Greatest Hits – Volume 6

Time for a quick breather, and a chance to catch up on some of the previous posts that you might have missed. Remember these?

Chart for stowaways – 11 October 2014

Here are the singles from just a couple of weeks ago:

  1. Röyksopp & Robyn – Do it Again
  2. Espiritu – Bonita Mañana
  3. Goldfrapp – Jo
  4. William Orbit – On Wings
  5. Tomorrow’s World – You Taste Sweeter
  6. VCMG – Single Blip
  7. Cut Copy – Hearts on Fire
  8. CSS – Hits Me Like a Rock
  9. The Opiates – Rainy Days and Saturdays
  10. Computer Magic – Orion

Tomorrow’s World – Tomorrow’s World

French band Air seem to be singularly bad at marketing – it always comes as something of a surprise when they release something new, and in particular their side projects always seem to just appear out of nowhere.

So it was with Tomorrow’s World, the second side project for Jean-Benoît Dunckel, this time working with vocalist Lou Hayter of New Young Pony Club. The eponymous album appeared on the shelves early in 2013, and despite being largely forgotten by the public at large, it does have some merit.

That isn’t, perhaps, too obvious from the offing – the first track is the entirely forgettable A Heart That Beats for Me. You can certainly hear the sound of recent Air on here – the spectre of Le Voyage dans la Lune (reviewed here) is very much in attendance. Which is very much a good thing – the obscure twirly sounds Dunckel has managed to get out of his vintage synthesisers is entirely welcome.

Sometimes, the songs are there too, and the tracks positively shine – Think of Me and Drive are very pleasant indeed, although perhaps no more than that. But then, four tracks in, the lovely Pleurer et Chanter turns up unannounced. Beneath the slightly melancholic melody lies some warped instrumentation in the style of Le Voyage dans la Lune, making for a really rather beautiful combination. It also boasts a quite brilliant ending. Seemingly Tomorrow’s World have a few punches to pack when you’re not expecting it.

So Long My Love is a little more skippable, but Don’t Let Them Bring You Down is a total return to form. For the most part, it lacks the slightly manic experimental electronic noises which have been so key a part of the album up to this point, but it does have an extremely sweet melody and gentle flanged piano backing, which makes for a really lovely sound.

Metropolis too is incredibly sweet, a song about love in a big city. But I think my favourite track on the album is You Taste Sweeter, which wouldn’t have sounded too out of place on Air‘s debut album Moon Safari (1998) – it really is that good. The electronic backing has gone a bit bonkers again, and the lyrics are somewhat lacking this time, but there’s still something rather wonderful about the way everything comes together.

By the time Catch Me turns up with a slightly rotten electronic bass sound and a whole load of LFO on the backing, the album is nearly over already. This track has a great vocal style, which is very reminiscent of Air‘s Run (from Talkie Walkie, 2004, reviewed here), and is a lot of fun to listen to.

Final tracks Life on Earth and Inside are less noteworthy, but still very enjoyable to listen to. Even if the drums on the former are just a little reminiscent of Flight of the ConchordsInner City Pressure. But it’s worth remembering how many albums make the mistake of piling up all the good tracks at the beginning – here they’re relatively uniformly spread, which is a rare treat.

So Tomorrow’s World may not be Air, but it’s a worthy side project, even if resisting the comparisons has proved impossible here. Anyway, it’s a lot better than Dunckel’s earlier effort Darkel (2006). It will be fun to see what he comes out with next – if he actually bothers telling anyone, that is.

You can find Tomorrow’s World at all major online retailers, such as Amazon.

