New Music


JIM CARROLL's future sounds

Memory Tapes: joyful pop you won't be able to forget

The tape is running. Dayve Hawk may modestly describe himself as “just some dude in southern Jersey”, but you can’t say the same thing about his music. Most dudes in southern Jersey are trying to sound like Jon Bon Jovi for a start.

Released under a haul of different names – Weird Tapes, Memory Cassette and, most recently, Memory Tapes – Hawk’s dreamy melodies, hazy grooves and elegant electropop are already hugely distinctive and impressive.

The former frontman with angular Philadelphia combo Hail Social is certainly enjoying the new lease of creative life that has came his way since he took the solo route.

As befits Hawk’s blogging fame, there have already been a bunch of remix calls for such notables as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Peter, Björn John, Yeasayer, Britney Spears and even Michael Jackson.

Hawk has a theory on why those calls keep coming. “Record labels hire a lot of underground people to do remixes and then reject them knowing they’ll probably end up on blogs anyway,” he says. “They can get the promotion without paying you. I’m not too upset about it. With a lot of my remixes, I don’t even listen to the original song. I still haven’t heard that Yeah Yeah Yeahs song.”

Hawks’ output has been highly prolific with singles and EPs for such labels as Acephale, Something In Construction and Sincerely Yours.

The release to check out is Seek Magic,his debut album proper. Woozy, liquid electro shimmies and shakes with a clatter of widescreen, funky grooves, this is the kind of music that New Order used to be able to produce at the drop of a hat when they were a going concern. Melancholic, joyful pop you’ll want to keep close to hand. memorytapes

We Cut Corners: for whom the bell tolls
Every week, the New Music desk buckles under the weight of CDs and packages from bands looking for a leg up. Our in-box is overflowing with MySpace links, Facebook pokes and Linkedin invites from those same bands. There are also emails wondering why the hell we’re not writing about them, but we ignore those ones.

The way to New Music’s heart is simple. You don’t need shiny envelopes, pointless folders, a biography full of hot air, photos of your band looking surly or even lollipops. You simply need a bunch of damn good songs.

Cue the four-track CD from We Cut Corners. Within seconds, we were humming along with the Dublin-based duo. This is what it’s all about: bright harmonies, dastardly hooks and sharp-as-a-pin lyrics. Toll Freehas all of the above in droves.

Live, We Cut Corners also make a splash and their Hard Working Class Heroes show last month, with Conall O Breachain and John Duignan doing the drum/guitar thing with considerable panache, turned many in the audience into believers. Blowing more minds should hopefully be on the duo’s to-do list for 2010. wecutcorners

Three more

Jennifer Evans

Beautifully spooked noir-foik from the Dublin singer and her band The Ripe Intent. Way To Gois a tune fans of Joanna Newsom, Evie Sands and Linda Perhacs will be raving about.

Dum Dum Girls

A librarian called Dee Dee makes up this one-woman fuzz-pop outfit from Los Angeles now signed to Sub Pop after a couple of releases on Captured Tracks and Hozac. dumdumgirls

Hey Rosetta!

Six-strong band from Newfoundland making spine-tingling big music with fabulous strung-out melodies and skybursting harmonies. Debut album Into Your Lungsawaits you. heyrosetta