Today sees the last part of 'The Two Year Itch', a showcase of some of my favourite bloggers' favourite British albums of the past two years. It was originally decided to be part of my second anniversary celebrations for this blog but seeing as that was about two weeks ago, I think it qualifies as a full feature. Hence I'll do a recap of everything tomorrow probably. But first, I thought I'd offer my thoughts on my favourite British album of the past two years by cheeky scamps Hot Club de Paris:
I'm not sure if regular readers of this blog have noticed but I hardly ever talk about albums. And there's honestly no other reason for this apart from the fact I just don't really listen to albums. I'm a member of the iGeneration, the Playstation brigade etc. I'm someone who is edging towards musical ADD. Maybe listening to hundreds of bands a month in short snippets has worn me down. I dunno. Either way, it's not really something to be proud of, particularly as a music blogger. But then for me to even go as far as listening to an album, let alone proclaim it as anything above good, is a testament to a band's ability to capture my imagination.
And Liverpudlian trio Hot Club de Paris certainly captured my imagination. Hearing future album opener 'Shipwreck' on John Kennedy's XFM Xposure show in early 2006 was a revelation, but one that would be surpassed by their live show. A triumphantly extrovert performance at The Great Escape festival that year meant that I was actually excited about an album for the first time in aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages.
Debut album 'Drop It Till It Pops', on the ever impressive Moshi Moshi label, didn't disappointment. In fact, it was everything I had hoped for. Taking the influences of Don Caballero, Minutemen and the various Kinsella brothers' outfits, the album journeyed its way through juddering mathpop and unconventional ballads via sea shanty-esque singalongs.
For me, track ten encapsulates the Hot Club outlook. 'Bonded By Blood (A Song For Two Brothers)' is an acapella, beatbox-laden....ballad? This is a band that isn't afraid about being unorthodox. And for Hot Club de Paris, being unorthodox thankfully doesn't mean throwing away a good tune. 'Bonded By Blood' is barbershop at its most contemporary, and a track full of charm and wit.
Hot Club de Paris are a band whose playful personalities and influences seep through to produce a spellbinding album. 'Drop It Till It Pops' has that certain joie de vivre that few bands manage to capture on record over their career let alone on their debut album. And that deserves to be celebrated.
Hot Club de Paris - 'Drop It Till It Pops' (released 9th October 2006)
HOT CLUB DE PARIS - BONDED BY BLOOD (A SONG FOR TWO BROTHERS)
Buy 'Drop It Till It Pops' with its bonus disc for only 7 quid at [Play]
And because the Hot Clubbers are about to unleash their second album 'Live At Dead Lake', I thought I'd provide you with a very recent BBC 6Music Session with Marc Riley showcasing some of the new tracks. They include new single 'Hey! Housebrick', which while not as immediate as any of the singles from the debut LP, is a wonderfully crafted pop song. It also features appearances from members of KHI faves and fellow Liverpudlians, [Puzzle].
HOT CLUB DE PARIS - MY LITTLE HAUNTING (BBC 6MUSIC SESSION)
HOT CLUB DE PARIS - BOY WHO AWAITS RETURN OF THE RUNAWAY GIRL (BBC 6MUSIC SESSION)
HOT CLUB DE PARIS - HEY! HOUSEBRICK (BBC 6MUSIC SESSION)
In fact, Hot Club de Paris seem to have a penchant for collaborations, working with Dave Davison of Maps & Atlases to produce 'The Dice Just Wasn't Loaded From The Start'. You can download it from [RCRDLBL.com] or listen to it on the upcoming album.