I’ve seen three awards-season-tipped movies this week (The Wrestler being the best) so as a result, two Oscar/Bafta film soundtrack songs are in the ten this week (The other eight are damn fine too):

On a recent shopping trip I managed to pick up a promo of Brakes’ forthcoming album. Oh boy is it a good one, displaying a tendency to genre hop from Indie to Punk and from Rock to Country but at the same time sounding chock full of confidence. Here’s opener ‘Two Shocks’, which morphs from a catchy Indie song into a pounding Rock monster.

Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The Wrestler’ is the closing song from Darren Aronofsky’s magnificent male-weepy movie of the same title (The bit at the end when the riff for Guns ‘n’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ comes in, had my bottom lip wobbling). Like Mickey Rourke’s incredible performance, it’s a song full of moments of faded glory, damaged emotion and manly pain. The boss contributed the song for free (That’s what mates are for) but it’s also available as a bonus track on his new album. It’s almost the equal of ‘Streets Of Philadelphia’… yes it’s that good.

The brilliantly named Favours For Sailors make deliriously uplifting Indie-Rock. The equally brilliantly titled ‘I Dreamt That I Dreamt That You Loved Me In Your Dreams’ is super catchy with great shouts of “Get the fuck out of my dreams!”.

Francis & The Lights have recorded a superb cover of Kanye West’s ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’ turning it into an ethereal Piano lead Rock cut but still retaining an unmistakable Hip-Hop rhythm. I urge you to check out some more (Self penned) stuff from this band because I’m loving everything I’m hearing.

M.I.A. and Bollywood film composer A R Rahman bring ‘O… Saya’ which is cut with a thrilling foot chase in Slumdog Millionaire. The tribal drumming, heavenly chanting and of course M.I.A’s distinctive vocals make for one of the best tracks she’s done.

Marina & The Diamonds’ ‘Mowgli’s Road’ sounds not unlike Siouxsie & The Banshees, which would usually be a cross in the box for me (Try as I might, I always hate Siouxsie Sioux vocals) but for some reason I love it. Check out the cute ‘Cuckoo, cuckoo” bits and the monkey screeching that make for something a bit different to your average Pop song.

Good news… panic over, Pet Shop Boys’ new single ‘Love Etc’ is excellent but it takes a few listens for it to get under your skin (Give it time). Neil Tennant’s lyrics and vocals are amazing as usual and by the fourth of fifth listen you’ll be shouting along when the chorus surges in two minutes through.

The lyrics to Riz MC’s ‘Radar’ are an entertaining trip into the mind’s tendency to judge people on first appearances, to be snobby about certain kinds of music and to put musicians into easy to digest boxes. So with that in mind… ‘Radar’ is bit like Akala doing a Grime version of ‘Losing My Edge’. If like me, you’re thinking you recognise the face, Riz is also a brilliant actor, from things like ‘Britz’, ‘The Road to Guantanamo’ and ‘Dead Set’… talented bastard!

The Rayographs’ ‘Gold Light’ is a subtle atmospheric thing with a Guitar line that snakes it’s way into your brain. Imagine a less showy version of The Kills and you’re getting close.

‘Wonder Stranger’ is a ghostly music-box song from Chicago’s Via Tania and there’s more than a touch of Björk. But the Icelandic pixie hasn’t made music this unreservedly beautiful in a long while.


M.I.A. MySpace / Purchase
Riz MC MySpace / Purchase
Brakes MySpace / Purchase
Marina & The Diamonds MySpace / Purchase
Via Tania MySpace / Purchase
Favours For Sailors MySpace / Purchase
Francis & The Lights MySpace / Download
Bruce Springsteen MySpace / Purchase
The Rayographs MySpace / Purchase
Pet Shop Boys Website / Purchase

Here’s Riz MC’s frenetic video for ‘Radar’:

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