Fingertips Music Guide to betterPropaganda: April 07

Our collaboration with one of our favorite bloggers, Jeremy Schlosberg from Fingertips, continues. Start reading this months Top 5 recommendations and don't forget to check out Fingertips while you're at it for more in depth reviews.

1) "Moth in a Cloud of Smoke" - All Smiles
Ex-Grandaddy guitarist Jim Fairfield can sing, as it turns out--he's got one of those sweet, rich voices, high but not squeaky or breathy--a great power pop voice, in fact. Only he's not singing power pop here, but something more introspective and yet still ever so engaging. Listen for an echo of Brian Wilson in the chorus, as Fairchild reaches further up melodically and by the way gives great chord too.

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2) "Rainbowarriors" - CocoRosie
A dreamy wash of rhythm and atmosphere, "Rainbowarriors" manages to sound simultaneously very current and altogether timeless. Because I don't think I've heard a piece of 21st-century pop with such an ancient-sounding refrain at its heart: the ghostly harmonies that enrich the melody in the chorus are positively medieval in timbre and interval. It will bring to mind countertenors and Gregorian chants, which seems crazy in the midst of this quirky techno-construct, but also very satisfying.

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3) "Coral Den" - Midnight Movies
Dark and driving through the center, fuzzily psychedelic around the edges--check out that slow bridge, complete with organ, about two-thirds of the way through and see if this '00s L.A. band doesn't bring to mind a certain L.A. band from the '60s (think Jim Morrison). With vocalist Gina Olivier meanwhile channeling Debbie Harry, the overall effect is both moody and buoyant--a slice of somewhat skewed but ear-friendly rock.

4) "Heaven's My Destination" - Goldrush
The unfairly overlooked British band Goldrush delivers again, with a spunky slice of electro-acoustic-guitar-pop, plus, yes, what sounds like a string trio. Guitars take a back seat to techno-twiddlings, a glockenspiel, and the strings (which sometimes sound like they're playing backwards, although they're probably not). As always, Robin Bennett's plaintive, slightly roughed-up tenor adds depth to the proceedings.

5) "If That's the Case Then I Don't Know" - The Electric Soft Parade
At once squonky and lithe, the latest effort from the British brother duo the Electric Soft Parade features anthemic chords and resounding beats, scuffed up fetchingly with fuzzy guitars and electronic blips and boops, and delivered home thanks to Alex White's nicely vulnerable, Brit-poppy vocals. A casual know-how informs both the song structure and the production; we get a masterly mix of rhythm and melody, guitar and drum, busy-ness and spaciousness, loud and soft. Good stuff.

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