(Ryan): It’s pleasing that my musical 2009 has kicked off by finding ten tracks as great and as varied as these… let’s hope the rest of year is gonna be as good:

‘I Love College’ is Rap-jester Asher Roth’s soundtrack to the kind of antics displayed in 1978 comedy classic ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’. His vocals are gonna remind you of Eminem but his rhymes have more of the lyrical cheek of early Beastie Boys. This boy’s got plenty of other tunes equally destined for chart success.

‘Deer Tick’ bring a bit of Lo-Fi acidic Psychedelic-Folk called ‘These Old Shoes’. It’s got the gently rolling rhythm of the train mentioned in the lyrics.

Luke Steele, the loony Pop mind behind The Sleepy Jackson is back, with a new band called Empire of the Sun. They have many fine tunes but I’m partial to the Prince influenced (‘Around the World in a Day’ period anyway) ‘Half Mast’.

Sound Of Rum are purveyors of fine Rap-Poetry delivered by front woman Excentral Tempest. They’re well worth checking out but here’s a solo track from the lady herself called ‘What We Came After’. Harps and Synths shimmer while she drops her labyrinthine rhymes (Thanks to Neil (MLD) and Scroobius Pip for the tip).
‘If I Had A Heart’ mixes the ominous chants of some heathen temple with the terrifying hum of a dreaded machine of death… so not a Pop song then. Sweden’s Fever Ray have created a soundscape racked with tension adorned with ghostly vocals.

‘Don’t Joke With DJ Papa’ is a clever collision of Quantic & Spanky Wilson’s ‘Don’t Joke With A Hungry Man’ and Polish-Funk-outfit Big Band Katowice’s ‘Sorcery’. It’s got Soul power, Funk drive and it’s just one cut from new Mash-Up maestros Funky Mamas & Papas Recordings.

Japanese Cartoon are rumoured to be the new Rock-based project from Lupe Fiasco. However their MySpace page states that singer “Percival Fats is NOT Lupe Fiasco, although he is a dear friend”. To my ears ‘Heirplanes’ sounds like Lupe, but whatever the truth, it’s a thrilling, sub-sonic-Bass driven, politically sharp Demo.

Kid Cudi’s Rap cut ‘Cudi Get’ features weird 50s B-Movie sounds against a little kiddie singing a Slade chorus. On top of this unorthodox production, Cudi’s rhymes take in Martin Luther King and Stop ‘n’ Search.

‘Back In The Orange Grove’ is a gorgeous Piano lament enhanced with some David Gilmour style Guitar atmospherics. It’s a performance of towering emotional power and searing beauty. Kingsbury are kindly giving away the whole ‘Lie To Me’ EP, from whence it came, if you click here.

‘Dem Na Like Me’ manages to combine three peerless talents in one short track. There’s Ninja Tune’s The Qemists featuring guest Raps from chart star Wiley and Dubstep genius King Cannibal on Remixing duties. I’d also suggest checking out the rest of the remixes of ‘Dem Na Like Me’, as it’s one of those rare occasions when they’re all good (And all in different ways).


Asher Roth MySpace / Blog
Deer Tick MySpace / Purchase
Empire Of The Sun MySpace / Purchase
Excentral Tempest MySpace / Purchase
Fever Ray MySpace / Purchase
Funky Mamas & Papas Recordings MySpace / Purchase
Japanese Cartoon MySpace
Kid Cudi MySpace / Purchase
Kingsbury MySpace / Purchase
The Qemists MySpace / Purchase

Here’s the Video for Fever Ray’s ‘If I Had A Heart’

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