The Stowaway Awards 2014 – Nominations

Here are the nominees for this year’s Stowaway awards:

Best Album

  • Karl Bartos – Off the Record
  • Depeche Mode – Delta Machine
  • Front Line Assembly – Echogenetic
  • Goldfrapp – Tales of Us
  • Little Boots – Nocturnes
  • Marsheaux – Inhale
  • Moby – Innocents
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – English Electric
  • Pet Shop Boys – Electric
  • Tomorrow’s World – Tomorrow’s World

Best Reissue / Compilation

  • Bent – From the Vaults: 1998-2006
  • Electronic – Electronic (Special Edition)
  • I Monster – Swarf
  • Röyksopp / Various Artists – Late Night Tales
  • Sparks – Two Hands One Mouth

Best Remix

  • Crystal Castles – Affection (Tarantula X Remix)
  • Depeche Mode – Should Be Higher (MAPS Remix)
  • Kings of Convenience – Rule My World (Velferd Remix)
  • Marsheaux – So Far (Niadoka Remix)
  • Röyksopp – Running to the Sea (Villa Remix)

Best Video

  • David Bowie – The Next Day
  • Depeche Mode – Heaven
  • Erasure – Gaudete
  • Orbital – Christmas Chime
  • Pet Shop Boys feat. Example – Thursday

Best Newcomer

  • Eccentronic Research Council
  • Phildel
  • Starwalker
  • Tomorrow’s World
  • Woodkid

Check back in a few weeks’ time for the winners to these, and also the Best Artist, Best Live Act, Best Dance Act, and Outstanding Contribution awards.

Top Tracks of 2013 – Tomorrow’s World

Tomorrow’s World was a side project this year from some or all of Air (let’s be honest, is it really worth doing any research into this?) They put out a pretty good eponymous album this year, and the number nine track on our countdown of 2013 is You Taste Sweeter. Unfortunately it isn’t on the interwebs, so this is So Long My Love instead:

 

Chart for stowaways – 8 June 2013

The singles this week:

  1. Depeche Mode – Soothe My Soul
  2. Pet Shop Boys – Axis
  3. Marsheaux – So Far
  4. I Monster – Colourspill
  5. Kevin Pearce – Last Blow Out
  6. Röyksopp – Running to the Sea
  7. Saint Etienne – Burnt Out Car
  8. The Postal Service – Such Great Heights
  9. Lindum & Lindum – Waiting for the Night
  10. Tomorrow’s World – You Taste Sweeter

Marsheaux have also hopped up to the top spot on the album chart, holding I Monster and Kevin Pearce down to the rest of the top threee. Depeche Mode catapult back into the top five, and there’s a bit of an Air explosion going on further down outside the top ten.

Chart for stowaways – 25 May 2013

Here are the top 10 singles this week:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Axis
  2. Saint Etienne – Burnt Out Car
  3. The Postal Service – Such Great Heights
  4. Sparks – Two Hands One Mouth
  5. Delerium – Days Turn into Nights
  6. Depeche Mode – Soothe My Soul
  7. Pet Shop Boys – Memory of the Future
  8. Tomorrow’s World – You Taste Sweeter
  9. Röyksopp – Running to the Sea
  10. a-ha – Foot of the Mountain

Saint Etienne hop their way up to the top of the album chart with their recent reissue of Casino Classics, and the Crystal Castles invasion continues.

Chart for stowaways – 18 May 2013

Pet Shop Boys supplant themselves at the top:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Axis
  2. Saint Etienne – Burnt Out Car
  3. The Postal Service – Such Great Heights
  4. Pet Shop Boys – Memory of the Future
  5. Sparks – Two Hands One Mouth
  6. Pet Shop Boys – Leaving
  7. Tomorrow’s World – You Taste Sweeter
  8. Delerium – Days Turn into Nights
  9. Depeche Mode – Heaven
  10. Crystal Castles – Plague

Chart for stowaways – 4 May 2013

Pet Shop Boys are back! And as per usual, that means they take over the chart with a vengeance, kicking Depeche Mode off the top spot and occupying nearly every other position. Here are this week’s singles:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Memory of the Future
  2. Depeche Mode – Heaven
  3. Delerium – Days Turn into Nights
  4. Sparks – Two Hands One Mouth
  5. Tomorrow’s World – So Long My Love
  6. Pet Shop Boys – Winner
  7. Röyksopp – Running to the Sea
  8. Depeche Mode – Happens All the Time
  9. Boris Blank – Dome
  10. Pet Shop Boys – Axis

So PSB enter at number 10 with their new single Axis, and also are back in at 18 with Leaving as well as reclaiming the top spot with most recent single Memory of the Future.