electronic darkness and heady vocals. It’s on debut Limits.

9. Laurence and the Slab Boys: “Space Dream #2”
Laurence and the Slab Boys describe their sound as “dream-pop with teeth”. There’s nothing you can buy yet I don’t think, but you can hear more at Soundcloud – and here’s a wee interview I did with Larry.

10. Shenandoah Davis: “Proof”
Ah, melodic and vaguely folky piano-led stuff with quirky vocals! That’s more like it. Another Song, By Toad discovery (honestly, why does anybody keep reading this when everybody else does it better?). Buy The Company We Keep from Bandcamp.

11. Amy Winehouse: “Cupid”
So Amy Winehouse wasn’t on drugs at the time of her death – oh, gutter tabloids, what are you going to gossip about now? Probably too much to hope for that you’ll instead mourn the loss of an incredible voice, as demonstrated by her version of the Sam Cooke standard which was included on the deluxe edition of the incredible Back To Black.

12. The Winchell Riots: “Fifteenth”
The Winchell Riots are a four-piece alt.folk-inspired band from Oxfordshire who have been sending me their music for a while – pretty tenacious of them really, when you consider that their debut EP (which included the track “Glasgow Spaceflight”) ended up in a neverending musical black hole of my own making. They say that living well is the best revenge though – or at least REM do, which is good enough for me – and if the ghostly harmonies of the dreamy, jawdroppingly beautiful conclusion to their Figure 8s EP isn’t the most incredible way of rewarding me for my ignorance I don’t know what is.

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13. The Last Battle: “Lost, But Not Forever”
Speaking of dreamy and beautiful – this footnote from the Last Battle’s recent Springwell EP might be only a minute in length but it perfectly captures the old-world atmosphere and gorgeous harmonies the Edinburgh band are still famous for. Unless Scott Longmuir has his way, at any rate.

14. Huck Finn: “Sofia”
This is a song about how falling in love will melt your face off and drive you to the brink of madness. I wrote about it before in the context of the Polish brothers’ film For Lovers Only. They’re a Swiss band who turned up on a Music Alliance Pact mix, and I know next to nothing about them. Including where to buy their music…

15. The Sea Thieves: “Describe the Sky to Me”
The Sea Thieves are an Australian band who make the sort of beautiful, atmospheric folk that makes my heart sing. I interviewed them recently (it’ll be up soon) and they told me their favourite bands at the moment are Wye Oak and The National. I mention this because I’m seeing the pair of them tonight! The song closes album They Will Run.

[DOWNLOAD] All In The Reel of the Summer [zip]

Monthly most played after the jump.

Monthly Most Played as of August 2011:
1. The Gaslight Anthem, “We Came To Dance” [=] 2= The Gaslight Anthem, “High Lonesome” [4] 2= Marah, “Walt Whitman Bridge” [1] 4. The Hold Steady, “Banging Camp” [3] 5= Frank Turner, “I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous” [6] 5= The Gaslight Anthem, “The Spirit of Jazz” [=] 7= The Gaslight Anthem, “The ’59 Sound” [6] 7= The Gaslight Anthem, “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues” [6] 7= The Gaslight Anthem, “Old White Lincoln” [6] 10. The Gaslight Anthem, “Great Expectations” [RE]

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