For many listeners in 1987, the Sugarcubes single “Birthday” heralded the arrival of a striking new vocal talent by the name Björk Guðmundsdóttir. Even with the more conventional indie band, Björk stood out with her quirky, wordless yelps and croons. The fact that the song was about a love affair between a 50-year old and his 5-year old neighbor helped herald the arrival of something truly different.
The British are always trying to musically one-up us Americans. Yes, we know the Beatles are from the U.K…but we got them on iTunes. Just when we thought things were pulling even though, Club Seat (pronounced SAY-at) appeared. The British online community is getting the drop on the A.V. Club with a new series “On Track… With SEAT” for Channel 4 in the UK. The series takes artists like Robyn to London Metropolis Studio to record tracks straight to vinyl.
Even if The Suburbs had sucked, Arcade Fire‘s latest would have made a splash. After 2004’s Funeral and 2007’s Neon Bible, saying the follow-up was anxiously awaited is like saying John Lennon’s return would be surprising. The fact that the album ended up being terrific – well, it may not have broadened the splash that much yet (the Internet’s attention span doesn’t allow for much reflection), but just wait for the year-end lists to arrive.
The early frontrunner for most-coverable tune is “We Used to Wait.” Given the song’s recent Google Earth-driven concept video, this shouldn’t be surprising. Two well-executed covers have popped up in the inbox so far and I expect more will follow. Until then, we have the Drums and Clare Burson. The Drums’ lively bounce may be the more bloggable, but Burson’s subdued lament takes more risks.