Saturday, 8 December 2007

lightspeed champion: falling off the lavender bridge

Dev Hynes, discussing his recording amongst the Saddle Creek family in Nebraska in his interview with me, said “Tim (Kasher, of Cursive) was my freak-out. Conor was just the guy next door!” But it’s Bright Eyes’ outfit he’s borrowed for his first solo Lightspeed Champion LP, out 21st January 2008. Those familiar with Mike Mogis’ steel-guitar tendencies and Nate Walcott’s epic instrumentation, all dramatic strings and whirring organs, on ‘Cassadaga’ will discover a similar treatment of the ten very big songs on ‘Falling Off The Lavender Bridge’. But Hynes hasn’t been making contact with the dead; instead of postmodern authors that don’t exist, we are introduced to Dev’s nerves, nightmares and passions and the sketchy motherfuckers, crunk-addicted best friends and objects of affection that make up his London life. Lyrics like “Come over, I just got the new OC”, “Delivery reports have ruined my life” and “We kiss and I’m sick in your mouth” are within the Alex Turner/Lily Allen ‘real-life’ canon but his own brand of homemade angst enjoys infusing everyday intimacies with the grotesque. The result is proper emo that’s blatant without a whiff of pretentiousness yet also evades being excruciatingly wet. Through ballets of little vocal hooks alongside a small orchestra these elegant, comforting songs tell un-romanticised stories of bed-sheets, jealousy and alienation, making ‘Falling Off The Lavender Bridge’ a modern-day ‘Beggar’s Opera’. ‘No Surprise’s gorgeous final sentiment subverted, “The more I hear, then the more I hate”, wraps the lonely ones up against a shitty world.

The Kills played a sexy, stomping, if agonisingly short, set at White Heat the other night (4th Dec), including three new songs off their third album due in February 2008. Hotel says the LP will be called 'Midnight Boom'. Its lead single, 'URA Fever', is typically vampy and crotch-stirring but loses interest with repetition. Luckily it wasn't the best of the new material on offer at White Heat, which overall promised, after the bitty 'No Wow', a dancier 'Keep On Your Mean Side', which I for one can't wait for.

'URA Fever' - The Kills

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