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Gerard Way- Action Cat.
I’m not going to lie…the only reason I listened to this song was because it was called “Action Cat”. Otherwise, I would have skipped it faster than a flat rock across a still pond. It’s a good song though. Nothing that’ll probably make most people’s best of 2014, but the My Chemical Romance front man has done a neat job of shredding the emo sadness and putting on a few happier, upbeat layers to keep you smiling. Or maybe he’s been like that for awhile, I dunno, I haven’t really been paying attention to MCR.

Lana Del Rey- West Coast.

Say what you will about Lana Del Rey, but she’s damn marketable. She’s weathered the backlash and soaked up the vitamin glee that’s come from her adoring groupie fans fawning all over her the past year or so and now she’s back with a new song. Dan Auerbach of Black Keys fame is also listed as a collaborator. Good for him. 

Regardless of whether it’s her character that divides or her talent (or lack thereof, depending on which camp you place your flag), I personally think the musical world is better with her in it. 

Woods - Is it Honest.

You remember the Monkees? You will…you will. This has more Monkees in it than Davy Jones jock-strap. 

Bright Eyes- Susan Miller Rag.

Outtake from Cassadaga. Nifty. 

Regina Spektor - Blood of Eden.

Truthfully, I have no idea where this tune came from. Further investigation leads me to believe it might be a Peter Gabriel duet, but I’ve got it credited as Regina, and besides, she steals the show. It’s a firecracker. If “What We Saw From The Cheap Seats” was the party, then Blood of Eden swings and sways like the comedown, greeting the morning with contempt and poetic reflection of the night that was and perhaps should have been. 

*EDIT* It is a Peter Gabriel song, so that’s where the link is. Still, it’s a beautiful cover. 

Lily Allen- Hard Out Here.

Lily Allen is back taking swipes at the misogynist and sexist music industry. She’s clawing at Miley (who I always thought was bulletproof!), Robin Thicke and his apparently massive wang, even Jay Z!! Come on now, is nobody sacred!? Even still, good to see her back on the sarcky scene with a good piece of satire. I was a bit worried after I saw that John Lewis ad with her being sweeter than a bath full of fruit loops. 

Track starts at the 43 second mark. 

Summer Camp - Fresh.

Because the title of this summer song is “Fresh”, i’m going to review it as if it were a cider:

‘“Fresh” might be liquefied Lily Allen. Sexy on the ears, with hints of citrus dance, Daft Punk digital picking and a toasty, lofty melody with no hard edges. The chorus flirts with perfection and the high notes are akin to playing scrabble with a dominatrix.”  

Arcade Fire - Reflektor

Jumpy, dance and disco ball inspired first release from Arcade Fire’s latest album. It’s produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and it’s an epic 7 minute tour de force packed with more instrumental jam than you’ll know what to do with - Bowie makes an appearance, then there’s drums churning away, piano keys tinkling, synthesisers, guitars, highs and lows and Butler’s familiar vocals going every which way. It’s like an impromptu wedding collaboration where all the guests pull instruments from under the table and just go to work.   

Arctic Monkeys- Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You.

Distinct aromatic Josh Homme pieces floating around in this Arctic Monkeys B-Side. That’s no coincidence, with Homme appearing on their forthcoming album “AM” and a frequent producer and collaborator with the Monkeys. This is Turner’s take on QOTSA’s "Make It Wit Chu" and it’ll act as a neat little hole plugger until AM is released later this month.  

Creepy graveyard folk is a relatively niche indie market. But that doesn’t’ stop Dawn and Marra’s “Wicked Little Girl” from drinking malt liquor behind the tombstones with Meg White passing out on the drums. Slow to start, but when it does, there’s a Bellatrix LeStrange-ness about it which is equal parts awesome and harrowing. 

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