“February stars! Floating in the dark! Temporary scars! February stars!”
Not our words, the words of chief Foo Fighter Dave Grohl: a man so famous for being nice that when he’s horrible to the people around him, everyone in the room assumes he’s joking. It must make it really hard for him to complain if his rump steak ever comes with a substandard peppercorn sauce. Waiters probably just look at Grohl’s cross little face, give him a friendly punch on the shoulder and go off and tell their chums how bloody nice he is while Dave just sits there poking his meat with his knife and wishing he was still in Nirvana. Kurt Cobain never got served a dodgy sauce.
Now ask yourself this:
1/ Do you want an album to live inside (not literally) until spring?
Then Field Music (Measure) by Field Music is The One because it’s a one-hour long double album full of moderately complicated indie-pop-rock songs that are almost all brilliant. Given how long and good it is, it’s got value for money written all over it.
2/ Would you rather go with some female Next Big Things?
Because Marina and the Diamonds (with the poptastic, extroverted madness of Family Jewels) and Ke$ha (with the bitchy, bratty Animal) who are two of 2010’s likeliest candidates to battle it out for 2009’s Lady Gaga, Florence and the Machine, La Roux and Little Boots accolades. Or perhaps that’s nonsense and they’re both complete musical mavericks looking to follow no other woman’s code in this cruel world and we’re being patronising and lazy by lumping them all together just because they’re female solo artists and we’d do anything for an easy life. Next month: Ellie Goulding.
3/ Or some dance music you can trust?
For example: Hot Chip. Whose fourth album One Life Stand is a) absolutely excellent or b) the musical equivalent of a child looking cute in a panda suit, depending on whether you are a) FHM.com staff writer Tom Howard or b) FHM.com senior writer Paul French. It has some heavy and exciting ‘dancefloor banger’ moments, and some gentler ‘introspective electro-geek’ moments, all of which feel nicer inside your mind than having your sinuses drained. If this all sounds a bit obvious, a bit ‘yeah yeah, we get it’, a bit tell-us-something-we-don’t-know, check out Causers Of This by Toro Y Moi. It’s floaty, weird and brilliant.
4/ Or some good old-fashioned indie-rock?
Like The Soft Pack, whose album The Soft Pack sounds a bit like The Strokes and a bit like The Modern Lovers. Like Los Campesinos!, whose album Romance Is Boring sounds a bit like seven introspective young people dicking about with glockenspiels and guitars. Like Yeasayer, who used to sound like an acceptable version of Enigma, but now, on Odd Blood, have lost the plot completely and sound like heat-induced insanity. In a good way.
5/ Or would you prefer to pretend it’s still the ‘90s?
Ocean Colour Scene are here to help with their ninth album Saturday which we haven’t listened to because we were scared we might like it. And Massive Attack are still bumbling along like bass-addicted, dub-obsessed maniacs who refuse to accept that sometimes life doesn’t suck, on Heligoland.