BlackBook Tracks #48: Around The World

Before Morrissey condemned our turkey-slaying ways this Thanksgiving, he stated that “America Is Not The World” on his 2004 record You Are The Quarry. This is one of the truer things he’s said in the past decade, and just because we’ve had a major holiday doesn’t mean that everything else comes to a grinding halt. Here’s what’s been going on around the world in music this week.

Villa – “If I”

It’s been a solid year for nu-disco, and Villa’s bringing it to a strong close. “If I” is the title track from the Belgian duo’s latest EP, released this week on Partyfine. It’s the kind of come-on that instantly drags you onto the dancefloor (or whatever part of your bedroom floor is currently visible), and that nasty bassline will inspire you to burn off all that pie you totally didn’t eat.

Rainbow Chan -“Haircut” (Nick Zinner remix)
I just saw a dog wearing two sweaters, so it’s safe to say that I already wish it was summer again. One easy way to do that would be to go to Australia, where Rainbow Chan is from. The Sydney-based alt-pop artist just shared this remake of “Haircut” from Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs fame. It’s warm and lightly tropical, perfect for your winter getaway.

London Grammar – “Nightcall”
Earlier this year, London Grammar released their debut album If You Wait to great acclaim. While the folk-pop trio’s original singles “Wasting My Young Years” and “Strong” got plenty of well-deserved attention, the spotlight’s now on their cover of Kavinsky and Lovefoxxx’s “Nightcall” from the Drive soundtrack. It’s haunting, bracing, and every bit as gorgeous as the original. The accompanying video puts an unsettling edge on the track, as the band sets the night on fire.

Maxïmo Park – “Lover, Lover, Lover” (Leonard Cohen cover)
Maxïmo Park have been a band for long enough that they may risk falling into the nostalgia trap, but they’re certainly hustling hard to avoid it. Latest single “Brain Cells” is a minimal, wistful affair that sounds completely fresh; their newest offering is this cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Lover, Lover, Lover.” Sonically, it’s more true to the British rockers’ form, but it’s also their earnest, highly-literate reputation that allows them to pull it off.

Peace – “Last Christmas” (Wham! cover)
Peace were never quite my favorite British buzzband with a name starting with the letter P, but I have to hand it to them for covering the Wham! classic “Last Christmas.” The laid-back rockers  bust out the plaid scarves and tacky sweaters for this clip promoting their UK tour in December. I mean, what else are you going to do to pay tribute to one of the cheesiest extant Christmas songs, which you’ll probably have to hear on a daily basis for the next month? Peace’s debut album In Love is out now.

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